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New Battlestar Galactica Premieres Monday 483

Posted by michael
from the starbuck-gets-a-sex-change dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In several news articles, 'Battlestar Galactica' returns in a new four hour mini-series on the Sci-Fi channel this Monday. However, there has been fan furor over some changes to the story. Aluminum Cylon enemies look more like humans, complete with feelings, including one with rabid sexual desires, and the quest is not for a mythical Earth, as it no longer exists. More information at the BattlestarGalactica.com website, and the Sci-Fi channel."
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New Battlestar Galactica Premieres Monday

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  • by Steve 'Rim' Jobs (728708) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:09PM (#7629122) Journal
    Check out the Battlestar Galactica Original costume and Prop Museum [kobol.com].
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:12PM (#7629162) Homepage Journal

    It's been way too many yarons since I've been able to see Our Hero.

    Maybe some digital recreation of LG could allow him to reprise his role.

  • It was never cheap (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mycroft_514 (701676) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:14PM (#7629204) Journal
    Part of the reason the show was canceled was because it was too expensive to produce at the time.

    I am waiting to see the new series before I pass judgement.
  • by nedron (5294) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:19PM (#7629246) Homepage
    Its an entirely different animal, it is in fact so different that I suspect that the only reason its title is BSG is to get the built in audience...
    panxerox,

    I agree completely. Same thing with Enterprise. The show is so lackluster and not "Star Trek" that Paramount was finally forced to prepend "Star Trek:" to the title to boost ratings. Had DS9 and Voyager not had Star Trek in the title, it's likely they would have died unlamented deaths for the same reasons.

  • It'll fail (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:20PM (#7629257) Journal
    It has all the classic formulas of the newest Star Trek series:

    1) It is based on an old, out-dated Sci-Fi show that will not appeal to the mainstream public, no matter how much senseless T&A, sexually charged adult themes, pointless gun battles, and especially computer animation they add.

    2) It does not appeal to the old fans whatsoever, because of many of the same reasons in #1, plus the fact that it is "untr00" and often fails to explore many of the themes of the older series, and rather focuses on the "development" of silly, stereotypical characters.

    It'll fail after a few seasons of low ratings.

  • by cblguy (697834) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:22PM (#7629277)
    I usually leave SciFi channel on in the evenings when working. Saw a preview. I am looking forward to it. I watch all kinds of B-scifi-movies, and actually enjoy them.

    They flat out stated that they were taking a different approach to this BSG. In the earlier one, the Cylons were just mad at humans. That's all we knew. Why? Nobody knew. What was their history? Nobody knew. At least they're attempting some sort of story / history on the Cylons, and not just an Independence Day scenario of aliens attacking because they feel in a pissy mood that day.

    I am glad the SciFi channel at least does *something*, but I'm still not happy they discontinued Farscape.

    I enjoyed their Dune remakes (bought the DVD's even). I'm a sick pup, but those 3- and 4- star (out of IMDB's 10 star rating) are some of my faves. :D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:33PM (#7629407)
    The rough design of the Galactica itself seems the same, although in the previews, I've yet to see the rag-tag fleet of civilian ships that you see in just about every BSG episode.

    Two things that tick me off, though:

    1. They made two of my favorite characters women. Not to be sexist, here or anything, but the only way I see Starbuck and Boomer's characters working as women is if at least one of them is a lesbian.

    2. The Cylons. Period. Everything about them is lameified. The Cylons were supposed to be these cold, unfeeling, unremorseful drones. They core conflict is that the humans and cylons are so fundamentally different (they're opposites in every aspect except their mutual violent tendancies) that they can never reach any mutual settlement terms. Making them look human, and more importantly, giving them feelings and desires makes them, for all intents and purposes, human. This sort of storyline isn't neccessarily a BAD one, but it is NOT, by any measure, Battlestar Galactica.
  • Starbuck and Apollo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sturm (914) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#7629416) Journal
    I know that this will be worn out on this thread, but I'll be DAMN if I'm going to watch a half-ass attempt to recreate a classic sci-fi series that changes the gender of two of the main characters. That is just blatant pandering to try and interest different demographics. You wouldn't make Buck Rogers a woman and you wouldn't make Wonder Woman a man. I just don't see why people can't leave well enough alone. The original series was popular for a reason. Why change the formula?
  • Bah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#7629423)
    I thought they where moving away from space-based shows? Wasn't that one of the reasons they give for stopping Farscape?
  • Re:The theme tune (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GigsVT (208848) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#7629424) Journal
    There's no excuse after all, Jeff Minter could probably be pryed away from his sheep and yaks long enough to score it for them. :)
  • by ArmenTanzarian (210418) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:36PM (#7629444) Homepage Journal
    It's generalizations that could lead to disaster:

