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Reflecting on BattleStar Galactica After Season One.
By Bob Hubbard

NOTE: This contains possible spoilers for the first season. If you have not seen it, and wish to be surprised, you may want to watch it first.

Reflecting on BattleStar Galactica After Season One.
By Bob Hubbard

When this “Reimagining” was announced, and the ‘vision’ described, many fans including myself were shocked. We ranted, boycotted and in general did all the things fans do when they love something dearly and aren’t going to get it.

We screamed about the changes, especially the sex changes. The uniforms weren’t the ones we’d come to love. The insignia was different, so were the ships, the technology, everything.

We swore we didn’t want it. Sci Fi did it anyway. And we watched it.

I must admit, I wasn’t that impressed with the “Mini”. It was slow, dragging at times. But, it was enough to get 13 episodes done.

In the original, it was hard to tell just how much time had passed between episodes, or even how long a single episode lasted.

The Ron Moore version solved that, with regular flashbacks to Caprica, and stranded pilot Helo. While many people don’t care for that story arc, it does help answer, in part, the question of what happened to the home worlds after the attack. There are many story arcs that can be written from that point. Sure, most humans are dead, killed by radiation. But, certainly there are some survivors. Military left behind, survivalist nuts in their stocked bomb shelters. We have these today in our own world. With how similar the two are designed, there must certainly have been some in their world too.

Another complaint has been the clothing. The original Galactica toyed with Egyptian, Roman and Greek clothing. While this makes for a nice “fantasy” world, the reality is that the average person has not worn a toga or robe as daily outer wear in centuries. Why would they in the future? This has always been a point of “disbelief” when watching other “universes” like Star Wars as well. RM Galactica takes our current “wardrobe”, nudges it just a bit, and “brings it home”. These aren’t aliens, these are our cousins. Sure, the Headress helmets were cool, but, they simply weren’t practical., especially in the revamped technology of this series.

The tech is another complaint. No lasers here. They use “bullets”. That phrase got a lot of flack when it was used in the mini. But, why? The bullet as we know it today has been under development for over 300 years. Todays combat soldier is not shooting the same gun or ammunition as his ancestors did. The old “powder and shot” has given way to todays “caseless” ammunition. It’s entirely possible that while they use the term “bullet”, it’s meaning is far removed from our concept. Caseless, powderless, is it propelled by magnetism, high velocity gas, etc? Sure laser swords and blaster bolts are “cool”. But, so can be the alternatives.

Ok, so I will digress here. The old Galactica just looked cooler. This one lacks the grace of the old. I do understand the changes, but, it’ll take some time for it to grow on me. I would love to have seen the newer battlestars to compare against. This brings me to the next point…


Some fans are very vocal over their dislike of the newer Mark VII type vipers. Some hate the minor restyling of the originals into the Mark II’s. Personally, I like them both. In the original series it was hinted that there were other types of fighters, but we really didn’t see it. Here, we can look at several years of evolution and thinking. There are few Mark VII’s left, the majority of the Galacticas squadrons are currently the restored Mark II’s. What they do as they continue to lose ships will be interesting. While the Mark VII’s are the “state of the art”, the premise seems to be that they are an “ace pilots” ship, requiring one to be the very best. The older Mark II’s are a simpler and possibly easier to build design, lacking the “high tech” of the newer Mark VII’s.

This brings me to a look at the characters.

It is inevitable that we fans will compare these new portrayals to the characters we grew up with. We must not. It is too easy to look at things and say “Well, StarBuck wouldn’t do that.” That’s right, Dirks StarBuck wouldn’t, but Katie’s is a totally different character.

Here is a short look at both the old and the new.

In the original, Adama was the commander of the flagship. He was a leading member of the ruling body, a religious man with a close family, all seasoned warriors, except for Zac who was fresh out of the academy. A very fatherly figure, he was Ben Cartright in space.

