Video: Battlestar

I never saw the original BattleStar Galactica series. The new series looks pretty good, though it’s far from flawless. Last night I watched the pilot miniseries, which is essentially a 3-hour movie. I’ll try a few more episodes before making up my mind.

Script: Pretty good. Plenty of human elements, and it’s always nice to have Truly Evil Bad Guys that you can love to hate. I love seeing a woman fighter pilot who (though apparently heterosexual) smokes cigars with evident enjoyment.

What the Cylon sexpot is doing inside Gaius’s brain is a bit hard to decipher. Why the Cylons would build a new Cylon race that was all but biologically identical to the humans — mystifying. What the Cylon was doing lurking in the weapons depot — even more mystifying.

Effects/animation: Very good. Marred mainly by a few concessions to what TV viewers will expect to see. The fighter spacecraft look way too much like conventional jet fighters — and when we see a profile of a pilot in the cockpit, the stars in the background are whipping past! This is just wrong. The stars would appear stationary unless the craft were spinning rapidly, in which case it would be out of control.

Casting: As Commander Adama, Edward James Olmos looks the way Captain Kirk should have looked, but didn’t. Too bad Olmos can’t act. He seems to have only one facial expression: craggy.

And speaking of Star Trek, when Galactica is hit by enemy fire in the final battle … you guessed it, everybody on the bridge staggers sideways and falls down, and sparks fly from the control panels. We have so been here before.

But overall, it’s not too bad.

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