The original Battlestar Galactica was a pretty fun show, though it was never one of my favorites. It was a bit over the top-end of the human race, mad robots on all fronts and no hope to speak of, except for Earth. It had a great theme song and it was a good place to see all kinds of has been actors making cameos. It was a fun show.
The Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica takes itself way too seriously for my taste. They want to pretend that they are Shakespeare when they are the same pulp fiction as the original Battlestar. Like all Sci Fi made in the last fifteen years, the makers of Battlestar Galactica think that a good special effects budget is all they need for a great show.
One of my minor gripes about Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica is the need to have things like rotary phones on an intergalactic spaceship. Maybe they don’t need com badges like Star Trek, but earpieces like Stargate might not be out of the question. There are varied and sundry other bits of primitive tech floating around-yet they have enough tech for space travel that involves jumping from point to point and they created a race of sentient robots.
Battlestar Galactica has been a dark and dreary story with no hope for the humans, and now no hope for the Cyclons since they destroyed the Resurrection Ship. Of course, seems to me you might want to have more than one of those floating around anyway-just in case. But then we find out that the whole point of the story is that Humans and Cyclons have been killing each forever-and are destine to keep killing each other forever. Bloody Hell. Even The Planet of The Apes let them find the right time line in the end.
So the last episodes of Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica start with our heroes on the charred remains of Earth-among the bones of cities and the 13th Tribe of Whatever. This is an episode full of shockers. Earth was destroyed two or three thousand years ago. One of our soft and sensitive characters kills herself. We find out who the last Cylon is and she has been dead for a couple of seasons. Starbuck finds her rotted corpse in her old ship and discovers that she is-wait for it-a Cylon. There are dead Cylons in the ashes of Earth-and it turns out that all of the inhabitants of Earth were Cylons. And the finial shocker-Adama decided to take the fleet to the closest inhabitable planet and settle down.
There are closest inhabitable planets?!? I thought the whole point of looking for Earth was that there was no place else to go.
So we now have this whole giant Circle of Death-human creates Cylon and Cylons destroy everything-until one ship escapes and starts a new settlement-where they eventually discover how to create Cylons. . .
They are trying to give us a Star Trek Voyager episode where everything resets as the closing credits roll-only they want to do it for the whole damn series. Like Space Above and Beyond nothing matters, because nothing can matter. The stories and the hopes and the desires of the characters are rendered meaningless.
Of course it is only a TV Show and they have no lives-they are just actors pretending in front of a blue screen. We just don’t want to be reminded of that. We watch these shows to escape reality. So the more ridiculous and outlandish the plots-the more it feels like a soap opera and the less it feels like a drama. We are brought back again and again to the idea that someone wrote this-and didn’t do a very good job of it at that-and we are yanked back to reality.
There is also no feeling of loss to speak of when someone dies, as they may or may not be really dead. One of a handful of really good Battlestar Galactica episodes was called Scar and told the story of a mad Cylon fighter who died and was reborn again and again. Odd that one the best shows in the series didn’t focus on a humanoid character.
But that has been the overall goal of the entire show, to prove that life sucks and we’re all going to die-and oh by the way, it’s going to hurt like hell. It would be funny if they named the last episode Tell Our Moms We Did Our Best. Of course, their Moms are all dead, so I don’t guess it would really make much sense.
Who would have guessed that Space Above and Beyond would turn out to be the second most depressing Sci Fi series in TV history.