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Old December 29th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 01: Saga Of A Star World

As the story that launched the series, Saga works wonderfully. To me though, there were just two problems within the episode overall as it first aired.

#1-The conduct of other Battlestar commanders. Of course we need to be given the premise of the Galactica as the last surviving battlestar, so everyone else gets wiped out in the opening battle, but realistically wouldn't we have expected to see some of the other commanders, or at least one other put up more of a fight?

#2-Why does Serina seek Apollo out? Of course in the footage that was originally shot this had an explanation. Serina was dying and looked to Apollo as a potential father-figure for Boxey since he'd have no one soon.


Ultimately, as the rest of the series aired, it was possible to go back to Saga and realize that some critical elements of foreshadowing could be called for as well so that future episode storylines wouldn't quite come out of left field.


#1-How did Baltar get off the Atlantia? And how was the Colonial defense network for the 12 worlds sabotaged so that the attack on the planets was sudden? We got our explanation to both points in "Murder On The Rising Star" with the Charybdis character. He's identified as Baltar's pilot and also the one who sabotaged the computers. So therefore, in redoing Saga, foreshadowing of MOTRS can be handled effectively by introducing Charybdis as a character, and Ortega as well to set up the circumstances of just how they met and how Ortega knew who Charybdis was (this point was never explained at all in MOTRS. We learned that Ortega knew who Charybdis was, but not how he learned his true identity).

#2-Starbuck and Aurora. I think of all the "where did that come from?" plot twists in the series, the revelation of Starbuck having a serious girlfriend other than Athena at the time of the Destruction was the hardest to swallow. In "Take The Celestra" Starbuck confounds the matter further by talking about "flying over her house the night the Cylons attacked and seeing it took a direct hit." Where did he find time in Saga to do that? In hindsight though, maybe the realization that someone he had been close to explained his awkward attempt to reach out to Athena in the locker room scene. So when I wrote my adaptation, I added some dialogue to the locker room scene that covered the whole Starbuck-Aurora-Athena angle that went this way. I segue way from actual dialogue in the episode to this new addition.

"Athena," he began awkwardly and then started to pace up and down the room, never keeping his attention on her, "This is a time for....sticking together. Maybe it's time we finally talked.....about things."
"Us?" she sighed, "Is that what you mean?"
Starbuck bit his lip and lowered his head. His back remained to her.
"Well," he said as though he were summoning all the strength he was capable of, "After three yahrens, it is kind of overdue isn't it? I mean.....God knows Athena, I've been putting it off for a long time because of my.....well because of my nature. You know that."
"Aurora's dead, isn't she?" Athena decided to go ahead with her instinct, "That's what you were checking out when you and Boomer went down to Caprica for the last time?"
Starbuck slowly exhaled, "All right I admit it, I did check. Can you blame me for that?"
"No," Athena shook her head, "No I can't blame you for that. I know she meant a lot to you before you and I started going together, and because you never completely cut your ties to her was why we've....put off other matters for a long time."

This is the kind of continuity rectifying touch I have in mind when I talk about the idea of remaking the episodes at a new level without disrupting the overall familiarity.

#3-We learn about Commander Cain and his disappearance two yahrens before with the entire Fifth Fleet in "Living Legend." This means that if we go back to Saga, foreshadowing of LL is called for in a BIG way. Perhaps it was the loss of Cain that played an important role relevant to the desire for peace talks with the Cylons? And wouldn't we need to adjust Cassiopeia a bit to foreshadow her past relationship with Cain?

Next time, I'll go into more detail about what elements of the story I changed/altered in significant ways. In the meantime, as I said in the intro post, feel free to not just comment on these aspects and my ideas, but share your own on what you would change to improve the episode and address these matters! There's a lot of untapped creativity waiting to be shared that goes beyond mere episiode revie commentary.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #2
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Excellent solution on Aurora. Exactly fits in Starbucks character too. He vasilates between Cassie and Athena, most notably in LP and Saga, so for him to have done the same between Aurora and Athena would be in character, especially if Aurora and he were that sort of on again, off again type relationship that was off just before the destruction of the colonies. That would better explain his looking at her house, feeling guilty and not searching the survivor manifests for her name (touched on in TTC).
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Old December 29th, 2004, 11:23 PM   #3
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That reminds us again how getting Starbuck from that mode of "space casanova" who would juggle more than one relationship on more than one occasion, to total monogamy with Cassiopeia is one of the finest examples of how the series did evolve over the course of the season in many ways.

Thanks for reminding me on his mentioning he didn't check the manifests in TTC! Showing Starbuck feeling guilty and wanting to forget about her in Saga would indeed explain that detail too.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
#3-We learn about Commander Cain and his disappearance two yahrens before with the entire Fifth Fleet in "Living Legend." This means that if we go back to Saga, foreshadowing of LL is called for in a BIG way. Perhaps it was the loss of Cain that played an important role relevant to the desire for peace talks with the Cylons? And wouldn't we need to adjust Cassiopeia a bit to foreshadow her past relationship with Cain?

