Catching up with rj...

Over the course of the last month or so, I started re-watching the entire series again. Actually, it was more like this: somewhere around late April or early May, I popped the miniseries in with plans on watching the whole series again, but I really only got around to watching the mini, then episode 1 of season 1, "33" right after. Then life took over, and I got sidetracked.

Until rj's recent entry
. It gave me a good point to catch up to, which is basically the first two discs of the season 1 box set: the mini and the first four episodes.

Egad! I'm not sure how many times I've seen these already, maybe 5 or so... but it continues to overwhelm me... in a really good way. The writing is really so rich, and even in the "less intense" episodes, there's always some arc or element that captivates. This show has it's highs and lows as any other show does, but the difference is that it's lows are pretty high in my own humble opinion. And because it's highs are so high, they kind of set a bar for themselves that's hard to live up to, if that makes any sense.

The emotion of it all is what really sticks to me, as well as the character development. Even though I know everything that is going to happen to these characters by watching from the beginning again, I am no less engrossed. In fact, maybe I can look even deeper now, and see the finer details which show me once again just how expertly written this show is. The tie-ins across episodes and seasons are easier for me to catch, and believe me, there are a lot of them and surely more to be seen. There's so many subtle details but our imaginations are still allowed to glue everything together. It's a lot like Star Wars in these ways to me.

Watching Kara tackle flight instruction again, after her and the Adama family's trauma... it's just so frakking human, it tears me apart. The ways I can relate to Starbuck are so vast it scares me a little, yet this one character in particular (as well as the show as a whole) I just can't get enough of. There's something addicting about this show that isn't like any show I've ever watched before. It's the same kind of addiction as Star Wars for me. Maybe I just have a good story abuse problem.

So, I watched the first two discs of the season 1 box set again, and happened to have the chance to visit with my parents this weekend. I finally gave those two discs to my dad to watch. He really loves science fiction, loves Star Wars like me (although he's also really into Star Trek, unlike me), and he's a writer and editor (did I mention I got my screen writing teacher totally into the new BSG?). I've had some pretty lengthy discussions with my dad about the new BSG, and I think we both recognize that one of the only deterrents that he might come across with it is the violence (less so) and the political references (more so) - one major factor being that my mother is a displaced person from the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states, so some political references can be a little touchy in my family. A little too much info there...

Basically, I'm really anticipating how my dad will like it. On the one hand, I think that he will absolutely love it (he loves Firefly and Serenity too BTW), but on the other hand I'm a little scared that he will be turned off by some of the references. I know he will love the SFX (remember Boomer and her co-pilot finding the water planet in "Water" - that one shot with the Raptor skimming on the planet surface - incredible), and I hope he will enjoy the writing as much as I do - the pure genius in the story.


The "new sci-fi" + BSG press

Check out this article from The Guardian Unlimited UK: The new sci-fi
- It talks about the state of sci-fi today and a pretty grand influence by the new BSG.

Also, yesterday (June 26th) SciFi sponsored a press interview panel for some of it's top shows in Vancouver. TV Squad's Keith McDuffy reports back with a two part video, and the promise of more to come. WARNING - May be somewhat spoiler-ish for season 4, and therefore season 3 and any other part of the series you haven't seen yet:
Part 1
Part 2

Now I'm off to read rj's thoughts on season (1 *wink*wink*)...

Season 1: First four episode thoughts

My wife and I finished the DVD of the first four episodes of Season 1. The next DVD should be coming our way soon.

The beginning of season 1 was a very strong start. It may be difficult to ever match how blown away I was by the mini-series, but these first four were very, very good. I thought the first episode, 33, was the best.

The water episode was good. I really liked the development of Boomer's split personality. It's also cool seeing the juxtaposition of the two Boomer's. I feel bad for Helo.

My favorite part of the prison riot episode was the last scene, after President Roslyn tells Apollo that she has cancer. I forget the exact exchange, but I believe Roslyn's last line is something like: "Of course you will. You're Captain Apollo." There's just something so great in the way she delivered that line, her smile after she says it and the music. In general, I absolutely love the music and sound in this show. It plays a huge part in setting the awesome tone. I feel similarly about the music and sound in Heroes. So important. And Mary McDonnell is genius in this show. She is just fantastic in that portrayal.

The rookie pilot episode was very interesting. That was our cliffhanger for now as Starbuck plummets away from her Viper.

Oh, and I also have to mention how much I dig Baltar. He is so funny in his own disturbing sneaky way.

I'll report back after we get through the next disc.


Recent BSG News

Just thought I'd post some recent news bits about Battlestar Galactica and it's journey toward the fourth and final season:

The following article contains MAJOR SPOILERS concerning season 3. I know some of you may have not gotten to that point yet, so DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT READING THIS ARTICLE. It's the equivalent to a "Luke, I am your father" kind of spoiler/surprise. In my opinion at least....

Battlestar Galactica: Ronald Moore talks about *the E word* (<-edited!)

Next one is spoiler-free. Just a few words from Eick talking about how they plan and write the show (and consolations to actors for the upcoming final season)...

