Me & BSG (Battlestar Galactica), Part I

“There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, tribes of humans, who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens.”

Cue the music.

This was the opening theme of Battlestar Galactica from 1978. I wasn’t even born then. When I heard these words at fourteen in 2003, I was, for the second time, wide-eyed with wonder. Star Wars had already sparked my imagination years before, but Glen A. Larson’s Battlestar Galactica proved that mythic storytelling could happen without lightsabers or Jedi Knights or Death Stars.

Blasphemy! Poppycock!

Actually, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the show. Spoiled by the visuals of the prequel films, which had come out recently at the time, I tried to forgive the dated special effects, but the more I watched it the more I became invested in where the series was going. This rag-tag fleet of survivors were on a desperate quest to find the long-forgotten home of the 13th tribe of man. The other twelve tribes had been destroyed by the Cylon invasion. I couldn’t imagine a better setup.

And just when it was getting good, when there seemed a glimmer of hope for finding Earth… THE END. In other words, no more episodes.

What sort of sick joke was this? Which was one among many angered questions flooding my mind.

I had been watching the show in light of the announcement that year that the Sci-Fi Channel had a remake in the works spearheaded by Star Trek writer Ronald D. Moore. My dad, being a fan of the original series, had advised that I watch the original series. I had often asked him, in between episodes, how the original series would end. He didn’t want to spoil anything for me by warning me of the multi-decade cliffhanger. At the same time though, I protested that spoiling a non-ending isn’t exactly spoiling anything in the first place. I was not happy.

When Ronald D. Moore’s remake, amply titled Battlestar Galactica, kicked off as a mini series, I was hoping, rather desperately so, for an ending of some kind. I wasn’t expecting a poetic ending by any stretch, just a final note to roundoff my Battlestar Galactica experience.

What I got was well worth the years of watching the show on Thursday nights. Where my imagination had been previously populated by X-Wings, lightsabers, and Death Stars, it was renovated to accommodate for Vipers, Cylon raiders, and the survival of the fleet.

Four seasons later, I was in for a surprise.

Tune in next Monday for Part II.

I promise – I won’t leave you hanging.