Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Battlestar Galactica v3

The IMDB message board for this upcoming Bryan Singer film has a good question:

Why do we need this?

Version one was campy while version two was dark drama.

Both versions appeal to unique niches. However, version one did not do so well, being canceled after one season and being sort-of re-imagined into the Battlestar Galactica 1980 treatment that fans universally call trash. Meanwhile, the recent dark and dramatic version did fairly well and lasted four full seasons and two one-offs (with more possibly on the way) and even has an ongoing spin-off, of sorts.

One of version one's failing was the million-dollar-per-episode budget. Version two had the same budget but with modern technology was able to do much more with it. And frankly, a million dollars today is a pittance compared to a million dollars in the seventies.

So what can a version three do to keep the "magic" alive?

I remember very clearly that version two was treated viciously when it was announced that Starbuck would change sexes. Nothing else really mattered, it seemed, only that one of the key characters would be completely different...in the matters of sexual orientation. Otherwise, as it turns out, she was everything the original Starbuck was, just the opposite gender. Fans of the classic series also did not like that Cylons were going to be more humanoid than reptilian. And there would be lots of sex.

Though I do not know if any fans were really too distraught over the sex.

Something to think about is that the classic series was based on very epic sci-fi/fantasy tropes. There was not a whole lot of room to delve too deeply into character growth while telling the epic story (which went off the rails rather quickly to be honest). While version two was a bit more high sci-fi, focusing on questions about the nature of humanity and immortality, life and death, existence...

I think a version three could put the epic sci-fi back into the story. Something that focuses more on the struggle for survival against overwhelming odds, the exploration and discovery of a universe that is bigger than the heroes had thought. Sci-fi combat with a bigger budget would be great for us geeks.

And less sex. Sorry, but I like to be teased. Give me clingy uniforms and flowing gossamer that suggests more than it shows.

And less modern slang and other dirty language. This is a story set in a far-distant part of the galaxy, not my local pub. Get creative with the writing or find another career for crying out loud.

Frankly, I would like Battlestar Galactica v3 to be more family friendly. It does not need to be kiddiefied with monkey-dogs but I should be able to watch it with my 8-14 year-olds, unlike the tragic filth-fests that the Transformers movies turned out to be.

In closing, Battlestar Galactica v3 could open up the franchise to a much wider audience than the classic series currently has or version two ever had.

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