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Old March 5 2008, 12:13 PM   #938
Dusty Ayres
Location: ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
Re: Niners Unite...around Babylon 5! - The Lost Threads

PKTrekGirl wrote: View Post
....but good new scifi is in pretty short supply these days, IMO.

Tried Painkiller Jane and Flash Gordon, but both were so terrible they made my hair hurt.
Blame the useless, dumbassed, cynical, mundane fucktards that make up the majority of the TV audience for this state of affairs and for both Painkiller Jane and Flash Gordon. If it weren't for their over-love of Battlestar Galactica
that the critics developed, and if it weren't for the way that certain network executives are so cheap and unwilling to spend the money on programs that have traditional space themes, we'd be getting sci-fi that's just as amazing as the show we're talking about in this thread. But no, all we can get is really dark shite that's good for a while, but then get tiresome, and that are also 'open ended story arcs' because they're really plotless shit.

John Kenneth Muir talks about this state of affairs in an article on his blog called Making Lemonade: Or How I Feel The Need, The Need For Speed...on the new Battlestar Galactica, which I will excerpt here;

[FONT=arial]God I really, really want to like this new show, the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica, developed by Ron Moore and currently airing in reruns on The Sci Fi Channel (before a second season starts soon).

I keep telling myself I shouldn't be an Old Fogey (even though I'm only 35) about this. I should not keep stating that the old show was better, more fun, more successful in terms of its characterizations, effects and production design. After all, the new show is winning critical accolades right and left. It's not just the second coming of Battlestar Galactica. It's the Second Coming for Science Fiction on TV, we're supposed to believe.

Well. Okay. I guess. I can almost swallow that Kool Aid. But then again, I am old enough to remember when people said that Manimal...

I wrote a book all about the underpinnings of the original Battlestar Galactica in 1997, which was published by McFarland in 1998, entitled An Analytical Guide to TV's Battlestar Galactica. You can buy it at I argued there -- hopefully persuasively -- that the original Battlestar Galactica had its flaws, but that despite them, it was a unique and interesting series. And for a number of reasons, I claimed this was indeed so. The great expense of the original 1978 series (more than a million dollars per episode...) assured imaginative costumes, impressive sets, and the best and most convincing special effects yet developed for American television (Space:1999 was British...). On top of production values, enormously appealing actors like Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch made the show more than the Star Wars rip-off the MSM wanted to make it out to be, and as the show developed over the weeks, it actually boasted something akin to a story arc. Finally, I also felt the original Battlestar Galactica had an interesting hawkish philosophy that differentiated it from Star Trek, and an interesting use of Christian and Greek/Roman mythology.

On the latter front, for instance, Battlestar Galactica made more than a token attempt to remind us that the lead characters were all from another planet, another solar system. The characters had names like Athena, Apollo, Lucifer, and Adama, and in the first episode, the survivors of the Twelve Colonies crossed a red-hued mine field that was the equivalent to the Red Sea. The characters said "yahren" instead of year. When they cursed, it was "frak" or "felgercarb." When they smoked a cigar it was a "fumarello." When they counted down time units, it was "centons" and "microns." Dogs were "daggits," and dollars were "cubits." It might have been ham-handed or silly at times, but this attempt at a legitimate Colonial language/lexicon granted the Battlestar Galactica world a veneer at least of otherworldly reality. We actually believed that these were "brothers of man," out in space; people like us, but not actually from Earth. We could suspend disbelief.[/FONT]
[FONT=arial]And for me, that's the thing that's almost wholly absent in the ripped-from-the-headlines, September 11th-style re-imagination. I was shocked to hear Starbuck quote the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun (1986) in one episode, noting a pilot cadet's "need for speed." I was disappointed to hear thoroughly earthbound references to "stogies" (instead of fumarellos) and "lemonade." I was disappointed that all the characters wear contemporary-style ties, business suits, and glasses, and that on occasion, are wont to exclaim "Jesus" rather than say "Oh Gods" (as they often do in later episodes). Whoa!

The feeling that these people are from another world (another friggin' galaxy maybe!) - and not models starring in Pier One commercials - is totally lost in this new Galactica. And for that reason, I keep wanting to scream at the screen --- you ain't from Earth! You haven't seen Top Gun! Come on, Ron Moore, you can do better than that! I saw Carnivale - it rocked!! And the work you did on DS9 and Next Gen -- friggin' brilliant stuff, dude!

And then I start get bitter, you see. And here's why: This new and (improved?) Battlestar Galactica was never designed to be faithful to the original. Never. Oh, the execs and the story editors say so, but they just aren't being honest, perhaps even with themselves. What is quite obvious from the TV episodes is that the writers want this show to be about us. Here. On Earth. In 2005. Dealing with Abu Ghraib. Dealing with Faith-Based Politics. Okay, that's cool - actually daring even - but it's not, repeat NOT true to the history and character of Battlestar Galactica. If truth be told, it's a helluva lot closer to Space: Above and Beyond(1995) than it is Battlestar Galactica. These new creators are simply using the title Battlestar Galactica as quick franchise identification. The name is a marketing tool, nothing more.[/FONT]

At least, 'we've always got Babylon 5'.
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