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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Jan-24, 07:36 PM
The one thing that bothers about the new BSG is the fact that the world that is envisioned is too much like our own. A certain character owns and drives a Humvee (Valley of Darkness- Season 2) and in the first season there were so many things that were too much like Earth culture- one example is the graveside ceremony that they held for Lee Adama's brother (Zak?) and the fact that he was given a 21 gun salute. Also, the clocks are standard 24 hour clocks, etc, etc, etc.... the only thing that is different is the fact that all books, memo's, etc are missing their corners...what's up with that?

Swift
2006-Jan-24, 08:18 PM
Well, it is just a TV program. Some of this is what is practical given the budget of a weekly series. I seem to recall reading that there are actually only two full sized vipers (one old style, one new) and the rest is done with special effects. Part of it also is make it relevant to us Earthlings. It is a balance between making it too alien and not alien enough. Hexagonal paper is apparently the producers main alien thing. I'm ok with all of that.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-24, 08:34 PM
Pretty cheesy, innit? :p

Nergal
2006-Jan-24, 08:51 PM
They want things to be easily recognizable for what they are without having to spend screen time explaining them. I suppose, in the cause of Sci-Fi "realism", you'd prefer they all speak some suitably alien dialect and we'd all just have to guess at what the dialogue was?

ToSeek
2006-Jan-24, 11:45 PM
Damon Knight (or some noted science fiction writer and critic) noted, "The 23rd-century equivalent of 'darn,' translated into terms a 20th-century reader can understand, is 'darn.' I think this is the equivalent idea, though I'll admit that the humvees were a bit much for me, too.

Swift
2006-Jan-25, 02:59 AM
Damon Knight (or some noted science fiction writer and critic) noted, "The 23rd-century equivalent of 'darn,' translated into terms a 20th-century reader can understand, is 'darn.' I think this is the equivalent ideas, though I'll admit that the humvees were a bit much for me, too.
And that they took care of, with "frak". :)

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-25, 01:03 PM
They want things to be easily recognizable for what they are without having to spend screen time explaining them. I suppose, in the cause of Sci-Fi "realism", you'd prefer they all speak some suitably alien dialect and we'd all just have to guess at what the dialogue was?Relax. This show is so popular that someone needs to bring its fans' feet back to Earth. :D

Are they still looking for Earth, in the remake?

captain swoop
2006-Jan-25, 02:08 PM
'Frak' as an adjective is stolen from the Judge Dredd comics waaaaay back in the 1980s when it was still good.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-25, 02:10 PM
'Frak' was used in the original Battlestar Galactica, in the late seventies.

Dave Mitsky
2006-Jan-25, 02:31 PM
They want things to be easily recognizable for what they are without having to spend screen time explaining them. I suppose, in the cause of Sci-Fi "realism", you'd prefer they all speak some suitably alien dialect and we'd all just have to guess at what the dialogue was?

Things are far too easily recognizable. Except for the FTL drive and the spacecraft, the technology isn't all that more advanced that present day Earth. Some of the civilian men wear ties! The millitary uses bullets, for heaven's sake! Even though it was undeniably campy, the original series at least tried to make the culture seem somewhat alien.

Dave Mitsky

ToSeek
2006-Jan-25, 03:13 PM
Relax. This show is so popular that someone needs to bring its fans' feet back to Earth. :D

Are they still looking for Earth, in the remake?

Oh, yes. It's specifically in the title sequence:


47,855 survivors

in search of a home

called Earth.

Swift
2006-Jan-25, 03:22 PM
Things are far too easily recognizable. Except for the FTL drive and the spacecraft, the technology isn't all that more advanced that present day Earth. Some of the civilian men wear ties! The millitary uses bullets, for heaven's sake! Even though it was undeniably campy, the original series at least tried to make the culture seem somewhat alien.

But I think that is the point. They are not supposed to be very alien, it is supposed to be very Earth-like. Kind of this could be us. The analogies to 9/11 in the first few episodes were really "this is us" (for examples, the photo memorials).

I can understand if that is not what you want in your science fiction, but I think the intent of these writers and producer(s) is to make this way.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-25, 03:23 PM
Thanks, ToSeek. That means that you already know (from the humvees and the 21 gun salutes and the ties) that Earth is their home planet.
I think it was more interesting in the original version of the show, because there were contradictory hints. You were never sure whether Earth was the home country of the Colonials, or just a faraway splinter colony, or a more advanced civilization.

