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

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

  1. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I think they did attempt to go with an otherworldly look with the costumes as evidenced by Baltar's outfit from the mini series, but that went away in season 1.

    I do think that what Moore says is a rationale after the fact, but it works regardless of how or when he came up with it.
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You weren't alive in 1978, were you? There was nothing contemporary about Original Galactica (except maybe the hair), the entire show was pure science fiction from start to finish.

    Nothing more.
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek always showed terrible civilian clothes. Both human and alien alike. Starfleet uniforms looked alright though.

    I liked the fact that BSG just shows people in contemporary clothes. Yeah, it stretches credibility somewhat, but who cares? It's nice to see people in sci-fi wearing clothes that look good and comfortable.
     
  4. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    I had another thought while composing for the Unpopular Trek Opinions thread...

    A New Hope always seems so timeless to me even though some of the look and feel places it securely in the late seventies while the following films feel dated (Return of the Jedi especially). Perhaps its the white costumes Luke and Leia first appear wearing - gives it a 'New Age' (ok, maybe that phrase is dated) feel, perhaps its because it feels seperated from our timeline.

    TNg feels a little dated to me due to the sets and the whole 'having a counsellor on the bridge concept' - soo 80's, TOs by the visualisation of technology and its naivete.
    BSG TOS by its disco stylings (the 70's was a period when the future look was more in vogue anyway) - Contempory suits will only serve to make NUBSG look dated in 10 or 20 years - by which case the premise 'these people are just like us because they dress like us' will not stand up - I'm not saying we'll all be wearing silver jumpsuits in 2030, but the cut of the suits will be different, just as the cut of a suit in 1890 differs from that of 1920, or between 1970 and 2000.
    Even UFO (set made in the late sixties and set in 1980) made an effort to set the clothing apart and in a vein where you could believe this could be the dress style of the future (they got it wrong in assuming the fashion of the time would not alter along a slightly different tack) - but their cars were not too far off - remember the DeLorean.
     
  5. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    I was six - But I can remeber re-runs in early 1980's. And of course season 2 - the landing on earth series was made in 1980 - so it was probably broadcast her in '81. And you don't need to sound too incredulous - We're not in Logans Run here.

    Actually some of the ladies dresses were certainly influenced by the then fashion for Disco - they (perhaps only coincidently also resembled ancient greek dresses (at least as seen on some of the epic greek myth movies)) which kind of fitted where the Original BSG saga came from.

    Remember - Time is relative - contemporary for its time - not for now (30 years or so later). You can't totally escape some contemporaryness - it is fiction after all - the period when it was made will seep in some way - how you limit or manage that feel will govern how dated the show gets after five or ten years. Even books - more timeless than many medium as the visualisation comes adapted by the brain that deciphers the language dates - mainly by the language it uses - I'm sure the language of LOTR has prevented many from reading it - put off by the - admittedly purposeful use of archiac language.
     
  6. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I think there is definitely a lack of creativity involved with it but it does lend a (false?) sense of verity to the show which I think was a source of its critical success. Having people dress in contemporary Western styles helped with the suspension of disbelief that disconnects some people from science fiction. Even though in one sense it doesn't really make much sense, it didn't trigger "Oh, that's so cheesy/corny/dumb" responses that can also be off-putting.
     
  7. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Yeah, that was the one I meant, sorry for not being clear.
     
  8. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I loved the clothing in BSG. It really worked for the show and had they worn sci-fi clothing it'd have done the show a disservice.
     
  9. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    The Centauri are really a parallel of the Austro-Hungarian empire (or at least 18-19th century europe) - so obviously it makes a certain amount of sense to have their dress compliment their societal structure (although the hairdos were a bit odd). Or rather perhaps the Austro-Hungarians resembled the Centauri.
    The Brakiri costumes were not particularly outrageous either, their collared coats might seem a little odd, but totally unusual.

    I'm not saying they should'nt have been a good parallel to western styles, just I think being almost identical spoiled it a little, it seemed a little anachronistic for a society that had gotten as far as space travel and A.I (technology not contemporary to us) to have clothing contemporary to us.

     
  10. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think it's uncreative. In terms of costumes they're going for a contemporary look (which is pretty close to what Babylon 5 did for the humans). I think that's a valid creative choice and, to me, the costumes generally look pretty damn good. As for the culture, it's pretty much modern America overlayed with some mythical and mystical elements. Personally I find it pretty interesting and I think it makes for good television. How much of the series's creativity comes from Ron Moore et al and how much comes from Glen A Larson, I'm not sure, but I certainly think it's an interesting and well-realised vision.
     
  11. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    The look for humans on Babylon 5 was not contemporary. Not with this part of this century anyway.

    There are subtle overtones of the 1940's in the dress (just a little in the stiffer collars). Business suits in Babylon 5 have gone on a trend that you can imagine if you cast styles forward from now for another hundred or so years (leaving out the anomalous little fashions that creep into clothing in decades (e.g the 60's).
    The overtones of the 40's is intentional (its repeated in the dancing music composed for the various scenes of people partying throught the series) its a reinforcement to the sense of wartime that goes through the series.

    Overall it shows a business look that has been washed out for a hundred years into something more business-casual as I think it would be referred to today.

