Archive for July 5th, 2018

by Adam Ferenz

Glen Larson once created a series about a race of machine men called Cylons and their destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Years later, Ron Moore and David Eick reimagined that premise, keeping the Cylons and the destruction of the colonies, keeping the names-some of them, at least, with others being kept only in the form of call signs-and general roles of the characters, but altering them significantly, while adding and deleting where necessary. The result is perhaps the finest work of science fiction the small screen has ever seen.

The original series was cheesy. There are those who will take offense at this, and become indignant, asking why lighthearted fun like that found in the original has to be derided at the expense of praise for the dark seriousness of the reimagined series. That is not why audiences largely reject the original. It is because it is far too much a relic of its time. What Moore and company did, was to keep what little was original or eternal, and modernize it. Out went the cute kids, insipid guest stars and the constant clanking of clumsy looking robots walking on steel stems. In its place were human emotions, commentary on the socio-political landscape of the world during the first decade of the 21st century, and instead of metallic robots-though we occasionally did see them, and they were menacing, rather than awkward-we had the “skin job” Cylons, who were still machines, but they looked human. How and why this came about was a major thread throughout the series. Oh, and the Cylons, unlike the pantheists of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, were monotheists. Yes, The Cylons believed in a One True God.

Yet it was not only religion that this series tackled, but attendant social structures, spirituality, reason v. belief, majority rule v. dictatorship, military v. non-military concerns, and parallels to the 9/11 attacks, the holocaust and the suicide bombers of the War Against Terror. It is also about fathers and sons, friends, about lovers-without ever being a romance-and about the ways people both draw together and pull apart in the midst of catastrophe. It is everything the original series was neither allowed to do, nor interested in doing. And it did this with a cast and production team that was at the top of their game. (more…)

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