Panopticon expresses what's been in the back of my mind about BattleStar Galactica lately:
Since we’re just biding our time ‘til Serenity comes out in theaters, Andrea and I have continued to watch Battlestar Galactica even though we still think it’s only so-so. (Something that I’m sure YAG is going to bug me about when I get to the PDC.) Some episodes are pretty decent, but I still find myself annoyed by many of the characters (never a good sign) and bored in long stretches of some of the episodes. The core problem, to my mind, is that the writers are not particularly good at parcelling out the ongoing mystery very effectively. The X-Files did a superb job of this, in my mind, until about the sixth season when it became clear that Chris Carter was making up the mythology as he went along and had no clear idea where it was all going. I’m beginning to suspect this about BG as well — do the writers really know what the Cylon’s plans are, or are they throwing elements in as they go along? (Contrast this also with Harry Potter, where J.K. Rowling seems to have a very strong idea of how the whole story is going to play out. Much better.)
Well - the basic outlines of the Cylon ethos are out there, and it's clear to me that the series is being inspired by the current world situation - just as the original was. In the old series, the Cylons were stand-ins for the Soviets. Now, we have a religious conflict, where the Cylons are completely intolerant of any beliefs other than their own (shades of Stargate SG-1 and the Ori, which has also picked up this meme).
The question is, where do they want to go from here? In the old series, the humans were smarter and more agile than the Cylons. That's clearly not the case here - the Cylons seem to be faster, smarter, and far better organized. They also have more resources and larger numbers. Given all that, how the heck do Adama and company manage to survive? It's not at all clear to me.
Back to the Cylons - I suspect, like Panopticon, that the "plan" is like Chris Carter's plan - it's "out there", but pretty ill defined. I could be wrong - this could be like "Babylon 5", with a well defined path and endgame. That might work especially well for a series like this, since - if they ever found Earth - you pretty much have an endgame on your hands (or, at the very least, a very different series).