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New Battlestar Galactica Series Starts Tonight 451

Snaller writes "Tonight the Scifi channel begins airing the new reimaged Battlestar Galactica series. Having run to rave reviews in the UK, the new series is darker and grittier than the original, and showrunner Ron Moore aims for a more adult narrative with comments on issues such as terrorism, security, freedom, religion and what it means to be human in a series which is essentially one long story arc. The entire cast from the 2003 mini series is back and the first episode, called '33', picks up almost where the mini series left off: The humans are still on the run, but each time they come out of hyperspace, the Cylon armada catches up 33 minutes later ... every 33 minutes. When we join the crew this has been going on for five days."
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New Battlestar Galactica Series Starts Tonight

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  • BTEFNET.NET (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:25PM (#11366371)
  • by SirWinston ( 54399 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:28PM (#11366416)
    Um, they've already done so on various nights for two weeks now on both Sci-Fi and even on NBC. This is why I skim the week's listings beforehand. ;-)
  • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:30PM (#11366447)
    Ask, and ye shall receive [].
  • Only in the U.S. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Voxxel ( 147404 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:30PM (#11366449)
    It's beened aired elsewhere already. I've downloaded adn watched the first 11 eipsodes. Looks like they were recorded from some British channel.
  • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:30PM (#11366452) Journal
    Aint it cool news have compiled [] a list of comments from american media, and they are almost all very positive.
  • by fireduck ( 197000 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:31PM (#11366469)
    They've been playing it all week (as well as the origina 70s series as well as the one in 80), and I thought you'd missed it, however, it looks like there'll be a chance to catch the miniseries again Sunday night. From AICN []:
    "Battlestar Galactica" 2003 Miniseries:
    Jan. 8 8pm-11pm NBC: 3-Hour Version
    Jan. 11 9pm-11pm SciFi: Part One
    Jan. 12 7pm-9pm SciFi: Part One
    Jan. 12 9pm-11pm SciFi: Part Two
    Jan. 16 3pm-5pm SciFi: Part One
    Jan. 16 5pm-7pm SciFi: Part Two
  • by MacBrave ( 247640 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:34PM (#11366509) Journal
    Actually two episodes are airing tonight. '33' at 9pm ET followed by 'Water' at 10pm ET.

  • Re:BTEFNET.NET (Score:2, Informative)

    by zaneIO ( 606505 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:35PM (#11366518)
    Warning!! If you have not seen the earlier episodes, do not download these. As stated above, this series is very sequential, and if watched out of order it might spoil things in earlier episodes.
  • by elektrizitat ( 849866 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:45PM (#11366666)
    To provide some context I've been a long time sci fi viewer like many of you. I enjoyed the original series but was never a fanboy about it. However, I became somewhat put off when it appeared Moore rebuffed Hatch's attempt to revive the show because he wanted to pursue his own revisioning of the series. I was also a fan of Farscape and wasn't thrilled about how that series demise was handled. However, the ads looked good and I checked out the miniseries. While I have some reservations about small nit-picky things I think it's one of the best sci fi series I've seen in a long time. I *may* have already checked out a few of the episodes as well via the use of time travel. *cough* They're even better than the miniseries. The series has an intensity and sense of urgency and drama that I've found lacking in other series. This may be my preference for more "hard" sci fi which must sound laughable to those of you who remember the original series. Give it a chance - I think most of you will be happy you did!
  • by ltwally ( 313043 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:48PM (#11366714) Homepage Journal
    The series has actually been airing in Europe for the past several months. For those Americans that were too impatient to wait, the episodes been available off your favourite [] torrent [] sites [] for some time now.

    So far, 11 of the season's 13 episodes have aired and been made available online in TV, PDTV and HDTV formats.

    As well as being in higher resolution/quality than your average TV broadcast, these online copies are commercial-free.

