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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on December 6, 2003
If you are looking for a frothy cheerleading book about how perfect a show "Battlestar Galactica" was.......this isn't it. If you want an objective, insightful analysis on the series strengths and weaknesses from an author who is more concerned with providing honest, well-thought out opinions rather than tired propaganda, then this is THE book to get.
The book reads like a thesis, with numerous points of the show's characters, concepts, and context being explored in a very objective way. Highlights of the book include an excellent analysis of every episode in the series, a detailed look into the Biblical and mythological overtones present in the series, as well as an interesting commentary on the lawsuit filed against the series by Star Wars creator George Lucas. This is simply great reading.
There is no question that Mr. Muir is a Galactica fan, however, he is not a mindless fan willing to accept every aspect of the show as flawless. His honesty and objectivity are wonderfully refreshing, and reading the book made me fall in love with the series all over again.
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on August 5, 1999
John Kenneth Muir has authored a superb analysis of the Battlestar Galactica TV series, noting the show's many critics, its strong audience pull, and so forth. He analyzes all 17 of the show's episodes, explores some of the behind-the-scenes production problems, and offers the strengths and weaknesses of the overall show and individual episodes.
Muir's theme is that Galactica, warts and all, was nonetheless an entertaining and thought-provoking series that didn't deserve the kind of criticisms it got from the likes of sci-fi author David Gerrold and horror author Stephen King - Muir reprints blasts by those two and others against the show, blasts that display the ever-indefensible strain of elitist snobbery distressingly common to sci-fi.
Muir's strongest insight lies in his analysis of the show's hawkish view of war-and-piece issues. Sci-fi tends to be drearily pacifistic, based not on any realworld context but on sheer myth. Battlestar Galactica was different, and remains such even today. The show's hawkish philosophy is based on what has happened in the real world, not on the dreams of pacifists. Galactica's viewpoint has been repeatedly verified throughout history; where, for instance, can the one-world pacific viewpoint of Star Trek be verified in the real world?
There are naturally areas where one can disagree with Mr. Muir - his analyses of the episodes Lost Planet Of The Gods and Gun On Ice Planet Zero are overly harsh; in GOIPZ he repeats the valid but misunderstood criticism that the Fleet could have simply bypassed the Cylon-armed planetoid, never realizing that the Fleet is in effect surrounded by Cylon base stars and cannot do such an end-run - and he overanalyzes cliches within the show, such as the court-martial cliche used in Murder On The Rising Star.
Muir's overall analysis, though, is spot-on. He recognizes Battlestar Galactica as an enjoyable and thought-provoking series, and includes a list of ten recomended changes should the series be revived, some of which can serve as rules to be applied to any film genre - the bad-guys-who-can't-shoot-straight cliche has GOT to go - and most of which have been employed in the Maximum Press and Realm Press versions of Galactica and in Richard Hatch and Chris Golden's novels.
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on April 2, 2001
This is the best book ever written about Battlestar Galactica. Though some reviews on this page have trashed it, one must remember that "fan" is an abbreviation of the term "fanatic." The joy of this book is that it honestly evaluates Galactica's strengths AND weaknesses, and ultimately finds the series worthwhile. It is not propaganda, but analysis. It is not an interview book or a behind-the-scenes book, nor was it meant to be. Instead, it is a thoughtful analysis of an oft-misunderstood sci-fi series. This is a well-written, well-argued, thoughtful and OBJECTIVE look at Galactica, and some people (probably the same people who thought Jar-Jar in The Phantom Menace was "brilliant) just can't handle the truth. For people who want some fascinating material to debate (in a grown-up way), this is a wonderful book from an author who knows his material thoroughly.
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on March 10, 1999
This book is the most in-depth on BSG, and most likely it will be the only in-depth book of this nature that will ever be written. It dispels the myth that BSG was a Star Wars [copy] and reveals how Star Trek:TNG probably [copied] some ideas. It is even handed, praising the show where it deserves to be praised, and it is evenly harsh on the show when it's rather obvious any talent they had skipped an episode. The author is obviously a fan, yet he doesn't let it get in his way of being objective. As the author points out, BSG fans are the first to admit the show's many shortcomings. A definete must for any fan, this book is also excellent for libraries. (The only shortcoming is the horrid B&W picture near the beginning).
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on January 1, 2003
This is a very interesting, thought-provoking book about Battletar Galactica that is perfect for easy reference and has become a permanent fixture near my TV. The author knows the ins-and-outs of the series and writes well about it, and has clearly given his "analysis" a lot of thought (whether one agrees with it or not). He has a good eye for details and knows why the series was sometimes great/sometimes not - capturing the essence of a flawed classic. Overall a provocative read - not studio (or fan) propaganda.
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on December 9, 2003
The author impressed me with his knowledge of the history of the show including the legal milieu surrounding BG and Star Wars. While I thoroughly enjoyed BG series as a very young man, I am now adult enough to accept the obvious production flaws the author exposes in his superb objective analysis of the series.
I recommend this book for those who would wish to recapture the essence of the series and further understand the importance of the SF TV genre.
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