Charly
2006-Jan-25, 08:07 PM
Didnt they also have m16 rifles in that episode too?

That did blow reality a bit. I would have though they would have had some sort of antigrav tech.

spoiler...




Some of the spaceships look a bit 80s too.

baric
2006-Jan-25, 09:36 PM
None of this bothers me in the slightest. BSG operates at a slightly higher tech than modern Earth.

The humvee is the analog for a sturdy vehicle. The M16 is the analog for a military rifle. The 21-gun salute is the analog for a military observance.

I don't expect the producers to remake every detail of the show just to give it an 'alien' feel. BSG is about the storyline more than anything else.

I *get* it.

Charly
2006-Jan-25, 10:37 PM
None of this bothers me in the slightest. BSG operates at a slightly higher tech than modern Earth.

I would agree that much of what we see could conceivably be produced.

Except ships on the scale of BSG, and their power, propulsion and fuel systems.

I still think (ftl jumps aside) that we are many hundreds of years behind building huge shipd in space, although to be fair, we have never tried.

If we knew Earth was going to go boom in 10 years time, it would be interesting to see exactly what we could come up with.

Dave Mitsky
2006-Jan-26, 06:51 AM
But I think that is the point. They are not supposed to be very alien, it is supposed to be very Earth-like. Kind of this could be us. The analogies to 9/11 in the first few episodes were really "this is us" (for examples, the photo memorials).

I can understand if that is not what you want in your science fiction, but I think the intent of these writers and producer(s) is to make this way.

I disagree. Look at the original series - the colonists didn't have Earthling names, didn't wear Earthling clothes, didn't drive Earthling vehicles, and used blasters as weapons not firearms.

Are the producers afraid that watchers of, what is after all, the Sci-Fi Channel can't relate to a different human civilization?

Dave Mitsky

baric
2006-Jan-26, 01:44 PM
I disagree. Look at the original series - the colonists didn't have Earthling names, didn't wear Earthling clothes, didn't drive Earthling vehicles, and used blasters as weapons not firearms.


And one thing that the producers certainly wanted to replicate was the success of the original BSG series.

Not.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-26, 03:17 PM
Ouch!
Even if the old show is not popular today, it doesn't mean that every idea in it was bad.

vonmazur
2006-Jan-26, 10:24 PM
The Beretta XM-4 carbine did not help either, along with the plastic Desert Eagle Pistol and the other things like, Cigars and Morophine....(Or whatever they called it) I understand the metaphors and conventions, but if you are going to use a fake gun, cast of resin, at least make it look different, and do not bother with smoking, and quit copying US Naval terms....hire a writer that can think....not just obsess with Dr. Balsack....

Dale in Ala

Krel
2006-Jan-27, 01:44 AM
And one thing that the producers certainly wanted to replicate was the success of the original BSG series.

Not.

Actually the original BSG was very successful, and got very good ratings. Unfortunately, it was also very expensive, reported to be about a million dollars per episode. Even with the extensive use of effects stock footage, ABC was not willing to foot the bill for what is reported to have been the most expensive tv series of it's time.

David.

vonmazur
2006-Jan-27, 02:26 AM
I clearly remember the critics when the original series was first aired in the US.....Battlestar Galaxative....Bonanza in Space...etc etc...The original Balzac was John Colicos, who was a fine Klingon in the original Star Trek...Oleogenous and sneaky, like he should be, not introspective and whiney..

But that aside, a good series nonetheless and better than the usual crapola on the tube. (Science Channel and others excepted of course!!)

Dale in Ala

TheGalaxyTrio
2006-Jan-27, 02:59 PM
I disagree. Look at the original series - the colonists didn't have Earthling names, didn't wear Earthling clothes, didn't drive Earthling vehicles, and used blasters as weapons not firearms.

Are the producers afraid that watchers of, what is after all, the Sci-Fi Channel can't relate to a different human civilization?

Dave Mitsky

Or maybe it will turn out that Earth originally colonized Kobol? IMHO, Moore & Co. have basically telegraphed this several times.

Also, I appreciate their attention to what is actually realistic. Handheld energy weapons (phasers, blasters, etc.) will probably never be practical. I like how they don't have anti-gravity or any other magic tech to speak of beyond basic FTL travel and comm. And I like how the FTL is complicated and requires piles of calculations.

