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Battlestar Galactica (2003 Miniseries)

Edward James Olmos , Mary McDonnell    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Battlestar Galactica ~ Miniseries


Despite voluminous protest and nitpicking criticism from loyal fans of the original 1978-80 TV series, 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 "miniseries" reprises the basic premise of the original show while giving a major overhaul (including some changes in gender) 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 dramatic potential, and it readily qualifies as serious-minded science fiction, even as it gives BG loyalists ample fuel for lively debate. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order Season 1 & get it for free Dec 6 2005
There is no need to order this DVD if you are purchasing the Season 1 release.
The Miniseries (pilot) is included as a "bonus" on Disc 1 in the season 1 package. Therefore ignore the "Great Buy" offer from Amazon when ordering and just head straight to Season 1. You will get this content anyway.
I have learned this the hard way & have a return in process.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic journey, take two... Dec 9 2005
Last year, the SciFi Channel in America brought back an old series in a new format - the late 1970s series, 'Battlestar Galactica', born on television to attempt to ride the coattails of the popularity of 'Star Wars' in the cinemas. There are some similarities, but major differences. The SciFi Channel floated a four-hour miniseries of the new Battlestar Galactica to gauge reaction, and it came back favourably. The new series is in production (fortunately the network had the presence to sign the actors to continuation agreements should the series get picked up).
There won't be any spoilers here (there can't be, as the series isn't finished yet), but the stage is set from the miniseries, which now serves as the series pilot. However, first a brief description of the original series is in order.
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Original Series
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In the original series, the saga opens at a peace conference, ending the 1000-year war between the humans, congregated mostly on twelve planetary colonies, and the Cylons, a machine race bent on galactic domination. Due to treachery by one of the colonial leaders (Baltar, played by John Colicos), the peace conference is in fact a trap, and a Pearl Harbouresque attack destroys all but one of the primary warships (the Battlestar Galactica). Meanwhile, the undefended colonies are similarly ransacked, left indefensible and uninhabitable. The commander, Adama (Lorne Greene), assumes leadership of a ragtag fleet of several hundred ships that sets out for a distant world known only in legend - Earth.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depth, Drama, Desires July 5 2005
Since I hated the original series for a number of reasons I was not especially optimistic about this miniseries. In fact, I started watching with very jaded eyes; always a bad start and I knew it. With the very mundane and unentertaining scifi series currently on I felt great another boring shallow show. How wrong was I? Well.. let's just say I'll have ketchup with my crow.
The interplay between the characters, the tension, depth of characters and the one thing I love.. that blackhole suction that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what the hell is next. I found myself spiralling down into each character as they were unveiled throughout the miniseries and then the first season. The human side of things is so well done you could expected to hear about the happenings in the news and not find them out of place. Well done indeed. Women I think would find this as enticing as well; although my wife has only seen a few episodes, the ones she does she is happy with. Explosions and cool effects.. oh yes but more importantly it has that gritty drama of refugees fighting to survive themselves and outside forces that makes for a truly great show. By far one of the best things on TV.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Battlestar Galactica now a great drama! Nov. 5 2004
By A Customer
... and the look of the show is a new artistic standard thanks to the people at Zoic! FX.
Battlestar Galactica was a Star Wars ripoff from the late 70s that became a TV show... and was cancelled after a season. The show was cheezy, badly written, and was mostly about Starbucks hair... which survived to play a role in The A-Team!
This remake, or reimaging, looks great and has a completely different tone. Rather like the original shows focus on the characters so too does this new production but with a definate edge that pushes the show into actual drama. The characters are all connected to each other emotionally without the silly stereo types. Starbuck and Apollo have a real reason to be close friends, for example.
The action shots are truly fantastic! Unlike other Sci-Fi shows that just look like toys shooting rays at each other in a video game, BG breaks into shaky cameras and clumbsy zoom shots giving the action tention, speed, and real ... hey I'll say it again - drama. I can tell these SPFX are done by Zoic! I also noticed Serenity (from the canceled show Firefly) landing in one shot! LOL!!!
The cylons were just robots to shoot, but in this new show the cylons have done something no one seems to have noticed. They destroyed all of humanity with almost no effort... because it was easier to use human weakness (Baltar) to destroy us. Drama!
Most Sci-Fi shows in the past have had ships floating about like little toys shooting rays at one another. Everything was smooth and easy - and boring. Well you know, I love spacy ships as much as the next guy but here comes something that, imho, makes all the space battles of the past seem like old fashioned SPFX. We are seeing the dawn of a new era where being slick isn't good enough... you have to be dramatic! Exciting!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mini Series
I loved the series and I had to have the MIni Series that started it all, a must have for Battlestar Galactica fans.
Published 13 months ago by Don Evancio
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant drama - As has been noted elsewhere, this mini series is...
Important note: The 'Season 1' box set contains
this mini-series that started the whole thing off. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly well done and a faithful successor to the Original.
I thoroughly enjoyed this work -- I had hesitated to watch being a faithful fan of the original. But I'm glad that I did, as I'm very very happy with what I saw - the story (even... Read more
Published on July 4 2009 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Very Very Well done!!!
I don’t have much time so to be brief this is very high quality film making and my first impression was finally something worthy of this expensive cable bill. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2006 by Giver
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original!
Battlestar Galactica miniseries has by far a better storyline than the original series i.e. that every flaw of the original has been corrected and a lot of psychological depth has... Read more
Published on June 13 2005 by Charles T. Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing special effects
I was pertty much against a sort of remake of the great 1979 series, i know many have given this serie a bad rap but still i was very young then and love every minute of this serie... Read more
Published on Dec 30 2004 by yannick messaoud
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