I would also think that Cronus' victory at Casmaro Archipelago might have played some part as well. Three attacking BaseShips destroyed might have motivated the Cylons to talk about peace. Not, of course, that they would have kept their word for long.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #5
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That's a good point in that there certainly had to be some reason to make potentially more skeptical elements of the Colonial military willing to agree to a peace treaty themselves, if in fact there was a clear indicator of some serious Cylon setbacks in the yahrens leading up to when "peace talks" first began.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 04:51 PM   #6
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Having outlined areas of Saga that in a rewrite should lend themselves to foreshadowing future episodes, I'd like to now focus on an aspect that I think the original tended to send confusing signals on. The nature of Apollo's relationship with Zac. I have to be honest, it's hard to make out what Apollo says when Serina says, "You and your brother must be close." Apparently the line is, "We were" but for many years it always sounded more like, "We weren't" to me, and frankly I always felt that line made more dramatic sense in light of how Apollo and Zac interact with each other at the beginning.

Why is Zac anxious to pull the patrol with Starbuck? He apparently wants to prove himself to Apollo that he's capable of being an equal, and he seems to indicate that to him, Apollo's treated him in a patronizing way when he says, "He still thinks of me as his little brother." So what Zac wants is a chance to show Apollo he's capable of being a warrior, and that he didn't become one just to tag along.

To me at least, that indicated why Zac was so wound up about doing a patrol that if there had been no ambush waiting, should have been routine and dull in every sense. Someone who's trying to impress an older brother who's probably looked down him all their lives, by standing up for himself would invest more meaning in a seemingly unimportant patrol.

So to me, I felt at least that it added more character depth for Apollo if in fact he and Zac had been cool in their relations, because then the loss of him would strike a more tragic note as Apollo only at the last minute realizes he'd perhaps not shown Zac enough respect for his potential ability as a warrior, and then as he's coming back to the Fleet, not knowing he's dead, is thinking that from this point on things will be different and better in their relationship, only to find out that it's never going to happen.

My take at least, as I wrote it. Would the rest of you say Apollo and Zac had been close or not close and how would you use that interpretation to explain some of Apollo's later actions? Does he gravitate so easily to Serina and Boxey because he suddenly feels this need to create a new extended family for himself after this painful tragedy?

Just another point to hash over that redoing this story would raise.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 08:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jewels
As the story that launched the series, Saga works wonderfully. To me though, there were just two problems within the episode overall as it first aired.

#1-The conduct of other Battlestar commanders. Of course we need to be given the premise of the Galactica as the last surviving battlestar, so everyone else gets wiped out in the opening battle, but realistically wouldn't we have expected to see some of the other commanders, or at least one other put up more of a fight?
This was expanded upon in the novel.

To the best of my recollection: The novel reveals that Baltar had been drugging the president (I believe it was a mind control drug, thus explaining the president's odd behaviour) and just prior to the fleet's arrival at the rendevous point every Battlestar's compliment of warriors were sent, compliments of Baltar of course, drug laced ambrosia. Adama (or Tigh, I forget which) refused the cargo shuttles permission to lang aboard Galactica, because he felt it was NOT appropriate, thus averting disaster.

Baltar was really one evil bass turd in the novel. Of course in all versions, even the comic book, I beleive Baltar is duely rewarded with a double cross.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 08:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
#3-We learn about Commander Cain and his disappearance two yahrens before with the entire Fifth Fleet in "Living Legend." This means that if we go back to Saga, foreshadowing of LL is called for in a BIG way. Perhaps it was the loss of Cain that played an important role relevant to the desire for peace talks with the Cylons? And wouldn't we need to adjust Cassiopeia a bit to foreshadow her past relationship with Cain?
These are some wonderful, and thought provoking, points.

To which I can only add... you really should read the novel, if you can find a copy, as there are several interesting ideas found only therein that you could probably borrow and build upon.

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Old January 1st, 2005, 09:52 AM   #9
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Welcome to the discussion!

I have read the novelizations in the past, and actually one reason why I embarked on the adaptations project was because for the most part, I'm really not satisfied with them. The different premise of the Cylons as living creatures rather than robots IMO, actually wasn't as effective particularly by the time we got to WOTG and found out the key revelation in the Iblis-Baltar conversation (a scene which is totally missing in the WOTG novelization it's worth noticing).

That said, I do agree that those novelizations can provide some insights worth building on, and the most helpful one to me was in "Living Legend". The idea of the other commanders being drugged is an interesting premise to explain their sluggish behavior once the battle begins and that may be a better idea than the one I ultimately came up with. which I'll soon touch on when I make a detailed post on the key points of change in my finished version adaptation. (Avaialable at this link: http://www.galacticafanfic.com/stories/sagaadap.txt)
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Old January 1st, 2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
Welcome to the discussion!
Howdy!

And with that here are a few on the fly suggestings...

Pick them apart as you will.

Quote:
It has been said that today, as we enter the seventh millennia of time, human existence in the colonies has achieved levels of skill and technical achievement approaching that our ancient mother civilization when first they began to establish the colonies.
One criticism, if i may... You may have taken two throw away characters and overblown their importance. One or two scenes to set-up who they are should be enough, why integrate them at all into the narrative as anything other than background characters?

Nice to see you trying to expand on other characters, like Adama's wife, but why turn her into a boring homewife?

