25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
One of the best SciFi shows in a long time,
By A Customer
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This review is from: Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
People shouldn't expect this to be the original series. It isn't, and it isn't supposed to be. Personally, I think it's way better
The original had an awesome premise, but at best it only paid lipservice to it. Beyond that it's a cheesy space opera with little to no depth.
The re-interpretation (I prefer that term to "remake") keeps the basic premise of the destruction of mankind and the groundwork of the characters, but gets rid of things that didn't work or are outdated like tin-can cylons, 2-dimensional heroes, robot dogs or western planets
Instead it's more of a realistic drama that just happens to be set in space, and focuses on things like politics, resource shortages, paranoia or religion.
The religion angle is new and very interesting, in that in contrasts the human polytheism ("Lords of Kobol") with Cylon monotheism (just "God"), and also serves as a parellel to modern day religious extremism.
This time I really got the impression of seeing the show about the survival of the last tiny remants of mankind - a mere 50000 people.
As said the characters are no longer flat archetypes, but complex, fallible people.
Apollo and his father sometimes quarrel over the death of of his brother Zek, whom he plays Cmd. Adama for. Starbuck is also entangled in this. Starbuck in turn has an authority problem, which annoys Col. Tigh, who is potrayed as alcoholic.
But inbetween that there are also many scenes of friendship and loyality.
Speaking of Starbuck as a woman. So what? I don't really care. She is a great character in her on right. Maybe a bit too manly at first, but she settles into the role nicely, and also has her weaknesses.
The acting is top notch, especially by James Olmos as Commander Adama (just watch "Act of Contrition")
Action doesn't come too short either. Rarely has space combat been so visually interesting.
The handheld pseudo-documentary shakeycam from the liveaction scenes, continues here, so rapid camer movements can either overshoot their target or remain out of focus shortly.
Gone are the lasers that just explode in space. Now the spaceships shoot with ballistic projectiles, missiles and nuclear weapons. Science Fiction doesn't need - now sometimes cliched - energy weapons, when the kinetic energy of a fast bullet can also do great damage
Musically the new show boasts of variety. While I like the old orchestral score, it also repetetive and - when looking at other shows - overdone.
Now we have an Enya-like ballad (really a prayer) sung in sanscrit in the haunting opening theme, or African and Japanese drums the space combat scenes.
Between that scores ranging from irish music in "Hands of God" to beautiful classical symphony in "Kobol's Last Gleaming".
Definitely a show to be recommended to both fans of SciFi (if they can be openminded enough), but also straight drama