Tuesday, 4 January 2005

By the Lords of Kobol!

The notion of Sky's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica was, initially, met with derision. Until I started watching S1 (currently airing in the UK ahead of its US debut) and was delighted to discover that the series owes more to the paranoia of the X-Files (Cylons replacing Colonials) and the Vietnam analogy Space: Above and Beyond than its namesake (not dismissing S1).

The Cylons are no longer a cyber-reptilian race (as described in the 1978 Grandreams annual), but are robotic slaves that rebelled and overthrew their human masters - now the Cylon war machine relentlessly pursues the embattled survivors across the galaxy (as in the original premise). The CGI is superlative for episodic television, and the dogfights ape the cinematography of Apocalypse Now (see also Star Wars: Attack of the Clones).

Not all is perfect in this brave new world. Human actors replacing the colourful Cylon variants of the original is too convenient and unimaginative. And the CGI Cylon Centurions are cumbersome a la the Sandtroopers in Star Wars: A New Hope (Special Edition and DVD release).

As I missed the mini-series* and opening episodes of S1, it remains to be seen if the Cylon Imperious Leader has transferred to the new format (albeit in a radically different guise, for example as a super computer along the lines of Skynet)!

*I may checkout the R1 DVD release and post a review in the future.