Complex Stories: Battlestar Galactica

Complex Stories: Battlestar Galactica

A few months ago I began rewatching Battlestar Galactica, the Ron Moore version, for the first time since the show originally ended. 11 years had faded a lot of my memories of it. I wondered if it held up. If the ending would disappoint me more than it did. If I would see plot holes that I missed the first time around.
I didn't need to worry.

In some places, it has begun to show it's age. A show like that would never have 20 episode seasons nowadays. You can see the fat that could've been trimmed when rewatching in 2020. But that was likely a requirement of the network. The documentary-style cinematography also feels odd occasionally. And the CGI is of its time.

But in every other way, it's still one of the greatest television shows of all time. Its characters are excellent and their journeys make you love and loathe each along the way. But it also has a story no one would've expected from this franchise. And an ending few were willing to accept.

I remember being somewhat disappointed at the ending. I expected some grand sci-fi explanation for all the weird stuff that happened and was given a religious one instead. When you're expecting clear answers "God did it" can feel like lazy writing.

But rewatching it now that disappointment seems to have been more my own fault and maybe it was the same for others. The show was completely honest about what it was from the beginning. Characters flat out state they're angels from God. But as an audience, we refused to believe them. By expecting sci-fi answers from a seemingly traditional sci-fi show we ignored the answers being given to us. It had to have a real answer that we'd find out in the end.

The expectations we bring to media and art can have a huge effect on our enjoyment of it. It's impossible to have no preconceived notions but we could certainly benefit from trying to ignore it. Maybe then when a show tells us what it is from the beginning, we won't be surprised if it ends up being exactly that.