Monday, June 22, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Season One

Originally uploaded by Twinsplynn
Years ago the residents of Caprica created the Cylons, a race of machines that became more than they were meant to be and revolted against them. For years the people of Caprica have been living Cylon-free until the Cylons mount their ultimate battle and bomb Caprica, killing any human that cannot flee on one of the few remaining star ships. With less than 50,000 humans remaining Secretary of Education Laura Roslin is the highest ranking political official and takes over the presidency, and one lone Battlestar military vessel becomes the defender of the human race. In the first season of Battlestar Galactica the last of the human race is pursued across space by the Cylons as they hunt for the Earth from their myths, a planet that most only believe to be a myth but might be the only planet they have left.

I didn’t have cable when Galactica first began so I purposely never got into it. Now that I can catch it all on DVD it’s a different story entirely. I will be watching this series all the way until it’s conclusion. I am a sci-fi junkie and I have to say that the world these characters exist in is pretty frackin amazing.

What the new imagining of Galactica has done that the original did not, and what perhaps gives it the edge that pushed it into the acclaim it experienced through its run, is that the Cylons now look human. Sure, the giant silver “toasters” from the original series are still Cylons but what is not explained in the first season is that somewhere along the line the Cylons developed a way of looking human, and while there are only a certain number of people they look like the quantity of these human looking Cylons is endless. The scary part for almost everyone is that no one knows they Cylons look human until it is too late, and that there are sleep agents littered within the surviving humans that do not know they are Cylons. This creates a wonderful dramatic device that opened up a whole new storytelling device for the new series.

What I love about Battlestar is what I love about good sci-fi and fantasy. Ronald Moore and crew have created a fully imagined, fully realized world that becomes believable because they have thought about each and every aspect of it right down to vocabulary. For crying out loud they invented FRACK to get back the censors. Frack is now a part of pop-culture.

Battlestar is also populated with great female characters. Starbuck, Roslin & Number Six are great, diverse females that really create dynamic story possibilities on the show. I also have to applaud Moore and Co. for having the audacity to take a popular classic character like Starbuck and make the new character one of the most kick-ass females in television, right next to Buffy.

The metaphor in season one is pretty easy. America was a post-9/11 world with a new war on terror, terrified that we had terrorists among us and surrounding us, ready to do away with our way of life. Though I am told that the metaphor of Battlestar changes frequently, with only one season initially guaranteed it is pretty dang obvious that Islamic terrorists/the war on terror was the metaphor for these first episodes.

Admaril Adama: Edward James Olmos
President Roslin: Mary McDonnell
Apollo: Jamie Bamber
Gaius: James Callis
Number 6: Tricia Helfer
Boomer: Grace Park
Starbuck: Katee Sackhoff
Colnel Tigh: Michael Hogan
Chief: Aaron Douglas
Helo: Tahmoh Penikett

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