551 – The Council of Erias • 02


Few people who have watched the new Battlestar Galactica series doubt the show’s brilliance or social relevance in today’s (or any other day’s) world. The issues addressed, as in any good science fiction, are universally human issues, that play across every time and strata of the human experience.

But aside from all that high-falutin’ social commentary, Galactica was simply a good show. The writing was excellent, the acting was fantastic, and the pacing was taut and sharp. In fact, it is in the pacing more than any other aspect, that the re-imagined Galactica outshines it’s 1980’s counterpart.

Now I know I will be labeled a heretic for saying this, but I was never really that big a fan of the old show. I was a voracious consumer of all things fantasy and sci-fi, but 80’s Galactica never really held my attention. (Though I loved the Marvel comics adaptation.) Looking back on it, I think it was just too slowly paced. In fact, I have found an example here we can all look at. Comment below and let us know your opinion!

53 Responses to 551 – The Council of Erias • 02

    • I think the tiger is a Rakshasa. From what I can recall, thier hands are supposed to be like that. I think the fingers bend backwards too. Just one of those odd D&D Monster Manual minor details that sort of stick with you forever. Kinda like the Lizard man god being a total perv, or black puddings being highly flammable.
      From the previous strip- was that an Aboleth or an Otyugh?

      Gawd I’m such a geek

        • I figured there was a reason for that. I’ve played some D&D in my younger days and probably even encountered one but I’d be hard pressed to remember a detail like that form so long ago. It’s actually pretty cool that you drew it properly then really. 🙂

    • Apollo (the pilot) is launching his viper (the fighter spacecraft) from the Galactica. (The carrier spacecraft.)

      Normally the process takes seconds, but the person who made the video stitched together a bunch of launch sequences to make it look like Apollo had gotten lost. (In a straight tube.) That’s why it’s funny, see?

  1. Agreed, every time I tried to watch it, I got bored. But, as I was pretty young back then, I take into account the possibility that I just understood nothing to the issues at play

  2. Regards the recent series: I enjoyed the mid-series run and HATED the perfunctory, nonsensical ending.

    Regards the original: only ever watched a couple minutes total; never had any real interest (before my time, that series).

  3. Okay, okay, you light-weights, move over. Having been 21 when the ORIGINAL Battlestar Galactica aired, the show was a marvel to watch. Remember, there was no Computer Graphics to speak of back in 1978. That level of special effects in a weekly series was very expensive and thus why shots were re-used a ton of times. That clip is really, really funny actually. If it weren’t for this “boring” show, you’d never have today’s version. The new BSG really started off very well and was what the original show should have been about. They got lost in all the Cylon crap and the ending was just plain AWFUL!

    If you think the original BSG is boring, may I remind you to watch some episodes of Star Trek. YAWN! Oh, look, they lost Spock’s brain. Space hippies are singing! Kirk just frakked another alien. YAAWWNN! Which is why whenever I watched an entire episode of Star Trek back in the 70s, I had a six-pack of Pabst handy. Bad beer for a bad TV show.

    Now, what you may be confusing this with is the “Battlestar 1980” show which was even worse then awful. Ugh.

    • Yikes! I vaguely remember an episode or two of Battlestar 1980 – and what I remember was indeed awful.

      I loved the original series, tho. But hey, I was a kid – it didn’t take much to entertain me: Lasers and explosions and I was happy.

    • I think you’re right, Byron. I was confusing original BSG with BSG 1980. However, original BSG still never really hooked me.

      And I might point out that no one would ever have considered the original BSG a marketable concept if it weren’t for the original Star Trek, which was doing way better at the time in reruns than it had in primary broadcast.

      I was an original Star Trek fan, and still am, but I have no problem at all admitting that the Trek that followed it was superior in (almost) every way. AND… I think the same is true of BSG.

      • I’ll try to be brief in this story, as this is the REAL reason why Battlestar ended up on TV in the first place.

        Glen Larson had a contract to produce a “Star Wars” type film… that was Battlestar Galactica. He ALSO had signed a TV series deal to remake “Buck Rogers” BUT, the “Buck Rogers” series was not ready, so to save his ass from being sued, he CONVERTED Battlestar into a SERIES which explains why it had such HUGE effects (huge for TV and it’s time) in it. It was suppose to be a MOVIE only. In the theatrical release of Battlestar, Baltar is killed and the movie ends with humans fleeing the Cylons… SEQUEL.

        So Larson ended up releasing BOTH Battlestar and Rogers in the theatres. They basically tanked. But as TV series, they did well. Battlestar was canceled due to MONEY issues. It was a damned expensive show to produce. Thus, when they brought it back as “1980” is was all about stories on Earth in different time periods (what? they have time travel capabilities yet did not go back in time to stop the Cylons in the first place? UGH!)

