Good sci-fi is hard to find on television. In fact, since Farscape was cancelled, it's darn-near impossible. Even Farscape (which I enjoyed immensely) paled when held to the gold standard of sci-fi TV: Star Trek (that would be the original series, not any of the crappy imitators that followed). It's for this reason that I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the new Battlestar Galactica a chance and it paid off. This is especially bizarre when you consider how cheesy and badly-acted the original version was.
Airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Galactica runs opposite the latest Star Trek franchise: Enterprise. I had TiVo record them both in order to directly compare the two, and it's not pretty. Where Enterprise is slow, plodding, and pointless... Galactica is edgy, quick, and darkly satisfying. Where Enterprise has characters that are shallow, tired, and predictable... Galactica has characters that are multifaceted, fresh, and conflicted. Where Enterprise has beautiful special effects that are pretty to look at, but boring and historically sparse (remember Odo the non-shape-changing shape-changer?)... Galactica has cutting-edge special effects that are raw, exciting, and everywhere (the new Cylons are no longer laughable men-in-suits, but CGI badasses). Enterprise is the prequel to a documented future... Galactica is forging ahead into a completely unknown future.
How sad. The once brilliant Star Trek has fallen to new levels of lameness with Enterprise. The once embarrassing Battlestar Galactica has risen to jaw-dropping dramatic heights. Oh well, at least there is finally some decent sci-fi on television again.