The new Battlestar Galactica is over which provides us a good opportunity to reflect on the show and how it measures up to the original. Now, I was a fan of the new show (except the Cylon/human half-breed baby storyline which did its best to make my brain explode), but I also have strong feelings for the original. Although I wouldn’t argue the original Battlestar Galactica was better than the Sci-fi Channel’s remake, there were elements of the original I missed. Take a few centons to look over the list which I’ve whittled down to ten:
10. Ship Design – Call me a nostalgic, but one of the things I liked about the old show was its style. Although the newer version made only slight changes to Galactica and the Vipers (neither of which I thought was an improvement) huge changes were made to the Cylon Raiders and Basestars. Take a glance at the pic above. One of these looks like a cool model I’d want on my desk and one looks like it was stolen from Titan A.E.
9. Lt. Sheba – Many missing characters can be attributed to the decision to change the sex of Starbuck and open the door for an on-again/off-again relationship with Apollo. I was against such a change originally, and, though I came to like Kara Thrace, the absence of the original Starbuck had a domino effect. One such character which didn’t appear on the new show was the tough pilot love-interest for Apollo, Lt. Sheba. I guess it can be argued that the new show merged Sheva and Starbuck into one character (ew?), but I miss the original.
8. Cassiopeia – Cassiopeia was one of the few characters which was tied neither to the military nor the government, and the early Cassiopeia/Starbuck/Athena love triangle was one of most fun relationships of the original series.
7. Terminology – Although the original was not known for its writing I always appreciated the fact they took time to create an entire set of alien terminology. Yes the new show kept “frak,” but I can’t be the only one who missed “yahrens,” “centons,” and “voltons.”
6. Serina – Another character to get the axe. I’m not going to bemoan the loss of Boxey, but couldn’t you have included Serina early in the show? The likable character’s death gave Apollo, and the audience, someone to miss and grieve for. Both ‘monkey and I agree too many of the new show’s cast survive their trek across the stars. And was any character’s death (who actually stayed dead) from the new show as important or moving?
5. Uniforms – Again this is a personal preference for the style of the original, but I really dug the old-school flight suits and uniforms. I still want one of those flight jackets! Although you can argue that the newer are more functional, sleeker, and more fitting for a sci-fi military group, I never got over how much they reminded me warehoused cast-offs from Babylon 5.
4. Narration – I missed Adama’s narration, both opening the show and, even more memorable, his ending speech from each episode “Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest — a shining planet, known as Earth.” Watch the clip above. I know it’s a small thing but it gave the original a storybook quality which the new show’s clip-style intro lacked.
3. Lucifer – Ah, good ol’ lightbulb head! Who doesn’t miss original Baltar’s sarcastic second-in-command? Surely there must have been a way to work Lucifer into the new series! Alas, my favorite Cylon didn’t rate even a cameo or mention.
2. Original Cylon Centurians – Unable to improve on the inherent awesomeness of the original design the new show’s creators gave us human-looking Cylons and top-heavy CGI-inspired Centurians which looked like they could be knocked over by a strong wind (and don’t even come in gold!).
1. Muffit – Let me ask you a question: What’s a futuristic sci-fi adventure about a rag-tag fleet of the remnants of humanity pursued across the universe by killer robots, without a robot dog? Everyone’s favorite daggit (original series terminology for dogs), Muffit, tops the list. Created as a replacement for Boxey’s lost pet this robotic canine is cooler than anything from the new series. Shouldn’t the humanity that created Cylons decades ago have the ability to cobble together some kind of unofficial ship’s mascot? I don’t know about you, but I still think Muffit was the final Cylon!