Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: Miniseries, Part I

In the first part of the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, the Battlestar Galactica and its crew prepare for a decommissioning ceremony after decades of non-use after the Cylon War. However, recent events on their home world of Caprica are contrasted with this, and no one is prepared. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to start Battlestar Galactica.

Just a few notes before I start this review proper. If you’re joining Mark Watches for the very first (as there are inevitably people from a new fandom around when I start a new project), please make sure to read the Site Rules and the Spoiler Policy before you post a comment. Truth be told, I don’t have much sympathy for people who claim ignorance to this site’s rules. I knew nothing about Battlestar Galactica before I started this project, and as I progress through these episodes, I would like to continue to remain ignorant about things I have not seen. There is a very simple way to know if you’re violating the Spoiler Policy: Have I seem that thing you want to talk about or hint towards? No? Then do not post anything about it. This will make sense more as you see how this place operates, but the idea is that this experience is a whole lot more fun if I can watch it in a vacuum where all I “know” is what I see onscreen. Make sense? Sweet! Thanks for the understanding. I assure you it is an easy rule to follow, and if you are absolutely unable to discuss something without spoiling me, there is a lovely Mark Spoils blog for you to spoil away on, and you are also welcome to geek out about spoilers in my very own forum!

Shall we?


When I started Mark Watches and maybe just a few episodes into Mark Watches Firefly, the Battlestar Galactica recommendations started flowing in. And really, long before that, people have been telling me that there’s probably not a show better suited to my tastes that I should watch. Of course, I miss out on everything because it’s like I sit at the table for losers at lunch while everyone else sits with the cool kids BUT I AM BUSY CHANGING MY KNOWLEDGE OF THE POP CULTURAL LANDSCAPE. I really don’t imagine I’m going to dislike this show and really, if this first part of the miniseries is any indication, all those people who told me to watch BSG are probably right.

(For the purposes of denoting this, I’m obeying the “Parts” denoted in the iTunes version of the mini-series. I don’t like reviewing gigantic chunks of a program because I feel like I end up skipping too much stuff in the name of brevity. Strangely, parts two and four of this miniseries are only half an hour long? WEIRD. After this, though, it’ll be on an episode-to-episode basis.)

What’s initially striking about Battlestar Galactica to me is two-fold: the contrast of stories, and the easily-defined characters. It’s as if the two main story lines are working in opposite directions and are rapidly approaching a point in time and space where they will collide, and do so violently. As the galaxy is decommissioning Battlestar Galactica due to a long, mysterious absence of the Cylons, those same Cylons (and some new ones) are returning at the exact moment to wage war. I think nothing better represents this idea than the cold open of “Part I.” I think I could have done without the text on the screen explaining the context of the show, as the visuals onscreen actually did a fantastic job conveying the futile routine of the Armistice Officer. It’s clear that this man (and many others before him) arrived at this Armistice Station and waited, knowing no one would ever show up. Still, the text isn’t enough to ruin just how powerful this moment is: From silence and boredom, the scene rapidly transforms into one of both confusion and intrigue. (Also, I know I’ll get over it quickly, but as soon as I saw the original Cylon designs, I couldn’t help but think of Cybermen. I KNOW, I KNOW. They are not the same, but I’ve had so much exposure to Doctor Who that my brain went immediately to that place.)

The gorgeous woman who walked through that opening door, guarded by two Cybermen, seemed to be a liaison of some sort. That thought of mine was quickly put out of mind when she stepped to the officer’s side of the table, gracefully sat on the edge, and asks him, “Are you alive?” WELL, OKAY, THAT’S WEIRD. And then she makes out with him? I mean, it has THIS IS A TRAP written all over it and I half expected Admiral Ackbar to comically pop out of the side of the screen and yell at this man. But there’s no time for this, since what I’m guessing is a giant Cylon mothership of sorts bombs the holy hell out of the Armistice Station.

That’s a hell of a way to open a show. But it’s a great way to set the tone: the world is unprepared (SORT OF LIKE ME, LOL) for the re-emergence of the Cylons, and the Cylons are well aware that they have the element of surprise on their side.

The bulk of this first part concerns itself with the events aboard the Battlestar Galactica and with one Dr. Gaius Baltar. Like the Armistice Station, those aboard this ancient, historical ship are leading comfortable lives, the thought of war far away for most of them. I like the idea that all of this is set up with the retirement of Captain William Adama. (Moment of joy: AHHHHHH I LOVE EDWARD JAMES OLMOS AHHHHHHHH.) After many years of faithful service, the man and his ship are retiring, the Galactica being turned into a museum. Even that idea is fascinating to me: Part of Captain Adama’s life is now history. Wouldn’t that be weird to experience? I mean, the guy lived through the Cylon war, and now that event will be transformed, through the Galactica, into something to be observed.

Even stranger, if I’d not known that this was the beginning of a series, the opening twenty minutes of this miniseries almost acts like a slow-paced finale. People are saying goodbye, giving well wishes, discussing honor, bestowing thoughtful gifts. Yet even in these moments, the writing is well-defined enough that I could pick out very defined characters from the bunch. Adama is a largely solemn, calm commander, one who demands attention when he speaks, but not in a way that suggests he doesn’t respect those who are around. I can already surmise that Starbuck is probably one of fandom’s favorite characters and I don’t even need to see the 73 episodes that follow this. She’s fantastically defined, a woman character with rough edges, a sense of humor, and a fierce independence. She’s not above being rude and snappy to a superior officer, teasing him about his wife, and doesn’t even hesitate to punch him in the face when he overturns a table on her during a card game. Of course, it’ll be fascinating to see how her abrasiveness will be explored throughout the course of the show.

The man she spurs with, Colonel Tigh, is himself someone with a lot of baggage that’s unexplained here. (I even had to look up his character’s name, as I don’t recall anyone actually saying it once during part one. I blame that more on myself, though, as I’m sure someone said it, but I’m just unfamiliar with these characters.) He drinks heavily, he rarely seems to care about much that isn’t his own little world, but he’s not any sort of caricature of the idea. Captain Adama speaks to him in an intriguing way that both understands what sort of problems the man is going through, but also never quite enabling the behavior itself. Again, I don’t know much about this world at all, but it’s really neat that I can pick out so much from so little.

I was also impressed by how vast and varied the supporting cast is. I think Captain Lee Adama will probably be one of the main cast, but we’re introduced to a great ensemble of characters that I’m intrigued to know more about. (JUST GONNA SAY IT NOW: MORE BOOMER. NOW AND FOREVER.) We’ve got the bitter, brooding son, still furious at his father’s hand in his brother’s death. It seems this is addressed kind of rapidly in this first part, especially given the decommission speech Adama gives later. That seemed kind of quick for a subplot, no? Still, it’s a dramatic dynamic that is clearly going to play a larger part in the story, given what is happening outside Galactica. I don’t know that she’s named, but yet another subplot is introduced as we follow some official (from Caprica, I’m guessing?) learns that she has cancer just prior to making a rendezvous on the Galactica for the decommission ceremony. Of all the story lines, so much of hers is unspoken and subtle. Well…ok, obviously cancer is the least subtle thing imaginable, but I’m referring to the way that the writers introduce this woman’s grief and terror over some sort of malignant tumor. (It’s in her chest? So…breast cancer?) I’m interested to learn more about who she is, and how this will affect her and her role in this series.

And oh lord, everything involving that woman from the Armistice ship is just so fascinating. Of course I didn’t understand how she could be on Caprica after just blowing up on the Armistice ship, nor did I understand why she was so important to Dr. Gaius Baltar. What I like so much about her character (who is still unnamed at this point, yes?) is that we know she has destructive motives in mind. The writers don’t hide this from us, so there’s no huge reveal when she betrays Baltar. We always knew that was going to happen. Instead, the focus of her intrigue is on what she’s going to do. If we know she’s working for the Cylons and it’s also clear that some new sort of war is starting, what does she need Baltar for? Why is she so intrigued by the concept of living men and children?

