I Need a Time Machine … and a Shovel

When I was but a wee young thing, discovering the worlds of Star Wars and Star Trek, I was also starting to discover this big thing called the internet. And the internet was full of chat forums with other people who liked to talk about fandoms.

I ended up spending most of my time on the TrekBBS (eventually in the Neutral Zone, which no longer exists) and I think it was there that I first, naïvely asked about this thing I’d heard about called “Battlestar Galactica.”

Back then, there was only the old series, none of this new-fangled stuff. Frame of reference would be 8-11 years ago, closer to 10. I was only 13-15ish and in retrospect I probably should have found BSG fans and asked them why they liked it vs. asking the Trekkies. But I was a Trekkie and figured they’d probably steer me right.

*cue fail buzzer* I remember one guy in particular who vehemently protested against it. It was terrible, I’d hate it, it was a dual rip-off trying to be Star Wars and Star Trek at the same time. It was everything that’s wrong with Star Wars, but much longer.

“Ok, ok,” my younger self responded. “Not worth it, then. There’s plenty of Trek I need to catch up on.” I pushed it aside and shrugged off any other suggestions that I watch it.

Fast-forward to this year. I’ve been meaning to watch the new BSG for a while, once the series ended. I’ve heard good things about this one. I decide to start with Caprica, since that was airing live. I loved it. Then I watch 1st season BSG.

I was totally blown away (not why I need the time machine and the shovel). The first season was fantastic. It was just what I love in sci-fi (plot-driven vs. episodic), nuanced, frightening, touching…a fantastic bit of television.

While waiting for the second season to arrive from a nearby library, I decide to check out Hulu and see if I can find any specials without spoilers. Hulu’s auto-fill suggests both “Battlestar Galactica” and “Battlestar Galactica Classic.”

“Classic,” eh? I’ve got a little time. I steel myself the way I do when rewatching Star Trek: TOS. This may suck awfully but I’m still going to watch at least the first third of the pilot.

By the end of the hour, I’m even more blown away than before. Is the classic series as good as the new one? I don’t think so. Is it vastly superior to ST: TOS? I have to reserve judgment until I finish watching it since I’m not yet there. But early impressions are putting BSG in the lead. There are some things that TOS has that it won’t. But it’s amazing.

Dated? Yes. Occasionally awkward? Yes. Poor special effects? I think it beats TOS pretty soundly in that one even if it can’t measure up to modern standards. Good acting? Sometimes. Incredibly fun to watch? YES.

And that is why I need the time machine and the shovel. I’m going back in time to track down that guy and make sure that he never steers me or another young sci-fi fan so horribly wrong.

I’m glad I watched so much Trek, I’m even kind of glad I waited this long to watch BSG. But I’m sad that I had such wrong opinions of it for so long. I’ll probably also have a word with young teen me about letting other peoples’ opinions influence whether you even try things.

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Postscript. Has anyone ever Googled their screenname from 10 years ago? I’m not going to say what my screenname was, but I actually found a reference to me when I was writing this & Googled to find out what happened to The Neutral Zone. Not in the TrekBBS either, but on Troll Kingdom where most of us TNZers had accounts too because there was a war going on between forums. It was very weird and conjured up memories that made me want to retcon my teen years away.

3 Comments

  1. Rosalind says:

    Yeah, I missed out on things back in the day too, mostly because my reference was my dad, who is awesome about most sci fi, but picky. Glad you got into the new BSG though, It ended up being an incredible series! I think you’ll continue to love it!
    .-= Rosalind´s last blog ..Weekly Link Goodness =-.

  2. GeekInsight says:

    I didn’t have this problem as much. My folks weren’t all that geeky, so I just jumped into everything I heard about from other sources. While that means I did watch/read some less-than-epic material, I was also able to enjoy both Star Trek and Star Wars without realizing there was a rivalry. Ah, my naive youth…
    .-= GeekInsight´s last blog ..Review: Gloom – A Merry Game of Macabre Delights =-.

  3. Ruth says:

    @Rosalind my parents were great for books but only knew that they maybe liked Star Trek. Dad liked Star Wars. So at least those two were allowed to coexist. Dad also likes Twilight. I now question his sanity.

    @Geek Insight one thing I’m glad of was that I also managed to bridge that Wars/Trek divide, even though I knew there was a rivalry. I just said “Psh” because I really liked both. :)

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