In the RM version, we find a man who is career military. A decorated veteran about to retire. His son Apolo blames him for Zac’s death, he is divorced, probably over the long separation and the family tragedy. While a respected commander, he appears past his prime. Only as the series progresses do we begin to see the leader he was, and the depth of his love for his family show through.

In the original, Tigh was a well respected, stern, man. An able tactician, he held the respect of the crew.

In the RM version, Tigh is a broken man. His wife’s cheating and scheming drove him to the bottle, which sucked him down. He most likely only still has a career due to the influence of his friend Adama. We see glimmers of the able man he was, but the fall he took was long, and it will take time to regain the respect and trust his position demands.

In the original, Apollo is the Strike Commander. A seasoned veteran, he is the senior pilot on Galactica. He enjoys a warm relationship with his family. Mostly a “by the book” person he occasionally lets go, but strives to be a good officer.

Reimagined, Apollo has few of the qualities we remember. He is an able pilot, but holds a hatred for his father who he blames for his brothers death. He was on Galactica by chance during the attack, and only survived because he was flying his fathers old Mark II. He becomes head pilot not due to his abilities, but because he is the most senior surviving pilot on Galactica. As the season progresses, he begins to finally come to terms with his brothers death, and discovers the true depth of his fathers love and concern.

Fans of the original fondly recall the womanizing, carefree portrayal of Dirk’s. A girl in every port, as long as the port had a card game or a bar. Starbuck was the crazy one, willing to take great chances and able to pull it off because he’s one of the best pilots in the fleet. Adama looks on Starbuck as a son, though one he worries a bit more about at times.

Reimagined, Starbuck changed a lot. Now female, StarBuck still a hot pilot who loves a cigar and a card game. This Starbuck however is darker, more disturbed. Haunted by the past, and her own need to prove herself, she has been repeatedly passed up for promotion. In all likelihood, she should be CAG, but lacks the rank from constantly butting heads with Tigh. Looked upon as a daughter by Adama, this is probably a large reason why she is still in the military.

Similar comparisons can be made of others. Boomer, Baltar, etc. We can lament the missing Athena and Cassiopia, and applaud the thankfully short Boxey segments, but the fact remains. This is a different show.

The premise that the Cylons were mad by man, lost a war, left and came back has been bitched about loudly. But, in the end, is it any less believably than an ancient race of lizards who were destroyed by their robots?

There are many plot possibilities to be considered here.
- Why are there only 12 models of Cylon?
- Why does their technology seem just a bit more advanced than the humans?
- What is the foundation of Cylon religion?
- Do Cylons really transport their conscience elsewhere when their bodies die?
- Why do their backs glow while having sex? (And why did Helo, Tyrol and Baltar never notice?)
- Are the Cylons clones, a hive mind, cyborgs, “homo Superioe”, etc?
- Where is their homeworld?
- etc

There are many questions still to be answered.

- What happens to Boomer now that she’s been exposed as a Cylon?
- Will Helo and Boomer2 (who is pregnant) return to Galactica with StarBuck?
- Will she even return now that her whole world has been shattered?
- Will Adama die?
- What will happen with the growing sexual tension between Apollo and Starbuck?
- What happens to the government now that the president is in the brig, and the vp missing on Kobol?

We have now seen 13 episodes, which only cover a 2 month time line. We are only in the first few chapters of a huge novel. Time will tell if the reimagining was truly a good thing, but for now, I, and many others are excitedly waiting for season two.


Bob Hubbard also known on various on-line forums as "Silent" Bob, and just "Kaith", is a long time sci-fi fan. Currently head of the I.K.V. Devisior, an independant science fiction, anime and fantasy fan club, he has held positions with numerous other groups. He has organized activities at Media Play and Barnes & Nobel, worked con security, participated in club challenges for charities, and participated in masquerades, art shows and model shows at several Toronto conventions.
You can reach Bob at his website,

Article posted on: | Toronto Trek BBS | BattleStar Galactica Fleet Forums


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