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Author Topic: Battlestar Galactica
Mandos
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posted 29 March 2005 10:58 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Finally got to see the episodes for the new series (saw the pilot). I have to say, wow. *IF* they keep it up, it's definitely the best SF since Babylon 5.

My favourite characters are Gaius Baltar and the Creepy Blonde Succubus. The "monotheistic machines" are a very nice twist.


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Draco
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posted 29 March 2005 11:41 PM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's definitely a high quality show. I kept hearing about, but thinking of the cheesy old series and never bothered to watch.

I always enjoy seeing stories retold in different ways, keeping some names and events, but altering others.


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Coyote
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posted 29 March 2005 11:56 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It really is a good show so far (I'm about 12 episodes in). There's been some logistical stumbles and a few, shall we say, convenient plot devices crop up; all that is to be expected in any SF show getting on its legs. But I think you'll like the arc, and where they're taking the major story lines.
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The Other Todd
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posted 29 March 2005 11:58 PM      Profile for The Other Todd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't stand the present show; watched the first two or three episodes then turned thumb down.

I found it _way_ preachier and Christocentric than the old one, which was written with Mormonism strongly in mind.

And the tech? Who the Hell puts an analog clock on a warp-drive capable starship?


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Coyote
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posted 30 March 2005 12:02 AM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's cool if it's not your cuppa, Todd. The show is definitely intending to explore spiritual questions, and that premise bugs you you probably aren't going to like the show.

On the tech stuff though, if you'd had a chance to watch the pilot (it's now out on DVD) there's a partial explanation about that, which has to do with how the Cylons were able to destroy the Colonies. The "low tech" feel is intentional, not an oversight.


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Mandos
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posted 30 March 2005 12:03 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, the Cylons are preachy, but in a creepy fundie sort of way. They are also quite a bit more complex than the original Cylons were in my dim dim memory of the original series. They get complexer as the show moves onto the further episodes, and some of the cinematography is great.

The point of the analog clocks is a general Galactica phobia of high tech beyond what is absolutely necessary for a ship with an FTL drive. However, it's obvious that they do have digital clocks on the bridge.


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Bookish Agrarian
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posted 30 March 2005 12:06 AM      Profile for Bookish Agrarian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know, I'm a long time sci-fi fan and I just think the show is boring, poorly written and acted. The actor playing Baltar seems to have gone to the Captian Kirk school of over acting. The old show was fun and campy, this one just takes itself way too serious in a very pompous way.

I keep watching hoping it will improve, but I'm not holding out much hope.


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Mandos
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posted 30 March 2005 12:15 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It depends on how much you are about the camp. Some SF fans really like the campiness aspect. I'm not into camp.

I take my SF really seriously, so a show that takes itself really seriously and pompously is what I'm after. Star Trek didn't cut it for me, for the most part; Babylon 5 was very grave, and really appealed to me. This one also has that same feeling.


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Bookish Agrarian
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posted 30 March 2005 12:18 AM      Profile for Bookish Agrarian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I liked Babylon, but I watched the original BG when it was first broadcast, so it's not retro-campy I liked about it. I just think the new one isn't very good. But like I say I'm holding out hope.
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Mandos
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posted 30 March 2005 12:40 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'K. I do think that a lot of the ideas are highly original, including the design of some of the scenes. I like that sort of originality. The rooftop watchers give me goosebumps.
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 30 March 2005 12:48 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does Starbuck still say "oh frack" in the new Battlestar Galactica?

What a great cuss word. I've been using it since 1979.


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Mandos
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posted 30 March 2005 12:51 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, that cuss word is out in spades in this one.
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Guêpe
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posted 30 March 2005 01:28 AM      Profile for Guêpe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i can't beleive i let myself get hooked on another sci fi series just before exams. frack.

this one is cool. i like it, i've never seen the original so i had nothing to base it on but this one is "cool".

although the Cylon torturing Baltar is growing old on me. i mean as much as that cylon is a babe...and the guy is a traitor...i grow weary of that plotline....the other thing im wondering about is where the frack are they going with the Helo character?

oh yeah the swearing on the show is humerous. if you like sci fi..then you'll likely like this show....unless you are intolerant of religious or spiritual questions or themes.


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Mandos
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posted 30 March 2005 01:37 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a big guess as to where Helo is going...

Yes, the Baltar bit still is cool but wearing off. BUT that plotline is important! Why does the succubus REALLY want him to build that machine?


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angrymonkey
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posted 30 March 2005 01:46 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
although the Cylon torturing Baltar is growing old on me.

