Image via WikipediaOriginally developed by producer / writer extraordinaire Glen A Larson in 1978 (as an answer to Star Wars), Battlestar Galactica, a science fiction TV show, was revived in 2003 by ex-Star Trek producer and writer, Ronald D Moore.
First broadcast as a mini-series which sets up the series that follows, the show’s main premise is still the same. The Cylons were a robotic race created by man; they rebelled and after a hiatus of many years, they have returned and they wish to extract their revenge on humanity.
The show is a science fiction metaphor for the war on terror with the terrorists being the Cylons who have sleeper cells and even look like humans. Issues like civil liberties, the fundamental right of human beings and the pros and cons of democracy are touched upon; there’s even an episode dedicated to the ethics of torture.
The show stars Edward James Olmos (from TV’s Miami Vice) as Commander Odama who has been thrust with the responsibility of leading the last survivors of human civilisation to a lost refuge known as Earth. The characters of Boomer (Grace Park) and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) were re-imagined as female roles for the new series, something the producers deliberately decided on doing. That’s probably what also sets BSG apart from other science fiction dramas, the presence of a spectrum of strong female characters.
Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Captain Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace), Tricia Helfer (Number Six) and Grace Park (Lt. Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii) all play diverse characters with diverse goals, but each is determined, strong-willed and driven by her own ambitions. Whether it’s Roslin’s Presidency, Starbuck’s career, Boomer’s inner demons or the maliciousness of Number six, BSG proves that science fiction isn’t about stereotypes.
The first season of Battlestar Galactica, along with the mini-series is now available in box set.
(Originally published in the July 24th, 2008 edition of The Review)