TV Worth Watching: Battlestar Galactica


“The Cylons were created by the people of the Twelve Colonies. Intelligent robots, they were used as slaves and soldiers to fight humanity’s wars. But the Cylons became sentient and they rebelled. Man and machine fought to a bloody stalemate, then the Cylons withdrew to a remote region of space. A truce between the Twelve Colonies and the Cylons lasted for 40 tense and silent years. Each year, on the anniversary of the treaty-signing, humanity sent an envoy to the neutral ground of Armistice Station to meet with a Cylon envoy. For 39 years, no Cylon envoy came. Then, on the 40th anniversary, a stunning blonde — a Cylon in human form — met the human envoy … moments before the Cylons vaporized the station and launched a genocidal attack on the Twelve Colonies. In one devastating day, billions of human lives were consumed by nuclear fires. Only those souls fortunate enough to be aboard starships were able to band together and escape and flee into deep space, led by the sole surviving Colonial warship, the battlestar Galactica…”


Every so often, there’s a TV show that comes along the accomplishes it’s task better than almost any show before it and sets a new high-bar for quality. These are the shows that people will remember 30 years from now. The Sopranos, ER, The Simpsons – shows that, for better or worse, make an impact and stay with you. Battlestar Galactica is an unlikely entry in the pantheon of such shows, but it’s a TV unlike any other I’ve seen and is executed upon so masterfully I’m honestly in awe of Ron Moore and his team.

It’s easy to see a trailer of Battlestar Galactica and think “Oh, it’s a Star Trek-type show in space” and think that’s the end of it. Battlestar is, at it’s heart, a drama about people – it just happens to be set in space. The best shows are always like that – they focus on the people, the characters, and the sci-fi action is merely the backdrop for the events that propel the characters to evolve and adapt. The show is gritty, harsh, and all too real. When you’re watching it, you can very easily believe it’s a documentary – the acting is convincing, and the characters are all flawed, just like everyone in real life. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy sci-fi TV shows, I’d urge you to watch (on DVD) the four-hour mini-series that started the whole thing. If you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy Battlestar Galactica.