Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica
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After a 40-year armistice in a war between the Twelve Colonies and the Cylons, the Cylons launch a surprise nuclear attack intended to exterminate the human race. Virtually all of the population of the Twelve Colonies are wiped out.

Title:Battlestar Galactica
Release Date:December 8, 2003
Runtime:
Genres:Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Production Countries:Canada, United States of America
Director:Michael Rymer
Writers:
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:survivor, planet, genocide, quest
Alternative Titles:
  • Battlestar Galactica: The Mini-Series - [US]
  • Battlestar Galactica: Pilotní film - [CZ]
  • Battlestar Galactica: La Miniserie - [ES]

Battlestar Galactica Reviews

  • Some of the anti-BSG2003 complaints are just crazy
    by nomen_meltdown on 12 October 2004

    372 out of 477 people found the following review useful:

    Besides saying that I really liked the re-imagining of Galactica, I just wanted to point out the madness in one of the recurring complaints I've noticed among fans *and* nay-sayers of BSG2003. I read a lot of people saying "the new one doesn't have the humour of the original" or "it takes itself so seriously, the characters are too serious," or things to that effect.

    I'm just wondering... how funny do you expect a nuclear holocaust to be?? I mean, writers of fiction are hoping that you can suspend your disbelief and try for a moment to imagine that what you are seeing is real, or could be real. So imagine for a moment, if you can, that you live in NYC and you just heard on the news that H-bombs have started falling from the sky in LA, and they're coming down in waves, west-to-east, and humanity is being utterly wiped out. Millions of people-- men, women and children, perhaps members of your own family, are dying in terror. Are you *really* going to be cracking jokes? Imagine that the human race is quickly being massacred, only a few hundred are managing to escape-- a tiny fraction of what civilization was, and you aren't sure if you're going to survive into tomorrow. Just how much humour is going to be in the air, mixing with the fallout and all? Even before the bombs start falling, all of the "overly serious" characters seem to me to have pretty good reasons... Adama's ship is being turned into a museum, effectively ending a major chapter in his military career (which is his life), Apollo's having to face his father, whom he blames for his brother's death, Teague is a drunk (they're not often the cheeriest people), Lauren's just been diagnosed with terminal cancer... you expect these people to be making with the ha-ha?

    The character I did find funniest was Starbuck. Be it because she was a little 'crazy' or because she had the least on her shoulders (besides her boyfriend dying 2 years ago because of a decision she made... hm, may explain the 'crazy' a little, y'think?) to spoil her mood, and what do people say about Starbuck? "She was too crazy." There really *is* no pleasing some people.

    Arguing that the characters in a story that depicts the extermination of said characters' species are "too serious" is... well, it only shows that you either can't do what the writers would like you to do-- and imagine yourself as a part of this world-- or that you can, but you're a suicidal sociopath.

    I thought the miniseries was excellent; the re-worked premise made for a more textured story, the characters actually had some depth this time around, and were well-played by actors who obviously tried to 'get' some of the nuances of their characters and could take a serious situation (however imaginary) seriously. And I loved the special effects, too.

    So with all due respect, the puritans who prefer the shallow, campy 70's series with its recycled fx footage, its 2-dimensional characters and it's plot that provides little context or background, can stick their complaints in their old pipes and smoke 'em.

  • Some People Just Do Not Understand
    by Adam Bernay (adamjbernay@comcast.net) on 14 December 2003

    293 out of 410 people found the following review useful:

    I've read a lot of your comments, and it amazes me how some people seem to think that the function of this mini-series (and hopefully series) is to cater to the whims of the fans of the original series. Sorry, that's not it.

    The die-hard types -- the "fans" (and I am one, of BSG, BSG2003, Trek, B5, etc.) -- are never going to be more than a small fraction of the viewership of any television program. It must appeal to a broader audience, or it is DOOMED.

    Ronald D. Moore -- in my opinion, one of the better writer-producers in sci-fi today -- took a concept that pleased just about nobody but the fans and reproduced it in a manner that made it interesting and watchable to a modern audience. And if you step outside of your "I want Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, and Dirk Benedict" temper tantrums, you will find it interesting and watchable as well.

    As for some of the main cast members -- like the Adamas pere et fils -- being stiff and inhuman...my friends, welcome to career military officer types. I would bet you're the same people who complained about Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the first season of Babylon 5 as well. These are TRUE TO LIFE heroes, not the Saturday morning cartoon comic book heroes.

