‘Battlestar Galactica: the Miniseries’

Adama: Morning Starbuck. What do you hear?
Starbuck: Nothin’ but the rain, sir.
Adama: Grab your gun and bring the cat in.
Starbuck: Boom boom boom.

I had the chance recently to watch again the introduction to Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica, and I think I appreciated it better this time round. Sure, I knew what was coming, but in a way it is very difficult to pretend not to. Trouble’s right around the corner, and knowing it is there allowed me to focus on the characters for a second more than I did the last time round when I had to familiarize myself with the ship and the crew.

We do get an amazing array of characters — too much maybe for a simple introductory episode (even though three hours long!). If I were to say that the Commander Adama is my favourite of the people present, would that be a surprise? I don’t think it would… There is something about Adama that makes him likable for me though, and I think that quality can be recognized by many a person.

Aside from Adama, I would probably prop up Saul Tigh. As an XO and a drunkard, his job is difficult but he gets to it. In a way, I am very pleased to see how Tigh ends up from this position that he occupies in the beginning of the pilot.

But, what about the Miniseries (as the series pilot is known) in general?

I think that parts of the dialogue felt stronger now that I knew where everything was going to end up. The story was there, and I could connect the dots. I knew of Ms Roslin and how she got into Adar’s campaign, and I knew of what might have gone through Mr Baltar’s mind when everything turned wrong. And I know this because I have seen these characters develop, and I have seen their stories being created and fleshed out better. Mind the reader, knowing any of this was clearly not essential since a lot of the story was probably worked out later, but it felt right. I felt that I was more of a part of the characters’ lives this time round.

And, there was an interesting moment in the show. Namely, the one where I have to admit that the new President is right: the call that the war is over is true. The Colonies have lost. It pains me to think of how Commander Adama feels at that moment when he realizes the same. Can there be anything more painful for an old warrior to retreat without a shot fired (I am speaking of useful shots)?

And it is this sort of emotion that I managed to remember this time round. It wasn’t just the guns of the Galactica creating a flak screen to shield the ship, but it was the crew who had previously lost 85 people to decompression that was creating this flak screen. Their lives, the lives of the people onboard the Galactica and in the fleet, felt more real and this reality immersed me more than I would have thought possible.

But throughout all this, my mind wondered: When that Six is on the Riverside Marketplace in the beginning of the pilot, was what she did an act of mercy?

So say we all!

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