    "Starbuck was a womanizing, cigar-smoking guy," explains SciFi.com general manager Craig Engler. "Now, she's a man-izing, cigar-smoking bundle of trouble."

    Yeah, all he did was have sex and smoke cigars, that's why his character was so great... Not to mention "bundle of trouble" popping up highly on my oh-crap-o-meter for plucky obnoxious characters.

    Only time will tell how well adding hot chicks who can't act to dead TV series' will work out. I thought (and please don't flame me for this) SciFi did a pretty good job with Dune though, but they didn't try to make Paul a woman.
  • by Macgruder (127971) <chandies DOT williamson AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:56PM (#7629663)
    An aquaintance once refered to BSG as "Jews In Space", equating the rag-tag fleet with wandering in the desert for 40 years. With the Eqyptian / Roman influences throughout BSG (the 12 tribes, 'Apollo', Casseopia', and didn't they have a Battlestar Atlantis show up once?)

    So Glenn Larson grabbed a hodge-podge of stuff, through in some special effects and cobbled together sets (the Viper interiors were reused in Buck Rogers) and tried to pass it off on TV.

    Unfortunately, it never hit big with the adults of that time. Kids loved it. But the primetime Neilson ratings didn't measure the kid's interest.

    So, it was doomed. Let's not even talk about Galactica, 1980.

    This effort takes the names and places, and respins them. Yes, they want to capitalize on the BSG name, because that automatically makes potential viewers familiar with the basic layout.

    But if I want to watch a re-hash of BSG, I'll catch the reruns on SciFi. I want to see something NEW.

    So I'm going to watch it, and treat it like it's on it's own. Kind of like David Lynch's Dune, and the mini-series. Both tell th story differently, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Actually.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cnelzie (451984) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @12:59PM (#7629692) Homepage
    The original BSG was composed of a mixing of Space Opera Science Fiction and the Mormon religion story.

    The whole thing with the 12 colonies of man and the 'lost' 13th colony is exactly like the Mormon belief of 12 tribes of man with a lost 13th tribe and how reuniting with that 13th tribe would be their salvation or something along those lines.

    There was a great deal of other Mormon influences behind a great deal of the back-story to BSG. The actual TV series stories followed the basic 'hodge-podge' that often plagues the first season of a number of television series, although there was some really interesting storylines built around the Mormon mythology, like the thing with the beings of light that went through a handful of the episodes.

    If it had stayed on the air, it would have developed into a very significant series of stories instead of just the barely exposing the surface that was shown back in the 70's.

    The whole draw to the series was and still is the way the characters were, how they interacted and the relationships they held with eachother. These days the producers and storywriters claim that having 'damaged' characters and conflict amongst the heroes is the way that things are supposed to be. That's not the BSG that I remember and it's not the BSG that I would like to see.

    I will probably watch this show, just to give it a chance, but in the end I will likely still give more weight to the original with it's compelling back-history and lofty ideals. (Even though it is based heavily on a somewhat 'odd' religious group's history.)

  • BSG was popular... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Creepy (93888) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:01PM (#7629716) Journal
    I love all the reviews mentioning it only lasted one season. Technically that's true, but it was cancelled for one reason - the price tag of 1 million per episode. Today that's a joke - each primary _character_ in Friends makes that, but back then it was an unheard of amount.

    Fans clamored to get it back after it was dumped, and were given BSG 1980, based on Earth where the executives could get away with much cheaper cost/episode. Most of the original cast was gone, and the episodes reeked of being cheaply made and for the most part poorly written.