If you see a HumVee on the show, you're not supposed to think "where did they get a HumVee"? It's not supposed to really be a HumVee, and I'd rather they spent budget elsewhere than hiring "Pimp My Ride" to whip up some sort of military vehicle... OF THE FUTURE!

As for the original BSG creating a really alien culture... everyone is kidding, right?

No, the new show is not perfect. Nothing is. But it's at a level where I can stop nitpicking. I can tell they are working hard to tell a good story well, so I can cut some slack on trivial things.

Nitpicks can go to far. I remeber reading someone complaining how the fluid in a straw in the movie 2001 didn't act like it was in zero gee. Well, what was Kubrick supposed to do? Put the set in real orbit? I mean, geez...

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-27, 03:03 PM
I like how they don't have anti-gravity or any other magic tech to speak of beyond basic FTL travel and comm.But they do have artificial gravity, don't they?

TheGalaxyTrio
2006-Jan-27, 03:07 PM
I still think (ftl jumps aside) that we are many hundreds of years behind building huge shipd in space, although to be fair, we have never tried.

I can see it happening the moment the cost per pound to orbit decends below some sort of critical threshold.

Someone in the next couple decades could prefect an LEO capable mass driver or solve the engineering problems posed by space elevators, and suddenly even midsized corporations and smaller governments can afford to start streaming materials into space.

NASA (or someone) recently mentioned a study to investigate autoassembling space structures. You could just send payloads into space and your big spaceship (or at least the main structure) builds itself. No humans needed until you are ready to install the details (electronics, life support, drive systems, etc). And someone will eventually automate that, too.

baric
2006-Jan-27, 04:18 PM
If you see a HumVee on the show, you're not supposed to think "where did they get a HumVee"? It's not supposed to really be a HumVee, and I'd rather they spent budget elsewhere than hiring "Pimp My Ride" to whip up some sort of military vehicle... OF THE FUTURE!


Exactly! And if they DID spend their budget creating a futuristic jeep, it would only draw attention to that effort and distract from the show. Then we would be talking about the lameness of their effort and how unrealistic it was!

I didn't even notice/care that it was a HumVee until I saw it mentioned in this forum.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Jan-27, 06:50 PM
Look at the original series - the colonists didn't have Earthling names, didn't wear Earthling clothes, didn't drive Earthling vehicles, and used blasters as weapons not firearms.To be fair, their names, the names of their planets, and some of the words they used were a little Earthly, and parts of their clothes (the helmets) were reminscent of Earth. On the other hand, you couldn't tell whether the Galactica would end up arriving to Earth in our future, our present, or our past. With the remake, you can guess it's the future.

Yamaha04R1
2006-Feb-28, 04:31 PM
As far as I know, and this is what I've picked up from watching the show and a little bit of background information.

The tribes of Cobol, when leaving Cobol set off in different directions and set up the 12 colonies. I believe that one of those tribes ended up on earth. BSG is set in the past, not the future. So my thinking is thus, if the planet earth was actually colonised some time in the past, then the things we have on earth would be very similar to the things they had "in the past" as they come from the same species/minds/methology. So to turn logic on it's head and see it how it's being portrayed, it's actually our earth that has "copied" their humvees, not the other way round.

This theory might be completely wrong though, but it's my take on what I've seen.

I believe that the origional writer's religeious beliefs followed the theory that we were in fact colonised from outer space and that our brothers are really out there somewhere. Hence the deeply religous overtones throuout the series. Major decisions are based on the faith of those involved, as is belief in the scriptures.

There, that's my 2p's worth.

Danny

Hokie
2006-Feb-28, 05:25 PM
Earth is the fabled 13th colony not one of the 12. The setup of the 12 colonies and earth happened in the past (so long ago that many do not believe there was a 13th colony). We do not know when the events of BSG happen.

randycat99
2006-Mar-01, 06:21 AM
I forget- in the original series, did they ever find Earth in the final episodes? What happened in the end?