If you have access to the comics check out... well... I think it was between issues 3 and 8 (?) ... Best as I recollect she appears therein in command of a ship. (Mean looking military vessel too!) Apollo stumbles on her vessel, which was trailing the Galactica, sadly they'd all taken a dose of the Thorian (?) radiation and died. But not before she extracted a promise from Apollo that he'd never reveal to his father that he'd found her.

I scanned the document and found no reference to Centitilla. Go back and re-watch the pilot. Pay close attention to when the Galactica is re-entering the system. There should be a bit of dialogue to the effect (from memory):

Adama: "And Centitilla?"
Tigh: "The planet's in flames."

I think it is great that you've expanded on so many characters, but I'd also like to see a bit of expansion detailing the background setting!
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Old January 1st, 2005, 03:00 PM   #11
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"One criticism, if i may... You may have taken two throw away characters and overblown their importance. One or two scenes to set-up who they are should be enough, why integrate them at all into the narrative as anything other than background characters?"

I'm not sure I know who you mean there. If you mean the Charybdis-Ortega scene I open with, that's deliberately done to provide accurate foreshadowing for "Murder On The Rising Star" later on in the series. My approach is that there shouldn't be any sudden revelation about a past event from out of the blue in a later episode.

"Nice to see you trying to expand on other characters, like Adama's wife, but why turn her into a boring homewife?"

Well, I described her as being retired from a professional career of her own, looking forward to when her husband would soon retire as well. The particular career I chose for her was one I've used in other fanfic stories in the past. I felt it highlights Adama's own sense of loss ultimately if in fact he was on the verge of retirement and having a chance to make-up for lost yahrens with Ila, who had already done her share of what she wanted to accomplish in life in terms of a professional career.

"If you have access to the comics check out... well... I think it was between issues 3 and 8 (?) ... Best as I recollect she appears therein in command of a ship. (Mean looking military vessel too!) Apollo stumbles on her vessel, which was trailing the Galactica, sadly they'd all taken a dose of the Thorian (?) radiation and died. But not before she extracted a promise from Apollo that he'd never reveal to his father that he'd found her."

That's issue #15 of the Marvel Comics series, and it was Boomer who found her. There was never anything there to indicate she had anything to do with the military in her life before. For the most part, that was a case of my looking at what someone else did and deciding not to utilize it. THe one thing I did do was not write a scene of Ila dying, since at the time I wrote this I was trying to keep the door open to harmonize things with another fanfic author's story where she does turn up alive and well yahrens later with ships found by the Pegasus.

"I scanned the document and found no reference to Centitilla. Go back and re-watch the pilot. Pay close attention to when the Galactica is re-entering the system. There should be a bit of dialogue to the effect (from memory):

Adama: "And Centitilla?"
Tigh: "The planet's in flames."


Actually, the planet mentioned in the broadcast is "Sagitara." I kept that scene but changed the planet's name to Piscera, because I decided earlier that (1) Baltar would be from Piscera, a point that a number of fanfic authors had come to a kind of general consensus on for no particular reasons and (2) I wanted Adama's question about a particular colony to be tied to his suspicions about Baltar's invovlement in the ambush, that if the colony he knows Baltar from is untouched that would tell him everything right then and there.


"I think it is great that you've expanded on so many characters, but I'd also like to see a bit of expansion detailing the background setting!"

Fair point. One thing I generally prefer to do is write dialogue and character exposition, but background settings and physical descriptions is not the thing I focus too much on since I always have a sense that I'm stopping the flow of the story cold whenever I take too much time to do something like that.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old January 1st, 2005, 11:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"One criticism, if i may... You may have taken two throw away characters and overblown their importance. One or two scenes to set-up who they are should be enough, why integrate them at all into the narrative as anything other than background characters?"

I'm not sure I know who you mean there. If you mean the Charybdis-Ortega scene I open with, that's deliberately done to provide accurate foreshadowing for "Murder On The Rising Star" later on in the series. My approach is that there shouldn't be any sudden revelation about a past event from out of the blue in a later episode.
What I meant was you've created a scene just for the sake of putting these character into it. As such, IMO, it feels somewhat forced. Instead how about integrating them organically into some existing story arc, but keeping them in the background. (Of course I have no suggestions as to HOW to go about doing this, that's what's great about advice. You can dole it out by the shovelful!)



The way you have it now it's dreadfully obvious that the reader SUPPOSED to take notice of these characters. Not very subtle.

At least that was my inititial impression. It's really hard to objectively critique something when you know it's a set-up meant to foreshadow events, so I could be be wrong.

Anyone else have any opinions on this section of the story?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"Nice to see you trying to expand on other characters, like Adama's wife, but why turn her into a boring homewife?"

Well, I described her as being retired from a professional career of her own, looking forward to when her husband would soon retire as well. The particular career I chose for her was one I've used in other fanfic stories in the past. I felt it highlights Adama's own sense of loss ultimately if in fact he was on the verge of retirement and having a chance to make-up for lost yahrens with Ila, who had already done her share of what she wanted to accomplish in life in terms of a professional career.
Sounds reasonable, now that I know you were basing this on existing fanfics.

