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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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  • by wedding ( 618458 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:24PM (#11366353)
    Any plans to rerun the miniseries so that those of us that missed out can get the backstory?
    Inquiring Tivos want to know!
  • by lverrall ( 44904 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:27PM (#11366400)

    UK viewers are about half the way through this series already... and we're getting Stargate first... Makes a change.

    Stick with Galactica for a few weeks. It'll get better, honest.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:28PM (#11366412) Homepage Journal
    I'm willing to bet the 33 minute problem will come down to isolating one of these two- or both- to fit in with the story line.

    But now this raises an interesting question: At the end of the miniseries, it appeared that the Imperious Leader was wearing Shannon "Boomer"'s body model. Could similar models be networked? Thus providing a locator beacon every time they leave hyperspace- that it takes the cylons 33 minutes to home in on?

    If I was Adama, I'd set the next hyperspace jump for exactly 29 minutes....always in the same general direction but enough off so that it was unpredictable....until I was so far out that the cylons could NEVER catch up.
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:29PM (#11366431) Homepage Journal
    I consider myself to be a pretty discerning sci-fi fan, and this show is pretty-much perfect. The characters are interesting, imperfect, complicated. The stories are interesting, even the bad-guys, the Cylons, are intriguing (some of them are religous zealots, others are obsessed by sex!).

    This show is in a different league to Stargate SG1/Atlantis, Enterprise, and the rest, and certainly doesn't need to rely on lazy nostalgia for the original.

  • by jimfinity ( 849860 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:32PM (#11366473)
    so, i've seen the first 10 or so episodes, and let me tell you, this show has restored my faith in the sci-fi genre. after so many bad seasons of "enterprise" it's nice to know there are still some people out there who can do it right. I highly recommend this show to just about anyone.
  • I'd just like to know?
  • by Attaturk ( 695988 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:39PM (#11366592) Homepage
    I'd have to agree. I've been watching it regularly over here in the UK since it started. It's actually bloody good.

    I was a total skeptic, having become completely disillusioned with Sci-Fi TV in general. I used to love Sci-Fi TV when I was younger but the genre has really been flogged to death over the last decade or so. When I heard about the BSG remake my colleagues and I all had a good laugh at its expense.

    Many months ago I came across the torrent for the mini-series premiere and downloaded it for no apparent reason. Very late one night after a long work session I fired it up pretty much out of boredom. By the time the first part was over I was absolutely hooked - not to mention stunned that even someone with my initial perspective had been conquered by it.

    I hate TV. I dunno what it's like over there in the U.S. right now but given the state of it when I was last visiting, I can only assume that it's even worse than it is here - full of remakes, so-called 'reality TV' and unoriginal nonsense. Even the 'educational' stuff and documentaries are patronising and ill-informed. Anyway, my point is that over the last couple of years I've become aware of two - and only two - programmes worth watching. The Daily Show is one of them and BSG is the other. Without these two programmes I could quite happily throw my TV out the window. Actually come to think of it, I have to download my Daily Show so BSG is the only thing saving the TV set.

    Of course this series still has some low points but there are a helluva lot fewer than any other Sci Fi series we've seen in recent years. Huge huge thumbs up. I strongly recommend that even the most hardened cynic puts aside their fears and check it out.

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:45PM (#11366664) Homepage Journal
    Yup, I'm running MythTV, it's no different to play back downloaded shows than recorded shows.

    And since I have a 16:9 TV, I actually get to use the full screen. I probably could zoom in with the US broadcast, but I doubt I'll ever be able to get the quality of image from the UK downloads.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:45PM (#11366676)
    Sky-one is partly funding it on condition they get exclusive premiere. Shrewd, this show is the only thing I watch on TV.
  • ...that SCI FI TV needs...becuase its been terrible lately...

    I thought me had it with Farscape for a bit, but it feel apart. It was good for the first couple seasons, but then it went off track and the casual watcher (to survive a show needs to be accessible the casual watcher) couldn't keep up with the plot twists and the cast changes. This killed the show...

