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Old February 26 2013, 05:42 PM   #16
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

stj wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
The continual psychoanalysis of Ron Moore by the OP is more than a little creepy.
The OP's desperate attempts to rationalize the mystery of how the first two seasons could be so great and the last two so bad
And that's where you lose me. The second half of Season 3 did suffer from an enforced set of bottle episodes from the network but the alleged drop in quality never really made much sense to me.

on one level reflects profound respect for Moore. The mystery is impossible to solve, leading to really peculiar hypotheses. But I think the true answer is obvious, namely, seasons one and two were badly written too, but they were on 9/11 when the supposed 9/11 wars were still popular.
Yikes. BSG was effective in all seasons at portraying a group of people stretched to their breaking points. The backdrop of the conflict was just that, a backdrop. People got all twisted up in their attempts to shoehorn Galactica into a particular set of politics that they forgot that the show was, from the start, about the people. As a character drama, BSG excelled. As a political statement, not so much.

But even if the notion that Moore was competent is true, the OP wasn't remotely as creepy as a multitude of OPs about Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. In fact, the OP isn't nearly as creepy as the idea of "Weaponized Culture." That guy's review of Skyfall is perceptive about the movie's backwardness and how comfortable he is with it. His graphic that fits drug and other police operations into the spectrum of war is pretty symptomatic too. However I thought that Moore's comfort level with the notion of Cylons as "holy warriors" and a "Jihadist people" was much creepier than the OP.
No, V is way creepier. He's literally living in a dream world where he makes up, out of whole cloth, a very personal set of circumstances surrounding RDM and holds to them like they were blasted into stone tablets from on high. It's a sickness.
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Old February 26 2013, 10:16 PM   #17
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

V wrote: View Post
Ron D Moore recently gave an interview to a personal military blog for veterans: https://www.weaponizedculture.org/20...-the-military/

It doesn't really cover any new ground; just some fans who are veterans, nice of RDM to drop in; so it focused on how the show tried to capture the realistic aspects of a military vessel -- i.e. how their mission statement was literally "this is going to be like a realistic portrayal of life on a military ship -- so realistic, filmed with shakey handicams with bad lighting cinema verite style, that the hope is that non-viewers randomly flipping channels and coming in halfway, who only see interior shots and don't instantly see it's a spaceship...will be honestly convinced they've stumbled upon a real-life documentary about an aircraft carrier."


Reading through all 4 parts (again they don't say anything not said elsewhere), in particular when Ron says how important his month in ROTC was and how much he always wanted to be part of that world of Hornet jets taking off and landing from a carrier, the "esprit de corps" of the fighter pilots and lower decks and commanders...

...well, this wasn't RDM's choice, but the interviewer points out fanmail that says that even Trek inspired people to be in the military.

Fundamentally, Starfleet is not "a military" in that sense. They're more like modern-day NASA astronauts: explorers, scientists, and diplomats.

On this point I must stress very strongly. Starfleet does have defensive duties, but it *isn't* that "esprit de corps" feeling of military honor and such. Spock is a scientist, McCoy is a doctor/scientist. Geordi is more of an astrophysicist than a military engineer.

Starfleet does have protocol, rank structure and such, people who break the rules might be court-martialed, but they simply don't equate to that world.

My point is that I think Picard's sense of honor, restraint, diplomacy, and "command"....are not based on his capacity as a "military ship commander". Picard frequently stressed that he is an explorer and diplomat and became angry when accused of being a "warrior".

Let's even leave out the question of violence; I mean even compared to a military vessel on purely peacetime patron duty today....Picard's mission is simply different from that.

Picard, and Starfleet, the whole standard of "command", "masculinity", "honor" whathaveyou that they presented....was more of a "Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird" style of restraint and idealistic belief in the capacity of human beings to be good and rationally overcome problems.


