Battlestar Galactica

In Honor of the Commander’s Birthday…

Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama

Today is Edward James Olmos‘ 64th birthday. In honor of Commander/Admiral Adama, I’m finally committing myself to rewatch, from beginning to end, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (BSG) series.  Why this sudden resurgence in BSG?

BSG has so much going on and some many under-themes, it’s easy to miss things and/or reinterpret things.  It’s also fun to rewatch knowing what happens and who the Cylons are and catch the hints and clues that were ingeniously included but not so overt as to understand them before things had unfolded.  Truthfully I’ve been meaning to rewatch for quite some time.  But something always stood in my way.

For awhile, it was the strange subconscious aversion we develop to things we loved that we shared with someone close to us who is no longer close to us.  If that’s not clear, let me provide an example of what I’m talking about.  At one point in time, I was developing a very close relationship with a particular gentleman.  During a short time frame, things were developing, and then suddenly things went horrible awry.  During that time frame, I had an album by Stroke 9 (a clue as to how long ago my example is from) on constant repeat in my car stereo.  Shortly after things fell apart, that album was removed from my car and replaced with something else (it may have been the angry stylings of an unreleased version of Alkaine Trio’s “Jaked on the Green Beers”).  I tend to move on from music frequently and sometimes it is awhile before I come back to something I previously played out.  The Stroke 9 album went away for awhile.  On a few occasions I pulled the CD out and began to play it, but found myself not being able to listen to it.  It was never something I was in the mood to hear.  At the time, I didn’t consciously understand why I wasn’t enjoying the music which I’d previously loved.  It was some years later that I actually connected my aversion to the album to the events that had occurred when I was first playing that music.  More commonly, this type of aversion develops based on music, movies, television shows, activities, etc. that couples discovered and/or enjoyed together.  (My sense is that aversions to things based on events occurring at the time is less common, but you tell me…I’ve never done a study on it).

In any case, for awhile, I didn’t want to start rewatching BSG because it was something I began watching with a former partner.  I instigated it, but the show quickly became an addiction for both of us.  I remember spending 8 hours in bed with my then-love watching past episodes to catch up to the episodes shown in real time (i.e. as they debuted).  We watched together from the beginning to the end.  Despite telling myself I was going to rewatch, as the show is definitely worth it, I never seemed to be able to start due to the way I was connecting BSG with my ex.  But, that connection disappeared (mostly because I no longer harbored feelings one way or another regarding my ex; in other words I was finally over him) and a lack of time began standing in my way.

Time is so precious (as I’ve previously detailed here) I had/have so many things going on that I didn’t have to time to watch something I’d already seen, especially not when so many other things I’d never seen before where screaming for my attention (Eureka anyone?). I’m still as busy as ever.  In fact, I recently was talking to a friend about getting together for dinner, and it turns out the soonest I’m available is three weeks from now. Go figure, right? But I figure I can find 40 minutes at least twice a week to devote to BSG and slowly (agonizingly slow) make my way through.  I feel like I need to now.  I need to continue the story (despite a large gap).

I just recently finished watching all of the final episodes of Caprica. Finally!  As I got closer to the end I got more and more angry at the cancellation by the “SyFy” network.  I’ve complained about SyFy previously, but never coherently in one place (which is probably a good thing).  While the final episode did end with various scenes indicating “the shape of things to come” and provided insight into how things developed, it wasn’t completely satisfying.  There are still huge unanswered questions.  Particularly, how we moved from Zoe Graystone the “skin job” to The Five and how William Adama became the man he did (though we should get some of this insight as Blood and Chrome comes to light.  I could come up with my own story to fill in the gaps, but it isn’t quite the same as watching someone else’s vision unfold.  I think I’m becoming more and more a proponent of using the graphic novel medium to continue stories and resolve unanswered questions.  (Writers of “Surface”, are you listening? I want to know what was going on with all those creatures and what happens to the flooded world and….)

Since completing Caprica, I’ve found myself continually listening to the incredible BSG Soundtrack albums composed by Bear McCreay (Link to Amazon purchasing page).  Listening to the genius scores that link events and people together only confirms/reaffirms my desire.  Plus, at some point in the near future I’ll be returning to Seattle to visit a friend.  He’s promised to indulge me and accompany me in attendance to the Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition at the Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum.  Who doesn’t want to see a life-size Cylon Raider and Viper (the museum even had to cut a hole in the building to get the ships in!)?

So, today, on birthday of Edward James Olmos I will watch Ronald D. Moore’s vision unfold beginning with the 2003 Mini-series.  I’ll still be angry, perhaps even more so, that I don’t have answers to the gap between the end of Caprica and the beginning of BSG, but I can’t guarantee that I will thoroughly enjoy watching BSG from start to finish again.  There are a lot of deep themes to ponder and I look forward to it.

5 thoughts on “In Honor of the Commander’s Birthday…”

  1. Yay for BSG and yay for moving beyond that painful period in your life. It would be really interesting to know how the show holds up now that some time has passed and you know where the story is going. Perhaps you could post a weekly brief commentary on your experience re-watching the episodes? If that’s too much, perhaps a monthly commentary?

  2. I just finished re-watching up to the end of the 2nd season, it’s interesting to watch it unfold when you know what happens at the end. I’m certainly curious to read what you think after re-watching it yourself.

    I understand what you mean about that aversion to something that you once enjoyed with a loved one who is no longer in your life, it was at least a decade before I could listen to “Close to the Edge” by Yes without associating the album with time spend with a former girlfriend. Time did heal that wound, but I no longer have that album in my collection.

    1. Glad to hear your wounds have healed. Out of curiosity, is the album no longer in your collection due to a change in personal tastes? Or due to the aversion? I’ve found that despite wounds healing, sometimes things associated with the wound have still got to go. And other times, we realize those things didn’t cause the wound and can enjoy them again. Personally, Close to the Edge has always been a little too progressive for my tastes.

      I hope you’ll enjoy reading my comments as I re-watch. I’m hoping to post at least every two weeks (maybe more often if I get sucked in again) with the first coming tomorrow.

      1. That’s a good question. I think a little of both. I’m still a fan of Yes, and most other prog rock bands (especially Rush), but I really haven’t listened to them for years as my tastes have changed over the years. Close to the Edge is still a fantastic album, and maybe one of these days I’ll revisit it, but for now it’s just not something I want to listen to. But the main reason it’s not in my collection was because of the bad memories.

        I’m definitely looking forward to reading your comments on BSG. I’m going to start re-watching the 3rd season in the next few days, which I had a hard time watching the first time around as there were many filler episodes that I didn’t care for too much. But maybe my opinion will change.

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