        Ta-da. Oh, I only like to tease you Trekkors as I know it raises the blood pressure of most. But in all honesty, I did not like the original series at all… BUT the 6 movies they made with the original cast are some of my favorite films. Yes, Star Trek got better with age, as did I. I went to a Star Trek convention in 1991 wearing a LOST IN SPACE sweatshirt I had custom made JUST to irritate you Trekkors. It worked very well.

  4. — begin foolish attempt to apply realism —
    OK, I get it that Apollo appears to have passed out at the controls (reference to sleeping while driving?), but even without “turbo”, how frakkin’ long are those launch tubes? 5-10 miles? Taking this guy’s (http://www.battlestargalactica.com/outside_docs/bg_outdoc0008.htm) word for it that a centon is approximately a minute, and the conversation “Let’s give him another centon. We did that five centons ago.”, and an assumed speed of at LEAST 60 miles per hour, those tubes have to be at least 5 miles long… WTF?
    — done —

    What the frak is the supposed storyline of that episode? No, really, I want to know. I tried Googling aspects of that clip to try to find out which episode it was, so I could skim the transcript or read a synopsis or something, but no dice. I just can’t make any sense out of how anybody there is behaving. It’s like if a Navy pilot got in his F-18, took the elevator to the deck of the aircraft carrier, then bumped the throttle up just enough to move, and passed out while the plane slowly rolled to the end of the deck and fell in the ocean — and NOBODY did anything about it…

    Fan of the series when I was a kid. Cannot stand it now (like Speed Racer, Batman (Adam West version), G-Force, and pretty much everything else I liked at that time). Couldn’t get into the new series either, because I tend to prefer my Sci-Fi to be escapist — if we just going to have the same relevant human stories as any other kind of drama, it just doesn’t work for me. At least move on to slightly further afield comments like “how does your conception of a God figure survive when you start encountering races of godlike beings?”

      • Sorry, but there wasn’t really anything there that made it clear the clip wasn’t from an actual episode.

        Let’s see:
        * disturbingly frequent reuse of video clips — yep, done constantly in every episode
        * non-sensical behavior of characters — yep, also done in every episode
        * total disregard for consistency and/or realism — yep, also done in every episode, and between episodes
        * bad editing — yep, remember that from the show
        * horribly slow pacing — I believe that was the point — using a made up extra-slow paced clip seems like cheating — shouldn’t be that hard to find a real clip that was just as pointlessly slow.

        In other words, that clip, as bad as it was, would have fit perfectly in the series. Since I don’t remember the details of every one of those episodes from thirty years ago, I failed to recognize that someone had gone to the trouble to make up a bad clip rather than simply pick from the glorious abundance of actual bad clips…

        Ah well… I wanted to know which episode so that I could laugh and point. Guess Karma decided to let me proactively be at the receiving end instead…

        • It is from the episode where Galactica essentially comes up on a “black void” and Apollo gets lost inside of it. The clip is actually very clever editing. The original series did have budget issues, which explains resued footage and the slow pacing (had to fill up an hour), but over all it was a good show and very entertaining. Remember, 70s TV was suppose to be family time, not Sci-Fi (crap, SyFy) Channel content.

    • um… you do realize this “clip” wasn’t actually in the original right? it’s a bunch of 5 second clips thrown together in order to make up a scene that never happened.

      The original BSG was actually pretty realistic considering the universe the story was set in, and the year it was made. (Although it did have a bit too much “heroes always win”… but that’s reflective of the decade it was released in.)

      It was slightly slower paced as the first 2 launches in this clip were unedited, and all 3 vipers would have gotten the same launch time. In current shows they would ether skip the launch sequence after the first time it was shown or show a shot with all 3 launching at once.

  5. I watched the original BSG cuz, well, there wasn’t a whole lot of scifi on TV back then, and you took what you could get. Yes, it was cheesy, but it had its moments. I recall Starbuck & a cylon doin their version of “Enemy Mine” (better than the average show,but still with a lame ending. Was there any other kind?). And I giggled when Dirk Benedict’s A-Team character did a double-take at a guy in a cylon costume.

    • I recall the Starbuck/cylon “enemy mine” episode – wasn’t that from Battlestar 1980? I recall it was a flashback episode to explain the origin of a new child character and also to explain the absence of Dirk Benedict from the regular cast. Or was it during the last season of the first series? So long ago …

      Just looked it up – it was from Galactica 1980. “the Return of Starbuck” I think the episode was called. Which was something of a misnomer.

  6. I wasn’t born yet when the original series came out. I first watched it during the break between seasons 1 and 2 of the new series, and found season 1 to be really good. Once they found earth it became garbage though. It was a bit slower pace than what we currently expect from sci-fi but the stories were interesting and the special effects, (while not up to today’s standards) were acceptable, not laughable.