Me too. Why hasn't everyone figured out there is something seriously weird about this guy yet. How many times does he have to be caught with his pants down?
Still watching it though. Wouldn't mind a little more sci-fi. And I would like at least one plotline to be resolved before the end of the season. I hate soap operas that spin stuff out for ever and ever.


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Guêpe
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posted 30 March 2005 10:24 PM      Profile for Guêpe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
I have a big guess as to where Helo is going...



what's the guess?


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Papal Bull
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posted 30 March 2005 10:42 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just snitched up some episodes.

If this is better than the original (which I'm very indifferent towards) then I'll be most pleased.


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Coyote
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posted 30 March 2005 11:31 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think, and this is just a guess, that the Cylons want Helo to be the Adam of a new Cylon hybrid race, so they do not have to rely on cloning. That's my guess.
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Mandos
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posted 31 March 2005 02:32 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the Helo plot is also connected to the Cylon detector. As I said, it's still totally unexplained why the succubus INSISTS that Baltar build the detector. After all, it's so useful to humanity to be able to detect Cylons. But is it somehow a double-edged sword?

We also have these glimmering hints of disunity and dissatisfaction among the Cylons. What is so interesting about this show is that the Cylons are also on a kind of self-discovery voyage. We're sentient...so now what? The Cylon religion stuff was the first step.

As for getting tired of Baltar and the succubus, I think terminating that plot too early would be dangerous. Baltar has a Destiny, and the succubus is going to lead him to it. Best not to rush that. People already KNOW he is weird and that's why they don't question the whole thing: eccentric genius.

[ 31 March 2005: Message edited by: Mandos ]


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nister
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posted 31 March 2005 12:54 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Do all you viewers already know of www.televisionwithoutpity.com? There's a pulldown on screen right, BatGal's a regular update.
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Guêpe
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posted 31 March 2005 02:02 PM      Profile for Guêpe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:

As for getting tired of Baltar and the succubus, I think terminating that plot too early would be dangerous. Baltar has a Destiny, and the succubus is going to lead him to it. Best not to rush that. People already KNOW he is weird and that's why they don't question the whole thing: eccentric genius.

[ 31 March 2005: Message edited by: Mandos ]


I don't think they need to end the Baltar plot line...but they could lighten up on it a little is all I'm saying. I mean they could still give the number 6 actress a role elsewhere as there are an infinite number of her around...anyway season two coming up in the not to distant future - should be fun.

What I don't get is, why do the cylons strive to be like humans? They even have organs and such...why strive to be human like?


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Mandos
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posted 31 March 2005 03:21 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That one's easy. They are the Children of Humanity. They believe that they are sent to supplant Humanity because Humanity has sinned and blasphemed against God. Naturally, supplanting humanity requires mimicking human characteristics enough for God to view them as an appropriate replacement, while avoiding whatever it is that they consider to be sin.
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scooter
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posted 31 March 2005 03:22 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like the show. Its not aimed at kids like the old Battlestar Galactica series.

Most of the actors are accomplished stage and film actors so I find it hard to understand the harsh criticism of the acting. The Dr. Baltar character is a bit over the top at times, but has anyone worked with a real gifted genius? I have twice and they can be pretty weird at times so the Dr. Baltar character is not that far fetched.

The camera space shots are very original, at least to me. I love how they do the jiggly zoom in. It gives you a grand sense of space and motion.

I also enjoy that the President, a form school teacher, comes across as sweet and passive until it gets rough and her tough as nails, damn the torpedoes attributes appear. It plays well against the Commander Adama's tendency towards being a peacenik.

As for the comment about having an analog clock I find it refreshing that a technologically advanced society has not sold out its past.

Isn't it creepy that James Callis, playing Dr. Baltar, looks so much like Alexander Siddig, playing Dr. Bashir in StarTrek Deep Space IX?

Seperated at birth?

[ 31 March 2005: Message edited by: scooter ]


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Alan Avans
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posted 31 March 2005 03:41 PM      Profile for Alan Avans   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Other Todd:
I can't stand the present show; watched the first two or three episodes then turned thumb down.

I found it _way_ preachier and Christocentric than the old one, which was written with Mormonism strongly in mind.

And the tech? Who the Hell puts an analog clock on a warp-drive capable starship?



Mormonism does lend itself rather well to science fiction. But a dash of sophiology here...a little gnosticism there...and voila!...you've got the makings of some really good Christian sci-fi/fantasy as well.

