Let me be the first to write an English review (that also isn't a synopsis!) on the best remake of any television show on our screens.
The old series was dated and by far a cosmic fantasy. It didn't hold any form of realism that we could relate too. It was too far out there. It was more or less appealing to my innocence and naivety. The re-imagined BSG does not.
It was pure chance that I started watching the show. I saw a teaser trailer for the second season which depicted the mystery of the Cylons. My natural curiosity overwhelmed me to make more sense of it! I knew from the original that they were aliens hellbent on human extinction but the whole human dimension that RDM has introduced gave them a more soulful depth and genuine motivation which really has achieved wonders.
As RDM put it, the Cylons studied humanity and said "You know what? There's really only 12 of you." So by that someone created 12 distinct humanoid models as archetypes and mockeries of our species. This categorisation allured me to the mystery of who these 12 models (which was revealed over time) are and how obvious their 'archetypes' were. It isn't as easy as you think!
God(s) created humans.
Humans created cylons.
Cylons rebelled against humans.
Also, humans rebelling against God (due to atheism and polytheism etc.)
Its a story about finding your true path and that you shouldn't be defined by who made you. The survivors of the 12 colonies are on their way to find the legendary lost planet and home of the 13th tribe, Earth. So unlike other sci-fi stories where Earth is just around the next asteroid belt, this is a journey to it! We don't know when the Colonials will arrive or what condition it will be in but thats why the show is so enticing to watch.
The characters also bring a magnificent parallel to the story. Even though they should be working to meet the same ends, their own prejudices and consciences just conflict every step of the way. This isn't just Human vs. Cylon; both races have their own sects who directly oppose each other. This internal strife is integral to the growth of certain characters, namely Lee Adama.
Lee "Apollo" Adama is a great character in regards to realisation and conflict. The fact that he has no defined allegiance to one side or the other but has outstanding moral judgement allows him to be the compass in their journey to the truth. The entire colonial civilsation is in ruins and people like him make those initial brave steps to rebuilding an already destroyed society. His defence of Gaius Baltar is one of the most memorable scenes for the entire series for me!
I have only seen Olmos in Blade Runner which was a minimal role at that but he literally couldn't have been second-guessed as the Admiral of the Fleet. His lack of optimism, secular and unenthusiastic portrayal really screams home to me. Although he isn't particular dark, he has that deepness that only a true leader can manifest. His right hand man, Colonel Tigh, also creates a darker side to the fold through his merciless quips, prejudices and addiction to various vices. His and Adama's companionship reminds me of a Professor X-Magneto style connection that has my utmost respect.
The overly large cast also aids to the enjoyment of the show. The majority of background characters generally have a name, a story and at the very least a personality. Each one usually ends up with a story which is integral to the overarcing theme of the series. Appreciating the little guys gives the show more life. You can't keep recycling stories for the main 7 characters! That has been done too many times in the past for many TV Series'. Gradually introducing and expanding on minor/recurring characters is one of my favourite aspects of television shows of late. Because they are usually the better ones and it also gives the story multiple directions!
The show covers too many themes to go into but each episode is heavily layered with digs at Americanisms and western soceity. I personally like it for its portrayal and not its sardonic messages. You can take it or leave it mate!
The show will be finished by the end of the year (2009) with the Colonials and Cylons struggle coming to a prolific and monumentous end! It really is going to be a big finish. I can feel it. Catch up now before its too late.