Hunter
 member, 1595 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 9 Jun 2020
at 23:11
Battlestar Galactica
I was reading through the May the Fourth thread, and it got me thinking about this.   Much like Star Wars and  Star Trek, it's one of those that defines the Science Fiction genre.   That said...I'll try not to ramble too much.

As a rather large fan of the original series, I was initially looking forward to the remake.   And by the end of the first season, I found the remake to be just ... unpalatable.   The original series is one of an epic conflict between good and evil: specifically a genocidal race of robots (a.k.a. the Cylons) and "Us" (a.k.a. the Humans).   While the special effects of the original series leave a lot to be desired (and it's fairly obvious that it was done on a small budget); I've found that it's easy to overlook that because of the storyline.

The storyline: here's my biggest beef with the remake.  While the special effects were better, and the spaceships actually moved in a way that physics suggest, the story fails to live up to the hype.   Why?

I'll quote from the wikipedia, because I can't remember exactly at what point that Adama (Lorne Green) says this:
quote:
The war started when the Cylon Empire sought to expand into the territory of the Hasaris, and the Human Colonies intervened on behalf of the conquered Hasaris. Due to those events, the Cylon Empire now viewed the entire human race as a target.


The sequel?  Rogue hardware run amok.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 268 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2020
at 23:46
Battlestar Galactica
I'll admit that when it first came out, I was all set to hate the remake because I have some childhood memories of watching the first with my dad, and it was special for those reasons. When I eventually gave the remake a chance (ironically because someone I played with here likened one of my characters to a character in the series), I found that I really liked it.

Sure, it's got problems, and there are entire chunks of the show that I just can't bring myself to care about (Pretty much anything that happens in Cylon-land), but overall I like it more than the original... It just took me forever to give it a chance.
Dirigible
 member, 225 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 00:21
Battlestar Galactica
The first BG fit into the political climate of America imagining itself as the world's policeman, defending small nations from Soviet aggression.

The remade BG fit into the post-9/11 political climate of Americans feverish worried about terrorism, foreign infiltrators, and what combating them would cost the country in terms of liberties and atrocities.

Both of their respective times, but for my money the remake was a little more nuanced and mature in terms of questioning that climate.

quote:
The storyline: here's my biggest beef with the remake.  While the special effects were better, and the spaceships actually moved in a way that physics suggest, the story fails to live up to the hype.   Why?


You don't answer your own question in the examples you cite. Why do you claim alien robot aggression is a better story than rogue hardware?

This message was last edited by the user at 00:22, Wed 10 June.

Hunter
 member, 1596 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 00:39
Battlestar Galactica
Yes, I'm aware that they were both made with reflections of the political climate at the time.   As one example, we find the issue of women in combat being addressed.  And I personally anticipated the remake, and had high hopes when it started, only to ended up being disappointed by it.

As for why I think the original storyline is better; it's because you're comparing stopping genocide (in the original) with runaway hardware (in the remake).  My preference is going to be for the original; and as far as I know, I'm one of the few people who prefer it.
Deacon
 member, 617 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 04:18
Battlestar Galactica
I like both, and I think that had you given the remake a FULL watch your question would have been answered. I understand what youíre saying from the perspective of quitting after the first season.

The re-make is very much NOT about hardware run amok at all. Thatís a very shallow take on a very deep pool that gets deeper with each season. There ARE reasons, there WAS a plan.

To each their own.

Both shows had plenty of excellent contributions.

I lean on the remake as having stronger story, dialog, depth, and obviously better special effects. Grittier and more relevant to the times (which is my age skew, I know).

I lean on the original as lighter, more optimistic, and less intellectually stimulating (not dumb, but less likely to keep me awake if I want to watch something scifi to fall asleep watching).

It reflects my stance on comics as well though, Silver Age vs Iron Age.
facemaker329
 member, 7209 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 06:19
Battlestar Galactica
There are things to be enjoyed about both.  The differences in tone can be compared to the differences in tone between classic fantasy literature, like LOTR, and contemporary fantasy, a la GOT.

The older stuff has very clear-cut morality.  The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad.  There are very few areas where things get murky (the closest thing in the original was the notion that Starbuck was a player, and fickle, and often irresponsible with regards to interpersonal relationships...but there was never any doubt that he was a good guy.)  LOTR, when made into a film, had a lot of significant character tweaks in several characters...most significantly, Aragorn.  In the books, there was never any question that Aragorn was going to do his duty to become the King of Gondor once again, the film makes him very reluctant to walk that road, questioning his own strength and whether he would be better than what Gondor already had.

And, you know, there are times when I WANT a simple morality tale.  I want the good guys to be good, the bad guys to be bad, and little if any gray in the matter.  But there are also times when I really want to dig into the grays, to hash out in my own mind whether it's better to do the right thing for the wrong reasons or vice versa, to see the guys who should be the hero of the story accomplish their goals in some very unheroic ways, etc.  Because much as we would like the world to be recognizably black and white, good and evil, etc, it's not.  And sometimes, it's nice to escape that reality altogether and explore a place with less cluttered views...that's why I have stuff like LOTR, the Barsoom novels, Buck Rogers, and other classic pulp-era fantasy and sci fi on my bookshelf and in my DVD collection.  Even the original Star Wars trilogy and Star Trek until most of the way through TNG fit that kind of mold.

