Battlestar Galactica official poster

Adventures in Binging: ‘Battlestar Galactica’

Recently, I decided it was finally time for me to watch Battlestar Galactica. And it was great. I’d heard of the series before and I’m a huge Tricia Helfer fan (which ultimately happened after watching her as Mum/Charlotte in Lucifer). The show first came out in 2003 as a two-part mini-series and was then extended into a full-fledged series in 2004. Then it went on to last for four seasons total. In addition to that, they have multiple movies as well as a couple of short-lived spin-off series. And the show is technically a remake of a show, which originally aired in the late 70s. So, to say there’s a lot of content is an understatement. So much so that I still haven’t watched all of them.

The Basics

(from left) Colonel Tigh (played by Michael Hogan), President Roslin (played by Mary McDonnell), Admiral Adama (played by Edward James Olmos), Lee Adama (played by Jamie Bamber), Gaius Baltar (played by James Callis), Starbuck (played by Katee Sackhoff), Number 6 (played by Tricia Helfer), Helo (played by Tahmoh Penikett, and Boomer/Athena (played by Grace Park)

For anyone who is unfamiliar, Battlestar Galactica tells the story of a civil war between humans and Cylons. These Cylons are humanoid robots who look like, feel like, and even have the same emotional capacity as a human being. They do, however, have multiple copies of each model and can’t die. Instead, their consciousness is uploaded into an identical body in what’s called a resurrection ship. There’s a total of 12 Cylon models and multiple incarnations of the first eight, with the remaining “final five”. The “final five” were a part of the original 13th colony, Earth, which isn’t discovered until much later.

The story starts when the Cylons nuke all 12 of the colonies. This leaves the planets uninhabitable due to the immense amount of radiation. Everyone that survives the initial attack is forced to board a ship, AKA Battlestar Galactica (and Battlestar Pegasus later on) to search for a new home, which they decide is going to be Earth. Once they find it. There, a society forms. Captain, later turned Admiral, Adama, and President Laura Roslin sit at the top of the hierarchical ladder. They, along with their constituents, have to figure out where to go from there. Like any society, it changes as time goes on in the way they govern themselves. In addition to that, their attitudes change towards the Cylons, who were initially their enemies.

Final Thoughts

The cast of Battlestar Galactica reunited at the ATX festival in 2017. (from left) James Callis, Mary McDonnell, Grace Park, Edward James Olmos, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Trucco, and Ron Moore (the show's creator and showrunner).

The show is, at the very least, complex. The characters are enriching as some have some surprising development over the years. Amidst all of the complications, the show is still rooted in a lot of very universal topics. Racism, religion, and terrorism are just a few out of many more topics they discuss. The threat of survival is the center of it all because the story started with tragedy. Quite frankly, it may sound like too much to take on, but it’s all handled really well. At the end of the day, it’s a science fiction show so the substantial differences between their world and ours are to be expected. But take away the imaginary space jargon and isn’t all that different from our world.

You (as well as the characters on the show later on) realize that Cylons are much more than just machines; they’re a race in their own right. After that stereotype is pushed aside, the war between the two is really just rooted in racism. Enemies eventually become allies and their differences in religion become celebrated as opposed to ostracized. All initial suspicions are pushed aside when survival for humans and Cylons alike becomes the focus. The ensemble cast is incredible, each character (including different Cylon copies) has its own unique story. All of which was intelligently written. Battlestar Galactica not only comes in multiple formats, but the story also has a lot of moving parts. But as long as you’re paying attention while you’re watching the show, it’s not too hard to follow. It’s no wonder that it has a huge fan base. Which now evidently, includes me.

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