Return to Battlestar Galactica (2004)

Posted: February 14, 2013 in FILM REVIEWS/COMMENTS
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When a synthetic enemy, the Cylons resurface and obliterate a planet a handful of survivors set out to find the mythical planet of Earth in the far reaches of space.

Slated in some circles as having too many deus ex machina (I hate that usage) moments, not enough sci-fi and/or too much supernatural facets, I can safely say much of the criticism is unfounded and Battlestar Galactica deserves its acclaimed credit.
What was born from a 70s Star Wars knockoff (and sued for it) TV-series, some bright spark decided to bring it back, with a re-imagining which retains some of the fundamental elements of the original.
Viewing the mini-series and its series’ throughout I personally like this incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, it’s grim, it’s dark, it’s gritty. While essentially science fiction it is more drama and character driven, littered with religious connotation. Thanks to series’ main writers Glen A. Larson and Ronald D. Moore when I feared the shenanigans would fall into a redundant political web plot or Christian fable on loop the writers successfully rein it in, restoring an equal balance of themes, creating a vast and immiscible universe as vast, dare I say it – as the other two infamous sci-fi franchises.
The heroes and villains aren’t the stereotypes we’re used to seeing, most characters are flawed and multi layered with plenty of grey to be discovered. They feel credible thanks to some good acting from familiar faces including Edward James Olmos, Lucy Lawless and Dean Stockwell. Notable is Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer and James Callis who do a great job. Both Helfer and Callis are exceptional in places.
While some of the set ups are familiar the plots are usually unpredictable and try hard to go against conventions and formulas of genre retaining a realistic familiarity. Sometimes using flashbacks, visions, dreams and parallel storytelling there’s never a dull moment. Admittedly there are lengthy story arc’s and bravely very few singular episodes but to Battlestar’s credit the story ends with the series in retrospect being one long movie ride which makes it stand shoulders above other formatted TV shows. There’s certainly enough surprises and twists to satisfy the most hardened thrill seeker if you stick with it.
Battlestar Galactica is not scared to take chances, even when limited in some parts due to TV confines, it does the best with its budget and tries to push the envelope with it themes which debatably allowed the doors to be opened for the likes of Games of Thrones, True Blood and The Walking Dead to name a few.
Overall, an interesting fulfilling ride to say the least.


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