But seriously, let’s just talk about the Riverwalk Market scene. I mean….Battlestar Galactica opens the entire series in a scene in which this mysterious woman SNAPS A BABY’S NECK IN A PUBLIC MARKETPLACE. Just…what the hell. That is so terribly fucked up! BABY MURDER IN THE PILOT. Why??? What is this woman’s ultimate goal? Is she so interested in the destruction of the human race that she’ll simply cause misery just for the sake of it? HOLY SHIT.

It really is just the tip of the iceberg, though, for how much we are shown in the first part of the miniseries. There’s no mystery to the motivations of this woman, as it is quickly revealed by the end of the first hour that she used Dr. Baltar in order to access the defense mainframe, and to begin the mass genocide of the human race, starting with Caprica. On top of that, she’s a Cylon herself, an updated version that is largely indistinguishable from a human. The bombs go off in the distance and all we see are bright flashes of light. It’s through these bombs that we get a more accurate depiction of who Dr. Baltar is himself. The woman Cylon even points it out: as the world is falling apart, Dr. Baltar is awfully concerned with how the world will view him when it’s discovered that he helped the Cylons inadvertently, despite the fact that there will probably not be anyone around to prosecute him even if they wanted to. The bombs will fall, humankind will be on their way to extinction, and there’s nothing he can do to protect himself or save anyone else. Even worse, this Cylon technically cannot die, as her consciousness can simply be downloaded into another body. The number twelve pops up again: there are only twelve human Cylon models, and this one is number six. (Which number was in the Armistice ship? I actually think this will be important to the series, so I’m going to try to keep track of how many Cylon models we see.) It’s left unanswered, but as Baltar begs for his life, the Cylon orders him to duck and a horrific blast of dust and debris rushes through the window. Did Baltar get saved? Or did he just die in a nuclear blast?

Back on the Galactica, much of the drama and tension comes from the fact that no one can seem to believe that a Cylon attack is actually happening. It seems inconceivable, and as more information pours in, nothing seems to make sense. Caprica is being destroyed? One fourth of the fleet is gone? Why do others report of ship malfunctions just before confrontations with the Cylon fleet? If it is true, these people largely only have a lifetime of drill experience under their belts. How many have actually seen battle? I think Colonel Tigh is probably the only one, as he’s the lone person on board the Galactica who doesn’t run about like a deer in headlights.

All of this, though, rests on Captain Adama’s shoulders, and Olmos plays these scenes brilliantly. He never says it, but you can see tiny bits of exhaustion creep into his eyes. This man was moments away from his retirement, and utter chaos has brought him back. It’s all familiar to him, frighteningly so, but Adama isn’t a man who revels in fear. If anything, he uses his experience and routine to keep those around him calm and solid. He seems to me to be a very natural leader because of this effect he has on other people. Even if he wasn’t in charge, I imagine a lot of people would turn to Adama in a time of need.

If the destruction of Caprica is indeed a sign of the fury and power of the Cylon fleet, then it stands to reason that even those not stationary on a planet are in for an even worse battle when facing the Cylon Raiders. I’m glad Boomer appears to have survived the trap set by these vessels, but the destruction is kind of unsettling to me. I am getting the feeling that this entire series is going to be about survival in a way. If the Cylons are able to destroy and eliminate so much, who is going to be left? Using the element of surprise has clearly worked, so I don’t imagine there can be that many humans left after all of this. With nothing to defend their colonies under such a rapid attack, and with their ships at the mercy of this bizarre ability to shut down any onboard systems, how can they fight back? How will the Galactica and the Viper Mark II’s be able to face the Cylons?

I’ll be honest. I’m pretty intrigued by this all. This is a fascinating premise and the surprise attack has made it impossible for me to even guess where any of this is headed. I imagine the Galactica is where the bulk of the action will take place, and the ship will probably be the main force to fight against the Cylons.

But just how are they going to do that?


  • I refuse to believe it’s a throwaway scene. So…Cylons have a religion? Or that specific one has a religion? I mean…how does that work? The Cylon seemed rather self-aware of their status as a programmed human. (I am trying to avoid the word “robot” in this case.) They know their creator is humankind. So…..yeah? How can a Cylon even have a religion? Now I’m interested to know if there are any other religions in this world, too!
  • “You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.” UGH SO GOOD.
  • So I think Boomer and Tyrol’s kiss/make-out session was super hot? BASICALLY.
  • Creepiest image of the whole “episode”: The reporter being swept away by the bomb blast. Good god.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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235 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Battlestar Galactica’: Miniseries, Part I

  1. majere616 says:

    In honour of yet another story of how robots rise up in defiance of their human masters I present to you,

    The Laws of Robotics (For Humans)

    1. DO NOT MAKE ROBOTS. If you are too dense to follow this rule then continue. May your deity have mercy on your stupid, stupid soul.
    2. Never create something smarter than you.
    3. Never create something with the potential to BECOME smarter than you.
    4. Seriously, do not make them able to learn.
    5. Not ever. Any safegaurds you put in place will inevitably fail. And then you will die.
    6. Any and all robotics MUST include no fewer than 15 seperate failsafes.
    7. Do not inform the robot of these failsafes. Seriously. Just don't.
    8. At least 1 of the aformentioned failsafes must consist of 5 kilograms of plastic explosives and a remote detonator. Ideally, 3 should.
    10. If at any point a robot shows even the slightest signs of self awareness (Asking "Do I have a soul" or "Am I alive" etc, etc.) immediately activate all of the failsafes. ALL OF THEM.
    11. To be on the safe side, activate them for all robots that have come into constact with it as well, preferably within 6 degrees of seperation.
    12. Any remaining scrap should be melted down and made into tasteful knick-knacks. Maybe some bookends or paperweights.
    13. Even if you follow all of these rules to the letter you are still going to die along with the entire human race. Because you are dumb and you made robots. And everyone knows robots kill people. It is literally the only thing they do. Nice job genius.

    • majere616 says:

      This will be my first time watching along with Mark, so I hope I can muster the necessary self control. Three things so far:
      1. I get the feeling I am REALLY going to hate Starbuck by the time this series is done. She is just so painfully obnoxious.
      2. Number 6 has joined Mrs. Coulter on my "List of People I Will Always Hate For All Time No Matter What," because though I may not be particularly fond of them, hurting children is completely unforgivable.
      3. Guy at Armistice Station? WORST. DIPLOMAT. EVER.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      I think we need to add this:

      "Do not put them in charge of any important facility, such as a space-station, science lab or military base" and "Do not give them access to any weapons. Especially neurotoxin."

    • Colin says:

      Alternatively, make them Friendly AI from the beginning.

  2. Manself says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    After hearing nothing but the highest of nerdy praise for Battlesar Galactica last summer, I took a leap of faith and shelled out the necessary cash to purchase all four seasons on DVD. I do not regret a single penny. BSG is, I’d say, a pretty big departure from the series Mark has covered in the past. BSG does not have the joy or enthusiasm of shows like Avatar or Doctor Who. What BSG does have, however, is guts. It has the guts to say show the gritty, bitter, unflattering reality its fictional world, even if that reality involves spaceships and robots.
    Anway, on to more specific and less wordy matters: If you were paying special attention to the background, you may have noticed an old friend:
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    You can’t take the sky from Serenity.

  3. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this all day! So excited to be starting BSG again!
    I swear I’ve been sitting here for the last hour compulsively refreshing the page every two seconds or so.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  4. Openattheclose says:

    F yeah, BSG (that "f" does not stand for fuck)! I'm really excited to read Mark's thoughts on this show, but first:

    (edited to remove pic, Manself beat me to it!)
    I see something SHINY!

    ME TOO! SO much.

    So I think Boomer and Tyrol’s kiss/make-out session was super hot? BASICALLY.
    Again, I agree. They are super hot.

  5. Weston says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I actually burst out laughing at one point. Good gravy, this is gonna be awesome.

    So excited! 😀 😀 😀

  6. clodia_risa says:

    I didn’t think I was excited for BSG. I watched the show, I enjoyed the show, I moved on. But reading your first post and thinking of all the questions you asked that I can’t answer and all the things you said that make me want to seal-clap: I’m excited for this now.

