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01 May 2012 @ 11:24 am
BSG Rewatch: Miniseries  
Rewatch - already a day late. heh. Well, there you go. At least I did it though.


I did start with the Razor flashbacks - at least the ones I could find easily, since I discovered I didn't have them as a separate file as I thought. But I found them today, so I'll talk about them with the other 'extras' for tomorrow.

A little about my first experience watching the show. I watched when it first aired, and as a childhood fan of OldSkool I was ... a bit nervous. I realized it could be updated and improved, plus I was at least somewhat familiar with RDM's work on Star Trek so I knew he had the experience, so rebooting it as such didn't bother me. Making Starbuck a woman was fine (Apollo was my favorite in Old Skool - had they switched that instead, I might have been more dubious, but as it was, I didn't mind). Eliminating Athena as Adama's daughter - of course, I had no idea that there would eventually be an Athena was less fine. Making Boomer female and Asian was awesome. Making Tigh white was the change I disliked the most - both Boomer and Tigh were black in Classic, and suddenly there were none. It still bothers me a bit, tbh - I do love Michael Hogan and I think he did a fabulous job, but yeah. Anyway.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I watched it. And I remember liking it, but the funny thing is I don't really remember much more than that because my son was born later that week. :) I have watched it again, once, since, but even that was several years ago. So here we go from the beginning, a bit of liveblog as I watch.




We open with armistice Station! with Charlie Conner's ... um, uncle.

HellooArmistice!Six -- when she walks in it reminds me of that bit in the "What the frak video" -- "and some of them even look like models." hmm. maybe I should start a drinking game of drinking whenever a Cylon is onscreen - I'll probably be pretty drunk halfway through so that's probably not a good idea.

"Are you alive?" Which brings us to one of the over-riding themes of the show and the reason I love it so much: what is life, what is death, and living versus survival.

Kara in the hall! hm.. not a fan of her weedwacker haircut in the mini, I confess. And the 'what do you hear?" -- which actually gets a callback toward the end, which I'd forgotten about.

Doral the tour guide in TEAL. I love how he wears both his colors in this. he's a switcher that Doral.

Captain Kelly! I'd forgotten he was in this so early.

I do love this long tracking shot at the beginning, especially the part going through the cic. It may be our best look at the set the whole show - they certainly wanted to get their money's worth out of showing it off.

Chief and Cally looking like babies. AwWW. STAY PRECIOUS YOU TWO OMG. MAYBE IT WILL TURN OUT BETTER THIS TIME

Okay, neither of those boys in the picture the deck gang give to Adama look like they'd grow up to be Jamie. Sorry, props department.

BOOMER and HELO. and the card game of Oncoming Doom. and striking a superior asshole. hee. But Kara, you're kind of an asshole too, just FYI.

ha, I think the background of the doctor's office with Laura might be Justin's apartment building in FL.

The broadcaster mentions a pyramid game on Gemenon - and yet the Bucs are in high-altitude training. I'll assume the game they mention on Gemenon is some sort of exhibition/off-season league. *handwave*

Still think it's hilarious how Ron SO regretted the red spine thing later. "NO YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE IT WE WERE KIDDING LOL."
(I have to admit it's not my favorite thing either, since it introduces issues so I usually ignore it; because seriously, Chief never saw it with Boomer? Gaius NEVER saw it with Caprica in TWO YEARS of having sex? there are other positions, not to mention reflective surfaces... so no, I don't believe that the spines actually glow. And I believe the Five do it even less. I come from Stargate fandom, where canon is ever-malleable over time. This isn't a problem to pretend this never happened).

aw, lee there you are. You know, now I remember why I thought you were a dick. SO RUDE TO CHIEF.

"LIEUTEANT THRACE will be replaced in the slot by LIEUTENANT ANDERS." I'm SORRY YOU WERE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THERE'S NO DESTINY? (or name recycling, but y'know, same thing. lol)

wow, this scene with Lee and Bill is even more uncomfortable than I remembered.

