I watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica this week.

A couple of years ago, I stopped by Fry's Electronics to pick up a new keyboard and discovered that the World's Worst Electronic Store had started selling gas masks. 'Cuz you know we're supposed to be stocking survival kits in case of terrorist attack, and Fry's wouldn't want to miss out on that market. I didn't buy one, of course, because I didn't want to trust my post-apocalyptic safety to a store where the return counter was usually busier than the checkout line.

So, anyway, I watched a six-hour marathon of the new Battlestar Galactica on Sci Fi Channel today. Six hours of robot-instigated end-of-civilization angst made me wonder what I'm supposed to put in the survival kit for alien attacks. A space suit, in case of violent decompression? A gun with armor-piercing bullets, to fight the killer robots? A copy of the collected works of Shakespeare, just in case nobody else remembers to save the Western Canon when we're all fleeing the planet?

Ah, who am I kidding? I don't own the collected works of Shakespeare. If the end comes, I'm going to be the weird guy who saves the Dungeon Master's Guide and Coming of Age in Samoa.

I liked the Galactica mini-series in 2003, and I like the new regular series, too. It's still a rather grim show (they make the end of civilization seem a lot more tramatic than the original series did), but it's aiming for a grown-up audience. (I don't think any other science fiction show on the air right now would have opened the show with a sequence jumping between so many points of view, like Galactica did.) I'm a grown-up audience, most of the time.

(Since I've mentioned the original series, I should confess: I may have been a little hard on it. Sci Fi marathoned the whole thing during the week, so I watched a bunch. (I'm barely employed, so I can block out time to watch a lot of TV.) They aren't all as dumb as I remembered them. A few of the episodes that avoided the "planet of the week" cliché tried to develop the characterizations of the main players. I actually liked a couple of the episodes, like the finale "The Hand of God".)

Of the two new episodes shown this weekend, I liked the first one best, because it focused more on the human characters. At this point, I find their lives more interesting than the Cylons'. The second episode, on the other hand, was all about one Cylon in particular. It might have been "too much, too soon", as far as that story line was concerned.

Either way, the acting's actually gotten a little better on the show -- Apollo and Starbuck were a little stiff in the miniseries, but the actors (Katiee Sackoff and Jamies Bamber) seem more comfortable with the roles now. I actually like them better in the "little scenes" (such as when they're flying through space joking about their drug use) than the big dramatic scenes. I'm actually looking forward to seeing more of those two, whereas there were scenes in the mini-series when I wished Apollo would just shut up and let the President talk some more.

Weirdness alert: While looking up those two actors in the Internet Movie Database, I discovered the new series is going to have an episode named "The Hand of God". I wonder if it's based on the original series episode I mentioned earlier? Guess I have to keep watching to find out.

Again, who am I kidding? I'm going to watch it anyway. I'm a geek. I'm usually home on Friday nights.

Posted at 11:59:00 PM EST on 16 January 2005 from Trenton, MI