Battlestar Galactica - Redux

The series of Battlestar Gallactica is long. Including the three hour minseries that kicked it off, there are a total of 75 episodes which, including the longer episodes, clocks in at 78.5 hours. Counting out the advertisements, that is a total run time of about 3,376 minutes of captivating intergalactic goodness.

And goodness it is, from the first episode to the last. Series generally have a tendency to drop their intensity as time passes by. Characters become jaded, the plot becomes thin and stretched, and reality often intrudes to have some of the stronger actors leave the show. It is so much of a given for me, that I drop my expectations of any series, the longer it sticks around. BSG bucks the trend. It is relentless. Characters grow, evolve and fall in and out of focus. The plot twists and turns, runs into dead-ends, and sets off immediately in another direction. And someone in the writing department seems to actually keep track of loose ends and red herrings; seemingly caring enough to tell the viewer which is which.

Waking up the day after the final three episodes, felt like the day after something momentous. A simultaneous feeling of satisfaction and emptiness. Such was the palpable universe created by the show.

There are many things to love about the show, the most enduring are its characters. Through the series, the characters show depth of character and development in the face of adversity. And yet, they are the same - with their familiar failings and insecurities. There is no sacrificing their core, even as circumstances and realities around them change. Maybe it was a stroke of genius in casting, or maybe it was just brilliant writing. You admire the characters you hate, and love the character you pity.

BSG has had a lasting impact in our house, for the new words it has added to our vocabulary. What the frack, isn't just IKEA's double-sided mirror anymore. Automatic functions on any gadget gives us pause, and an urge to check for Cylon interference. "Action stations!", means we really have to get cracking on something. And finally the Cylon theme music - the haunting, lilting melody of destruction. Now, if only we had something to call a DRADIS.

Season 1
Season 1
Season 1
Season 1
Season 1
Season 1

Having watched all the episodes on demand, in about a month's time, raises an interesting question for me. Does it make us lesser fans because we did not have to endure the agonizing delays between episodes? Is our enjoyment lessened by the fact that we learnt of the fates of the twelve colonies, well after after every one else that had followed the original airings of the show? I'm sure there is some truth to that. But having lived and breathed the series for four weeks made it so real, so visceral, that no amount of re-watching a previous season can ever equate. So if you haven't watched the series, and have Netflix, you know what you have to do? "Galactica Actual. Execute order."

December 24, 2010


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