Before I reluctantly decided to watch Battlestar Galactica, I thought it would be another geeky SciFi show, but then I realized it’s not about space monsters and robots (well, ok, it IS about robots) but it’s REALLY about the amazing characters. I quickly fell in love with them all and you will too. So, here are the characters and few more reasons why we love the old ship and her crew. If you think BSG is simply for major geeks, you’re frakkin’ wrong.
1. We love…Admiral Adama’s Drama. It could be with his son, the colonel, the president, or his wannabe daughter Starbuck, no matter what ship or planet, the Old Man was always drummin’ up some drama. Never one to shy from the depressing side of the human race being wiped out by angry robots, BSG can turn even a birthday celebration into a somber sob-fest. And FYI, Edward James Olmos is one of the greatest actors on TV.
2. We love…President Laura Roslin. What a hero. Stands with a Fist is now the most powerful woman in the Universe. Watching her battle it out with Gaius, the Admiral and the cylons for the safe passage and protection of her people, she makes me believe that we WILL have a woman president in my lifetime. (Of course, I also credit the series 24’s casting of a black president for the Obama election.) Roslin/Adama 2012, baby!
3. We love…Apollo and Starbuck: (Battle)Star-crossed Lovers? So what if she’s engaged to his dead brother, or if he’s her new boss, or if she can kick his ass in the boxing ring? These two hardheaded Vipor pilots were constantly shifting from saving each other’s lives to making those lives a living hell. From the beginning to the end of the series we rooted for this frakked up relationship to be resolved. I guess it just wasn’t in the (battle)stars.
4. We love…Colonel Tigh, the Cycloptic Cylon. I was never really sure if the Admiral and Tigh were ever “more than” drinking buddies…. (not that there’s anything wrong with that) But Colonel Tigh held a loyal devotion to the Old Man in spite of all odds. He’s kinda like the Samwise Gamgee of the BSG world. “I can’t carry the ship, Admiral, but I can carry you!”
5. We love…Dr. Gaius Baltar: Villian and Savior? I don’t know whether to worship this guy or punch him in the mouth…either way he is one of the greatest characters ever written for TV and well played by James Callis. Who wouldn’t want to have an imaginary friend as sexy as Number Six?
6. We love…Number Six. Sexy cylon… or sexiest cylon? It’s hard to blame Gaius for handing over the key to humanity’s destruction–have you seen her in that red dress?
7. We love…Quantum Leap Cylon, John Cavil. In my humble opinion adding Dean Stockwell to any show makes it fantastic, but I can only ever imagine him as a hologram. He is one of the most delightfully evil characters in the series–plotting against his own kind as well as the humans. What a jerk.
8. We love…Number 8. On par with Sybil, this sleeper cell cylon had the multiple personality complex of the galaxy. From Sharon to Boomer to Athena, Number 8 is the second most human-loving cylon. Number one (IMO) would be Tigh. And Helo and Athena prove that intercyborganic relationships can work.(Yes, I just made up a word.)
9. We love…The Chief. Whether leading the resistance on New Caprica or fixing up the vipors on the Battlestar launch pad, the Chief was always simple, honest and good. You could really feel for the guy who went through one of the most traumatic post-cylon self-discovery experiences of the series. And I think he’s the only on who could put up with Cally’s whining.
10. We love…Xena Warrior Cylon. Lucy Lawless is pretty much amazing in any role. As bitchy Number Three, no one would dare to mess with her, except ole grumpy pants Number One…what an evil dude. She gets all spiritual and totally gets boxed. But then they find out she holds pertinent information and gets all unboxed again. She makes the last valiant attempt at humanity by remaining behind on original Earth.
Besides the characters, here are ten more reasons we love this show:
11. We love…Musical Genius! From the Indian remix of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” to Geata’s somber singing to ease his amputation pain, BSG is full of great music. Composer Bear McCreary’s uses a range of instruments from the Chinese two stringed erhu to the Armenian wind duduck, to create a unique and eclectic musical score rivaling anything else on TV or in Hollywood.
12. We love…Tackling Modern Issues…In Space! Time magazine describes BSG as “a gripping sci-fi allegory of the war on terror, complete with monotheistic religious fundamentalists (here, genocidal cyborgs called Cylons), sleeper cells, civil-liberties crackdowns and even a prisoner-torture scandal” and according to The Guardian, “Battlestar Galactica is the only award-winning drama that dares tackle the war on terror”. The writers admit that they did not always intentionally set out to tackle these huge issues, but when in space, it’s easy to point out the atrocities of our society, right?
13. We love…Winning Webisodes! How else would we know Geata’s secret, the cylons’ plan, or where the Resistance hides their weapons from the centurions? Or what the Old man was like as a young pilot. BSG has some of the best webisodes that really give insight to the show.
14. We love…Spacey Spin-offs–besides the books, comic books, movies, and webisodes, the most exciting and awesome gift post BSG is the new series Caprica…a prequel to the story of how the cylons came about and a real insider look at exactly when the Admiral’s daddy issues started.
15. We love…Femme Power–what’s better than strong, smart, sexy women? Strong, smart, sexy women who can duplicate infinitely! On top of that, add a woman president, a woman admiral, women pilots, mechanics, and officers and you’ve got a pretty pro-femme themed series that goes to show a woman can be just as badass as any man.
16. We love…The Wondering…Am I a Cylon? Do you hear the haunting tune of Bob Dylan on a sitar? Have you ever murdered anyone in cold robot blood? Have you died and been reborn in a tub of soup on another spaceship? If you answered yes to any of these questions you might be a cylon. And if you’re not…then there is a good chance that someone else in the room is…
17. We love…Badass Space Battles. You have to admit that even for a TV show, BSG has some of the best battle scenes on screen. From the opening sequence to the final human-cylon showdown, the battles are a cross between Star Wars, Armegeddon, Black Hawk Down, and Independence Day. The effects are good and the drama is intense–all the right fixins for a great space battle.
18. We love… The Theological Tapestry. With a mix of greek gods, zodiac astrology, hindu prayers and the Book of Mormon, BSG has a rich religious undertone that entices even the staunchest atheist to consider philosophical debates about sin and redemption, holy lands and prophets, religion-based political movements, the legitimacy of the soul, and the battle between mono and polytheism.
19. We love…The Language and Culture of a Re-imagined Universe. Fictional military jargon, accents, invented terminology, turn of phrase, honorifics, borrowed words from other languages, and of course profanity make up the linguistic fabric of BSG. This re-imagined Universe also has its own arts and literature, music, government, law, and even ecosystem. George Lucas can suck it! It really makes me want to take a little pre-war vaca to the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
20. We love…The Battlestar Galactica, Herself. Pulled out of museum retirement and sent into the final battle for mankind’s existence, this old girl never let us down. She was designed to keep out the cylon technology and that she did (almost). She was an all-in-one aircraft carrier, command central, presidential office, protector of the fleet and home to heroes of the cylon wars past and present. Her final journey was the salvation of humanity. How can you not love a ship like that?
It’s still hard to say goodbye, but with all the books, movies and new TV series in the mix, I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye forever!
If you haven’t jumped on the BSG ship yet, it’s not too late! DVDs of all four seasons are available and you can download the score and songs online as well.