Battlestar Galactica (the original series)


Like many of my sorry tribe, I have watched (most of) the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series. My verdict: hot stuff! This has led me to try to reimagine the original series, not insofar as I am putting together another remake, but rather insofar as I am engaged, once again, in the act of trying to hypothesise what it might have been about. This is not to say that I have ruled out the possibility of adding my remake to the franchise (watch this space).

The makers of Battlestar Galactica (George Lucas’s brother Ned and Steven Speilberg’s cousin Jeff) had a big vision but limited means. Armed only with sellotape, cardboard and a rudimentary understanding of the principles of dialogue and plot, they sought to create an epic, operatic, dynamic television series involving space, robots and magic. Due to the aforesaid constraints, the epic, operatic and dynamic elements had to be abandoned. But the space, robots and magic remained. Yes!

There are many intriguing points of departure and convergence to be noted between the old and new Battlestar Galactica. For instance, on account of the rebooted Battlestar, we all associate the character of Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace with a tough, blonde female bonktrooper. Many fans of the recent version would be surprised and confused to learn that the original Starbuck was a tough, brunette female bonktrooper. Take a minute to let that elephantine paradigm shift wash over your mind like a liquid mammoth. It is surely true, as Sitting Bull suggested, that on television anything is possible. However, once you have overcome this radical alteration in the character’s fundamental essence, many continuities become apparent. The old Starbuck, like the new one, shouts ‘frak’ and punches a lot of people in the nose. ‘Frak’, it should be added, has the same applications and meanings as the English word ‘fuck’, e.g. ‘Frak off’, ‘They frakked all through the night to hot cybernetic beats’, ‘Motherfrakker’ and ‘Someone get this enormous frak out of my pants right now’.

Here is another hot muffin for all you fact-fans. In the new series, the Cylons are known as ‘toasters’. We are led to believe that this is a derogatory reference to their mechanical nature and demeanour. In fact, it has a much more specific explanation. In the original series the Cylons’ weapon of choice is a toaster. Their arsenal includes toasters that are so immense that they can fire out immense wholemeal loaves which knock out planets right out of their orbit. Caprica was despatched in this way, despite the use of Pop-Tart counter-measures by its military leaders. The Cylons also possess tiny toasters which shoot out little bruschetta-like projectiles that can blow a crumby hole straight through a man’s heart.

The older Battlestar features a lot more laughing. Villains, robotic and otherwise, rarely describe a vicious plan without rounding off their explanation with a deep, crowing guffaw. Similarly, at the end of each episode, the heroes celebrate a victory or the thwarting of an evil robotic scheme with a nice, communal laugh. It is heartening to see the characters’ beefy, macho fronts melt away in soft lulling waves of jovial complacency in which all might paddle.

And so, aptly, to conclude my review. Ha ha ha. Oo dear me. Ha ha. Ha.


17 Responses to “Battlestar Galactica (the original series)”

  1. oldrope Says:

    Does this mean you stick it to robots?

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:


  3. Banjo Fett Says:

    JLB sticks his dilly pickle in toasters. Haha. Yes, things really are that immature round here at the minute.

    I still can’t get over the fact that Starbuck was a brunette. That’s frakked up, man.

  4. johnlebaptiste Says:

    I do it surreptitious-like in the sequestered bowers of electrical appliance shops.

    That is frakked up man, you’re right. Or, to put it in economical chat-room form: TFUM!

    Does anyone know of any other Battlestar abbreviations? If so, let’s have ’em.

  5. johnlebaptiste Says:

    I just thought of one: SHOTA! (“Stick Him Out The Airlock”)*

    *What the president says when she sees a cylon, who then typically avoids said intergalactic defenestration by hinting at a useful pouch of knowledge, which would be lost if said action were carried out.

  6. Banjo Fett Says:

    That’s so true. Sums up the entire first series, pretty much. How about:

    DIFTOM – Do It For The Old Man
    TMBSKOWOH – There Must Be Some Kind Of Way Outta Here
    SSWA – So Say We All

  7. johnlebaptiste Says:


    They’re great.

    How about ROAS – Roll A Hard Six (it might be eight, I’ve forgotten)

  8. Banjo Fett Says:

    No, according to IMDB you’re right. I’d imagine eight-sided dice would be a tad too geeky even for BSG.

  9. oldrope Says:

    Technology discloses the active relation of man towards nature, as well as the direct process of production of his very life, and thereby the process of production of his basic societal relations, of his own mentality, and his images of society, too.


  10. Banjo Fett Says:

    My sentiments precisely. Although it should be ‘toaster-frakker’.

  11. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Of all the science-fiction shows featuring made-up swear-words, Farscape is undoubtedly the king, featuring such blue synonyms as ‘frell’ and ‘dren’ – they also have a word for the testicles but I’ve forgotten what it is.

    Here are some that I have made up:

    Ferrr = fuck
    Nerrk = excretia
    Collongi-naiths = testicles
    Gra’ar-naiths = mammary glands
    Klandoo-naiths = vaginas (always referred to in the plural)
    Masteen-naiths = penises (as above)

    I invite everyone else to think up some blue synonyms of their own.

  12. Banjo Fett Says:

    Interesting. Does that mean collective nouns are not needed when referring to penises (penii?) in your new language? And what is the collective noun for penii? I sort of hope it’s ‘murder’ like crows but I bet it’s ‘gaggle’, like geese. Anyway, some contributions:

    Bla’grargh Largle – vomit
    Bla’grargh Arg’blaaargle – bit more vomit
    L’Mao Rof-El – expression of amusement (at others vomitting)
    Nyarf Nyarf – you are attractive, I would like to vomit on you to commence ritual courting procedures

  13. johnlebaptiste Says:

    I had a PE teacher who told me that the collective name for penii was ‘a fiddle of penii’, but he told me not to tell anyone.

    In my new language, specific to the planet ROFL (Round Orbiting Floaty-Land), everyone has at least 6 of every variety of genital organ so collective nouns tend not to be used.

    I’ve just ‘Nyarf Nyarf’ out on a passing fishwife and it worked a treat. Thanks!

  14. Banjo Fett Says:

    The planet ROFL sounds like a larf. I think that with all these penii and Nyarf Nyarf-ing, this new Sci-Fi series is shaping up to be the ferrring nerrk.

    Or the dog’s collongi-naiths. A space-dog, obviously. There’s a strapline for the show in there somewhere.

    (I was going to say ‘the Bantha’s collongi-naiths’ but then I’d be confusing my Sci-Fi universes and I hate it when that happens)

  15. johnlebaptiste Says:

    This nerrk be the nerrk.

    Remind which universe a Bantha originates from. I missed that series of Animal Hospital where Rolf Harris leaps between parallel universes in a Sliders-esque fashion. I heard he wept like a child when a Vulcan sex-pig died of chafing.

  16. Banjo Fett Says:

    Banthas are from ye olde Star Wars universe. They’re big, hairy things that the Sandpeople occasionally mount. But in a different way to how you’d mount a Vulcan sex-pig.

  17. johnlebaptiste Says:

    I remember now.

    I wouldn’t mount a Vulcan sex-pig. If I had done I wouldn’t admit to it either.

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