In only five episodes Battlestar Galactica established itself as not only the best Science Fiction show on television but one of the best shows on television bar none.
In a landscape dominated by cops and lawyer shows Galactica is one of the few shows offering a fresh alternative to network rehashes and spinoffs. For the first time in a long time the writers and producers of Galactica are taking the genre seriously and telling real stories with real consequences.
Science Fiction is oddly treated with distain by so many people who would rather watch pure infomercials like American Idol rather then appear the slightest bit dorky by watching Sci-Fi.
The first incarnation of Galactica was pretty much crap in my opinion. It was rushed, poorly thought out and cheaply executed. It was originally a three-episode mini-series they stretched into an ongoing show without a whole lot of development.
This time around it was in development for more then two years and the work shows. The men behind it are Ronald Moore and David Eick. Moore is an ex-Star Trek writer who lost battles for better story lines and more dramatic situations on the dross that was Voyager. They’ve crafted something really cool that we haven’t seen in a long, long time – dramatic science fiction that takes itself seriously.
What I really love about this series is that it doesn’t let the characters off the hook. They don’t have a lot of resources and they’re forced to make difficult decisions. When MASH was at its best it never let the viewers forget that these characters are in a war and war sucks. Galactica has that same feel to it.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, the Sci-Fi Channel is running a complete re-airing of season one tonight. The “Chain Reaction” starts at seven and goes until midnight. If you like science fiction, or even just good storytelling, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re anything like me you won’t be able to turn the channel.