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New Battlestar Galactica Spin-off Series Announced 473

Posted by samzenpus
from the baby-boomer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Sci-Fi Channel's hit series Battlestar Galactica may soon be joined by a 50-year-prior prequel series, called Caprica. To be co-exec produced by Ron Moore and David Eick, the new series will follow the tale of the creation of the Cylons."
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New Battlestar Galactica Spin-off Series Announced

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  • Don't hurt BSG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:07AM (#15209942)
    I just really hope that this doesn't hurt the quality of BSG by spreading writing/producing talent as well as budgets too thin. I mean, I think Stargate might be suffering from that right now, having two complete series to do.

    I also think that having a prequel could hurt a bit, because I feel like a strength of BSG is its unpredictability. I mean, it changes so much (season finale anyone?) that I feel that knowing the ending (Cylons created, rebel, we fight to a draw, Galactica survives to the present day, none of the Colonies get totally destroyed, etc) kind of hurts it.
  • Great idea, BUT... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raul654 (453029) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:08AM (#15209945) Homepage
    ...does anyone else think it might be a tad too early to start doing the prequels?
  • Re:Prequel? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:21AM (#15209992)
    Well, they clearly can't do a sequel, because the series isn't over yet. And in a fleet of 45 thousand people (ignoring "Lay Down Your Burdens II for a minute) there aren't really enough interesting things going on to have a a co-existing series. I mean, unless the fleet splinters for good along Pegasus/Galactica lines or something (in which case, it'd be two pretty much identical series).

    Therefore, a prequel is really your only shot. And considering BSG started with the near total destruction of an entire civilization that looked pretty darn cool in its own right...
  • Re:Don't hurt BSG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb&gmail,com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:34AM (#15210043) Homepage
    I don't think Stargate is suffering because there are two SG shows. I think it's suffering because it's been around for so long. Once the Goauld (sp? and I don't care to remember :D) were taken out/neutered, the show started to lose its way. I don't really blame them, though, because that war had to end (probably a season too late, really).

    I think both shows (SG1 and Atlantis) are still entertaining, but the best seasons are probably behind us.
  • Re:Don't hurt BSG (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:43AM (#15210071)
    I completely agree. I'm a huge fan of the series and, to be honest, I'm completely mystified as to why Moore went along with this ... considering how much he values the quality of the show & how much time it takes just to make the 20-episode seasons. This was a big issue for the show, especially in the second half of the season, and it's also one of the reasons we saw some filler episodes such as "Black Market"; it's also why the season was pushed back until October, at least one of the reasons. In general, you get the sense that, to maintain their standards and put out 20 episodes, they are essentially pushed to the wall.

    Yeah ... the only thing I could possibly think of is that, perhaps Sci Fi approached Moore and said: look, we're going to do this prequel whether you're onboard or not. So, if you want creative control, here's your chance. Honestly, I think this might have happened. If you notice over at Sci-fi, Moore hasn't updated his blog or made any announcements or anything of that nature. Not a word.

    If this is the case, it's not good news, as you're going to have a bitter producer, reminiscent of Moore under B&B back in the ST: TNG days.
  • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb&gmail,com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:45AM (#15210081) Homepage
    I don't think any of your three concerns apply in this case.

    1. "Future is known": While this is true in a "historical" sense, if the series is set 50 years in the past the only three main BSG characters who could show up are Adama, Tigh and the doc. Given that all of them would be at most late-teens, early 20s, I doubt that they're going to be a focus of the program. Thus, it would be more like watching a dramatization of events happening during World War II, in the sense that we know what happens between 1945 and 2006 but the story could still be entertaining.

    2. "Risk to established canon": Since this series would be running concurrently with the only other material from the same reality AND it's being run by the same folks, this holds very little danger. They've really only gone into detail about events in the months right before the Cylon attack, so there's not much "canon" to put at risk.

    3. "Anachronistic special effects": For movies and programs separated a large number of years, I can see this being a problem. Again, though, this doesn't apply at all to BSG.

    I think I agree with you in general, mainly on the issue of screwing up what has gone before (or after - prequel/sequel tense confuses), but I don't think this particular concept is too dangerous.
  • Re:Prequel? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gattman01 (957859) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @12:48AM (#15210091)
    See? There ya go. You already know how the prequel is going to end :-)


    That didn't stop Lucas from making his prequels.
    That didn't stop the people who knew what was going to happen from seeing them anyway...:P

    That being said, sometimes know what the results will be can drive suspense, especially if things seem to be going in an direction away from whats *SUPPOSE* to happen.