Of course, on a related note, a thing that RDM mentions once again in the interview is that he can't handle logistics, i.e. the large amount of paperwork and reports the military needs. Ron didn't know how to keep on a schedule, he's always had that problem: Movie 7 ate up all of their time so he frantically wrote "All Good Things..." in a handful of weeks, yet surprisingly he turned out so great he won an Emmy -- from how he keeps talking about it in interviews, I think this really validated in his mind that he's capable of working to the last minute -- which as anyone who listened to the podcasts knows is what kept happening in Seasons 3 and 4; frantic re-writes up to the last possible moment, instead of getting things done on time.

I've said before that I think that fundamentally, what happened to BSG starting with Season 3 is that:

  1. Ron Moore has an intentionally loose command style, as a reaction to the restrictive writing environment on TNG under Berman and Braga.
  2. This extends to how "command style" in the writers' room; he openly admitted that he'd keep incorporating new subplots from other writers or even actors, without ever trying to tie them all together coherently.
  3. Literally HALF of the core writing staff left under mysterious circumstances between Season 2 and 3 (i.e. story editor Tony Graphia) and yet Ron & Eick never so much as mentioned their departure publicly.
  4. The network forced them to drop their running storylines in season 3 because "standalones will hook new viewers" -- which only revealed more quickly that they weren't planning out the core direction of the show. Either way, Ron never really admitted that they dropped the running storylines until season 3 was over the dishonesty was what made it worse.
This interview made me think over "Point 2" again in particular: I think the other writers thought that if Ron accepted their idea for a new subplot, he'd also figured out how to make it fit into existing storylines, when in fact he didn't (hey! Let's have a hybrid baby! etc.) In the podcasts, Ron frequently praises how he loves it when actors and directors ad lib on the set, or how he just generally has a "hands off" approach and lets writers shape an individual episode.


Meanwhile, it sunk in about just how little control Ron was willing to exert and ultimately the show spun out of control and they painted themselves into a corner.


And it hit me: above all, this was a TV show about command structures and the responsibility of command....and Ron himself turned out to be a bad commander.


Think about it: even as they were writing Season 4, with Admiral Adama - this character on script pages - trying to keep disciplined command structure on his military vessel.....Ron Moore, the lead writer, was leading a markedly *UNdisciplined* writer's room. This was a show ABOUT the pressures of command!


Consider that the villain captains on the show all tended to be martinets and tyrants: Admiral Cain was a tyrant, Commander Garner on Pegasus -- while a good episode -- his whole episode had the moral that he was a martinet who tried to control his crew too tightly.


Never was there a circumstance where the "bad" commander was someone who had too LOOSE of a command style. But either extreme is ultimately bad. (Yes, Fisk was in the Black Market and such...for the opening act of one episode and then he was killed; they didn't really dwell on it).



So just the contrast is really ironic; they're writing characters set on a military ship, and they're supposed to be creating stories about characters making "command decisions" -- when Ron himself was indecisive, frequently working until the last minute, throwing out and revizing subplots at the last minute, and showing an overall unwillingness to assert control over the writing staff or even himself.
V wrote: View Post
Yeah, Temis...it struck me as odd that given RDM's interest in military scifi....and how he had a great "feel" for military characters....why have his recent projects really been nothing like that?

"Precinct 17" and "Virtuality" weren't military. He tried to make a western show.

Now he's doing period pieces?

in the interview about in part 4 he does talk about how he thinks a historical fantasy or military scifi are both truly "period pieces".

....there's a line I like from "To Kill a Mockingbird" - "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're beat before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

I do like how BSG promoted a positive image of the military, much as Stargate did, instead of trying them as stock villains or something.

At the same time, I'm kind of annoyed at how in both Trek and BSG, "it respects the military" becomes an argument killer - yeah, BSG seasons 1 and 2 did that, I liked them for it; it has no bearing on comparing seasons 3 and 4. But by the end of the show it was weird how there was a mini-fandom within a fandom who were latching onto the military stuff.

