25th Nov2014

‘Battlestar Galactica Vault’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Written by Paul Ruditis | Published by Aurum Press | Format: Hardback, 176pp


For over thirty years, science-fiction fans have been enthralled by Battlestar Galactica and the captivating saga of humanity’s war with the chilling Cylons. From its innovative special effects to its controversial storylines, the franchise has fascinated generations of viewers. Now, drawing on unique insights from the original producer, Glen A. Larson, and exclusive interviews with David Eick and Ronald D. Moore – creators of the series’ acclaimed reimagining – Battlestar Galactica Vault offers a complete visual history of the show’s evolution, from 1978’s ‘Saga of a Star World’ to spin-­offs Caprica and Blood & Chrome.

Billed as the complete history of the series from 1978-2012, Battlestar Galactica Vault is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes images: including concept artworks by legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie; annotated scripts and storyboards; candid behind-the-scenes photography; and ten meticulously reproduced pieces of memorabilia for readers to remove and examine.

Many people become obsessed with television shows, whether it be Star Trek, Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or many of the others out there.  One of these fantasy shows that has remained popular over the decades has been Battlestar Galactica, in both its original and re-imagined form.  Now in Battlestar Galactica Vault: The Complete History of the Series 1978-2012 (to give the book it’s full title) by Paul Ruditis we can look back at the show and what happened behind the scenes.

Looking at the show using the insights of Glen A. Larson and the re-imagining’s creators David Eick and Ronald D. Moore is interesting, especially when we look at the difference between the two.  Over the decades times change and events that take place in the world change the way we view things and this is something that happened with Battlestar Galactica, with Eick and Moore explaining that September 11th changed the show they were making, a show that would become the most popular version while still paying respect to the original.

Battlestar Galactica is a show that has had a huge impact on the science fiction community, first with the idea of actually recreating a treasured show and the changing of the characters that inhabit the universe the shows create.  Starbuck first played by Dirk Benedict then by Katee Sackhoff for example was one of the most contentious changes, that is of course until she became arguably the most popular and important character to the new form of the show.  This is one of the strengths of Battlestar Galactica though, it’s willing to change and adapt to the changing world around it and be willing to take the risks that sometimes don’t work.

In the Battlestar Galactica Vault Paul Ruditis looks at both the original and the re-imagined show and gives them equal importance, never looking down at the original as a show that may or may not have stood the test of time.  While the original show may be something of a nostalgically loved piece of television history, it still hasn’t fully been eclipsed by the behemoth that the re-imagined version became.  It’s interesting to read what each version of the show was envisioned as, what themes affect them and also the religious elements behind a lot of the mythology that the show is built upon.  The battle between humanity and the Cylons is far from a simplistic excuse to have futuristic dog fights through space, there is a deeper meaning there to be enjoyed.

As well as the analysis of the show there are also some nice little additions to the book like script pages, posters and other little surprises for fans to enjoy.  This just adds to the fun of the book which takes a lighter and interesting approach to the show instead of getting bogged down in what could be an over-complicated look at the universe of the show.  Paul Ruditis is looking at why the show is so loved and what makes it a success, giving just the right level of information to not overload us with details.

Fans of Battlestar Galactica will obviously love Battlestar Galactica Vault, though they will probably already know everything that is included in the book.  For fans who don’t though, and people who want to read the background to their favourite show this is a very enjoyable book that if anything could be a very nice stocking filler for Christmas.

Battlestar Galactica Vault is out now from Aurum Press.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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