Actually a lot of works designated "gnostic" go into considerable detail about planets are formed and recycled, and how seeds are transported from one planet to another, how spirits and angels transport themselves and all that. So science fiction isn't new to Christianity.

Regards
Alan Avans
Economic Democracy For the Americas
http://www.pierreducasse.ca/ecodema

Reconstructionist Mormonism Forum
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reconstructionistmormonism


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Hunky_Monkey
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posted 09 April 2006 04:02 PM      Profile for Hunky_Monkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did anyone know that Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) is the son of former NDP Premier Tony Penikett?
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clersal
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posted 09 April 2006 04:32 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nope, but I remember he was in Cold Squad near the end of the series.
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marzo
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posted 09 April 2006 05:47 PM      Profile for marzo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that the point of the retro technology is to portray a society similar to those of Earth in some ways, but different in others. Their major religion is based on the gods of pre-Christian Greece, they drink a green liquor called "ambrosia", they have a sport called "pyramid", they have both-sexes washrooms, and their furniture looks like what used to be called "scandinavian modern" in the 1970s. I'm guessing that the "Lords of Kobol" took them away from Earth centuries ago and planted them on their new world of Caprica.
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Reality. Bites.
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posted 09 April 2006 06:09 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 30 April 2006: Message edited by: Reality. Bites. ]


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marzo
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posted 09 April 2006 06:25 PM      Profile for marzo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't see any connection to Mormonism or Bible stories. I thought that the originators of the Battlestar Galactica stories used Erich Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods" stories as a jumping off point with the "Lords of Kobol" (Zeus, Apollo, Athena, etc.) being ancient space travellers who transplanted Earth humans to other planets.
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marzo
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posted 10 April 2006 03:41 PM      Profile for marzo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the latest episode of BG, President Roslin is cured of her cancer by injections of Cylon blood.
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Mandos
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posted 10 April 2006 03:56 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
GETTING RID OF SPOILER.
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Melsky
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posted 10 April 2006 04:08 PM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm kind of bummed I saw the spoiler on the today's active topics page. I'd avoided that thread because I wanted to know as little about the series as possible before starting to watch it.
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marzo
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posted 13 April 2006 08:41 PM      Profile for marzo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I told too much information about the Battlestar Galactica storyline it is only because I thought that anybody who cared had already seen the most recent episodes and that anybody else was not interested.
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angry worker
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posted 13 April 2006 08:43 PM      Profile for angry worker   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Edited to remove spam.

[ 13 April 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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ceti
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posted 25 April 2006 06:16 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While I'll watch it as the drama is good, I can't believe how 21th century American the show is, down to every aspect of their culture and the racial mix of the ship. The lack of imagination is so extreme, that it must be deliberate.

At least with Star Trek and B5, events were set in our future (hence, the American and Russian crew members, joined by other spacefaring countries). But weren't the the 12 colonies of Kobol settled by our ancestors? And so how did they develop in exactly the same way as one unique culture on our planet? Weird.

Secretary of Education? President? Egads. Even their political system is American.

Very low grade science fiction unfortunately.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 April 2006 07:06 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 30 April 2006: Message edited by: Reality. Bites. ]


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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 26 April 2006 03:08 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
President is a common term for heads of state. As for the whole "secretary" thing, I hardly think that hurts the quality of the show. The governance structure of the twelve colonies is really more like the EU. This is because it's more of a loose confederation where each of the twelve colonies is theoretically equal and independent, but some of them are less equal then others. In Star Trek the leader of the Federation was always referred to as a "President", the Klingon government head was a "Chancellor" with an "Emperor" as a head of state (Imperial Germany) and a "Praetor" as head of government with an "Emperor" as head of state for the Romulans (Imperial Rome).

As for the ethnic makeup of the cast, one should note that most of the supporting cast, outside of the core stars, come from the Vancouver area. I suppose that means there should be more Asian characters other than Grace Park's "Sharon Valeri", but I don't understand what's wrong with that. I would've liked more ethnic diversity in the leadership, positions, but the gender balance is good.

[ 26 April 2006: Message edited by: Vansterdam Kid ]


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ceti
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posted 27 April 2006 04:02 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The old show had better ethnic balance! Colonel Tigh and Boomer were African American. Only Boomer, Dee, and Gaeta are non-white, while the rest of the crew is more than white, but ultra American! (except Baltar whose a Brit but also a tool).

Almost everything about the Galactica universe aka the Twelve Colonies (Actually, thirteen with Earth -- Thirteen Colonies??) is 21st century American.

