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Your thoughts on getting into Firefly and Battlestar Galactica.

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#21 of 103 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted January 09 2006 - 04:59 AM

Ron I encourage you to watch Firefly first, and then watch Battlestar, for one reason: Zoic Studios did the special effects for both shows, pioneering the use of "simulated handheld cameras in space" and such on Firefly. To appreciate Firefly's innovation, you should see it first.

Brief article about Zoic's contribution to both shows (click here)
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#22 of 103 OFFLINE   David Norman

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Posted January 09 2006 - 05:19 AM

Just to echo the echoes here. BG is the only active show I actually watch any more of any type. I TIVO it and watch the same night when possible so I can FF through the commercials. I simply can't watch it live because the 3 minute breaks just kill me. I have heard very few people who have disliked this show and just about the only negative reviews have been from folks who complain that it isn't the original or a continuation of the original. Opinions are what they are, but overwhelmingly BG ends up on the upside of most arguments. If you like B5, I suspect you'll love BG though BG has a much more serious overall tone so far without the occasional pseudo-comedy that B5 would throw in either with a sub plot or even entire show.

The writing is beyond top notch, the science/physics even seem pretty rational overall, and so far not a single time loop/time-space plot that ST got so fond of toward the end.

The acting is very good for a TV show led by Olmos and Mary McDonnell and Richard Hatch. The supporting cast which was OK initially seems to be growing into their characters quickly giving most of the main characters a very 3D-real feel. Even the eye candy ex-model Helfer seems to showing some very strong skills and her reactions occasionally shock me.


#23 of 103 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted January 09 2006 - 06:41 AM

one big problem i had with the show was the 'reset' nature. some characters will take all kinds of bodily abuse in one episode and yet the very next one they are fit as a fiddle and ready to kick ass.

Also remember that the way the series was structured was long gaps between episodes (because there was no "hyperspeed" or anything going on, going from planet to planet each week wouldn't have been too realistic).

For example, if you notice, six months pass just between episode 5 and episode 12. So someone getting shot in one episode and being healed in the next could be likely if it's been 4-6 weeks since the previous outing.

Obviously Buffy covered about a year each season, so from week to week characters usually showed the rough scrapes from past fights.

#24 of 103 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted January 09 2006 - 07:04 AM

Firefly and Galactica are both perfect ways to spend an evening in front of the tube... or lcd... or plasma... or projector...

There's less "sci" than "fi" in this scifi, so if you're a fan of hard sf, take these for what they are and you'll enjoy them.

Firefly has Joss Whedon's brand all over it. If you hate Joss, it might not be for you.
Galactica is as compelling as 24, Lost, or the early days of Alias.

I highly recommend both. My Firefly and Galactica S1 DVD's have been on loan to various parties for weeks. There's a waiting list.


#25 of 103 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted January 09 2006 - 08:05 AM

"Firefly" and BSG couldn't be more different and yet they are great programs. SCI-FI did a great service in re-running "Firefly" and and I'll take a thousand "Mansquitos" if it means nurturing programs like BSG.

A friend of mine bought BSG season 1 as a blind buy and is totally hooked. I have to lend him my 2.0 so he can catch up so as to watch the current 2.5 on TV.

Ron, as with B5, you can't go wrong with these two.

#26 of 103 OFFLINE   Elizabeth S

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Posted January 09 2006 - 09:42 AM

"Firefly" was a blind buy on DVD for me and I loved it -- did the entire season a bit before "Serenity" opened. I now understand the disappointment/rage over cancellation of fans who watched it when it was on the air. Absolutely watch the series before "Serenity".

I plan to eventually get into "BG", though I'm very backlogged on TV sets. (Working on "Veronica Mars" now.)

#27 of 103 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted January 09 2006 - 10:30 AM

I think part of BSG's appeal is that it is less hardcore scifi than it is an action/drama set in space. Kind of like another franchise that is highly popular....I think it's called something Wars.