...this probably deserves a better explanation. I've known truly awful people in my life who demanded respect and admiration because they were veterans - intellectually, I later came to realize that these people would be repugnant to other veterans, not everyone's like that, etc. Later on, around when I was about to leave High School, my shop teacher who I'd known for years remarked to me that he was actually a Vietnam medivac pilot (picking guys up with incoming fire, etc.) -- the point is that he NEVER mentioned this in the four years I'd been there. And he explained that his whole mentality was that he felt part of service was humility, so he didn't want to walk around bragging about what he did. That really stuck with me.

I'm all over the map here, sorry: the point is I'm not questioning that BSG promoted a "positive image of the military" -- it's that this is irrelevant to discussing the writing flaws of the second half of the show.

But in the end, can we really call a show about angels a "military scifi show"?

BSG an excellent TV series, and Ron Moore was an excellent executive producer. There's no basis for the continual criticisms and insinuations to the contrary; they cannot be justified.
I can understand if you disagree with criticism, embrace it in spite of it, but "no basis" for criticism?

Well, how do you address:
  • They hyped up "there's a Cylon plan!" for years, putting it in the opening credits no less, only to later reveal in the last season that there was never "a plan" and it was just a marketing gimmick.
  • They never planned out why the hybrid baby messiah was important. To the point that they had to shoot for the bleachers by implausibly making her Mitochondrial Eve in the last episode (I mean, they thought of that while writing the last episode)
  • Picking the Final Four Cylons for shock value, picking implausible people such as Tigh, Tyrol and Anders?
  • The massive plot holes this introduced, leading to ham-fisted retcons such as saying "well I guess Nicholas can't be Tyrol's baby then, it wouldn't make sense to have 2 hybrid babies"
  • At the end of Season 3, Mary McDonnell literally walked into Moore and Eick's office and asked what the heck her character arc on the show for the past SEASON was....and dumbfounded, they admitted they lost the character.
  • The Love Polygon of Doom.
  • Tigh and Caprica-Six having sex and her getting pregnant (1), then losing the baby but utterly forgetting about it by the next episode (2).
  • Killing off and resurrecting Starbuck - a cheap comic book death and resurrection -- as basically a stunt at the end of Season 3 to be "watercooler TV" -- even though it was never really explained and really unnecessary when you think about it.
These aren't idle questions.


I'm not talking about the fond memories you have about Seasons 1 and 2.


What do you defend about Seasons 3 and 4? Once they left New Caprica the show ended.
I'm surprised your parents let you on the internet long enough to post meaningless and incorrect ramblings of this length.

Your time is probably better spent making Justin Bieber mix tapes and posting funny animated movie scenes to Instagram for all of your 0 followers.
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Old February 26 2013, 10:17 PM   #18
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

There is no brilliant, successful example of an sf series following an overarching pre-plotted storyline from the beginning to the end of the series. That kind of narrow plot-focused writing produces mediocre drama.

V wrote: View Post
I can understand if you disagree with criticism, embrace it in spite of it, but "no basis" for criticism?
Given that you've never posted anything more substantial than "the show didn't turn out to be what I wanted it to be" pretty much demonstrates that, yeah. Posting the same thing repeatedly and at length does not make it at all persuasive.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; February 26 2013 at 10:28 PM.
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Old February 27 2013, 04:42 AM   #19
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

For all the people who complain about BSG, I can't find a single one who could have made it "better". They have nothing to complain about so they complain about nothing.
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Old March 2 2013, 09:11 PM   #20
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

Sindatur wrote: View Post

I don't dispute alot of that, but, I definitely disagree that Tyrol, Tigh and Anders were random choices for Final Five Cylons.

Tyrol was so set up to be revealed as a Cylon practically from the beginning, that it would've been an epic failure if he wasn't a Cylon when all was said and done. I haven't done a rewatch of NuBSG, I only saw it in first run, so, I don't remember the details of why, but, Tigh and Anders were also on my list of Final of Five Cylons, it was only Tory and Ellen that surprised me.

