Elements or Lower

Wed, 03 Nov 2004

Battlestar Galactica

So I have a new favourite programme. Sky repeated the pilot episodes shortly before beginning the new series, and although I’d heard of these on Slashdot, it took a sincere and enthusiastic recommendation from a colleague to get me to watch them.

I was glad I did — whilst I have faint nostalgia for the old series, I knew it was plainly a cheesy As a child growing up in Hitchin, we were firmly in Anglia TV country. The family of my best friend Chris, who lived literally down the road, had a pair of TV aereals connected to a switcher box. One aereal picked up Anglia, the other Thames. This was a time when such things meant something: Anglia would resolutely show repeats of The Dukes of Hazzard, whilst Thames forged ahead with the geeky wonder of Battlestar Galactica, thereby rendering the latter unavailable to the majority of the fen-folk. This was only one reason why Chris and I were friends, of course, but it would certainly have featured prominently on the list.

The new Galactica pitches itself as a thoroughly grown-up interpretation of the original series’ premise, and so far has delivered admirably on this. The apocalyptic overtones are handled carefully and with genuine force, the characters are, by-and-large, flawed and believable, and the drama is predicated on human concerns. I’m also fond of the Dead Can Dance-like timbre of the opening credits. And, astonishingly, we’re getting it ahead of America.

On the downside, the “frakking” affectation is simply irritating.

Incidentally, the recommendation I received emphasised the attraction of Cylon Number Six. For what it’s worth, although I can appreciate she’s certainly striking, Crewman Specialist Cally floats my boat rather more substantially. I mention this only in the interests of full disclosure, you understand.