Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series

Humans create Cylons.

Cylons destroy most of humanity in a nuclear holocaust.

The survivors run from the Cylons in a creaky old spaceship, looking for the fabled planet Earth.

It’s funny, but for as complex a show as it often is, Battlestar Galactica can still be boiled down to the bare bones with those three sentences. Probably the greatest triumph of the series, though, is that it’s built around the two topics which are considered taboo for cocktail parties and dinner conversation: religion and politics. It’s entirely possible that such a series could only be successful under the banner of science fiction, and yet Galactica only uses the sci-fi label as a ruse to tell the kind of stories it wants to tell. Read between the lines: the show really isn’t like any other TV science fiction that’s come before it.

Of course, devotees of the original 1978 incarnation would be all too happy to explain how, without the groundwork Glen Larson laid, Ron Moore’s new version never could have existed. They may be right, but none of that would change the fact that, even as a Star Wars lovin’ kid, I always hated the ‘70s version. Even though it only lasted one season, it felt like it was on forever, a perception likely exacerbated by the Gods-awful Galactica 1980 series which followed it for a half a season. Somewhere out there, no doubt, there’s a kid who had the exact same reaction to the new version of the series, but that’s not because it’s bad. It’s because this isn’t a show for kids. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone under the age of 12 finding much of anything to enjoy about it. The stench of the original series stuck with me so thoroughly in my adult life, however, that it wasn’t until the second season was well under way that I broke down and gave the remake/reimagining/rehash a chance on DVD – mostly because it had been recommended to me over and over, and I figured I ought to give it a chance. Obviously, this anecdote has a predictable outcome: the show was actually good. No, it was better than good: it felt transcendent. Much of my reaction was due to watching it on DVD, and now that the entire thing is available in one massive package, you too can experience it on DVD or Blu-ray, which is by far the best way to imbibe in this show’s wares.

Read the rest of this DVD/Blu-ray review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.