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Sci-Fi Channel Renews Battlestar Galactica 827

Chairboy writes "The Sci-Fi Channel has just announced the renewal of Battlestar Galactica for a second season. The creator of the show has announced that the second season will delve into the religious issues surrounding the Cylons in addition to opening up their society more. The latest episode had 3.2 million viewers, almost twice as many as watched the latest episode of Star Trek Enterprise." I said it before, and I'll say it again- this is the best Sci Fi program currently airing, so I'm happy to see more.
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Sci-Fi Channel Renews Battlestar Galactica

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:02AM (#11628563)
    I remember whan Starbuck wasn't an overpriced coffee.
    • Re:Good old days (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:28AM (#11630191)
      I remember when Starbuck was charged with robbing the Bank of Hanoi when he really didn't. That was sad how he had to go on the run with his two fellow accusants. And then when they had to spring their friend out of the mental institution all the time...

      Oh wait. Wrong show.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was sure they'll cancel this show and replace it with some stupid bullshit whose target audiance can't operate p2p programs.
  • by Polarism ( 736984 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:03AM (#11628571)
    It reminded me of when I was a little kid watching stuff like Star Wars, Star Trek, all the old Sci-Fi stuff like MST/Lost in Space.

    Just a good solid Sci-Fi series in my opinion, nothing over the top, knows what it is and doesn't try to jump ahead of itself.

    Two thumbs up here.
  • by Dagny Taggert ( 785517 ) <`hankrearden' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:03AM (#11628573) Homepage
    BG is dirty, gritty and believable. The religion question concerning the Cylons is interesting because in the original mini-series there were some references to God by the cylon woman which left me scratching my head.
    • She's mentioned it a few times in the four or five episodes they've broadcast at this point, as well.

    • It didn't leave me scratching my head. The Cylons are monotheists, and the colonist humans are polytheists. The original series was thought of by a Mormon, and he drew the religious background of the colonists from parts of his religion.

      I think the whole religious aspect is terrific. Humans kill each other for a lot of reasons, but the big one is because the other guy has a different religion. This whole backstory just serves to make the series more realistic to me. Cylons don't hate humans for no reason.
    • You mean she actually spoke?

      Scratching your HEAD???????? Dude have you seen her?
    • Believable? Not at all.

      a) They know they have potential infiltrators but they haven't secured their amories.

      b) A doctor of CIS and an education minister don't know that you can burn Hydrogen to get water.

      c) No one in the war college thought to consider that Cylons might exploit the slave circuits on Vipers.

      d) A guy like Adama let slave circuits anywhere near his vipers.

      e) Cylons capable of infiltration would even bother with conventional weapons.

      f) They had such pisspoor maintenace practices that a bu
      • Counterpoints:

        a.1) Most people do not know that Cylons have human looking counterparts. In order to prevent panic, the senior command and its civilian counterpart has chosen not to announce the fact. Therefore, no major change in security procedures is possible.

        a.2) Armories on US Naval vessels are typically placed under lock and key, sometimes with Marine guards, sometimes with sailors, sometimes mixed. (This is important to know because it is clearly apparent that at least some of the writing staff
      • a) They know they have potential infiltrators but they haven't secured their amories.

        Yeah, because we all know that in real life [cnn.com] a competent military organization would never leave a large stockpile of weapons and explosives unsecured even though they knew nearby enemy insurgents might use them to kill members of that same military organization.

        I find this story point completely believable myself.

    • Religious questions are part of what makes humans, human. Every story delves into Religious questions.. Not to mention RIP off stories of the Bible and other religious doctrine (May I mention Matrix-Jesus parallels).

      Here goes the explination for those who do not understand the purpose of the aspect of religion in BSG.

      Years.. and Thousands of them ago.. Humans had a really plethora (weee) of gods. These gods were everywhere from gods of suns to gods of a single blade of grass. This was the system that
  • Bad math (Score:5, Funny)

    by Living WTF ( 838448 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:05AM (#11628579)
    I don't get it, how is 3.2 millions almost twice the 2 StarTrek fans?
    • Re:Bad math (Score:3, Insightful)

      Actually, the latest episode of ST:Enterprise had 2.81 million viewers. Funny how that is considered to be 'low' ratings, while 3.2 million is a home-run for BSG? Enterprises ratings are right up there with BSG, SG1 and SGA. The only difference is Enterprise is on a 'regular' network, whereas the others are on a cable network. If Enterprise were on Sci-Fi, it would be considered a 'hit'.
      • Re:Bad math (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto ( 415985 )
        Well, Enterprise is run on a broadcast network, while BSG is run on a cable/satellite network.

