For all those who love NBC’s smash Heroes who haven’t tried Battlestar Galactica, why not? So in a Scooter-like toss up challenege, I’m going to show that the two shows are not that different, except one is far better quality television.
The biggest hurdle: Suspended Reality
This is the one point that makes me cringe the hardest: viewers who adore Heroes but the second they hear the words “battlestar” or “galactica” they envision light sabers and enterprises and immediately disregard it as some cheesy graphic, clone sci-fi show.
Heroes: thousands of people across the globe have superpowers and a giant conspiracy to keep them secret
BSG: the last known humans in the universe, about 40,000, stay one step ahead of the human-like robots, Cylons, who are trying to wipe them out and find Earth first. And they have a plan.
Graphics & Gadgets
Heroes: the nuclear fight between future Sylar and future Peter rocked and I’m usually please and grossed out by Claire’s regeneration.
BSG: speaking of nuclear, those are the only big daddy weapons that Galactica is packing. And while their technology is clearly ahead of our own (Cylons, faster than light speeds), it’s still within natural laws of physics. Unless you’re talking about that whole Cylon death process but who understands that besides Three? Which leads us to:
Heroes: Since Hiro can time travel, is it safe to assume that the Heroes have always been around? And what about the multiple conspiracies?
BSG: A few ancient prophecies which borrow loosely from Moromism, and the Cylons are monotheistic. But this is just one more way in the real life metaphor fits…
Life Metaphors and Lessons
Heroes: racism, fitting in, being different. Classic X-Men motifs.
BSG: if you miss the gigantic war metaphor, you’re just not paying attention. Also, genocide, what it means to be human, sacrifices for survival.
Coolest Fight Scene so far:
Heroes: My vote is Future Sylar v Future Peter. Because the finale was anti-climatic after that.
BSG: The Exodus off of New Caprica. Galactica Falling Like a Rock. And Pegasus picks up the spare. Two of the most beautiful hours of BSG since “33”.
Heroes: Nikki/Jessica. Sure she’s got strength, but she argues with herself a lot and cries.
BSG: Starbuck. How many Cylon beatings will she have to give and take before the world sings her praises? I’d put money on her taking any other TV character hands down. Bauer who? Girl’s got ‘tude. (Can’t *wait* to see her on Bionic Woman! Then the world will see the greatness of Katee Sackhoff)
Heroes: Micah! Aw, Micah. So much smarter than your parents.
BSG: Hera the half ‘n half. I hope you amount to something in this last season…
Heroes: Peter, Sylar, Mohinder
BSG: Apollo, Helo, Anders
Heroes: It takes at least four episodes for something to happen. Zzzzzzz
BSG: Of three years plus the three hour miniseries, there are only about four snoozer episodes. You know who you are Woman King…
Heroes: Gotta love Greg Grunberg.
BSG: Ok, Heroes definitely takes this category. There are very few laughs, but it’s hard when the subject matter is this intense.
Heroes: NBC has launched themselves into the digital age with online viewings and cast commentaries from the PC. Plus there are the comics, which is just cool.
BSG: Sci Fi, also owned by NBC, keeps BSG rocking with the webisodes last summer and Ron Moore’s excellent podcast commentaries which occasionally feature cast members.
To Infinity and Beyond
Heroes: Only time and a superb sophomore season will prove if Heroes has staying power.
BSG: This is the last season which stinks and this technically is the remake from the 70s series, though the two don’t share that much in common. But I think BSG has the same staying power that say, Firefly has, in that beloved, cult status that will never fade.
In short, I don’t hate on Heroes, I just think Battlestar Galactica deserves much more attention. New episodes of BSG don’t start until January 08, so there is plenty of time to rent dvds, download from iTunes or read excellent recaps on GMMR from yours truly to catch up. Also there’s a two hour TV movie coming in November to provide some back story on the first colonial war.