    Personally, I don't mind a rethinking, since, for instance, I can't imagine the original Star Trek working with today's audiences, but I'm a little wary about new cylons, which seem more like dopplegangers than machines. I still think of BSG as a man-vs-machine conflict (even though, if I recall this correctly, the Cylons are some kind of proteus mass that lives in the robot body). Not to say that it won't work - Terminator did the doppleganger robot thing believably. T2 and T3, on the other hand, were very non-realistic with their liquid metal robots (I can see being damaged and self repairing, but being blown to bits and having all the pieces flow back together? Give me a break). I don't really consider those movies sci-fi - they're fantasy in a sci-fi setting.

    I still don't picture Starbuck as a woman - it doens't seem like a female name and the character was so well defined. Boomer I can picture more (it's got that fighter-pilot aura) and the character didn't stand out as much as Starbuck or Apollo. Speaking of, if they'd made Apollo a girl, I'd have to whack them upside the head (there are much better and appropriate female goddess names, like Artemis, Athena [though that was used in the orig], and Kalypso). Thankfully, they didn't.
  • by Chalupa (586145) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:18PM (#7629935)
    ...so I guess there will be no more subtle references to Mormonism?
    Trying to find those little gems in the plot lines was the most fun part of sitting through the original BSG.

    ...if countries were Olympic sports, Canada would be the rhythmic gymnastics.

    Chalupa
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:18PM (#7629936) Homepage
    nice to see you got a +4 insughtful for talking out your ass.

    First off the "cylons" are still the red eye robots. there happens to be an addition of stealth cylons that look exactly like us.

    The story line is pretty damn close to the origional and the effects are awesome.

    I have the dvd here from work with the first 2 episodes on it. (we are a cable ad-sales company... I get all the goodies that are sci-fi based and because we are one of the largest markets we get the premium freebies/goodies.)

    and It's not anything you make it out to be. there are a few minor changes that really dont screw up anything but really enhance it more.

  • by jdeisenberg (37914) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:28PM (#7630033) Homepage
    I also saw the movie release; I was on vacation in Toronto, and Battlestar Galactica was showing in theaters about a week before premiering on TV in the States.

    I nearly walked out of the theater in disgust when I heard the word "micron" used as a unit of time. Scientific illiterates such as those writers should not be permitted to breed.

    Let's hope the new series avoids that particular mistake.
  • Re:Bad omens (Score:2, Interesting)

    by digitalgiblet (530309) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:33PM (#7630097) Homepage Journal
    OK, I haven't seen the show yet, so I can't say how much I agree with the reviewer, BUT I can say that he included a sentence I thought was hilarious.

    He basically said it was like something you would watch in the waiting room "while a doctor probes for nodules where nodules sometimes grow."

    Now THAT is funny.

    I also have to say that is isn't a particularly good sign when they have to make a show about the show, defending their decisions about the show...

    I will give them credit for not just doing a remake. This series is targeted at the audience who watched the original. We've all grown up now... If they kept many of the elements of the original (Moffet the daggit, for instance) we would all be shouting about it the way we shouted about Jar Jar...

    I like the idea of female pilots, but I do think it was a stretch to convert TWO of the THREE main characters from male to female. That would be like Charlie's Angels with two guys and one girl, none of whom you had ever seen before...

    The preview show made Apollo look like a snotty character you just wouldn't want to hang around with. Maybe Richard Hatch wasn't the best actor in the world, but at least you LIKED his Apollo. I want to hear their explanation of why he has a TOTALLY different accent then his dad... Dad is hispanic, son is painfully British. Hmm. Oh, Lucy, you have some 'splaining to do!

  • Quick comments (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GuyMannDude (574364) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:35PM (#7630117) Journal

    Looks sex-addled, low-action, and pretty scanty on the mythology. "Cylon Fembots" is all we need to know.

    I was a bit surprised when I saw how much sex stuff was going to be in this new show. I know that Star Trek has gone this way (7 of 9, T'Pol) but the guy doing BG is Roland Moore and between him and Braga (the other ST:TNG writer) I always figured that Moore was the one who didn't feel the need to use sex as a way to sell an inferior product. I guess I was wrong. Of course then they try to head off the criticism that the new show is sexist by making Starbuck and Boomer women. Yet the people on the 'making of' show last night clearly indicated that Starbuck and Boomer were going to be in sexual situations as well (sexual tension but no action in Starbuck's case).