        Small matter of potential vs. actualization, really :)

        /P

  • More hot cylons? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FredThompson ( 183335 ) <fredthompson@min ... minus herbivore> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:05AM (#11628582)
    Yeah, I'm rooting for them, actually.

    How long before we have a BG Technical Guide like the one for Classic ST?
  • by TAZ6416 ( 584004 ) <mccormackj@NoSpam.rocketmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:05AM (#11628583) Homepage
    Being in the UK I have seen all 13 episodes, the ending of season 1 is amazing, total shocker.

    Jonathan
    • Being in the UK, but without Sky tv (as I am unable+unwilling to pay Mr Murdoch any more than he already has), I have to agree that the last episode hit me like a torrent [ahem]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:16AM (#11629120)
      I know it's whack that Adama and the president turn out tobe Cylons.

      now with fighting between the ships in the convoy and the Galactica completely disabled and watching the ending as they leave the galactica behind for the Cylons to capture defenseless really pissed me off.

      i can not wait for season 2!
      • Um, did you watch a different Battlestar Galatica? I watched all the episodes and Im left wondering where you came up with that. To be fair for those who havent watched the show I will excuse myself from devulging on the true ending to the season.
  • Great Job! (Score:2, Funny)

    by hcob$ ( 766699 )
    Love the new show and I'm hoping that it will once again regain a cult status with a new generation, allowing it to come to full fruition. Now with the mention of ST:ENT, I have to make a comment. If the people at the SciFi channel can make a Spin off of a spin off of the movie Stargate and revive a lond dead series, I'd like to see what they could do for ST:ENT. Then I would never have a reason to go out on Friday nights again!
  • by DrWho520 ( 655973 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:08AM (#11628592) Journal
    but also the atmosphere I envisioned Enterprise as being; the primitive tech, the flights of patrol ships, the hard nosed military demenor. Enterprise just is not gritty enough for the time period it is trying to portray. The writers really should have taken a Q from the Earth environment of First Contact.

    Now just do not pull the same crap you did with Farscape. One little mini-series to pull everything together that was not worthy of the established story line.
  • Annoying. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evvk ( 247017 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:08AM (#11628595)
    I hope the fire the cameraman at least. Judging from all the swaying, he's apparently drunk all the time at work.

    I also don't like the cheap soap opera-esque quick switching between face shots. A few seconds of one face at full screen and then switch to another and then back. Very annoying.

    • Re:Annoying. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 )
      How is that a troll?

      The camera work was so amateur it was distracting.

      One of the major reasons I gave up on it (the incomprehsible script didn't help).
    • Re:Annoying. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rew190 ( 138940 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:28AM (#11629302)
      It was filmed documentary-style purposefully. You might not like it (I find it effective, adding more grit and depth), but don't mistake it for amateur work.
      • Re:Annoying. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Snaller ( 147050 )
        It was filmed documentary-style purposefully.


        I don't know what kind of amateurs documentary makes you get over there, but I've never seen a documentary filmed by someone with Parkinsons.

        You might not like it (I find it effective, adding more grit and depth), but don't mistake it for amateur work.


        He never called it that - its well know that the only amateur positions they fill in Hollywood is that of writers and actors.
  • I loved the original BS...for its time, it was a wonderful series that kept me interested. This new adaptation is pretty smooth, too...

    The camera work is WONDERFUL in the fight sequences, and the story lines are great. I along with others am curious as to what religion has to do with the series, but time will tell, I guess.
    Religion and sci-fi do not always mix well...Star Trek: The Motion Picture has taught us that lesson. Or did it teach us that Shatner had acting lessons? Eh. Either way.

  • ... so I only started watching the series a couple weeks ago. What's the best way for me to catch up?

    /Don

    • by Docrates ( 148350 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:18AM (#11628677) Homepage
      Bittorrent. Here: www.btefnet.com.

      They're on the UK schedule so you can download the first 13 episodes at very high quality. (I hook it up to my 48" TV @ 640X480 and looks as good as Direct TV).

      I live in Panama, so it's not like I can get it any other way.
      • CAUTION (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rew190 ( 138940 )
        Do NOT download the bittorrents unless you want to get notices from BayTSP. I receieved one after downloading episode number eight. It is known that the Battlestar series is being tracked through bittorrent, so if you must use it, you'd be relatively anonymous.
    • Since here in the US, the show is only about five or six episodes old, you really haven't missed a ton. BG is a really good show, but missing one episode is not like missing an episode of Lost or 24, where missing an episode can result in missing a major plot twist.