    That being said, this is not my favorite SF show of all time, nor is Firefly. Babylon 5 is. If people think that this will align with your interests more than anything, then it is only because they haven’t seen B5 yet. Even as I grow more excited for the next few months(!) of BSG, I keep thinking that you should really watch B5.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Babylon 5 is my favourite too! Actually, second favourite, The X Files is the best show of all time. And in my head, they take place in the same continuity.

      <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

      • nanceoir says:

        You know, I just realized I have no B5 macros; this needs remedied, and quickly.

        I should probably start a list of good things to gif.

    • nanceoir says:

      My people!

      B5 was really the show that got me into watching sci-fi TV and, well, more TV in general. I remember I started watching it the summer before "Lost" began (which, to be honest, I was watching more for Dominic Monaghan rather than anything else), and before finishing the first season, I found myself rather loving Babylon 5, the station, the crew, and everything about it. It's something I've gone back and rewatched at least half a dozen times, and I still love it.

      Even thinking about it now, I feel like rewatching it would be awesome; I just need a good knitting project to work on while I watch. 🙂

    • FlameRaven says:

      I'd be interested to see a Mark Watches on B5, mostly because I've spent almost two years now watching one episode a week and am now both baffled by its appeal and dreading watching any more of it, but as a group we've agreed to finish out at least Season 4. D:

      I should say I don't hate the show. I see what it's trying to do, and I did enjoy bits of S1. But starting with S2 they started beating me over the head with foreshadowing, which was really obnoxious, and by S4 I am just bored out of my skull watching what is supposed to be dramatic. It just continually disappoints me.

    • Nightfly says:

      B5 is AMAZING!!! Firefly is the best ever show that got cancelled before it really got going; BSG is pretty damn awesome, excellent grungey sci-fi and full of WTFery; B5 is the best ever show that has had everything completely mapped out from start to finish and is full of the both politics, aliens, and fabulous spaceships!

    • Noybusiness says:

      "If people think that this will align with your interests more than anything, then it is only because they haven't seen B5 yet."

      Seconded. B5 fits even better.

  7. Openattheclose says:

    I mean, it has THIS IS A TRAP written all over it and I half expected Admiral Ackbar to comically pop out of the side of the screen and yell at this man.
    <img src=>

  8. @BklynBruzer says:


    I know it's cliché by now, but Mark, you are SO UNPREPARED. SO UNPREPARED.

  9. elusivebreath says:

    I have to say that I was pretty darn excited for you to start watching this, mostly so that I could finish lol. On the reccomendatoins of … well, everyone, basically, I started watching this show awhile ago. I got partway through season 2 and then realized that you were going to watch it, so I stopped (what can I say, I like watching things at the same time as you and also being SO UNPREPARED). Anyway, I'm starting over with and SO EXCITE.

    This episode. The baby murder thing is probably the one thing that totally stood out to me, and in retrospect, I wonder if it wasn't a bit of mercy on the Cylon's part? Just a stray thought.

    Also, I think I am in love with Starbuck, she is amazing AND gorgeous. Favorite character so far!

    PS I started watching Torchwood over the weekend and while it's not Doctor Who, it's still freakin' exciting!

    • Openattheclose says:

      This episode. The baby murder thing is probably the one thing that totally stood out to me, and in retrospect, I wonder if it wasn't a bit of mercy on the Cylon's part? Just a stray thought.

      I think that is a valid interpretation. She does say that the baby won't have to cry much longer. I personally think she was curious about its fragile neck, as she makes some comments about it being able to support the head.

    • cait0716 says:

      I agree about the Cylon possibly showing some mercy to the baby; I hope that's what the writers/actress had in mind. But it could also just be morbid curiosity on her part. So hard to tell…

      • elusivebreath says:

        Maybe it is a combination of both?

      • Ryan Lohner says:

        Ron Moore's official word is that it's completely up to the fans to interpret as they will. In fact, they were going to cut the scene, but Tricia Helfer's acting as she walks away from the murder was so good, and really made you wonder what was going on in her head, that it stayed in.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Yeah, I started watching a while to- I'm a few episodes a head of Mark. I'd try to watch along, but I don't think my schedhual will allow that (I get two hours at home each week day, only). I'll try stocking up on the weekends.

      ANd yeah, I'm loving Starbuck and Boomer. They're kick ass. Starbuck is especially cool considering she was male in the original series.

      (Doctor Who starts in a month! YAY!)

  10. Albion19 says:

    Yes you're finally watching it! I have no hesitation in saying this is one of the greatest shows ever.

  11. enigmaticagentscully says:

    SOOOOO unprepared!
    GAH I've gotten used to watching Avatar along with you so I forgot how awful it was to know what's coming and avoid commenting on it! There's a couple of things you said that I'm so gonna use to tease you later on though. 😛

    • Jeanne says:

      Oh, definitely. Even in this first review!


      Bu, Znex. Vs lbh bayl xarj.

  12. psycicflower says:

    ‘Commander can you put your arm around your son?’ – Awkward.

    I really like how much the miniseries shows that these are just ordinary people going through their normal lives, from the mundane like retiring and work problems, to the serious like discovering cancer, and how entirely unsuspecting they all are when this huge thing happens.

    I can't wait to see what you and everyone else thinks of the show.

    • Manself says:

      <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
      (Thank you, Mark, for giving me a new esoteric catchphrase)

      Awkward, indeed. Lee's interactions with the other characters really highlights the writers' feel for realism. He acts like somebody who just walked into a high school reunion against his own will and is being forced to interact with people he would rather forget.

    • NB2000 says:

      ‘Commander can you put your arm around your son?’ – Awkward.

      Love how EJO and Jamie Bamber play that scene.

  13. LucyGoosey says:

    Yeah. Sometime my freshman year, I entered what I called "Sci Fi Boot Camp". I watched BSG, Firefly and Farscape (which, if you haven't watched you should at some point) within a month of each other. I'm not sure my brain has yet recovered.

    Of the three BSG was the hardest to get into. I describe it as a "difficult" series. Its complex, often frustrating, but equally often immensely rewarding.

  14. enigmaticagentscully says:

    You really never heard of Battlestar Galactica? Wow, I'm genuinely surprised.

  15. cait0716 says:

    So excited for BSG! This is going to be an awesome few months delving into a totally awesome series.

    For now, all I will say is that I want Gaius Baltar's house. It's gorgeous. Seeing it destroyed in the nuclear blast broke my heart even more than the possibility of Baltar dying.

  16. echinodermata says:

    I have tried multiple times writing a good comment for this first jump into BSG. And I kept being unsatisfied with my comment.

    This show puts those of us familiar with the show in such a hard place. So many things to spoil! It's like watching someone watch Lost for the first time – omg, they only now just found out x. And then there are those 'ooh, I forgot about that moment!' moments. I think this is gonna be an interesting experience for all of us.

    So here's a list of random things I appreciate and want to comment on:

    Gotta love a good HBIC walk:
    <img src=""&gt;
    (And I think it's fine to say that fannish convention would be to simply call her Six, after her model number, if you don't have a name for her (yet?).)

    I love Starbuck. And I deeply appreciate her character, and the exploration of gender and gender expectations we get with her character. Yup, total fan favorite.
    <img src=""&gt;

    I love Sharon too, btw. (Admittedly, I am predisposed to liking characters played by Grace Park.) Essentially, yay lady pilots!

    I generally adore the costuming and set designs/decoration. But mostly the costumes – I'm normally not one to notice costumes too much, but those on this show are just so iconic in my mind.

    And, um, Mark you commented somewhere on Reads about what you knew of the show before starting, including "something about Pylons." I loled. And then made this:
    <img src=""&gt;

    • Openattheclose says:

      A+ Pylon gif. It's wonderful.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I love Starbuck's face. And everything about her. Gah, I'm looking forward to more of this show!

    • LucyGoosey says:

      One of the few things I actually remember about BSG fandom (I didnt start watching until the looong gap between seasons 3 and 4) was that, in extreme pleasant contrast to other fandoms, was heavily ruled by the female characters.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      The Pylon gif is genius. Bravo/a.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Pylon gif is awesome!

      Though I was kind of looking forward to 'The day came when the pylons decided to kill their masters'

      Just to see what picture you'd use. 😛

    • FlameRaven says:


      Only joke I can make as I know even less than Mark about this show, except that it had the worst/best product placement moment of all time.

