Debate of the Day: Is It Time for Sci-Fi to Let Battlestar Galactica Die?

Battlestar Galactica remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time. That’s saying something when a combination of my job and a hobby has had me see about 45 different complete series in my life so far.

It’s a sci-fi epic that managed to look impressive while being relatively low budget, and it also worked as a powerful drama and mystery. To be short, the way I introduce it to my friends who automatically associate it with hardcore nerd-dom, it’s a good TV show that just happens to be set in space.

I’ve been able to get many people into this show who otherwise wouldn’t have gone near anything sci-fi. It’s not without its flaws, but generally it had a pretty excellent four season run, and will forever live on as a classic.

But Sci-Fi (I refuse to call them “Syfy”) seems to realize that the show was their golden goose, and they haven’t been able to replicate its success since. They had the idea to make a prequel to the series, Caprica, but with no human cylons, the most important aspect of the plot was removed. Instead we had a show that didn’t have a real direction, and I tuned out when a dead girl’s consciousness got trapped in a giant cylon’s body…and fell in love with a boy.

That show was cancelled after less than stellar ratings, but now I hear there’s ANOTHER Battlestar prequel series in the works starring Luke Pasquilano (above) as a slightly older William Adama than in Caprica, and the show, Blood and Chrome, takes place during the first Cylon war.

Again, no human Cylons, so this effectively becomes a Terminator Salvation miniseries set on another planet. Don’t you think it’s just time for sci-fi to let this one go, and continue developing their other properties? Or do you think BSG really has the potential to spawn spin-offs as effective and enjoyable as the original?

  • Jackson Briggs

    It is of poor quality. A two-bit sci-fi hack job that copies and borrows material from stereo-typed material that has come before it as inspiration. We know how much you hate that. So yes, Sci-Fi, or SyFy should just cancel the series already. They should then get into their time-desk and go back and do some retroactive correcting by just making sure the whole damn series is tabled and never sees the light of day. Pure unoriginal garbage. Put everyone has their particular tastes I guess. And I can respect that. I’m not gonna, like, make a blog about it or anything.

  • Sam

    I’ve only watched the first season of battlestar galactica and I simply didn’t like it so I won’t comment on the question you pose. But I find it funny that so many people write or say “I refuse to call it syfy” which just seems counterproductive to me. By reusing to call it that and telling people that you refuse to do so you are in fact calling it that. If you simply act like it’s still in fact called sci-fi you’ll get your point across much more effectively. Syfy is in fact a retarded name but identifying it as so, even in a backhanded sort of way, is also pretty retarded.

  • Jackson Briggs

    Blah-do-ble-do-blah. It’s just gibberish coming out of a boring textbook geek.

  • Matt C.

    Well, they do seem to be sinking considerable resources into the American version of Being Human, so there’s that. I actually liked Caprica. I was sorry to see it go.

  • trashcanman

    If they can come up with a story to do BSG justice, then I am all for it. But if they are going to make it just to try and cash in on their past accomplishments, they can shove it. Caprica’s pilot was absolutely amazing and then the rest of the season aired and so much of it was “meh” it hurt. No direction, as you said, and in the end it became a semi-lame Godfather homage and broke some serious continuity at that. I wish they’d done much better and thought it through before they started production because it was such a promising series, but it just meandered too much. If you can’t bring your A game in the sci-fi genre these days, you are going to get the shaft. That is just a fact. And sometimes you can rock the Casbah and STILL get canceled. Just ask those of us with coats of brown. I don’t need human Cylons, but they do need to find other compelling devices such as Caprica’s underutilized virtual cyberspace and use them effectively. And if they don’t have enough compelling material for a full series (as Caprica clearly did not) they should settle for a jam-packed miniseries instead of watering the concept down with cliches from other genres. These are my demands.Mr. Moore. The ball’s in your court.

  • You should check the ending of Caprica, it got quite good.

    Also, i am not so sure there won’t be “skinjobs” in BSG: Blood and Chrome

  • Shaun

    It appears the chief complaint about Caprica was the lack of action throughout the series. Now people are complaining about getting a new Battlestar-show that WILL have plenty of action and, G-D willing, the drama loved in BSG?

    We don’t need skin jobs in this series. We didn’t have them in the 1970s original series and I LOVED it even if I can’t look at it now without laughing. And they have no place in Blood & Gold as the events we saw in the Razor webisodes take place after the initial start of the new series. Nor did they actually show up until the SciFi series that many of us loved.

    If we’re going to complain about anything that has to deal with what happens on SyFy, let’s focus on them somehow making money off of their crappy movies.

  • I thought that show died in the 1970s. Did they remake it or something?

  • John

    Caprica kind of left a gaping whole the size of a Galactic core in story continuity.. what happened to the “final five”.

    In it’s effort (like SGU) to divorce itself so completely from its progenitor it just stressed its own story integrity to the breaking point.. and then it was more interesting watching the actors react to the lines they were delivering.. it became laughable.

    As a comedy perhaps it could have survived.

    Basically they backed the wrong pre-quel horse.. following up on the “original” backstory of the final five on Earth would have been far far more interesting. That and “he who doesn’t like to be called that..”

    Chrome already suffers from wantabee syndrome.. a lurch forward in time to recapture some of the fading embers of Galactica’s storyline. But really(?) can’t you screentest some of these stories with the audience you seek first? Put out a video game to test the waters.. then turn it into a series of mini-movies and then an episodic series with an arc.. that seems so much more logical and cost effective.

    Chrome is just so uninteresting from a plot description point.

    SGU was the same way.. why not explore the world they teased for so long? Drop them the heck back in the Ancients time and explore a Galactic civilization knowing they can never return home.. or risk causality.. or maybe that’s the point.. how do you maintain a timeline and still return home.. no one has ever explored that before.

  • 0ddity

    I have to agree. Be done with BSG already. Sci-fi should instead expand on the FARSCAPE universe. That would be fantastic!

  • Mark

    Just to correct something you said in your post, the Will Adama in Caprica is NOT Admiral Adama. Just FYI.

  • they seem to be going after the ‘tweener’ audience of YA (young adult) readers who are into Twilight and all that crap … since they cast a youngish pretty boy with pouty eyes and lips … the show will suck – that is certain … even the creators Ron D. Moore and David Eick didn’t know what they had when they had it – they lucked into collaborative genius from the miniseries through Season 2 (it fell apart during Season 3 and Season 4 was pretty terrible with an awful ending) .. it was a former Sci-Fi Channel exec. named Michael Jackson who gave the note to play up the religious conflict between the Cylons and the humans of the 12 Colonies (Cylons were monotheists, humans were polytheist pagans) which gave the story such depth and such interesting subtext and characters … although lightning does actually strike twice (or several times) in one go, when it comes to great entertainment – magic is rare indeed

  • jeff

    Nerd/Geeks/Whatever, like Science Fiction based material. There is very little to choose from, so where there is new drivel released, we watch it. Like a train wreak.

  • Just let it die! Make some more Stargate shows!

  • Informative post loved it.

  • I liked the way this post has been defined. People have lots of choices and they tend to have questions too in their minds.