    I'm not saying the B5 franchise did'nt make it's own mistakes, Crusade realised what a horrible choice it had made so much that it shuffled the episodes around and put a 'PR' plot in a storyline to get rid of the Bell-Hop outfits by the end of the first series.
    NuBSG Business suits look too contemporary - the look off the rack for any generic law-political intregue show.

    Yes, Is do recall Baltar's outfit looked ok in the opening scenes on Caprica. The scary blonde lady he keeps talking to looked too contemporary though - she's clearly a bit of a vamp though so they aught to have kept her in a red clothing theme - I seem to recall her in red a fair bit - good choice.

    Colours are important in myth - the reasons Luke and Leia first appear in white in Star Wars, and why after Luke faces Vader for the first time he next appears in black - the colour of his enemy. Also why Flash Gorden after he's revived from death dons Mings colours. In both cases its symbolic - they've face their enemy and are now ready to take them on - They've been through 'the valley of death' (to use christian mythos) and return changed. Just as Sheridan changed after Zhaha'dum.

    Remember - I've not seen passed season one of NuBSG yet.
     
  12. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    B5 had it's own contemporary touch with those loud collarless shirts that were popular in the 90s. I got the impression that that's where they thought style was trending though.
     
  13. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    You can't avoid contemporary elements seeping into a show (or movie) it will inevitably break the fourth wall a little in revealing when it was made. You can only envision the future imperfectly - it'll nearly always become what you did'nt expect. Fourteen or fifteen years later, I don't think its showing its age except perhaps in the limitations of special effects and that's the last think I'm inclined to worry about - the effects can always be remastered down the line (and really annoy everybody).
    We might be able to improve the costumes using digital editing down the line (even animating photorealisitic people to add new scenes and series).

    If you've ever seen UFO, the old ITC series, it's idea of future business suits was not a million miles away from the idea adopted by Bab5 - it was the shade of brown used for most and the cut of the suits that gave away its 70's-ness, Bab5 suits do have a tell-tale slight sharpness that gives away its 90's origins.
    Both don't make my believability slip half as much as the business suits in NuBSG tho.
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're the first I've seen to suggest Austro-Hungary. I usually associated them with France by way of Italy, but yes, either way, 18th-19th Europe.

    Anyway, colonial society in Battlestar Galactica is an obvious parallel for early 21st century America, so surely it can get off on the same excuse?

    It doesn't make a bit of sense to me that you can praise Bab5 for its 1940s influences but criticize BSG for its contemporary influences, also, if Bab5 has a whiff of wartime, BSG has, very obviously, a whiff of the war on terror. There's a lot of BSG that likes to be thinly veiled allegory for the present day, after all.
     
  15. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Perhaps you're right, but B5 did'nt wholly copy 1940's uniforms and clothing, only suggest culture had some similarities, remember the comedy duo popular in the series - Rebo and Zooty - portrayed in at one episode by Penn and Teller (and referred to in a couple of earlier ones). Very reminiscent of a a combination of Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Bros.

    Yes, I agree that there could appear parallels with the feeling of being threatened by some unidentifiable foe currently refered to as the 'War on terror'. But it could also be a parallel for the flight of the Jews from Egypt.
     
  16. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only the amount of ancient Israelites watching the show is fairly small.

    It's exactly as plausible if not moreso than B5 or Star Trek's use of foreign cultures or dead customs, but with the exact opposite intent: They use those to distance us culturally and socially from the story; while BSG is using it to give us an immediacy to the narrative.
     
  17. Teiwaz

    Teiwaz Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Use of foreign cultures or dead civilisations as a model is a quick and easy way of establishing a human or humanoid civilisation that is not the one we're living in. It fills in culture around an alien (either alien as in non-human or alien as in not western 21st century earth). It's not easy to invent a culture from scratch, there's too many variables to create.

    I did'nt find the story any more imediate or gripping merely because the Presidential staff wore 21st Century suits. I had no issue with slightly retrograde technology, nor the military uniforms, both made sense. The suit and tie dress comes down from the eighteenth century, evolving and changing with fashion, would you be as happy with the costume had the shirt lapels been huge and kipper ties in evidence (even bow ties might have been ok as they appear a little otherworldy these days).

    I'd conclude that it was a cop-out in the hopes of not chasing away people who might normally dislike Sci-fi. It's obvious the Sci-fi community liked it regardless, but did it work?
     
  18. vampgrrl

    vampgrrl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Funny thing is before BSG aired I thought I might have a problem with it, however looking back it didn't bother me at all. I felt it gave the series a more timeless appeal that allows the show to "age better", and it did give Caprica and the colonies a feel and look that is so close to Earth...its like watching a show set in the near future, not some far flung planet which I enjoyed.
     
  19. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

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    In similar vain, I never gave the clothing a second thought, they never bothered me and the near future look as you mentioned, now in hindsight, works for me as well. I wouldn't be surprised if this was somewhat the approach the creative team was taking as well. I mean, sure they could have designed new cuts of materials and the like for different clothing, but why? Making the military uniforms was time consuming and costly enough as it is, and what cuts would someone have them do? Compared to the original BSG, the costumes/clothing on this series is far, far better, I mean can you imagine Edward James Olmos strutting around in a cape (which in hindsight, might partially be the reason why he was initially so reluctant to join the cast)?
     
  20. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well...Canada, at least. :shifty:



    ;)
     

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