The characters also have Anglo names which is a change from the original where they had only one name. The military ranks are also very American. Add to that, the Lords of Kobol are from the Greek pantheon!

I'm also afraid that the show also contains some pretty reactionary post 9/11 politics (torture, sleeper cells, suicide bombers, insidious infiltration of the ship, and weird theopolitics). Combined with its overall American and Eurocentricism, it's quite disappointing.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 27 April 2006 04:28 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, this point from the Battlestar Galactica wiki is the only way the storyline would make sense: "There is substantial circumstantial evidence that people of Kobol originated on Earth, and it is also known that one of the thirteen tribes later returned there."

Firefly is a little bit more realistic in that colonization has had a strong American AND Chinese character as opposed to American alone as in Galactica. (In Dune there is a reference to the "Inglo-Slavic" migrations)


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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 29 April 2006 07:41 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, as RB said, the show still has a lot of time left in it so many of these questions will be worked out at later on. Not to mention that this a fiction geared towards a western audiance so obviously most of the charachters will have western names, and accents etc.

Two, Dee seems to have gotten a much more prominent position in the show pretty much being the XO of the Pegasus now, I won't spoil it further, but suffice to say I doubt all she's going to be doing now is answering the telephone and being X guy's love intrest.

Three containing those types of political issues in the show has actually made it stronger. Instead of being bland and avoiding them all together, the show has done a good job of showing the practical realities that sometimes make so-called democracies resort to such tactics when they're under pressure...and the Twelve Colonies are under far more pressure then the west is now. In any case the show also does a good job of showing the seedy side of such decisions, and the real consquences that people face, psychologically, morally and practically.


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ceti
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posted 30 April 2006 01:36 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
and the Twelve Colonies are under far more pressure then the west is now.

That's exactly the problem. The Twelve Colonies are based on Western Civilization. The whole polytheism vs. monotheism bit is a canard, because in the end, the Lords of Kobol are Greek deities and represent Western Civilization.

So whether Terrans founded Kobol to eventually found the Twelve Colonies, or whether folks from Kobol also branched off to Earth, it seems implausible that only Western Civ constituted the roots of the new exodus. Where are all the other deities and pantheons?

(Weirdly enough, the Galactica opening credits theme contains the Gayatri Mantra which is the most ubiquitous Sanskrit prayer recited by Hindus. No other mention of Hindu culture with its own Von Daniken allusions is found in the show).

So I'm not saying I don't like the show, but it has serious flaws and limitations at the root of its "reimagining" that are seriously problematic politically and historically, as we have progressed way beyond the simple Eurocentrism that dates the show to the days before multiculturalism.

The only one who makes sense is Tom Zarek, but he is still depicted as a shady, shadowy revolutionist, as opposed to a responsible leader like the dictatorial Adama and the ideological Roslin. Only Zarek questions the whole continuation of the "way of life" that is so out of place in the refugee caravan led by Galactica.

Also, when will we hear from the original Cylons? They just shoot and get shot, only to have their human hybrids interpret their world view for them.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 30 April 2006 01:47 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 30 April 2006: Message edited by: Reality. Bites. ]


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Alan Avans
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posted 30 April 2006 02:41 PM      Profile for Alan Avans   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by marzo:
I didn't see any connection to Mormonism or Bible stories. I thought that the originators of the Battlestar Galactica stories used Erich Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods" stories as a jumping off point with the "Lords of Kobol" (Zeus, Apollo, Athena, etc.) being ancient space travellers who transplanted Earth humans to other planets.

Mormon scriptures affirm that God, or more specifically, Jesus Christ, has created "millions of earths, just like the one on which which thou standest." In other words, the universe has many planets inhabited by humanoids or an alternate interpretation would be that these planets have environements suitable for human habitation.

In Mormon mythology the One True God lives in a star system inhabited by exalted humans (gods). The star is called "Kolob." Kolob...Kobol...Lords of Kobol....get it?

Mormons are governed by "council of twelve" and regard themselves to a regathering of the "lost tribes of Israel" with Judah and Benjamin. This makes twelve tribes. In addition within Mormon mythology there is a "thirteenth tribe" (the City of Enoch) that used to live on Earth and which are expected to return to the Earth (specifically, Kansas City!) at some future date. In Battlestar Galactica the roles are reversed just a teeny tiny bit so that the thirteenth tribe is still on Earth.

