Ok, I will say right off the bat I watched the cheesy Battle Star Galactica in the 70's when it came out. A good friend of mine even built a full scale replica of the Galactica itself in his basement, complete with lights and such. He of course went on to be a co-author of Photoshop and a big wig at ILM. John Knoll is his name...but I digress.
Anyway I saw the mini-series of movie of Galactica last year. I caught it on a night where I was bored after work and surfing. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I really liked the effects and the acting and story was a smart updating of the old show. I guess you could say I'm a sci-fi fan to a degree having loved the first Star Wars ( Until Jedi) and reading lots of Niven, Asimov, Heinlein, Philip K. Dick etc as a teenager. I was never into sci-fi just for sci-fi's sake like some people I knew. I liked Star Trek, but Next Gen was never a fave, neither the DS9 etc. Voyager held my interest for about 2-3 seasons and then I gave up on it and I never warmed to Enterprise, watching only maybe 3 eps. Boring! I was expecting it to be like the first Trek, and instead it was generic alien-forehead of the week BS.
The other shows on the Sci-Fi channel never appealed to me. Stargate is always confusing, never liked Bablyon Five either. Rather watch old Lost in Space or Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea re-runs. ( which they don't show anymore) So all this to say I really find Galactica well paced, pretty well acted for TV, and it holds my attention, entertains me without insulting me. It makes me want to see the next episode...something 95% of TV doesn't.
I like it's sort of NYPD-hand-held camera work on the effects, that makes them unique, and the effects are great for TV! The dog fights etc., just he way teh ships are renderd, the CGI is impressive, you can tell they are spending some $$ here. The style or cinematography is crossed with a definite darker sensability more akin to X-Files than a glam version of Star Wars..or Logans run. The music is also really good and very different from the original and sets a great atmosphere and tone. Music I think is often overlooked as an important factor in storytelling and mood on a show. Also the fact that there are so many strong interesting female cast members is a joy as well. The hot Cylon ( Tricia Helfer), Boomer ( Grace Park), the hot but a bit fleshy Starbuck ( Katee Sachoff) who reminds me of many old midwetern gals I knew in Michigan and President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) who's fragile beauty holds an inner strenght book ended by the stoic Edward James Olmos as Gen. Adama.
I've caught a few episodes or bits of Star gate:Atlantis which preceeds Galactica and there is just no comparison. Stiff, dry, set ladden, dull lighting..stilted acting...I never know who's fighting what..blah. Even though Galatica is set laidden to a point, you don't feel that way because of how it's set up and lensed, unless they director wants you to feel trapped, or the claustraphobic feeling of being stuck on a ship. I look forward to the season finale, and will miss it until season two starts.