      Even so, if you really are interested in the early shows, though, I heard that Sci-Fi just re-ran all of the episodes on Tuesday night. I am sure that at some point, they will re-run them all again.

  • It will be interesting to see if BSG survives as long as Stargate SG-1, which is tying the X-Files as televisions' longest running sci-fi show this year.

    I'm not up on my SG-1 fandom, but I believe some of the large, more well-connected sites have reported contract negotiations for a tenth season. (gateworld.net)
  • In all fairness Sci Fi Channel has promoted the dickens out of BG whereas UPN has done little to promote Enterprise. This is why I believe Enterprise has such low turnout. I say let Sci Fi channel promote Enterprise like they did BG and see what happens.
  • Continuity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HeghmoH ( 13204 )
    My favorite piece of BSG's overall "flavor" is the incredible continuity they offer. I watched the miniseries and all thirteen episodes over the space of about two weeks (nobody's airing the show in this country anyway, as far as I know, so I don't feel very guilty downloading them) and it was like watching one incredibly long movie. No other TV show I've seen ever did this. I never watched B5 very much, but from what I did see, the story arc was there but the show itself was often very episodic. Farscape w
  • by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11628718)
    About frackin' time ;-)
  • by minairia ( 608427 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:49AM (#11628908)
    I think BSG is going to be around for a long time. The SciFi Channel is not aiming for a big national hit like Friends or something. They know (and their advertisers know) just about how big an audience that network has and that it won't get much bigger. BSG not only beat StarTrek, but likely scooped up the maximum audience numbers Scifi Channel ad people promised advertisers.

    UPN has dreams of becoming the next FOX or ABC or something. They're a long way from it, but their goal/hope is to compete with and dominate the other networks. Advertisers will judge a UPN show on how much of UPN's potential audience it gets. StarTrek failed on both counts for them. If the SciFi Channel comes up with a hit as big as the Sopranos or something, they'll be happy, of course, but no-one over there is seriously expecting that to happen, while at UPN, the suits will want to know why it isn't happening ...

    The immediate future of television SciFi is niche channels. The staple of good SciFi is great special effects. Every year, it gets cheaper and cheaper to make effects that are better and better. The original BSG took the budget of a major network to put out. Now, a smallish cable channel can do a better job cheaper.

    When creating StarWars level special effects becomes as cheap as putting together the set for Seinfeld or Friends, I predict SciFi will return to the major networks. On shows like this, the cost of some old furniture, some cereal boxes, etc. was hardly anything and most of the money went to the actors.

    • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:15AM (#11629117)
      The immediate future of television SciFi is niche channels. The staple of good SciFi is great special effects. Every year, it gets cheaper and cheaper to make effects that are better and better. The original BSG took the budget of a major network to put out. Now, a smallish cable channel can do a better job cheaper.

      Back when the original BG series was in production in 1977-1978, it was exorbitantly expensive because you had to build models and use special motion cameras to film the models--a very time-consuming process. Given how good today's CGI technology has become with relatively cheap equipment, you can now do special effects vastly better than what was done with the original series at a tiny fraction of the cost.

      I can cite another example: how to depict a mythological flying dragon on-screen. When Industrial Light & Magic did its work for Dragonslayer they built a "go-motion" model of a dragon and filmed it with special cameras, which required a long and time-consuming process to complete; 15 years later, Dragonheart did the same thing, but all completely done with CGI, probably at less expense per minute of film than the earlier movie.
  • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:58AM (#11628974)
    I think the major reason why the new Battlestar Galactica series has done well is one Ronald D. Moore, who I believe developed the new series and is one of the Executive Producers.

    Moore wrote and/or was involved in many of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; small wonder why the new BG series has been much better than many people anticipated. =)

    It's too bad Ron Moore wasn't involved with Enterprise, because Moore could have turned Enterprise into a potentially great series. :-(
    • by BaseLineNL ( 822690 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:26AM (#11629265)
      It's too bad Ron Moore wasn't involved with Enterprise, because Moore could have turned Enterprise into a potentially great series. :-(

      On what might have been, Moore posted his interesting view on Enterprise (and Star Trek in general) at his blog [scifi.com]:

      Trek goes back to the Fans

      Now that Enterprise has been cancelled, we're about to enter a period not seen since the orignal series ended its run just a few weeks before Apollo 11 landed on the moon: a time without a Star Trek film or TV project on the horizon. From the reaction I've seen thus far, the consensus view seems to be that this is merely a pause in the trek, and that before too long, we'll be talking about the newest take on Roddenberry's universe, be it television, feature, animation or sock puppet. I tend to agree, insofar as I know first hand that Viacom considers "the Franchise" to be one of their crown jewels and I've personally heard them refer to the "next fifty years of Star Trek" as a corporate priority.