The moment when Gaius learns the truth about the Cylons with Caprica is still stunning in its perfection.

hm, that's an interesting little moment I never noticed before. When Bill's giving his terrible retirement speech and he mentions the bit about why humanity's worth saving - Doral shifts and looks interested for a moment. heh. Still the worst speech ever. lol. I love how everyone's like "wtf? is that all? what the hell was that?"

hee, Saul burning a photo of someone who vaguely looks like Ellen, but is not Kate Vernon.

The main attack sequence and Adama's big 'we are at war' speech and the "fight" when the entire squadron of vipers gets taken out by TWO raiders -- STILL AMAZING

Doral - you and your "who died and put you in charge' to Laura is so adorable especially BECAUSE YOU ARE A CYLON. It is kind of funny that he runs to Lee to try to make him take charge instead of Laura though. I suppose it makes sense if we figure he's just trying to set humans at odds against each other, but the strategy there is still a bit obtuse when you know what he is, and that he knows.

This scene with Boomer and Helo on Caprica is, for those who don't know, a callback to a similar scene in OldSkool when Adama and Apollo go land on Caprica to find his wife/Apollo's mom. The house is destroyed, and then people come pouring over the ridge to try to escape in their shuttle. Apollo desperately wants dad to get the hell out but Adama refuses.

anyway, it is certainly Helo's Big Damn Hero moment. (even if it's particularly ironic that he gives it up for Baltar, of course. And first appearance of Red.) bye, Helo - see you in '33' actually alive!

The pilot of Colonial One is a good guy to have in a crisis. Laura was lucky he was there, really -- cool head, reasonable, bit of a sense of humor. Kind of shipping him and Laura, tbh.


aw, the part where it looks like colonial One and Lee all went explodey.

THEN THE JUMP TO RAGNAR. and they have cool fx and it's a Big Deal that they're jumping. and hee, they all applaud, like WOO WE'RE NOT ALL DEAD. lol. They totally lose that later, but it's so cute the first time.

Crazy!Ragnar Leoben. lol.

While obv they didn't know originally what Red was, so a lot of her interactions are (ahem) red herrings, it's interesting that the first thing she says "I can exist only in your head without being a hallucination." That's pretty much what I think she is. She's manifesting herself in his subconscious - an external manipulation of his internal mind.

On Ragnar, it's interesting to try to pinpoint exactly when Bill starts getting suspicious -- I think he's generally suspicious when leo has no obvious ship that brought him there (he claims it's on the other side of the station, but I think Bill doesn't believe he's alone). That suspicion gets a bit allayed when he hears Leo's a supposed arms dealer - but then he purports not to know about the war, which has to be fishy for an arms dealer not to have word outside, even if they're on the edge of the system and out of easy contact. Then Leo's sick, and it's weird, since apparently this area is fine for humans. And then Leo has to go and blow it talking about the attacks being retribution, which I'm pretty sure is when Bill twigged to it completely. (especially when we add in the experiments he saw in Razor as a young man) But it does make me wonder how ANY Leoben worked undercover in the Colonies without being totally obvious. heh.


Hm, once the Rag-tag Fleet with Colonial One gets scanned by the Raiders and they realize the Cylons are coming - it's interesting that Doral is the voice of "you can't sacrifice all those people who can't escape." (which seriously, everything he does, while it makes sense from a Cylon point of view is pretty darn clever. Pity the miniseries is pretty much the last time Doral gets to be smart and interesting).

The radiation affecting the Cylons on Ragnar doesn't really make sense with them trying to settle the Colonies after nuking it. While there are different types, Leoben and Doral both succumbed in less than a day -- that's an extreme vulnerability to some kind of space phenomenon that they then supposedly aren't affected by fallout in the Colonies. Actually I find both kind of bullshit since, as the doc says both in this and Cottle with Sharon - the Cylons are biologically identical with things like lymphatic systems, except for some molecular structures. Not to mention, every single person died on old!Earth, including the Five's former bodies, so radiation/fallout were just as lethal for them, even if the Five made the subsequent bodies a bit less vulnerable. Anyway, the show was always trying to have its cake and eat it too with the Cylons about how human (and not) they are physiologically. (really, being able to have a fertile hybrid baby? while that's not the only definition of a species anymore, it means Colonial Humans and Cylons aren't very different at all).

