BOOK REVIEW: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA VAULT: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE SERIES, 1978-2012 / AUTHOR: PAUL RUDITIS / PUBLISHER: AURUM PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 23RD
In this age of websites and e-books, it’s sometimes easy to forget that books themselves can be beautiful objects in their own right. Sometimes, you want a thing that is not only worth reading, but will also look very pretty on the shelf afterwards. Battlestar Galactica Vault: The Complete History of The Series, 1978-2012 is a fine example of a work that is not only designed to delight a certain sort of fan, but also meant to look lovely on a shelf filled with all things Battlestar Galactica.
The book is a dense hardback with a magnetic flap cover; pull back the cover and you get treated to two envelopes filled with goodies and 170 odd-pages of glossy images and easy flowing text. The author has done his best to be comprehensive here and the book does go into a lot of detail on the subject of both shows. Ruditis has tracked down interviews with people from across the history of the series, and it’s interesting to compare the radically different approaches between the old series and the reboot. The insights into the ending of each series are particularly interesting and useful, especially to those who may have been disappointed by the end of the rebooted series.
There is some nice commentary on the various spin-off shows, though not that much on the notorious Galactica 1980, which many fans may be thankful for. This is very much a friendly book written by fans for fans; don’t expect any down-and-dirty gossip, and certainly don’t expect any particular revelations. Instead, what we have is the sort of window into the series that most fans have not gotten before and a clearer understanding as to how much sci-fi TV shows have changed over the years. It’s a solid read, written in an easy going and friendly style, and is effortless to dip into and out of.
Production wise, it’s well presented, though those with clumsy fingers should be warned: this is a pretty coffee table book designed to be enjoyed at home and won’t stand up to unusual abuse. The envelopes in the front and back that contain the various memorabilia can be easily torn by the careless, and the glossy pages will bend if you’re too rough with them. Handsome this book may be, but it isn’t a field manual and shouldn’t be treated like one.
The memorabilia that comes with the book is a lot of fun. In addition to a vintage style poster, we get print outs from the Galactica and a copy of one of Starbuck’s maps, we also get film stills and scripts. These little details are a real treat and even though they’re all replicas, you really feel a connection to both versions of the show. Those still addicted Battlestar Galactica will be delighted by this addition to their horde of Galactica-related loot.