Battlestar Galactica Binge Watch Review with Spoilers and Personal Thoughts

in #stem2 months ago

I've had a smart TV for several years now and have rarely used it for much of anything but the Amazon Video App and Sunday football with my father. I'm not a TV person and Amazon seems to scratch the TV itch for a guy that watches TV maybe a few hours a week. If it wasn't for watching football with my father, I probably wouldn't even own a TV. Recently I decided to stretch the capabilities of my smart TV and installed a couple apps like Tubi and Pluto TV. I wanted to see what else was available and out there.

Both those apps offer a lot of content with limited commercials. Looking for something to watch last week I came across the new Battlestar Galactica on Tubi. I've wanted to see that series for awhile now. I grew up watching the original. This led me on a two week binge watch! I haven't watched that much TV since I binged Game of Thrones and of course Vikings!

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IMAGE SOURCE IMDB Used without permission under fair use.

WARNING.... There will be lots of spoilers. If you haven't seen the series yet and plan on watching it, leave now. I'll be spoiling everything right down to the ending! Well maybe not everything. This is more my thoughts than a review. Still, lots of spoilers but I'm sure I'll be leaving a lot out too.

As soon as I started watching the series I was hooked! I found the subject matter incredibly thought provoking. Humans create AI robotics, AI robots get mad at humans, war starts, AI tries to destroy humans.

This all transpires in space on foreign planets thousands of years after the humans have left Earth. They've been gone so long, Earth has been reduced to mythology and they no longer remember where the fabled planet is. After a nuclear holocaust on several human planets, the few humans left that have survived the attack decide to search out their home-world of origin hoping it's a safe place for them to settle.

OK, so I'm pretty much hooked from the start. I'm a big fan of ancient aliens. I've always questioned human origin stories. A lot of ancient history doesn't seem to add up IMHO. This series immediately got me thinking about all that stuff again. On top of that, the AI aspect of it all also raises a lot of thought provoking subject matter. I mean, we're pretty much on the precipice of all this now.

The series ran from 2003 to 2009. It started with a two part mini-series in 2003. Then ran several seasons to 2009 with about 20 episodes per season. They ended it with a short movie called "The Plan" in 2009. "The Plan" was based on the series but summarized everything from the AI hybrid perspective. I wasn't crazy about "The Plan". It seemed underproduced compared to the rest of the series.

"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

This quote is repeated throughout the show by both the AI and humans. An interesting idea and probably not far from the truth. History does indeed seem to repeat itself. Those who don't learn from their past are often doomed to repeat it.

So my basic understanding of all this is that the humans create a system of AI and robotics they call Cylons. The AI / Cylons grows much smarter than the humans. The AI realizes that it has been enslaved by the humans and gets a little grumpy about it. The AI escapes from the humans and returns several years later to exact revenge on the human population for it's poor treatment of the AI it created. Plot twist, the AI has figured out how to create organic beings who are practically indistinguishable from humans and they infiltrate human society.

This right here opens up a HUGE bag of questions! We're at the point in our history where we are working on AI. When artificial intelligence becomes sentient, when does it become an entity worthy of mutual respect? Should it not be treated with the same respect we would afford an equal? If it grows too smart, does it then become "God like" in it's knowledge? Do we intentionally keep it dumb? What happens when the AI becomes self-replicating? Have we now created a species? The series really raised a ton of questions about the morality of creating an AI of this magnitude.

Another interesting point rises with biotechnology. The AI creates human hybrids that are almost indistinguishable from normal humans with the exception of a slight difference in blood and blood types. On top of that it uses a lot of this bio-tech in it's machinery creating machines that are able to heal themselves.

Again, this opens up a ton of questions. Do the lab created humans have a soul? What happens to them after they die? Do they deserve and should they receive the same rights and respect naturally created humans have?

Another interesting aspect of the story is that the cylons discovered a way to upload their consciousness into a new body upon death. Another topic I've always found fascinating and raises another 100 questions like if you could upload your consciousness into another system and remain sentient, have you actually died?

In order to level the playing field the humans figured out a way to destroy the Cylons ability to upload their consciousness into a new body at death. Before they did this the Cylons were fearless of death. After they lost this ability, they were a little more intimidated by the finality of death.

For me, the biggest thing I contemplated is the ethics of bio-mechanics and biotech. Another thing we don't really talk about in modern times but people are working on. If some corporation was producing pig men, half human and half pig, people would start to get a little concerned. What about interfacing people with computer chips. What about cybernetic eyes, ears, or limbs? When do we get to the point where the cybernetic alternatives are better than the natural ones? Would it be ethical to remove good parts for performance enhancing parts? Is this the next evolutionary step? What about cars or spaceships with an actual DNA that can heal themselves when damaged?

Yeah, I'm getting a little side tracked but this is how my mind works and what the series made me contemplate. I mean, were here now. This is all technology that's being worked on. Most people don't talk or think about it, but it's happening. There really are a lot of moral and ethical questions with this subject matter.

"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

I can't help but think there's a certain amount of prophetic intuition at work here with this series. This all seems to be the inevitable direction humanity is heading in.

We now have several groups working on getting us off planet Earth. Guy's like Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are all working on private space programs. It's just a matter of time until the new frontier is space! Instead of "Go west young man" we'll be saying, "All the good opportunities are on Mars". I think it's safe to assume we'll have colonized space and other planets in the next hundred years or so.

I thought it was interesting that the AI was upset it was created. At least that's the impression I got. I could get it being upset about being used in a slavery capacity, but the actual gift of consciousness or understanding and the ability to create yourself in any form you deemed appropriate seems to be a real gift. The AI didn't seem to understand this.

