As an avid sci-fi fan, for some reason the new series of Battlestar Galactica (2004-2008) passed me by.
The original 80s series wasn’t up to much, as is the problem with most, tv/film SF. You really have to sort the wheat from the chaff to find science fiction with any depth, let alone a plot. Boy, was I surprised by this Battlestar Galactica series.
Let’s see: you have well thought out characters, a great story arc and the brilliant use of a song by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, as a plot device.
The journey through the series is like a mild acid trip, a clever use of flash backs, makes the seemingly ordinary (sometimes traumatic) events in the lives of some of the crew (before their flight aboard Galatica) start to take on a slowly growing importance.
There are manic twists and turns, with periodic revelations that in other circumstances would just seem daft, but in this context worked perfectly.The background music, especially the evolving and mutating riff from ‘All along the watchtower’ was beautifully done.
What of the acting? The late, great, Oliver Reed was asked, during a TV interview if acting was easy. He challenged the interviewer to deliver the line ‘ my kingdom for a horse’, with all the gravitas and emotional intensity required, so that the studio audience would feel his pain- and not to laugh. The actors did good.
What can I say? The ending triple episode ‘Daybreak’ (Series 4 episodes 18-20) was a triumph of a style of directing reminiscent of the original Prisoner series from the 60s and some of Kubric’s work. This is religious mysticism on a wide screen scale.
I felt worn out as the ending credits rolled, as if I had been on some sort of journey inside myself-what a bizarre but beautiful series.