I have never ever felt bored watching this show. It is always engaging IMO.

Firefly is also very entertaining, but it's frustrating to watch knowing it was cancelled before its time.

A friend of mine just decided to get into BSG, and he finished the first season set in a weekend he liked it so much. He'll be done with 2.0 by this Friday's episode. This is the perfect time to get into it, because you can record the replay of the 2.5 premiere and not miss anything if you get caught up quick, which you will!
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#28 of 103 OFFLINE   Mikel_Cooperman



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Posted January 09 2006 - 10:51 AM

If you liked B5 I think you will like both these series. BG is a bit heavier than Firefly.
Give Farscape a shot too if you havent already.

#29 of 103 OFFLINE   Jeff McMillan

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Posted January 09 2006 - 12:02 PM

Personally, I don't think there's another show on currently better than BSG. Season 2 had a few so-so episodes, but the finale of the first "half-season" was spectacular, and the latest episode was quite the nail-biter. If Olmos doesn't get an Emmy out of this...

Firefly is great too. Not much else I can say that hasn't already been said.

#30 of 103 OFFLINE   Mark_TS



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Posted January 09 2006 - 12:03 PM

Ive come to love BSG-the only problem is that it goes by far too quickly-first you have 5 mins of recaps, then a preview of whats coming up, then the Titles/starring section, and end credits crawl-then after the commercials, you probably have 40 min of story-or less.

It would be too cool the show was made a 90 min program, given its epic scope.
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#31 of 103 OFFLINE   MichaelPR


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Posted January 09 2006 - 12:15 PM

Mark I hate when it ends too! It makes me sad....It makes me want to watch more. But now I'm almost done with season 2.0 and man I don't want to be a week to weeker...hehe
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#32 of 103 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted January 09 2006 - 03:02 PM

I also love both shows, Ron. For different reasons. As others have said BG is like 24 in space. It is constantly ramping up the tension. Whenever the hour ends I usually say "WTF! Already?" It is a pretty dark show though.

As for Firefly, my wife and I tried to catch it when it originally aired on FOX (completely botched btw). We had probably seen half the episodes. When the DVD set came out, we started watching it again and by the 5th or 6th episode, we we were hooked. But we didn't race through the episodes. We watched one a week. There were just so few that we didn't want it to end. Each episode was like gold to us! (this was before we knew there would be a movie) We just really enjoyed the characters, the dialog, the humor and their adventures.

Coincidentally (or maybe not) Firefly and BG's spaceship flying effects (kind of a hand held camera style) are very similar. That's where the similarity ends though.

#33 of 103 OFFLINE   Josh-F



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Posted January 09 2006 - 03:13 PM

"firefly" is awesome, but to me, it's awesome in a different way than any show that I've ever seen. I've never seen BSG, but if people are using the word "epic" to describe it, it's nothing like "firefly." "firefly" is purposely not epic. It's just about people. It's about people trying to survive on the frontier. Taking whatever job they can and doing what they can to put food on the table and fuel in the engine. The stories are mostly self-contained, with character arcs and some small serialized storylines thrown in. If you're looking for a big arc and cliffhanger endings and escalating situations, you're not going to find that in "firefly." If you're looking for very interesting and human people interacting, trying to survive, and living on a place that after a few short episodes begins to feel like home, this is a show for you.

#34 of 103 OFFLINE   MichaelPR


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Posted January 09 2006 - 03:22 PM

WOW PEGASUS!!! Holy cow....BG is knocking my socks off at every turn. This is some INTENSE television. The acting is just incredible. And while some are saying it's epic I would say it's epic in the same sense that LOTR is epic....Huge battles but small intimate character moments that really make you care. It's a shame Firefly didn't get the chance to get fleshed out like BG!
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#35 of 103 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted January 10 2006 - 05:07 AM

I watch "Battlestar Galactica" in high definition on UniversalHD -- the only way this show should really be watched.

