Guest Blogger, Chris Ferrell

Introducing Chris Ferrell from Nerds of The Round Table

Our first guest blogger is Chris Ferrell. When you are finished reading his tribute to one of the great science fiction shows of our generation, Battlestar Galactica; click on over to his site and read more exciting posts. In addition, it would be a great gesture if you left comments below. His guest post is a sacrifice for him and a great honor for me to be able to have a guest blogger. As a favor to me show Chris the courtesy you might want shown to you if you were a guest writer on someone else’s blog. Thanks.
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TRIBUTE
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If you guys have seen my site, you’ve probably realized that I am a huge fan of the re-make of Battlestar Galactica that launched in 2003. But in all fairness, it took a while for this show to catch on with me. I remember back in 2002 when I heard about the upcoming relaunch of Battlestar Galactica, the first thing that went through my head was, ‘Oh this is going to be just as lame as the original. Why are they even bothering.’  For that reason I didn’t watch the mini-series or season one when they first aired. Yes, you read that right, I was not originally on the Battlestar Galactica bandwagon.

I was home on summer vacation from my freshman year of college when I finally gave the show a try. My Dad had watched the mini-series and season one and was telling me how great the show was. Since I was unemployed for a good deal of that summer I gave it a chance. The mini-series was slow burning but at the end I was having a lot of fun.

What really got me hooked though was the first episode of season one entitled 33. The basic gist of this episode was the the remnants of humanity had escaped the Cylon massacre but they were running for their lives as the Cylons attacked them every 33 minutes. I thought this episode was brilliant with edge of the seat excitement and trying to figure out if humanity would escape.  At the same time this episode really highlighted one the main differences between humanity and the Cylons. The Cylons had no breaking point; as machines they could just keep coming while humans gradually began to weaken and fall apart.  33 was a great episode for getting hooked on the show.

From that point on I was hooked. I watched all of season 1 in about 1.5 days. Now here is where you might need to beware if you haven’t seen the show I’m going to talk about a couple of the cliffhangers. The season 1 finale was hell on me.  William Adama has been my favorite character in the series and to see him betrayed, shot, and at death’s door made for a cliffhanger that was ridiculously intense for me. Luckily, I only had a few months before my favorite show would return to TV. Battlestar Galactica became famous for me with its mid-season and end of season finales. They always had big cliffhangers.  And of course the then SciFi channel would put the show on break for a minimum of 6 months before the next episode would air. It was like a punch in the gut at the end of season 2 when the Cylons invaded New Caprica, and it was a long 12 months trying to figure out what would happen to the remnants of humanity.

Season 3 was probably worse in the cliffhanger factor. Not only had 4 of the final 5 Cylons been revealed but the fleet was trapped in nebula and somehow Starbuck had returned from the dead! I had another almost year to sit there and wonder how all this had happened. What was the significance, had I missed the clues that hinted that Chief Tyrol was a Cylon? How was it possible that Saul Tigh the biggest toaster hater in the fleet was a Cylon? And also, how the hell could Kara Thrace return from the dead, was she the 5th and final Cylon?

And if you thought that was bad, they really ramped it up for the season 4 mid-season finale.  After years of looking for Earth, humanity and the Cylons putHumanity Finds 'Earth' aside their differences to avert another Armageddon.  In doing so they find the way to Earth courtesy of Starbuck and her Viper. Its a joyous moment and you’re left thinking everything is coming to a good close. Finally the remnants of the 12 Colonies will have a home. The crew is celebrating and the ‘Old Man,’ Admiral Bill Adama, is able to recover from the sense of betrayal he has received after discovering his best friend is a Cylon.

Then, the remnants of humanity land of the surface and find a devastated nuclear wasteland. The supposed paradise of Earth is instead a death sentence to anyone who would dare settle on the planet. At humanity’s landing site there are shattered buildings and broken bridges. The cityscape is eerily similar the cityscape of New York City and in fact the broken bridge looked strangely like the Brooklyn Bridge.  Had the crew of Galactica found our Earth after a nuclear disaster? We were left with this cliffhanger for a year before some of the answers started to trickle in. And even then we were left with a good deal of questions.

