Battlestar Galactica has been on our screens since the dawn of time…or, like, since 1978. The 2003 reboot, starring some of our guests at London Film and Comic Con, was a hit, and ran for four seasons, beginning with a mini-series. It has some of the most well-developed characters and story arcs in sci-fi, and watching feels like living another life.
Edward James Olmos took on the role of Admiral William Adama. The commander of the Battlestar Galactica, Adama takes on his duty to protect the last of humanity with all his heart. He spent four seasons striving to save us all, and ultimately failing. He goes from proud leader to broken man during his journey, but comes out of the other side stronger than ever. From trusting a newly-discovered Cylon in their midst in order to save the ship, to finding what they think is Earth and discovering it is an uninhabitable planet, it is little wonder that this character hit rock-bottom. Impeccably acted by Olmos, Adama has one of the most extreme character developments of the show.
Jamie Bamber plays Adama’s son, Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama, a viper pilot on the Galactica. He is popular amongst his peers, and is a good leader with a strong moral compass. His relationship with his Father is strained throughout the show for several reasons, perhaps the biggest being the loss of his brother Zak. Apollo believes his Father favoured Zak, and pushed him into following in his footsteps, which resulted in his death. Apollo respects his Father’s command, but is also a trusted advisor to the President, and often sides with her. Apollo has a close but volatile relationship with Starbuck, who was engaged to his late brother. They alternate between affection and violence, and often spar. Watching the two act on screen together is like watching perfection.
Katee Sackhoff stars as the aforementioned Captain Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace. Starbuck is a spirited woman with an attitude problem, and has managed to maintain her position due to her excellent skills as a pilot, despite the chip on her shoulder. A tomboy, Starbuck likes to be the best at everything, and lords her skill over anyone who will listen. She is seen as one of the boys, and spends most of her time with the group, playing cards and drinking. Starbuck also has a special place in Adama’s heart, as his honorary daughter-in-law. Originally played by a man in the 70’s series, the switch to a female character was a genius idea, and Sackhoff plays her impeccably.
James Callis rocks onto the screen as famous scientist Dr Gaius Baltar. Gaius is possibly the most convoluted character of the show, and first makes a splash in the mini-series with his doomed relationship with Number Six. You can’t blame the guy really. Gorgeous blonde showering him with the attention he’s become accustomed to. Who wouldn’t give up classified defence department documents. No? Just him then. His actions result in the attack which almost wipes out the human race. He is put to work on Galactica, where he is attempting to develop a test to determine who is a Cylon, when they discover that the enemy has taken human form. While working on the ship, he continues to see Six and to discuss a wide range of topics with her. He assumes he is going mad when no one else can see her. The decision to keep her as the devil on his shoulder was quite possibly one of the best that writer Ronald. D. Moore made during the series. Gaius loves the sound of his own voice and has a tendency to exaggerate to cover the gaps in his knowledge. He is one of those characters you love to hate.
While Battlestar was put to bed after four seasons, it is a show which remains current, and the intricate writing and epic story arc will always be politically relevant. Come and meet the stars at London Film and Comic Con.
By Danielle Allen