When the miniseries first aired, I was so bored by the first night, I didn't even bother tuning in for the second night. When the first episode of the series premiered, I decided I'd give it one more shot, since by that time I had met a couple of the actors at a convention (including Katee Sackhoff, who is even hotter in person). I was completely blown away and immediately hooked from the opening teaser. I LOVE this show, but I love it even more in High Definition.

#36 of 103 OFFLINE   Adam Barratt

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Posted January 10 2006 - 04:39 PM

Coincidentally (or maybe not) Firefly and BG's spaceship flying effects (kind of a hand held camera style) are very similar.

Not a coincidence, as Will B noted, as the effects for both were created by the same effects group. Firefly's Serenity even made a cameo in the initial Battlestar Galactica mini-series.


#37 of 103 OFFLINE   Terry St

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Posted January 10 2006 - 05:24 PM

Seriously and all kidding aside, the new version is filled with way too many disfunctional characters and stories that just dont work. Even taking off the old school fan hat, I thought it was a dreadful prodution. It saddens me when this is passed off as cutting edge science fiction and people eat it up.

If you want to see how to update an old show, stay true to what has come before, doesnt piss on the old fans, AND fills the scripts with sharp writing with believable characters, go see what Russel Davies did with Doctor Who. Now *THATS* the best genre show on TV at the moment.

I was a fan of the old BSG series. I've always been a sucker for sci-fi themed shows and BSG was pretty darned good in it's day. However, it wasn't really a hard sci-fi show. It was more of a western in space, much like Firefly initially appears to be. (Firefly actually had more hard sci-fi in it then any of the BSG series.) For that reason, blasting the new BSG series for not being a hard sci-fi show isn't really fair.

The new BSG series, despite the naysayers, is the best retooling of an old TV franchise I've seen. The original BSG is a very different show. It's lighter, cheesier, and it ended after one season. (Don't even talk to me about BSG:1980. ) The new BSG is highly intense, gets better with every episode, and has met with enough mainstream success that it seems almost certain to run for several seasons. Heck, the NYT named it the best show on TV, period. Not the best sci-fi show. The best show. How often does a sci-fi show get that kind of recognition? The original BSG certainly didn't. I'm willing to bet that, in a few years, *most* people will remember the new BSG series as the real BSG, and the original series as the diamond in the rough that inspired it.

As for Firefly, it's a truly great show, but it's not for everyone sadly. It does a fantastic job of subverting cliches and expectations. You'll find it playing into a corner other sci-fi shows have trod a thousand times before. You'll know just what's supposed to happen next, and Whedon will do something totally different. (albeit, occasionally ludicrous, like
captain tight-pants throwing a defiant thug through the ships engine
) The plots in the TV show were also typically very tight, with few major holes. Serenity, although easily the best sci-fi flick to come along in years, actually falls into quite a few cliches and has some rather gaping plot holes that are uncharacteristic of the show. e.g.
They have to go to Mr.Universe to broadcast the video instead of just firing it off themselves, which is never explained. The backup console in the somewhat difficult to reach place over the power-core is so cliche it must have been deliberate, although I didn't get the point myself.
The character development and acting are top-notch. The western-theme of the show, with starship captains running around in cowboy outfits and six-shooters has really put off a lot of people, but the use of seemingly primitive technology makes a lot of sense in the Firefly universe and is good sci-fi, although Whedon might have carried the cowboy parallels a touch to far in places for the unforgiving. I had no trouble with it, but some people do.

Babylon5, in comparison to both of these shows, is an older show with lower production values. Both BSG and Firefly look much better and have *far* better transfers on DVD. Babylon5's amazing tapestry of interconnected sub-plots and unified story arc's are not rivalled in either of these shows, so far. Firefly has more continuity than the typical star trek series, but it's still fairly episodic. It definitely benefits a great deal from being viewed in order though, which is why airing it out of order without the pilot was such a bad move on the part of the network. BSG has a much higher degree of continuity, one episode frequently leading right into the next, but so far I wouldn't say it has the depth of planning evident in B5, although admittedly it's probably a tad to early to say. It's certainly not as poetic. If plays more like a newscast than some interstellar epic.