    Enterprise is so far off course its going to exit the galaxy. Its good but its not trek, and its pulling concepts out of the trek archive that only the hardcore trekkies can follow to try to survive...not a good plan. What they need is a good hardcore war, but its not really in the cards because of Trek Cannon for the time period.

    StarGate I still love but lately it just seems a bit Earth bound, I have hopes for the second half of the season. And we know there will be a 9th now...the replicators in the new human form lurk and I think this is the way to bring new interesting plots the G'uld, have run thier course for now...

    Atlantis is good, but I think its still finding its stride...I'm not in love with the chracters or plots yet, and the main baddies have not really put in a serious appearence since the Opening....

  • Having seen it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ericdano ( 113424 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:00PM (#11366874) Homepage
    Having seen episodes 1-11, this is by far the best SciFi I have ever seen. Second would be Farscape. Third would be Stargate Atlantis and SG1.
  • by wertarbyte ( 811674 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:08PM (#11367015) Homepage
    Not yet, but the colonials (humans) practica a polytheistic religion similar to ancient greek (or rome), while the cylons favour a single god. Although still unclear, these facts seem to be a major point in the confrontation.
  • netflix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Satai ( 111172 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:16PM (#11367128)
    in response to all this, since I've never seen any of the Battlestar shows, I logged on to Netflix and added all the original series plus the miniseries. The original series, for those who don't know, is ten discs in length -- and I scrolled down my queue, and every single one was listed as "Very Long Wait." Not short wait, not "Available Now" not even "Long Wait." "Very Long Wait."

    That is, except for Disc 6 -- next to that entry, it says "Available Now."

    What the hell is wrong with Disc 6 that nobody wants it?
  • by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:20PM (#11367186)
    There is no "Imperious Leader." You misunderstood the closing scene of the pilot.

    And I'd suggest you check out Ron Moore's latest blog entry [scifi.com]. He goes to great length to explain that the intricate technological details behind the 33-minute thing just don't matter. He says:

    A deeper truth is, I was never interested in coming up with an explanation for Why? Never. I mean, I suppose I could've come up with a sufficiently important-sounding bit of technobabble that would've made sense (you see, the Cylon double-talk sensors tracking the Olympic Carrier's nonsense drive signature needed 15 minutes to relay the made-up data wave through the pretend continuum, then the Cylon navigational hyper silly system needed another 10 minutes to recalculate the flux capacitor, etc.) but what would that have really added to the drama? How does explaining that 33 minute interval help our understanding of Laura's terrible moment of decision, or bring us to any greater knowledge of Dualla's search for her missing family and friends, or yield insight into Baltar's morally shattered psyche?

    If you're the kind of person who wants to hear lengthy technical explanations of incidental plot points -- and there's nothing wrong with those people -- don't waste your time with this show. This is not a genre show. It's a character-driven drama that just happens to be set in space and include robots.
  • by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:23PM (#11367229)
    That's not true at all. In fact, the effects for this show were inspired more by "Black Hawk Down" than by "Firefly." But they have a very "Firefly" look to them because they were done by the same people working at the same effects houses.

    Keep your eye on Zoic. They're doing amazing work.
  • by Leo McGarry ( 843676 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:54PM (#11367690)
    Some of the best parts of "The Return of Starbuck" went into an episode of the new series called "Act of Contrition."

    The writers of the new show really go out of their way to give nods to the old show. Some are overt, but there are lots more that are too subtle for all but the most observant to notice. For instance, during the miniseries, Adama gives his monster speech at the funeral. At one point he says, "'Life here began out there.' Those are the first words of the sacred scrolls." Some may remember, of course, that the first words of the prologue of the original 1970-whatever pilot were "There are those who believe that life here began out there." Incredibly subtle stuff.

    And the writers are right up front about the ways that their interpretation of the premise differs from the original. The first words of both the pilot and every regular episode come in the form of a title card that opens the show. The card simply says: "The cylons were created by man." It's like saying, "Here's how it is, take it or leave it." I respect that.

