You can’t go home again. I’ve head this phrase many times and it is true you can’t. Everything you remember when you were a kid is a lot different now your an adult. While nostalgia is a wonderful thing it can blind you to stories, to reimagines that vastly improve or build upon mythos of the original, never let yourself get stuck in the past, it closes the mind and you miss wonders you can never imagine.
For example I will choose Battlestar Galactica a franchise that has fairly recently ended a critically acclaimed series with some amazing writing, dynamic characters, based on what all intents and purposes was a show made to cash in on the Star Wars craze. When the original show aired back in 1978 it was one the most expensive shows on TV and Glenn Larson gave a show that had a dark undercurrent that slowly as the show developed got stripped away, and turned into a pure kids show. I remember watching this when I was a kid and totally blown away by the Vipers, the huge Battlestar and good vs evil story, it was a cartoon given life and I loved it. Sure in the end it got campy, you almost expected the Cylons to do the Can-Can during the Pegasus episode, and I think we only saw glimpses of what Glenn Larson wanted to bring. It was good clean family fun.
Re-watching the series almost thirty years later with my kids, the show hasn’t aged that well, while I appreciated the innocent fun of it, I had forgotten how it dragged in places, that some of the writing didn’t really make sense, if the bad guys were this bad and the good guys this competent, where was the threat? Sure it was that live-action cartoon that I remembered complete with repeating stock footage, but this was a show that was in a prime-time slot when it was first released it lacked the meat it promised with all those wonderful Star Log ads.
It did birth the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, which I nicknamed sweaty sci-fi, that took the concept of the show turned it on its head and I think delivered on those promises that Glenn Larson tried to put in the original. Ron Moore took risks, changed the concept of the Cylons, changed around gender on key characters (did you know Katee Sackhoff played Starbuck three times longer than Dirk Benedict – so who is the real Starbuck?) and wrote a show, that well… Was surprisingly good. It delivered on that adult BSG that the original wasn’t allowed to do, it was gritty and a real palpable sense that humanity was running for its life against an implacable relentless foe. It was different show, with some nice salutes to the original, it was what BSG should of been from the very beginning in the 70’s.
I am of the opinion that those that write off the re-imagined series as badly done retread of the original, never, ever watched an episode of the new series and rejected it out of hand. Perhaps it was snobbery? Or a refusal to except something new. After all beyond the name it was never mean’t to be the original, it was mean’t to be something different and the show managed that in spades. So we in essence we now have two BSG shows, a live action 70’s cartoon and an adult drama with thought provoking writing. Plus we now have Bryan Singer talking about a third incarnation of BSG in movie form, proving that this franchise is turning Gundam like with all its alternative universes.
Just like the G1 Transformers cartoon that amazed you when you were a child, but now is a pretty badly done piece of animation viewed through the eyes of an adult, you can’t go home again. Nostalgia is just that, a little bit of fun, mostly harmless, but no reason to write off something new… So say we all…