I grew up without a telephone in the house. We didn't get one until I was about 15 years old. I can't ignore a ringing phone. I just can't. It's like torture. And if I'm in the middle of sex, even if I've ignored the phone, it's ruined the mood for me.
Telephones never used to bother me, until that fateful period at Alternate Worlds where the new X-Men title was coming out. For a couple of months before, the phone calls became more and more frequent, all asking the same question - "When's the new X-men due out?"
The last three weeks, the phone ran hot. There was literally not more than a five minutes between calls, and in the last week, I would hang up on one call and the phone would ring again within one to two minutes, if not almost immediately. All the same fucking question! To make it worse, I had a bunch of people who were ringing every god damned day!
Then Marvel delayed release by another two weeks.
This is common practice in comics. You delay something that you're hoping will be hot so that people are talking about it in the comic shops. It's effectively free advertising. Of course the side effect in this case was it upped the amount of calls I was receiveing. I started to swear every time the phone rang, it was impossible to get my work done. I couldn't pass on the calls to bunnikins, Critter or Paul, because then they wouldn't be able to serve properly at the counter with the phone ringing every other minute. I was out the back, it made more sense for me to answer the phone.
At one point bunnikins, bless her cotton socks, insisted on taking on phone duties to give me a break at least through lunch. We discovered over a few days that this didn't work, so I started leaving the phone off the hook while I ate.
Eventually the damned comic came out.
But the lasting effect has been that I fucking hate a ringing phone. I don't mind people ringing me, I like talking to my friends, but between the point where the phone starts ringing, and when I actually get to hear who is on the other end, much swearing takes place. Especially if I'm watching something with Sharon, or eating.
It's why I didn't want a mobile, even though I knew they'd be useful. The idea that people could ring me anywhere just does not sit well. However, having the mobile gives me regular contact with Sharon and Kali, so I'm willing to put up with it.
What can I say? I adore the new series utterly, and as I wrote about here, I still maintain that in the context of its production difficulties and when it was made, the original Battlestar Galactica was a bloody good bit of telly. Yes, the new series craps on it in terms of drama, effects, etc. But if this new series had been made back in '79 it would have had all the same constraints - time, money, network interference - that hurt the original series. And remember, building on the original series allowed the new Battlestar to take some risks and do some things it couldn't have otherwise done.
What I want to say is, I think both series deserve credit. I love'em both for different reasons. The original for managing to be as good as it was in very difficult circumstances, their every brave or dangerous move hampered by the writing style of the period, and ultimately eliminated by either the network or the broadcast standards of the time, not to mention lack of money. The new series for pushing the levels of television drama, and for being brave enough not to simply be a hackneyed revamp of the original. New Battlestar has firmly established itself as its own series, even as it continues to honour its roots.
For those that haven't watched it, or have been frightened off by it being Battlestar Galactica, I'll give you my initial impressions of the first chunk of episodes, then my overall feel for the series.
The miniseries - Crap. Utter shite. Made me not want to watch the series, it was that bad. I gave it a rewatch when I was ready to try and watch the series, hated it just as much. I found the plotting and set-ups awkward and aspects of the production (editing, direction and acting) really variable. As completist as I am, I wouldn't bother owning this.
The first five episodes of season one - a definite improvement. Some interesting stuff happens and the characters are moved forward, but these five episodes are basically a good reworking of some of the themes and ideas touched on or dealt with in the originals series. While it works well, it doesn't add anything new to the format. So, enjoyable, but still nothing special.
Episode 6 - Litmus - this is where, for me, New Battlestar turned the corner from being a clever remake of the original series to very much establishing its own identity. A very important, intelligent, and well-written story, this is where I feel the new series truly begins. And compared to some of what follows, it's a drop in the ocean.
As the series progresses, characters make decisions that bite them in the arse. They suffer. They make hard choices that, even when they are the right ones, still have to be lived with. People are changed by what they go through, and not all for the better. There are times when the Cylons are seen to be more noble in intent than man, though just as flawed when it comes to application. It's set a new benchmark, not just for science fiction television, but for tv drama.
The original series was a sci-fi adventure that featured man on the run from Cylons. The new series is that and so much more. I think seanwilliams summed it up best when he said 'It's about how war fucks people up.'
If you haven't checked it out, do yourself a favour and do so. You won't regret it.