An Epic Inquiry (or Gosh these castaways are pretty)
When I was a boy of about 7, I fell in love with the TV show Battlestar Galactica. I am sure I understood very little of what was going on, but I vividly recall watching the television in my sisters room, wishing I could be Apollo or Starbuck, out on adventures, flying a viper, combating those evil Cylons. My kid memory has me doing this for at least three years and it took me by surprise, when years latter I learned it was only one season, less than 25 episodes. Still, whenever any station would run episodes, I would watch them, my older self still loving the sappy adventures, the poor acting.
When the remake began in 2003, I was thrilled. It was easy for me to accept a woman Starbuck, Boomer being a woman AND a cylon. The shows story-line was much better executed, a great deal darker and the lines between good and evil were blurred in a way that made the characters much more human, much more realized. As soon as I aligned myself with the humans, they would commit some horrendous act that made them detestable. The Cylons were horrible and malevolent at first, then became redeemed. I hung on every story, loved ever sub-plot.
Having just re-watched the original series, I cannot help but compare it again to the remake. I remember seeing some episodes in the 80’s and 90’s and thinking how campy and seventies everyone looked. This time through, I have come to the conclusion that that 1978 cast was pretty damn sexy. In my opinion, they compare across the board with the 2003 cast which is full of very pretty people. Lucky for the human race, the pretty ones survived.
I need your help and opinion. Which cast starred the prettiest of refugees? Look at the pictures, make a choice, let me know.
Here we have Richard Hatch who played Apollo in the ’78 series. A boy scout and a warrior. He was often impetuous and rash, but he was also the voice of reason.
Compare him with the lovely Jamie Bamber-
This Apollo had to make hard choices-obey orders (from his father) and destroy a civilian ship or not, obey orders and arrest the president in an illegal coup, or stand up for what was right. Cheat on his wife with Starbuck or…(giggle). Tough choices, I know!
Lorne Greene has those roguish good looks, combined with a distinguished demeanor. Not as rugged or decisive as his ’03 counterpart, he still commanded respect from his crew and the civilian council of which he was part. Much more religious than ’03 Adama, he never doubts his course towards Earth and is always open to the fates. And besides all that, look at that jaw line!
I think Eddie Olmos was perfect for this role. Without equal, the most badass commander in my sci-fi experience. He never backs down, is most often right, and his crew completely respects him. Even during a mutiny, those that try to dispose him, fear his power and his determination. Best quote for me -” That doesn’t matter, because when this is over, there’s gonna be a reckoning. And live or die, it’s how you act today that’s gonna matter.”
Such a pretty boy! This Starbuck was supposed to be the bad boy, living on the edge and what not. Truth is, he was never very edgy, though he did get lots of ladies. Not even close to the frak up his ’03 counterpart was, Dirk was fun loving and silly (and let’s be fair, he was very good looking). One thing both Starbucks shared was a tendency to run when things got difficult. They also both had an Apollo willing to stick their neck out to protect their closest friend.
Katee is amazing as Starbuck. Defiant, determined and tough as nails, she took the character to new levels of depravity and bravery. Dirk never had the chance to see his Starbuck mature and grow. Katee’s Starbuck was able to grow, face her fears, become a better person (angel, whatever she was), and experience a deep love that the ’78 Starbuck was only able to think about.
Herb is a third wheel most of the series. He is the ‘other’ friend of Apollo and Starbuck. He is along for the ride in many episodes, always trusting whatever plans Apollo or Starbuck are suggesting. He almost dies once, saves some crew members with his “carjacking’abilities in another episode. And don’t forget, Herb is also quite a looker.
Grace Park is a looker for sure, but ugh, she is the worst actress in either series (and that is saying something). Her portrayal of Boomer is exactly the same as her portrayal of Athena. I know they are genetically identical, but there is almost no difference in the two. She gets much more air time than Herb ever did, and she is very influential in the overall story of the ’03 version.
That is it for the pretty characters that cross over to both shows (with, as Joel points out in the comments, the exception of Baltar, who was just not very pretty in the old series, sorry John Colicos). Below are pictures of some more too pretty human refugees, giving you a chance to really compare the casts, deciding for yourself which one is more pretty.
First some minor characters from the ’78 series
Laurette Sprag played Cassiopeia and one of Starbucks love interests. She started out as a prostitute, then became a med tech.
Anne Lockhart played Sheba, the daughter of Commander Cain. I think she would have eventually been Apollo’s love interest if the show had continued.
Maren played Adama’s daughter, Athena. She also had a brief relationship with Starbuck and was a warrior in a few episodes before beingrelegated to the bridge crew for later episodes.
Jane Seymour! Oh my…She was always too good for this show, but lets be honest, how hot is she? She played Serena, a reporter on Caprica, mother of Boxy and Apollo’s wife for a few hours. She left the show for better things after being killed by a cylon centurion. Her presence alone might make the ’78 version the pretty champion!
Rick Springfield played Zac in the pilot. He gets blown to bits by the Cylons while trying to make it back to Galactica with a damaged viper. A pretty boy for sure.
And from the ’03 series-
Mary Mcdonnell is fantastic in her role as President Roslin. Later on in the series, her and Adama have an interesting romance. She had some horrible purple hair in the pilot and I was glad they let that go for the actual series. I have always found her very attractive and she did not disappoint as an actress in this series.
A perfect Baltar, never really the hero and never really the villain, James Callis was exceptional in this roll. Another very pretty refugee, even when he was greasy and over bearded, he looked good.
Tahmoh played Helo, my favorite character in either series. He was the voice of reason and humanity throughout the story. Every choice he made, even the wrong ones, were based on a belief in doing the right thing, doing what was best for the most people. He was a great father and husband and a true friend.
Micheal played Samuel Anders, Pyramid star, resistance fighter and one of Starbucks love interests. Another all around good guy, he is devoted to Starbuck, despite her wandering heart. He never stops loving her or wanting to help her. Too bad it took a bullet to his brain for Starbuck to realize any of this. Oh well, the things we take for granted, eh?
The actor who grew the most over the series, moving from being really wooden, over the top, just there because she was pretty, to often stealing the scenes she was in, Tricia Helfer played her role to it’s fullest potential. Not only did she improve her acting as Caprica 6, but her role as Head (Angel) 6 as well as various versions of the Cylon Model 6 showed her diversity and skill. Each version of the 6 model is distinctly different, moving from naive and clueless to smart and sophisticated. She is the Jane Seymour pretty of the 03 version. I am embarrassed that I forgot to include her in the first edit of this!
There they are, pretty in their pictures. Now it is time to decide. Which rag tag fugitives are the most pretty? Inquiring minds want to know. The fate of the universe may depend on this.