Battlestar Galactica is a critically acclaimed and award winning re-imagining of the original 1970s series of the same name. This new version picks up some characters and mythological aspects of the original, but differs radically in approach. Instead of the original’s family-friendly escapism, this new series is darker, using its concept to reflect a post-9/11 world and made relevant to modern times, as well as exploring issues such as the nature of faith and what it means to be human. The show strays from conventional science fiction in that it does not focus on a variety of aliens or showcase technical devices or get bogged down by technobabble. The shows takes a more realistic approach in which space is mostly empty, planets are not always habitable, things break down, resources are finite, and people are not perfect; the “good guys” are not always heroic and the villains can garner sympathy.
The series begins 40 years after the end of what’s known as the Cylon War. This war began when humanity, who live in a group of habitable planets called the Twelve Colonies, created machines to make life easier for them: the Cylons. Programmed to be sentient, they were employed to do things from labour to fighting wars. However, the Cylons eventually grew to hate their masters, revolting, thus beginning the Cylon War. The conflict ended when the Cylons agreed to leave the Colonies to make a home on another planet. No one had seen or heard from the Cylons in 40 years until they launched a successful assault on the Colonies that effectively killed all but a few thousand who fled their destroyed homes to seek out the legendary world known as Earth. However, they are constantly being followed by the Cylons. To make matters worse, in the time isolated from humanity, the Cylons had developed themselves to appear human. There are 12 specific models, but each has several copies. They took human form in order to become closer to God, and base their actions on the belief that humanity was a mistake, and that they were themselves created by God (not the Gods that the people of the Colonies worship) to take humanity’s rightful place. Led by the battlestar Galactica, the fleet of surviving ships have to evade attacks both from outside as well as inside, both Cylon and even human. A few of these humanoid Cylons act as infiltrators to destroy the remainder of humanity, some copies not even aware of their Cylon identity. In order to keep chaos from taking over, the fleet tries to uphold the laws that they were bound to before the attacks, but with their extreme situation in mind, certain rules must be bent. Tough decisions must be made that both allow the people their rights and freedom, but also ensure the survival of the human race.