Above and Beyond …

So, I’ve recently started re-watching Space: Above and Beyond. And after watching the first disk, I think that:

1) It’s a better show than the revamped BSG.
2) It’s a better show than “Firefly” was.

Now, the second one is certainly controversial, and I even think that it’s a bit unfair. Firefly and Space: Above and Beyond aren’t the same type of show, and have little in common other than both being in space and both being killed by Fox after one season. The type of person who really likes the more actiony, less serious, quicker show that still has excellent characters and character dynamics and even, on occasion, drama will like Firefly better. Space: Above and Beyond has humour, but is much more serious and is indeed darker overall, and if that’s what you’re looking for you’ll prefer it. As someone who likes both, right now I’d say that I still think that Space: Above and Beyond is the better show overall, mostly because it’s better science fiction. It goes into more detail about its setting and goes out of its way to highlight what has changed and what hasn’t. Firefly’s setting is less important to it; we know that it is futuristic, but there’s not as much emphasis on it. Also, Space: Above and Beyond has characters with more relatable flaws that are still likeable, although it isn’t by much.

But, sure, that’s debatable. I don’t think there’s much debate, though, that the revamped BSG is not as good a show as Space: Above and Beyond. They are more directly comparable because they have similar tones and even similar content, but where S: AaB gives us likeable characters that still have major flaws that add drama, BSG fails to do that. And part of that is focus. S: AaB’s focus is small; we focus on one squadron of marines and their place in the big picture, while in BSG we start at the big picture and try to work down to the individuals. It’s a split of focus that doesn’t leave enough time or room to make your flawed characters seem human and likeable. Both still cover the same ground, but we get involved more with our heroes than BSG delivered, at least for me. Add in that it is better science fiction and has a better dramatic plot that is desperate but never seems overdone, and it’s a better show.

It’s a shame that it only lasted a season.

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