Ruminations on Battlestar Galactica

Whether or not you agree with the creative choices they make on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, you have to admit they aren’t afraid to take some real chances. The episode two weeks ago that took place on Caprica, from the POV of the Cylons, was terrific and the last twenty minutes of the season finale tonight completely turned the series inside-out, potentially transforming it into an entirely different TV series than it was before. In a sense, executive producer Ron Moore has reimagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA anew for a second time. I don’t know whether the choices he’s made will be the death knell of the series or another new beginning, but I admire him for taking the risk. I wonder if I would be as brave (or foolhardy?) if I was in his position.

9 thoughts on “Ruminations on Battlestar Galactica”

  1. Besides the fact that my DirecTV was doing something wonky tonight during the FINALE — which was pissing me off, I loved the last ten minutes because it’s nothing anyone was expecting.
    I give Moore kudos for that, and can’t wait to see what he does to get himself out of this next conundrum. Just as long as we never revisit the Galactica EARTH series from the 80’s, I’ll be happy.

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean. I was simultaneously thinking Wow, this is a risky choice, I love it! and Please don’t blow this.
    But on reflection, it hasn’t really changed anything. All it’s done is temporarily split the cast into two locations and increase all the existing problems. I don’t see the future of the series continuing to use New Caprica.
    However, it does make me wonder whether the writers are working under the assumption that eventually, the Cylons win.

  3. Yeah, I didn’t expect the change – didn’t like it at first, but by the end I was fairly pleased with it.
    I figured that the twist was going to be more like the Cylons had backed off because they found out the way to Earth, so it would become the humans chasing the Cylons to save the lost tribe.
    It could work in that if they spend a season or two fighting a guerilla war on the new planet, it’ll take our minds off wishing they’d hurry up and jump to Earth.

  4. I was sort of hoping that once Baltar became President there’d be at least on opportunity for him to have a quasi-gay robot buddy like the original series had, or at least have someone say, “By your command,” to him.
    As it stands, I was fairly stunned by the dissolve to “One year later” and my initial reaction was, “Oh, crap, how are they gonna fix this?” And then my next thought was, “Oh, crap, how are they gonna fix this?” but the emotions were different, I assure you. The one troubling thing was something Tigh said to Starbuck about “that was a long time ago” etc. and how they’re now obviously closer than they were onboard: next season might be all flashback.

  5. i totally agree – and am absolutely thrilled at how gutsy it was. i hope we are all as brave – or foolhardy.
    and thanks for plugging the middleman – much appreciated!

  6. next season might be all flashback
    Oo… I think you’re right. That would be in keeping with the guess-how-we-get-to-this openings they’ve been using this season (which got annoying after the first two), only on a larger scale.

  7. The writing on this show never ceases to amaze me with its quality. No plot holes. No shortcuts. Characters who grow and evolve yet stay themselves; they don’t change just to suit a plotline. Not only does it make the old Battlestar Galactica look amateurish, but quite a few of today’s TV shows make most of what was on during the 70s and 80s look like amateur night. I wasn’t much tempted to watch TV in the 80s, and during the 90s, I virtually abandoned it altogether (except for Seinfeld!). But now? There are dramas I don’t dare watch for fear of becoming as addicted as I am to the new BG, as well as “Lost.” Blame my husband for both!

  8. Having just caught up with the series, I’m gonna go with foolhardy. Ballsy, yes. But also foolhardy.
    IMO it started to go wrong with the arrival of the Pegasus. As much as I love Michelle Forbes, I think a much better choice would have been to make both Cain and the Pegasus polar opposites of Adama and the Galactica–where the latter are old, verging on obsolescence, conservative, luddite, it would have made for stronger conflict if the former had been new, state of the art, brash, digerati; an F-117 Nighthawk to Adama and Galactica’s A-10 Warthog. Besides, it makes sense that a Colonial flagship would be superior to the about-to-be-mothballed Galactica.
    I also think that having two Battlestars could’ve been put to better use story-wise by splitting them up. e.g. Baltar, Cain, and Starbuck take the Pegasus on a rescue mission, not just to Caprica, but to all the Colonies, while aboard the Galactica, Roslin, Adama, and Apollo twiddle their thumbs… er… safeguard The Fleet in orbit around New Caprica.
    Incidentally, a more technologically advanced Pegasus would play right into this storyline while avoiding that Sharon-as-nav-computer technobabble kludge (which would’ve been a good thing, since stuff like that killed that other SF franchise that Ron Moore worked on).
    This way there’d be a story reason for Roslin and Adama to do the very thing they don’t want to do: sit and wait for the Pegasus’ return, while sentiment to establish a permanent settlement on New Caprica grows among the people.
    Plus, a multi-episode arc of a rescue mission to the Colonies could have enabled the writers to explore the rift between Xena… er… D’anna Biers and Caprica Six and Boomer in more depth (which is something I would’ve liked, not only because I enjoyed that episode, but because it adds a new dimension to the Cylons–not all of them are bad–and this new dimension draws another parallel to events in the real world, which is what good SF does).
    Then, when Baltar and Cain return, not only with survivors from the Colonies, but having negotiated peace with the Cylons, how can anyone not support them?
    In any case, I also have a few minor qualms about the story as written:
    While it wasn’t exactly a Deus Ex Machina, it did feel like a copout to have the conflict between Cain and Adama be resolved by third (or should I say Sixth) party. Speaking of whom…
    Even after being raped and tortured in the brig, Pegasus Six felt so adamantly that suicide is a sin that she begged Baltar to kill her, but then she goes and blows herself up when she’s literally on Cloud 9. What the frak?
    While I’m on the subject of Colonial colloquialisms… Galactica vernacular… Battlestar buzzwords… they did a fantastic job establishing “So say we all”. But in response to Tigh’s comment that “The last thing we need is Colonials shooting each other”, the Pegasus’ XO says “Amen to that.”
    And if Lee will forgive me saying so on his blog, the storyline with the Cylon priest (Dean Stockwell) felt like a pale imitation of Comes the Inquisitor/Intersections in Real Time.
    I hope I won’t be as disappointed when I catch up with Veronica Mars – Mark
    P.S. That vampire chick from The L Word sure gets around.


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