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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Possessed by some sudden onset of nostalgia, several months ago Ol’ Robbo tossed “Battlestar Galactica” into his Netflix queue.  Yes, I mean the real one. **

As a 13-year old kid when it came out, Ol’ Robbo loved this show.  I had models of a Colonial Viper and a Cylon Raider.  I had the soundtrack album.  I had a book version of the first episode that was basically a storyboard, combining stills from the show with printed dialogue.  I longed to possess one of those Colonial Warrior jackets.  Yeah, I was a nerd back then.

Now, I was curious to see what I thought of it, er, 40 years later.

Before I get into my thoughts, though, let me just get out of the way something I’m sure some friend of the decanter will bring up immediately: Boxy and his robot daggit.  This biznay wasn’t really defensible back then, and it isn’t defensible now.  I’ll give you that one, okay?

That said, I’m happy to say that I watched the first, extended episode last evening and was really quite pleased with how it held up.  The dialogue was tight and to the point, the special effects were pretty much as I remembered them. (Dykstra-vision originally pioneered for the Star Wars movies – I recall reading somewhere that BSG had an enormous special effects budget for a tee-vee series, which is probably why they had to recycle so many of the exterior shots over and over again.  I didn’t much mind when I was a kid, and it really doesn’t bother me now.)  And I loved the wave of nostalgia.  As originally conceived, the Cylons were a stand-in for the Soviet Juggernaut so ominous during the height of the Carter Malaise.  They didn’t get you through cunning or superior skills, they got you through relentless drive, overwhelming numbers, and exploitation of your own softness and self-doubt.  Clear-minded, freedom-loving individuals could fight them off, even in the most dire circumstances.

Then, of course, there was the question perhaps upmost on 13 y.o. Robbo’s mind:  The lovely and talented Maren Jensen?  Or the lovely and talented Jane Seymour?  Whelp, I believed then and I still believe today that if I had to flee the Cylon tyranny with one lovely lady, I’d go with Lt. Athena over Serina.  (Laurette Spang’s Cassiopeia and Anne Lockhart’s Lt. Sheba would battle it out for a distant third.)

So I’m looking forward to re-watching the rest of the original series.  (We will say nothing of the 1980 redux.)  I don’t remember much about it, except that there were a number of “guest” stars that included (I think) Fred Astaire as Starbuck’s shifty grifter father and Lloyd Bridges as the “legendary” Commander Cain.  I’m sure it will all come back to me, though.

And speaking of which, I am reminded again of the very amusing little bit from the later “A-Team” opening credits featuring Dirk Benedict (the real Starbuck, dammit) and an old nemesis:

Never gets old.

** Ol’ Robbo tried to watch the new version when it came out in the early 2000’s and hated it.  Dark.  Edgy.  And a camera that couldn’t sit still for two seconds on end.  Plus, if I understand correctly, it turned out in the end that all of the Colonial survivors were just Cylon fifth columnists themselves.  So, feh.


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January 2018