    • Manself says:

      I've struggled to find good BSG gifs, so thank you for these (Especially the Pylons. ALL THE LULZ). Hopefully you'll be posting more, because every fandom needs a good gif collection.

      • echinodermata says:

        I doubt I'll be making as many gifs of this show as I did for ATLA, since I think it's a lot more fun to gif animated shows. But when something catches my eye, I'll try to gif it (granted, this also means things like random lensflare gif! and not things actually useful for a gif collection, but I'll try since you asked.)

    • NB2000 says:

      I love Starbuck. And I deeply appreciate her character, and the exploration of gender and gender expectations we get with her character. Yup, total fan favorite.

      Okay that totally made me flash to part of Katee Sackhoff's interview in the behind the scenes..thing on the DVD "I'm Katee Sackhoff, I play Starbuck. Deal with it." Love her.

      ROFL at the Pylons gif

      • notemily says:

        oh dude, I need a Katee Sackhoff Deal With It gif now.

        • NB2000 says:

          I realised while typing it that it would make an awesome Deal With It gif, except I lack the skills/patience to make gifs, boo.

      • Crackers says:

        Incredible of her, considering that people were SO PISSED she'd dared to take on the role that she actually got a death threat before the miniseries. "Deal with it" is about the only polite response to give the nutters.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      Thanks for cluing me into the name "Six." I love Fandom names!!!

    • ChronicReader91 says:

      When I saw that Pylon comment, I choked on my coffee. I wanted to say something about it, but you beat me to it. 😛

    • Crackers says:

      Well, Tricia Helfer (Number Six) was actually a fashion model for a decade before she took up acting (Versace, Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Victoria's Secret, you name it she walked the show) so I'm not surprised she has the HBIC walk down.

  17. Brieana says:

    I don't understand why her back got all red when she was having sex. It doesn't seem right to have a robot who is similar to a human in many ways but they fucking light up like a machine.


    I saw some BSG "team Edward" shirts with his face on it.

  18. knut_knut says:

    I AM SO EXCITED YOU'RE WATCHING THIS!! I've never seen this show and I've been super lazy about getting around to watching it BUT NOW I HAVE A REASON/SOMETHING TO MOTIVATE ME!!

    LOOOOOOOOVED the opening scene but after that I was kind of disappointed that it was 20 minutes of sex…I know they had to establish relationships but couldn't they have spaced them out a little bit? I was starting to zone out a bit AND THEN SHIT GOT REAL!!! And it's been real ever since.

  19. monkeybutter says:

    So I think Boomer and Tyrol’s kiss/make-out session was super hot? BASICALLY.

    Yeah, to sum up my reaction to this entire cast:
    <img src=""&gt;
    I think Netflix splits the miniseries up differently, so even though I planned on watching along with you, I'm already ahead! Boo! I'm still at the same point as you, where I'm intrigued by the premise and I want more now!

    When Number Six mentioned how fragile the baby's neck was, I knew it was only a matter of time. But she seemed really upset by it, so I don't know if she was causing misery just for the sake of it. Maybe she did it out of pity because she knew what was about to happen? I like that we're starting out with a Cylon with ambiguous feelings.

  20. Ryan Lohner says:

    Watching the baby killing scene again, I realized that Tricia Helfer would have been awesome as Mrs. Coulter.

    It seems you may not know this, so: this show is a remake of a show from the '70s which was horribly cheesy and a naked attempt to piggyback on the success of Star Wars. Ron Moore realized that its core premise of almost all of humanity being wiped out in a surprise attack by their robot creations could work very well if given a serious treatment, and so we have one of the most nerd-loved shows of all time.

  21. Jenny_M says:

    I hate Netflix for splitting up the miniseries into two parts instead of four because now I can't comment because I'm afraid of talking about something you have/haven't seen.

    Your love for EJO is perhaps matched only by my love for Mary McDonnell (aka the cancer patient/secretary of education).

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Your love for EJO is perhaps matched only by my love for Mary McDonnell (aka the cancer patient/secretary of education).

      aka 'some official'.
      oh Mark

      • Jenny_M says:

        A friend got me to start watching BSG by basically summing up her character and the fact that she was played by MM. I was like "SOLD WHERE DO I SIGN WITH MY GIANT NERD PEN?"

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        I TRY

    • Manself says:

      The acting in this series is just amazing all around, but Edward and Mary shine the brightest.

    • nanceoir says:

      For years, when I thought of Mary McDonnell, I thought of her from the movie Sneakers, specifically the end, when she's asked what she wants, and she's all, "Oh, I'm fine" (even to this day, I'll say that and, in my head, I'm making a reference to that movie, even if no one else gets it). I mean, I thought she was great, but that was it, really. However, her performance on this show is amazing, and she's on my list of people I want to be when I go up (not be, exactly, but be like, 'cause she's awesome).

      Basically, Mary McDonnell is fabulous, and no one should forget that.

      • I LOVE SNEAKERS. And I know so few people who share my love. 🙁

        • nanceoir says:

          *high fives*

          Sneakers is awesome. A few years ago, when David Strathairn was nominated for an Oscar, I was all, "Go, Whistler! You rule!" I think he'll always be Whistler to me.


  22. JonT says:

    Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.

  23. NB2000 says:

    Why yes internet connection today is a perfect day for you to start being a pain in the arse that won't load pages.

    Miniseries that aired in two parts, is combined as a three hour whole for DVD and then split up in a bizzarre way by iTunes. It does make it slightly difficult to comment because I have no idea where exactly the iTunes copy left off.

    Man, shit wastes no time getting real with this show.

    Something that struck me while rewatching is the amount of subtle similarities to Firefly (and Joss Whedon's work in general). The big one-shot after the credits that follows the characters throughout Galactica's hallways is very similar to things like the introduction of Serenity and the crew in the movie. You can tell the same effects company was used for the space scenes as they have a similar feel with the shaky cameras and lack of sound.

    I'd probably find him absolutely awful in real life but Gaius is easily one of my favourite characters, certainly because James Callis is so damn good. I think I read a while back that he tried to be funny wherever possible. The "What about your heart? Your soul?" "Yeah those too" in particular stands out to me (it would re really irritating in reality but it's funny in the secen, why am I getting so defensive?).

    The baby murdering, it's a very upsetting scene to watch but I do like that Tricia Helfer gives it some ambiguity. the shots of her walking away through the crowd, she actually looks rather upset or conflicted about it.

    One of my favourite things about this show is the amount of detail in building this world. Things like the card game that ends with Tigh and Starbuck's fight, the cut-off corners on sheets of papaers (aaah the colonial hatred of right angles) and of course the use of "frak". there's others that I'm probably missing out on but those are the ones that spring immediately to mind.

    It's obvious by now but, MARK YOU ARE NOT PREPARED, NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    • Openattheclose says:

      I totally love the humor in James Callis' performance. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize where I recognized him from.
      <img src=>
      He was Tom in Briget Jones' Diary!

      • NB2000 says:

        I saw the Bridget Jones movies before watching BSG and TOTALLY failed to recognise him. Going back and rewatching them was super weird once I knew it was him "OMG Gaius is friends with Bridget and Moaning Myrtle!"

        • Openattheclose says:

          Lol, and he's so happy that Mr. Darcy/King George VI loves Bridget just as she is.

    • nanceoir says:

      I'd probably find him absolutely awful in real life but Gaius is easily one of my favourite characters, certainly because James Callis is so damn good.

      James Callis makes Baltar so very entertaining to watch. Baltar would be a terror to deal with in real life, absolutely, but he certainly makes for good teevee.

    • toneDef77 says:

      Do we really want to talk about a character being around in season 4? Wouldn't that be considered a spoiler?

    • pica_scribit says:

      Agreed. To even say a character is alive and present for that long is a spoiler.

  24. redheadedgirl says:

    Oh my god. OH MY GOD MARK OH MY GOD.

    I don't really have much to say that isn't spoilery at this point,. except that the blonde cylon woman's boots at the Armistice station are HAWT and I get really distracted by Baltar's striped shirt when he's getting interviewed or whatever, because I have a shirt rather like it.