X-COM
2006-Mar-01, 08:22 AM
Yes they did, and so did an experimental cylon fighter. It crashed and Starbuck & Co went on to try prevent survivors from the crash from contacting the cylon empire to inform them of of earths position.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-01, 01:15 PM
Yes they did, and so did an experimental cylon fighter. It crashed and Starbuck & Co went on to try prevent survivors from the crash from contacting the cylon empire to inform them of of earths position.It wasn't Starbuck, and it wasn't the original series. It was a second series, made a few years after the original one had been cancelled.

SeanF
2006-Mar-01, 03:09 PM
It wasn't Starbuck, and it wasn't the original series. It was a second series, made a few years after the original one had been cancelled.
Correct, if by "a few years" you mean "the very next season." ;)

kookbreaker
2006-Mar-01, 03:24 PM
Correct, if by "a few years" you mean "the very next season." ;)

It was specifically called 'Galactica 1980'. Shot on Earth to save on the budget. Cheesy and lame well beyond the cheesiness of the original series.

As for the Humvee, big whoop. At least its better than other series attempts at futuristic vehicles: UFO, which grabbed the bullble top concept cars. 'OtherWorld', which used the just released streamlined mini-vans of the 1980s (they looked futuristic in the 80's I suppose). The original Galactica had some kind of ATV/APC they used in a couple of the episodes. It was OK, I guess.

Guns in science fiction movies are very often built around a modern firearm. StormTroopers carried Sterling SMG's and M60s. Han Solo carried a Broomhandle Mauser with a Silencer. Ripley's Pulse Rifle in Aliens was made from a Thompson SMG. When hollywood designers make Sci-Fi weapons from scratch they tend to look a tad goofy. The Pistols in Babylon 5 never looked very impressive. Star Trek Phasers looked 'OK' in the original (at least the full sized ones did), but in later series they looked like electric shavers.

So :P

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-01, 11:13 PM
Correct, if by "a few years" you mean "the very next season." ;)You're right. Selective memory.

vonmazur
2006-Mar-01, 11:31 PM
I forget- in the original series, did they ever find Earth in the final episodes? What happened in the end?

I think that they found the Chatsworth Rocks and Hollywood, and Jimminy Karter...

Dale in Ala

Humots
2006-Mar-02, 12:43 AM
Yes, sometimes the cars, buildings, etc. in BSG do look a bit familiar.

But it's expensive and very labor-intensive to come up with a whole array of everyday gadgets, vehicles, architecture, clothing and such. They have to cut costs somewhere, and using everyday stuff is one way. It's hard to find a balance. I try to cut them some slack.

There are reminders that this is not your father's civilization. They do casually refer to "The Gods", and I think some of the military terminology is invented. Is Adama being a Commander rather than a Captain non-standard? And are "XO" and "CAG" standard military terms?

Also, I agree that the creators are aiming for a "This is Us" feel, although they haven't revealed the exact relationship: us in the past, us in the future? I hope it's worth waiting for.

Eirik
2006-Mar-02, 01:34 AM
There are reminders that this is not your father's civilization. They do casually refer to "The Gods", and I think some of the military terminology is invented. Is Adama being a Commander rather than a Captain non-standard? And are "XO" and "CAG" standard military terms?


I do beleive that XO and CAG are military terms that mean basically what we see on the show (XO is the Executive officer, CAG is the Commander of the Air Group). Taking a quick glance at the US department of Defense web page, the ranking system they have doesn't exactly follow anything we have here, but it seems to be either a mix of Navy/Marine order or based on a non-US service.

I've heard theories on other sites about the backstory of the setting. Basically that they were far more advanced at some point, but the cylon war set them back, destroyed some of their technology that they were only just then beginning to rediscover. They were essentially on the verge of restoring their lost level of technology when the world ended around them.

BTW, someone mentioned upthread about the ATV that they used in the original BSG. Is my memory faulty, or wasn't that just the redressed truck from the movie Damnation Alley?

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-02, 01:27 PM
BTW, someone mentioned upthread about the ATV that they used in the original BSG. Is my memory faulty, or wasn't that just the redressed truck from the movie Damnation Alley?I think the landram (http://www.phoxim.de/joerg_herbst_landram/joerg_herbst_landram01.jpg) was designed (http://www.tic.ab.ca/~markv/lr1.jpg) specifically for the show.

Roy Batty
2006-Mar-02, 02:25 PM
I think the Landmaster (http://www.bugeyedmonster.com/desktops/movies/damnationalley.jpg) looks harder though :)

Humots
2006-Mar-03, 12:32 AM
I do believe that XO and CAG are military terms that mean basically what we see on the show (XO is the Executive officer, CAG is the Commander of the Air Group).