Speaking of babies... "And they're going to have to start having babies." LOL. I still love the way Bill blurts that out while watching Dee and Billy. It is funny to me how adamant Bill tries to be at first about going back to fight - it's like he knows even then that it's futile; he just needs a moment to admit it.

There are many times (and I'm sure there'll be many more) when off-hand references to Cylons will be funny, especially at Tigh and Tyrol's expense, but so far my favorite has to be when Bill is going on about how Earth is going to be their new home and "the cylons will never find them." LOLOLOL. THAT IS THE BEST OF ALL IRONIC MOMENTS. I mean, count the ways that statement is SO ENTIRELY WRONG: (a) it's a cylon world, so even if none of the rest of it happened they'd still be at least descended from Cylons, though more human, when the Fleet got there, (b) the Cylons came from there, (c) the present-day Cylons know where it is (or at least Cavil certainly does even if everyone else has forgotten), and (d) your ship is riddled with spies, Bill, even not counting the Five, so the Cylons are along for the ride.

The part with Doral I still find a bit iffy though -- Did Gaius really just get lucky? he was looking for a scapegoat, not really an actual Cylon. Did he do real tests and find out or was that a lie?

Finally, that last bit with the Eight. I STILL LOVE IT TO LITTLE BITTY PIECES. Okay, in hindsight it breaks my heart a little, because I know where it goes with Boomer, and I'm a bit forever sad that we never hear 'by your command'' again, but still. AWESOME.



Tomorrow will be all the 'extra bits" relating to the attacks -- Razor flashbacks, the first part of The Plan dealing with the attacks, and the part of Downloaded that deals with Caprica's resurrection.

Hope you had fun. It was fun for me to go back and revisit!

Feel free to comment on anything regarding the miniseries that you want to - what I mentioned, what I didn't. It's not a recap as such, so I skip over a lot.
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M: BSG - farming is lovemfirefly10 on May 1st, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
So this is going to be a bit long and rambly but...stay with me :)

I'm not sure if this was ever discussed but it's always been my fan-wanky theory that Caprica was pregnant when she died in the mini-series. I think she and Baltar were initially meant to be Hera's parents (or at least were meant to have a half cylon/half human baby) but when she died, the cylons had to come up with an alternative. So they sent Athena to Caprica, hoping she could get Helo to impregnate her.

If we go with that theory, I also fan-wanked that the glowy spines-thing only happened when the cylon women were impregnated. So it works for Baltar/Caprica in the mini and Athena/Helo in season 1...IDK...I just thought that worked as an explanation as to why we never saw the glowy spines again.
Nicole Anell: battlestar galactica otpnicole_anell on May 1st, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry, replied to you instead of the thread. BUT I ALSO WANTED TO REPLY TO YOU. :)

I've actually had that pregnancy fanwank too! Only not part of her mission, just something that happened and screwed up their destinies slightly. (Until I was just like "screw it, don't even try to explain the glowing spines, only the audience can see them.")
M: BSG - Caprica Six is one gorgeous BAMFmfirefly10 on May 1st, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Eh, it works either way. Clearly the writers didn't put much thought into it and just said 'ooh, spines that glow, that's awesome, let's do it!' and then realized after the fact that it would be kinda problematic when sleeping with humans who didn't know you were a cylon :)
lizardbeth: Six - blue dresslizardbeth_j on May 1st, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
BECAUSE I AM NEVER LONG AND RAMBLY.... *cough*

I think that could work too, that the glowy spine's a special thing that happens with getting pregnant. Though it does raise other problems in turn of how Caprica didn't know or care about it, but those could be fanwankwable.

