OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

Just finished nuBSG

POSTED BY: CLJOHNSTON108
UPDATED: Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:47
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/qHmpUo
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Friday, July 29, 2011 2:09 AM

CLJOHNSTON108


Well, I finally watched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica in it's entirety, and all I can say is... I can't believe I made it all the way through!
It was simultaneously the most awesome and the most irritating thing I've ever seen in the Space Opera genre.
Watching an average four episodes a day, there were many times I just wanted to slit my wrists afterwards. Ron Moore and his cohorts really piled on the misery relentlessly. Made me appreciate the nice mix of drama & comedy JMS had in Babylon 5.
(And if I ever hear "FRAK" one more damn time, I'm takin' a life!)
But that scene of Adama taking his final fly-around of Galactica in his Viper had me bawling.



Just really glad I finally saw it.

________________________

"Spry for a dead fella!"

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Friday, July 29, 2011 4:03 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by cljohnston108:
Well, I finally watched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica in it's entirety, and all I can say is... I can't believe I made it all the way through!
It was simultaneously the most awesome and the most irritating thing I've ever seen in the Space Opera genre.
Watching an average four episodes a day, there were many times I just wanted to slit my wrists afterwards. Ron Moore and his cohorts really piled on the misery relentlessly. Made me appreciate the nice mix of drama & comedy JMS had in Babylon 5.
(And if I ever hear "FRAK" one more damn time, I'm takin' a life!)
But that scene of Adama taking his final fly-around of Galactica in his Viper had me bawling.

Just really glad I finally saw it.




Glad you finally made it CLJ.

I really love this show and consider it one of the best shows ever made in any genre. And I like the ending with just a couple of reservations on some points.
I actually appreciated the fact that they didn't lighten the show and kept it darker and miserable. For me it heightened the reality that they were a small group of people almost constantly on the verge of being wiped out and with basically zero hope (especially in the earlier seasons) of anything changing for the better. Death would almost be a welcome release.
So many other dramas that have serious plots contain the 'comedy' or 'lighter' episodes. Usually 1 or 2 per season. That's great especially when they really work but it's nice for once not to have that and not force humour into a situation where there really wouldn't be much.

Averaging four episodes a day may have been too much for such a grim show that had very little let up and only very sparse humour. If you watch it again maybe space them out some more and watch a comedy inbetween.

I do completely agree that the constant use of 'frak' and it's variations did get very irritating and ultimately took something away from a nice work around to swearing. Much like real swear words - when used all the time they lose their power.

What were your thoughts on the ending?



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Friday, July 29, 2011 6:22 AM

STORYMARK


I also appreciated the grim tone of the show, but I watched it week to week. I imagine it could get a bit oppressive to power through them.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Friday, July 29, 2011 7:58 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by cljohnston108:
Made me appreciate the nice mix of drama & comedy JMS had in Babylon 5



I think B5 managed a pretty good balance between light and dark - its just sad that the "melodrama" style of acting made it date so quickly (that and DVD was not kind to the groundbreaking CGI). Where B5 is unique - and where BSG fell down - is that JMS really did Have A Plan and just about managed to cling to the story arc for four seasons.

In BSG, by the final half-season, they were clearly making the plot up as they went along.

However, I think there's room for the occasional downer series, and BSG delivered that in spades, along with some quite controversial stuff (I loved the New Caprica arc).

Select to view spoiler:



Half of me wanted a Blakes 7/Sopranos-style ending (it would have fit the mood): Galen kills Tori, big fight, whoops, wrecked Raptor has live nukes... blooey! I also got the impression that they were aiming to explain everything rationally in terms of Cylon technology rather than having Deus pop out of the old Machina, then changed their minds.

I think my main niggle was how happily they threw off their technology: it wouldn't have been hard to have contrived a good reason for getting rid of the fleet (a big fleet in orbit would attract any surviving bad Cylons, they could have been out of fuel and I'm pretty sure we don't have tyllium here). Personally, I'd find it easier to believe that, somewhere in Africa, there's a stash of 250k year-old high-tech artefacts that nobody has found yet than a group of people would willingly give up their technology.




