Holy frak! 12 years ago today, audiences first saw one of the greatest (arguably the greatest) science fiction TV shows. It was on December 8, 2003 that the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” launched with a mini-series on Sci-Fi Channel.
Adapted from the campy 1978 “Battlestar,” the 21st century update to the series delivered a starkly different in tone: It”s dark, layered, often bleak, and socially resonant. Like all good sci-fi should, the series had real-world relevance, as it mirrored and reflected upon our post-9/11 society.
The series won a Peabody Award in 2005 with praise for the writers' ability to craft “plotlines that are deeply personal and relatable, while never compromising their affinity and passion for science fiction.”
Fans latched onto the military drama of the series, the special effects-driven battle sequences, the mystery and debate of “who”s a Cylon?”, utterly unique and moving music by Bear McCreary, and, of course, beloved, flawed, relatable characters like Roslin and Adama, Apollo and Starbuck, complexly realized by a superb ensemble cast.
Executive producer Ronald D. Moore told HitFix”s Alan Sepinwall for his book “The Revolution was Televised,” “I wanted ‘Battlestar” to be about where we were as a society, what we were dealing with, and really ask some hard questions.”
So say we all.
Other notable December 8 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1952: Lucy finds out that she is pregnant on “I Love Lucy.”
• 1965: The Mamas and the Papas” “California Dreamin” single was released.
• 1976: “The Carpenters” Very First Special,” featuring guest star John Denver, airs on ABC.
• 1976: The Eagles” album “Hotel California” was released.
• 1979: The Police”s “Walking on the Moon” hit number 1 on the U.K. charts.
• 1980: John Lennon died after being shot in the back at the entrance of his New York apartment.
• 1982: “Sophie”s Choice” opened in theaters and “Gandhi” opened in U.S. theaters.
• 1984: Ringo Starr hosted “Saturday Night Live.” In one sketch, at an auction for Beatles memorabilia, the auctioneer (played by Martin Short) has a hard time selling lot 36, Ringo Starr.
• 1989: “War of the Roses” opened in theaters
• 1991: Tim Russert became moderator of “Meet the Press,” a job he held until his death in 2008. He remains the longest serving moderator in the program”s history.
• 1992: NBC announced that “Cheers” will go off the air in May 1993, after 11 seasons.
• 2002: Baz Luhrmann”s production of “La Boheme” opened on Broadway.
• 2006: Nancy Meyers film “The Holiday” opened in theaters.
Birthdays: “Lord of the Rings” actor Dominic Monaghan (turns 39 today), “Desperate Housewives” actress Teri Hatcher (51), “The Holiday” writer-director Nancy Meyers (66), singer-songwriter Ingrid Michelson (36), rapper Nicki Minaj (33), singer-songwriter Sinead O”Connor (49), “The Wire” actor Wendell Pierce (52), “The Carrie Diaries” actress AnnaSophia Robb (22), “The Vampire Diaries” actor Ian Somerhalder (37)