Thursday, 15 January 2015

10-year Anniversary of Battlestar Galactica

This image from here.

I had barely waken up this morning and was staring at my computer screen with sleepy eyes when I saw this piece of news: It's been ten years since the first episode of “Battlestar Galactica” premiered. That was like a bucket full of icy water emptied over my head. “That can't be right!” (Closely followed by “I feel old!”) But no, they weren't wrong. (And, naturally, since it's been 10 years, I'm talking about the later version, not the older original, which, I must admit, I've never watched.)

Anyway, “Battlestar Galactica” is one of my favourite TV series. But that very nearly never happened!

My husband and I lived in Canada in 2005, so we actually saw the pilot episode when it first aired. I wasn't impressed. My husband kept watching the show, but I didn't care to. Roughly a year later, we'd moved back to Finland, and the series premiered here. I decided to give it another chance. I was instantly hooked. I don't know what happened, or what had changed, but I really, really liked it.

It wasn't the concept or even the storyline(s) or the odd mixture of realism and mystery that grabbed me (though those are great, too). It was the human drama. The relationships between the characters are never easy, never uncomplicated, and that's what makes them real. The characters are pushed beyond their limits and they face moral dilemmas and situations where they're forced to choose the lesser of two (or more) evils. They make their choices and deal with the consequences... and they don't always do that admirably and heroically. But then there are those moments when they do. The first, I guess, is why we like them and root for them. The second is why we love them. We've been shown that they're like us – human, fallible; it's easy to root for them. And then, when they're shown doing the right thing, the impossible thing, or the noble thing... it's inspiring. It's encouraging.

And that's the show's main appeal for me. Even today, when I try to think of examples of three-dimensional characters, characters that have strengths and weaknesses, who struggle and fail, who face conflicts (external, internal – there's plenty of both) and who, as a result, change – for better or for worse (and in some cases, both)... the first characters that come to mind are the ones from Battlestar Galactica.


  1. Hi there,
    I guess you knew I was going to show up on this post and comment, and probably completely geek out with you, right? Because how could I not. First of all, however - you gave a huge fright ;). 10 years? That _can't_ be right, can it? Turns out that for me, it's only been nine years - because we started watching BSG when it first aired here, which was in early 2006. *phew* (But yes, I feel old now, too ;))
    Anyway - I used to watch the old 1970s BSG movie(s) and TV series as a teenager and loved it. And I was curious about the re-make, but just like you, the pilot just didn't really impress me. Which had a lot to do with being distracted with something in the kitchen for the first 20 minutes of the show, and the German dubbing certainly did not help. Then we missed the first proper episode (we are notoriously bad about watching any programme on TV regularly), and tuned in again to the second one - which proved to be the turning point and we were hooked. Completely, utterly hooked. So we bought the pilot on DVD, and waited impatiently for the subsequent DVDs, which meant we could binge watch the series whenever we liked. In fact, we just finished re-watching the entire series before Christmas :).
    Just like you, I am in awe of the awesome and realistic characters, the feeling of _realism_ throughout the whole show, despite the sci-fi and fantastical elements. It's about so much more than spaceships and space battles, it's about what it means to be human (or Cylon, as it is), it's about people making decisions and choices and having to live with the consquences, about whether the end justifies the means.
    And it touches so many issues we are also and still faced with today, without ever moralizing openly. And, most important for me, I love all the characters, and the fact that the show makes me laugh, smile, howl in frustration, and cry - it makes me feel so much, and that is the best effect story telling can have for me.
    So just like you, I love that show and it's definitely one of the best series ever, always worth re-watching and quoting to each other... :)
    Best wishes & have a wonderful weekend,
    P.S. I hope my ramblings make some kind of sense, like I said, I'm geeking out here ;)

  2. P.S.
    So say we all!

    1. Yay! There it is!!! I was waiting for someone to comment "So say we all"! I would've been hugely disappointed, had no one thought of it! :) (Well all right, my husband did come up with it, but he agreed to wait and see if anyone else does.)

      Your comment makes perfect sense to me, you put it all so well. :) And that's pretty much what I mostly want from stories, too: that they make me feel. This one certainly did. (I remember a couple of times when an episode ended in a cliffhanger and I actually shouted, "Noooo!" - it was an agonising wait for the next episode!)

      This is also one of those things (they can be movies, TV shows, books) that became more than "just a" show(/movie/book). Those include things I not only think about when not reading/watching, but things I talk about - not only occasionally and in passing - with other people (usually my husband and certain dear friends ;) ). I love it when that happens!

      Hm, I was going to say that we also rewatched it fairly recently, but now that I think about it, it must have been a couple of years ago. Where do these years go??? But I must say, the show has aged admirably. It's still just as good as it was back then.

      Have a good weekend too. :)