Today, I found myself once again discussing ‘the difference between old and new Galactica.’ Maybe it’s the company I  keep, but it seems I have this conversation over and over – so I decided to put my reasons in one place, rather than repeating the conversation again in future. This is what I see when I look at the two Galacticas:

 

1978

Battlestar Galactica (Original) cast photo

2004

Battlestar Galactica (Remake) cast photo
Premise Sometimes, people or cultures are just incompatible, and there is no ‘compromise solution.’  What you do on those occasions defines who you are. %$^* you – you did this to yourselves.
Cylons A race of pure order, who find humanity’s chaos inefficient and unacceptable as a means of running the universe. They seek to fix that, in whatever way they are able.  When humans declined to be corrected, they left the cylons with no alternative but to eliminate them. Vengeance! Uprising! You oppressive bastards don’t know what you have created but you’re going to get yours now!!!
Civilian Leader Weak, conceited idiot sells humanity out to an obvious used-car-salesman despite reasoned advice from his military leader. Never expected to be in this position, but steps up.
Military Leader (Personality) Honest and competent.

First Officer is too forthright to succeed politically and get his own ship – but Adama knows he is competent and honest, and has kept his friend at his side, helping his career and choosing him as first officer of Galactica.

Military-character caricature out of an R. Lee Ermy movie.
First officer is a drunk and a jerk who, in real life, would likely get fragged.
Military Leader(Plan) When there is no good common sense answer, turns to his faith to lead his people to safety. Yeah – religious quest – that should shut these idiots up and keep them out of my way so I can be a military dictator and Get Things Done without stupid civilians interfering.
Names Apollo, Athena – Commander names his children after figures of his faith – essentially, these names are “Biblical” and speak to who these individuals are as a family. Those names are just cool fighter-jock call signs like Maverick and Iceman. They don’t actually mean anything except that I am cool. And I am cool…
Women Athena: Bridge Officer on the most prestigious ship in the fleet

Sheba: leader of a fighter squadron

Serina: Renowned interplanetary journalist

Casseiopeia: Socialator (geisha) turned medic (adapts her healing and soothing skills to the current need).

Noted: in the 1978 cast photos, they are pictured in uniform, amongst the men, as equals

Turns core male characters into women because “there are no strong female role models in the original.”

Noted: in the 21st century cast photo, the “strong women” are splayed out separately, dressed and posed as if for the cover of Maxim.

Baltar Makes a deal with the devil, agreeing to sell out humanity in exchange for the assurance that what remains will be “subjugated, under [him].” Manages to convince interplanetary leaders to talk to him, and then to sign his “armistice.”

(Bonus point: John Colicos is a gleeful villain, from Baltar to “the first Klingon ever to appear in Star Trek”)

Baltar: “I didn’t mean for this to happen! How could I have known?! Don’t hate me…..”
Good and Evil There are truly evil things in this world (Baltar).There are things in this world that are simply so different from us, we can’t really find connection, but that doesn’t make them evil (Cylons, Ovions)But most people are essentially good, and trying to do the best they can with what they have. A character may have flaws (Tigh: temper, Starbuck: womanizing/gambling) but still be essentially good. In a behind the scenes feature, they explained that their goal was to take every character and turn them ‘bad’ or unlikable at some point – that they intentionally wanted “moral ambiguity” and did not want any “good” characters.

[I get that this is the current trend – but for me, there has to be at least one character left at the end that I care about.  When they are all %&$*s, I find it difficult to give a %&$* about the show]