Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Battlestar Galactica

(six episodes in, no spoilers)

Dear Battlestar Galactica

Goodness! You've certainly cornered the market in grim and gritty. But would a joke kill you? Go on - crack a smile! Cheer up - it might never happen! I mean, really, 24 is funnier than you. Doesn't that worry you?

If you carry on at this pace, you'll crack and do something really inadvisable. Like a musical episode.

PS: Dear Jamie Bamber, I appear to have dropped my pen. Would you mind picking it up for me?


Ian said...

Whilst Battlestar Gallactaca is doing so well with fans AND critics they'd be crazy to change what's clearly working. After all if they started introducing jokes the next thing you know they'd have a show where the writer keeps ruining any attempt at suspense or a good story by going for a cheap "fart" joke or "chav" joke or "ipod" joke. And the next thing you know you'd have the two most evil and popular aliens in over 30 years of science fiction suddenly making wisecracks at each other about "designer" armour, just to get a laugh. You'd end up with "science fiction" dumbed down to a five year old's level with poor acting, poor infantile scripts, cop-out deus ex machina resolutions and ex-soap stars guesting just for a laugh. You'd end up with a drama series that just kept playing the "we're a national instution" card to get the media and public on its side, despite the fact that anybody with any sort of critical eye would notice that the scripts are appalingly bad, the acting wooden, and the budget wasted on expensive special effects that don't quite cut it and wouldn't be needed with a half-decent story.

Not that I'm bitter about how poor most of the last season of Doctor Who has been (with Russell T Davies scripts invariably being the weakest).

Battlestar Gallactaca is the best science fiction that's been on TV for many years. They shouldn't change a thing!

Gary said...

I took delivery of the series 2 DVD yesterday. Having pre-ordered months ago. Having been through the false dawn of the promised August 14th release date. When Helen came home, she said, 'So how many have you watched, then?'

I said, 'The thing to remember is, the eps aren't actually an hour. They're only really about forty minutes.'

We left it there. Which was probably for the best.

Interestingly, we get the first sniff of the funny this series in ep 7 - also the first ep on which Ron Moore takes a writing credit (although - as we all know - one can never really be sure how much input a show-runner has into scripts which are ostensibly the work of others, making it invariably difficult to judge who might be the strongest and the weakest writers on a series). Lovely scenes of Gaius being strung-out and sarcastic with Number Six, like he was early in series one, as opposed to just incredulous/scared/turned-on.

But then ep 8 turns out to be (for me) the first total duffer of the new Galactica. Evidently the ep on which they saved money to put towards building new sets for later in the series...

Skip said...

Bless you Gary - you've given me hope. I made it through 6 episodes in about one sitting, and just thought, "Blimey, this was like the time we went to see Farewell, My Concubine for Ruth's birthday and all ended up sat weeping in the pub."

It's just brilliant. Really, really brilliant. But for a show about humanity, somehow sterile.

And that, dear Ian, was the point I was trying to make. I don't want cuddly robots, or whizzkids - just some sense that these are human beings who, you know, don't spend *all* their time being unremittingly grim.

I know they're having a tough time, what with the genocidal slaughter and all, but I remember how much warmer Season 1 was, with the fabulous president, colonel Ti's ghastly wife, dear Number Six, and Starbuck's pet Cylon?

Please don't misread that - I am in no way asking for a show that's all about people hugging each other and talking over their feelings. Oh god no.

James said...

I've also been watching the first series of the new BG, and am rather enjoying it and Mr Bamber. The President is also great, though I'm wondering why Dr Bashir from DS9 has wandered onto the set.

But corks, it's gritty - I suspect that, come winter, they'll be coating the roads with it to stop cars skidding on the ice.