1. It is a great and relevant story.
After 9/11 we saw the world with dystopian colored shades and wondered how we would make it while choosing between morally shaky options. This is the only televisions series that week after week took these issues head on. It didn’t preach or show one side better than the other, but it had loads of questions. Is it ok to shoot down an airliner with civilians that you think is going to be used as a terrorist weapon? Is it ok to use torture when a great many lives are immediately at stake? Should we preserve our democratic process during extraordinary times? What makes us human and worth saving? Galactica faced issues that most other shows would flinch from. They also focus in on many of the issues you'd expect in such a situation such as this, including necessities like food and water, which many series tend to bypass.
You know how some shows have teams assembled with some of the very best people in their field? Well, that is not this show. The characters of Galactica are deeply flawed and troubled individuals plagued with the same demons and troubles that most other people have. They make bad choices, they hold grudges, they get depressed and eat until they make themselves fat. At the same time, they rise above their problems. They hold to their ideals. They are not perfect people, but they change, they improve and redemption is there and some seek it. This is one of the first shows I've watched in a long time where two of my top 4 characters are female. I really admire the way every female character is written on this show. Also, just to repeat, the characters are brilliant. One minute you will hate them, and the next, you will love them, and then you will pity them.
The series also shows what could be called a "genderless" society. Women and men are still women and men, but there are no limitations placed on what roles they take on in society. Many are pilots, soldiers, Admirals and even the President. They can be just as strong as any man and in many cases are stronger.
The ensemble series is led acting-wise by two academy nominated actors: Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos. They are supported by a strong group of character actors who do more than just explore their characters, they research the situation. When you see them portray a sleep deprived crew that has been up for days, they really ARE sleep deprived. Many of them are glamorous and good looking, but they are not afraid of looking really ugly if it helps the scene. They make everything look real and there is a truth to their performances. There is only one actor that I'm not a fan of, but even they get better as the series progresses. The acting on this show, especially from Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, and James Callis, is genius.
Ostensibly it is a science fiction show. It is set in outer space, there are space craft and intelligent robots chasing them. But it is also a family drama. It is filled with interpersonal stories with the space backdrop. It can at times be a political drama and touch on religious themes. It can be a courtroom drama, crime drama or a tense thriller. It can be an action show or a military drama, or a mystery, or even a slice of life show. The show provides a broad canvas for the writers to paint on AND they do paint on it as broadly as they can. Yes, please don't look at it just as a Sci-Fi. It's more a drama that just happens to be set in Outer Space.
The show is filmed in 1080P digital camera. The sets are large and detailed. The style of the show is set up to convey a dramatic documentary style. It has a real lived in look, like it actually exists. The problem with filming a show like this is that there are little or no locations that can be used for shooting. Everything has to be created from scratch. Great effort is made to make things look functional, familiar and yet at the same time “different”. What you see will affect you on a subconscious level. They do use the documentary style that I've heard is popular in shows these days. It took me the whole of the miniseries to get used to it, but after that, that style calms down a lot.
6. The fans are fun.
They are not (total) headcases. They are respectful of the actor’s space if they meet them. They have regular jobs and REAL lives. They like to have fun and they don’t obsess about their interest in Battlestar Galactica, they celebrate it. Some costuming groups will have a table to get you to join. The Colonial Fleet will throw a big party and ask you to join. They come from all over the world and all walks of life. Couples can get into the show, not just one person from a relationship. The show raises questions and they fans relish talking and chewing over those questions. The show is still on the air (But not for longL) and the fans feel like they have been a part of this ride too. They are in the moment and are having a great time…. And they want you to join in with this great time. I'm iffy on this one, but I'm not cutting anything out of this list because it's not originally mine. It's my opinion that there are batshit fans in every fandom, no matter how hard they lurk and hide. However, the fandom is very good at using flock, and even so they generally seem to want to get along and be nice. Also, fandom doesn't seem to be overrun with one ship or character. There are more popular or less popular relationships or characters, but it's not too crazy.
