1.22.2009

Battlestar Galactica Miniseries

So I've been trying to watch Battlestar Galactica for a while now, either downloading the miniseries, or straight up from the TV. No such luck. Though I haven't tried awfully hard, because, from what I've seen in previews, trailers, and commercials--well, it's a little morose or darker than the usual sci-fi I've become accustomed or attracted to.

So the earth elements and planets aligned properly this week (hahaha), and, I was able to finally download the 4-hour miniseries and watch each half over the past two evenings.

First reaction is: I can't help but feel like the two halves of this miniseries are cut and spliced episodes. It's choppy at best and there were a lot of quick changes with little transition or story-line arcs. Second reaction: a grittier atmosphere, lower budget?

This is nothing like the usual "prettied-up" and high-budget sci-fi series or movie. The actors are young and somewhat inexperienced. This is representative of the human species in general in this universe, however, as they've been innocently removed from wars and from planet earth for several generations it looks like. One or two actors, usually the more experienced ones (such as Edward James Olmos), stood out a little more and made their characters dimensional...but just a little.

In regards to special effects...usually a big draw in sci-fi shows and movies, well...no big satisfaction here. Space/spaceship exterior shots featured miniatures, poor quality textures, obvious computer graphics, and awkward shaky camera shots. It bothered me that the textures didn't seem authentic, and I kept flashing back to my 1999 3D-Max class.

The characters were not well developed, fell a little flat, and were over-emotional at times. This helped reflect the claustrophobia of close quarters, the stress of being on an aged ship, eminent or losing war, etc. Again was the editing to blame for some of the disconnectedness? The impression was that this could be a not-too-distant future. You could relate to the characters because of the scruffiness, their less-than-glamorous surroundings, their clothes, their social interactions...but again, I kept thinking that it wasn't high tech or high-budget as other sci-fi that I've been informed by.

Some characters were given more airtime than others...those that got more airtime weren't as interesting but were relevant to the general storyline...mostly eye-candy really. Meanwhile, those that didn't get as much airtime could have been really interesting to get to know better.

The miniseries was interesting and did capture my attention, but on the whole, the characters, low-key f/x, and choppy editing did very little to maintain my suspension of disbelief, even though I did try to get into it from my laptop. Another thing that has tainted my perception: there is A LOT of information and spoilers, and videos all over the net. It somehow seems more attractive (and easier) to look up the storyline in BG's 4th and final season, than to suffer through some of the long-winded, emotional character-driven soap opera as these survivors struggle through the conclusion of the series.