Here's a clip from "A Whole New Dimension for Battlestar Galactica," Mr. Hiltbrand's article:
"They pull a lot from contemporary politics," agrees John Kenneth Muir, author of An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica. "It's ripped from the headlines. There was an Abu Ghraib torture episode. It's pretty clear these are post-9/11 Americans in space."
The show's unconventional strategy seems to be paying off. As it approaches the final episode of its second season on March 10, BSG is averaging 2.3 million viewers a week. "It's our highest-rated original series ever," says Dave Howe, executive vice president of Sci Fi. "It's also our youngest skewing series, and it's unbelievably successful internationally as well."
It's no surprise that some of the people who enjoyed the original series find the wholesale changes irksome. "It's like they're trying to poke us in the eye with every episode," says Muir, who numbers himself among the "crusty old fans." "The original show was very family-based. There were jokes about it being Bonanza in Space. It was like Lassie or Little House [on the Prairie]. It was about how families take care of each other in times of crisis."
While the characters in the '70s show were cut from a heroic mold, the new crew has issues. "What I've heard fans of the original say is that there's nobody to really like," Muir says. "People who were formerly honorable have been saddled with these soap-opera syndromes, like drinking or rage."