I understand what XO and CAG mean. What I was asking was, are those specific abbreviations in common use in our military? Do our naval crews say "XO" or do they say "Exec"?

vonmazur
2006-Mar-03, 01:27 AM
I understand what XO and CAG mean. What I was asking was, are those specific abbreviations in common use in our military? Do our naval crews say "XO" or do they say "Exec"?

Since the 1960's, most military usage has been "EX-OH", and the title "Commander Air Group" is definately post WW 2, replacing "Air Group Commander". I believe that today in the Navy, they say, almost universally; "CAG". The US Navy is fond of acronyms and abbriviated usage, ie: "COMCINCPAC" and other such expressions.....In Vietnam we had some more colorful expressions, such as "REMF" and others which are somewhat humourous.....Like the BSG's ubiquitous "Frack!"

Dale in Ala

Krel
2006-Mar-03, 01:50 AM
I think the landram (http://www.phoxim.de/joerg_herbst_landram/joerg_herbst_landram01.jpg) was designed (http://www.tic.ab.ca/~markv/lr1.jpg) specifically for the show.

It is a modified Snowcat, just like the Chariot from "Lost In Space".

David.

Ara Pacis
2006-Mar-03, 02:20 AM
I prefer the non-fakiness of the new BSG.

publius
2006-Mar-03, 02:58 AM
Re Military ranks in BSG:

The military ranks in BSG are pretty screwed up, and this has been a subject of controversy. Basically, according to what Ronald D. Moore said, in the original series the leader was "Commander Adama", and they didn't want to change that -- the CO of Galactica had to be "Commander". So "Commander" is higher rank in the Colonial Fleet than in the Navy.

The officer ranks for the Army, Air Force, and Marines are the same, but the Navy is different (the enlisted ranks are all slightly different between the services). A Navy captain is the equivalent of a full colonel in the other branches. A Navy (full) lieutenant is the equivalent of a captain in the other services.

They use an "O-n" nomenclature across the services. A Navy captain/Army colonel is an O-6 level. The ranks in Galactica seem to be a mish-mash of Navy and Army ranks (and there are also Colonial Marines, but not much has been given about their ranks). Commander Adama could be the equivalent of an O-6, but Tigh, the XO, is a colonel, which is O-6 itself. Now, perhaps he could be a Lt. Col (O-5).

But to be the most consistent, the Colonial "commander" needs to be an O-7, or 1-star admiral/general rank.

On a US aircraft carrier, there are generall *five* officers with the rank of O-6 captain. The CO (skipper) of the carrier is a captain, and the XO is generally an O-6 as well. The CAG is also a captain, and there are two other positions on the carrier that usually rate a full O-6 as well. The skipper commands the ship itself, and the CAG commands the air wing. All the captains answer to an admiral (there may several admirals with their "court" based on the carrier, both 1 and 2-star).

A carrier and its associated battle group is just too big for a mere O-6 to run the whole show.

The 1-star admiral rank has somtimes been called "commodore", which comes from the same roots as "commander", so maybe its not too far fetched that a 1-star admiral would be called "commander" in the BSG universe.

Interestingly, there's a lot of history and politics behind the "commodore" rank in the US Navy. Currently, the 1-star rank is known as "Rear Admiral, Lower Half" (RADL), while a 2-star is called "Rear Admiral, Upper Half" (RADM).

Like Captain, Commodore is an office ("hat") as much as a rank. It is proper to call the CO (skipper) of a ship the "captain", even though his actual rank may be lower. The CO of smaller ships can be a Commander (O-5), or even Lt. Commander (O-4), but he is the "captain" of the ship. For very small ships, Lts can be the CO.

Likewise the "hat" of commodore means a line officer who commands more than one ship, who may or may not command his own ship directly.

