Battlestar Galactica

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! If you have not seen this, then do yourself a favour and check it out. I have just finished watching the first 2 seasons of the TV series Battlestar Galactica (BSG) and am blown away at the plot and visual effects.

I have always been a big fan of sci-fi’s. The best I have seen till BSG is Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek:Voyager. So I am going to make my comparison with reference to these two.

1) BSG focuses more on the human drama of it. Where Captain Piccard always takes the moral high ground, BSG shows its leaders to make very human choice, something wrong choices, that we ourselves would choose.

2) No polarisation of the characters into good and evil category, BSG forces us to think of the circumstances that leads to the choice. It also shows that the right choice is not necessarily the right choice and the wrong choice is not necessarily the wrong choice. It echoes the message from Crash (2004) .

3) Character development and complexity is amazing. Take Baltar for example, I simply do not know whether to hate him, love him or just pity him. Or even the supposedly bad Cylons. The show also wonderfully demonstrates the relationship between the militiary, politics and society during a time of crisis.

4) Continuity of story line. BSG storyline is narrative and every episodes builds up to a more and more complex story. While many of Star Trek’s episodes can be watched indivually or in any random order, BSG has to be watched in sequence because it actually tells a story. Star Trek:Voyager had some vague resemblance of a plot.

5) Eventough the BSG storyline is narrative, it is in no way linear. Many seemingly unconnected episodes or plots are elegantly woven in future plots. The whole effect makes the story line very well thought off.

6) There is little reliance of the sudden appeareance of some miracle technology to the rescue or super clever plan to save the day like you see frequently in Star Trek.

7) The action junkies will be pleased to know that BSG has a fantastic visually simulating action shots, so it is not all drama.

8) It seems that Cylons (the bad machines) are prefer to use organic matter (e.g. the Cylon Raider, Cylon models). This will give the artifical intelligence community something to ponder or get excited about.

But what amazes me most of all is that eventhough the story line should be very depressing (end of human civilisation, near extinction of the human race, in-fightings etc), it still manages to leave the audience with glimmer of hope.

In summary it is a fantastic drama with consistenly having the best plot and acting I have seen with each new episode raising the standard.

A big thank you to my friend Adrian Mondry who got me hooked onto this series.


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