Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank my gods it's over

I was a big fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. I even watched Galactica 1980, which wasn't near as good. As for the resent remake of Battlestar Galactica, well....

And I'm not one of those people who just hates remakes. The second Invasion of the Body Snatchers was my favorite of the four movies based on Jack Finney's book. I liked Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. I have enjoyed all versions of Star Trek, including the animated series.

I've even decided that Enterprise wasn't that bad.

I liked The War of the Worlds that Tom Cruise was in. I will even say that pollution is just as valid a reason for making The Day the Earth Stood Still now as was the threat of nuclear war in the original.

So I'm not one of those people who is just so in love with the original that they'll always see remakes as a bad thing. Sometimes we just like to update things a little bit. Every twenty or thirty years we remake Miracle on 34th Street for a new audience, and so far they've all been good.

I saw the Marlo Thomas version of It's a Wonderful Life before I new who Jimmy Stewart was.

So I'm okay with remakes, if they are good remakes. And maybe sci fi stuff gets remade a lot because of the new special effects. Sometimes you look at an old sci fi movie or tv show, and you think that people would still like this, if not for the rubber monsters and bad special effects. Now that we sometimes have pretty good cgi, maybe some of it is worth doing over again.

So there were a lot of people looking forward to the new Battlestar Galactica. A lot of us were disappointed that it wasn't a continuation of the original series, but I for one didn't totally dismiss it just because they decided to go with a remake instead.

Until I actually saw the thing.

The first episode was good, it was just too different for me to like it as part of the Battlestar Galactica universe. And right there at the end, it looked more like it should have been called The Second Variety (Screamers). But, to be fair, I like Philip K. Dick stuff as much as the next person, so that wasn't what I didn't like.

I didn't like that they took the names of characters that I cared about and gave them to totally new characters, some of whom were real a**holes. I didn't like the new special effects with the shaking camera. And I didn't like that everything looked so old.

Yes, I know it was an important part of the plot that Galactica was older than most of the fleet. But I still didn't like the way it looked. The sixties are over. Rotary phones shouldn't be on spaceships.

But, still, I was trying to give it a chance.

I think, for the most part, that the first season wasn't that bad. I would have liked it better if they had done a real Battlestar Galactica, and I just wanted to shoot the camera guy, but I was watching the show and liking parts of it.

Among my friends, I was in the minority of people who were disappointed with the new show. There were a few others, and I even know one person who refused to watch after the first episode, but most of them liked the new show. The really odd thing was that some of my friends would go on and on about the things that I didn't like as if they were really good. Like shaking cameras add realism to the show.


But when I really started to lose interest was in the second or third season when the new a**hole characters really started to behave like a**holes and play musical beds. The show became more about the soap opera of the a**holes than about the war or the quest. There was an episode where most of the main characters were in a boxing ring. I think that I really would have stopped watching the show then except for two things. A.) I was already going to my brother's house to watch Stargate stuff he recorded for me, so I might as well watch Battlestar Galactica with him too, and B.) half the time Battlestar Galactica was all my friends wanted to talk about, so I had to watch the show just to have something to say about it, even if it was negative.

While everyone else was cursing that Galactica was getting canceled, all I could think was it would finally be over. All I have to do is watch one more season to keep up with what everyone is talking about, and then I'll be off the hook.

And I'm still crossing my fingers that it will get interesting again.

And for awhile, it does get interesting. There's this bit about a Cylon named Daniel, who must be Kara's father. So that explains Kara. Kara must be the first child born to a human/Cylon couple instead of Hera. So then what is the big deal about Hera?

Turns out that Daniel was not Kara's father, and Kara is not part Cylon, and we weren't supposed to be thinking that at all. What we were supposed to infer from the Cabel kills Daniel story is that they are Cain and Able.


So, on Friday, when everyone else is all excited about seeing the two hour finale of Battlestar Galactica and even planning little viewing parties around it, I'm just sort of relieved that it is about to be over. I don't know if I'll watch Caprica. It might be interesting. I'll certainly watch the first episode and at least give it a chance. But Battlestar Galactica, at least this version of it, is finally over and I'm not really sorry to see it go.

I look on the website just to make sure I have the time right. I had heard that it would be two hours. According to the website, it will be two hours and eleven minutes.

My brother records all of the shows. I call my brother to tell him to change the recording time.

I usually end up watching the recording the following Sunday, but due to our schedule that week I got to see it on Friday with everyone else.

And there were all of these flashbacks. And I'm thinking, who cares about this stuff now?

About an hour into the program, it looks like they've pretty much wrapped everything up. My brother looks at me and says "Are you sure it's two hours and eleven minutes. Maybe it's one hour and eleven minutes."

He wasn't making a joke. He just really thought that I had read it wrong.

More flashbacks.

A bit later, my brother looks up and says "There's still half an hour left."

Again, he's not making a joke. It sounds funny now, but he wasn't trying to be funny.

This is like the longest two hours and eleven minutes that have ever been on the small screen.

Okay, I mostly like that they got back to the original idea of these people being our ancestors. If you are a serious fan of the show, you've probably heard that the idea was originally to be a show called Adam's Ark. (I first heard the title Adam's Ark on a Sci Fi Channel show called Sciography, which is damned funny, and if you haven't seen it you could watch it on Youtube.) So I'm kind of glad that they finally got back to Earth.

I don't think that they needed to send the fleet flying into the sun. I think that most of the people watching the show are fans of science fiction in general, and they are already familiar with the idea of colonists losing their technology. It is just something that happens over time, or something that happens after some catastrophe. You don't need to deliberately get rid of the technology. It just sort of gets lost anyway.

I think that I might have sent the Galactica into the sun, because it was too damaged to land. Maybe some of the ships weren't designed to land, and I would have sent them into the sun rather than leave them in orbit where they might later fall and kill someone. But I would have kept everything else, and there probably would have been scenes of people dismantling ships and making homes from them.

But this people don't even keep the agroships. And they are on a new planet where they don't even know what to eat. I guess they'll eventually learn from watching the natives, but this still seems like a really stupid thing to do.

Never mind, it's over. We can all look forward to the next Stargate series now.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

By the way, I recently found the latest "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" remake at Steples for 99 cents, so it will be the first one for me to see (having not ever run across the previous versions).

Back to the new BSG, one brother thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. The other could not watch beyond the pilot due to the shaking camera.

I recently read that Scifi urged the makers of the new BSG to abandon the story arc and make more "single story" episodes. I think the universally-panned "Boxing Without Boxey" episode was an example of that.

I thought it was worth sending the fleet into the sun just to hear the old BSG theme song.... for the first time since it was used in the pilot.

Or else they could have instead buried the damaged warp drive on a Pacific island somewhere where it was cause strange things to happen later. This, coupled with changing Starbuck's magic warp numbers to 8 15 16 23 42, would have made for an interesting tie-in.