Review of "Battlestar: Galactica" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

Battlestar: Galactica (2003)

Battlestar Galactica DVD photo

 Battlestar: Galactica The Miniseries (DVD)

  Review by Suzanne  1/10/05

This movie, which is a pilot for a new show on The SciFi Channel, was very good. It has excellent casting, the writing is first rate, the special effects are great, the story was good and the whole thing was very entertaining.  They did an excellent job with it and I look forward to watching it on a regular basis. If you are a scifi fan, or even if you're not, you should watch it and see if you agree.  It's a very exciting and interesting show.

Now, as a Battlestar: Galactica fan, I wish they had just called it something else, changed the names, and changed a few plot points.  Then, rather than trying to capitalize on the classic show from almost 30 years ago, they could just have an original show that scifi fans would watch.  They just changed so much from the original that I wonder why they bothered.

Many fans are upset by the fact that they made Starbuck, one of the main characters, a woman. In the original, Starbuck was a cigar-chomping womanizer, kind of a Han Solo type but more immature.  In fact, the whole show was an excuse to capitalize on the popularity of the movie "Star Wars".  That's why Starbuck and Apollo's "uniforms" looked a lot like Han Solo's outfit, why Adama seemed a bit like a preachy Obi-Wan, and the Cylons resembled Darth Vader.  So imagine, if they made a new Star Wars and recast Han Solo as a woman.  Ouch!  You could just hear the fans' outrage.  Or take any non-scifi show, such as the old cop show "Starsky and Hutch".  The recent movie send-off was bad enough, but imagine if Starsky would cast as a woman.  Or even imagine if they remade the old Star Trek series and cast Dr. McCoy as a woman who suddenly has a "thing" for Mr. Spock!  The point is, it changes the whole dynamic of the characters.  I applaud them updating the series, particularly the women's roles, because the old show was pretty sexist.  But Starbuck should not be a woman.

Another thing that bothers me is the lack of African-American actors in strong roles.  In the original show, Adama's right-hand man, Colonel Tighe, was black, and so was one of the pilots, Boomer.  In this version, Boomer is an Asian woman, and Colonel Tighe is white. I guess they figured that since Adama is played by a Latino actor, they could get away with making Tighe a white guy.  But what it means is they are left with no important African-American male roles, and the two female African-American roles are very small.  That seems like poor planning.

I don't like that the Cylons are now human-looking. I liked the idea of evil robots.  They could have made them more modern-looking and still fiercesome.  The idea of evil aliens or bad guys (or even robots) that pass themselves off as "Us" has been done to death in scifi.

The last thing that bothers me about this being "Battlestar Galactica" is how militarized it has become.  In the original, the characters may have been in a Battlestar, but they did not act, look, or seem very military.  The men had long-ish 70's hair and the uniforms were either very casual (the Han Solo types) or elaborately showy (a sort of blue metallic uniform). Most of all, they did not act like they were in the U.S. military.  The new ones definitely do, and I find that a bit disturbing.  If I wanted to watch that sort of thing, I would tune in to "JAG".

I just don't see why they bothered to call it Battlestar: Galactica.  At the very least, they should have made it Battlestar: Something else or Next Generation, the way they did with Star Trek.  At least then, fans would not be so uncomfortable with the many changes.

Update: the show is excellent, even better than the miniseries.  Check it out!

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Updated 7/5/05  


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