Friday, March 20, 2009 by Dave Blum

Battlestar Galactica–my favorite TV series ever–ends tonight after a marvelous 5-year run.  I’m both excited and saddened:  excited to see how it all ends up; saddened that there won’t be anymore giddy adventures with the ragtag fleet of humans and their fight against the Cylons.

For those of you who haven’t followed “BSG”, I should note that the current series is similar in name only to the cheesy TV show from the 70’s.  Where the previous series was campy, action- and humor-oriented, the current Galactica is taut, realistic, violent and sexy.  There’s not a lot of mirth; you sit down, lean forward to the screen, and hold your breath for 60 minutes.  It’s a little like “24” in that way, but much more cerebral.  This is a sci-fi series that makes you think–about mortality, society, psychology and politics.  Heady stuff.

What really makes the show is both the writing as well as the commitment of the actors.  Consider this quote from BSG star Edward James Olmos (in a recent edition of Entertainment Weekly):

“I remember having the conversation with [the cast] in a meeting to start the first season. I said, “This is going to go for five years, for the full run.  Get ready.  Pace yourselves like a marathon runner.  You have to be running at top speed right from the get-go, and that last mile has to be fastest.  The best work that you’re going to be doing will be the last time you’re in front of the camera. Don’t forget that.  I don’t want to get to the end and have people tired.”

As the owner of a busines that runs corporate team building activities, I can appreciate Olmos’ philosophy.  Whether you’re leading team building exercises or spear-heading management teams,  you have to set the tone  for high achievement.  You have to lead by example.  You have to let people know that YOU are going to “bring it” everyday and you expect everyone else to rise to your level.

Battlestar Galactica is full of team building ideas like this — which is one reason why I love it.  But it’s not all talking-heads; it’s also enormously entertaining, from start to finish.  Rent the entire series and get ready for the time of your life.