    As for remolding Starbuck (does she drink a lot of coffee? ;-) and Boomer into women... well, I had my doubts at first, but I thought they did a magnificent job. As for the Cylons looking like humans now... well, only some of them do. And, to be perfectly honest, it makes a lot of sense for them to be able to blend in with their enemies. Anyone who has knowledge of terrorists in the Middle East knows that the reason they can get in to major civilian population centers and cause hideously evil damage and destruction is because THEY BLEND IN. Use some logic, people!

    Much like when going to see a movie based on one of Tom Clancy's novels, I didn't go into this expecting to see the original. I went into it expecting to see something new and interesting with some similarities at the plot level. And I was not disappointed.

    Since ENTERPRISE seems to be killing the Trek franchise -- and I admit, I enjoy ENTERPRISE a lot of the time, but a lot of people don't, and I can see why -- I am in high hopes a series based on BSG2003 can revitalize hope for on-going TV science fiction. I don't see why it shouldn't as long as people stop thinking they're going to get Lorne Greene. They're getting Edward James Olmos, one of the most brilliant actors in Hollywood, coming BACK to TV after a successful movie career... and how often does THAT happen?!?

  • Sci-Fi takes another step forward
    by sirderakus on 31 December 2003

    184 out of 271 people found the following review useful:

    I expected very little of this Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, for I adored the original so much, but to my pleasant surprise this production is excellent. It doesn't fall back on genre-typical styles of film-making as we have seen repeatedly in Star Trek or other television dramas. The editing is wonderful, the directing is above par, and the acting is quite convincing. I am especially pleased with the performance of Mary McDonnell as the president of the colonies. Her portrayal is that of an ordinary human being thrust into power by extraordinary circumstances. She doesn't overplay her strength and she doesn't fall back on 'exaggerated feminine emotionality' as so many female leaders seem to do in other shows. The quality of her performance is also seen in the other actors, who are allowed the screen time to show us their personalities, rather than simply deliver trite one-liners.

    CG-wise, Battlestar Galactica was beyond excellent. Lighting in space is harsh and I was pleased to see that the producers didn't soften it just to make the ships look more romantic. External scenes were used to tell the story and not gratuitously. I was left wanting more every time.

    Excellent show.

  • The Best Piece of Filmed Science Fiction Ever Made
    by colinbarnard-1 on 30 March 2006

    110 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

    Yeah, I know: a superlative. Curses to you both Ron Moore and David Eich- you have made it impossible for me to watch "Star Trek" again. Not since the first "Matrix" film in '99 have I sat at a screen and gaped in awe at the push my brain was given.

    In three hours, we are introduced to a world, and a cast of characters, that are unrivaled in depth and seriousness. The story is compelling beyond belief. We are really there. We really care.

    Topical, directed with talent and passion, and acted by people who deeply care about what they are creating, Battlestar Galactica sets the standard by which any filmed drama must be measured.

    Nothing else will satisfy again. May BSG reign for years to come.

  • An unbias review
    by Captain_James on 21 April 2003

    133 out of 217 people found the following review useful:

    When Galactica first aired in 1978, I was only sixteen years old. At that time in my life, I was craving anything Star Wars or Kiss. When Battlestar Galactica aired it was simply amazing. I made sure that every Sunday Night I would be there to cheer on my heroes, Starbuck and Apollo, to triumph over the evil Cylons. The initial cancellation came as a shock to me, especially since my friends and I would sit in the lunchroom on Monday and talk about the Battlestar Galactica episode the night before. When Galactica 1980 came along I had high hopes but was thoroughly disappointed with the series. I was so disappointed in Galactica 1980 that I buried the series way back in my mind, never again to be spoken of.

    Now twenty-three years later, my sixteen-year-old daughter shows me this script of a show I loved in my youth. Obviously, I read it out of curiosity to see how they have remade my old show. My toughest experiences with the script were the gender changes of Starbuck and Boomer, and the names becoming call signs. At first I wanted to just put it down and just dream of what was, however my curiosity to see the conclusion kept me going. The most amazing thing about the script is that it is easy to relate to the characters and to understand what makes them human. Now without further ado, my review:

    We begin the story at Armistice Station with Boxey's Father looking at pictures of his wife and son. Suddenly, a Cylon raiding party led by Number Six, who is a very attractive humanoid Cylon, interrupts him. She sexually assaults him and Armistice Station explodes. Number Six is characterized as being very seductive and Moore maybe trying to accentuate how truly seductive she is in the scene.

    My issue with the scene is the need to use a sexual assault prior to the destruction of Armistice Station. They could have easily sent just Cylon Centurions in to destroy Armistice Station. However, the further along you go, you begin to understand why Moore chose the sexual assault. His attempt is to remove the Star Wars clichés. If the Cylon Centurions had assaulted the station in the manner described, it would have looked like the opening scene of Star Wars -A New Hope. The message he is conveying in a not so subtle way is this that "this is not Star Wars".