Still Ila's portrayal is a wee bit too cliched, don't you think?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"If you have access to the comics check out... well... I think it was between issues 3 and 8 (?) ... Best as I recollect she appears therein in command of a ship. (Mean looking military vessel too!) Apollo stumbles on her vessel, which was trailing the Galactica, sadly they'd all taken a dose of the Thorian (?) radiation and died. But not before she extracted a promise from Apollo that he'd never reveal to his father that he'd found her."

That's issue #15 of the Marvel Comics series, and it was Boomer who found her. There was never anything there to indicate she had anything to do with the military in her life before.
It was Boomer?

Well that sticks a pin into a balloon of (apparently false) childhood memory.

*shakes head*


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
For the most part, that was a case of my looking at what someone else did and deciding not to utilize it. THe one thing I did do was not write a scene of Ila dying, since at the time I wrote this I was trying to keep the door open to harmonize things with another fanfic author's story where she does turn up alive and well yahrens later with ships found by the Pegasus.
Perfectly reasonable, but what I was thinking was the idea of, rather than killing her off, maybe going with the idea that she was able to gather a group of survivors together, patch up some old cruiser or something, and. . . ??

For some reason I've always imagined Adama's wife, much as you have as a former teacher, only being from a military caste/class family as a Academy Commandant type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
Actually, the planet mentioned in the broadcast is "Sagitara." I kept that scene but changed the planet's name to Piscera, because I decided earlier that (1) Baltar would be from Piscera, a point that a number of fanfic authors had come to a kind of general consensus on for no particular reasons and (2) I wanted Adama's question about a particular colony to be tied to his suspicions about Baltar's invovlement in the ambush, that if the colony he knows Baltar from is untouched that would tell him everything right then and there.
*pop*

There goes another memory.

One more and I will have to break down and reread all my BG novels and comics. Assuming of course I can find them.

On Baltar... are you sure his colonial origins were never explained? It's odd, now that I think about it, but aside from the episode where he appeared with a medallion like Adama wore and revealed himself to have been a member of the Quorum of Twelve there really wasn't a lot of info on Baltar was there?

Sorry I have no more memories for you to deflate.

Keep up the good work!
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 08:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kester Pelagius
What I meant was you've created a scene just for the sake of putting these character into it. As such, IMO, it feels somewhat forced.
Actually, the intent was to clear up a plot contrivance that gets created later on in "Murder On The Rising Star." We find out in that episode that Charybdis sabotaged things, and that Ortega knew him, but there was never any explanation of how they knew each other. I felt it was essential to take care of that detail during the story where those events take place, since one thing I do in subsequent episodes leading into MOTRS is to keep Ortega as a background figure (and setting the stage for his animosity with Starbuck). At the same time, Charybdis had to have a substantive role in this story IMO, because it required having scenes with Baltar that not only further explained the nature of their plotting together but also to establish their relationship and why ultimately at the climax of MOTRS, Baltar decides not to trust Charybdis and instead saves Apollo's life.

In general though, I think your point about keeping certain foreshadowings to a minimum of exposition is valid, depending on the storyline being foreshadowed. Later on, I just as a throwaway introduce Chameleon (Starbuck's father) by having his name among those getting logged in among the survivors, but with no extra scene explaining right here who he is, and likewise Starbuck's ex-girlfriend Aurora of "Take The Celestra." But because Ortega-Charybdis deals also with a bigger issue that should have been asked in Saga in the first place, such as why were the defense scanners for the Colonies not operating at the time of the attack, I felt it required the extra expansion.

"Perfectly reasonable, but what I was thinking was the idea of, rather than killing her off, maybe going with the idea that she was able to gather a group of survivors together, patch up some old cruiser or something, and. . . ??"

Well, that's the kind of storyline that I think would be better suited to a completely original fanfic story set after the original series episodes (like in a proposed season 2) and that when one does Saga, they should at least keep the door open for that kind of story to possibly happen. So long as you don't have Adama see her dead body or write a scene of her dying on Caprica, the door will always remain open to anyone who wants to run with that intriguing idea.


"On Baltar... are you sure his colonial origins were never explained? It's odd, now that I think about it, but aside from the episode where he appeared with a medallion like Adama wore and revealed himself to have been a member of the Quorum of Twelve there really wasn't a lot of info on Baltar was there?"

The original novelization established his occupation as that of a merchant/trader, which I did retain, and there seems to be a general consensus on that. He certainly didn't seem to have any military background of note, and I think the giveaway there is that he is wearing Council robes and not a military dress uniform as Adama does even at a Council meeting. As for the particular planet he came from, that indeed was never mentioned anywhere, not even in the novelizations.

"Keep up the good work!"

Thank you! And I do appreciate all of your comments, including the criticisms which have been raised fairly. In doing that, it touches again on how in this forum all of us can express our ideas on how we'd reimagine these episodes and see a lot of interesting variations emerge.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:41 PM   #14
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Okay, it's time for me to now outline in more specific detail some of the changes that I personally decided to make the storyline of Saga when I wrote my adaptation story that's linked in this thread. Some of these elements have been alluded to already but this is more or less the official rundown as I saw it (and again, this was just my subjective approach to the material).

