Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
opus

Battlestar Galactica

209 posts in this topic

I don't know if this is explained later in the series--so don't give any details just yes/no--but IF the Cylons are nearly perfect, synthetic, copies of human beings, then why don't they have free will (or something approximating it)? How are they programmed? Is it assumed that's done at a micro-neurological level? Is it equivalent to human brainwashing that leaves open the possibility of overcoming it?

Even if this is never explained, it would serve as an example of what makes this so superior both to Star Trek and Star Wars: mystery. Some things never get explained, and that's a good thing, because to do so without it being integral to the story would require that the storytellers reduce some character to a flat expositor rather than a realistic, limited creature with questions, doubts, and the rest. How many times do Star Trek characters pull some gadget/technique/algorithm out of their asses to neatly resolve the unknown? Why did Lucas have to insert midichloreans to explain away the Force? I hope BG keeps it up.

Another example of realism: The "bridge" on BG is apparently deep inside the craft somewhere, not on the top of the craft where it's easily hit with weapons (Star Trek) or on the outside of even the largest vessels, with huge windows (Star Wars). I never understood why Star Trek's bridge is where it is, especially given the fact that it doesn't have any windows, just a big-screen monitor--so there's no real point to having it where it is.

Edited by Pax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this is explained later in the series--so don't give any details just yes/no--but IF the Cylons are nearly perfect, synthetic, copies of human beings, then why don't they have free will (or something approximating it)? How are they programmed? Is it assumed that's done at a micro-neurological level? Is it equivalent to human brainwashing that leaves open the possibility of overcoming it?

That's one of the themes the Caprica series was setting itself up to explore more, but it got cancelled before they could get too far into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I just finished watching the series today — first time through for her, second time for me. I'm surprised at how some things I didn't love as much the first time around (like the third season slump and some of the stuff in the fourth season) weren't really a problem this time around. I genuinely loved it, compared to the first time through, where I just liked it a lot. It wasn't a perfect show, but even some of the "boring" episodes felt good this time around.

I also really felt more connected to the supporting cast this time through. Sure, I loved hanging out with the main characters each episodes, but I really grew attached to people like Hoshi, medic Ishay, Hot Dog, Captain Kelly (who they really should've used more than three times a season), Seelix, Sgt. Erin Mathias, and others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just started watching this on Netflix. Three episodes in, I'm liking it--am a little concerned that it may not sustain itself for 73 more hours, though. That's a lot of FTL jumps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just started watching this on Netflix. Three episodes in, I'm liking it--am a little concerned that it may not sustain itself for 73 more hours, though. That's a lot of FTL jumps.

There's still time to stop! I recommend a permanent moratorium after 2x09, "Flight of the Phoenix."

I just pretend no other episodes were made after that--I must say I quite enjoy this tactic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's still time to stop! I recommend a permanent moratorium after 2x09, "Flight of the Phoenix."

I just pretend no other episodes were made after that--I must say I quite enjoy this tactic.

There is still time to ignore Anna! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beginning of the third season is my favorite part of the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. I thought the show only really took off around the end of Season 2, though what came before was necessary to set things up. Sure it had it's missteps ("fat" Lee anyone?), but I liked it better once the search for the remaining Cylons kicks off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just imagine, though....if no one on that show had a ~destiny....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just imagine, though....if no one on that show had a ~destiny....

Eh, the show got even more interesting as a result (and the destiny talk started in season one, didn't it?). At least, I think it did.

Oh, and imagining the above means that this wouldn't happen. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but think of all the other things that wouldn't have happened if it ended earlier:

Billy blocking a romance? Let's kill him off!

Lee has a hooker girlfriend! Surprise!

Chief and Cally's baby is actually Hot Dog's! Surprise!

Tigh raped Caprica Six and now they are in LOVE.

Cylons killed ten billion people last year including everyone you ever knew? Well, if you don't want them to be your roommates now you're racist.

Kickass Dee? Naw. Let's have Designated Soulmate Blocker Dee instead, and then kill her off too.

Helo and Athena are the love to end all loves and therefore their baby is specialer than everyone, even though Helo can't even tell Athena apart from another 8 model.