Mormon mythology also holds that Adam will return and hold a grand conference of the Church and various native American tribes in northern Missouri. Between "Adama" and the thirteenth tribe (City of Enoch) returning...I think one can see how with a little tweaking and conflations Battlestar Galactica and Mormon mythology are connected.

In one episode a very dead Starbuck is taken into the custody of mysterious beings of light who seem to be acting as guardians of Battlestar Galactica. They resurrect Stargbuck, Starbuck asks them who they are and they aren't very forthcoming about who they are except to say that "as you are we once were, as we are you will become." This is almost word-for-word a couplet uttered by Lorenzo Snow, a president of the LDS Church...although Clement of Alexandria said something much like it as well. Furthermore that resurrection scene, to a Mormon anyway, hints very much as taking place in a temple. One episode of the original BSG also has Starbuck getting what looks to a Utah Mormon like a temple marriage.

Then there is Iblis...who is scared shitless of these beings of light...and yet he appears to have once been one of them and yet it fallen. This sounds a lot like the Mormon myth of Lucifer falling from Heaven with the addition that instead of Lucifer being a pre-existent human being and fallen angel, he is a fallen god.

And above all...Glen Larsen, the producer of the orginal BSG is a 100 pro-cent genuine Utah Mormon.


From: Christian Democratic Union of USAmerica | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 01 May 2006 12:34 AM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Goes to show you the Book of Mormon makes good science fiction, and Joseph Smith is similar to L. Ron Hubbard in this respect.

On episode 10 of Season 2. Ensign Ro makes an appearance, right after Xena. Things are starting to pick up.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 01 May 2006 12:39 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ceti, have you seen the entire second season yet?

Anyways, these are all opinions. I just find it really strange when people look to expect some greater meaning from fiction, then when it doesn't deliver the greater meaning that they're looking for that work of fiction has "serious" problems. Maybe its the scifi conundrum, the fans are generally intellgent, so they analyse things rather well...and for a show to succed it can't be a dud. But sometimes they get a little over-technical. Its fun at times, but it can be a little strange too. I'll be perfectly blunt, while I found what you and Alan said regarding the religious component of BSG intresting, and an intellgent take on the series, it's really not that important to me.

Technically, with regards to the fundamentals of the show, so far, this is a strong series. The special effects are impressive, and the advanced technology isn't so advanced so as to make it more magical then technological. But more importantly with regards to the quality of the acting, it's generally good, dramatic but not too overwrought to the point of becoming corny. Considering its competition in TV-land nowadays it's doing rather well. It can improve, but I have confidence in Ron Moore, who produced some of the best hours that Star Trek has ever seen in Deep Space Nine, specifically the last four seasons.

[ 01 May 2006: Message edited by: Vansterdam Kid ]


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Alan Avans
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posted 01 May 2006 01:59 PM      Profile for Alan Avans   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ceti:
Goes to show you the Book of Mormon makes good science fiction, and Joseph Smith is similar to L. Ron Hubbard in this respect.

On episode 10 of Season 2. Ensign Ro makes an appearance, right after Xena. Things are starting to pick up.


Actually you would have to look pretty hard to find anything in Battlestar Galactica that is drawn from the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is pretty pedestrian stuff as far as science fiction might go. Other works such as the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, the Temple and Mormon folklore and unique corpus of speculative theology are drawn upon.

Not that the Book of Mormon doesn't shape works of fiction. The best and brightest example of the Book of Mormon's contribution to fictional literature was penned by Orson Scott Card in a short story named "Virgem Americana" which develops Mormonism's "Indian Messiah" motiff. The Indian Messiah is supposed to bring liberation to his people and build the city of Zion in Jackson County Missouri. The Book of Mormon tells the Mormons that if they are righteous Mormons will be allowed by the good Lord to assist Native Americans, or some subset thereof, in that work....if not....

In the Virgem Americana story the Mormons are somewhere between eligible and not being eligible.

I guess that means those of y'all that might be Utah Mormons better mind your p's and q's on this matter of Mexican and central American immigration.

The Lords of Kobol are watching you!

Si se puede.

[ 01 May 2006: Message edited by: Alan Avans ]


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ceti
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posted 03 May 2006 02:22 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Old show that is.. The new one is more akin to post-911 US.

The fact that Battlestar is now a top-rated drama on American television does make it necessary to analyse it, particularly for its more than obvious allusions to real world events. The fact that the science part of the science fiction is kept very low on purpose so that audiences can related directly with the characters, means that it is that much more a drama.

