They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

By Your Command...

I've been working my way through the 75-odd episodes of the rebuilt Battlestar Galactica on Netflix streaming late at night and sometimes while working at home during the week. While I cringe at the thought of the finale, I can't help but admire what they managed to accomplish. Not science fiction? Puh-lease. Sure it's about people, but don't insult those of us who read and write SF with characters.

Series often go through a difficult life cycle. Some shows jump the shark and become unwatchable. Original Star Trek started with poor visuals and ended with some lame scripts. Star Trek: The Next Generation started weak, but picked up as they found their space legs, though it did border on the sanctimonious at time. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine bogged down in the middle with a war that they didn't know what to do with. Babylon 5 was confusing at first and, alas, I gave up on it early -- who knew that JHS actually had a multiyear arc envisioned and that odd bits even in the first episode were seeds which wouldn't bear fruit for two or three years.

Battlestar Galactica starts strong. I remembered many of the episodes, but had no idea so many showed up early on. "33", for example, is the first regular episode after the beginning -- the frightening need to jump every 33 minutes without sleep or real maintenance was truly nightmarish. And despite a propensity to drink to excess and brutality, the quality shows kept coming.

The rewatch is aided by two things. One, is that I can watch it in HD and it's gorgeous. Two, the lack of commercials -- I know why people are willing to devour series on DVD, streaming or for old folks, VHS. (grin)

Now I am a huge fan of Edward James Olmos, dating back to Blade Runner. But there is an impressive cast all around. And they bandied about plenty of technical slang, epithets (toasters) and, of course, the smeggin' awesome all-purpose frak, which bulldozed through the sensors as easily as WTF? did.

Finished Season 3 last night, which contained the New Caprica occupation and the end of the Battlestar Pegasus, which had showed up in the middle of Season 2. I had looked to see if the movie Razor was on Netflix, but didn't see it.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that Season 4 begins with Razor. I had thought the movie had come in differently in the sequence, but this works fine. The best part of Razor, okay ONE of the best parts, is that we run across the old style Cylons. Only this time, the shiny chrome By-Your-Command Cylons can shoot straight. And of course, Admiral Cain, ably played by the troublesome Bajoran Ensign Ro Laren on ST:NG.

We used to have a joke about the old Cylon raiders -- Why do they have a crew of three? Because just as the pilot goes to shoot, the commander in the raised rear seat can kick the back of the pilot's seat in order to throw off his aim and make him miss.

I'll have more to say after the true nature of the Final Five is revealed. But I am still intrigued, even though I've seen the whole series before.

And that's the mark of a good series. And especially a good SCIENCE FICTION series.

Dr. Phil

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