#1-Foreshadowing MOTRS with Ortega-Charybdis. This point has already been discussed with Kester. To add to it, I had a scene of Baltar and Charybdis arriving on their home planet and finding it destroyed, realizing only then that the Cylons have gone back on their word. This required eliminating the scene in the actual episode where Baltar is seen talking to a centurion on the surface of Caprica, because it just wouldn't structurally fit to see Baltar doing this and not realizing by this point that he's been doublecrossed (The dialogue of this scene was transferred to a scene between Imperious Leader and a subordinate).

#2-I decided that I didn't like the idea of only Adama having the sense to take some action before the attack began, and decided for the purpose of this story have one extra battlestar temporarily survive the battle long enough for its commander to be rescued and play a part in the rest of the story before killing him off. I decided to take the Battlestar Columbia for this purpose because it allowed me to (1) have a specific ship to account for in terms of where the surviving vipers come from, since it's mentioned that not all come from the Galactica and (2) it allowed me to account for the survival of Cadet Cree, who in GOIPZ tries to resist interrogation by saying he's from the Columbia. It also freed me up to make some needed changes to LPOTG that I will mention in that thread.

Having the Commander (whom I give the name Fairfax) survive for the length of the story also gave me an opportunity to make the dramatic ending a bit more plausible and to also make Apollo and Starbuck seem just a trifle less "perfect" as has sometimes been criticized of them. I decided that at the end, it would be this commander who leads Apollo and Starbuck into the attempt to destroy the baseship with the phony messages about multiple squadrons (not to worry, I kept Starbuck's request about Purple and Orange!) and that ultimately the Commander makes a suicide hit on the baseship to keep it from achieving escape velocity once the deception is discovered at the last minute. This way, a bit of extra "realism" is added by having a character who might be set up as an important one over the course of the series, dying a dramatic death instead. Also, it always struck me as slightly out of character for Apollo to suddenly defy his Father's advice about not taking on the baseship and take such a risk, but if he were following the lead of someone with a great deal of seniority that would be more in character for Apollo.

#3-I decided to bring back a subplot cut from the final version of the episode but in a different way, namely the "Serina's dying" subplot. Clearly, this was the reason why Serina felt the need to seek out Apollo as a possible substitute father for Boxey, but without it, it always seemed a bit abrupt for the two of them to suddenly come together. But since it wouldn't make sense to bring it back the way it was first written (lest you lose LPOTG in the process), I decided to do it this way. At the time Serina seeks Apollo out, she thinks she's dying, but she really isn't *the result of a phony diagnosis by a crooked doctor), and later when she realizes she isn't it frees her up to be more open about her new attraction to Apollo, and provide some plausibility for them eventually marrying very soon. Likewise, to explain further Apollo's receptiveness to Serina, I thought it would be plausible to suggest that Apollo was familiar with Serina as a public personality and had always had some kind of crush on her.

#4-Another element of foreshadowing is to give some plausibility to Cassiopeia later becoming a med-tech, so I added some dialogue when she has her arm fixed about being aware of medical equipment and having had training in medicine at one time before she decided to become a socialator.

There are other minor things too in the final version that I'm happy to comment on if anyone points them out (and wishes to disagree or challenge with their own take of how the episode might work better), but overall those are the only major changes I made to the existing story itself and feeling in the end that by and large, Saga is the kind of episode where the structure remains quite good and requires at most some fine-tuning (unlike some other episodes that I think could use more of a major overhaul in their retelling!)
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 05:29 PM   #15
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Were it up to me, I would have expanded the Pilot into six hours over three nights. I would have included more background on the proposed armstice, something to show a background between Adama and Baltar, other Viper pilots returning to find the Fleet under attack, and more scenes of destruction in the Colonies. More of the survivors boarding the transports, and maybe some shots of a partially wrecked spaceport. The Pilot needed fleshing out, and a longer scene with Adama and Athena in his quarters, along with more background on Adama's history with Sire Uri. Also more Carillon detail would also have been welcomed. I agree w/Eric that one of the savaged Battlestars limping home, and then having to be scuttled, ala the U.S.S. Lexington after Coral Sea would have been an excellent touch.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #16
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Old February 21st, 2005, 04:26 AM   #17
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Hey, I'm new to the Forum

I just wanted to say that, it would been cool to see the other Battlestars launch their Fighters, we know they did since the Galactica took on 60 Fighters, 24 of their own
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Old February 21st, 2005, 08:47 AM   #18
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Wow nice work Eric . I am looking forward to reading your reworking.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 11:26 AM   #19
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Thank you, Taranis. And Top Gun, I agree with you completely we needed to see initiative from at least ONE other battlestar commander. I kept it at one only because to have done that from a multitude of ships would have made the writing a bit more complicated and sometimes that consideration can play a part in how things unfold.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 02:49 PM   #20
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I wonder where the other Vipers the Galactica took on came from?
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 06:10 PM   #21
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Hi Eric, and everyone else in these threads.
I've only just discovered this area , so I've got a lot of catch up to get up to speed
But having followed Eric's adaptations for a goodly while now, finding them in a forum like this with him here to discuss them with is terrific. His comment in the first post of this thread is spot on:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
This is the kind of continuity rectifying touch I have in mind when I talk about the idea of remaking the episodes at a new level without disrupting the overall familiarity.