I usually just think of it as one of those things they tossed in for the cool factor and because they had to do something to indicate that Caprica wasn't human. so I sort of pluck it out of continuity all together. Or it's a visual metaphor, but not actually 'real'. Like, it's good for jokes, but that's about it.
M: BSG - adorable cast is adorbsmfirefly10 on May 1st, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
I find there's always something problematic with fanwank because, well, it's fanwank :) It'd be so much easier if the show was just consistent about things but, oh well :)

I'm not sure if I'm remembering this right but I think I read a fic once where Helo saw Sharon's glow-y spine. I don't remember what his reaction was, but I do recall thinking the fic was lol-worthy. It certainly lends itself well to crack!fic :D
semi-titled: d'anna/capricapocochina on May 1st, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
I also fan-wanked that the glowy spines-thing only happened when the cylon women were impregnated. So it works for Baltar/Caprica in the mini and Athena/Helo in season 1...IDK...I just thought that worked as an explanation as to why we never saw the glowy spines again.

I love this theory!
M: Kara/Sam - wings of destinymfirefly10 on May 1st, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the Thrace-Anders thing...BEST EVER! I'd like to believe it was intentional on the writers' part but I really do think they just like to recycle names. Still though...EPIC DESTINY right there!

Kara's mini-series hair was AWFUL, on that we can ALL agree :D
Nicole Anell: gaius smirknicole_anell on May 1st, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
Charlie Conner's ... um, uncle.
Hee!

EVERYONE IS SUCH BABIES IN THE MINISERIES. WITH TERRIBLE HAIR.

And yeah, glowing spines are definitely detachable canon. I'm surprised it took me until recently to suddenly be like "Wait, we the AUDIENCE can see it but that doesn't mean it's visible to humans. That's just happening inside her." So that's my canon now. :)

THAT IS THE BEST OF ALL IRONIC MOMENTS. I mean, count the ways that statement is SO ENTIRELY WRONG: (a) it's a cylon world, so even if none of the rest of it happened they'd still be at least descended from Cylons, though more human, when the Fleet got there, (b) the Cylons came from there, (c) the present-day Cylons know where it is (or at least Cavil certainly does even if everyone else has forgotten), and (d) your ship is riddled with spies, Bill, even not counting the Five, so the Cylons are along for the ride.
Hahahaha, I just wanted to requote all this because it's totally amusing.
lizardbeth: Doral - humanslizardbeth_j on May 1st, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
It's a visual metaphor for orgasm. That's ... all I got. :)

On one hand there are the doctors who say there's nothing different about the Cylons all the way down to the molecular level. - you can't x-ray them, or do surgery or a basic blood sample and find anything different. They can have babies with humans. EXCEPT otoh, Sharon can shove a cord in her wrist and talk to the computer directly, occasional superstrength, and they have weird glowy spines. *shakes head, throws up hands*
ellestra: bsgellestra on May 1st, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
Doral, Caprica, Ragnar!8 and cylons in general seemed so much cooler and organised in the miniseries. And they looked like they actually did have a plan.

I always liked the "cylon parties" line as it turned out to be the best way to spot a cylon. Even funnier is the fact that it is true as head!Six is not a cylon and there is only one Chief so they didn't attend cylon parties and could not see anyone/be seen there.

I still can't quite believe Helo survived till the end.

I always wondered how the pyramid league worked. If it was like American ones or was it like football in Europe - each planet with its own league with it's own schedule and then the Champion's league for interplanetary Champion.

I gave up on biology in BSG. Since we know it's all "God(s) did it" the glowing spines etc. can be hadwaved. However the radiation thing is important as that's what Baltar uses to to identify cylons so somehow there is a difference between kinds of radiation they are immune and susceptible to compared to humans. So maybe they are fine with the Colonies. On cylon!Earth it was different as they were there when the bombs exploded (blast clearly kills Caprica). They might just tolerate higher background level. Or keep juicing on the anti-radiation meds.
lizardbeth: Anders- fighterlizardbeth_j on May 2nd, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
My point with Earth 1.0 was that they ALL died - it couldn't have been only the blasts some of them must have been killed by the indirect effects. So they'res not immune. We're told those proto-Cylons were the same molecular structure as the Seven. But I suppose Earth 1.0 must''ve been harder hit since it was uninhabitable even two/three thousand years later

