Netflix Roulette — Battlestar Galactica

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’re Katey Stoetzel and Sara Hettel, and we’ll be teaming up this semester to bring you Netflix Roulette.

Netflix Roulette is a weekly source for commentary about television shows found within Netflix’s library. Each week, we randomly select a series by spinning the wheel on the Netflix Roulette website. All thoughts, observations and reviews are based only on the pilot episode of each series.

ABC’s “Battlestar Galactica” tells the story of the last of a civilization aboard the last standing fighter carrier as they make their way to the planet Earth. The pilot episode, titled “Saga of a Star World,” aired Sept. 17, 1978.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzuKK-LAtKA”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sara: BEARS. BEETS. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

Katey: You stole my joke.

Sara: Speaking of jokes, identity theft is not a joke, Katey! MILLIONS OF FAMILIES SUFFER EVERY YEAR.

Katey: Ha ha. I would ask you which bear is best, but that might be taking it too far. Shall we talk about the pilot to “Battlestar Galactica”?

Sara: It has a two minute title sequence. That has been my most significant observation thus far. I’m too busy resisting the urge to quote “The Office” in every paragraph.

Katey: I’m pretty sure I was falling asleep during the main title sequence, but that might have to do with how tired I am right now. During that main title sequence though, I was getting major original “Star Trek” vibes, and I love “Star Trek.” And I thought this “Battlestar Galactica” pilot was pretty good, which I wasn’t expecting.

Sara: I haven’t watched the original, but “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was my life like ten years ago. I will say too that I’m also still on a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” high, plus I’m reading “The Martian,” so this is an oddly exciting watch for me. We’re really covering all our space reference bases, here. Back to the pilot — it does feel a lot like a remake of “Star Trek,” which is slightly disappointing to me.

Katey: Ugh, I kind of hate “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” And love, love “The Martian.” Space is pretty cool, too. It does feel like “Star Trek,” but I think it’s pretty clear we’re getting a different story here. In fact, I think the story, from what I can tell just from this pilot, might be one of “Battlestar Galactica’s” strongest aspects. This pilot also felt expertly paced.

Sara: I can’t even hate on TNG. Too much nostalgia. I do really love the idea of the Colonies and the Council as sort of the ruling power, plus there’s a ton of action right off the bat to make things interesting. We’ve seen so many pilots that are so drawn out, so it’s great to watch one that throws you into the mix right away.

Katey: There’s so much emotion here too. Like with Zach and Apollo and their father, Commander Adama. And how we get short scenes of the crew interacting, and then seeing them all die is powerful, and we understand Starbuck’s reaction later on. Now… let’s talk about the reveal. Our characters are headed to Earth. Before that was revealed, did you think this was “Star Trek,” and humans had figured out how to explore space, or did you catch on these characters might not be human?

Sara: I was actually wondering that about midway through. There isn’t really a strong alien presence or anything to hint at other life on the Galactica (Cylons are basically robots so I’m not counting those), so I kind of just assumed they were Earth humans and Earth didn’t exist. How about you?

Katey: Well, I wasn’t really thinking about it I guess, just paying attention to the action on the screen. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the small details I knew about “Battlestar Galactica” before watching it. I don’t know how much this is true, and it might be more about the 2004 version, but doesn’t this show have something to do with clones? Or with aliens who can make themselves look like other people? I guess I’ll have to keep watching, but that was going on in the back of my mind the whole time.

Sara: I just remember at one point during the fight being like, “These are humans but I don’t quite understand how.” You’re thinking of Humanoid Cylons! (Thank you, Battlestar Wiki.) I can’t find any information about them in this version, though. This one only has one season compared to 2004’s five, so I don’t know if they’d make it that far into the story.

Katey: Ah, gotcha. I’ve always just equated “Battlestar Galactica” with clones. I’m not sure how I felt about these robot-like Cylons. They seemed like pretty standard villains to me, so I wasn’t all that interested. Except for you know, the part where they destroy and kill everybody. That was pretty interesting.

Sara: Yeah, I’m past the point of such stereotypical robots being scary and threatening. Granted, this was 1978, so I’m sure robots were at the peak of their villain careers.

Katey: My robot villain history is lacking, I’m afraid.

Sara: That should be a class offered here. I’d take it. Even without a proper “Battlestar Galactica” education though, I think we can agree this pilot is an A plus.

The 1978 version of “Battlestar Galactica” has one season and was picked up again in 2004 for five more seasons. The show has three out of five stars on Netflix. Similar titles include “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]