Basically, if the Valkyrie was also over 40 years old at the time of the fall, then how is reassigning Adama from a smaller 40+ year old ship to a larger, more powerful 40+ year old ship a punishment? Feels more like a reward to me. Sure, the Galactica was about to be decommissioned, but how much time would a 40+ year old Valkyrie have ahead of her at that point anyway?
The punishment angle always seemed stupid to me (what? Something stupid in the backstory for "Hero"?
Impossible!). Even if Galactica was old, she still would've a crew and airwing that was several times larger than Valkryie's, plus a wartime history implied to be comparable to the Enterprise in World War II.
Even if they ripped out the engines and tied it to a rock, commanding Galactica would've been a position of tremendous responsibility and prestige (like commanding the Constitution
), nothing like being reassigned to a desk job or quietly encouraged to take a lobbying job in the civilian sector.
Luckily, our only evidence for that is Tigh's drunken rantings, and third season Colonel Tigh is the least reliable character in all of BSG-dom.
I guess we could pretend the Colonials used the same Valkyrie space frame because it's essentially good, and just kept updating it's systems and weapons over the years without too much external differences. So the old Valkyrie we saw here could be the original, and the ones in nBSG could be like tier 4 refits or something. That would explain almost everything apart from the modern lines that seem to suggest "modern light battlestar", not "1CW slugger".
It's also possible that the Valkyrie they mentioned was the larger battlestar, and the one see in "Hero" is it's replacement, which coincidentally shares a design with the smaller battlestars in the ghost fleet (which is needlessly baroque from a storytelling standpoint, and if they wanted it to be a different ship, they would've used a different name, but it's an option). We always had evidence that they kept ships cosmetically identical to Galatica in service (one in the mini, a couple docked near Pegasus in Razor), and Galactica was treated as an anomaly for never having had better computers installed, so the age of the hull design isn't a big deal.
Adama himself wasn't badly acted, but I didn't 'feel' Adama in the character.
He reminds me a bit of Starbuck, which makes sense (his second or third scene in the miniseries has him saying she reminds him of him), but I'd say the biggest influence is Joe Adama in Caprica. I love how young Bill pronounces "Adama" with the same accent as his father. Though (and this really goes back to Razor), I'm not sure how I feel about Adama being born as Admiral Badass. All I could think about after seeing the scene in the CIC with Commander Nash was whether that ever came back to Adama during the series. Like, say, right before his one-ship assault on Occupied New Caprica, or his one-ship siege on the Cylon Homeworld.
I just imagine him looking around the CIC, suddenly remembering the first time he stood in that spot, and hearing Nash say, "I think you're a cocky son-of-a-*****," and then picking up the phone and giving his New Caprica speech. The one that goes "You all know this mission is a one-way trip... to total success."
And then thinking, It ain't being cocky if you're really that good.
I feel like it might've been more interesting (and, again, Razor set the precedent) if Adama actually had to develop his insane confidence instead of having it, and being able to back it up, for his whole life. It would've made him seem more relatable.