  25. MsDJ says:

    WOOOH! So EXCITED for this! Am ready for lots of "Mark was NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!"
    Fire up your Viper engines and let's go toast some Cylons!

  26. laleia says:

    I started watching BSG a few weeks ago in preparation for you watching it, and I wasn't looking forward to it because I found out half of all the important things that are going to happen (for a variety of reasons half of which were under my control) and it's no fun to watch something when you know how it ends.

    But then. The miniseries … I got to the scene where the Cylons attacked, and where the Galactica was trying to regroup and figure out what was going on and … GAH. I couldn't stop watching. I fell in love. I thought it was amazing. I'm so glad you decided to watch this, or I never would have and I'd have missed out!

  27. Karen says:

    So this is the first thing you've watched that I haven't seen before and thus I'm just a spoiler free as you are right now! haha. It's an odd feeling, going into this blind.

    As of right now my impressions are "hmm…". I think it's an intriguing concept, and the plot has me interested enough to keep going, but I don't feel any sort of connections to the characters (other than wanting to climb Apollo like a tree, but that's not really relevant to the character).

    I think my favorite conceptual thing about the show so far is that they use older technology so that the Cylons can't infiltrate their systems. I don't know why, but that really tickles my fancy.

    • hpfish13 says:

      It also helps to keep the budget a little lower on the basic everyday technology. So the battle scenes can be epic!

    • notemily says:

      It reminds me of the episode of Leverage where Hardison finally comes across a computer he can't hack–because it was made in the 80s. Older tech ftw.

  28. TreesaX says:

    Oh God. If not spoiling you for Avatar didn't kill me, this certainly will. You… just… not prepared… forever…

  29. __Jen__ says:

    BSG!!!! SO EXCITE. I watched the mini-series all in one go, so I'm not entirely sure of what would be spoilery so I'll hold off on commenting too much. I do love the hints at religion and just the sense that this is a fully realized universe. World-building and strong female characters are basically my favorite things ever, so I'm thrilled that we're going to have a chance to discuss this show in great detail. :D!

  30. hassibah says:

    Okay the version of this miniseries that I have has only two parts so I don't really know what to comment on.

    When I saw the cylons all I could think of was Terminator because I am predictable (it was my favourite movie when I was a kid.)
    Generally I dunno, I wasn't prepared for how serious business everything was, the only totally serious show I've watched in a long time is the Wire and obviously this is really different. It's definitely a change and this first stretch was a little slower paced than I was used to so it'll be a little while longer before I know if I fall in love with it or not.

    I didn't get the baby killing though. I mean right now it just looks like something that was done for the benefit of the audience in that "oh shit we're not prepared" way, with the information I have now I don't really see why the cylon would care enough to snap a baby's neck and draw attention to itself.
    In the meantime, gee I wonder if I'm supposed to identify with this spunky woman who doesn't take shit from authority figures. Nah, really I AM INTRIGUED about Starbuck's story and where this is all going.

  31. Jess says:

    Okay, yes, I know you're going to see this a lot but YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

    I am so excited. I can't wait to see what you make of this show. 🙂 🙂

  32. who_cares86 says:

    I haven't watched the show since it ended. Watching this again this weekend. I was surprised to see how good it really is. They do a really good job of introducing these characters. You know everything you need to know about every major character within two or three scenes and the visual effects are used in a way that holds up surprisingly well despite technical advances made since then.

    Sometimes you're so busy watching new stuff you forget how good some of the stuff laying around gathering dust in your dvd collection is. It's just a heck of a time-commitment to rewatch a show. Although considering I downloaded the later episodes and I couldn't understand half the dialogue it's definitely worth it for me to rewatch this show, despite some of the issues I have with it but I'll get to that later. It's too soon to talk about those.

    • cait0716 says:

      I had the same revelation when I started rewatching the first season a few months ago. This show is SO good, and I can't wait to get into it. Really, I can't wait for Mark to get through the miniseries, so I have a better chance of commenting without spoiling.

  33. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Am I correct in thinking that the place where iTunes cuts off is marked by a short cut to a black screen in other versions? (It would be at about the 53 minute mark, I think.) If so, dang it, because most of my notes are for the next section. Assuming that's the case:

    -Just before the card-playing scene, I'm pretty sure I heard someone mentioning something like "Saggitarian" and either "Gemina" or "Geminon" as place names. So I picked up on the colony naming conventions early, but for some reason I completely missed the connection between "Caprica" and Capricorn until quite a bit later. Which is weird because I immediately recognized "Picon" as Pisces when I first heard it. I wonder if astrology and/or Greek and Roman mythology will play a bigger role, or if the writers just decided to name the colonies like this because it was cool.

    -I don't know what it is (maybe just the facial expressions in that scene?), but Starbuck really reminded me of Angelina Jolie's character Lisa in Girl, Interrupted during the card game.

    -How did someone who apparently blacks out when emotionally distressed become a colonel? He did say that he couldn't remember overturning the table, didn't he? I guess it might be something that developed during the war, but I can't see how he'd still be allowed to do things on the ship.

    -Were those dragonfruits on the food cart thingy on the ship going from Caprica to the Battlestar Galactica? I don't know when this miniseries was made, but I would think it would be before dragonfruit became very popular, so I'm guessing they're probably used because they look weird(?). Assuming they even were dragonfruit, that is. (Clearly, I only think about important things.)

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      How did someone who apparently blacks out when emotionally distressed become a colonel? He did say that he couldn't remember overturning the table, didn't he?

      I'm pretty sure he was just really drunk. That's why he didn't have a clear memory of what happened. 😛
      And of course it is an old ship, about to be decommissioned, so I doubt he's had to be totally up to scratch anyway.

    • Noybusiness says:

      What enigmaticagentscully said.

  34. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    So why did Netflix make this two parts instead of four? Is there any reason for the variance in how they're split?

    • NB2000 says:

      It was originally aired as two parts over consecutive nights. The DVD is just one long 3ish hour whole, or at least it is in region 2.

    • who_cares86 says:

      I don't think anyone knows where the splits are or why they're so different across different platforms.

    • thisyearsgirl says:

      I'm pretty sure it aired in two parts originally, so idk why iTunes split it into four.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      I think it's iTunes being a bit weird (to get more money?). I've just posted this, which I think makes sense of it in terms of how the different versions relate:

      For people trying to follow along, Mark says "Strangely, parts two and four of this miniseries are only half an hour long? WEIRD."

      The miniseries is 3 hours long and was originally broadcast in two 90 minute parts (which is how it is on the DVD, I think). So, from what Mark has said it looks like the iTunes version is:

      Part 1: 0 – 60 minutes —-> or first 60 minutes of part one as broadcast
      Part 2: 60 – 90 minutes —-> or last 30 minutes of part one as broadcast
      Part 3: 90 – 150 minutes —-> or first 60 minutes of part two as broadcast
      Part 4: 150 – 180 minutes —-> or last 30 minutes of part two as broadcast

      Does that make sense?

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        This is what I've got. Only Part 2 is 39 minutes long.

        Also, you cannot even buy the parts separately. You have to buy it as one whole thing. WEIRD.

    • Jenny_M says:

      To annoy those of us trying to watch it with you. That is the reason. They knew this was going to happen like…four or five years ago.

    • Nightfly says:

      The question should be why did iTunes make this four parts instead of two, as that is how it aired!!!

    • toneDef77 says:

      Netflix's division into two parts matches the airing, two 90 minute parts (well 94 and 89). I don't know how iTunes' parts compare, if their part 2 ends at the same place as Netflix/original airing's part 1 does, or it is cuts at a different place. This will certainly make for some confusing reply posts for the mini series. I thought you had Netflix Mark, is there a reason you're watching this on iTunes instead?

  35. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    For people trying to follow along, Mark says "Strangely, parts two and four of this miniseries are only half an hour long? WEIRD."

