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Overall Rating
4.56

Awesome63.89%
Worth A Look: 33.33%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.78%

1 review, 30 user ratings


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Battlestar Galactica (2003)
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by Brian McKay

"I loved it as a kid . . . Surprisingly, this remake did not rape that love"
4 stars

It’s time for another installment of true geek confessions, folks. I admit it; I loved the short-lived 1978-79 series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA as a kid. Sure, it was mostly a network’s attempt to ride the STAR WARS gravy train, with the primary focus being on lots and lots of pretty lasers and things blowing up, not to mention a slew of subtle references to Mormonism, courtesy of screenwriter Glen A. Larson. But it was a fun show for its time, as it chronicled a rag-tag fleet of humans trying to escape from their robotic enemies, the Cylons.

When I first heard details about the Sci-Fi channel’s miniseries makeover of the old series, I was more than a little skeptical. Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) and his son (Jamie Bamber) hate each other? Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan) is a cranky old alcoholic white guy? Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), formerly a cigar-chomping womanizer, is now a WOMAN? Boomer (Grace Park) is now a cute Asian girl? (well, that’s not such a bad change). And worst of all, no Athena? (originally played by Maren Jensen – one of the hottest babes of the 70’s or any other decade).

But I went into it with an open mind, hoping they wouldn’t screw it up too badly. Imagine my surprise when they didn’t. As expected, the visual eye candy is about a hundred times better than the old show, but the story and performances are what really make this miniseries a surprisingly respectable remake. Olmos gives a particularly strong portrayal of the Commander, and the miniseries retains enough references to the original series that it should please all but the most jaded and nerdy of fanboys.

It is Forty years after a war between Humans and Cylons (which were created long ago by humans to be servants), and forty years since the Cylons have been heard from. The twelve colonies of humanity have kept up a token defense force, and their oldest Battlestar, the Galactica, is scheduled to be retired and converted into a military museum. The Battlestar is practically a relic in all respects, right down to its lack of a centralized computer network – and the Commander insists on keeping it that way, knowing that a network can be hacked. When the Cylons spring a surprise attack by hacking into the Colonial defense network and crippling every other vessel in the fleet, the Galactica becomes the only defense that stands between the Cylon hoardes and the motley fleet of surviving civilian ships.

As is appropriate for this more jaded era, the story is much more grim and edgy, without the standard happy endings usually found at the end of the old T.V. episodes. Space battles are far less frequent, but much more exciting (and unlike the old series, they actually had enough of a budget so that they didn’t have to recycle the same dogfight footage every twenty minutes). The supporting cast is surprisingly watch-worthy, and even the wooden Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves) has her moments as the Secretary of Education who becomes the de facto President when most of the Colonial government is killed off (if only she could wipe that annoying smile/smirk/grimace/whatever that expression on her face half the time is).

There are a few annoying subplots, like the one involving the Cylon sexpot known as "Number 6" (Tricia Helfer). She looks just like a human . . . a very hot human, so that she can seduce the semi-traitorous Doctor Baltar (James Callis). But while this particular story arc gets a bit ludicrous at times, at least the Baltar character is more interesting and three-dimensional than his hammy predecessor, played by John Colicos in the original series.

At present there is no news about whether there are plans for a regular series (although the miniseries is so open-ended that it certainly seems like a possibility), but rest assured the Sci-Fi channel will be cranking out the miniseries DVD soon enough. If Sci-Fi can maintain the quality of the miniseries, however, then it would certainly be worth checking out on a weekly basis. Now if I can just get used to Starbuck being a girl . . .

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8571&reviewer=258
originally posted: 01/29/04 11:10:09
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User Comments

3/16/10 LP Quagmire A Bonanza of entertainment! Lorne Greene was amazing in this!!! 5 stars
3/01/09 Alex the best series on television.. for the next 3 weeks 5 stars
12/09/08 edward brilliant just brilliant 5 stars
1/07/08 twking The best SCI-FI show of all times! 5 stars
4/28/06 mckrob loved it !! 5 stars
1/11/06 Chris mankey Very cool! Like it alot. Much smarter and better written than the original! 5 stars
8/20/05 Sara B. Surprisingly good, considering where the initial material came from. Good for sci-fi geeks. 4 stars
1/14/05 Aaron Smith This is great science fiction! 5 stars
1/08/05 George This is some of the best sci-fi I've seen in years. 5 stars
12/21/04 Rosa Lui Amazing 5 stars
8/01/04 E Niles A sophisticated and edgy treatment that has some wonderfully subtle story arc's. 5 stars
7/20/04 mariusz cool! 5 stars
7/08/04 Dave Renfrew Better than anticipated, more involved storyline, good character development - worth watchi 4 stars
5/07/04 paul munns excellant film. liked the original but this is ten times better. 5 stars
4/27/04 Kyle I' only watched maybe one episode of the original BG, but still LOVED the miniseries! 5 stars
4/14/04 dan great remake,m,,,,,want more.... must make another 5 stars
4/01/04 IndigoShadow Totaly awesome! 5 stars
3/30/04 snow better than star wars 5 stars
3/12/04 Nick Like others, very pleasantly surprised! 4 stars
3/08/04 Moses "You talkin\' to me?" Roth Yes... 5 stars
3/02/04 itzhakts I loved the original as a kid. As an adult, I love the new version. 5 stars
2/23/04 Kevin Very Enjoyable 5 stars
2/23/04 obliter8 fantastic remake, make the series! 5 stars
2/23/04 Ian Bell More please 5 stars
2/22/04 Dooby Excellent Remake 5 stars
2/18/04 Pitch Good 4 stars
2/15/04 Adam Could have had a bit more grit - like Alien. 4 stars
2/11/04 Pat and Jay When's the TV series?? we loved it 5 stars
2/02/04 Bernard Higham Surprisingly good...so much so I made me realise how corny the original was! 4 stars
1/30/04 chumbaflumba crap 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  08-Nov-2003 (PG-13)

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