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[personal profile] viktor_haag
This is certainly not news, but the new "Battlestar Galactica" really is that good. I'm surprised how watchable and re-watchable this show is. Of course it may have something to do with the fact that Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell are absolutely top-flight actors. Not since Patrick Stewart, really, have we had such luminaries convinced to do a turn on a sci-fi regular show (at least as far as I can recall; well, I suppose we could give him the benefit of the doubt, and put Chris Eccleston in that category, but he hasn't yet got the length of service under him that those other three names have).

And some of the regulars in side roles clearly have chops: youngster Aaron Douglas as the CPO, Michael Hogan as the beleagured XO, Donnelly Rhodes as the irascible Doctor with a completely different tone than his work on "Da Vinci's Inquest", and Alessandro Juliani who makes more of the few lines given his Lt Gaeta than one might reasonably expect.

The reason that Katee Sackhoff is not listed in that previous paragraph is that she deserves a paragraph on her own. Sometimes, she's not as note perfect as the more experienced actors on the ship, but then we only need two words to jerk us back to sensible thought: Dirk Benedict. Sackhoff cast as Starbuck is pretty much the single most compelling piece of evidence behind the creative quality of this show: sure she's not perfect, but she shows lots of signs of being a diamond in the rough, and her ability to effectively play a character whose emotions are always right there on the surface without seeming too hammy says a lot. Benedict was always just smarmy in the role; gender aside, Sackhoff has a lot more to work with (thanks to the writing) and brings a lot more to the table than he ever did.

I think the new boxed set with 13 episodes plus the pilot mini-series is probably an excellent buy, even if your TV viewing tastes don't normally run to science-fiction. This is most assuredly not a Star Trek rip-off nor simply an old-show rebirth. If they can keep the quality level up, then BSG might last a good four or five years, and rival Babylon 5 for reputation as "the thinking person's TV SF". The story-writing and level of acting (and production details) of BSG is certainly miles ahead of Babylon 5. We can only hope that it lasts as long.


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