Kara is dead - no, she's an angel - no, she's a PIGEON!

On the other hand, we wouldn't have had Mark Sheppard as Lampkin or Gaeta being awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm too weary to form a defense. I think most of the points you listed work just fine. (Or, think you have it completely wrong.) I'll say no more.

Edited by Jason Panella

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Greg and most people I know agree with you, so I think I'm probably crazy.

Maybe I'm just not a fan of the "hey look, a really important secret plot point we didn't tell you about until just now" tactic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna J wrote:

: Maybe I'm just not a fan of the "hey look, a really important secret plot point we didn't tell you about until just now" tactic.

Well, the "tactic" is just a way of trying to cover up the fact that they're just inventing things as they go along. Hence, e.g., when they revealed that one character was a Cylon, they suddenly had to explain why that character had a child, since Cylons Aren't Supposed To Be Able To Have Children, Which Is What Makes That *Other* Kid So Special. So they end up devoting an entire episode to revealing that the character's wife cheated on him at some mysterious point in the past, which further besmirches the character in question. And all because they wrote themselves into a corner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm just not a fan of the "hey look, a really important secret plot point we didn't tell you about until just now" tactic.

For what it's worth, Peter does describe it well. Ron Moore was notorious for just making things up and telling his writers to go with it, and it shows. I just think they managed to sort of make it work. I still hate the Sam Starbuck Lee love triangle with a passion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha ha, that love triangle was one of the things that actually didn't bother me that much, although many of the other problems were ignited in the writers' attempts to accommodate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm just not a fan of the "hey look, a really important secret plot point we didn't tell you about until just now" tactic.

For what it's worth, Peter does describe it well. Ron Moore was notorious for just making things up and telling his writers to go with it, and it shows. I just think they managed to sort of make it work.

Yeah. By the point where it was clear that the plotting wasn't going to get back to the tightness of the earlier seasons, I was so invested in the characters that I didn't care (except for the hope that Moore wouldn't drop the ball with the finale). I hold Season Two as the high water mark as far as good plotting goes, but it wasn't until near the end of Three that I realized how much I'd grown to love the characters who I'd disliked or been lukewarm towards - primarily Roslin, who I'd now say is my favourite character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, four episodes in (I'm watching "Acts of Contrition") and I'm getting a little impatient. So far, it feels like a bunch of establishing techniques. The characters are interesting, but the tension seems a little slight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you sad little linear people.

What made this show special was precisely the way that it didn't know where it was going.

The risk-taking -- the almost expressionistic, gestural plotting -- is what gave it an element of the sublime, like true "Space Opera."

Some people can love Dickens or Verdi operas -- complete, as they are, with wildly improbable coincidences, unpredictable reversals, mysterious benefactors, etc. -- but come down hard on poor BSG.

(And you know who you are.)

Most of you are too young to have read any real Space Opera sci-fi but it was once a staple of the genre. BSG is one of the few shows to actually achieve that genre on the small screen -- and make that screen look huge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greg Wolfe wrote:

: What made this show special was precisely the way that it didn't know where it was going.

I don't mind that it didn't know where it was going. I did mind that it didn't know where it had been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am now halfway through season 2, (Resurrection Ship Pt 2, I think), and I'm glad I've stuck with it. Watching it in such a compressed fashion, two seasons in little over a month, its flaws and its virtues probably stand out a little more than if it was spread over years. Instead of it being a year since a coup (in the viewer's timeframe), its a week, and former adversaries now hug and kiss. Which at times is perfect, and at other times is, what, don't they remember two episodes ago?

I'm not about to watch the video above, though; I'm still being delighted in the surprises and the whiplash of military actions and spiritual visions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A trailer for the spinoff TV movie/show Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome premiered at Wondercon. NBC is blocking anyone who tries to put it on YouTube, but Crave Online has it on their site.

I wish they would've gone all the way and just called it Cylon with the Dragon Tattoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A trailer for the spinoff TV movie/show Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome premiered at Wondercon.

And now Syfy isn't going to pick up the show. It might still become a web series at some point, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0