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December 10, 2003

Galactica Redux

Posted by Mike on December 10, 2003 9:44 AM

So, that "Cattlecar Galaxica" title in the previous entry is a reference to the MAD Magazine parody of the original "Battlestar Galactica" (July '79 issue). Someone on a Yahoo! group posted the text of the entire parody, of which this is part:

STARBUFF: Here come the Cyclones!! Let's defend ourselves!
ATHINNER: Starbuff! Something very *strange* just happened! I fired ONE Zucchini missile, and FOUR Cyclone Raider Ships exploded into bits!
STARBUFF: That's because our missiles are armed with deadly "Hollywood Movie Logic"! It's a highly advanced form of the same "Logic" that lets ONE Cowboy bullet kill TWENTY Indians! This is the part of the show that the viewers really turn on to... the fantastic space battles! Let me pick out some stunning effects for them.

I was involved in a conversation recently about the nature of satire and parody in which the assertion was made that "satire is the humor of age and experience." And while it makes sense that our taste for satire will grow as we accrete more experiences to which we can apply it, MAD certainly did a good job of giving a lot of kids a taste for it early on.

There aren't a lot of things about which I say this, but I would love to have my old stack of MAD magazines back.

Finding that text also reminded me why the fans who've gone into total conniptions over the Galactica remake are probably not getting all fundamentalist over the right things: That show was awful. It worked for me when I was ten or eleven and desperately wanted anything that was even a little like "Star Wars." I remember the grown-ups around me watching the pilot episode, shouting out alternate dialog and hooting at the screen. I thought they just didn't get it. But criminy! By the time the series got to the "Apollo crash lands on the planet where it looks like the old west and he has to fight a Cylon fast-draw expert who hangs out at the saloon," well, I think I was beginning to get both MAD and my parents' point.

My own savage fan fundamentalism, by the way, is perfectly reasonable and not at all to be questioned.