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Battlestar Galactica

“Battlestar Galactica” one of the best TV series in the history of the military science fiction genre, went on the air in 2004 and is a remake of sorts of the original series from 1978. The 2004 Battlestar Galactica began as a miniseries but was so popular that the Sci-Fi channel decided to make it a regular series. Personally, I much prefer this 2004 edition, which sadly ended in 2009. Fortunately, a continuation of the series called “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome” is set to air in just a few short months in February of 2013. Each Battlestar Galactica series operates on the same classic premise that, in a future far, far away, somewhere off in the distant reaches of the galaxy, humans have colonized a clustering of planets referred to as “The Twelve Colonies”. Humans have migrated to these colonies from “Kobol”, their former home planet. The main enemy of humans in the Twelve Colonies is a cyborg race known as “the Cylons”. The Cylons, who are truly bent on the full destruction of the human race, offer an olive branch of peace to the humans in the colonies. However, this friendly extension of the neighborly intergalactic hand is nothing but a trick; instead, the Cylons attack the colonies and leave almost no survivors, no ships from the Colonial Fleet, and no weapons. One major exception is the Battlestar Galactica, the last hope of the Twelve Colonies. With the help of the Galactica crew and a small squadron of “Viper” fighters, Commander Adama, played by Academy Award-winning actor Edward James Olmos, leads a straggling group of survivors in search of the legendary thirteenth colony: Earth.

Like any classic science fiction feature, Battlestar Galactica has a fantastically constructed premise that allows plenty of room for danger, action, blossoming romance, and tension, not to mention an emotional response from viewers. With a compelling variety of characters and a skilled and experienced cast, the dramatic twists of the plot are intense and believable. This quality has not gone unnoticed by critics, with the series earning a Peabody award for general excellence and several Emmy awards for visual effects, as well as multiple Emmy nominations for writing and directing. Even non-genre publications like The New York Times, Rolling Stone magazine, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The National Review, and Time have given Battlestar Galactica critical acclaim. In fact, Time magazine named this series one of the top 100 shows of all time. One of the things that makes this show so attractive to critics and viewers is no doubt the multiplicity of references and connections that can be made within the show to our own society. Religion and theology are prominent themes within the show; for instance, the humans’ motivation for searching for this fabled thirteenth colony is due to the mention of such a place in the ancient religious texts of Kobol, their former home-world. Furthermore, throughout the seasons, both humans and Cylons are assisted by incorporeal entities during times of extreme need. According to some critics and viewers, references to modern society include the parallels that can be drawn between the intergalactic drama that unfolds within Battlestar Galactica and the “War on Terror”, with the Cylons posing as the monotheistic and sometimes suicidal religious fundamentalists. Thus, although a classic remake of an old favorite, Battlestar Galactica manages to be simultaneously fresh, contemporary, and relevant to the times.

 







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