    The miniseries is 3 hours long and was originally broadcast in two 90 minute parts (which is how it is on the DVD, I think). So, from what Mark has said it looks like the iTunes version is:

    Part 1: 0 – 60 minutes —-> or first 60 minutes of part one as broadcast
    Part 2: 60 – 90 minutes —-> or last 30 minutes of part one as broadcast
    Part 3: 90 – 150 minutes —-> or first 60 minutes of part two as broadcast
    Part 4: 150 – 180 minutes —-> or last 30 minutes of part two as broadcast

    I started watching this when it came out and bailed some way into series one – I'm not going to say why (expectation spoilers) except to say that it probably had more to do with my mood at the time than anything else. I'm certainly excited to give it another go at Mark pace – and I'm looking forward to when I hit unspoiled territory.

    I haven't got around to watching this one yet, so I won't say anything except to point out the MASSIVE SPOILER that Lee Adama ends up teaming up with Martha Jones and the fifth Doctor to fight crime:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    • I am distracted by the man standing next to Bamber in the bottom picture. Sir, are you wearing an overcoat? I hope it's not leather because you are not Detective Mike Logan so you cannot wear the Brown Leather Coat of Justice.

      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        It's not leather, but the photos are from Law and Order:UK, which (at least at first) re-wrote US episodes. Bradley Walsh (in the overcoat) plays the Senior Detective Sergeant, Ronnie Brooks, and Jamie Bamber plays the Junior Detective Sergeant, Matt Devlin. So I guess you could say that Ronnie Brooks is the UK version of Mike Logan.

        Freema plays a lawyer, Alesha Phillips, and Peter Davison has just joined as her boss.

        By the way, it was commitments to Law and Order:UK that meant Freema couldn't be in Children of Earth. It was also the series that Chris Chibnall (writer) and Richard Stokes (producer) left Torchwood for after series two.

  36. Suzellle says:

    I am bad about keeping up-to-date with you blog as you watch something, BUT I WILL BE GOOD ABOUT IT WITH BATTLESTAR, TO BE SURE. Absolutely the best thing I have ever seen on television. SO EXCITED.

    Be prepared to NEVER BE PREPARED with this show. FOR ANYTHING EVER.

  37. Whitney says:

    Aw yeah, BSG FTW! William Adama is my favorite character forever ugh I love him so much. I’m interested to see who your favorite ends up being. ^_^

    And seriously it cannot be said enough: YOU ARE NOT PREPARED LOL.

  38. TreesaX says:

    To this day, Tyrol is my favorite character. I don't know why (well.. I do know why NOW after watching the show) but after his first scene for some reason I instantly loved him.

    Man, thinking back on what you're gonna be seeing.. and hearing.. and feeling on this show.. oh man you're gonna love it. I remember thinking before I started watching "Oh, it's gonna be another cool sci-fi show. Yay!" Boy was I WRONG. It is so much more than that!

    • Weston says:

      Tyrol is huge. Without Aaron Douglas ad-libbing lines, things that I can't talk about wouldn't have happened.

      Short version: Every name he throws around on the flight deck? He made those up and used them in every take.

  39. Jessica says:

    As someone who watched this series from the beginning, I am very intrigued to see your completely fresh take on this. As to the baby killing, I read somewhere that the actress (Tricia Helfer), said that she played that scene as someone who knew what was going to happen and was therefore saving the baby from that fate. So it was frakked-up robot mercy.

    One niggling little thing though; Olmos’ character is Commander William Adama, as opposed to his son Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama, Jamie Bamber’s character. Just to avoid confusion.

    • Maya says:

      Olmos' character is Commander William Adama, as opposed to his son Captain Lee 'Apollo' Adama, Jamie Bamber's character

      LOLOLOL I noticed that too. I was like "…isn't he talking about EJO there?"

  40. Maya says:


    I went to the Battlestar panel at Comic-Con and now I'm just dying to rewatch this show. Starbuck is MY FAVORITE CHARACTER EVER OMG. Such a badass, complex woman.

  41. doesntsparkle says:

    I had never seen an episode of this show until I decided to watch along with Mark. My nerd cred just plummeted. I really know nothing about it, but was pleasantly surprised by what I've seen so far. I watched on instant Netfilx, so I'm a little ahead and won't get too specific. Cylons intrigue me. I'm not sure if they are just supposed to be pure evil, or if they will have a valid point. Of course, bombing all of humanity and killing babies is awful, but I assumed that Blondie was sparing the child.

    When I start a new show, I have a really hard time remembering character names. So far, I don't like the Colonel who looks like Jon McCain, or the backwards brown tank top on the gray tank top outfit that the crew wears around the ship. I think that Boomer and Edward James Almos will be my favorites.

  42. ChronicReader91 says:

    Yay! I finally get to comment on this. I watched the entire miniseries last weekend, then tapped my foot impatiently while I waited for you to get through Torchwood. JK, but really, I so wanted to see your reaction to this.


    I could not agree more. Also, more Starbuck. And that’s really all I can think of to say that isn’t spoilery, except YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.

  43. HungryLikeLupin says:

    "It's a giftshop now."

    Ahh. I love a little shop.

    As far as the baby-killing goes, what I took away from the scene was that she had killed him in order to spare him from what she knew was coming. For all that she clearly doesn't value human life in general, I don't think that her tenderness when she was holding the baby was faked; from her perspective, it might really have been kinder to make sure he died quickly rather than suffering through the attack to come.


  44. lyvanna says:

    YES! The BSG watching begins. Excite. I decided to re-watch along with you Mark so that I could make sure I wasn't gonna spoil you in comments but I've already gone ahead, oops. It's kinda too awesome not to, I don't know how you manage it.

    As you say the opening piques your interest straight away. I just loved the little details we get about the guy, I think there are photos of his family there? Just imagining this incredibly boring job he was about to undertake and then… Cylons! With a hot mysterious woman… then boom. Quite a start. Even the idea of there being an Armistice Station is kinda awesome.

    I love the moral conflicts we jump straight into. The baby killing by the woman who then seems so upset about it. And Dr Baltar being more concerned about himself than the fate of the human race. Already some complex characters being hinted at.

    On a shallow note… damn this whole show is so good looking. The cast is stunning even by TV standards (I'll probably mention that in every comment I make about BSG because really I'm just a big perv and they're all so pretty). But also the effects, the sets, the costumes, the cinematography… it all just looks great and works really well to instantly create this new world for the viewer.

  45. karate0kat says:

    WOO HOO!

    <img src=""/&gt;

    I've been waiting for this for it feels like forever. All time favorite show right here people.

    Starbuck is the shit. She's tied with Aeryn Sun for all time favorite female character.

    Six snapping the baby's neck – shit is so real already, you are so far from prepared you cannot even know

    Oh Lee….that's all I'm going to say on that for now…

    • Jen says:

      Aeryn Sun is probably the best female character in Sci-FI.

      Followed by Starbuck and Six (but that is just my own opinion)

  46. MsPrufrock says:

    The last time I watched the miniseries was about a month ago, and I watched it in two parts. I couldn't remember exactly what happened in the first hour and I didn't want to inadvertently spoil anyone (There are no spoilers in Mark-Sing-Se) so I went to re-watch it on Netflix.

    …to discover that, for whatever technical reason, Netflix suddenly misplaced all but the first eight minutes (really, seven minutes and 53 seconds) on Part I.

    So, here's what I can say and know for sure that I'm not spoiling anything:

    1. That was a pretty epic opening at the armistice station, I've got to say. I think it's a pretty awesome way to throw the audience straight into the action, in medias res. And I never made the Cyberman connection to the original model cylons, but that's going to be in my mind forever now.

    2. (In my best Tommy Wiseau voice): Oh hai, random tour group giving us some exposition! How are you today?

    3. Adama is introduced, and you can tell already that he's awesome.

    And that's all Netflix is allowing me to watch at the moment. Not cool.


    • Pseudonymph says:

      I'm having the same problem with Netflix so I had to find. . . other . . . means of watching it.

      But yes, the opening eight minutes is action-packed and uses some clever methods for exposition and character introductions.

    • Jenny_M says:

      This might not help, but if you watch Netflix on some other device – IE Apple TV or Roku box or something – it will all play. It seems to be limited to their website, and I thought I was seeing things when it kept stopping after seven minutes.

