What Was Battlestar Galactica?

Battlestar Galactica

I remember Battlestar Galactica from when I was a kid. I used to love watching this on a Saturday evening (in the UK).

It  is a story of betrayal, heroism, love and courage. 

It is the story of survival against all odds. 

It is the story of one species fight for survival from the merciless onslaught of another. 

In a distant part of the universe there are a series of planets known as the 12 Colonies which are the home of a civilization of humans. 


"There are those who believe...

that life here...

began out there.

Far across the universe. With tribes of humans...

who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians...

or the Toltecs...

or the Mayans...

that they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids...

or the lost civilizations of Lemuria...

or Atlantis...

Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man...

who even now fight to survive...

somewhere beyond the heavens."


The Colonies had been at war with the Cylon Empire, a cybernetic race, in the past. 

But the colonies are ambushed by the Cylons, helped by a human named Baltar, in a surprise attack that lays waste to all the planets and all but wipes out their population. 

Fleeing the colonies in any spacecraft they can find the few human survivors to refuge in space. 

Of all the Colonial Fleet, the Battlestar Galactica seems to be the the only military ship to have survived the attack. 

Led by the famed military leader Commander Adama, the Battlestar Galactica and its crew take up the task of leading the small fugitive fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth. 

The original concept for the program was conceived in the late 1960’s by Glen A.Larson and was called Adam’s Ark, but unable to find backing for the project he had to shelf it until after Star Wars revitalized the Sci-Fi genre in 1977.

The first episode aired on September 17, 1978 but was interrupted by an hour long broadcast announcing the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord at Camp David. 

During its short live 17 original episodes of the series were aired (five of them two-part shows), totaling 24 hours of broadcasting. 

But in April, 1979 ABC cancelled the show, despite its winning the 6th Annual People's Choice Awards for Best New TV Drama Series, quoting poor viewing figures and high costs as the reasons. 

Strangely enough I have clearer and fonder memories of this than I do of Star Wars and I used to eagerly await each episode. 

After a couple of years hiatus a poorly budgeted and ill conceived sequel titled Galactica was aired in 1980 but this was a quick failure. 

The original series, however, continued to gain a cult following and Glen A. Larson, Richard Hatch, and Bryan Singer (independently of one another) remained faithful to the original series, trying to revive it. 

Several other projects, including demonstration videos and a miniseries, were planned or started but never came to fruition due to a lack of funding or commitment. 

As a result it wasn't until 2003 that a new re-imagined Battlestar Galactic was made. 

The Re-imagined Series

With Ronald D. Moore and David Eick as the creative forces behind the Reimagined Battlestar Galactica Universal Television made a miniseries which premiering on Sky1 in the UK and Ireland in October 2004, and on the Sci-Fi channel in the U.S. in January 2005.

This miniseries was so successful that Sci-Fi opted to develop this new version of Galactica into a television series.

The new re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, like its predessor, went on to receive television awards and much critical acclaim from the TV critics and several short webisodes as well as TV Movies, comics and entertainment console games have been made.

I shied away from watching the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica for a long time, mainly because of my fond memories of the original Battlestar Galactica series and because, living in Thailand, it wasn’t readily available, however after a friend of mine lent me his DVDs I have became hooked.

Rather than being a poor re-make it is an excellent tribute to the original and as such I am looking forward to the Sci-Fi channel’s re-imagined "V" series (anybody else remember that one?).

Also, despite some character changes, it remains close to the original concept and

still "feels" like "Battlestar Galactica".

Unlike most science fiction series, the re-imagined series doesn’t feature aliens and intentionally avoids techie phrases or lingo in order for the mainstream audience to fully appreciate the show’s storylines which  are well thought out and developed, as are the characters.

In fact there is surprisingly little violence despite the subject matter and instead the storylines generally explore the conflicts, relationships and friendships that develop within the Battlestar itself and the apocalyptic fall-out of the destruction of mankind’s twelve colonies and of the remaining survivors as well as the moral choices they must make in dealing with the continued existence of the human race.

 

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