Is there a lack of creativity in NuBSG Costumes and culture Lack

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by Teiwaz, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Does anybody have a problem with the costumes on the NuBSG?

    I only started watching season one recently, I initially thought HMV had made a blunder and given me discs for the West Wing or 24, it just looked so contemporary America to me.

    Ok, probably BSG TOS was a little contemporary, but it was the disco era, so it all looks a little weirdly alien now, as does Buck Rogers.

    But for flip sake, the are men wearing shirts and ties for crying out loud, and 'President' looks like she's rushed in from Wall street.

    Series lacks cultural heritage as well, a good story has to have it's time and place established, I just get the feeling that none of the writers have considered where these people come from or how they live, I only hope they know where they're going.

    JMS had it right, he had the history of the B5 universe planned out 1000 years into the past and a 1000 years into the future (if not a little sketchily a million into the future).

    ST is so long running, its place and culture have been well established, even Farscape had a definite if zooish culture well established halfway into the first series, but NuBSG is just lost somewhere, it could all take place on a destroyer in the arctic ocean for all I can see.

    I'm only halfway through the first season tho, perhaps they'll reveal it in flashback like Crusade intended.
     
  2. Fist McStrongpunch

    Fist McStrongpunch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not lack of creativity. It's a deliberate choice made by RDM to make things as familiar as possible. The idea is that if the people are wearing normal clothing and using contemporary technology then viewers will be free to pay attention to the characters and story rather than being distracted by the sci-fi props and dress. I love it.
     
  3. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus it stretches a dollar – money that would otherwise go to designing and fabricating (possibly poorly, given a TV budget) all-new clothes, hairstyles, desks, chairs, etc, could be allocated to other things, like visual effects and hiring Oscar-nominated actors as the leads. Not, in other words, a decision to sneeze at.
     
  4. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Should they have all been wearing silver jumpsuits or something?

    The pilots' uniforms and casual wear seemed pretty good to me. Can't be easy to invent an entire new style of clothing for a culture that isn't based either on Earth or, worse yet, standard sci fi tropes.

    And to design and create all those costumes would have pushed up the budget significantly. One reason BSG survived on skiffy is because it stuck to a modest budget. With only a few million viewers, they have to cut somewhere.
     
  5. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I love it personally. It's creative precisely because it goes against the alien look that you see on every other scifi show.
     
  6. species5618

    species5618 Commodore Commodore

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    Same here. Plus, it helps reinforce the similarities between our society and colonial civilization. Similar cars, laws and government, architecture, fashion etc...
     
  7. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Silver jumpsuits? This isn't the seventies.
    I wasn't expecting the disco stylings of the original, nor (even worse, Buck Rogers (I'm almost sorry I mentioned that show now, but it was made in the same era as the original Battlestar Galactica).

    I did'nt have a problem with the military uniforms. Its was the dress of the President and her staff that bothered me.

    Flashy alien dress would have bothered me as well. If you look at the costumes on B5, you'll note that while the aliens all seem to have shoulderpads (in some circles, it is said all aliens should have shoulder pads) the civilian dress is similar to restrained business suits of today, but cut a little different, along lines which you could imagine that the fashion had evolved from todays until that point.

    I just feel that there is a lack of history showing through in the costumes. The Dresses worn for the original while probably fairly contempory for 1979-1980 at least had the benefit in that the style at the time was remeniscent of Ancient Greek, giving the impression of a human society with roots different from our own but at the same time familiar.

    Would you costume a production of Oliver Twist and have the kids in jeans and t-shirts (without being avantegarde of course).

    The loss of the Council of Twelve was a little disapointing though. The council may have escaped the radar to most, but it gave a 'council of elders' feel to the society, a continuation of the 12 tribes motif, a sense of a tradition continued and kept alive in some way from the populations original flight from Kobol. The original series had little scenes showing up from time to time displaying some diversity in the 12 colonies among the fleeing population which I've yet to see in the NuBSG

    If the story was set on some future colonies created by earth I might just buy into it, but if its a branch of humanity that didn't migrate to earth, its seems to me to be a long stretch that their clothing fashion would evolve identically.

    As for the costumes being purposefully familiar so viewers don't get distracted, I think its obvious it didn't work for me, the feeling that the costume is wrong is giving me culture shock and breaking my ability to believe of the series.

    The stories and plot are great, its gripping. It's just the costumes are like vaseline to my head, my attention keeps slipping from the plot.
     
  8. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I certainly didn't mind it, I mean, I love Star Trek, but some of the clothing they have on the franchise...urg. Wouldn't ever wear that shit, the Uniforms I could bear with, but the casual wear? Holy crap. The costumes in this series, the nuBSG as some call it, were greatm because it looked relatable either through casual wear or military wear.
     
  9. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    You mean you don't have your own Starfleet Uniform.

    I wore mine to Casual dress Friday when I worked for a bank.

    Got me quite a few stares, a number of laughs and a formal warning...

    Although I do like the Ferengi outfits on DS9 - Classy
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  10. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I've edited my post. Ron Moore has an explanation for why their culture looks so much like ours and he talked about it in a Q&A session about the show's ending. If anyone is interested, here it is...