Now, to trade some opinion about the adaption of Saga..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon

#3-I decided to bring back a subplot cut from the final version of the episode but in a different way, namely the "Serina's dying" subplot. Clearly, this was the reason why Serina felt the need to seek out Apollo as a possible substitute father for Boxey, but without it, it always seemed a bit abrupt for the two of them to suddenly come together. But since it wouldn't make sense to bring it back the way it was first written (lest you lose LPOTG in the process), I decided to do it this way. At the time Serina seeks Apollo out, she thinks she's dying, but she really isn't *the result of a phony diagnosis by a crooked doctor), and later when she realizes she isn't it frees her up to be more open about her new attraction to Apollo, and provide some plausibility for them eventually marrying very soon. Likewise, to explain further Apollo's receptiveness to Serina, I thought it would be plausible to suggest that Apollo was familiar with Serina as a public personality and had always had some kind of crush on her.
The mutual recognition on Caprica says she was known to Adama: perhaps he had been outspoken in the past and therefore courted by the media.

I don't think its necessary to make Serina too overtly mercenary about finding a father for Boxey. her line to Apollo about 'not knowing anything about Boxey's father' always made me wonder if she was estranged or possibly even in an abusive relationship. This would add plausibility to the speed of her relationship with Apollo and still fit with her relationship with Apollo developing after he demonstrates he has chemistry with Boxey and is a total gentleman with her.

Incidently, I was watching a prog on WW2 RAF pilots and their female friends the other night including several parts of an interview with one widow who described how quickly her and her fiance had fallen in love under the threat of iminent death. Her words were (not exact quote) the whole of life was being lived fast forward and when you allowed yourself to feel good emotions you embraced them wholeheartedly. Her biggest regret was they didn't marry, but they had hesitated because it didn't seem right to do it so quickly. She also noted the RAF didn't like the fighter pilots attached because it took away their edge. Both of them had been under considerable pressure to have their fling then move on.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
#4-Another element of foreshadowing is to give some plausibility to Cassiopeia later becoming a med-tech, so I added some dialogue when she has her arm fixed about being aware of medical equipment and having had training in medicine at one time before she decided to become a socialator.
Again, its a good fix, but I've never been bothered by her metamorphosis. She's a smart girl and knows she needs to find a good place on the fleet. Her realtionship with Cain showed us she was more than a common street walker: probably a courtesan or high class escort, so she would have a lot of skills with emotional/ people relationships/ etc that would lead to being suitable as a med tech.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
Saga is the kind of episode where the structure remains quite good and requires at most some fine-tuning (unlike some other episodes that I think could use more of a major overhaul in their retelling!)
Absolutely!!

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Old March 12th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #22
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Wow very nice work there Eric ,
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Old March 13th, 2005, 12:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopGun
I wonder where the other Vipers the Galactica took on came from?

Obviously, some came from the other Battlestars destroyed at Cimtar. We may assume a few survivors from the "Home Guard" might have made it aboard as well.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 06:25 AM   #24
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For myself, most of the changes I'd make are of the very dry kind; make sure that terms are used consistantly, if not nessicarily accurately. For instnace, "Star System" should always mean the same thing.
Also, distinguish between the parts that were "deliberately vague" and "accidentally confusing". For instance, I think I have finally figured out how the Colonies were layed out and where Carrilon was in relation to them, and it is not nearly as silly as I first thought.

Eric:

#1-I agree it should be made clearer, but as it came up in another thread: Only Adama was paranoid enough to be pushing the envelope of his orders by having patrols out, and Adar flatly did not believe the incoming ships were an attack force. While I do believe some of the other captains should have issued Alert orders on Adama's report, we know for sure that Adar would not issue a fleetwide alert.
Thus, Galactica was the only ship to have it's fighters prepped for launch and pilots in them at the moment the Cylons opened fire.
And, as Repcisg has painstakingly worked out, if you let that many Cylon fighters get into firing range before sounding the alert, you're toast. (He figures 3 minutes from Alert to Launch, and at that rate many Battlestars never get a chance to launch.)

#2-sub-1, It is important that we never see Charybdis before Murder on the Rising Star, otherwise we'll know who the killer is and why long before the characters do. Can't do a mystery if the audience knows all the twists.
That said, the Character could be mentioned but kept off screen.

#2-sub-2, Originally, I though this could be fixed better by confining the changes to Take the Celestra. That is, Starbuck believed Aurora was killed in an attack that happened before the Peace Conference, and may have started dating Athena on the rebound.
However, you've won me over.
The only thing I don't like about this is it has Starbuck hooking up with Cassiopea on the rebound from Aurora's death. But that's a small thing.

#2-sub-3, A little more detail would go a long way here. As Adama and Adar are arguing, Adama insisting the Cylons desire for peace is false, you could stick in some history. Adama pointing out how the war has been going against the colonies, what with the loss of Cain and the entire Fifth Fleet two Yahren ago, so why would the Cylons want peace? And Adar retorting that the Cylons know as well as we do that the tide of war ebbs and flows, and a decade(?) before Molecay was Casmaro Archipelago.



