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Fun Friday–A Battlestar Galactica Top 5 List

Friday, March 20, 2009


For those of you not hooked on the landmark SciFi Channel series Battlestar Galactica, it’s a reimagining (not a remake) of the popular, but short-lived, series from 1978. And it ends tonight after four long, harrowing seasons. (And I say harrowing after having watched the first three seasons on DVD, not strung out over three years the way everyone else has.) So I thought I’d pay a little tribute to this show that’s not only broken ground, but has raised questions about government and politics and the human race in a way no other show has. (Beware: if you haven’t watched the full series, there are spoilers contained below.)

5. Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama. While Jamie Bamber looks nothing like Edward James Olmos, who plays his father, Jamie shocked me in this role. Up until I watched BSG, the only role I’d ever seen him in was as Lt. Archie Kennedy, second-fiddle to Horatio in the Hornblower movies. Even though he got to sacrifice himself for Horatio in the Mutiny/Retribution “miniseries” (so my beloved Paul McGann’s character of William Bush could take over the position as best friend), I never saw much depth to Jamie’s acting. As Lee Adama, though, going from a hot-shot fighter pilot to legal assistant in the trial-of-the-galaxy to representative on the quorum to acting president, this role has not only pushed his ability to maintain an American accent, but it’s pushed him as an actor to show many different facets of his acting ability to be able to believably pull off the role.

4. Religion. Because of the experience of watching the Star Trek shows for so many years, I’ve gotten used to space-bound science-fiction shows either ignoring religion completely or giving it a nod and a wink by showing that only backwards, less-sophisticated cultures still believe in deities of any kind. In BSG, though, religion plays a major role in the storyline—it is the prophesies in their religious book that drive them on the search for Earth and the Thirteenth Tribe. There is also the controversy that arises between the human belief in the gods of Kobol (the Greek Pantheon, as a matter of fact) and the Cylon belief in only one god, very similar to Christianity. And once we learn that the Thirteenth Tribe was actually a tribe of Cylons, who settled on Earth, this split in beliefs makes very interesting sense. The belief in one god begins to take root in the subculture of the human race as well and begins to make a significant commentary on the split in the society—the haves and the have-nots—within the fleet.

3. Earth. While I hated it when it happened, as the end of the first half of the fourth season, the fact that Earth ended up not being the place of salvation for the fleet, that it’s a decimated wasteland proving that “all this has happened before, it will all happen again,” it served to add yet another layer of pathos to a show already laden with it. It’s also a great feat of storytelling—to take the characters (and the audience) to a state of euphoria when they finally arrive at Earth, believing all will now be well, and then to tear the rug out from under them.

2. Tahmoh Penikett as Karl “Helo” Agathon and Michael Trucco as Sam Anders. You knew I had to have eye-candy on this list! But even though I admire these two actors for their handsome faces and toned bodies, I also really enjoy the characters of Helo and Sam—especially once Sam broke free from Cara and discovered he’s a Cylon. I first began to admire Helo when he gave up his seat and stayed on Caprica so that Gaius Baltar could be saved, then spent months on the planet hiding from the Cylons and trying to escape, finally saving not only himself and “Sharon” but Starbuck as well. I know some viewers have lost their affinity for Helo over the seasons, but he’s remained one of my favorite characters. With Sam, once he lost the cockiness that he had as a freedom fighter on Caprica, once he got over Cara, he became an interesting character—now more than ever, since he appears to now be a key to not only what happened to the final five in the past, but to what can save our intrepid band of survivors now.

1. Laura Roslin and Bill Adama’s Romance. Two people isolated from the rest of their society by the necessities of their roles of leadership. Of course they’re perfect for each other. Though there have been plenty of other romance storylines in this show, this was the one that the writers not only took their time with, but built it up to such a point that by the time Laura finally admitted to herself that she was in love with Bill, it was an emotional release not just for the characters but for the audience when Laura finally said “I love you” to him. And he, of course, in his Han-Soloish way replied, “About time.” Perfect.

  1. Friday, March 20, 2009 2:38 pm

    I’ve seen maybe one or two episodes of the new Battlestar Galactica. I wasn’t impressed with the show at all… but I keep reading reviews from people that I respect and/or enjoy the same shows who seem to love it (they are coming out of the woodwork with the show ending).

    I’m thinking I may have to rent the DVD’s and see from the begining if I like it versus the random eps I saw in the middle of its run.


  2. Friday, March 20, 2009 2:51 pm

    Yeah, don’t judge it by episodes in the middle. I almost gave up on it in the middle because it got so frustrating (in fact, these final ten eps have been extremely frustrating) but the characters are so well acted and the stories, for the most part, are well written that it sucks you in enough that you kind of have to stick with it just to find out how it all works out in the end.


  3. Saturday, March 21, 2009 8:47 am

    Hi Kaye~ Sorry I haven’t seen the show, but it sounds interesting. (My hubby and oldest son are Trekkies.) Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the writing advice you give on your blog, and in appreciation I’m giving you a blog award if you’re interested.



  4. Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:46 pm

    Hey, Kaye,

    I linked to you on my website. Let me know if you don’t want that! And, if you have a tag line, let me know that, too.


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