-Richard

Dave Mitsky
2006-Mar-03, 10:23 AM
To be fair, their names, the names of their planets, and some of the words they used were a little Earthly, and parts of their clothes (the helmets) were reminscent of Earth. On the other hand, you couldn't tell whether the Galactica would end up arriving to Earth in our future, our present, or our past. With the remake, you can guess it's the future.
In the original series, the names reflected things like the Earthly (Greecian) designations of the twelve colonies, which are merely the twelve constellations of the zodiac. This meshed with the concept of the show, since Earth was the thirteen colony. Presumably, these names were preserved in Earthly mythology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Colonies

The characters in the original series had real names (not "call signs") like Apollo, Athena, and Cassiopeia. Today's characters have Anglo names like William, Billy, Laura, Tom, Ellen, and so on.

http://www.ketzer.com/prop_replica/BSG_helmet.html

The original series helmets looked a bit alien to me.

http://www.ketzer.com/prop_replica/BSG_helmet.html

I think this is just a case of dumbing things down for today's audience, not that the original series was anything brilliant.

Dave Mitsky

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-03, 12:43 PM
I think this is just a case of dumbing things down for today's audience, not that the original series was anything brilliant.I think it's worse than that. I think the people behind the new series are afraid of being too imaginative, because they think it might look 'hokey'. Better dull than geeky.

Tobin Dax
2006-Mar-05, 11:36 PM
Re Military ranks in BSG:

The military ranks in BSG are pretty screwed up, and this has been a subject of controversy. Basically, according to what Ronald D. Moore said, in the original series the leader was "Commander Adama", and they didn't want to change that -- the CO of Galactica had to be "Commander". So "Commander" is higher rank in the Colonial Fleet than in the Navy.

snip

The ranks in BSG are not that screwed up. They're mostly an amalgam of Navy and Army ranks. According, to Moore, they are:

O8 - Admiral
O7 - Commander
O6 - Colonel
O5 - Major
O4 - Captain
O3 - Lieutenant
O2 - Lieutenant (Jr. Grade)
O1 - Ensign
Chief Petty Officer
Petty Officer 1st Class
Petty Officer 2nd Class
Petty Officer 3rd Class

We've seen most of these in the show. The Officer rank levels are speculation on my part, but since a Commander has been shown onscreen (with regard to the Pegasus a few weeks ago) to be the rank of a single ship's CO, the Colonial Fleet to have one more officer level than the US does.

publius
2006-Mar-06, 12:13 AM
Well, I suppose it's a matter of opinion but I would say any amalgam of Navy and Army ranks is indeed very screwed up. <g>

And there's not really another level of rank. The colonial "commander", O-7 corresponds to what is now called Rear Admiral, Lower Half (RADL), wearing one star, in the US Navy, which was sometimes called Commodore in the past. If you're interested, search on "commodore" in Wikipeadia, and read the rather interesting "intrigue" behind the O-7 level rank. It's a long story.

And then, the rank of the CO of a ship depends on the size of the ship. If a colonial battlestar is like a US carrier, then the commander of the whole battlegroup is a RADL O-7. This is the position that Commander Adama seems to hold, although he is apparently the direct CO of the ship itself, which isn't the case with US carriers.

Cain's rank, which they said on the show was one level higher than the elder Adama, is like a 2-star Rear Admiral, Upper Half (RADM), and we assume that is the rank of admiral to which Adama was promoted. They said Cain was the head of "Battlestar Group 75" (which is that BSG 75 logo you see), of which Galactica was a part. This would correspond to a "Task Force" level in the Navy, commanded by an O-8. Above that, a 3-star Vice Admiral (O-9)commands the "numbered fleets", while a 4-star full Admiral (O-10) commands a full fleet (Atlantic and Pacific in current Navy parlance, CINCLANT and CINCPAC in current parlance), although this is now a part of the unified joint-command structure, the head of which is always a 4-star level. We can only assume that these higher ranks of admiral existed in the Colonial Fleet and were all killed.

Pegasus was apparently Cain's flagship for BSG 75. But she also had direct command of the thing, which wouldn't be the case for a Task Force commander.

-Richard

Tobin Dax
2006-Mar-06, 08:15 AM
While I don't disagree with what you're saying, my issue is that it has been established that someone with a rank of Commander (c.f. Apollo) commands one ship, while someone with the rank of Admiral commands a group of ships. We've been told that the rank level in BSG don't jibe with what you're saying. Unless you would like me to change Ensign to O-0. (But that doesn't change anything.)

Also, though it may be hypocritical to point out, we don't know that Cain commanded the ship before the cylon attack. Since it seems to have been the only (or at least only surviving) military vessel, she may have just taken command of the ship from its commander.

