Hattip to Cranky Con. Since there is nothing of real importance going on today, at least nothing that can’t wait for comment over the next four years, I thought this might be a good time to take a look at these reflections by Dirk Benedict on the current Battlestar Galactica show.
As Cranky Con observes, a large part of Benedict’s comments are probably sour grapes from an actor whose career peaked with the A-Team, but I think many of his criticisms are on target. I watched the old show and although it seems dated now, and is, it was good harmless science fiction entertainment in the seventies that obviously didn’t take itself very seriously. The current show which I watch is better acted, has great cgi effects, and is much better written. It is also down-beat, bordering on soft-core porn in parts, ultra-violent, frakking foul mouthed, and presents a bleak, nihilistic, thus far, view of the human condition. I think Benedict nails it in this passage:
“Re-imagining”, they call it. “Un-imagining” is more accurate. To take what once was and twist it into what never was intended. So that a television show based on hope, spiritual faith and family is un-imagined and regurgitated as a show of despair, sexual violence and family dysfunction. To better reflect the times of ambiguous morality in which we live, one would assume. A show in which the aliens (Cylons) are justified in their desire to destroy human civilization, one would assume. Indeed, let us not say who the good guys are and who the bad are. That is being “judgmental,” taking sides, and that kind of (simplistic) thinking went out with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Kathryn Hepburn and John Wayne and, well, the original “Battlestar Galactica.”
Well what is worthwhile about the new show and why do I watch it? In one word Adama. I love how he is portrayed in this show by Edward James Olmos who I think gives a realistic portrayal of a career military man dealing with an impossible situation. Lorne Greene never convinced me that he wasn’t about to call on Hoss and Little Joe to straighten out those galmonging Cylons! I also think the show does gain a few points for dealing with moral questions, although many of the answers given to the moral questions are appalling to me.
Ah well, there is at least one other person who joins Benedict in preferring the old Battlestar Galactica to the new Battlestar Galactica.