    In fact, the script conveys that message rather loudly if you pay attention to it. The concept of no sound in space to the split screens to the use of missiles for long-range combat screams "this is not Star Wars". In 1978, critics often criticized Battlestar Galactica as a Star Wars rip-off. The effort to distance itself from this criticism is very apparent in the script.

    The characters in the remake have been humanized with character flaws that exist in all of us. The approach in many ways has made the characters more compelling. For instance, Adama and Apollo are estranged over the death of Zak. Apparently Apollo feels his father pushed Zak into a career that was not fit for him. Because of the piloting accident Apollo feels the responsibility lies with his father. Many parents, such as myself, play a role in shaping their children's future. Adama, being a military man, would logically believe a military life is one's proof of manhood. This belief is something he conveyed to his children, which would create resentment if one was to die in career that another feels is not suited for the individual. Throughout the remake, you have a sense that the two men do still love one another. Because of the Cylon attack, the dynamics in their relationship begin to change for the better. When Apollo appeared to have died, Adama felt a loss that any parent would feel if they lost a child. But when Apollo returns, the relationship between the two begins to heal. The real turning point in the relationship was when Kara confesses to Apollo that she passed Zak even though he failed his piloting exam. Now Apollo can see that Adama is not solely guilty for his brother's death which helps lead to more healing. During the blockade run from Ragnar, Apollo acknowledges Adama as father instead of Commander. The two realize the love that is still there as Father and Son when the series concludes.

    The Kara and Apollo relationship is a very interesting one. Kara was Apollo's brother Zak's fiancée. His death seems to be crucible between Kara, Apollo, and Adama. In many instances, you have the feeling that Kara has more than just friendship feelings for Apollo. This shows during Apollo's arrival on the Galactica where Kara and Apollo exchange more than pleasantries. Later on, when she heard that Apollo `died' she was visibly upset and the picture of Zak and her revealed that Apollo was there too. Her tough exterior hides a very complex woman. When she realizes that Apollo is alive, it just brought new life to her. Her feeling of shared guilt for Zak's death was finally shared with Apollo where she tells him that she passed Zak despite failing the exam. Kara proves to be every bit the warrior Dirk Benedict's Starbuck was and fights courageously over Ragnar. She saves Apollo in a belly-to-belly viper maneuver to get onboard a Galactica under duress from the Cylons without the thought of the danger she was in. I have the feeling that in a full series, Kara and Apollo might become a couple.

    The relationship between Number Six and Baltar is a strange one at best. I see her as like a laboratory scientist who does research with guinea pigs to see how they react in certain environments. Baltar seems very self absorbed and more concern about people finding out how he was the unwitting tool used for the Cylon destruction of Kobol. Baltar seems intent in ridding the Galactica of Cylons but does not want to expose how he knows what he knows. Number Six seems to enjoy baiting him and studying his behavior.

    President Laura Roslin and Commander Adama relationship adds a new dynamic missing from the original. She brings civilian rule over the Rag Tag Fleet instead of martial law that existed in the original. Roslin seems like the kind of leader to represent the people's concerns and needs over her personal agendas. She cares more for their safety than hers. She continually put her ship at risk trying to rescue more survivors following the devastating Cylon attack. Her first truly difficult choice as the leader of mankind was when the Cylons spotted the Rag Tag Fleet and sent fighters to intercept. She decided, with a heavy heart, to leave the ships without FTL drives to their doom while saving a majority of her people. Adama and Roslin butt heads several times but in the end, she persuaded Adama to see the reality of the situation despite his objections. Their partnership, I believe, will be a very interesting one during moments in crisis in future episodes.

    One of the relationships that I feel will play out more is the one between Boomer and Boxey. I am under the impression that Boomer does not know she is a Cylon, which can lead to fascinating possibilities for the future. Boxey may bring out the maternal instincts within Boomer which when the time comes makes her decide to serve the humans and betray her fellow Cylons. I certainly hope that this element is played out correctly in the series as to where it becomes logical why she would choose humankind over cylonkind.

    Besides the character relationships, the history of the Cylons is clearly defined in the remake. Man created the Cylons adding a twist from the original. The eventual man vs. man's creation relationship is an age-old tale. A tale similar to how the Monster turned against Dr. Frankenstein. In many ways, Cylons are the victims as is the Monster in Frankenstein. They were created as a slave force that eventually became the instruments of destruction for the Colonies to wage war against one another. Finally one day, the Cylons realized that mankind was the monster and warred against man. Apparently the Cylons left and as of forty years ago, they were never heard from again. An uneasy peace exists between creator and creation in which the creation evolved into the Humanoid Cylons. The Cylons also have a form of religion and a God. I found that absolutely fascinating and would like to see how Cylon religion is played out in a series.