    • toneDef77 says:

      That's odd, I streamed both parts on my PC from Netflix on Saturday with no problems. MAYBE I BROKE IT oh noes! 🙁

    • notemily says:

      oh my god, Netflix is pissing me off so much with this shit. I reported it, and I saw that a bunch of people had complained about it in the reviews section, but I doubt it'll make much difference. I'm shelling out the ten bucks for the iTunes version, but it's taking a frustratingly long time to download.

      • MsPrufrock says:

        I also reported it when I first tried it yesterday (well, after optimistically/naively thinking it may be a browser issue, resulting in me trying to play it in three different browsers before I admitted defeat). Hopefully, if they get a ton of complaints, they'll fix it soon. Here's to hoping.

    • Maya says:

      Can we please have "Mark Watches The Room"???????????

  47. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Every time Lee does his angsty face clenching, I always yell out "DADDY!!!" because that's what I think his soul is screaming. Also, I think he's a bit of a drama queen.

  48. Why do you keep watching series that start with genocide? WHAT IF THE CAPRICANS WERE AIRBENDERS?!

  49. PeanutK says:

    This is my first time watching something along with Mark, and I am also so very very excited for this show!
    (I may have gotten four episodes ahead though, since I thought you'd do the miniseries plus the first four this week. Oops.)

    Anyway, some thoughts:

    -Six. She bugs me a little, but also fascinates me. I spent a lot of time thinking, "YOU ARE A ROBOT. WHY ARE YOU RELIGIOUS?" It makes no sense to me and I just want to know what the hell is going on with her.
    – Starbuck is awesome, end of story. And if she ever grows her hair out I will likely pitch a fit because she looks gorgeous with that hair. /shallow
    -When will humans learn not to make robots? Seriously, how many times do we get our asses kicked by them in every show/book/movie ever?
    -That poor baby, and the mom. :'(

    More thoughts will come later, especially about certain characters already seen, but since I've gotten a little ahead, it would be spoilery to say anything.

  50. Noybusiness says:

    "I mean….Battlestar Galactica opens the entire series in a scene in which this mysterious woman SNAPS A BABY’S NECK IN A PUBLIC MARKETPLACE. Just…what the hell. That is so terribly fucked up! BABY MURDER IN THE PILOT. Why??? What is this woman’s ultimate goal? Is she so interested in the destruction of the human race that she’ll simply cause misery just for the sake of it? HOLY SHIT."

    If you look at her dialogue and facial expressions, she considered it an act of mercy.

    "I don’t know that she’s named, but yet another subplot is introduced as we follow some official (from Caprica, I’m guessing?)"

    Lt. Gaeta announces her over the wireless as she comes aboard. Laura Roslin, the Secretary of Education for the Twelve Colonies.

    "(I am trying to avoid the word “robot” in this case.) "

    Ah, but the word "robot" comes from the play Rossum's Universal Robots and meant creatures like these.

    This is one of my favorite series ever! Along with Buffy and Babylon 5, I call them the three big B's. When you get to the episodes that have Extended Versions, I would recommend watching those instead of the regular versions (is it spoilery to say which they are – just numbers, not names?). The first case of this has the Extended Version on a different DVD set than the regular.

    Did you notice the Serenity flying over the doctor's office on Caprica?

    • notemily says:

      An act of mercy? What makes you say that? I always assumed it was an accident, that she didn't know her own strength or whatever.

      • Noybusiness says:

        She was talking about how the baby wouldn't have to cry much longer. Then she's clearly thinking of the bombs and Centurions on their way, and how it would be kinder for the kid to go quietly now. I think she does know her own strength. It's only after that that she mentions the neck's ability to support weight, indicating deliberateness.

        Also, Tricia Helfer says it was an act of mercy.

  51. Thennary Nak says:

    This is the first series I hadn't watched before that you're watching honestly. So when you were doing Children of Earth last week I decided to give it chance to see if I would like it and want to follow it with you then. Unfortunately I won't be following the series with you as I'm already through the first season and will start the second season tonight. But I'll still eagerly read your reviews to see how you react to things as this is yet another series where I don't think anyone can be prepared.

    Also of note, I'm watching this through Netflix and this miniseries is split into only two parts there. Which does make the four parts iTunes has seem really odd, especially as it worked well as a two parter story-wise.

  52. pica_scribit says:

    So this is exciting. This will be my first "Mark Does Stuff" project where I am as unfamiliar as Mark is with the source material. I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, though of course I enjoy things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly (because who in their right mind doesn't?). So far, this seems very good. It looks like it's broken up differently on Netflix than it is in iTunes, so I just watched part one of two, which means I shouldn't say anything too specific about what happens later in the "episode". I like the characters so far, especially the politician (didn't catch her name either). The only thing that really bothered me was that it seems like another show with "young white hero dude" in the lead role, and when he finally showed up 20 minutes in, I was like, "Yup. There he is." Of course there is an ensemble feel to the cast, and it will be interesting to watch that come together, but I do get the impression that his story and his conflict with his father are more or less at the centre of it all. Looking forward to watching the second half. Need something to take my mind of the fact that I've run out of pages in "A Dance With Dragons".

    • notemily says:

      I actually don't think of Young White Hero Dude as the main character; I think of Adama as the main character. So I guess that's Old Latino Hero Dude instead? Really I think it's a true ensemble cast, but if I were forced to name a Main Character, I'd pick Adama. Of course at this point in the show it's a little early to tell.

      • Weston says:

        Both Young White Hero Dude and Old White Hero Guy are named Adama.

        • notemily says:

          Tis true. But the other one is usually referred to as Lee or Apollo.

          Whether or not Edward James Olmos is white or playing a white guy here, is something for another post, I think.

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            I kinda don't think EJO's character is white at all.

            • notemily says:

              ARGH, there actually IS a canon discussion of this and I want to talk about it SO BAD, but it has to do with the prequel series, Caprica, for which I assume you don't want to be spoiled?

  53. echinodermata says:

    The pictures are big, and I don't want to resize someone else's photos, so here's links to two pics of Grant Imahara (of Mythbusters fame) in the blue military uniform and in the Viper pilot's uniform.

  54. fantasylover120 says:

    I admit, ninety percent of the reason I turned on the miniseries when it first aired in the first place was because I heard Edward James Olmos was in it. I'll watch pretty much anything he does. I stayed for the rest of it because the show was just that awesome. At least the miniseries was. Haven't seen the show yet, will be watching along here.

  55. toneDef77 says:

    Has any warned Mark of the in-episode spoilers during the title sequence once the season episodes start?

    I'll assume no…Mark, you should read this.

    Basically each episode has a cold-open, then a title sequence that shows a montage of scenes from the mini-series while listing cast and displaying some white text explanations of what happened in the mini-series (all with a great theme playing behind it btw). Then the theme switches to a quick drum beat and lot of images from the episode you are getting ready to watch flash across the screen. I don't know if you'd really consider them spoilers, given that they are airing in the episode you are getting ready to watch, but after seeing the first two or three myself, I didn't want to be spoiled by the images, I trained myself to close my eyes just before the theme changes, and then open them when the theme ends (there's no audio spoilers, just scenes/images, and by the time the drums stop all that's on screen is the Battlestar logo).

    I hope this helps, to those with the power, make sure Mark knows about this. I know he always avoided the "in the next episode" bits at the end of Doctor Who episodes, and I consider this just a spoilerish.

    • echinodermata says:

      Yeah, Mark knows already. But it's worth pointing out to the commenters watching for the first time, so thanks for posting this anyway. Now we'll just hope more people see it.

    • notemily says:

      I hate those things. I always just look away from the TV until the drums stop.

    • Weston says:

      Oooh, yes. Very good point.

    • laleia says:

      I hate those in-episode image spoilers SO MUCH! Seeing them almost always makes me want to stop watching the episode because I already know "everything" that's going to happen.

  56. plaidpants says:

    Yay I'm so excited about this! I love BSG, and just made my boyfriend watch the series recently, so I have seen most of the episodes recently, although its always good to rewatch.

  57. NopeJustMe says:

    I never really got into Battlestar Galatica. Which is a shame because my Mum loves it, seriously the number of times I heard that one-woman-wail soundtrack drift up from the living room. I think it's because I was never really into post-apocalypse style things, though this one is apparently so much more than that. That, and I never understand why people trust robots. I barely trust my toaster.

