Much Needed Corrective, But Too Many Flaws,
This review is from: An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica (Library Binding)
On the plus side, Muir is to be commended for finally setting the record straight concerning the one thing that "Battlestar Galactica" has taken an unfair rap for so many years about, that it was a "ripoff." As he tellingly notes, not only was the George Lucas lawsuit highly suspect (and eventually dismissed) but Lucas himself had a far bigger track record of "ripping off" other sci-fi stories for Star Wars, if one were to apply the same standards to his work.
Unfortunately, as one of those who views Galactica as more than just a "guilty pleasure" (I am the author of more than a dozen Galactica fanfic stories) there are ultimately a good many things about this book that end up driving me up the wall. First off, Muir gets way too carried away with his literary criticism style and this causes him to fall in love with ideas of his that are not borne out by what BG's creators have said. Case in point is Muir pushing the long-discredited "Cain in the wreckage" theory concerning the episode "War Of The Gods." Terrence McDonnell, Galactica's story editor, laid this to rest once and for all in 1993 when he said that they had filmed a scene showing the victims to be fellow demons of the Count Iblis character but ABC censored it. Muir chose not to consult McDonnell, Glen Larson or any other participant in the production of the show on this point, or any other one for that matter, and that is simply inexcusable when he's going to bandy about theories that are not correct.
I also object to Muir's irresponsible use of the term "fascist" to describe Galactica's underlying political ideology, which is closer to the spirit of Reagan conservatism than it is to liberalism. For Muir to use an ugly term like "fascist" to describe viewpoints that are merely part of the normal conservative fabric says a lot about how there are some people on the left these days who are far more irresponsible than 50s paranoics of the right ever were about "communist" ideas in popular entertainment that they perceived.