Much later posts:
Quote:
This required eliminating the scene in the actual episode where Baltar is seen talking to a centurion on the surface of Caprica, because it just wouldn't structurally fit to see Baltar doing this and not realizing by this point that he's been doublecrossed (The dialogue of this scene was transferred to a scene between Imperious Leader and a subordinate).
This strikes me as a very bad call. If you must, have Baltar go to Caprica to gloat and then go home and discover the double-cross.
It is this scene on Caprica, where Baltar casually orders the Centurian to exterminate the surviving humans, that establishes that Baltar is not just traitorous and deluded, but actually evil.

Later still:
Quote:
#4-Another element of foreshadowing is to give some plausibility to Cassiopeia later becoming a med-tech, so I added some dialogue when she has her arm fixed about being aware of medical equipment and having had training in medicine at one time before she decided to become a socialator.
Good Call.

As for Serina dying, the only real problem I have with keeping it intact (and writing her out of LPOTG) is this: even as a kid it was clear to me that there weren't enough ships to take everyone from the Colonies. Folks were packed in like cattle, and they still had to leave people behind. Adama spoke to Athena about "handing out priorities ..."
So how did a terminally ill person get a slot?


And for the other Vipers, here's a detail that needs some addressing: throughout the pilot if not the entire series, some of Galactica's Viper pilots should have helmets with the wrong crest on them, the crest from their original ship.
In fact, I have considered having Starbuck be from another ship. Still Apollo's best friend and dating Athena, but a Squadron Commander on another Battlestar.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #25
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Thanks for all the feedback I haven't gotten to previously from Lara, Taranis and Spy One. To Spy One, I understand your point about keeping the mystery on who Charybdis is, but I felt that for purposes of transforming Galactica into a giant continuous epic sweep, this was the kind of thing to best establish early on, then let the sub plot be forgotten until later in the season and give the audience something to think about "When are we going to get back to this subplot?" One other reason why I couldn't keep the mystery from my perspective is because of the changes I made to MOTRS and its prior episode TMWNL that brought things out center stage in greater detail as to what the nature of this Charybdis-Ortega relationship is, and also plotting the details of how it was that Charybdis was able to frame Starbuck for that murder. As a mystery I didn't think the story worked that well, but expanding it into one of tension where the audience wonders when are people going to find out, I felt it had the potential to work better.

The other suggestions and comments I think are fair points. Sometimes, part of the necessity for a change can come when you're trying to assume realistically what would the character do next in this situation, and regarding the Baltar on Caprica scene it's one of these scenes that plays great on TV because it's establishing the fact that Baltar is a traitor, but on the printed page it just didn't work to me because realistically, what would Baltar be doing after getting off the Atlantia? He'd first want to steer clear of the battle scene over the Colonies and then, I would think he'd be more anxious to get back to his own colony to let his people know what's going to happen in this arrangment where they've been spared.

Excellent point on why the battlestars are so vulnerable to that kind of short notice attack. I tried to touch on that a little bit, but I think a fuller technical explanation of the kind you say recipsig has pointed out probably would have worked better.

Thanks all!
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Old March 29th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #26
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Great thread Eric!

Some of my thoughts on what you originally brought up:

On the other Battlestar Commanders: We hear in SSW that vipers from other Battlestars made their way to the Galactica. I assume the other Commanders launched all the vipers they could and fought as well as they could. Adama took it upon himself to leave the battle without receiving explicit orders to do so. We do not know who was in charge of the fleet or if all command and control broke down. The remaining Battlestars may have simply fought on under orders or fought on in place assuming that fleeing on their own was either a stupid move or a sign of cowardice. Starbuck's comments to Athena upon return to the Galactica does imply that the actions of Adama may have been considered cowardly by those still involved in the battle. It is also possible that the Battlestars not immediately destroyed fled in other directions and were either destroyed as the fled or are availble for a Pegasus style reappearance.

On Serina: Since she or Boxey never talk much about Boxey's Dad and Serina did not seem to be mourning his loss I always assumed that Serina was either divorced or a single mother. If you don't make that assumption than you are left with Larson's writing of her character in SSW as simply weak and shallow which is also a possibility as many of the characters are shallow in SSW particularly in the Carillon part of the episode.

Baltar getting off the Atlantia is a weakness in SSW that we all pretty much ignore. It is very hard to believe he 1) got off the ship, 2) his colonial shuttle if he got off the ship wasn't shot down, and 3) his shuttle was able to get him to his home planet or to a rendevous with the cylons. Poor writing. If redone they needed a scene prior to the attack where Baltar's shuttle heads home.

Aurora: I forgot about some of the dialogue with her in reference to the initial cylon attack in SSW. That is simply poor dialogue that should have been deleted from Take the Celestra. I assumed she was a former girlfriend and one of many the skirt chasing Starbuck had before his apparant semi-serious relationship with Athena started.

We learn in LL and other episodes that the colonials were losing the war prior to SSW. Although for reasons unknown to me some fans want to believe otherwise despite the abundant evidence in various TOS episodes. We did not know this as a viewer during SSW however. As such the actions of the colonials and President Adar make much more sense and the words of Adama, a lot less wise, as those of someone who refuses to face reality in the eyes of those who see "peace" as the only way out of the predicament they are in. I like Eric's proposed added dialogue to explain this.

