Friday, September 21, 2012

Galactica 1980: A Backwards Continuation?

Whoops, do you mean to say that I watched all ten episodes of Galactica 1980 in three days? Now that I ought to be ashamed of--but, really, I can explain myself. You see, the first three part episode isn't streaming on Netflix, so I had to get the DVD out; and I hate keeping DVD's for a long time, so I watched all three parts Wednesday night so that I could mail the DVD back in the morning. And then when I got home today, I was just so tired (mentally, and a tad physically and emotionally, too) that it was dinner and Netflix for me. And I just kept clicking until those last four episodes were gone.

But also, as anyone who has watched this series will understand, I think I let myself run quickly through the show so I could get through it. It isn't something you particularly want to dwell on, which is also why I'm doing my write up now instead of waiting until tomorrow when I've had a chance to think things through.

When I gave my reaction to the original Battlestar Galactica, I more or less said positive things. It wasn't a perfect show, but it was such that I preferred to dwell on the positive. But that's harder to do for Galactica 1980. The problem seems to start in the show's premise: almost everything that was good about the original series is taken out of this one. Not only the characters we have come to know, not only the setting, but also the plots and ideals and the very dynamics. Apollo and Starbuck were the cool warrior buddies, reminding me of Tony and Roger in I Dream of Jeannie. But Troy and Dillon are completely shallow and flat characters; the script gives them no chance to show an emotional side or leadership skills or anything of that sort. Instead of being heroic and bright, they're bumbling and confused. They're out of their zone on Earth--but they have more trouble adapting than they ought. And if they did have that much trouble adapting, would it really make sense to send them and not some other category of people? People trained in culture rather than as warriors?

Ah, this is very difficult. Staying on track, I mean. I know that this show had budget constraints and that this was what kept the scripts so much on Earth . . . but couldn't either some creativity or better scripts offered an alternative to what this show became? What does seem to bother me most is the absence of the ideals; instead of this picture of a positive people, we are given a presentation of the problems in Earth's system and the problems of the Galactica's ability to adapt and survive. Problems, thrown in with some cheap laughs and flat characters? No wonder the show wasn't well received.

There were some okay scenes, and I particularly enjoyed the final episode (for obvious reasons--or should I say reason? A reason that starts with an "S"). I didn't waste my time. But this show may drift out of my memory before I realize it's even gone. On to the re-imagining of twenty-three years later.

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