    By far my favorite element of the mini-series is that one can read it while being familiar with the original with a level of real suspense. The original pilot was the roadmap but Moore decided to tell the story from the point of view of what happened on the Colonies during the Cylon attack. The horror of nuclear war is shown in all its horrifying glory in the remake. The plight of the Colonists is a story worth telling and it done extremely well in the remake.

    Overall, I am extremely pleased with this remake. Most remakes end up being carbon copies of the original story or they overuse the cliché moments of the original. This remake does none of the above, which makes it somewhat unique. It is not a question of comparing the original to the remake since both versions stand out as great works for their time. The remake is not the original but simply a retelling of the old story from a fresh perspective that leaves one wondering, what more will come from this.

  • Love it or Hate it
    by bishopolis on 27 April 2006

    54 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

    Viewers either love this programme, or else they completely hate it. It seems there's no middle ground.

    This incarnation does deviate from the standard format of BattleStar Galactica -- and indeed, from every single episode of every series produced in the 80s by Glen A Larson. The first scene has one of the leading roles played by a woman, the source of about half the griping. Apparently, women aren't supposed to be tough, nor fully-dressed, in space.

    Also, no one's perfect. It's hard to faithfully jump in and worship the 2-3 main characters, like we're used to doing as children. Back then, the main characters flashed their CHiPs smiles, fired their blasters from the hip and got all the girls, even if they were blue. The main characters saved the day, reliably and on time, each and every week. By comparison, the characters in this series are barely keeping themselves together and obviously suffering from their environment, let alone trotting out the whitened smiles for the final chuckle at the 44th minute freeze-frame. The characters in this series, faithful to the style of modern scifi series like FireFly, are as realistic, as flawed and ultimately as believable as it gets, warts and all. The stories are generally well-written, well-acted and consistently cruel to the characters we want so dearly to like.

    Be forewarned: This new BattleStar Galactica requires thought and some attention to detail. It's not metal chewing gum, and it doesn't suck up to the audience nor offer the safe and predictably mindless entertainment we're used to seeing in a space opera. But if you can stand occasionally hating your heroes, and if saccharine leaves a taste in your mouth, then you may just become a fan.

  • TV doesn't get better than this
    by talon_mortis on 9 January 2007

    58 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

    To think that I heard of a remake of BSG and thought 'pfft, probably rubbish'. Dear God I was wrong. This is possibly the best example of television I've ever seen. The sheer cold, clinical, detached storytelling style makes for an enrapturing viewing. The miniseries is what, 3 hours long?, and I didn't flinch once when I first viewed it.

    The characters were wonderous, especially I found Colonel Tigh to be a terrific re-imagining of the previous incarnation. Commander Adama and Captain Adama had an almost painful on screen chemistry. Oh, and Mary McDonnel? Inspired choice.

    The thing that I truly love, however, is that there is very little noise. No massive explosions. No screaming and shouting. Everything is detached, everything is calm, in a slightly sick way. Only one word can truly sum up this miniseries and what follows.

    *quiet*.

  • Intelligent scifi for a new generation
    by casarbi on 22 December 2004

    94 out of 147 people found the following review useful:

    A fantastic reinterpretation of Larson's original premise.

    I loved the old Galactica. It was cheesy, simplistic fun. However, I always find Larson's old pilots hold more promise than their series.

    Like Buck Rogers, the original Galactica pilot is far darker than the rest of the series run. For a show based on the genocide of 12 planets, the original Battlestar Galactica never really got to grips with the futility, fear and condition of a race on the edge of extinction.

    The new show makes up for that in abundance. The tone is dark, the pace is slow yet methodical. In the old show the attack on the colonies was dealt with in the first half hour. Here we have a far slower build up.

    The characters, while sombre are very real. Even Starbuck (and kudos for changing sex here, how many male Solo rips offs will we have to endure in SciFi?) works well. She has a hint of Benedict in expression and dialogue with far more consistency ever offered to Benedicts character.

    Apollo takes some getting used to, but surprisingly, the best characters this time around aren't the pilots, but the Administration. Adama is fantastic. Believable and oozing authority. Tigh is a wonderful mess and the President surprisingly well written.

    Finally, the glory to the show has to be Baltar. No longer a panto baddie, he is deeper character. A character with realistic motivations, drives and issues. While a tragic character, his portrayal is humorous and sinister at the same time.

