This past March 20th marked the eighth year since the 2004 (2003 if you count the mini-series) Battlestar Galactica series concluded its run. I estimate that I've eagerly watched all 75 episodes in their entirety at least five times since, and to this day, I am struck by the creative power and vision that made it what it was.
This re-evaluation comes thereabout the upcoming release of the fifth installment of the "Aliens" franchise (a prequel, but in effect a redux, and a followup to the beautifully shot, but incompetently scripted "Prometheus") and the popularity of two relatively new series which also address the issue of robotic sentience - "Westworld" and "Humans". Now I know that Westworld has garnered mucho kudos, and don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the show's creative head, Jonathan Nolan, especially of his recently departed sci-fi, action-thriller series "Person of Interest". But, invariably, everyone who has recommended that I check out Westworld has been blissfully unaware that the series is a elaboration on the 1973 feature film of the same name, starring Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, and Yul Brenner. For me, all of the essential elements of the original film are present and accounted for, but aside from some gender-objectification issues, it is essentially the same, and frankly, I think Humans does it much better.
This of course brings us to the primary problem that any re-make of an existing series, or any adaptation of a feature film of yesteryear must face in order to really pull it off in. In regard to Westworld I just don't think much that is truly new is being brought to the table, and let's face it, if you are tackling this hurdle, there best be something new to eat at the table. Don't throw out the table and replace it with a new one, mind you. You just need to change the setting and a few of the courses.
For me, Battlestar Galactica Re-dux was that series that got it right. First of all, it was a blessed endeavor, in that the original series already possessed an interesting premise, which the creative team updated, shook out the bugs, and added new aspects that eluded the context of the original 1978 series, all the while staying loyal to the vision of the original story-line and feel of the show. So let's go over the changes, additions and choices that the writers and producers of Galactica Redux decided on, and hypothesize why they made those clearly correct decisions.
The new Baltar, on the other hand, expertly played by Jamie Callis it should be mentioned, was nuanced and complex, had an elaborate character arch, and was duped by his own not unsubstantial failings into assisting the Cylons in their genocide.
The singularity, if you're not aware, is the belief that in the event that humanity does ever succeed in creating artificial intelligence, there is a good chance that such an intelligence might logic out that we humans are the problem, and they will design to replace us. Whether this is a technological fantasy, or it actually will come to pass is almost irrelevant. What is not is the sense that humans have that we can be replaced. We see it in life, in romantic relationships, and even personal loss. After all, when one person dies, the world goes on, right? So why not the whole species? In that sense, whether the cause of that replacement is robots such as the Cylons, Skynet and the Terminators, or even the Walking Dead's un-dead almost makes no difference.
I like to believe that our politically charged, multiple-season scripted epic, Partisan Earth, will be counted among those beloved, classic shows one day, and I know that Partisan Earth can do for Space Opera what Game of Thrones has done for fantasy on television, what the Walking Dead did for the Zombie genre, and what Battle-Star Galactica Redux previously did for Space Opera. To learn more about this very special project, please feel free to visit: http://nevekari.com/Partisan-Earth.html
Thank you very much Gary, and rest in peace.