Sometimes, I want stories that resonate with the world in which I actually live, where crooked politicians do stuff that benefits millions because that benefits them, where criminal gangs started out as ways to help poor people in their neighborhoods get by in social and economic climates that were very non-conducive to their general welfare, where people become hailed as heroes by doing some pretty unspeakable things to protect their loved ones, etc.

I've got room in my library for both the old and the new...because there are times when I feel the need for each.  Sometimes I want it to be a mental exercise, to challenge my sense of ethics and help me decide where I draw that line...and sometimes I want it to be an escape, where everybody is miles away from the line and both sides are clearly delineated.  I don't think one or the other is inherently superior...they serve totally different purposes.
Deacon
 member, 618 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 18:05
Battlestar Galactica
Fantastic articulation Facemaker329!
phoenix9lives
 member, 1003 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 20:03
Battlestar Galactica
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 6):

Definitely a well-thought out response.  i could not do better.  Truth is that I love both series for very much the same reasons you give.  When I watch a remake, I do my best not to compare them, to take each one as a wholly separate entity.  One of the things I really liked about the remake was the throwbacks to the original series.  The original Centurion standing in the museum, the Viper Mark 2 becoming the go-to fighter because of the lack of networking, the flesh-covered Cylons, Richard Hatch returning to the series as terrorist Tom Zarek.  I loved how these were brought into the show.  And I loved seeing the new versions of old characters.  How nuanced and... human they were.
DBCowboy
 member, 47 posts
 Played rpgs since about
 '81 (D&D Basic ed)
Wed 10 Jun 2020
at 20:42
Battlestar Galactica
The one thing I really appreciated about the remake was how mundane everything appeared to be.  This was just a war, man vs machine, nothing more.  From the perspective of most Humans and Cylons that was it.

But you realize by the end that there was a third party orchestrating it all.  I only vaguely remember the episodes from the original series that implies the God and Devil forces, but this was a really modern take on that.  I thought that was well done
praguepride
 member, 1623 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 15:43
Battlestar Galactica
I stand by that the first two seasons of the remake of BG are some of the best episodes of television, period. The tone, the pacing, the storyline are all really really well done.

After that the quality spikes hard as there were both RL issues (one of the main characters was heavily injured in an accident) and it was clear the writers had set up some interesting mysteries but had no idea how to actually resolve them.

It was like LOST all over again.

In the first episode with the big "cliffhanger' ending, who wrote that note? Knowing how the series ends, who the heck wrote that note?
Heath
 member, 2938 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 02:54
Battlestar Galactica
One huge difference between the two was the mythology and allegory of the original. Just like LOTR had its WWII and Catholicism allegory and Star Wars had its own mythology in space opera, WWII Fascism, and The Hidden Fortress, so too did the 1978 Battlestar Galactica emulate the allegory of the 12 Tribes of Israel (12 Colonies of Kobol, in BG's case) being scattered trying to find "Earth" (Israel) upon the destruction of Jerusalem. This leads to a very solid black and white differentiation between good and evil with the Cylons, etc. It's all a very overt metaphor of biblical (literally) proportions.

Many don't know that the show was originally pitched as a series of Bible stories set to an SF setting called "Adam's Ark."

The remake decided to downplay all of that and put it in a post 9/11 atmosphere of exploring philosophical constructs in a more militaristic and philosophically gray exploration. I liked the original back in the 70's, but I tend to like the complex thought provoking concepts of the remake now. Both have their place.
praguepride
 member, 1624 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 03:28
Battlestar Galactica
Then again it definitely goes back to its biblical roots by the end...
Zag24
 supporter, 634 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 14:22
Battlestar Galactica
In reply to Heath (msg # 11):

Fascinating!  I was in high school back in 1978-9 and was a big fan at the time, but I never picked up on that.  They clearly were not (at least in the pilot) looking to pull in Bible thumpers.  I remember being disappointed that Starbuck's love interest was, in the pilot, a legalized prostitute, but once the series started she was converted to be a Med-tech.  (This is from memory, but I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine this.)
facemaker329
 member, 7214 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 18:09
Battlestar Galactica
Yeah, if you know what to look for, the original has all kinds of religious underpinnings that were tweaked to make them more secular.  But one of the things that still endears it to me is that they didn't get so caught up in the religious side of it that it turned into blatant sermonizing.  It's still pretty obviously a morality play, at its heart, but the good guys had their blemishes, and not every episode had a clear 'this is right and this is wrong' conclusion.  That was, in my opinion, one of the places where the sequel series (yes, there was one...very short-lived) went wrong...it got very caught up in the more mystical side of things and stopped being about the 'normal people' trying to deal with very abnormal situations...
phoenix9lives
 member, 1004 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 20:39
Battlestar Galactica
Galactica 1980.  Where they first introduced flesh-covered Cylons....
Heath
 member, 2939 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Mon 15 Jun 2020
at 05:34
Battlestar Galactica
...and Galactica motorcycles. (That one is best forgotten in the annals of history.)
facemaker329
 member, 7215 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 15 Jun 2020
at 05:40
Battlestar Galactica
Yeah...I thought those were pretty cool...back when I was 11 or 12 years old...for the first couple of times I saw them...
phoenix9lives
 member, 1005 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Mon 15 Jun 2020
at 08:39
Battlestar Galactica
The motorcycles were.okay, but the change in uniform color when they came to Earth made no damned sense.
CaptainHellrazor
 member, 37 posts
Wed 17 Jun 2020
at 19:05
Battlestar Galactica

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was the wrong forum, at 19:41, Wed 17 June.