Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries

Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries


Reviewed by: Stephen Carty

It is 40 years after a bloody war between humans and the artificially intelligent cyborgs they created called Cylons. The machines return with plans of anihilation. However, since they now appear human, one designated as number six (Tricia Helfer) has used genius Dr Gaius Baltar (James Callis) to begin an attack which wipes out most of mankind. Thankfully, the nearly-decommissioned Battlestar Galactica survives and Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) decides that escape is the best chance for the human race to survive.

While re-booting a Seventies sci-fi show that most modern audiences view as naff might not sound like the greatest idea, but writer/producer Ronald D Moore has made a smart choice. Playing like a three-hour backdoor pilot, Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries acts as a perfect springboard to re-imagine the show and serves as stark evidence that this will be a very different proposition from the cheesy original.

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Yes, Moore wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space 9 and Voyager, but here we get a vision that is dark, uncompromising, realistic and – above all – adult. More concerned with the nature of humanity and internal politics than it is prosthetic aliens or silly space battles (although there are a few brief skirmishes), this sets the stage for a potentially intriguing show where we need to pay attention to the bigger picture unfolding. Plus, if Helfer continues to wander round in that red dress then it’s all good.

As far as the characters go, they’re all well-rendered and adequately portrayed at worst. Standing out, journeyman Olmos has charisma and presence as the intense-eyed Commander Adama, Mary McDonnell brings weight to her de-facto President and Katee Sackhoff does a lot despite Starbuck being pretty un-likeable (and not Dirk Benedict). In addition, Callis’ complex Gaius Baltar is a cult-figure waiting to happen.

Though it’ll be written off by your average viewer as geeky spaceships fighting monsters, Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries is complex, well-written and intelligent science-fiction. Let’s just hope the actual series is just as frackin’ cool.

Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2009
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Humans flee to escape anihilation at the hands of the Cylons.
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Director: Michael Rymer

Writer: Glen A. Larson, Ronald D. Moore

Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Callum Keith Rennie, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Matthew Bennett

Year: 2003

Runtime: 180 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US, Canada


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