    There's lots of stuff like that. It's fun to keep an eye out for it.
  • by slashdot_commentator ( 444053 ) on Friday January 14, 2005 @06:36PM (#11368363) Journal
    I thought me had it with Farscape for a bit, but it feel apart. It was good for the first couple seasons, but then it went off track and the casual watcher (to survive a show needs to be accessible the casual watcher) couldn't keep up with the plot twists and the cast changes. This killed the show...

    It only killed the show for the casual viewer. Plot twists & cast changes made the show dynamic, not moribund in its storyline. Nothing stops a viewer from buying DVD sets now (or whatever) and catching up.

    StarGate I still love but lately it just seems a bit Earth bound, I have hopes for the second half of the season. And we know there will be a 9th now...the replicators in the new human form lurk and I think this is the way to bring new interesting plots the G'uld, have run thier course for now...

    The problem with SG-1 (besides being moribund) is that the charm of the show was the character dialog and chemistry, and that is falling apart with Hammond, Dr. Frazier, and especially O'Neill leaving. (It would be dead without Jackson, but he's back.) I'm not against semi-radical change, but change itself won't keep a show alive. I feel inner conflict generates the best entertainment, but there definitely is less of that now. And I think making Carter the SG-1 leader really screws up the role she used to do, and she's not going to fill O'Neill's boots with his role.

    What's really gives me a bad feeling is grafting on Ben Browder and Claudia Black (from Farscape) onto SG-1. Don't get me wrong, I luuurve them as actors. But you can have great actors and still produce crap. And recycling characters personalities you love threatens stagnation.

    My feeling is that they should have made a cleaner slate and threw the Farscape refugees onto Atlantis. Even if you think the SG-1 theme hasn't been played out (and I don't), the character development definitely has. They should have had a cleaner break, retired SG-1, and reattempted a new SG-1 with different themes and actors. They are sort of doing that now, but no clean break is going to compound the problem. They're looking to use the soap opera formula to maintain the show. Soap operas have a tendency to produce crap. Its a Berman-like move.

    Enterprise sucks. It is not remotely good. A galactic war will not save it. And there was plenty in the Trek cannon for wars. (Hellooo, Romulans.) Enterprise is the corporate rape of a great sci-fi TV show. Or look at Enterprise as wasp larva and Trek as the unfortunate silkworm.

    Atlantis? eh. It suffers from the sequel syndrome for mediocrity. And I don't like how they are writing Dr. McKay. He has to be a central character (given the sci-fi nature of the show and that he's the only non-vanilla personality). You can't make him an incompetent, craven clown in one episode, and a noble goto guy in another episode.

    With Atlantis, they try to keep the SG-1 accoutrements, and then do a Voyager. I think they're better off doing a DS9. They'd really be better if they just did something new.
  • Re:BTEFNET.NET (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdot@@@nexusuk...org> on Friday January 14, 2005 @07:24PM (#11368839) Homepage
    It's great that we can download stuff off the net... but in reality that could hurt the possibility of a second season.

    The TV companies, MPAA, etc always complain bout people downloading episodes/movies from the net before they've been release in the respective country (hell, they even complain about people in a country where a series has been shown spoiling plot-lines for people in countries where it hasn't shown). This, of course, is one of the main reaons for the regionalisation of DVDs... not that it does any good since anyone who was going to import stuff will have deregionalised their player anyway.

    Here's a stunning thought, and I'm sure noone at the TV companies or MPAA have thought about it... How about they release the series and films at the same time across the world. I'm sorry, but if you release a series in one country 6 months before it's release in another, I think you can expect people to get impatient and download it.

    The difference of course with Galactica is that it's all reversed - usually in the UK we have to wat over 6 months for TV shows to come over from the US, now the US is getting a taste of what we have to put up with all the time.

    Having said that, and to stay slightly on topic: my view of the new Galactica (which they keep describing as totally action packed in the trailors) is that there isn't enough action and it's taking rather too long for the story to develop. I can quite see people losing interest in it - nowhere near as good as FireFly which had a very good balance between action and story IMHO... Hey, we haven't even seen anyone flying a Viper in the last few episodes, and Baltar's imaginary cylon has been plain annoying from the start.

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