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Battlestar Galactica - The Mini Series [2004] -

Despite voluminous protest and nitpicking criticism from loyal fans of the original TV series (1978-80), the 2003 version of Battlestar Galactica turned out surprisingly well for viewers with a tolerance for change. Originally broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in December 2003 and conceived by Star Trek: The Next Generation alumnus Ronald D Moore as the pilot episode for a "reimagined" TV series, this four-hour mini series reprises the basic premise of the original show while giving a major overhaul to several characters and plot elements. Gone are the flowing robes, disco-era hairstyles, and mock-Egyptian fighter helmets, and thankfully there's not a fluffy "Daggit" in sight... at least, not yet. Also missing are the "chrome toaster" Cylons, replaced by new, more formidable varieties of the invading Cylon enemy, including "Number Six" in hot red skirts and ample cleavage, who tricks the human genius Baltar! into a scenario that nearly annihilates the human inhabitants of 12 colonial worlds.

Thus begins the epic battle and eventual retreat of a "ragtag fleet" of humans, searching for the mythical planet Earth under the military command of Adama (Edward James Olmos) and the political leadership of Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), a former secretary of education, 43rd in line of succession and rising to the occasion of her unexpected Presidency. As directed by Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned), Moore's ambitious teleplay also includes newfangled CGI space battles (featuring "handheld" camera moves and subdued sound effects for "enhanced realism"), a dysfunctional Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan) who's provoked into action by the insubordinate Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), and a father-son reunion steeped in familial tragedy. To fans of the original BG series, many of these changes are blasphemous, but for the most part they work--including an ominous cliffhanger ending. The remade Galactica is brimming with smart, well-drawn characters ripe with dramati! c potential, and it readily qualifies as serious-minded science fiction, even as it gives BG loyalists ample fuel for lively debate. --Jeff Shannon

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
"So say we all!" : The new Battlestar Galactica is a science fiction series that even people who have no previous interest in science fiction have been watching and talking about. I have noticed this happening with people I work with, and most of them had watched the original series and pretty much nothing else set in space since. They all love the way it's been reworked and, as for me, I'm absolutely hooked.

I had actually seen series 1 before I saw this miniseries, so I was hoping that this would be great, but also preparing myself in case it wasn't - after all, this was the pilot for the series - the dry-run. Surely mistakes would be made, there would be scenes that didn't work, characters and situations that didn't feel true? As it turned out, this was probably the best three hours I have ever spent watching television. The story, the action, the characters, the effects and the scale of imagination in the writing is just breathtaking. I watched it all in one go, as that's the way it plays on the disc, and it made me want to watch from the first series again so much that I went on to Amazon and bought series 1, series 2 and have preordered series 3. Breathtaking? "So say we all!"

Rating: 5:
Battlestar Galactica - The Mini Series [2004 : Got this for a fiver, enjoyed it, lent it out now everyone pestering me to buy the series which i will do.

Rating: 5:
The Start of Something Special : This is a must see for all Sci-Fi fans, like so may others when I was a child I used to like watching the original series, but the great thing about this show, not just this mini series which you could class as the pilot but the whole re-release of the series, is that this show grew up with me its gone from the soft Good Guy's bad Cylon's but no real violence all just pretend style that entertained me in my pre / early teens, to really gritty, deep "here we are facing Armageddon" lets kick some ass style with modern special effects that I enjoy now as an adult.

It's great that cyclones have evolved from a lets scare the kids tin man to a deadly we are here to destroy all humanity terminator its just a beautiful touch in what is right up there with DS9 and SG1 in the class of the greatest Sci-Fi series of all time.

As far as this first pilot episode goes or pilot mini series if you want to call it, it has its fair share of action to warm you up to watch the series, to start out for the first half you have to sit through getting to know the characters which is key to understanding the series in order to gain full enjoyment of what is to come, but then before the end you are treated to one of the best outer space battle cruiser wars you will ever see as the war with the cyclones hits with full force and no remorse.

I think you will know at the end of this pilot if you are going to enjoy the program so it has to be worth checking out for that reason because if you like what you see then the best is still to come.

Rating: 4:
Surprisingly good : I'm a fan of the original series of Battlestar Galactica and only bought this as it was cheap and I was curious to see how the remake would be handled. I was pleasantly surprised.

The story is that the Cylons, a race of robots created by man, rebelled and war broke out. 40 years after the end of the war, the Cylons launch a surprise attack (in the original series it was the day the peace treaty was signed). The Cylons were able to attack with the unwitting help of a human (in the original series the traitor did it knowingly and willingly). The Cylons [in the remake] also have a secret weapon -- the latest Cylons look (and feel) like people.

The differences go beyond that -- whilst the names of the old characters are there the people have been updated for a modern audience. The characters are a little more realistic (they have issues), and the emotional range is greater, but it has still an action/adventure feel. The change in timing (i.e. 40 years after the war) means that most of the current crew have not been in a real battle and, at the start, are not battle-hardened.

All in all, it's very different to the original series, although it has the same basic plot, and, provided you're willing to judge it for itself it is pretty good. However, some people may like the original series more.

Rating: 5:
Great SCi FI drama : I had never watched the original series in full and didn't like it much but I seen this on amazon and the amount of good reviews people submitted. So I ordered it and never regreted it. The characterisation and acting is top notch and leaves lots of unanswered questions at the end which makes you want to buy season 1. I think even people who are not into sci fi would like this becuase of the plot line and characters that are built up and grow on you.
5* excellent for under 5.

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