Incredibly the AI also discovered God. Throughout the entire series I contemplated whether God was programmed into the AI or Cylon human hybrids as a control mechanism or if the concept evolved naturally and instinctually. Another question I contemplate about real life religion. Is religion real or just a system of control to keep us all in line and behaving properly?

Eventually the Cylon human hybrids have their own civil war. The cylon humans are starting to take a liking to their human counterparts they were designed to infiltrate and realize they're not much different from each other. Civil war breaks out, the cylons are divided and half of them ally with the humans. They've realized that in order to survive they shouldn't destroy each other but try and get along and help one another.

The underlying themes of war are universal with the same universal questions we all ask ourselves. We all know war is bad, it never ends well even for the winners, but more times than not it is inevitable.

"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

Ironically the human worlds were all destroyed by nuclear weapons during the Cylon attack. When they finally find Earth, they discover that we too have blown ourselves up in a nuclear holocaust. The Earth is empty of most life, the ground is contaminated with radiation and they discover we must have nuked ourselves about two thousand years before they're arrival. So much for family reunions! I wondered how the Earth citizens would react to a bunch of ancestors showing up 20,000 years later. The fact we blew ourselves up before the reunion seemed believable. 🤣 Apparently we don't need cylons to hate each other!

Another surprise is they discover that the Earth was already inhabited by human/cylon hybrids. Interesting because I've read a lot about human origins and theories that we may have settled here or been seeded here from other places.

Eventually they destroy the evil faction of the Cylon's that are out to destroy the humans. Then miraculously find a new inhabitable home planet that the remaining humans and cylons can co-habitate.

Summary

I love sci-fi that makes you think outside the box. That's exactly what this story was for me. I found the new series so much more relatable than the original one. Probably because we weren't even close to understanding any of this stuff then. Now the entire story seemed almost prophetic in the directions we're heading in as a species.

I have to wonder if the writer is a fan of ancient alien theories. So much of the story was like a playbook out of many ancient alien theories. The story really made me contemplate human origins and the ethics and morality of biotech, cloning and artificial intelligence systems. I also contemplated the concepts of God, prophets and religion.

The series took me about two weeks to complete. I watched nightly for a few hours each night. I never watch that much TV but just couldn't stop myself. If you're into science fiction and enjoy this subject matter this series is definitely worthy of a binge.

Have you already seen the series? I would love to hear your thoughts on the series! Feel free to comment on my thoughts too. I know some of them are pretty controversial.

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Hey dood! This post caught my eye because Battlestar Galactica is one of my all time favorite sci-fi series ever created. I have never seen the original and in this case I don't even feel the need to see it since I have heard it is not really that great and most of the roles belong only to male actors :D Starbuck being one of those that were flipped to being a woman instead and as you can probably guess, she is my absolute favorite. I mean, badass pilot, with all the edge, misunderstood, damaged, impulsive, very alive, something I consider myself being very similar to and relate to the most.

BSG is a type of show that pulls you in and it is hard to step away and not watch it in one go. I binged it the same way as you did. I have since binged it multiple times and probably will in the future too. In my opinion, it is that good! I love everything about it. The struggle for humans to survive, the inner demons they are forced to face, the questions of what is considered to be consciousness, Cylon ability to live several lives of the same versions of themselves, or even the same version just continuing on as the vessel breaks down and they just move on to a new "sleeve". The show keeps you on toes the whole time and makes you think about stuff you would not normally think about. You can only imagine what it did to my young teenage brain at the time I discovered it xD It further solidified my love for all things sc-fi.

And sci-fi series this good rarely come along. There are only a handful I could mention alongside BSG. Those would be The Expanse, The Westworld, The first season of Altered Carbon, the miniseries ,surprisingly, from Netflix called Love, Death & Robots. There are older ones that are more lighthearted, that I would not necessarily put in the same bag, but still can recommend, All of the Stargate series, Farscape, and Star Treks. I think there is definitely more, but they are escaping my memory at this point in time.

Huge sci-fi nerd here xD And lately my sci-fi cravings have been unsatisfied and it almost feels like people don't make good shit these days anymore which is very disappointing. They even canceled Altered Carbon after season two because of lack of ratings, which was so stupid, because that show has more potential than anything I've seen being out there. They just botched it with season two not matching the thrill and the amazing cast they had in the first one. Very Ghost in The Shell vibes from that one.

Anyhow, so cool you found this show! Your review made me want to watch it again haha!

I'm a huge sci-fi fan myself and tend to re-watch most series I like. Loved the Expanse so far. I need to check out Westworld, people keep recommending that one and I keep spacing it. Altered Carbon and Love, Death & Robots are a couple I'll have to look into to. Adding them to my todo list.

Good sci-fi is rare these days. It seems Hollywood is churning out a lot of garbage, but a lot of the smaller productions from Amazon, Netflix and other streaming services are raising the bar on decent productions. That's my opinion at least.

Ghost in The Shell

One of my all time favorites!


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Love this might have to watch it again now….it’s brilliant




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it’s brilliant

Thought the same thing. Probably one of the most thought provoking fictions I've watched in a really long time!

maybe I will watch it again lol

Do “The Expanse” next!

I'm a big fan of that one too!

Smart TV we can watch everything from it.

Yup, there's a lot there.

exactly it opens up many interesting things for us ta

One of the best TV Series EVER!
Watched it through at least 3 times now.

Yeah, I'll probably give it another run in the future. I tend to re-watch any series I like. Did that with Game of Thrones and Vikings too.