In general I think most of the issues with SSW in reference to later episodes especially are the result of Larson having little idea what he wanted to do long term with the series. Often it is written how scripts were rushed. I wonder if Larson even had a thought in his head about Aurora three weeks before they started shooting "Take the Celestra". The Galactica mythos was as much made on the fly as it is planned. Battlestar Galactica has its share of plot holes and continuity errors.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 04:48 PM   #27
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How I would remake SOSW:
Well first of all, the "entire" fleet wouldnt be stupid enough to get blind sided. Its great to have Galactica go off on her quest for Earth with the survivors, but why couldnt some of the fleet have stayed behind to try to take back the colonies? Surely there was not enough room to take all the survivors, they even said so. So it could stand that one heck of a battle is still raging back home while the Galactica is off running about finding Earth. That would totally explain why the Cylons dont just thrash the Galactica when they find her, they cant, they are up to their ball bearings in Colonial Warships.
That would offer many potential spin off series. Thats a good thing!
Also, why not have a little more drama about people left behind. When Adama gave his "Send word" speech, it was just cut to them more or less flying off. Well, wouldnt it be rather interesting to see the process of people being denied, the emotional impact of the crew having to decide who goes and who dies. That would show some of the terror that surely would go with a horrific thing like the destruction of 12 planets! Also I would have loved to see some ground action, maybe the Colonial Warriors or the Marines skirmishing to hold back the Centurians from destroying pockets of survivors while they evacuated.
At first it seemed like there wernt really many female Warriors. That was one thing that I noticed, they were actually rare. Im not thinking any wonder women, GINO provides too much of that, but maybe at least ONE female Warrior that could fly as well as Starbuck.
I noticed a total lack of gay or lesbian characters. That sort of bothered me, I know many in the GLBT community who would latch onto a gay or les character if they had one to hold up as their favorite. TOS did a wonderful job of showing acceptance of all cultures, all people, but they did leave that one little bit out.
On the military side, I think the lack of any task force ships, like cruisers, destroyers, corvettes, that sort of thing, that was wierd. It seems like a fleet would consist of more than one type of ship. If they were all Battlestars, and only 12 of them, why even bother calling them by name, just say number 1 or number 7. If they had different types of ships, it would stand that maybe some of them survived, but stayed behind to try to take back the colonies. Maybe a few could go with the Galactica, that would give them some REAL protection, not just one carrier.
I do like the idea of ammo expending guns better than a laser blast. Someone in another thread talked about that, and I agree, I can imagine the pain, the trauma of gun shots, I deal with them daily in my internship, but I cannot put any sort of understanding into a phaser hit, it means little to me because I dont know what it "should" do. Also ammo expending weapons make it less likely they will run willy nilly about shooting everything they see.
In all SOASW was great, probably the best of the BSG TOS but it, like us all, could stand room for improvement. But not much....

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Old September 30th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabitha
How I would remake SOSW:
Well first of all, the "entire" fleet wouldnt be stupid enough to get blind sided. Its great to have Galactica go off on her quest for Earth with the survivors, but why couldnt some of the fleet have stayed behind to try to take back the colonies?
Well, there isn't really what one would call a "Fleet" that could do this. Important to differentiate that before the destruction, they would speak of the Fleet referring to other battlestars but after the destruction the Galactica is the last battlestar (other than the already missing Pegasus) and so you couldn't have ships that aren't warships stay behind to fight the Cylons.

In fact, I would say that leaving the Colonies behind forever, with no thought of ever going back (unlike what happens in that other show) only adds to the sense of epic mystique in TOS. It opens up the fact that they are going far out into the vast unknown of the universe for them as they undertake this journey, and that to me is what makes TOS special to begin with.

Finding out what happened to those who got left behind would IMO work better from the context of a straggling ship catching up to the Fleet later in the run of the series (after we go through all the original episodes) and filling in the details.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabitha


At first it seemed like there wernt really many female Warriors. That was one thing that I noticed, they were actually rare. Im not thinking any wonder women, GINO provides too much of that, but maybe at least ONE female Warrior that could fly as well as Starbuck.
Remember, when the Galactica makes it home, they have only 25 of their original pilots left, plus 42 from other ships. We don't know how many were women, but it is obvious that very few pilots of any sort are left. Athena was a rated pilot as well, and when we saw women in training, no one ever said anything about "oh that's never been done before". It was merely the luck of the draw as to who was left.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabitha


I noticed a total lack of gay or lesbian characters. That sort of bothered me, I know many in the GLBT community who would latch onto a gay or les character if they had one to hold up as their favorite. TOS did a wonderful job of showing acceptance of all cultures, all people, but they did leave that one little bit out.

And we needed such why?
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 07:42 AM   #30
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Well it would be nice to have GLBT people among our group of friends. They are people too you know. It may seem hard to believe, but everyone has feelings, thoughts and something of worth to contribute to the world. The people in that community I an friends with are very educated, most teach or are administrators for large companies. They are scifi fans, but find the lack of characters they can identify with bothersom, like we did here with a certain other show. If a person cannot look at a TV show or movie and say, I understand that character, for at least ONE character, the allure of the show fades fast. Given that BSG is a family show, it just seems to me that we can make room for all types of families in it. Is that too much to ask?

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