If I had to choose one word to describe this miniseries it would be: uneven.
There were good moments sprinkled throughout, and the second half certainly contained more of them than the first, but I felt as if I was sent to the waiting room for long minutes at a time to wait for the next good scene. Actually that particular aspect of it was right in line with the original series, but I'm sure that was not intentional.
Edward James Olmos was excellent as the commander of the fleet. Everything the man does is excellent and his presence here certainly lent weight to the show. Some of the minor characters were very good as well, I really liked the "Chief" of the squadron.
But what about Starbuck? I realize I didn't comment on that character yesterday... I thought I'd wait for the full viewing to make my judgement.
Conclusion: Starbuck cast as a woman = very bad call.
It was just weird watching her on screen. For one thing, they miscast the role. She did not have any toughness behind her eyes... that's subtle, but it comes across. It all seemed very forced: the cigar chomping, the bad attitude, etc. She really just seemed like the butch partner in a lesbian couple.
Actually the only time I sort of liked her was once or twice when they only briefly allowed her to be vulnerable. Every other moment I kept thinking "That REALLY needs to be a guy". This was very evident in the scene where Apollo returns to the ship.
Enough of that, on to what was good:
- I really liked the "new Cylon" concept, where they appear human. Of course how they achieved that level of tech in 40 years, who knows?
- Again, the space battles were well done. A bit different than anything I'd seen before in terms of how they were shot.
- The "left behind" scene was actually somewhat emotionally gripping. It was subtle... nicely handled.
And finally, the WAY in which the decision to "run" was arrived at was much more satisfying and convincing than in the original series. The person orignally responsible for the decision and the convincing of the commander lent credence to the whole situation. In the original show they just seemed like cowards, running away from week to week. What a depressing premise for a show!
Overall, still too much sex, just for the ratings, and I don't buy the reasoning of showing that to "emphasize our humanity". They did the same garbage in Matrix Reloaded and it didn't work there either.
So all in all I'd probably give it 3 1/2 stars. Not fantastic, don't really need to watch it again, but I'm glad I saw it.
Review of Part I