      So Star Trek isn't dead and it isn't dying. It has, however, entered into an interregnum, a pause in the treadmill of overlapping productions that have become the norm for the series that was once considered "too cerebral for television."

      Certainly there is sadness in this news. There has been a Star Trek production either in prep or being filmed on Stages 8 & 9 on the Paramount lot since 1977, when Star Trek: Phase Two began initial construction for a second series featuring all the original characters but Spock (these sets were then revamped for Star Trek: The Motion Picture). An entire infrastructure has been built around the productions, staffed by people whose involvement in the Franchise goes back over two decades. The dedication, passion, and talent of these artisans and craftsmen cannot be overstated. The unsung heroes of Trek, the people who sweat every detail, who take the time to think through continuity and try to make the vast universe consistent, people like Mike and Denise Okuda, Dave Rossi, Michael Westmore, Herman Zimmerman, Bob Blackman, and many others, are about to leave and take with them an enormous body of knowledge and talent that cannot be and will not be replicated again. That is cause for both tears and eulogies as the close of Enterprise signals the true end of an era.

      However, there is another side of this story, one that perhaps is somewhat more hopeful and positive: Star Trek has now been returned to the care of its community of fans.

      I say returned because there was a time when the fans were the exclusive owners and operators of what would later become the Franchise. From 1969 until 1979, a genuine grassroots movement of fans gathered together in conventions, published newsletters (in the primordial ooze of the pre-internet era, no less), wrote scads of fan fiction, created their own props and uniforms, and dreamed the dream of what it was to live aboard the good ship Enterprise.

      I was one of those fans; I was a kid growing up in the 1970's who found Star Trek in strip syndication and bought every book and magazine I could lay my hands on and every piece of fan merchandise I could con my parents into buying and I can tell you that some of those efforts were abysmal and some were brilliant, but all of them were driven by a sense of passion rooted in a belief that Trek was our secret club. We, the fans, embroidered the Trek tapestry while the powers that be at Paramount dawdled. In those years, the best stories told not those written by Gene or any other "professional writers" (no offense to the short-lived, but well intentioned animated series), but by people like Sondra Marshak, Myrna Culbreath, and Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Who are they? Fans. People who loved Star Trek and were able to breath life into it during the interregnum between the show and the Franchise.

      Star Trek now returns to the care of its fans and its fans can decide for themselves what kind of experie
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:58AM (#11628975) Journal
    Some folks further up the thread list had commented about the camera shots. I think the ones from space are what make the series so believable.

    For example, in the opening show of the season, when they went to Ragnarok Anchorage to get supplies, when the shot showed Galactica appearing in the cloud after their FTL jump, all you saw was a little speck until the camera zoomed in.

    If you think about it, that's exactly what it would look like if one were in space looking at the cloud and a ship did appear suddenly. Just a speck on the interstellar cloud.

    The same can be said when the Cylon raiders appear. Yes, you see the flash but the ships are still shown as being specks until the camera comes in.

    Keep an eye out for these kind of camera shots. They add to overall feeling that space is a vast emptiness (but you already knew that) with distances we don't normally comprehend here on Earth.
    • This is something that always bothered me about Star Trek; everything always happens within at most a couple of kilometers of each other.

      And they still fire and miss, with shots that you should have been able to hit with manual aiming by eyeball. (I don't care what "jamming" may or may not be applied, a warp-capable starship should be better able to hit things than I personally am with a shotgun.)

      As dramatic license it was merely silly, but as the series wore on it became increasingly clear that the write
      • Even Firefly, which I love, managed to sometimes feel a little claustrophobic (ships crossing between stars passing by within a few hundred feet of each other, a little strange).

        They had the ships pass closely for dramatic story-telling reasons. Yeah, it's probably too close for absolute realism, but it works on the emotional level for the viewer. The reaver (?) ship was so close that it was inside the psychological 'safe' distance. It added nicely to the tension of the encounter without being grossly
        • Which is the dichotomy I was going for when I referenced Star Trek writers as "really believing it". That example of Firefly stood out because it bothered me right then, though, whereas none of the other shows really bothered me that way. (Although I've yet to watch the DVDs, so I've only seen the TV shows; I have this major mental block about watching them and running out of shows to watch. So far the rational part of my mind has not yet successfully convinced the rest of it that that is a damned dumb reas
  • by frode ( 82655 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:10AM (#11629946) Homepage
    I'm tired of the sci-fi groupies latching on to every new and terrible show that comes out.

