Stargate Archives

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Battlestar Galactica Rewatch ( Part 9)

Battlestar Galactica Rewatch ( Part 9)

The Man with Nine Lives

The fleet is pretty relaxed and some of the Viper pilots have been given leave to visit
the Rising Star where some of the luxuries can be obtained as well as being a flying casino.
On board one of the shuttles we meet Chameleon who is watching a video cast featuring
an interview with Starbuck who reveals he is an orphan after a Cylon raid on his community.
Chameleon seems to be a bit of a con-artist/grifter who has fled to the Rising Star and is being
chased down by three Nomen warriors who run across Boomer giving their prey time to
approach Starbuck and with the knowledge gained from the video cast lays the groundwork
for being Starbucks father and this taken to the Galactica.
Nomen Warriors
Apollo and Boomer are not convinced Chameleon is being truthful and a security check drives a
wedge between the three friends even though preliminary scans indicate a familial match.
The Nomen warriors go to the Galactica under the warrior recruitment drive and in doing so once
again chase down Chameleon but after a fire fight on one of the launch bays the good guys walk
away pretty much unscathed and even the "bad" guys are only singed.
We then find out from Cassiopeia that they are indeed father and son but it's kept a secret, maybe
being a good friend to Starbuck is better now then being a father.
A year ago she would do them both!
This is the first of two episodes that center around the Rising Star, it's good to have a different
setting within the fleet for the stories but it also highlights one of the equalities in the fleet.
We've seen there are thousands living in very poor conditions around the fleet, it's almost like
being in steerage on the old school ocean liners while around you well dressed and fed people
waste resources on fun and frivolity as well somehow operating within a financial structure that
couldn't work, cubits and other rare minerals would only have value if planets visited valued
precious metals etc.
Having Fred Astaire as Chameleon must have been marketing gold, a well known and respected
performer in a scifi show and he does an excellent job, it made it look effortless which is the mark
of a quality actor.
We also get the old bug bear of how you portray music and dance far into the future or in a
different culture, the tv producers of the day couldn't get away from the disco/new age vibe
and well it really hasn't aged well.
It was amusing to see a calculator being used by Starbuck to calculate odds when doing his
card counting, no doubt a state of the art piece of electronics back then but looked out of
place now and isn't that technically cheating:)
Great to see the female shuttle pilots which has been a long running theme although they did so
little you would have thought the computers could have handled the simple point A to point B
transfer between ships. I suppose credit to the producers for making the former social aider aka
hooker a serious med tech which maybe Joss Whedon took notice of when making the Companion
a respected part of his Firefly 'verse. However Sheba who got a great introduction to the show
continues her downward spiral becoming more of a whiny sidekick, pity.
I never quite understood how the Nomen came to be, granted they were from a very nasty part of
the colonies but I wouldn't have thought that level of physical change from the human norm would
have been possible without thousands of generations of adaptation but not to worry.
The final shoot out made use of a launch bay and unfortunately using the main pulse cannons on
a viper to shoot the Nomen down was a little over the top but the really bad idea was having them
survive, that was too pandering to the tv audience and regulators of the time.

Overall a decent episode, Fred really added some polish but the story shows more about the flaws
within the fleet than perhaps was intended at the time.

"Murder On The Rising Star"

Triad is back and it seems Apollo and Starbuck have a nemesis in Ortega who seems to play the
game with a lot of shall we say enthusiasm and passion. After taking beating on court the dynamic
duo win the game after Ortega is sent off for violent play, he then turns up dead and Starbuck was
witnessed fleeing from the scene.
Starbuck is questioned and his weapon tested, it matches the murder weapon and Starbuck is
put into the remnants of the legal system and it looks like all the evidence is against him and even
with Apollo acting as his advocate he looks to flee.
Apollo and Boomer investigate the murder and discover that Ortega make have had gambling debts
and that the eye witness was not who he claimed to be, this information leads them to others who
escaped the fall of colonies by bribing their way onto the Rising Star.
As the search narrows down to one individual named Karibdis a former associate of Baltar and
complicit in the Cylon invasion, Apollo uses Baltar as bait and to prevent his identity being revealed
Karibdis strikes but the events are recorded and played during the trial proving Starbucks innocence.
Box seats for the higher ups

Ortega played by Frank Ashmore
An interesting detective story set on the Rising Star and I suspect it rivalled any of the
more mainstream police/crime dramas during that era of American television.
Triad is a bit of a joke, ok it has some links to Basketball but without any of the rules
and regulations or logic but it maybe the only game in town, it wasn't much better in the
BSG remake but they did make it more of a team game which helped.
It was great to see Apollo as the lawyer, alas that skill came out of nowhere and again the
remake used  the same idea but fleshed it out with Apollo's heritage and his own education.
We do have the old guards are useless plot point, they were a little foolish but worse was
how Starbuck got to the launch bay and into a Viper and ready to go, surely it requires a
full compliment of crew to prep and ready a launch.
The use of Baltar and drawing on the fall of the colonies added a lot to the story as was
the slight misdirection, always good for a who done it to point in one direction and then
with a reveal point in a totally new direction.

This was another decent episode, not a lot of action but a more than adequate use of the crime genre
within the scifi framework.

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