Showrunner Ronald D. Moore has never shied away from the fans. He engages them directly. Through commentaries of each episode that he puts out regularly, Q&A sessions publicly and online he described the creative and deliberative process that has them arrive at the choices that they make in the show. He’s quick to admit what works and what didn’t work. Documentary crews run often through the sets providing interviews and behind the scenes information on nearly every aspect to the show. Few shows like Galactica will have the access that it provides. This is another thing I admire. While I do love Doctor Who/Torchwood, RTD has a tendency to consider everything he's done as brilliant. Well, one thing I admire about Moore is he has actually come out and said 'Ok, I know such and such an episode didn't work...' Another thing that makes me fangirl about this show is composer Bear McCreary keeps a blog, and for many of the Season 3 and all the Season 4 episodes, he's written entries on the creative process and behind the scenes work on the score for each episode. For a music geek like me, this is amazing, but even for someone who isn't very knowledgeable in music, the posts are informative and interesting. He often uses interesting instruments and styles that you don't usually hear in everyday life, or in a regular Sci-Fi show.
There are shows as successful as Galactica that cause their actors to be very separated from the fanbase. The actors from the series attend conventions and other public events and are for the most part very appreciate for the interest and fan involvement AND are approachable too. At Dragon*con this year, the actors came to celebrate and mingle with the fans at the Galactica party. They are almost always involved in some charity raising money for a worthy cause and often these charities involve going out to dinner or a sporting event with the actor or auctioning off an autographed piece of memorabilia. One particular actor has a habit of getting drunk at con's and spilling secrets, but I will leave you to find out who it is by yourself. I'm very impressed with the actors on this show, and they all seem to be very nice and generous with fans.
There are many reasons why this show will still be watched and studied 30 years from now. The biggest reason is that it is a timeless story with good acting and production value. It’ll be hard to date the series to one decade or another though most will find it tied to the post 9/11 sensibilities. Good storytelling never really fades. This is an iffy subject, because we can't see the future and we don't know what people will be watching. The show is critically acclaimed by many, and I believe it deserves every positive comment it gets.
10. The show will knock you for a loop.
The series does not pull punches. They joked that in the third season that the main guest star was the grim reaper. Characters die and often in unpleasant and unexpected ways. You will be stunned with twists and surprises. The end of the first season alone had people screaming out loud with what happened. Just when people seem to be coming to a point where they can deal with what is happening around them that is when the carpet is shaken up from under their feet. There is no resetting to zero at the end of the episode. And when you are shocked, they’ll hit you again for good measure.
-It brought us the word 'Frak!'
-Everyone is SO PRETTY.
-This show has, imho, one of the best developed relationships on television. That's all I'm going to say.
Well, the watching order is fairly simple, but it is very important that you watch everything in the order it came in, especially if you don’t want to be spoiled. So, starting now would be a very bad idea (currently we are in the middle of the final season, season 4.5)
The best starting point is with the miniseries, which aired in 2003. This will introduce you to the characters and the overall plot of the show. It’s basically a three hour long pilot episode. Season 1 is 13 episodes long, and comes five days after the miniseries ends.
Season 2 is made up of two parts, 2.0 and 2.5, and contains 20 episodes. Season Three is one part, and has 20 episodes. After this point, the TV movie Razor should be watched. It is available on the Season 4.0 boxset. Although it fits in around the middle of season 2, it makes more sense to view it at this point. Season 4 comes after Razor, and is made up of two parts, 4.0 and 4.5.
There are also two sets of webisodes. The Resistance takes place between Season 2 and Season 3, and is available on the Season 3 dvds. Face of the Enemy takes place between Season 4.0 and season 4.5. The latter is not out on DVD yet because as of today it is still airing ^.^
There will be more pictures to come, but I have to go eat lunch now. Also, those who already watch the show, feel free to link to this. :-D