    When I watched the new BSG I was actually disappointed in the overall storyline. It made less sense than the original, (first the cylons almost wipe us out, then suddenly they want to be our friends? WTF?) The characters in both series were very good I found though, (although you can see a major shift in attitude towards women between the shows.)

    In the new series season 1 was good, it was crappy when Adama was recovering, got better when he took over again, then went to hell when the cylons suddenly stopped attacking and wanted to help the humans. There were a few good episodes after that, even including some of the last ones…. but the very last one was retarded.

    • We don’t say retarded, it’s not nice.

      We say fucking stupid.

      Y’know what’s really dumb? While I never grooved on BSG, I loved Buck Rogers. Looking back on it, there is no way that was the better show. Not even close. (I think it may have been Erin Grey in those skin-tight outfits that I really liked, though.)

      • Hm.. don’t say “retarded” eh? I didn’t mean it as a slight to anyone. In my mind it’s just a negative adjective, not a slur against people. There “mentally handicapped” people, not “retards” because calling them “retards” would be insulting.

        I find it a bit amazing how many slurs have made it into common language, (and sometimes back out due to political pressure or understanding of the issue.) This might make a good discussion topic although it has nothing to do with the original post.

        I hang out with people who play a lot of computer games and I’ve noticed they use slurs like “jew” “fag” “gay” and even occasionally “commie” or “gypped” more than most people. I don’t intend any slight by it but I do use “retarded”, and “gypped”. On the other hand I cringe a little when someone uses “gay” or “jew” as an insult or negative adjective even though I’m a straight agnostic.

        Is acceptance of these kinds of terms regional or does it matter more what age group you hang out with? (computer gamers tend to be 12 year old boys, so even when I hang out with 20 year olds they each have been talking with 12 year olds for hours every day.)

  7. The thing, in the clip, that caught my attention was the command “Launch when ready.” Sicne the fightres appear to all use the same launch tube, they need to enter the tube sequentially; the coomand would prompt them to enter the tube at the same time.
    I didn’t follow the show all that closely myself.

    • That’s pretty good.

      I was actually expecting it to be Luke crashing his X-Wing on Dagobah from the Empire Strikes Back.

    • It was a close thing between the Viper launch and the X-Wing crash for this blog. Ultimately I decided on this one, and to post the other next week.

      Guess I’ll find something else now…

  8. I also liked Buck better, mostly for the babes, but also watching him corrupt his robot sidekick. Imagine R2D2 throwing out a wolf whistle every time the princess bent over. :mrgreen:

  9. so dispite beholders being highly intellegent hes accusing tammi for being responsible of initiating a era of peace and enlightment? guess he never heard of “dont shoot the messenger? 🙄

    • But shooting the messenger is exactly the kind of thing highly intelligent evil floating killer eyeballs like to do. 😉

      • Ron’s got a good point Stephen. Read up on those things at all and that pretty much sums up their idea of a good time.

  10. I just hate how the new series totally rewrote the premise.

    The Cylons were the ancient relics of a long dead alien race, NOT human technology gone wrong.

  11. Hey, thanks for posting the link to my Apollo’s Viper video. YouTube’s got a good feature where they let you know where the video is embedded, which is how I found this site.

    It was fun to read the comments. The best, no offense to the poster, was the one where the poster thought it was an actual clip from the series. The Star Wars clip that Byron linked here is basically the same stupid humor, but quicker. And if you actually liked the old series, I’ve got a series of videos pulled from the old shows called Gary the Cylon, also on YouTube. Again, totally stupid stuff.

    Thanks for the link, Kevin.

    • To salvage what is left of my ego, I shall assume that what you liked about my post was that it was a complement to your editing skills, and not that you physically fell out of your chair and ROFLed.

      No, really, please don’t take that illusion away from me.

      Or I’ll send my FSM avatar after you…

      (Great — further insult to injury. I used the wrong screen name for this reply… I gotta stop writing these things first thing in the morning. –Mac)

  12. Heretic

    Seriously though, the first season of the new BSG was fantastic, mixed actions and issues perfectly, and then season 2 came and it was …. (insert any expletive here). It was an effort to watch each episode, you felt that each week it couldn’t get worse, that they must at some point get the plot and action meshing again, never did though.

    When I catch old episodes of BSG or Buck Rogers, I prefer Rogers cause now apparently i’m a “dirty old man perving over Erin Grey”

  13. You’re not a dirty old man perving over Erin Grey if you were younger than her when you fell in love with her to begin with. At least that’s what I have to keep telling myself. It is wierd when time catches you out like that I gotta tell you. I was nine or ten years old and she’s the only reason I’d even watch the old series now.