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Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Battlestar Galactica (2003) I had a great deal of trepidation about this 're-imaging' of the late 70's television series, mostly because I'm such a big fan of that old show. But the Sci-Fi Channel did a surprisingly good job of remaining true to the spirit of the original.In this update the war with the Cylons had ended forty-years earlier, with the Cylons fleeing to establish their own world. In the present, The GALACTICA is mostly a tourist exhibit, showing how the original Cylons and their base stars looked (exactly as they did in the original series). In fact, the GALACTICA is being decommissioned and a big party is being thrown to celebrate. Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) doesn't seem too happy about it because it's basically the end of his career. And as part of the celebration his son Lee (Apollo) has been called in to fly one of those antique Vipers. The two haven't spoken to each other since the funeral of Zack, Adama's youngest son.In the meantime, a Cylon agent-who looks exactly like a human woman-has become very friendly with Gaius Baltar and is able to get the plans for the 12 Colonies' defense grid. Very quickly, the new Cylon basestars start destroying humanity, so that there are only 40,000 humans remaining.Adama wants to fight but the new president (Mary McDonough) wants to do the smart thing and flee so that mankind will survive. Battlestar Galactica and refugee ships temporarily flee to Ragnarok station, which is blanketed in a type of radiation fatal to the new and improved Cylons. Here they discover another Cylon spy-and the humans realize that the Cylons could already be among them. They are almost identical to humans, down to their DNA. Baltar, feeling guilty about having betrayed his species, finds a way to detect the enemy through a blood test-and he seemingly frames an innocent man to take the blame off himself.This new version keeps the mythology of Galactica the same, with having the twelve colonies originating from Kobol and the legend of a thirteenth colony called Earth. The updated mechanical looking Cylons are cool, more streamlined, with the red roving eye. Their small ships, rather than have pilots, are a different type of Cylon, with that red eye again. The biggest difference made to the update are some of the characters. Starbuck is now a blonde woman, yet the casting works surprisingly well (they combined Starbuck and Cassiopea from the original). The second in command, Tighe, is now an old white guy-an asshole and an alcoholic, always at odds with Starbuck. Boomer is also a woman. The Adama character from the original has been divided into two characters-the one portrayed by Edward James Olmos and the president, Mary McDonough. The only character I didn't like because he was irritating is Apollo. It was simply the wrong casting. A character completely missing is Athena. The movie ends, of course, completely open-ended as the original movie did. The Galactica, with its rag-tag fleet of survivors, flees their known solar system and embarks on a search for the legendary Earth. Close-behind are the Cylons--who can track the humans down because they've planted 'Sleeper agents' in their midst.It would be interesting to see if this is made into a continuing series as well.
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