CanMag: David Eick on Closing Out Battlestar Galactica

The next few are accounts of the All Access Battlestar Galactica event in LA last week, where fans and press joined together to screen the season 3 finale on a big screen, view a recap of the whole of BSG seasons 1-3, attend a Q&A with cast members moderated by Lucy Lawless, and top the night off with a special preview of the upcoming fall release of the double episode/movie Razor*. There may be some spoilers in these, since they talk about how season 3 might lead into season 4, and events in season 3 in general (see my above opinion about the level of spoiler this is ;)...

Battlestar Galactica: Q&A in L.A.

They Have a Plan: The Battlestar Galactica All Access Event

IGN: Battlestar Galactica Cast and Creators Discuss Season 4

Photos from the event

* Apparently there has been some recent talk about the possibility that the BSG movie "Razor" would not be allowed to go into production by Gary Larson, the producer of the original Battlestar Galactica series and owner of all rights to any Battlestar movie since that time. Larson is said to not have fully accepted the reimagined series, and some reports mention that he wouldn't give the go ahead unless the "movie" were tied into his original series. The most recent news on the Razor movie have included statements by Ron Moore about the possible content, which include a tie in to events from the original series (Supposedly Admiral Caine has flash-backs to her childhood and escape from the Cylon attack from the 1970's movie). Veeery interestink! The most recent reports also make it seem like the movie is still underway, business as usual. I have some doubts as to the sources for the above mentioned flash-backs, so take this as only rumor. For a more reliable preview and statement about the movie, click here.


Mini-series thoughts

Here are a few of the things that I thought about the mini-series:
  • The acting was outstanding. Really great stuff period, but particularly for a sci-fi show based on a 70's TV show.
  • The story was exceptionally compelling. Characters and a culture in crisis. How do they react? What do they do?
  • The variety of characters are also wonderful. Each one is interesting in their own right. Starbuck; Apollo; Adama; Tigh; Boomer; Baltar(!); the bleached-blonde Cylon; the awesome new President (I love her); even the people on the bridge whose names I forget. Oh and the chief mechanic/engineer guy who is hooked up with Boomer.
  • The visuals are awesome. I love that the tech seems 'realistic' in the sense that it's a reasonable outgrowth of things that we are familiar with. It's not spacey. In particular, I like that the voices are garbled when they are communicating over their comms.
  • The music is a big player in setting the tone. It sets a very, very cool and effective mood. It reminded me of how the music in Heroes is just perfect for that show.
  • I thought it was funny that Boxy (sp?) still had to have the bowl haircut in this series.
  • The new Cylons are suitably menacing. The last scene revealing a surprise Cylon model was frak-tastic. I loved seeing the old school Cylon in the museum.
  • The story is just superb. In the end, that's what matters. All of the sci-fi aspects of the show kick ass. But, it's the story that got me hooked. It was well written, suspenseful and just plain interesting.

I'll get to season 1 as soon as I can.


I think I just wet my pants from squee

I'm not going to give a detailed review, but I just finished watching the initial BSG mini-series. Oh...my...gawd. That was the best three hours of TV I've watched in a long, long time. I am hooked but good. Maybe later when I have time to process all the greatness I'll give more thoughts. But for now, I'll just leave it at...frak.


Fourth season to be the last

So it's official, almost. A friend of mine sent me this news link stating that the producers of the new Battlestar Galactica will officially announce the finalization of the series after it's upcoming fourth season.

It's a little sad, but as they explained in the article, it really is the kind of story that has a beginning, middle, and an end. As much as I'm addicted to the show, I think making a clean encapsuled story arc is the best way to do it. All good things must come to an end. When I think about how televison series really work, and how they work well, its by keeping a captive audience through a strong story (unless you're a variety show of course). Even though I don't follow the show Lost, I've been hearing the buzz about how it seems to be leaving it's audience "Lost" in it's dragging story lines. Hey, Star Wars has an end, at least as far as the saga in film goes, but because it's such a great story, it lives on in our hearts and imaginations, and the gaps are forever being filled in (I might add, there's a certain point where that gap filling can get old too).

I think they might have been able to push BSG on to a fifth season though. In an interview from about a year ago, Moore or Eick had commented that they wanted to only go as far as five seasons max. However, season four is slated for 22 episodes, which is longer than your average TV drama usually stretches for a season. I'm not sure if they are counting what they are now calling an "extended episode" (formerly known as the straight to DVD movie) Razor, to be aired this November as one or two of those 22 episodes. Heck, 20 episodes it's is rather lofty as well. I'll take it!

Here's the other thing. There was some chatter in the past about another BSG project called Caprica, which would predate the timeline of the current BSG by a generation or so, but the idea was put on the back burners. I always likened this concept to that of iRobot (either the book or the Will Smith movie). I think this is a spinoff that could really work and hope to see it reconsidered as they wrap up the end of BSG.

Lets keep fan chatter and communities like these alive and active to show interest in projects like Caprica!