    Personally, I recommend downloading them and watching them on your computer, but also tuning your television on to the sci-fi channel and muting the sound, so that Sci-Fi gets paid for these shows and they may be able to continue producing them.
  • Or not... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:50PM (#11366754) Journal
    Showrunner Ron Moore has started a blog where he comments on each episode - here is his comment on Why 33 ? []
  • Re:33 Minutes... (Score:2, Informative)

    by pablonhd ( 797579 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:57PM (#11366828)
    The entire series is not built around the 33 min problem.... its just the one episode.
  • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:58PM (#11366849) Journal
    Why Did Europe get it 4 Months ahead of time?

    It wasn't Europe as such, only the UK. This version of BG is very expensive, and SciFi weren't entirely sure they should risc that much money - after all it might bomb big time. They came to an arrangement with British Sky channel - they would help fund the series, on the proviso that they could show the series first.

    And so it came to be. Of course it will ultimately be US ratings which determine the fate of the series.
  • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:03PM (#11366939) Homepage
    One thing I don't see mention much is the virtual zoom lens activity in the spaceFX shots. It really gives a greater sense of 3D and more more solid feel to the spacecraft than previous shows.

    Of course, it was also ripped from Firefly. :)
  • by psykopotat ( 775986 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:05PM (#11366979)
    I've seen the first 8-9 episodes and I'm loving it. What I like about is that it has a certain "reality" to it that most other sci-fi episodes have not. It looks like it won't resort to standard cheesy sci-fi plot fillers when they run out of original material. Cheesy plot fillers being time travel, parallel universes, holodecks, body switching (shudder). Star Trek regularly uses these plots, Stargate does this also but manages it a bit better because it doesn't take itself too seriously and Farscape is just.. on acid.

    B5 was good though.
    ps. I haven't seen a single episode of the original series, I'm still hoping bsg keeps it a bit more "down to earth" than most other scifi
  • by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:10PM (#11367048)
    It was indeed, but it was a little different from a straight rerun. It was edited down from a 3-hour cut to a 2-hour cut. Scenes were rearranged in some places, and in a couple of instances different takes were used.

    The show is being shot in high-definition video at 24 frames per second, a format commonly referred to as "24p." This helps keep costs down, production schedules shorter and quality higher.
  • Re:33 minutes (Score:3, Informative)

    by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:13PM (#11367096)
    They don't have anything close to enough crew to man all action stations in shifts. This is consistent with Navy procedures; when you're in active combat, nobody's in his rack. Everybody's got a job to do, and everybody does it.

    So yeah, this was actually completely realistic. In fact, it was a level of attention to detail that impressed the hell out of me.
  • by DiveX ( 322721 ) <> on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:18PM (#11367159) Homepage
    The mini-series pilot was released in Canada in summer 2003. atings were good enough to make a series out of it. Because of the expense, a British station helped fund the show on the condition that they air it first.

    In December 2003, the pilot showed in the US and UK. Starting in January, the mini-series episodes (of which 13 have been produced) started airing.

    Last weekend, NBC aired an edited (cut from 4 hours to 3) pilot at primetime. The Sci-Fi channel (owned by Universal [which owns NBC as well]) is showing in two parts, the origional, full pilot. It is also showing old episodes of the original show. The new version is going to start being aired in the US now as mentioned in the story.

    The producers made a plea on one of the Sci-fi Channel web forums to not download the show since the survival of the series (i.e. Season 2) of course depends on ratings. Even with a business degree, I simply cannot understand why companies stagger the release dates on movies, music, or software so much. Let both sides of the pond see the series at the same time and you'll get the viewers and won't screw yourself since people will get the content they want anyway. In the binary newsgroups (alt.binaries.dvdr) someone has posted 3 DVDs of the series (each containing 3 episodes) with some pretty good menus. I've watched them and think it is a well done series, and think '33' is a good first episode. Even after seeing it, I will have my TIVO pick up the episodes since I know TIVO collects anonymous statistics for the ratings systems. To make sure the show is recorded as being played, I'll just start the episode before turning off my TV for the day, ensuring that it gets marked as being watched, with even commercials being displayed at normal speed!