    The last episode I saw, Starbuck stranded on a planet, was terrible. The writing was bad, the acting was poor, and the camera work will make people sea sick.

    Yes the production values are good but since when has production values been more important than the story.

    Get this she, starbuck, flies a crashed ship that was designed to hookup directly to the nervous system of non-humanoid cyborg pilot, and you though case modding was hard. Not only did she fly it(by grabbing wires I guess), she out flew another pilot to the point of getting close enough to the other fighter to have that pilot read a message written in tape on her wings.

    Simply a bad show. It's the sci-fi equivalent of Joey.
  • by SkOink ( 212592 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:18AM (#11630030) Homepage
    The creators of Battlestar are urging people not to torrent the show, because if nobody's watching it on the actual television, it'll get cancelled even if half the world is torrenting the episodes. If you like Battlestar, do yourselves and the rest of us the favor of tuning in. It really is rather unfortunate, if you think about it, that the audience most likely to love this show matches up so well with the audience most likely to download it rather than watch it on TV.
  • by patniemeyer ( 444913 ) * <pat@pat.net> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:45AM (#11630451) Homepage
    the second season will delve into the religious issues surrounding the Cylons in addition to opening up their society more.

    I wish they wouldn't. Am I the only person on earth who like the science fiction part of science fiction? The characters are interesting and maybe I'll care more about what happens to them later, but for now I'd like more fictional science in the science fiction...

    It's a good show so far... But if it turns into another soap opera it will just get annoying. Why do these series all turn into soap operas? Two reasons: 1) it's a lot cheaper to film people crying than epic battles and CGI robots... 2) the writers run out of ideas quickly and never seem to go looking for new ones early enough.

    Pat
  • by superultra ( 670002 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:40PM (#11632238) Homepage
    I learned to tell time by watching the original Battlestar Galactica. It came on in Edmonton at 4:30 on Sunday afternoons. I remember many times looking up at the oven clock hands trying to determine whether I should be parked in front of the TV or whether I had time left to play with legos. When it wasn't Sunday afternoon, my friends and I would pretend to be Viper pilots and inevitably end up fighting over who got to be Starbuck and who had to play Apollo.

    So, over the last twenty years, a certain amount of nostalgia has accumulated around Battlestar Galactica in my heart, not at all unlike most of us here. So when Ron Moore and the ScFi channel finally got the rights to the show, everyone was excited - until Moore said that, quite plainly, that avid fans of the original fan may not appreciate his version, what he called a "reimagining." Moore made a number of changes that bothered me, but the seemingly most significant tore at the core of my identity: Starbuck would be a girl.

    Starbuck and Han Solo were about as close to being models for masculinity as anyone besides my father could get. Ask me to word associate manliness, and Starbuck would fall fairly close to the top.

    And Moore had ripped that from me, from my heart.

    So imagine my surprise when I watched the mini series and it was not only good, but great. And Starbuck was still, somehow, Starbuck. Baltar, for all his moments of brilliance in this series, was still goofy Baltar. The vipers were still there. Adama was still hard nosed. Yet, I had doubts whether someone could maintain this level of quality in a TV series. The original Battlestar Galactica certainly didn't.

    So imagine my surprise - again - when the first few episodes, which I watched courtesy Internet, were even better than the mini series. In fact, this new series renders the original Battlestar completely irrelevant. I realize now that there are only a couple of good things about the original Battlestar Galactica now. First, it provided my friends and I uncountable hours of playtime. Secondly, it somehow enabled this new re-imagination. Even Richard Hatch, the actor who played Apollo in the original series, acts better in this new series (this time as a revolutionary).

    To be fair, the original Battlestar is very much a product of late seventies television. I used to argue that it wasn't, but honestly - the show really was an attempt to bring Star Wars to the small screen. But if this new Battlestar had similarly been a product of the 00s, it would've been a reality show set in a business environment where Adam eats scorpions to impress friends.

    This new Battlestar Galactica not only transcends the science fiction genre and redefines it, it also takes television a step further. Even my darling Firefly, in all its civil war cum scifi greatness, feels conventional when put next to Moore's Battlestar.

    I'm not sure what it means if we have a generation of kids basing their masculinity on a female Starbuck (although I'm not so sure kids should even be watching this new Battlestar). Regardless of the consequences, Moore's new Battlestar is easily the best TV show on right now, and maybe even one of the best shows of all time. My wife and I have both cried and cheered during the show, and she usually reserves that for shows like Project Runway. During episode ten, I sported a broad, beaming smile in sync with the emotion on the screen.

    It's that good.

    Good job Ron and friends. You should be proud, you managed to pull off the stunt of making my male model a female, and make me happy you did it.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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