    Still need to end up with expected results anyway, otherwise people will complain, like when a certain character says she remembers he real mother when she was very young, but in a prequel we find out the woman died in childbirth?
  • Re:Don't hurt BSG (Score:3, Insightful)

    by madstork2000 (143169) * on Thursday April 27, 2006 @01:15AM (#15210180) Homepage
    I don't htink StarGate is diluted by having too shows, I think it is dilutted by getting unfocused. There are about a zillion enemies now, and I can only by then defeating one major threat at a time. and that it HARD to do. For example we have seen the replicators pretty much wiped out unceremoniously.

    I would have liked to see an extended war with them, and the human replicators (no a crappy Sam clone). But I honestly think they were pressured to kill of the replicators because they were too much like another Sci-fi series... BSG.

    Atlantis would also be better if they didn't keep intorducing villian of the week. A la ST: Voyager / ST: Enterprise. In my opinion the best ST series was DS9, and that usually focussed on one bad guy at a time, allowing us to learn more about each villian, that growth is important so we can have emotions about the villian, we can see strengths and weaknesses, learn compassion, etc.

    Lately StarGate and the recent star trek series, have all broken from that model, jumping around to a multitude of diferent threats, never allowing the audience to identify and build any emotion toward the bad guys.

    BSG has successed because they focus on one enemy / problem, and all the story is focused on either learning more about how we deal with the enemy, or about the personalities of the main characters. We are not uncovering weird space aliens every episode, nor are we picking fights with unknowns aliens every step of the way, running errands for some star fleet command, etc. What we see is people, by and large average people, trying to deal with extraordinary circumstances. We can relate to those people and that is why BSG is so compelling.

    If the new series can capture that same focus it will succeed too. Though, it seems to me like it will be hard to focus on an enemy that does not exist yet. Which means we'll likely see the two families as rivals, with motives along the lines of profit margins, and ethics, etc that will allow the cylons to rapidly evolve.

    It will be a fine line, as it seems to me the technology be even less important in the new series than it is on BSG. On BSG it really takes a back seat since about the only things they seem to have that is far advanced from us is big space ships (with FTL drive and artificial gravity), and of course the cylons.

    Oh well, even the Sci-fi sucks for not picking up Firefly, and for killing Farscape, BSG absolutely rocks, and if the spin off is 1/4 as good it will be entertaining and something I would be interested in watching.

    -MS2k
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @01:29AM (#15210215) Homepage Journal
    Also in the works are a miniseries based on the book "Chariots of the Gods"

    Oh, Puh-LEEZE!

    I was a gullible little tweener dweeb when Chariots of the Gods? was a hot paperback. It didn't take long to see that it was a crock.

    Now, it's an old crock. (Heck, the idea was getting kind of corny when the first Battlestar Galactica series cribbed from it for their background.) There are tons of SF books that Sci-Fi could be adapting that would have better name recognition.
  • I worked for the Boston Museum of Science's Lyman Library when I was in high school. One afternoon someone came in and asked for "Chariots of the Gods". I'd not heard of it (I volunteeered in the Planetarium, and knew Erich von Daniken's premise, just didn't recognize the title right off) so I walked them over to the card catalog to look up where the book was shelved.

    On the way I passed my boss, who had overheard the request. He gave me a nod, and directed me to Humor, where he'd shelved the von Daniken books. I do recall someone once complaining about the von Daniken's being in that section, Les's comment was we were a science library and they'd be shelved there or nowhere.

    I really wish the Scifi Channel would stop with the psuedoscience-as-science bs, talking-from-the-dead scam, and big-bug-o-the-week movies, and get on with telling some really good SF: Strong stories with powerful ideas. Stargate et al is nice light comedy in the SF genre, but von Daniken presented as legitimate, well, give me a snarky G'aould any day.

  • by MMaestro (585010) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @01:56AM (#15210307)
    (1) Future is Known

    Not exactly. Counting the (older) main characters out (Adama, Tigh, etc), there isn't really much to prevent the creators from simply saying, 'oh well X character managed to survive the Cylon attack and then simply hid underground until the end of season 2/beginning of season 3.' We already know there were resistance groups and you can simply caulk the 'well why didn't they re-establish contact with Adama earilier' question to poor communications and poor transporation.

    (2) Risk to Established Canon

    Again, theres already insanely huge gaps in terms of the series's backstory. Are there anymore hidden ammo dumps like the Ragnar Anchorage (from the mini-series), the Battlestar's history/how many were built (its hinted that there were initially over 100 prior to the outbreak of fighting), how/when did Gaius Baltar's become compromised (given the Cylon ability to age, he could've been compromised as a child for all we know), the list goes on.

