Before the remake…er, I mean “re-imagined”…Battlestar Galactica aired, I subscribed to the general consensus that it was going to suck. Much to my surprise – and the surprise of many – it didn’t suck. Gone was the corniness of the original Star Wars rip-off series. In came the dark, gritty space opera that audiences were willing to watch. Yay for scifi fans.
I’ve seen all of the episodes since the start of the series and I’ve mostly been pleased; pleased enough, at least, to keep watching. There were some low points but they were few and far between. The sf crunchy dramatic goodness was prevalent enough to keep it on my meager watch list.
I felt this way at least up until the “Pegasus” episode, the one where the Galactica finds a new Battlestar thought destroyed in the Cylon attack on Caprica. This was the episode that ended the first half of season 2, the episode that ushered in the “WTF?” practice of mid-season hiatus. It was a great episode and one whose cliffhanger ending ensured my return.
The 2nd half of the season did return with the two-part “Resurrection Ship“, episodes which I found too much of a tease to be called good. The dramatic buildup of the simultaneous assassination, for example, was circumvented through most un-dramatic means. The only thing that could be more annoying wa if (like NBC does with ER) the episodes are each billed as the “must-see” episode of the season when all we get is another run-of-the-mill episode.
It turned out that “the tease” proved to be the prevailing technique used by the writers on the subsequent episodes. I kept getting the impression of good things to come – things that were ultimately never realized. In the end, the remaining episodes of Season 2 were a big disappointment for me.
In the midst of this disappointment (and maybe because of it) I started seeing other things that annoyed me as well. For example, the presidential race between Roslin and Baltar sees reams of flyers promoting Baltar for President. Is it common for a military Battlestar to have the printing facilities and resources to do so, especially when they were caught with there pants down at the time of their escape? Maybe if they explained it away like they did the water resource issue, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. As it stands, things like this just seem to take away from the atmosphere of desperation that has come to be one of the show’s appeals.
Another episode, “Downloaded“, shows the birth of another set of Number 6 and Boomer cylons. Cool stuff! But what’s up with the new Number 6 having her own Baltar that nobody else can see? Methinks there is a serious flaw in the Cylons’ clone-making ability! I can see that the writers were trying to make a parallel set of characters (possibly good Cylons amidst all the bad ones) to the bad Cylons amidst the Galactica fleet – I just don’t like how they got there. (Also, the whole Baltar seeing Number 6 thing – still largely unexplained – is beginning to wear thin.)
I don’t necessarily thing that Battlestar Galactica has “jumped the shark”, but I do think they are in a bit of a slump.