And you don’t stop, you keep on eatin’ cars

There are many copies. And they have a plan. And they're HOT.I already confessed to how I broke up the Pixies and made the Pogues split. I don’t know how I do it; it just happens. I got into “Alias,” right before it went downhill and got cancelled. I waited until the last minute to start liking “Lost,” and then look what happened there. So it pains me to announce that I really, really like “Battlestar Galactica” an awful lot.

Don’t despair, though; I liked “X-Files” so much I even went to a convention, and that lasted a good four seasons before it went south. Same with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” So considering I just got into “Galactica” this season, and bought the DVDs last weekend, there’s probably at least a couple good years left. I would just hold off on getting that tattoo of Apollo & Starbuck 4-Ever, if I were you.

Tonight was the half-season opener, “Rapture,” and it was pretty damn cool. I haven’t been keeping track of the fan rumblings, and I still haven’t seen all of the miniseries or the first season, but it seems like these episodes are moving a lot faster than the early ones. I’m still amazed that they have the stones and talent to set up huge, story-changing events and cliffhangers, and then quickly resolve them. It’s just plain exciting to see people who aren’t so afraid to mess with their prize-winning formula that they’re frozen into inaction and navel-gazing. They’re eager to keep mixing things up, putting their characters through hell and then pulling them out. Making huge, sweeping changes and then tying everything together all in the span of a few episodes.

I could see how some people would complain that it doesn’t linger on the real implications and ramifications of what happens long enough for them to have any weight, but I think that’s just traditional TV lulling everyone into complacency. This series credits the viewer with enough intelligence to follow everything that’s happening and fill in the details on his own — if something big is happening, you’ll know it, without having to make the cast and soundtrack reiterate how important this is a dozen times. The drama takes precedence even over the plot, and that’s just a great change. It feels like the creators of the show are eager to mess around with the story and the characters, just to see what happens.

Of course, it looks like this episode permanently wrote off my second-favorite cast member. (Grace Park’s my favorite). That’s a huge disappointment, but then I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got a series that isn’t afraid to change.

I just read a rumor online that there will be at least one ore major cast member to go before the season ends. Normally I’d dismiss that as a cheap ratings gimmick — whenever you hear a show creator mention the need to remind viewers that every cast member is expendable, that’s a sure sign the show is creatively rotten, and depends on cheap gimmicks to keep it interesting and “edgy.” Character death just for the sake of character death is as weak as the cat jumping suddenly from a dark place in a horror movie. It has to extend naturally from a storyline, or it’s just a cheap thrill. But I’ve got faith in “Battlestar Galactica,” from what I’ve seen so far. If they do kill somebody else off, it’ll be given a good setup, it’ll probably be bleak as hell, and it’ll almost definitely be good television.