Cylinder
2006-Mar-06, 12:34 PM
I understand what XO and CAG mean. What I was asking was, are those specific abbreviations in common use in our military? Do our naval crews say "XO" or do they say "Exec"?

XO is common use in the USAF and US Army at least. I think the term Exec is common usage in the USN.

ToSeek
2006-Mar-06, 03:42 PM
Babylon Five had the same amalgam of army and navy ranks, with both generals and admirals. I don't think it was ever explained there, either.

publius
2006-Mar-08, 12:43 AM
Tobin,

This is about as important as the proverbial hill of beans <g>, about the fictional ranks of a fictional space fleet on TV show, so consider this a very friendly disagreement about how their O-7 rank compares to ours.

Take a US carrier as it is now. The O-6 Captain who is the CO/Skipper of the ship doesn't really have command of the carrier as a whole. The CAG, another O-6 Captain is the CO of the air group. The ship's captain doesn't have any say over the embarked air elements; he just gives the orders about running the ship itself. The ship is so big and important that the XO is generally an O-6 Captain, too. I'm not completely sure, but I believe whatever they call the "chief engineer" position is also held by an O-6. A nuclear reactor is a pretty big responsibility requiring a high rank. And than there are some other O-6s with other jobs.

So really, none of the O-6s are in command of the carrier as a whole, only parts of it. The top guy to whom they all answer is the O-7 RADL embarked on the carrier. So, while it doesn't agree with Navy parlance and protocol, functionally, that O-7 is the "commander" of the carrier, as he is the only one on board who is over all the parts of the carrier.

-Richard

Tobin Dax
2006-Mar-08, 01:46 AM
Tobin,

This is about as important as the proverbial hill of beans <g>, about the fictional ranks of a fictional space fleet on TV show, so consider this a very friendly disagreement about how their O-7 rank compares to ours.

Of course. It was never anything else. It was just a fun time. :)


Take a US carrier as it is now. The O-6 Captain who is the CO/Skipper of the ship doesn't really have command of the carrier as a whole. The CAG, another O-6 Captain is the CO of the air group. The ship's captain doesn't have any say over the embarked air elements; he just gives the orders about running the ship itself. The ship is so big and important that the XO is generally an O-6 Captain, too. I'm not completely sure, but I believe whatever they call the "chief engineer" position is also held by an O-6. A nuclear reactor is a pretty big responsibility requiring a high rank. And than there are some other O-6s with other jobs.

So really, none of the O-6s are in command of the carrier as a whole, only parts of it. The top guy to whom they all answer is the O-7 RADL embarked on the carrier. So, while it doesn't agree with Navy parlance and protocol, functionally, that O-7 is the "commander" of the carrier, as he is the only one on board who is over all the parts of the carrier.

-Richard

That does seem to work pretty well, though. Thanks for saying that.

Dax

ToSeek
2006-Mar-08, 04:06 PM
Tobin,

This is about as important as the proverbial hill of beans <g>, about the fictional ranks of a fictional space fleet on TV show, so consider this a very friendly disagreement about how their O-7 rank compares to ours.

Take a US carrier as it is now. The O-6 Captain who is the CO/Skipper of the ship doesn't really have command of the carrier as a whole. The CAG, another O-6 Captain is the CO of the air group. The ship's captain doesn't have any say over the embarked air elements; he just gives the orders about running the ship itself. The ship is so big and important that the XO is generally an O-6 Captain, too. I'm not completely sure, but I believe whatever they call the "chief engineer" position is also held by an O-6. A nuclear reactor is a pretty big responsibility requiring a high rank. And than there are some other O-6s with other jobs.

So really, none of the O-6s are in command of the carrier as a whole, only parts of it. The top guy to whom they all answer is the O-7 RADL embarked on the carrier. So, while it doesn't agree with Navy parlance and protocol, functionally, that O-7 is the "commander" of the carrier, as he is the only one on board who is over all the parts of the carrier.

-Richard

A local Star Trek convention invited the real captain of the USS Enterprise, and he said exactly the same thing: that he was actually just one of three captains onboard ship.

Grogs1
2006-Mar-08, 09:24 PM
Babylon Five had the same amalgam of army and navy ranks, with both generals and admirals. I don't think it was ever explained there, either.

