I've only seen a few BSG episodes but I know the general plot. thanks for the explainer!
I was thinking that there were no ray guns from another angle - the energy supply and efficiency issue. It'd be difficult to have enough portable power for a laser pistol without having an whole backpack or something similar. And it would probably only last a handful of shots.
So 1) you've gotta be a Olympian decathlon competitor to move swiftly with the equipment; and 2) really bad "battery life"
Hi, V. Excellent questions given the Twelve Colonies have mastered artificial gravity and faster-than-light travel.
The set-up of the show is a RETRO-futuristic setting. Look carefully, they don't have cell phones, PDAs, holograms, etc. Adama's phone on the Galactica is a big clunky affair that the old AT&T would have envied. He could club someone to death with it and then hammer some nails afterword. Aside from a few high tech features, the settings inside the ship looks much like the inside of a 1970s office or apartment building.
The REASON for the retro-futuristic design--in-story--is that the society of the Twelve Colonies as a whole RETREATED from high technology in the wake of the original Cylon War, that occurred 40 years prior to the mini-series (where in we see the Cylon Massacre, that wiped out the population of the 12 worlds, save 50,000 in a ragtag fleet). The society was slowly advancing back toward developing higher technology--slowly.
We saw in the mini-series that Doctor Gaius Baltar being interviewed for a news program as a radical expert advocating faster development of high technology and research into Artificial Intelligence 40 years after the Cylon War. Commander Bill Adama was arguing that as long as he was commander of the Galactica that its computer would be NEVER NETWORKED together. His son, Major Lee Adama was grousing that the Galactica, which was about to monthballed after 40 years of service, did not have a computer network to take control of his viper--so he would have to land MANUALLY.
The other and newer battlestars did have networked computers, just like the new vipers. The older original vipers on the Galactica did not and were kept mostly as museum pieces--on a museum ship (which the Galactica was being scheduled to be turned into once decommissioned).
It's that LACK of networking that would save the Galactica and its older vipers during the Cylon Massacre. The cylons infected the colonial networks with a virus, and, like all those virus warnings say, took control of the human computers and shut down the ships cold, dead cold in space.
-- Ken from Chicago
P.S. So Tom was right--kinda--when he said they lacked high technology due to the cylons. Speaking of cylons, the inside of their ships look something out of the 1970s, that is, 1970s disco-influenced scifi, with a spartan combination of lights, red glowing bands--and clear tubes with water flowing thru them. Their technology is significantly different than the humans' technology.