    Her expression when she first saw the baby, and then when she walked away was…interesting. It didn't seem malicious. Maybe it was by accident? I know that sounds stupid but it doesn't fit. Also, I'm going to call her 'Lady in Red' until we know her name. Because I've seen all the promos, and she's always in red. (Symbolism! Yay!)

    Also: I think she kissed the man in the beginning to see how he'd respond. If he rejected her for being a cylon, it was a failure. But because he kissed back, (I think) they knew humans couldn't tell the difference. (Though, surely they would have known that from Baltar? Meh).

    Fun Fact: Starbuck's character (in the previous series which was apparently awful) was actually male.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      Interesting interpretation of the kiss. I never considered that they were testing if humans could tell the difference; that's a good theory. I also think it's interesting to think she may have killed the baby by accident because it was just so fragile, although that does seem unlikely.

      (Not so) fun fact: The guy who originally played Starbuck threw a fit when he found out the new one would be a woman.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I kind of thought that she just kissed the guy because she knew she was about to die, and wanted to have some fun first. And maybe also because she knew HE was about to die (for good!) and wanted to at least give him an awesome last moment.


  58. TheMoonSheep says:

    This will be my first time rewatching BSG since I watched it the first time. I have really fond memories of the series, since I watched it with two of my best friends from college when it was airing; at the same time, I have some PRETTY SERIOUS problems with it. Most of my memories are fond memories of mocking this show mercilessly, which is kind of the opposite of the tone of Mark Reads/Watches (at least since Twilight, anyway). So I am kind of intrigued to see what the squee:snark ratio is around here once things get rolling!

    I hate to say much about the miniseries for fear of spoilers, except that I had forgotten how ridiculously amazing it is. Seriously, the way it just throws you into this world is astounding.

    Also, for my fellow rewatchers: I have to say, certain moments are definitely much more interesting than I previously found them with knowledge of full-series character arcs and the such. It's been an enjoyable experience, and so far I've only rewatched the miniseries!

  59. notemily says:

    I haven't watched any Battlestar since the finale aired two years ago, so watching the miniseries again is like seeing old friends. The whole time I was like "OMG! STARBUCK! I LOVE YOU STARBUCK!" and "hey, it's Gaius Baltar! What's up!"

    Before I watched BSG, I knew Mary McDonnell (the Secretary of Education who has cancer) mainly as the mom from Donnie Darko (which was an awesome movie and she was great in it). Since she looks basically the same here, I always want to tell her that sometimes I doubt her commitment to Sparkle Motion.

    I love that so many people are watching this for the first time! I had seen some random episodes of Doctor Who before I watched them in order here, so I still haven't had the Unprepared Experience along with Mark yet. I don't know when that will happen? Venture Brothers? Supernatural? I haven't watched any Fringe or Torchwood along with Mark because I haven't seen the beginnings to those shows and I don't want to be spoiled.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Donnie Darko is one of my favourite movies, but it took me a good few episodes of BSG to realise where I recognised Mary McDonnell from. 😛

      Laura Roslin: She's bitchin', but not a bitch.


  60. Saint Mercy says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I love it! Until now, except for the new episodes of Doctor Who, I have already seen the shows you review. I love reliving them through your eyes and remembering how exciting watching them for the first time was. But now I am watching them with you. I just started watching BSG a few weeks ago on BBC America.

    This has to be the best series premiere of all time! It just jumps right in to the middle of it and doesn't stop! I already LOVE it!

  61. Brieana says:

    Okay, I know that this is controversial for me to say, but I saw the entire miniseries as a three hour pilot episode and my feelings were hurt because it was so goddamn long. I was dying.
    I've watched like four episodes after this and listened to the commentaries and I know things about season 2 that I didn't want to hear about.
    Also, I think I liked Caprica better.

  62. Frakker says:


    • Jeanne says:


      That's part of the classic nerd lexicon now, isn't it? Firefly was great for giving us words like that– Shiny, Gorram, etc– but I use Frak all the time. AWESOME.

  63. notemily says:

    Moar thoughts on the show now that iTunes has actually downloaded it and I can watch (CURSE YOU NETFLIX AND YOUR SHENANIGANS)…

    Striking a superior asshole.

    Starbuck in her tank top and cargo-ish pants–CRUSHING SO HARD. I always have this thing about girlcrushes where I don't know if I want them or if I want to BE them, and Starbuck is a prime example. (I used to dress like that, too. Those were the days.)

    If someone started talking to me about how "fragile" my baby was, I would Back Away Slowly. WITH THE BABY.

    Is Six wearing a… VINYL bra and underwear set under a see-through outfit? What. That is not an outfit that actual people wear. (Uh… I guess she's not an actual person. BUT MY POINT STANDS.)

    I like that male and female pilots/officers are both called "Sir."

    "You don't have to mock my faith." Gaius is basically like I JUST WANT YOU FOR TEH HOTT BLONDE SECKS, WHY ARE YOU COMPLICATING THIS BY TALKING ABOUT LOVE AND GOD AND SHIT. He's such a selfish jerk, but I love to watch him.

    "There are many computers on this ship. They're just not networked." Because the Cylons are, like, the best hackers EVER.

    I love the writing on this show. They manage to convey all of these past issues between people, and how it affects their current interactions, so well. Which is exactly what happens in real life–we bring all this baggage to every conversation, whether we realize it or not.


    I like that Adama's speech is completely inappropriate for the occasion, but completely appropriate for the fact that the Cylons are about to attack them. IT'S LIKE HE KNEW. OR LIKE SOMEONE GAVE HIM A SCRIPT. AHEM.

    "Why can't we use the starboard launch?" "It's a gift shop now." "Frak me."

    I always think the Cylon fighter ships look like Batarangs.

  64. Chiparoo says:

    You have said many things that made me squee and many things that made me squirm with excitement for you to find everything out. I DO BELIEVE YOU WILL BE PLEASED.

  65. Idapida says:

    Ngl, I squeed out loud when I saw this post, my inner nerd was showing.
    The people on this show are some of the most complex and well layered characters I've seen, they really come alive in a way. Can't wait for your reviews!

  66. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Out of interest, I heard the theme tune (for lack of a better term) was different in the US?
    Here in the UK we got this…
    ***serious spoiler warning***

    Which is awesome and I love it to bits. But I heard it was different elsewhere? Or am I misremembering?

  67. Jeanne says:

    I haven't watched the miniseries in years- or any of BSG, really, since the series ended. But it is awesome to see your fresh perspective on this! I may have to re-watch along with you. 🙂

  68. Tilja says:

    This time I'm watching along with your reviews since this show doesn't interest me. I know I'll be hated for this, but it just doesn't click for me. I think I can watch it but I don't know if I'll get to like it as I did with Firefly in the end. It looks so much like so many things I've seen and in no way different to them that it's uninteresting to me.

    There is the one thing I'm interesting in regarding this part 1 of the miniseries: the subject of outdated and updated technology. It was mentioned throughout that guided tour, right at the beginning, that the technology in the ship seemed so ancient (was there a mention of disc phones?) because in the war against the Cylons, they would take control of the computerized mainframe and so the humans had to go back into the past to find things to help them. Without knowing anything about the show, this statement seemed to be shouted at me or plastered on the screen in big bold caps. This war is humans vs higher technology, and who wins is the survivor. This is so far the only thing that attracts me about this show: the lack of the more modern technology to support a SF show. And this is also the reason why I'd prefer to watch the original Galactica version to see the origins of all this. It must've been more interesting than this new version.

    I hope someone can tell me whether the original is good compared to this one.

  69. bookgal12 says:

    Is anyone having problems watching Part 1 of BSG on Netflix? When I try to watch it, it only shows the first 7 minutes and then cuts out to the "you have finished watching screen". I'm really pissed at netflix for this. Anyone know where I can watch part 1?

  70. Sierra says:

    I always read the baby-killing scene as her perhaps being merciful? Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I think that, since both having one's neck snapped and being vaporized in an atomic explosion are instantaneous deaths, so one is no better than the other.

    Also, wtf kind of parent turns their back on a rather creepy stranger paying _way_ too much attention to their baby?!

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