Even the appearance of the Pegasus and its nasty-ass crew echoes ongoing American disillusionment with the Iraq War, particularly in the post-Abu Ghraib period. This is so transparent, than I can hardly think of it as fiction, but a parallel narrative to the War on Terror.

Indeed even Firefly embodied some of the zeitgeist of the anti-globalization movement, where the Independents were running from a US-Chinese-based Alliance that was omnipresent and omnipotent, at least in the core worlds.

Thus it is also important to deconstruct that holy of holies, Lord of the Rings, for its echoes of an eternal racial war between the Men of the West and everyone else (Saruman and Sauron's alliance paralleling that of Osama and Saddam). Time Magazine tried to put this allusion at play early on, but Viggo Mortenssen would have none of it. However, as a result, by Return of the King, I had lost interest in the movies due to this reimagining that unintentionally served political purposes.


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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 07 May 2006 08:06 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Alright, fair enough. But is there anything wrong with it being akin to post-911 US of A? Frankly I know very little about Chinese culture, and to be perfectly honest don't really care about it all that much. I live in the western world, so American, social, political and cultural relaties are far more relevent to me, and most of the western audiance. Besides, it's not as if the show is a flattering portrayal of the actions that humanity has taken in the face of this catastrophe. The humans aren't portrayed as good or pure. They're portrayed as, well, human - warts and all. Granted one would want to cheer for them, more so, since they are the "lesser" of two evils, nonethless one is constantly exposed to the evil decisions that they make.

A good example of showing the seedy side of human nature was the way that our enemies were being treated. I felt bad for 'Gina', the Cylon model 'Six' that was found on the Pegasus, because of the sickening way that the crew treated her. Inspite of the fact that the Cylons are genocidal nuts, I still didn't feel as if it gave them the right to treat her in the way that they did. And frankly I felt that Admiral Crane got the charmic response that she deserved because of her actions, in relation to Gina and the civilian fleet that she came upon. Whenever Boomer was treated like crap earlier in the second season, again I understood why, but felt somewhat uncomfortable with it. It wasn't as if the indescretions that were being directed towards both Cylons were anywhere near as bad as what happened to the Human race, but it didn't matter. The base reaction towards both were not flattering portrayls of the "good guys", making us question their actions and their morals - and I think that's the point. The shades of gray involved make the show appealing as I think one of the points is that nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

[ 07 May 2006: Message edited by: Vansterdam Kid ]


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 08 May 2006 12:48 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
True the ambiguities are front and centre. In most episodes, humans can't even get themselves to think of Cylons as living beings, even though they are flesh and blood. It makes hard watching where the supposed protagonists are so hateful.

Then again, I'm beginning to root for the Cylons.

Perhaps some backstory about how the Cylons were created and how they were treated would be useful. There have been too few episodes on the cylons themselves.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 08 May 2006 05:48 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rumour has it that the first arc of the third season will focus on the Cylons far more, perhaps even taking place at their homeworld. Searching around I found hints that Lucy Lawlesses 'Number 3' Cylon would play a more prominent role, at least in the begging of the season. The last few episodes of the second season shed a bit of light on their society, and showed some intresting cracks...I don't want to say too much more though incase someone hasn't seen the end of the season (bittorrent!)
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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 08 October 2006 01:29 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT. SO DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE EPISODE YET.

So I thought it would be better to bump this thread, luckily it didn't take to long to find. So far it doesn't seem like there's going to be much of a presence on the Cylon homeworld, like the rumours said.

Anyhow, I watched the season premiere, it was pretty good overall, and it's interesting to watch the storylines that the minor characters are taking on. While sometimes shows can be overburdened with developing minor characters, a good show will know how to do that correctly, without having too many storylines going on at the same time. It seems like this show is managing the storylines well.

What I found interesting, as it relates to this thread, and modern politics in general, was the occupation motif of the Cylons on New Caprica. Clearly there are multiple examples of this throughout the modern world. And I think its interesting that some have complained about this show being too-'western' in it's orientation, and political agenda, yet clearly the two major arguments for occupation have been thoroughly dissected in a not-so-complementary way. Whether it's a mission like Afghanistan, or a mission like Iraq, if the population of those countries don't want a foreign occupier around, then they'll make that clear, as the humans have been doing in relation to the Cylons on New Caprica!

