Saturday, June 02, 2007

Frak Me: The Cylons Finally Won

Battlestar Galactica (the current, SciFi Channel version, not the original ABC series) is jumping off into the end of its flight. Next season will be the last of the successful remade series, according to its producers, as they feel "This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and finally, an end."

As an incredible fan of the original series (I own the boxed DVD set: the Cylon holographic eye box is the best - thanks Lani & Pete!), I greeted the remake with a large degree of disgust and trepidation (Starbuck is a woman? Cylons look human?). I was amazed to find that it was incredible, with breathtaking effects, great storyline, and a gritty realism that few science fiction series have ever pulled off. I was hooked.

Over the last seasons, however, I have been more and more turned off by the storylines: clearly, Ronald Moore (formerly of Star Trek TNG, etc.) was trying to make the series parallel current events. Occupations and their resistance, how to deal with terrorism, religious fundamentalism...all were getting pushed on the viewer with a ham handed approach that was uncomfortable. I am still addicted to Ron Moore's amazing podcasts, however: it's like having a commentary track on a DVD for every episode, with some great behind the scenes info. Complicated by bizarre scheduling, looooong hiatuses followed by short bursts of episodes, it was always an exercise in patience. In short, the series has had its ups and downs, but is still one of the better ones on TV, and easily the best sci-fi one.

With the upcoming last season, I can look forward to the larger focus of dealing with the Colonists exile, and the resolution of the human-Cylon relationship. Ron Moore has already hinted at TV movies to cover some of the more interesting aspects of the universe (the original Cylon war, for instance?), so I doubt it will completely be gone. I am sad to see it go, but I will be glad the end might focus the producers on delivering that same riveting, tightly scripted show that won over this Lorne Greene-Dirk Benedict fan. What will Richard Hatch do for another 20 years now? :-)

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