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IFDB Review: Battlestar Galactica Brothers of Man:
#1
When asked when did U.S. television sci-fi storytelling grow-up, when did it the move beyond simple episodic tales and into bolder, grander, epic serialized novels for TV, what would you say? Babylon 5? Farscape? Deep Space Nine? I would argue NO to all of those choices. The pioneer of serialized American tv sci-fi was the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA way back in 1978! That's right, the show many now consider cheesy because of disco attire, casino planets and fuzzy robot dogs, was the trailblazer of giant ensemble casts with season length continuing story lines and the weaving of rich space opera mythology! Think about it, with the exception of day time soaps (Dallas premiered also in 1978), serialized storytelling was a rarity on American Network TV. The vast majority of network shows introduced and neatly resolved their conflicts within 50 minutes with little change to the status quo and seldom referenced past episodes so the series could be shown in any order later in syndication. But not Battlestar Galactica. Right out of the gate it was different. Different from any tv sci-fi show before it and definitely different from any other show on tv at the same time. It treated sci-fi in a fairly serious manner, it had incredible production values, a fantastic cast and, for the most part of its single season, very strong writing. But it was also a heavily serialized show, though I don't think the writers/producers or network ever intended it to be that way. But that is how it evolved. It began as a quest show, and with each episode the mythology of the series grew, main characters died, new ones joined, past events were constantly referenced and elements introduced in an early episode would pay off in a later one. Yes, the show was written as escapist fantasy, and you can watch many of the episodes out of sequence. But if you actually watch them in order, you see this wonderfully complex tapestry unfolding before you. Which brings us to David Kerin's latest BSG fan edit, THE BROTHERS OF MAN -- this edit combines 3 episodes from the tail end of the first season, Greetings From Earth (originally a 2 hour episode special), Baltar's Escape and Experiment In Terra. In these episodes we see the coming together of several story subplots that been running through the series and the return of many past characters. In particular, the Galactican's hunt for Earth is addressed, but we also see connections to past episodes like War of the Gods, Fire in Space and The Living Legend. While this edit has a definite 3 act structure feel to it, the over arching story connects almost seamlessly and lends itself nicely to the epic nature of the narrative. To tie these 3 episodes together, David has created completely new bookend scenes with new CGI FX and new dialogue. For classic BSG fans, this fan edit is a fun present that ties all the major first season plots together in a cohesive and entertaining way. I highly recommend it.

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