I’m re-watching Battlestar Galactica in entirety from the start. In my opinion, BSG is thus far the best television series I have ever seen. As I saw it piecemeal and out of order the first time, there are a number of underlying details and connections I have missed. I’d like to keep a running commentary of things I notice as I re-watch.
Do NOT read these posts if you have not seen the series in full and have plans to do so.
1. Commander William Adama notes to President Laura Roslin: There’s a reason why military and police are separate. One fights the enemy of the state. One protects and serves the people. When the military becomes both, the enemy of the state tend to become the people.
2. Laura Roslin comes into her own as President in large part because she knows she’s dying anyways. It’s ironic, but also archetypal. The concept of a dying/resurrecting leader has figured strongly in mythology and religion through the ages: Vikings, Babylonian fertility cults, Norse gods, Christianity. See James Frazer’s The Golden Bough for more details.
3. There’s early sexual tension between Lieutenant Kara Thrace (“Starbuck”) and Gaius Baltar which is never developed later in the series. I don’t know how TV scripts are written, but it seems that writers placed many plot points early on and later chose which ones to develop over others as the series progressed. It’s extremely clever and also interesting to anticipate the foreshadowing in retrospect.
4. The British accent of actor Jamie Bamber (Captain Lee Adama, or “Apollo”) slips in from time to time.
5. The Apollo/Roslin/Adama love triangle? Or familial triangle? How did I not see this before? It makes even more sense considering Roslin’s predilection for younger men, which we know about only in the last episode of the series. She clearly takes an early liking to Lee, even as she’s attracted to his father. What do you call this? Reverse Oedipal effect? Whatever it is, it’s definitely Greek.
6. Everyone looks younger. Except Edward James Olmos, whose face looks as pockmarked as ever. The makeup artists did a great job in making the actors look “older” later on to reflect time and stress, since the series covered 7 years in series-time, though only 4 in real-time.