When Battlestar Galactica returned again, I was excited. This was going to be the end, according to the promos during the course of the season “all would be revealed.” The writers had done a great job of seeding little bits of the plot throughout the series that would finally be answered. An example being the Opera House vision shared by Caprica 6, Roslin, and Athena. The meaning behind that and the explanation of why Hera was so special would be coming soon.  But before that could happen the end of the world had to happen again.

After finding a nuclear devastated Earth all hope was lost within the fleet. Even the strong willed Bill Adama was lost.  The combination of the destroyed Earth and the betrayal of his best friend had shattered him. On board Galactica the military discipline that had been so rigidly in place vanished with the hope of the Old Man. Not only that but Starbuck finds her own dead body on the surface of Earth leading the viewers to ask, what the frak is she? Needless to say when Battlestar Galactica returned it came back with a bang.

Despite President Laura Roslin’s absence as the president the fleet is able to continue forward in hopes of finding a new home. It is at this point that tensions with the allied Cylons reach a boiling point.  Some of the humans within the fleet will not abide the Cylon presence anymore. The Vice President of the Colonies, Tom Zarek, with assistance from Lt. Gaeta on Galactica stages a coup to overthrow the government. Admiral Adama is forcibly removed from command and the Quorum of 12, Battlestar Galactica’s version of the Senate, is executed.  Bear in mind, this is happening in the midway point of the 2nd half of season 4. Needless to say this kind of action was incredible to watch despite it’s stretching over a few episodes. Eventually Adama regains command of his ship, and executes the leaders of the coup before imprisoning the other military members who participated.

(continued on page 2)

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  1. #1 by Doug on February 10, 2011 - 6:40 PM

    Great synopsis. But, why no nod to Bear McCreary? This guy scored the whole thing up with an awesome track, and tied in everything from John Williams to Dylan and Hendrix. Who would have thought to add Taiko drums?

    • #2 by Chris on April 23, 2011 - 9:06 PM

      I didn’t give him a nod in my guest post. But I have spoken very highly of Bear McCreary on my site. I love his work. In fact the BSG version of All Along The Watchtower is in my gym mix on my iPhone. Bear is a huge reason why the show is so good. I was looking primarily at the plot and character development. Thanks so much for reading though!

  2. #3 by Suzy Hubbard on December 6, 2010 - 6:45 PM

    Great post Chris. I enjoyed some of Caprica but did not watch Battlestar at all. I think I will give it a try. I’m sure it’s out on video by now.

    • #4 by Chris on December 26, 2010 - 4:21 PM

      Suzy you should definitely give BSG a try. If you enjoyed Caprica you’ll love BSG. Its a ton better than Caprica and this is coming from a Caprica fanboy too.

  3. #5 by Rich on January 12, 2010 - 6:42 AM

    Battlestar Galactica was da bomb. I haven’t seen Caprica yet and it’s coming on this Sunday I think. I can’t wait. Great article by the way Chris.

    • #6 by Chris on February 2, 2010 - 4:04 PM

      Caprica is good so far. I’m excited to have something BSG-like on TV.

  4. #7 by Ivan on January 4, 2010 - 11:34 AM

    Hey Chris very nice overview of the series that my son and I enjoyed so, so much. There are so many threads that run throughout this story that it literally has started a cottage industry of blogs, message boards, books, etc. But you did an outstanding job of tickling others that may have wrongly assumed it was just a remake of the old tinker toy BSG. Cheers!

  5. #8 by Bob on January 3, 2010 - 9:01 PM

    Good read! I thoroughly enjoyed the recap. You’ve definitely re-sparked my interest in re-watching BSG! Keep up the awesome work!

  6. #9 by dropthatwand on January 3, 2010 - 7:10 AM

    Hi there!

