I’ve been watching the reimagined Battlestar Galactica lately, after I bought the first two seasons on Amazon’s Instant Video. It is really a stunning example of American television, what can happen when we focus on telling a compelling story and stop trying the “Hit Every Cliche To Get Every Demographic” game. There are a couple of things that bother me with the show, but quite frankly I think Galactica is one of the most intriguing TV shows we’ve had on air in the past, oh, 10-12 years?
To be honest, I like both versions of Battlestar Galactica. I like both of them for different reasons. The original was a fun, out of your mind space fantasy that almost was sort of a creation tale. Bad acting, bad writing, atrocious special effects, but fun–sort of like an archaic Michael Bay, though I think it did a better job at getting the point across. It was also fairly bright for a people who just had their homeworlds destroyed. The reimagined series had amazing special effects, amazing writing (well, initially, at least), fascinating philosophical questions, and a dark, edgy vibe that did turn me off at one point, but paradoxically also kept me orbiting nearby, intoxicated by its ragged edge that drew oh so much blood. And both had great music: the original Colonial Theme and prologue music (plus that short riff when the Vipers take off from Carillion to aid the fleet, I cannot get that out of my head right now); the reimagined theme and, well, just about anything by Bear McCreary. That man is a god. (But not the jealous god. I don’t know what he could be jealous about.) In all fairness, while both are good, the reimagined series–for all its faults–is superior.
As I watch the reimagined series again, I’ve been thinking a bit about Galactica–and like a worm, two memes buried its way into my head and stayed there.