The pyramid league depends on whether you accept Caprica as BSG canon or not -- if so, then they're really the Caprica City Buccaneers, not a planetary team. I believe there are also multiple pyramid team signs in Joes. I'll have to look again on this rewatch, but I saw them in the auction. I know originally I thought it was a football-type planetary league, because we knew only about the C-Bucs and the Picon Panthers, I actually still like that better since it makes a lot of sense, given the unrest between the colonies pre-first-cylon war -- it seems like something they would try to do to have a "PEACE THRU SPORT" type of thing, like the Olympics. But it's sort of muddled.
Galactic Cupcake: let's playlostinapapercup on May 2nd, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Butting in here, but somewhere out there -- wikipedia? I don't remember it on the battlestar wiki -- is a list of all the pyramid teams associated with each planet. I remember that, like Caprica, Gemenon and Leonis definitely both had two. In both cases one team bore the planet's name and one used a city's name. I used to think it was just a major league vs minor league thing, but in Caprica the C-Bucs play two teams I would've assumed were the minors so I don't know.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders - Capricalizardbeth_j on May 2nd, 2012 07:28 am (UTC)
I think that's sourced from Caprica (the show) or at least the "Beyond Caprica"/Visitor's Guide booklet. that was written for the show. I have it and that's where they have the team names/locations along with a few of the logos and posters and things like that. So, for instance there's a poster for "Interplanetary Play in the Alpha Division Finals" - But that's quasi-canon -- it's useful for fic but it's not really BSG stuff.
ellestra: bsgellestra on May 5th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Hmm, for some reason my first reply got lost.

Anyway, I've never seen the booklet. It's just that in my mind I've been comparing planets of 12 colonies to Europe and pyramid to football. In football each country has its own league with largely independent schedule (it just has to end before certain date) and its own country champion. Then that champion goes to compete in the Champion's league and it's not a national team but the one that won the league so last year final of Champion's league was between Manchester United and Barcelona - this year Chelsea and Bayern.

So I imagined each planet having its own pyramid league and then the winners competing in the interplanetary Champion's league. This made it also easy for me to explain why Adama (Caprican-born Tauron) would be a fan of Picon Panthers. It's not OK to not root for your country team but it is perfectly OK to want MU to fail when you are Manchester City fan.
semi-titled: starbuck smokingpocochina on May 1st, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
Doral - you and your "who died and put you in charge' to Laura is so adorable especially BECAUSE YOU ARE A CYLON. It is kind of funny that he runs to Lee to try to make him take charge instead of Laura though. I suppose it makes sense if we figure he's just trying to set humans at odds against each other, but the strategy there is still a bit obtuse when you know what he is, and that he knows.

It seemed to me like Doral was pushing for the civilians to all be under the direct control of the military, with all the survivors in one herd.

There are many times (and I'm sure there'll be many more) when off-hand references to Cylons will be funny, especially at Tigh and Tyrol's expense, but so far my favorite has to be when Bill is going on about how Earth is going to be their new home and "the cylons will never find them." LOLOLOL. THAT IS THE BEST OF ALL IRONIC MOMENTS.

This is why I unapologetically love retcons in general and the Final Five one in particular.

The part with Doral I still find a bit iffy though -- Did Gaius really just get lucky? he was looking for a scapegoat, not really an actual Cylon. Did he do real tests and find out or was that a lie?

Yeah, I've never understood what tests he was supposed to have done there, and I don't think the brass does either. I think it's like the Hand of God thing later, where it's equally plausibly divine inspiration by the OTG through Red, or his deductive skills are even more solid than he realizes even when he's consciously preoccupied with his impending doom.
lizardbeth: Cylon Raiderlizardbeth_j on May 2nd, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Baltar did have some good reasoning - it was true that Doral had plenty of access to CIC and he was an outsider so presumably less vetted than the military. But yeah, it did seem a bit of a jump - and we don't actually see the scene where he accuses Doral so it's deliberately ambiguous. And I doubt that was a real test (he sounds like he's technobabbling it on purpose just to make Tigh shut him up).

But yeah, it is like Hand of God, you're right. He got lucky/inspired -- and Doral was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got sacrificed for Red's agenda, basically.

and hee, it's amazing the Five thing works so well, honestly. But it does leave some really funny irony...