    At least the studio talking heads are not pulling some bonehead move like they did with 'Firefly' in that the episodes were all resead out of order, thus cunfusing the initial audience and obviously causing an untimely death. Maybe with the movie, the series might have a new chance at life if it does well.
  • Re:33 minutes (Score:2, Informative)

    by thelizman ( 304517 ) <hammerattack AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:23PM (#11367228) Homepage
    It's already pointed out that yes, in fact, during an attack every crewman has a station. It's not just people shooting guns, but fire and damage control medical, and people moving ammo around the ship.

    It's also necessary to note that the Galactica was running a minimal crew in anticipation of being retired when the Cylons attacked. That's why they were flying Mark I Vipers, which were museum display pieces.
  • by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:23PM (#11367246) Journal
    Suprnova was good for it. Actually the show is quite good. I would say less cheesy than the original. The biggest difference is that Boomer and Starbuck are girls. But the plotline is quite interesting.

    The battle scenes are good as well but this whole "shaky cam" thing gets annoying especially the quick zoom they do a lot.

    Worth watching I would say but YMMV
  • by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:59PM (#11367786)
    Is this show any good?

    It depends.

    If you want to see something like the original series, but updated with modern effects, you'll be disappointed. They reinvented everything about the battlestar galactica universe. Now, I personally think this series is FAR better than the original series, even if you strip out the excellent special effects. But there are people who liked the original series just as it was, and feel offended by this new series basically saying that TOS sucked ass and nothing good could be done storywise with it in a new series.

    If you like technobabble, cool futuristic technology, outlandish sci-fi concepts (like otherdimensional beings, time travel, and so on...), then you won't like this series. The galactica is ancient tech, think wired phonelines, simple CRT screens, and dated, low-tech, fighter spacecraft. It's even suffering from metal fatigue, being scheduled for decommissioning when it is forced into being the ill-equipped defender of what's left of humanity. This is on purpose. The humans are the centerpoint of the show, and the show deals primarily with humanity. The humans can't find a "technological" solution to their problems, and it's their humanity that in the end has to save them, not how well they can use tachyon particles. So, although there is FTL drive, it is in the series only because in space you can't get around without it, and is employed very sparingly (first episode excepted). There are no food generators, no transporters, no force fields, and no advanced particle weapons (they use regular bullet-spewing guns and rockets). If you need the sci-fi to be really sci, you won't enjoy this at all.

    If however, you like a show with characters that aren't completely one dimensional and experience some small modicum of personal growth, a plot that isn't totally obvious or contrived, and a general focus on humanity on the brink of destruction/salvation, involving faith and love as core elements of the plot, then you'll like this show, as I do.

    Watch the first episode. If it draws you in and makes you jump to the edge of your seat every time the 33 minutes are up, then you'll enjoy the rest of the season. If it doesn't do anything for you, don't bother with the rest.
  • by K. ( 10774 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @07:31PM (#11368908) Homepage Journal
    I never really got into it, It was too crude and garish (CG, costumes, alien make-up). And the story (what I saw) wasn't compelling enough to help me suspend my disbelief and get over that.

    That's one good thing a bout the new BG, IMO. They don't try too hard to create a complete and completely different world. They sketch it out, focus on character development and pacing, and move on. You can buy a lot of the props in your local office supply, but because you really don't notice, such is the strength of the script. (There's one scene in a later episode where Baltar is using a calculator-like thing, it's actually a collapsible travel alarm clock just like one I used to have. But it's just a quick cutaway shot, so it doesn't matter. Look at headsets and such as well, they're generally cobbled together from $5 earphones.)

    No doubt if it does well and lasts a couple of seasons it'll jump the shark and acquire bumpy-headed humanoid aliens and I'll lose interest, but right now it's creating its world through its characters, not a constraining backstory involving N years of alien history. This to my mind is a good thing, because it makes for good sci-fi but also makes it accessible on the level of drama.
  • No point (Score:3, Informative)

    by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @07:54PM (#11369118) Homepage Journal
    Unless you are a Nielson family, whether or not you watch or not doesn't matter.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"