    The best scifi show since Farscape. The series is pretty fine too!

  • Intense, moody, and dark. Much better than expected.
    by mstomaso on 9 January 2006

    61 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

    Those who are used to SciFi's standard fare are likely to be a bit bored by the realism, character development, intelligent dialog, and lack of explosions, mutant organisms and/or poor special effects. This is REAL science fiction, not cheap shock effects strung together with a mediocre plot. Hand-held photography- pioneered in groundbreaking series like ER and Firefly - has started to become cliché. Nevertheless, it works in this film partly because it is not overdone. The shots alternate between a hand-held documentary feel and a more standard dramatic presentation.

    I was never a big fan of the original Battlestar Galactica TV show, and I have only seen a few SciFi originals which did not embarrass me on behalf of the entire genre of science fiction (Farscape and both Dune Mini-series being the exceptions). SciFi hypes their productions heavily, and they are almost always disappointingly silly. So, I was not inclined to go into this with an open mind. If anything convinced me to give it a shot, it was the fact that E J Olmos was hired to play Adama and that Mary MacDonnell was on-board. To say the least, I was very pleasantly surprised by the production quality, intelligent script, and the cast. This is more than a reinvention of BSG, it is a vast improvement over the silly cowboy histrionics the first series devolved into.

    The story begins just before an invasion of 12 planets colonized by humans. The invading force has infiltrated all of the defense networks by positioning key agents in positions where they can easily exploit vulnerabilities, and has basically disabled all planetary defenses, leaving everybody and everything vulnerable. There is no battle. The few vestiges left of the once thriving human population are those who were fortunate enough to have been in space at the time of the attack. From this dire premise, Battlestar Galactica proceeds.

    All considered, this is a film about the human will to survive, redemption and the spirit of hope. Though dark, moody, and as fragmented as life often is, BSG is also driven, suspenseful, and very well written. The cast is as talented as it is visually striking - mixing weird beauty, youthful energy, and hard-edged agedness. None of the actors misstep, and each seems to know their character particularly well. This is an unusual quality for SciFi originals, and shows that the network invested in quality directing talent and worked with reasonable production deadlines (as opposed to rush-jobs).

    I strongly recommend this film for serious science fiction fans.

  • The dawn of a new era. A sci-fi show you don't have to be a nerd to watch.
    by Wraith8677 on 1 December 2006

    48 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

    Before this re-imagining was even announced I had never before heard about "Battlestar Galactica" except when an overweight comic book geek mentioned it on TV. But when I heard such a show was airing I found myself....well, gitty. Never watching the old series I spent the night that it first aired glued to my TV waiting for it to come on. And after I watched the whole miniseries, I was blown away. A sci-fi show with no lasers? No elaborate, all too clean, spacecrafts? No weird talking animals? A sci-fi show that is actually relevant to today? Can such a show exist? Yes, my friend.

    Never before has such a show like this been created, "Naturalistic Science Fiction," is what the producers call it. It was created to shake things up in the sci-fi genre the only problem is that it came too late. Sci-fi is now associated to too extremes, Star Trek and Star Wars, both are great, I prefer Star Wars, but, whatever. And there have been smaller shows in between the two, Farscape, Stargate, the old BSG. But never before has this entered.

    The new Battlestar Galactica is simply saying "screw those guys, I am the evolved one." And it shows, it shows. The story of the miniseries starts where the original series starts, the original series started with a movie by the way.

    One of the most noticeable differences is the camera, what i mean is that you are aware that there is in fact a camera recording the action, from shaking to zooming in and out this is to give the impression that this is all really happening and that you are viewing war footage. Another thing is that everything feels authentic, from the towns to the corridors of the ships, everything is alive and is used in the scene, you actually feel that theses ships are real. Speaking of ships the new look of the Cylon ships is eerie to say the least.

    The characters are also unique, for the first time you can have a tough WOMEN soldier without her being regarded as a lesbian. All the characters change, meaning they don't simply stay, the tough one, the scared one, the dumb one, they all switch to different roles.

    The technology of the show is similar to that of our own and of Blade Runner. They also make do with what they have, there isn't a piece of technology that is presented to the characters at the beginning that will vanquish the enemy that will be introduced in ten minutes.

    All in all if you are looking for something different to watch than the new Battlestar Galactica is one to see. In fact everyone should at least give it a try. Do not listen to those who say that it is bad they are the ones who would rather see the women as background characters, and who want the kid to be smarter than everyone else.

    Give the miniseries a try.

    I give it 9 "Screw you were more evolved" statements out of 10

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