I could ramble on for a while it seems. I love all these shows, and strongly recommend them all. Firefly, providing you harbor no grudges against shows that don't play by the rules, is a gem. BSG is an intense, rivetting drama in a sci-fi setting. Neither show is anything like B5 save for the sci-fi theme.

#38 of 103 OFFLINE   KevinGress


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Posted January 11 2006 - 06:05 AM

This comment is very important in regards to BSG:

I think part of BSG's appeal is that it is less hardcore scifi than it is an action/drama set in space.

To quantify it even further, it's a disaster show set in space. It's well-done, although a few storylines are a bit too far-fetched, and is worthy of a look. Do note that it is pretty dark and delves more into distaster and political intrigue than sci-fi.

Firefly is brilliant in its own right. Favors the wild west flare than techno-babble. Characters are very well developed and by the end of the run it's pretty exciting. Not as dark as BSG, but it can get intense too. It can also be downright knee-slapping funny, so for me, has the edge on BSG.

Interesting how right now there are no aliens in either show - just human (well, and Cyclons which were created by humans). Between that and the spaceship visuals, BSG owes a lot to Firefly (heard a rumor once that supposedly there is a quick glance of a Firefly ship in the miniseries of BSG due to the production company doing the f/x).

These are good shows for people who like good drama, and don't care if the sci-fi isn't too heavy.

#39 of 103 OFFLINE   Terry St

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Posted January 11 2006 - 09:55 AM

Interesting how right now there are no aliens in either show - just human (well, and Cyclons which were created by humans). Between that and the spaceship visuals, BSG owes a lot to Firefly (heard a rumor once that supposedly there is a quick glance of a Firefly ship in the miniseries of BSG due to the production company doing the f/x).

The f/x crew who worked on firefly and then moved to BSG has really done excellent work. For firefly they pioneered the use of pseudo-steady-cam, mechanical zooms, etc. in SFX sequences that have traditionally been free of such "defects". It really makes them feel more real an exciting. They took the same idea even further in BSG.

My one beef with BSG is that sometimes they take the newscast feel a bit too far. When the Galactica is being bombarded and the camera views are shaking around like crazy on the bridge it's pretty dramatic, but when the ship is sailing smoothly through space a million miles from conflict and the cameraman is still undergoing epileptic seizures it starts to get annoying. Their signature multi-stop-zooms in the SFX sequences are tremendously overused some episodes, often showing up in several back-to-back cuts with absolutely identical timing. In general, they need to do a better job of making the style-elements fit the action rather than just applying them haphazardly. Using them too extensively all the time reduces their impact in more dramatic sequences as well.

Don't get me wrong, the show is great. I have only minor quibbles with it. I think they have been improving as well.

#40 of 103 OFFLINE   Jeff#



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Posted January 11 2006 - 03:50 PM

I wouldn't waste my money or time on either of those weak series. The Lorne Greene Battlestar Galactica (which I also wouldn't buy) was much more entertaining than the awful remake -- a series that reinvented the concept and made it too serious. Starbuck was originally a guy in the old show, not a chick!!

Joss Whedon brilliantly handled Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, but he BLEW IT with Firefly. How that ever got revived as a feature film "Serenity" after the TV series became one in a long line of FNFF (Friday night FOX failures)is beyond me.

The only reason I'm replying here is because I re-watched former Firefly star Nathan Fillion in his most outstanding role: As Caleb, the superhuman exiled priest who goes up against Buffy and the other slayers in the final 5 episodes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series in 2003. He was both appropriately intense and comedic in that role.

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