As much as I enjoy Heroes and Lost, my favourite show on TV right now is Battlestar Galactica. It returns to TV on Friday night with the season premiere. Battlestar Galactica is not only great Science Fiction, it’s just great television.
It’s the first series since Buffy and Angel went off the air where I really got invested in the characters, and it’s got more twists and turns than Lost and Heroes combined.
What originally hooked me on the show was the way the Vipers flew in space, they had true 360 degree rotation, and flew in 3D space, rather than in 2D like terrestrial aircraft would fly. The principles of “how would this work if it were really happen” don’t just end with the ships though, it’s applied across the entire series. How would the world work if there were only 49,000 survivors? How would the survivors react when their highest ranking elected official is the minister of agriculture? How would you react if anyone could be the enemy? How does humanity band together when they are on the verge of extinction? What happens when you’re tired of running away?
What could happen when the singularity is a reality?
In addition to the “what if’s”, there are also fantastically tragic characters who all fall into specific archetypes, and great relationships between the characters.
Adama and Apollo, the father and son who alternately love and hate each other.
Tigh and Starbuck, a similar dynamic to Apollo and Adama, but one with real signs of loathing beneath it.
Six and Baltar, now that’s just screwy.
There’s a preview for season 4 on Wired.com right now “Cylon Mania Blazes back in Battlestar Galactica“. The Battlestar Galactica explainer will give you the highlights of what you need to know from the last three seasons. All you really need to know you can find out from watching the last episode of each season.
Season 1: Crew member shoots Admiral Adama in the chest.
Season 2: Galactica finds and settles New Caprica. Last scene of the show, Cylons land and do the old “take me to your leader” routine, where Dr. Gaius Baltar is now the president. It’s an “oh shit” moment.
Season 3: A half dozen episodes before the finale a major character dies, is removed from the credits, and then signs on to do another series. Final episode, four major characters are revealed as Cylons, and the dead character comes back. It’s been revealed that there are five final Cylons…so is she one, or isn’t she?
The season 4 trailers have started, and they look awesome.