back when cylons were metallic and starbuck was male

Images from Battlestar Wiki.
[Spoilers up ahead]

When I was a kid, I watched Battlestar Galactica reruns every Tuesday night on Channel 4. It was wholesome sci-fi series for the whole family.

Though I have a vague recollection of the original BSG (now referred to as "The Original Series", or T.O.S.), I remember enjoying it. I recall there was a mothership of sorts called a battlestar and it was named the Galactica. There were two male lead pilots; their aircraft were called Vipers which came in Viper Squadrons. I remember Apollo, Starbuck, Adama, Dillon, Troy and Boomer. There was a kid named Boxey and his robot bear/dog. The bad guys were walking metallic beings called Cylons with cool, moving red-light eye visors; the humans called them "toasters". I remember that the survivors from Caprica eventually made it to Earth and interacted with modern-day earthlings.

In 2003 I heard about a remake of Battlestar and I was thrilled; I hoped whoever was working on it didn't botch it. At that time we didn't have cable or satellite TV at our place so we had to wait for a (pirated) DVD.

Well it wasn't a botched job at all; it turned out to be spectacular and stimulating. Really good stuff.

But I lost interest halfway through the second season, around the time they had a squalid settlement in New Caprica.

Though it was an amazing series, I felt like it was too far a stretch from the original Battlestar Galactica that it shoudn't have used that same title. I felt duped into thinking it was a remake; it kinda just used the same title to trick people familiar with the original series into watching it. All the original names and terminology were in there, but it was a whole different reconstruction.

Later I heard that the new BSG was called Re-imagined. It's not a remake.

And by the way - I noted it was no longer entirely wholesome family viewing; there were a lot of bits in there that weren't exactly for kids.

I couldn't entirely enjoy it at first, since I struggled to wrap my mind around the re-imagining that the characters they called Starbuck and Boomer were female, that Baltar was an awkward but cute scientist-politician, and that Cylons were sexy, cell-based organisms, one of whom had a romantic psychic connection with Dr. Baltar. Periodically I would ask questions in my head such as, To what purpose do these Cylons have to be smoldering eye-candy?, Who are all these unfamiliar characters?, and, Where is Boxey and his robotic bear/dog?

The Hubby does not remember the original BSG series at all, so he wasn't obsessively making mental references to it in his head, so he truly, thoroughly enjoyed this new BSG without being distracted by the deconstruction of childhood memories.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I managed to forgive the new BSG for betraying me, and I joined the Hubby in a Season 1 to 4 marathon.

Uh, well, not exactly. The Hubby watched all four seasons while I sat in to point out how it misused the original title.

But I must admit, it's great stuff - it still really got me curious and entertained. I just had to shut down all the fond memories of the original BSG and embrace the re-imagined series. I had to constantly remind myself it's a re-imagining.

Okay, it's a re-imagining, that makes sense.

The hot, humanoid Cylons were actually a good idea.

Those humanoid Cylons create more depth and complexity to the story - so it's forgivable. But then there was too much complexity and subplots than I could care for (It's not that I couldn't follow; I guess I still kept looking for echoes of the original plot - which would have been crap now, I realize).

I just missed seeing those vintage metallic Cylons; they're like BSG icons. Memories of BSG TOS often conjured up images of those walking trash cans that lit up like Knight Rider's car.

The first time I watched the re-imagines series a few years ago, I started to brew the dislike when it was suggested that Boomer was one of the toaster baddies. I trusted that the story would redeem itself, so I watched on.

Watching on, I found that the words" toaster" and "baddie" didn't really fit, since she was neither made of metal, nor such a baddie.

T.O.S. Boomer was a dude; he was one of the main viper pilots with easy-recall names.

The new Boomer is a pretty Asian chick with multiple copies.

Well, let's face it - nowadays the name "Boomer" is hardly fitting for a badass male fighter pilot since it's been used on dogs a lot, so might as well make it a lady's call sign.

I could take that the new Boomer was a pretty Asian chick. I was just always distracted whenever her face came on screen because she had certain angles that made her look ugly, and I kept trying to find the angle that made her look really cute. So imagine my horror when several of her appeared at the same time.


In the big picture, the story seemed to of revolve more around Cylons; the human survival part was more like a subplot. Which isn't so bad, really.

And heh, Commander Tigh turned out to be a Cylon too. I didn't like that either, but I watched on.

Well, I guess a Cylon XO is not as bad as the suggestion that Starbuck was this mysterious otherworldy creature who happened to be married to another cylon. That kinda felt like a convenient copout resolution

About Starbuck. I actually liked that the Starbuck character was a woman. That was brilliant - placing strong women characters in an originally male-dominated story. The top gun happened to be a cocky, attractive blonde woman with flat hair.

I just thought that Kara Thrace's awkward "thing" with Apollo was cliche-ic and near-revolting. Ah, well. At least they weren't both male.

The original BSG's Starbuck was played by the guy who played Faceman in The A-Team, a.k.a. Dirk Benedict.

Yes, Starbuck was a man - a cocky, attractive, blonde womanizer. A very straight man by the way, and he did not have a thing for his best friend Apollo.

BSG 1978 centered on the adventures of Starbuck and Apollo. BSG 1980 centered on two other pilots, Dillon and Troy (Troy was the grown-up Boxey), but Starbuck was still in the story.

I like the new Apollo, a.k.a. Lee Adama, mostly because he's gorgeous.

The original Apollo wasn't so bad though.

The actor who played Apollo in the 1978-79 BSG, Richard Hatch, also happens to play a new character, Tom Zarek in the re-imagined series. Nice touch.

And well, there was a character in the re-imagined series named Boxey , though he was only in one episode, and he didn't have a pet robot bear-dog.

I also tried watching Caprica, an offshoot / precursor of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. I ... really ... can't say I enjoyed it. I fell asleep seeing the Pilot episode and simply refuse to follow it through.
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