Sunday, October 01, 2006

Big Week Ahead for Sci-fi Lovers

Is it wrong to be excited about a TV show? How about 2 TV shows? I hope not. Actually I am more excited about one show than the other, though both shows are good. In fact, both shows have managed to go 2 seasons without "jumping the shark," at least not yet....... In case you are actually wondering, I am talking about Lost and Battlestar Gallactica. I'll have to divide this into two posts; there's no way I can keep this short enough to talk about two shows. So I'll feature one show now, and another in a couple of days. I have to start with Battlestar Gallactica. I love love love this show. I was a fan when I was a kid. I remember sitting in front of the TV on Saturday mornings (how my mom allowed me to do this is still a mystery) and watching Buck Rodgers and Battlestar Gallactica back to back every week. Obviously my infatuation with sci-fi goes back to childhood. The funny thing is that I preferred Buck Rodgers back in the day, but when I watch them now, I think Battlestar was the more mature, interesting show. But then, with the remake being as good as it is, I am totally biased. I literally wanted to cry when last season ended. Previously, the seasons were kind of cut up and the show would only go off for about 3 month, and then come back with another short season. I kind of liked that. It was on the air while everything else was in reruns and I could get my sci-fi fix in the off season. For some reason, the show went to a more traditional schedule this last year and I had to wait about 6 months for the season to start again. Oh that was so hard. Fortunately, our friends at the Sci-fi channel have been playing "webisodes" and if you haven't seen them, I suggest you go there right now and watch them. Right now folks! Right now! Ok, I get a little worked up. If you haven't watched the show, let me tell you a little bit about it. The original Battlestar Gallactica was about man made robots called "cylons" that eventually rebelled against their human creators and moved to destroy them. This is not an unusual story, one that often comes up whenever a sci-fi writer questions the idea of artificial intelligence and whether or not man-made creations can have a soul. The story continues when the Battlestar, Gallactica, is one of the few military vessels to escape the attack. They flee the cylons in the company of several civilian vessels in hope of finding refuge from the cylons, who continue to hunt them down in an attempt to annihilate the rest of the human population. The new Battlestar Gallactica is basically the same. The main differences have to do with technology and the kind of advances one would assume would happen over time. The biggest twist on the story is that the new cylons are not just the chrome plated robots we're used to seeing. Nope. The cylons have developed a cloning technology that allows some of them to assume a human appearance. There is no obvious way to tell the humanoid cylons apart from other humans. The first season begins with the audience only knowing what one or two cylons look like, and finding out who others are as time goes on. It's kind of creepy, but in a good way. What's even more interesting is that the memories of one humanoid cylon can be downloaded into another cloned body that's just waiting to be "resurrected" if a cylon is killed. Basically, the humanoid cylons can't be killed at all, since they can be continually reborn. The only true death a cylon is in danger of is if they are too far away from the new body, then the data is essentially out of range, kind of like when your cell phone is too far from a cell to get a connection. Last season also had an episode called "Scar" which was about one of the cylon ships that had an amazing intelligence and was the terror of the skies. It was then we learned that the ships, and most likely the scary chrome plated robots, also had memories that could be downloaded into a newer version once the old one is "killed." And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The show also has politics and sex and a black market and so much more! I know that some people didn't like some of the changes. I wasn't sure if I liked the fact that Starbuck, the character originally played by Dirk Benedict in the original, is now a woman, played by Katee Sackhoff. But I am so over that now. Sackhoff is really good. Starbuck has more attitude than the character ever had before. Boomer is also female, and if you don't like spoilers-stop reading now- but she's also a cylon! Talk about twists! And for you Xena fans, Lucy Lawless has also been brought on the show, as a cylon no less! It's awesome I tell you! If you don't believe me, watch some of the repeat episodes that are being played this week before the new season starts. I defy you not to get addicted to the show. I predict, if you watch one or two, you will be getting on netflix and ordering the whole first 2 seasons. If you don't then I don't know what's wrong with you. Ok, I'm a tad irrational. But shows this good don't come along often. And if the description of the show isn't enough to get you to watch. Then maybe knowing that Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnel are also starring in the show will get your attention. These are two actors with some pretty impressive credentials, and they deliver. Edward James Olmos plays Admiral William Adama, the character originally played by Lorne Green. And Mary McDonnel, best known as "Stands with a fist" from Dances With Wolves is the President of the colonies Laura Roslin. If you like sci-fi this show is a must see. It is definitely my favorite and I can't wait for the new season to start. And if my enthusiasm is annoying, I apologise. But I also warn you, there will be more posts like this to follow. I can't help myself.

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