Monday 11 September 2017

SyFy celebrates 25 years with Battlestar Galactica

The SyFy channel began in 1992, but I didn't take much notice until the early part of this century.

The series that inspired this lifelong sci-fi geek to become a true believer was the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Showrunner Ronald D. Moore's tech noir spin on a camp classic from Glen A. Larson cashing in on the success of Star Wars in 1977. This was in the wake of 9/11.

In 2005 I imported a copy of the mini-series on R1 DVD. Expecting very little, I was instantly gripped by its chilling tale of humanity on the brink of extinction. All but wiped out by its sentient machine servants, the Cylons, in a quest for supremacy. A sci-fi trope that has not lost its edge in recent years.

Much was made of Starbuck's recasting as a female - years before Jodie Whittaker would takeover as Doctor Who - and Katee Sackhoff's stellar performance, alongside an amazing cast, soon put this to rest.

Tricia Helfer's iconic portrayal as Six remains a genre great. The actress would go on to voice EDI in the original Mass Effect trilogy to startling effect and move this videogamer to tears in Mass Effect 3.

The late Richard Hatch, who portrayed Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and became a childhood hero alongside Luke Skywalker and The Six Million Dollar Man, played Tom Zarek in Ronald D. Moore's lauded reboot.

Battlestar Galactica has left a lasting legacy in popular culture from The Big Bang Theory to Portlandia.

SyFy will be celebrating the channel's silver anniversary with a Battlestar Galactica marathon this month. Earlier this year the cast and crew reunited for an ATX Festival panel to reminisce about their time on the series.

Season one opener 33 remains a dramatic touchstone, a masterclass in tension, never bettered. What's your favourite episode of Battlestar Galactica? Let me know in the comments below.

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