It was with great anticipation that I finally got hold of the first season DVD and whacked it into my player, relishing the thought of hours of enjoyment.
But, let's be honest: It's complete crapola. It could be one underlying theme or approach that makes it crap, but I can't quite put my finger on this 'unifying crapness', so I'll just list my complaints and see how that goes.
1. My biggest complaint, the game killer, is that there are no Cylons. That's right. Battlestar Galactica has no Cylons. Oh, individual CG Cylons turn up every second episode for about 3.5 seconds. But that's it. No laser fights. No interrogations by terrifying androids. No Terminator-style battle scenes.
2. What they do have is human cylons. That's right, robots that look like humans, even think they are humans. There is one particularly irritating human cylon woman who may or may not be real, who may or may not be helpful, who may or may not be getting it on with this human scientist. Like some cheap Fatal Attraction situation, deliberately designed to be vague and frustrating. She ain't that pretty either. These human cylons are supposed to take the place of the real thing, but all I hear is blah blah blah, blah blah blah, we couldn't afford cylons. And if you have no cylons, you have no contest.
3. There are no battles. You will watch 3 episodes before you see spacecraft do anything. You can watch five hours in vain to see a cylon spacecraft destroyed. There are no dogfights, heroic last stands, grim fightbacks, or victories of any kind. Instead you get endless anxiety without resolution.
4. It's not about anything. The classic angst and fear that is tapped into so successfully by the original series or Terminator, or even the Cybermen of Doctor Who, the idea of man versus robot, is entirely absent. The theme of good versus evil, done so well by, say, Star Wars, is not even attempted. Instead you get human drama and politics. Like some kind of West Wing combined with Futurama. But without the future, because...
5. It's not even science fiction. If it's set in the future, the future must look like Washington about the time of the Watergate scandal. Apart from an occasional CG scene, it's about as futuristic as Top Gun. There are no automatic doors, food dispensers, transport beams, personal communicators, holo decks, androids, not even any robots or aliens! Instead it all looks depressingly late-2oth century. Empty coffee cups on tables. Paper everywhere. Communication by radio. Books! The human president appears to work in an aircraft cabin, everybody else sits in the passenger seats! Where is the shiny out-0f-worldness of Star Trek, the cool metallica and technology of Alien?
6. It's barely fiction. Plots inspired by modern life. Terrorism, who can we trust? How much democracy should we have? How can we find the traitors in our midst? Society versus the individual. The needs of the many versus the needs of the few. An entire episode was spent dealing with prisoner's rights! Not a cylon within lightyears! God, what is this crap? I don't need to see this in science fiction, it's like a BBC documentary!
7. It could have been so good. It could have been a new V. Now that was science fiction. Good versus evil. Heroism, glory, guts, sacrifce, freaky aliens. Or it could have been like Starship Troopers. Now there was a movie. Hot chicks with nice boobies and shining eyes who take showers with the troops and make frantic love to them in between battles. Huge battle scenes with lots of death and victory. The heroic quest, against a backdrop of an epic clash of Good and Evil.
Instead it's Crap.