Battlestar Galactica - How did I miss this?

I've recently been watching the TV series Battlestar Galactica on DVD as I completely missed it when it was on the telly. I believe the final season aired earlier this year. Hearing good things about it, I went back and started with the initial mini-series, then watched season one and two back to back. And so far, I'm impressed. Very impressed.

When I tell people about it, their intial reaction is always the same: "Battlestar Galactica? That was for kids, wasn't it?" No, no, no, I say. This is the new version, the 're-imagining' as it's known. And that's exactly what it is. Taking the central idea of the original 1978 series, the producers have refashioned it, exploiting its full potential and bringing it bang up to date. It makes you realise how good that idea was in the first place, it was just a shame it came so soon after the massive impact of Star Wars and ended up suffering from that, I think. Anyway, this new incarnation is a million light years away from the original, although some things have been retained (specifically the ships and a lot of the main characters). This version is well-scripted, well-acted, thought-provoking, challenging and intelligent, with high production values and an unflinching ability to peer into the abyss now and again. This is not a show peopled with cosy hero characters. These are real, flawed human beings, fighting for the right to stay alive. So, yes, there are some dark moments, and that's what makes the show so watchable. You don't know what's going to happen next, who will live, who will die.

So, how did I miss this first time round? Not sure, really. I can't say for certain what made me NOT watch it. I vaguely remember when the mini-series aired that there was some furore over Starbuck being a woman. (Oooooh!) And I caught the odd episode here and there on Sky but didn't really know what was going on and I hate coming into a show halfway through. So I kind of just waited, really. Now that it's finished and I've heard reliable reports that the show's ending lives up to all expectations (please, if you know the ending...don't tell me!), I am enjoying it all the more, safe in the knowledge that it won't disappoint as so many TV shows in the past have done. I'm just about to get my hands on Season 3 and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Ah, if only all TV shows were as good as this.


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