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Friday, July 29, 2011 11:10 AM

LWAVES


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:

Select to view spoiler:


I think my main niggle was how happily they threw off their technology: it wouldn't have been hard to have contrived a good reason for getting rid of the fleet (a big fleet in orbit would attract any surviving bad Cylons, they could have been out of fuel and I'm pretty sure we don't have tyllium here). Personally, I'd find it easier to believe that, somewhere in Africa, there's a stash of 250k year-old high-tech artefacts that nobody has found yet than a group of people would willingly give up their technology.





I like that idea. If only they hadn't stopped digging after archeologists discovered the Stargate.



"The greatest invention ever is not the wheel. It's the second wheel." - Rich Hall

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Friday, July 29, 2011 11:47 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:
...is that JMS really did Have A Plan and just about managed to cling to the story arc for four seasons...



True, but I wonder if that's something that's even possible anymore. JMS barely pulled it off, and that was with having contingency plots in place for every character, unilateral control over the plotting, and a show that got at least a full season order each time.

These days, a show is lucky to get a guaranteed 13 episode run, and few showrunners are given that much latitude.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Friday, July 29, 2011 11:50 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:

I think my main niggle was

Select to view spoiler:


how happily they threw off their technology: it wouldn't have been hard to have contrived a good reason for getting rid of the fleet (a big fleet in orbit would attract any surviving bad Cylons, they could have been out of fuel and I'm pretty sure we don't have tyllium here). Personally, I'd find it easier to believe that, somewhere in Africa, there's a stash of 250k year-old high-tech artefacts that nobody has found yet than a group of people would willingly give up their technology.








Given that they had experience genocide at the hands of said technology, and then

Select to view spoiler:


found proof that the exact same had happened at least once before, I didn't really have too much issue with them becoming a huge society of grounded space hippies.



"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Friday, July 29, 2011 1:19 PM

CYBERSNARK


I'm more disappointed no one decided to go with the departing Cylons. That's what I would've chosen, but then I'm a life-long xenophile. Why would I want to stay among my own kind when there are alien civilizations to explore?

As much as I respect BSG for going dark, I actually didn't find it that realistic. Humans cope by making jokes. I certainly wouldn't have wanted lighthearted fun, but a bit more gallows humour and wry snark would've made it seem more real.

I'm also troubled by the trend I'm seeing in a lot of sci-fi shows (not just BSG). That post 9/11 "Us-vs-Them" has become so ingrained into our culture --I think that more than anything else is what separates BSG from B5 and the Star Treks. I saw some signs that BSG wanted to deconstruct it (with Helo, and Tigh's revelation about what he was --a Colonial Officer), but then the GrimDark reasserted itself.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011 2:03 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:

I'm also troubled by the trend I'm seeing in a lot of sci-fi shows (not just BSG). That post 9/11 "Us-vs-Them" has become so ingrained into our culture --I think that more than anything else is what separates BSG from B5 and the Star Treks.



Select to view spoiler:




I think BSG deconstructed the whole "us v. them" issue very well - it just didn't hit you round the head with the "right" answer. If anybody thought "yeah! right!" when Tigh & co sent suicide bombers against the Cylon "collaborators" then I think they missed the point. Or when they introduce #6 as a creature who will snap a baby's neck to see what will happen, then invite you to see what you think when the humans torture and rape a #6.

In trek, once the humans had teamed up with the renegade Cylons they'd all have been one big happy family: c.f. Voyager - where the fact that the crew were a mixture of Starfleet and Maquis "terrorists" was all but forgotten by episode 3, apart from the occasional self-contained episode - with BSG where the issue festers over half a season and culminates in a bloody mutiny and the execution of two major characters.

In TNG they all have a big civilized debate about whether to take a convenient opportunity to use a virus to commit genocide on the Borg and, eventually, decide not.

When a similar opportunity presents itself in BSG then hell, yes they're gonna wipe out the toasters and its left to Helo to take it upon himself to sabotage the attempt (despite the fact that even his Cylon lover is prepared to go along with it). Adama decides not to investigate - but is that because he accepts the plan was wrong or because he's weary of investigations and witch hunts?

So, generally, trek's line is "did you get that important message, kids?" where as BSG's message was always "what do you think"?. Picard is always wise - Adama and Roslyn are portrayed as out of their depth, hypocritical and prone to making stupid misjudgements.

I wouldn't lump B5 in with Trek. Trek is unashamedly utopian - B5 was dark, gritty and pessimistic in comparison. B5 was also pretty much "us vs. them" except some of "us" turned out to be "them" (Heck, it was basically Lord of the Rings + the Lensman saga with a twist).


