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Sci-Fi Television Science

The Science of Battlestar Galactica 465

gearystwatcher writes "TV science adviser Kevin Grazier talks about getting rid of the Trek babble in Battlestar Galactica. From the article: "Grazier's job was to help keep the technology and science real and credible — even when there were some massive leaps. Grazier didn't just make sure that there was a reason for what we saw — bullets instead of lasers — but also that when the science bit did break into the open, it was more mind-blowing than the writers could have conceived — such as when the humans discover their mechanical Cylon persecutors have evolved to look human.'"
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The Science of Battlestar Galactica

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  • I think it would be appropriate. Each subsequent generation corrected faults found in previous generations, for future generations. More of, favorable traits were maintained, and unfavorable traits were discarded.

        Or the appropriate definitions [reference.com]



    1. any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.

    2. a product of such development; something evolved: The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research. ...

    4. a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions. ...

    1. unfolding, change, progression, metamorphosis.

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:04PM (#34119412) Journal

    If I were a hot asian female, I would be totally insulted by your comment, But I'm not, so ... cool where can I get one too.

    You take a blank robot and download Lucy Liu... or don't you watch science fiction?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @09:23PM (#34119564)

    The original was vastly superior to this unimaginative remake bullshit. It had a better story, better actors, better music and better cinematography. Even some of the special effects were better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @10:51PM (#34120146)

    Wikipedia claims that it didn't quite break even at the box office, but did break even on dvd sales. They give the 25.5 million figure on that page you quoted as the domestic gross.


    If you include international gross, you are up to 38.8 of the 39 million production cost. Arguable it would have broken even at the box office alone had United International Pictures not cancelled theatrical release in at least seven countries in favour of direct to dvd.

    Without exact dvd numbers, it is hard to say exactly, but here is a link


    that estimates total income would be around 60 million as of 2006, compared to total expenses at around 50 million (10 million more than production for advertising and such). That's a 20% return. Possibly not enough for a sequel, but still not that bad.

  • by sunspot42 ( 455706 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2010 @11:01PM (#34120194)

    The remake took itself far too seriously

    Oh, the original took itself very seriously. Which is what makes it so incredibly hilarious, because it was a steaming pile of crap, even for 1978.

    For those who haven't caught the show in 30 years (or ever), the big splashy debut episode - which Universal blew millions on - involves the robotic Cylons launching a sneak attack on the Colonies, after which the ragtag fleet led by the Galactica flees for parts unknown. Literally days later they come across Las Vegas in space and all of the desperate survivors head off for a little gambling and drinking like they'd just stumbled onto the set of the Love Boat or something. Laughable. There's probably a way to handle such a plot development, but Glen Larson sure as hell wasn't capable of doing it. The thing ended up being a cartoon with people.

    Actually, that's not entirely fair. Cartoons like Johnny Quest and Spider-Man - made more than a decade earlier - featured far more realistic characters.

    I saw the original Galactica again in the mid-'90s for the first time since I was 10, and thought it was one of the stupidest things I'd ever seen. Like a bad episode of Buck Rogers, only filmed in an unlit locker room. Universal may have spent millions, but it didn't show - the sets were no better than Star Trek's had been a decade before.

    The only thing it had going for it were ray guns and lots and lots and lots of explosions. And Dirk Benedict, who did the best Han Solo in the world this side of Harrison Ford. The rest of the cast was either totally wooden or ridiculous scenery chewers, although Jane Seymour was a trooper and did what she could with her role, and John Colicos I have to admit chewed scenery very well, even if his character's actions didn't make a lick of sense.

    The original Galactica makes Star Trek: Voyager look like Mad Men, and the remake was a massive improvement (but just about anything would be).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 04, 2010 @04:02AM (#34121844)

    They were off-ship, in a crashed puddle jumper, and didn't know where the gate was supposed to be.

    In other words, they didn't have a bone saw.
    They didn't have anything long or strong enough to use as a lever, and couldn't reach around to tourniquet his legs.

    Once they actually did blow through the debris to get to the gate, dialed it up etc., there was very little time left, so they couldn't actually get help from the ship.

    Nice try though. Maybe you should actually try watching the show instead of just glancing at the screen every five minutes or so.


  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @05:49AM (#34122248)

    Star Trek's technobabble wasn't science fiction. The words they used were tangentally related to science which was tangentally related to the events onscreen, but it may as well have been luminiferous ether for all it was coupled to the plot. Star Trek rarely dealt with issues of science*, it was very much a "space show".

    *When it did, it was often excellent

  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @07:27AM (#34122696)

    Please mod parent up.

    Technobabble is not bad if it has legitimate reasons to exist. It's only bad if it covers the weaknesses of the script writers. In the Star Trek series, Technobabble got ridiculous in the last seasons of TNG, but largely in Voyager. It is no coincidence that this happened just after Rodenberry died.

  • by mfh ( 56 ) on Thursday November 04, 2010 @07:33AM (#34122734) Homepage Journal

    Many don't understand that Sci-fi is big and expensive to make. If the show doesn't break into the kind of audience that Battlestar Galactica or Star Trek, it gets canceled at the earliest opportunity.

    Battlestar Galactica was getting tired and old by the time they canceled it. The episodes on New Caprica is when the show really lost its way. The writers became tired and the plot became stale.

    I absolutely love science fiction but if people aren't watching, the networks find something that will attract more people.

    There is always the problem of human politics in these types of productions as well. Petty differences often get in the way.

    In the case of any of these shows the fanbase helps promote through word of mouth, but the shows can't get stale or people lose interest fast.

    As an example of a show that is getting better with time is Dexter. You can thank the writers for that, and the cast and the crew. Everyone does their job and everyone GETS IT.

    Season Five is the BEST season yet.

    You can't say that about sci-fi franchises. More often than not, the second season is the best and it goes downhill from there.

  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Thursday November 04, 2010 @03:31PM (#34128416) Homepage

    Her number was staed on the show when it showed her HUD.

    You were able to actually read that? Well, okay.

    The problem I had with that is that the one number increment was just stupid, and something I would expect out of a merchandising tie in, not a serious show set in the universe.

    All the terminators had different numbers in the series had different numbers, mainly because they were different actors. Although, strictly speaking, it's the model that's the skin, Arnold is model 101. The T-xxx designation is the metal framework and CPU, so two identically sized actors could be the same T- but different models, whereas Arnold played both a T-800 and a T-850, both model 101. (There's actually a model 90, too, which has no skin at all, but is human sized and shaped for fighting in human tunnels.)

    But, anyway, the main villain terminator in TSCC was T-888, and while Cameron never got a designation, she clearly wasn't either an T-800, T-850, or T-888 as she's much too small. (Considering her never-before-seen skill at mimicking actual human emotion, fanon has her as a T-9xx. Alternately, as she was specifically designed to infiltrate the resistance far enough to kill John Connor, it's possible she's a one-off and has no model number.)

    Granted, that's for the metal-exoskeleton terminators. The T-1001 could have been a T-1000 without worrying about the actor, considering it doesn't 'really' look like any actor. But, like I said, the producers wanted to be able to pull a cat out of the bag in case they needed some surprise, without having to justify why this T-1000 is different from T2's T-1000.

    I have no idea why you object to that number specifically. Is it because all the other numbers were even? Frankly, that's stupid in my book. I'd have liked to see more arbitrary naming. Why 888 instead of 874? Did people name it or machines?

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents