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Galactica Revisited Rebuttal

I somewhat disagreed with Chris Rywalt's initial assessment of Battlestar Galactica -- I don't have too many fond memories of the original, but I did like Sci Fi's "reimagining" of the show. I particularly liked the darkness of the miniseries, which didn't shy away from the realities of the original series' premise: just about every human being alive is murdered. The shots of the beautiful planet Caprica being repeatedly nuked were gorgeous and horrifying.

That's part of the reason I vociferously disagree with Chris's assessement of the series' second part. I liked the bit with the little girl for the same reason why I liked the mushroom clouds.

The original Galactica never appealed to me because I thought Dirk Benedict was a laugh riot or that fake robot dog was cool or that Boxey was somehow a person I identified with. I actually preferred the chilling aspects of it -- civilizations in tatters, people on the run, vile traitor Baltar, and scary Patrick MacNee appearing as some sort of weird satanic figure.

I also think Chris is being way too sensitive, in the same way that Ebert (whom I usually agree with) was. Showing the abandonment of the little girl after making what is clearly the right decision (to let thousands die instead of tens of thousands) is meant to be a direct counterpoint -- yeah, the president made the tough call! But look! It's going to kill the cute little girl! As if her life or death were any more important than any of the other thousands of people who have been killed as a part of a pragmatic choice made in the throes of war.

Sci-fi isn't necessarily silly -- and this new Galactica wasn't going for silly. Sci-fi can be a serious, important medium. Clearly the new Galactica folks think so, too. Using the little girl was certainly bringing out a big gun. But the entire Galactica miniseries was really one extended meditation on parents and children, and the little girl fit perfectly into that. Chris can dismiss this movie as silly "skiffy" -- I mean, it ain't "Moby Dick" -- but I appreciate popular entertainment that also tries to do a bit more than just blow stuff up good.


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