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Saturday, July 30, 2011 4:49 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:

These days, a show is lucky to get a guaranteed 13 episode run, and few showrunners are given that much latitude.



I'm not saying everything has to be has complex and fragile as the B5 plot - you just get the feeling that some shows are really making it up as they go along. The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a prime example, which seemed to have as many plot U-turns in its short run as B5 needed in 5 years.

I mean, the BSG writers could have worked out what the Cylon's Plan was, whether the fleet would find Earth and what Earth would turn out to be etc. without committing themselves to maintaining the whole cast.

B5 was too ambitious, e.g. trying to do a Season 1 episode with a "Back to the Future" cross-over to (what I assume would have been) the very last episode.

The other thing modern series writers could do is aim for at least some closure and to tie up some subplots throughout each season. JMS actually did this. He also understood the difference between an end-of-season finale and the first half of a 90-minute story: sure, there were cliffhangers, but there was also some resolution. BSG and T:TSCC just seemed to heap on the mysteries.

If a series is likely to get canned after 13 episodes then it should make sure that the first 13 episodes tell a satisfying story (even if there is clearly more to be told). Otherwise, people will just stop tuning in to new shows.

Anyway, 10-13 eps is a better length for a story arc than 20-26. Do the writers really have 8 feature-films worth of ideas lined up?

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Saturday, July 30, 2011 8:02 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:
If a series is likely to get canned after 13 episodes then it should make sure that the first 13 episodes tell a satisfying story (even if there is clearly more to be told).


This. S'why I'm such a big fan of Japanese and British shows; they tailor the storyline to the episode order --most shows actually get an ending, which is something of a lost art in Hollywierd (I see it creeping into movies too; we get a big third-act finish and then the film just kinda stops).

Of course, NorAm broadcasters aren't completely blameless either, with the out-of-ordering, the pre-empting, and the cutting episodes that've already been bought ("cancelling" a show is not the same as "not renewing" a show).

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011 4:19 AM

DMI

Expired, forgotten, spoiled rotten.


Quote:

Originally posted by Cybersnark:
As much as I respect BSG for going dark, I actually didn't find it that realistic. Humans cope by making jokes. I certainly wouldn't have wanted lighthearted fun, but a bit more gallows humour and wry snark would've made it seem more real.



I think this is just a matter of personal taste, because in my opinion they had plenty of "gallows humor." I remember the scene where Adama says something like, "I hear they're still eating paper," and Tigh responds, "No, paper shortage," being particularly poignant.



Personally I think you can have too much of that kind of thing. Some people have that qualm with Firefly. Too many jokes.

I liked that the show got dark and depressing. It was some of the soap opera stuff with Tigh and Six and the baby that screwed up the end for me, but its still one of my favorite shows of all time. (As for final episode crying: it was

Select to view spoiler:


Laura's passing

that got me.)

-----------------------------
I pray for one last landing,
on the globe that gave me birth.
Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies
and the cool, green hills of Earth.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011 5:33 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


It is also one of my favorite shows, but I didn't care for much of the last season or parts of the finale. If I tell people about it I say there will come a point where you won't want to watch any more, but that will vary for every person. Some who don't care for SF at all will likely not make it through the pilot, others will balk at the New Caprica arc, or give up due to Helo getting a perpetual hall pass for all his shenanigans, or the up-and-down, hit-and-miss nature of how they developed Starbuck's story. A very few will watch it all and come away satisfied. It was an ambitious show, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhilarating, but rarely boring.



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Sunday, August 21, 2011 10:31 PM

DJD


BSG is far and away my favourite sci fi show along side Firefly. No other sci fi show gets close to these two for me. I grew up on Dr Who in the 70s and lived for that show, but the new version does nothing for me.

I found plenty of humour in BSG although some episodes were brutal (reminding me of some episodes of Band of Brothers in that respect). I felt emotionally exhausted after them. Great acting and a great script throughout. Very different to firefly but I loved it.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:47 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
It was an ambitious show, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhilarating, but rarely boring.

I must agree here.
But I am too severe a fan of the original to fully embrace its dark tones.
Glad it was made & that so many really like it, though. Awesome FX....


The laughing Chrisisall


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