    (3) Anachronistic Special Effects

    This is a can of worms. They could 'remain true' to the main series and keep everything low-tech, OR they could use the 'well the only reason why you didn't see things like cell phones was because the Galactica was so old and was supposed to be decommissioned that it was simply never stocked with them. OR when the fighting broke out they were simply scrapped/destroyed for parts/to make sure the Cylons didn't hack into them.'

    Even if you don't nitpick, theres a ton of unanswered questions in the series ranging from the technical (if humans inititally created Cylons, how come they're so much more advanced in terms of tech?) to the basic ('technically' humans and Cylons were still at war prior to the entire series, why the hell wasn't the government acting its usual paranoid self and building nuclear bunkers everywhere like the U.S. did in the '50s?)

  • by madtinkerer (728367) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @04:42AM (#15210667) Homepage
    One should also remember that the characters in the show are not privy to all the information given to the audience. The audience knows a lot more about Baltar's activities and mental state than anyone on the ship. That's always been one of the problems with series whose episodes are as closely connected as BSG. It's hard to make the characters' interactions with each other keep pace with information presented to the audience.
  • by DarkZero (516460) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @04:58AM (#15210687)
    BSG has been full of them, especially of late, with fantastic "should we ask him if he still has that bomb we know was ours yet is the only one unaccounted for? Naaaaaah."-related activities.

    I think the reason you don't get it is because you're missing the fact that Galactica is largely based around politics, which means that it is intentionally based around the "idiot plot", where everyone acts like idiots. For instance, if they accused Baltar of stealing a nuke, who are they really accusing? They're accusing the second most politically powerful human left, who also happens to be some sort of Bill Gates/Stephen Hawking celebrity mega-genius. Just look at all the accusations that have been levelled against George Bush or Dick Cheney, neither of whom are ridiculously popular outside of politics the way Baltar is. Regardless of that, those accusations go nowhere, even if they're from other powerful politicians.

    The whole thing is about people knowing the right thing to do, but having their hands tied to the point where they're forced to act like idiots. In the finale, literally every main character knows Baltar is wrong... but he's the president, so WTF are you going to do? Plenty of Western heads of state have done very bad things, but very, very few end up like Richard Nixon.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @05:41AM (#15210766) Journal
    They could 'remain true' to the main series and keep everything low-tech, OR they could use the 'well the only reason why you didn't see things like cell phones was because the Galactica was so old and was supposed to be decommissioned that it was simply never stocked with them. OR when the fighting broke out they were simply scrapped/destroyed for parts/to make sure the Cylons didn't hack into them.'

    It was established in the first episode of BSG that the reason that everything was so low-tech (except where it really couldn't be, like the FTL drive) was that during the first Cylon war high tech equipment had been used against them. Prior to the first Cylon war, ships had had heavily networked computers - after, they had much more isolated systems to prevent Cylon viruses from spreading.

    Even without this, I would be quite prepared to imagine that in the aftermath of a war with beings who were technology personified that there would be some kind of cultural backlash against technology.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @08:55AM (#15211332) Journal
    Was reading this alt-history book about a completely useless and improbable war. Apparently there was this relatively evil empire barely beaten in a long war, and then a new, much more evil leader takes over the evil empire and manages to convince the leading powers to just give him entire countries, even when the other powers could have easily crushed him. Then he joins forces with another equally evil leader and surprises these idiots by launching lots of invasions. Then the other evil leader is shocked when the evil empire turns on him too. What a bunch of bloody idiots! Not to mention yet another set of evil idiots who picked a fight with a country twenty times their size, though that country was somehow surprised by the attack even though they could read all the encrypted transmissions. "World War II" was complete drivel and a pointless sequel to that fair-to-middling book called, imaginatively enough, "World War I". Can't remember who wrote it but, with the flatness of the plot and characters, it was probably Turtledove.

    When I first read this, I realized that you could have already been talking about Iraq.
    Apparently there was this relatively evil empire barely beaten in a long war (Iraq/Iran) and then a new, much more evil leader takes over the evil empire and manages to convince the leading powers to just give him entire countries, (Kuwait) even when the other powers could have easily crushed him.(France, Germany, Russia, China).
    Or maybe you were talking about the old Soviet Union (Afghanistan, Eastern Europe).

    Funny how you talk about idiots who do nothing when could-be powerful leaders start threatening everyone and all the countries that could stop them simply don't believe their tyrant rants. I think Iran is a good example of that today.

    So, I see your point, if from a different angle, and still come to the same conclusion. The world if full of idiot plots.

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West

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