    I have just ordered the Battlestar Galactica mini-series on DVD and someone told me to check out this post. Watched the BG-trailer on YouTube and it seemed to be pretty good. Therefore I didn’t dare read your entire post since I’m not a huge fan of spoilers. BG seems to be a whole mess of tv-series, mini-series, movies in between and such, so I’ll be back to read your whole post after I’ve watched the mini-series(should be by Tuesday), and hope you can make sense of it for me. I’m so glad to hear the mini-series was a big hit with your family. I remember EJ Olmos from Miami Vice(yeah, that was a long time ago, but he’s got that kind of striking face you just don’t forget), so it’ll be fun seeing him again. Thanks for the post and I’ll be back… Or rather: Aahl be bhaak!(No, no… I just never seem to get that Arnie-voice right.)

    If you have any other sci-fi-series or movies to recommend, please do. It’s so hard to find good ones. I like robots and androids and terminators, you know, tech noir and that kind of stuff. Love character-based stories rather than slimy, scary monsters, although I love the first two Alien-movies, but that can have something to do with Lance Henriksen. :)

    Have a great week! And a happy new year!

    • #10 by Tom Baker on January 3, 2010 - 3:33 PM

      Chris did an excellent job on the post but then again he had great material to work with. On that note, I agree with you. It is a hunt to find good sci fi movies even on the SyFy channel. I’m waiting for Pandorum but I hated District 9.

      Thanks for coming by and I’m sure Chris appreciates the comment. Peace.

    • #11 by Chris on January 3, 2010 - 6:56 PM

      You’ll really enjoy BSG once you get into it. Just don’t get discouraged if you’re not hooked by the mini-series. Its very good but 33 is by far the best episode to get you hooked. Luckily thats the first episode of season 1.

      As for other SciFi, check out Avatar. I saw that today and thought it was a lot of fun.

  7. #12 by Suejin Jong on January 3, 2010 - 4:38 AM

    Love the series as well. This is a great work Chris. You put lots of sweat into it and much thought. Like Frank I loved Grace Park’s work on the show but I wasn’t around for the original. Frak, I’ll have to see if it’s on Hulu! Tom, great idea to have a guest poster. I’m a first time visitor but I’ll be back to check out more of your site. Happy New Year all.

    • #13 by Chris on January 3, 2010 - 6:57 PM

      Thanks for the kind words. It was a lot of fun to write, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. As for the original, I don’t know if its on Hulu. If not the simplest thing might be to try Netflix or something like that.

  8. #14 by shrinadja on January 3, 2010 - 3:33 AM

    Hey Chris. Awesome recap of the whole BSG series. I am a newly-converted fan, and this is one Sci-Fi tv show that I kept yearning to watch, and wouldn’t mind watching it all over again. I notice you didn’t mention much about the mini series and Razor. Those were fantastic as well. I could go on about BSG, but wouldn’t want to ramble. Cheers.

    • #15 by Chris on January 3, 2010 - 6:58 PM

      To be honest I really didn’t think of Razor. I enjoyed it, but sometimes forget about it. However, I should have because of some of the revelations that came at the end.

      I’m rewatching the series right now, still just as good.

  9. #16 by Chris on January 2, 2010 - 10:13 PM

    It was definitely a lot of fun to write a post for your site Tom. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with your other guest bloggers as well.

    As for Annette and Frank, glad to see a couple others who really enjoyed reading BSG. Thanks for taking the time to read my guest spot and the kind words.

    Frank, theres nothing wrong with liking the original BSG so long as you don’t include the Galactica 1980 show they aired. That show was terrible in my opinion. The one from the 70s is alright, but I’m a diehard on the new version. Grace Park was also great on the show. Playing so many different versions of the same person had to be incredibly hard and she pulled it off really well.

  10. #17 by Annette on January 2, 2010 - 8:49 PM

    Good points. BSG rules, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more of your site!

  11. #18 by Frank Scott on January 2, 2010 - 1:06 PM

    Battlestar Galactica was the best show on TV. I must admit that I also like the original 70’s show on ABC. This new SciFi version was more gritty and raw and realistic but I was younger then and I liked the original. I hope I didn’t make Chris squirm in his seat.

    I was a big Olmos fan but my favorite on the show was Park. She brought an appeal that the other actors just didn’t. This was an excellent article and I hope all of the guest posts are as well done. I’m heading over to the ’roundtable now. Peace and hair grease.

    Frank

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