I watched the show a lot, and I don't remember there being any inconsistencies. The people in charge of ships, groups of ships, etc all had Navy ranks. The people in charge of ground forces had Marine ranks. I don't remember them ever switching up those roles.

As for BSG ranks, if anything bugs me, it's that the ranks seem too bottom heavy. All the pilots, with the exception of the CAG, are lieutenants or below. In the Navy, your average squadron (~8-10 planes) leader is usually a Commander (O-5) and a lot of the pilots are O-4's. It seems like the CAG should be at least a Major, if not a Colonel and there should be a few Captains/Majors below him. Actually, come to think of it, I believe the original CAG in the mini-series did have a higher rank.

X-COM
2006-Mar-09, 05:02 AM
It wasn't Starbuck, and it wasn't the original series. It was a second series, made a few years after the original one had been cancelled.

Ok, it WAS a long time ago and I may misremember the details somewhat but still. ;-)

Tobin Dax
2006-Mar-09, 05:37 AM
I watched the show a lot, and I don't remember there being any inconsistencies. The people in charge of ships, groups of ships, etc all had Navy ranks. The people in charge of ground forces had Marine ranks. I don't remember them ever switching up those roles.

Well, the guy in charge of B4 when it was evacuated had an army rank. I want to say Major (Major Krantz, is that right?). Whether or not he was the CO of the station is definitely open for debate, though.

Grogs1
2006-Mar-09, 01:47 PM
Well, the guy in charge of B4 when it was evacuated had an army rank. I want to say Major (Major Krantz, is that right?). Whether or not he was the CO of the station is definitely open for debate, though.

Major Krantz sounds right. I think he was in charge of a group of engineers finishing up the build, so not the permanent commander, but certainly in charge of the station in the literal sense. As for B5 (and B4) they always described the role of commander as part-military governor, part-diplomat, so I don't see a real conflict having a marine in charge there instead of a navy man. Of course from a tactical standpoint, putting a Navy officer there makes more sense (since you're fighting ships in space) but that's a pretty small part of the job.

ToSeek
2006-Mar-09, 04:04 PM
I watched the show a lot, and I don't remember there being any inconsistencies. The people in charge of ships, groups of ships, etc all had Navy ranks. The people in charge of ground forces had Marine ranks. I don't remember them ever switching up those roles.

In "Severed Dreams," the commanding officer of the EAS Alexander is a Major Ryan, a subordinate of General Hague's.

In "Endgame," the officer in charge of the fleet defending Earth against Sheridan is a General Lefcourt.

(There seem to be plenty of generals in the B5 universe but not many admirals. ;) )

Captain Kidd
2006-Mar-09, 05:10 PM
One thing that kinda bugs me is the low number of pilots (I've only seen halfway through the first season so I might be missing some stuff). At first I thought that was due to the atttack, but the briefing room is small too, with only... what, a dozen seats, maybe twice that at most. Now maybe there's actually two rooms if each hanger acts as it's own seperate group.

Am I just thinking too big?

Grogs1
2006-Mar-10, 02:23 AM
In "Severed Dreams," the commanding officer of the EAS Alexander is a Major Ryan, a subordinate of General Hague's.

In "Endgame," the officer in charge of the fleet defending Earth against Sheridan is a General Lefcourt.

(There seem to be plenty of generals in the B5 universe but not many admirals. ;) )

Point taken. Maybe it's time for me to crack those DVD's out and watch the series again. :)

Since I've gotten pretty far OT with the B5 stuff, I guess I'll add that the HMMWV's, pistols, etc. don't really bother me. I'm OK if they leave a little to the imagination and spend the money saved to keep good writers and keep the plot rolling.

Tobin Dax
2006-Mar-10, 03:30 AM
One thing that kinda bugs me is the low number of pilots (I've only seen halfway through the first season so I might be missing some stuff). At first I thought that was due to the atttack, but the briefing room is small too, with only... what, a dozen seats, maybe twice that at most. Now maybe there's actually two rooms if each hanger acts as it's own seperate group.

Am I just thinking too big?

A dozen? No, we've seen something like 25-30 seats in those rooms on both battlestars in season 2.5, haven't we?

On the B5 topic, wasn't Go--er, Ivanova a general in Sleeping In Light? That would seem to indicate that naval ranks lead into army ranks higher up, at the very least.