A minority of Cylons are advocating that the occupation is necessary because they want to "bring the word of God to the Natives" (an direct quote IIRC), while others of the more 'benevolent' variety truly believe that they're 'helping' humanity and abhor violent tactics to do this helping, yet are unwilling to advocate a complete withdrawal. This is shown in particularly stark terms when Calli tells Boomer that if she won‘t “help me [get out of detention]” then she can just “frack off” because she, like all humans just wants to be “left alone”. The majority of the Cylons belong to the first group that are willing to use the 'helping' reason as cover for some other reason, probably related to power, and possibly even religious fundamentalism. Unlike those like “Caprica Six” or “Galactica Sharon” though, these Cylons are willing and able to take abhorrent tactics to accomplish their goals. I think it's interesting how blunt this show is being in it's criticism of modern geo-politics, and the sacrificing of our morals that we often make to achieve our goals. And frankly I think it's doing a good job of that.


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Briguy
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posted 01 November 2006 04:40 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wow. Just saw season 3, episode 4 last night. My personal subtitle for it is "Dealing with the sycophantic traitors". Wow.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alberta Guy
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posted 01 November 2006 06:12 AM      Profile for Alberta Guy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I missed it.

I keep watching the show hoping it will pick up a little bit. I am a big sci-fi fan, but this one just isn't doing it for me.

I never noticed any political undertones while I was watching it, I suppose I was distracted by holes in the plot big enough to drive a Mack Truck through.


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Briguy
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posted 01 November 2006 07:11 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi. We're talking about the new BG, not the Lorne Greene version. It's all about the political undertones, as opposed to robot dogs and bad hairstyles.
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alberta Guy
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posted 01 November 2006 07:44 AM      Profile for Alberta Guy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So am I...lol

The point I was making is that I am not all that politically astute


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fpu aaa
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posted 02 November 2006 01:19 PM      Profile for fpu aaa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Although this season hasn't been rocking me like the first one, I still think it's the best television out there. The first episode, '33', is in my opinion in the top ten of the best 40 minutes of television ever.
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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 02 November 2006 06:00 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd say that the lead up to the end of season two is probably the best part of the series so far, because of all the themes explored during that time, and the general kick-ass-ness of those episodes (explosions, drama, etc). I haven't been disappointed with the new episodes so far, but it seems like nothing kicks a series into high gear quite as much a lead up to a cliff-hanger.
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Catchfire
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posted 17 April 2007 08:38 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Inspired by The Sopranos thread, I decided to boot this one up a few notches too. I recently just finished Season Three. While I still think Season One is out of this world amazing and everything after it just running on vapours with the odd shot of nitro, I still can't stop watching.

Plus, what the frack is up with Bob Dylan and the Cylons?


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quelar
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posted 17 April 2007 09:13 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just reread this thread from the beginning and I'm sort of left stunned wondering if the detractors were watching another show.

People saying they're big Scifi fans but this just doesn't cut it?

The only thing I can think of is that this series has been far too gritty, far too serious, and covered far too many political topics to be a scrubbed down clean and shiny Star Trek world.

It's some of the best TV science fiction.

Catchfire, I caught the line during the episode and turned to my friend watching with me and said 'they're picking up transmissions from earth somehow'. I'm not sure I'm sticking by that thought, but I've yet to hear one better. The real question is, how far are they, how long has that message been travelling, and how far into earths future will they be 'arriving'.


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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 17 April 2007 10:46 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:


Plus, what the frack is up with Bob Dylan and the Cylons?


That one is simple. Bob Dylan, comes from the "lost colony" of Earth - that they're getting closer to. So when the last five (well, the four they showed us for sure) Cylons hear the residual traces of his music it acted like an "activation" sequence.

[ 17 April 2007: Message edited by: Vansterdam Kid ]


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 17 April 2007 11:09 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
...the idea was not that Bob Dylan necessarily exists in the characters' universe, but that an artist on one of the colonies may have recorded a song with the exact same melody and lyrics. Perhaps this unknown performer and Dylan pulled inspiration from a common, ethereal source. Therefore, I was told to make no musical references to any 'Earthly' versions, Hendrix, Dylan or any others. The arrangement needed to sound like a pop song that belonged in the Galactica universe, not our own.

composer Bear McCreary


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Draco
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posted 17 April 2007 11:15 AM      Profile for Draco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quelar:

composer Bear McCreary


I'm hoping that Ron Moore was telling McCreary what he needed to know to compose the right sort of arrangement. As an actual reason for why they started hearing that particular song, it would be very unsatisfying.


From: Wild Rose Country | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 17 April 2007 11:40 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
everytime I get to a point that I think 'wow that doesn't fit in' I find out about 3 episodes later that it completely did, Moore's just been on a really long story arc for 3 years.

