First year necessary?
December 12, 2006 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Battlestar Galactica question. The mini-series, season 1, 2, etc.?

My wife and I like to watch TV shows on DVD before going to sleep. I would say our favorites our House and Carnivale. I am aware of the buzz around Battlestar Galactica and feel as though we would enjoy it.
So, is it necessary or beneficial to watch the mini-series first? Can we skip to season two and not miss much? Because, here's the catch. My wife is not that good with English and she needs subtitles or dubbing in Spanish to fully understand and enjoy. The mini-series and season 2 have Spanish, the first year does not. If we can jump into the second year and enjoy the series just as well, that may be the way to go. If we need all of the background to really enjoy it, we are still going to miss the first season. So what are your thoughts?
posted by dances_with_sneetches to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Certainly watch the mini. It would be a shame to miss season one, but each episode has a "Previously on Battlestar Galactica..." intro that reminds you of the largest plot points.

I'm surprised they don't have Spanish subtitles. The description of the DVDs on netflix says they do.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:02 AM on December 12, 2006

My copy of the DVDs for the first season have subtitles in Spanish. Are you looking at Amazon? It's just not listed there for some reason.

It's the sort of show where you really need to watch it in order from the beginning.
posted by BackwardsCity at 9:05 AM on December 12, 2006

Season one is really a great season... You are going to watch the whole thing again at least a few times anyhow.
posted by bigmusic at 9:05 AM on December 12, 2006

Both IMDb and Netflix list season one as having spanish subtitles.
posted by JigSawMan at 9:06 AM on December 12, 2006

And yes yes yes watch the mini-first. I got addicted a few months ago and watched the whole thing at once over a few days. I was very glad to have watched the mini.

Also, rent Firefly if it has subtitles. GOD it's good.
posted by The Bellman at 9:08 AM on December 12, 2006

Quick note: the Season 1 dvd contains the mini series (it was the pilot). And the pilot was one awesome episode of sci-fi, with the rest of the series as excellent as well. The break between season 1 and 2 is small in terms of plot points, so I'd suggest watching season 1, then 2.
posted by cschneid at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2006

I think you can skip over a lot of season one if it's too frustrating without the spanish. But you'll want to watch the last two episodes at least. "Kobol's Last Gleaming" parts one and two ends on a cliff-hanger that is the set-up for the first 4 or 5 episodes of season two.
posted by saffry at 9:11 AM on December 12, 2006

cschneid: Are you sure the season one DVD has the mini? According to netflix Season 1 Disk 1 stars with "33", which was the first episode of the series, but not the mini.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:19 AM on December 12, 2006

On Netflix, the miniseries has it's own listing. So definitely get that because you won't get it on the Netflix Season 1 Disk 1.
posted by stefnet at 9:30 AM on December 12, 2006

The first series episode is pretty confusing if you don't know what's up. It's also not slow like a typical pilot.
posted by smackfu at 9:31 AM on December 12, 2006

Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far is "a one-hour recap special of the first 2 seasons of Battlestar Galactica that was aired repeatedly on the Sci-Fi Channel in August/September 2006, leading up to the Season 3 premiere. The special summarizes 'the story so far' for prospective new viewers."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:39 AM on December 12, 2006

The first disc of the season 1 box set is the miniseries -- absolutely, definitely. Netflix might list it seperately, but if you purchase the season 1 box set, then you will have the miniseries and season 1.

Yes, you need to watch the miniseries.

Yes, you need to watch season 1.

Yes, you need to watch season 2.

Yes, you need to watch them in order.

and yes, you would also enjoy Firefly. Very, very much.
posted by somanyamys at 10:03 AM on December 12, 2006

Response by poster: Seen Firefly, enjoyed Firefly. I know some are wild about it, but I thought it went from brilliant episode to so-so episode.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:22 AM on December 12, 2006

Response by poster: and thanks for the thoughts. I guess the site I was looking at left out subtitle listing for season one, so it may not be necessary to miss any.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:39 AM on December 12, 2006

Yes, watch them all, starting with the miniseries. I watched "The Story So Far" before jumping into Season Three, and...well, it wasn't completely useless, but I spent all my time watching Season's One and Two going "Oh my God! I get it now! Whoa!"

Also, don't watch everything in a month, like I did. I think I missed a lot of detail, and the series as a whole is not exactly the most uplifting thing on television; I got a little moody/depressed after long marathons.
posted by kalimac at 10:40 AM on December 12, 2006

My copy of the Season 1 DVD's includes the mini.

I think the mini can be skipped, but it would be better to watch it. Definitely do no skip Season 1 if you can at all help it.
posted by stevis23 at 10:42 AM on December 12, 2006

The version of Season 1 I have does not have the pilot, we got that separate. The pilot is seriously good, higher production values than the series. The series is still very good. I didn't expect to be impressed, I rarely like remakes. I was very impressed.
posted by Goofyy at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2006

If you didn't want to follow the (wonderful) advice listed here, there is a free (iTunes) hour 'catch-up' episode that summarizes the series and characters up through the current season (3).
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:14 AM on December 12, 2006

There were two versions of the Season 1 DVD set - one with the miniseries, one without. Neither one is labelled differently (e.g. something like "special edition") so I don't know if there's a way to tell which one Netflix has.

It will take you much longer to figure out what's going on if you skip either the miniseries or season 1, but I don't think it will ruin it. However, I'd say don't skip anything if at all possible, because it's so good.

Don't let the Firefly comparisons dissuade you if you weren't crazy about it. They're completely different.
posted by Sibrax at 11:44 AM on December 12, 2006

I can tell you that the miniseries isn't part of the first season 1 disc from Netflix, because my husband and I just watched all of the Battlestar Galactica material (pre-Season 3) via Netflix this past spring and summer in preparation for Season 3.
posted by nekton at 11:55 AM on December 12, 2006

Netflix (at least as of three months ago) sends the miniseries separately, but with confusing labels. Not realizing there was a miniseries, we ordered Season One. The first disc we received was marked "Season 1: Disc 2". Grrr, I thought, so I sent it back, made sure the first disc of Season 1 was at the top of my queue....and received "Season 1: Disc 2" again. Then I read the sub-subtitle, which is "Disc 1 of Season 1 Content" - the miniseries ships as "Season 1: Disc 1".

I couldn't agree more that you should watch the whole series, start to finish, without skipping anything. There are some stinkers (Litmus and Black Market, in particular - ugh), but overall, it's a fine, fine piece of TV.

And when you're done watching an episode, read the recap on Television Without Pity to find out all the little stuff you missed. Warning sirens though - when you pick Battlestar Galactica from their drop-down menu, the default sorting is newest-to-oldest and each link has a one-sentence summary of the episode. I inadvertently read what happened on the Season 2 final when we were only halfway through Season 1. Everyone reading this that's already watched just groaned in pity for me.
posted by brozek at 6:02 PM on December 12, 2006

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