    The mythology was pretty much all that made it distinctive, such as it was, in the original case.

    You're probably already aware of this but just in case not: the story of the original is based very heavily on the story of the Mormons trying to find a place to settle. Obviously, most Hollywood types are Mormons so they were completely unaware of this. For them, and the vast majority of the American public, the story was a brand new idea. In reality, the backbone story was already done. All the writers had to do was take an obscure, yet interesting, story and flesh it out a bit and transfer it to the stars.

    GMD

  • by rworne (538610) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @01:41PM (#7630171) Homepage
    You know, one cool thing came about from Galactica 1980. When I was in high school in the San Fernando Valley (near Univeral Studios), someone bought one of the motorcycles used in the series. It was neat watching it tool around the neighborhood with the Galactica-esque type body panels on it.

    One of the coolest lines in the show was when they were observing earth from space and zoomed in on the Los Angeles freeways:

    "It must take them many years of training to be able to travel like that". (paraphrased)

    The other funny moments were (also paraphrased):
    A Cylon shorting out when a nearby microwave oven started up.

    From the WWII time-travel episode:
    (Viper pilot)"They seem to be launching many small metal objects at us."
    (Passenger)"They're shooting at us! Get out of here!"

    and:
    (one nazi to another after firing on a Viper):
    "You fool! You are shooting at one of our own experimental aircraft!"

    Galactica 80 was horrid, but it did have its moments.
  • by erpbridge (64037) <steve@ePERIODrpbridge.com minus punct> on Thursday December 04, 2003 @02:22PM (#7630688) Journal
    I mean what's next, an Indiana Jones movie where Indy is a woman and the setting is 21st century Tokyo?

    Actually, they have one of these. It's a TV series run by ABC where Indiana Jones is a kung-fu action woman who runs around the world (but is based in LA) retrieving artifacts to create a big machine, set in the early 21st century. It's called Alias.

  • by shotfeel (235240) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @04:08PM (#7632136)
    I guess I'm not so sure there's such a big distinction. What was blatently sexual when the original BSG aired is nothing now. So if you "normalize" across time, IMO the new BSG may be no more blatently sexual than the original (that includes the commercials). Of course I haven't seen the new BSG so I'll have to wait and see how much they actually rely on sexuality as a crutch.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @05:20PM (#7632945) Homepage Journal
    But the galactica now looks like a black heatsink instead of the graceful whitish metal of the original. It used to look somewhat reminicent of a Lamborghini. The new one looks like a battery charger.
  • by Mike Van Pelt (32582) on Thursday December 04, 2003 @08:44PM (#7634783)
    >let's not forget that Edward James Olmos has
    >warned fans of the original series to not watch.

    I read his quote way back when, and it seemed to me he was saying that if you're the sort of obsessive fanboy who regards every word of the original series as Holy Writ, and will get upset at the slightest change... Then, no, you should not watch this version, as it will upset you. Otherwise, you might like it.

    I never cared much for the original; I only watched it for a while because there was no other SF on the toob. There's only so many "Morons take kid and daggit to uncharted planet, daggit runs away, kid runs off following daggit, morons must spend rest of episode chasing stupid kid" plots I can stand to watch.

    It did occasionally have some good stuff. I was interested in seeing more about what was going on with Count Iblis.

    The last straw, though, was on one episode where the Badactica had to go back to somewhere they had left earlier, console jocky asks Captain Ben Cartwright what speed to set, and he intones portentiously "Light Speed!" There follows a great deal of anxiety about how they hadn't gone that fast in centons and centons, and the engines canna take tha strain.

    Which showed that no one involved in the show had a clue. Not the slightest clue. I couldn't bear to watch it after that, even though it was the only thing barely resembling SF on the toob.

    So "Not the same as the old BG" sounds promising to me.

    Unfortunately, nothing else I have heard about this wombat sounds like it's going to be good. At all. It sounds <voice=marvin> perfectly dreadful. </voice> I don't plan to watch; if I hear it's really good after all, I'm sure the skiffy channel will re-run any episodes I missed.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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