I'm sure this was not just because they wanted to throw a cool song they knew in there, every other bit of music has been very careful not to replicate any well known earth tunes. *

* in Season 1 Boomer hums a tune while wandering around Starbucks recovered Cylon Raider that Grace Park admits is a korean lullaby her mother used to sing to her as a child.


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ceti
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posted 18 April 2007 04:53 AM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The only thing I can think of is that this series has been far too gritty, far too serious, and covered far too many political topics to be a scrubbed down clean and shiny Star Trek world.

It's some of the best TV science fiction.


BSG hardly qualifies as science fiction. A space opera maybe, but there is no science in it. That is the sad things with these shows that have all adopted the Star Trek/Star Wars template of naval conflict in space.

It may be serious and gritty, yes, but also sterile and sadistic, with characters that are nothing but flaws (with Helo as one of the only decent human being, and he married a cylon). The incessant love triangles that tangled up the show over season 3 dragged interminably on, and would only make sense as to seriously raise questions about whether these remaining humans are really worthy of surviving!

I still can't get over their 21st century anglo-american culture that cannot be explained with any consistency (Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Firefly were all in our near future so such anachronism did was possible). That is unless they are far into the future, and All Along the Watchtower signals this (covered by bands for thousands of years??)

Crossroads II was also underwhelming and DRM is obviously trying to throw the fans off, especially as they have been speculating on who the next undercover cylon was. The fact he named four of the final five in one fell swoop, is somewhat interesting but it may also reflect his need to mix things up.

Regardless, it's an overhyped show, not the worst, but definitely not the best of its genre.


From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 18 April 2007 06:29 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Using that logic you could eliminate just about every show on space. Very few of them have any sort of science discussions anymore, it's more an overarching conceptual discussion, but no biggie.

I can agree on some of the points, but then I'm a huge fan, I think the show's been well planned out so far so I'll give them the start of next season to clear it all up.

I can't find anything better on TV, but then I don't watch it much.


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Catchfire
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posted 18 April 2007 09:04 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What a bizarre and narrow definition of science fiction. I wonder if anyone told Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov that's what science fiction was. Here I always thought that fiction was about the present, and never about the future (how could it be otherwise?). In fact, Sci-fi is about reimagining the present with special dose of flexibility. Or as the late, great Kurt Vonengut put it:
quote:
Kilgore Trout became Billy's favorite living author, and science fiction became the only sort of tales he could read.

Rosewater was twice as smart as Billy, but he and Billy were dealing with similar crises in similar ways. They had both found life meaningless, partly because what they had seen in war. Rosewater, for instance, had shot a fourteen-year-old fireman, mistaking him for a German soldier. So it goes.

And Billy had seen the greatest massacre in European history, which was the fire-bombing of Dresden. So it goes.

So they were trying to reinvent themselves and their universe. Science fiction was a big help.


--From Slaughterhouse Five

In that respect, the decision to keep bubble-headed aliens and new "technology" that will just look silly in five years anyway out of it is a very, very good one. Instead, BSG confronts its audience with complex contemporary issues like torture, fundamentalism, racism, nationalism, justice and endless others, but reframing it in neutral, extreme or reversed settings. It's great.

[ 18 April 2007: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
quelar
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posted 18 April 2007 09:26 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sidenote here.

since you bring up Kurt, this got me fuming.

Science fiction has always been used not to look into the future, but to reflect the present in a different light. BSG does a great job of that. The original Star Trek did a great job of tackling a variety of issues though the stories, and BSG takes that model and expands on it.

One only needs to look at the message boards on the scifi page to see how well it works. If you look for the thread for episode 1 of season three there's an inordinate amount of people fumingly angry at Moore for trying to make the US look bad and justifying suicide bombing of it's troops.

If I was Moore I'd be taking that as praise that the points getting across.

[ 18 April 2007: Message edited by: quelar ]


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Vansterdam Kid
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posted 18 April 2007 01:37 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree with that, quelar. I suppose the creators could have had a bunch of extremely futuristic (whatever that's supposed to mean), and obscure references to cultural realities that are irrelevant to the average viewer of the programme (who are western, and English speaking), to make artsy types happy. Then again if they did that most people wouldn't understand the show, or particularly like it. As such it probably would've been cancelled within the first few episodes, even if someone financed it. Seriously people it's a television programme, the masses have to be able to understand it or else they'll think its presumptuous crap.

[ 18 April 2007: Message edited by: Vansterdam Kid ]


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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