    Source
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  11. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Might want to edit that, or at least spoiler tag it for the OP; it implies a bit too much about the series finale.
     
  12. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    I visited the source to have a look - was a little spoilerish - about the conclusion anyway, but it helped put the series in its place which might help me enjoy it - how it gets there is as interesting as where, and sometimes knowing where helps you understand why.

    The quoted passage was in reply to a long (and slightly acidic - well, more than mine - comment on what the crew actually achieved) not specifically on the topic of the costumes, although it appeared to be on the topic.

    It did'nt answer the question for me at least.

    Heres another quote from ealier in the thread from same source (it's 05:00 here and too late at night to go mucking about getting links sorted).

    "I should also add that there's a part of me that is loath to really analyze my own work on this level because like any piece of art it can be interpreted in various ways by the audience and not necessarily have any relationship to the intent of the artist."

    RDM.
     
  13. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    I have a cousin who, when we were kids, gave me a low down on the next Star Wars movie after 'A New Hope' (as if he knew, but he was a precocious liar) - of course this was 1979 or so, so I'm not sure that it was called 'A New Hope at the time' I forget the details but it was something about Han Solos brother, Chew Solo coming back from earth. Made it sound as if Chewbacca was named after Han Solos brother, I didn't know Chewbacca was something like a hundred or two hundred years old at the time. A Long time ago in a galaxy far far away does'nt mean alot when you're eight years old.

    Do we relate less to the humans on star wars because Luke Skywalker is'nt wearing a shirt and tie. Do we fail to recognise Princess Leia as a princess since she is not in a tiara or dressed for ascot weekend?
     
  14. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Star Wars also had a budget of ten million dollars; BSG, not so much.

    I must admit, I'm less persuaded by Moore's claims of artistic merit to the use of modern clothing and styles for almost everything in the Twelve Colonies; I have a feeling that budget played its part in designing the look of the show. Because, yeah, you can cobble together a custom look for everything like Wars has, but how well can you pull it off on a weekly TV series?
     
  15. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The thing I found the most intriguing about the Colonial uniforms is that they actually looked comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Starfleet uniforms may look cool, but I bet they're a real bitch for the actors to wear--every last one of 'em that's ever been onscreen...

    As far as civilian attire, I thought it was an original concept and kind of suggests that there will be similarities between very different civilizations.
     
  16. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    As regards the Starfleet Uniforms, I seem to recall something about the ones worn in the first series causing medical complaints so much that they had to be redesigned for following series.

    I didn't so much have issue with the military clothing design, mainly the suit and tie aspect of the Presidents entourage.
    And budgetwise, if they could afford several uniform types, dress uniform, barracks and fighter pilot. Then there's ground staff outfits. The crew on the Presidents ship I think only got one costume each, and as they appear to get more sweaty and bedraggled as the series continues they might well have worn the same one all that time (since they're stuck on a short hall ship with provisions that might be the point) - maybe they were instructed to take them home and sleep in them to get them looking authentic. Either way it still doesn't answer why shirt and tie.
     
  17. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

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    Many actors are on record that the one pieces Starfleet uniforms suck to wear, they were measured out/fitted for them in the standing position. Even then, standing in them was uncomfortable and caused back issues (apparently, having done so enough to Patrick Stewart, a lawyer informed him he had legal options to pursue), let alone sitting, which was worst. I've read the Voy actors in shots where their feet were not showing, often took of their boots and the straps that kept the pant legs down off.

    Some of the two pieces problem were not a ton better, thus the Picard maneuver (Where he tugged on the tunic whenever he sat or stood up).

    As for the BSG uniforms? I don't know to much about them, but Katee Sackhoff has complained that the flight suits were not entirely comfortable, especially during scenes where the pilots were in their cockpits.
     
  18. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And yet, he had an alien race which wore clothing suspiciously similar to human ones - namely, the Centauri.

    Star Trek is guilty of that as well, with the Klingons and their samurai costumes. The difference is that in the case of the Klingons and Centauri, they are dressed in foreign, exotic wear, usually already long dead as a custom on Earth. BSG instead goes for contemporary American, but it doesn't strain credulity any more than the prior examples. At least BSG has humans aping our fashions, rather than aliens doing it for no discernable reason.

    That said, RDM's explanation is utter nonsense.

    Apparently the history of America has been a gradual development - political, moral, legal and fashionable - to recreate unconsciously the styles and even the racial mix of a society of the distant past - with the English pitching in for backstory and language and further back the Romans getting the letters right which they corrected from the Phoenicians, and don't get me started on the Greeks and Jews (can I throw in a token Zarathushtra? Yes? Good!)...

    And I'm only scratching the surface. It's just colossally stupid, but then, a lot of what happens in Daybreak works fine as drama but is best not analysed too closely, if at all.
     
  19. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Firefly had completely non-alien clothes. I think there was a fair amount of design went into their clothing but it couldn't look less 'alien'.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I think that might have been the first season of TNG. The original series the uniforms were a design classic.