Yes, I realize it probably is coincidence, and luck there were hints for Tigh, Tyrol and Anders being Cylons, since they didn't decide who they would be until the last minute, but, those three absolutely were not, IMHO, random choices that came out of nowhere, they made perfect sense to me at the time
What possible hints were there "from the beginning" that Tyrol was a Cylon?

(This excludes "hints" they started inserting for Tyrol, Tigh, and Anders in Season 3 when the "Final Five" concept was introduced, late season 3.0 - we're talking about how it fits earlier).

Tyrol was one of the people *least* likely to be a Cylon; he had a child, and the cardinal rule with Cylons they established was that they were sterile.

Many fans pointed out to Ron that this would mean that his son had to be a hybrid, because in their story-verse rules, sometimes a Cylon can have a child but only if it's genuine love (silly, but okay that's their story). Problem was they never even considered it would be a hybrid, but they'd hyped up Hera so much as "THE hybrid" that they felt it would be confusing to suddenly have another, so they did their most ham-fisted retcon of all to say it wasn't even his child.

Again: quite simply, how could you possibly think they were hinting at Tyrol as a Cylon in Seasons 1 and 2?

Or Tigh? He was a member of the fleet for decades, and Anders was a public figure, hard for him to have an unknown and unscrutinized background.

Maybe, maybe one out of the three would have been a stretch (Tyrol in particular), but all three was silly.

As for Tory, lets get this out of the way: no one cared about Tory and her character had literally nothing to do before the Fina Five reveal. She was brought in as a functional replacement for Billy because the actor left, in late season 2, did nothing notable throughout the final 4 episodes of Season 2 through all of Season 3, then they acted like she was a "wild card" pick for Final Five -- she wasn't really "a character" on the show before that. When asked, the writers said they never outright planned to have Billy be a Cylon thus had Tory take that roll...but Billy was sort of on a short-list and they never quite settled on it, so it was playing out an idea they settled on.

But again...WHAT hint that Tyrol was a Cylon "from the beginning"?
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Old March 2 2013, 09:31 PM   #21
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

This probably won't fit your "from the beginning" definition, but in retrospect "Lay Down Your Burdens" and "The Eye of Jupiter" both suggest Tyrol is a Cylon.
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Old March 2 2013, 09:40 PM   #22
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
Why would it be necessary to reveal they'd dropped the running storylines when it was patently obvious to anyone actually watching the show during season three??
Well, because they kept acting like there was one big grand plot that all fit together that we had to decode. Really, they had no idea where things were going. Had they just been moving forward - rival characters with different agendas, then see the results as they bounce off each other - that would sort of made more sense.

But they acted like there was a "Cylon Plan" - not just in the show but in all podcasts and interviews.

Otherwise, Admiral2, you give a strong counter-argument about Starfleet as a "military" organization. I still have strong reservations, but you raise points I cannot easily refute. But these are issues Trek fans have debated for decades, and I think it's beyond my capacity to defend it at length. Yes, Picard is a military commander and fans have deluded themselves about such things at times even though they have "court martials" and the like. Still, I think Starfleet isn't *just* a military organization: it isn't non-military, it has some military elements, but I think it's more than that, it also has scientific and diplomatic elements. But thank you for not just dismissing this out of hand, but articulating logical counter-points.

The Cylon Plan was to kill all the humans, they just screwed it up because Cavil had issues with the Final Five. He wanted them to be punished and wanted to draw out their punishment as long as possible, but then it was too late. It fits into one of the themes throughout the show that there really wasn't much of a difference between the humans and cylons. Cavil, despite wanting to be a machine, was just as petty and obsessed with revenge as the humans he hated. It isn't the show's fault that it didn't live up to some fans expectations. I don't know what you could have wanted it to be.
All you're doing is reciting that bad last-minute explanation that Season 4.5 tried to spoon-feed us.

The entire show acted like there was an actual "plan", some sort of purpose or deception, not "kill all humans". The writers settled for that when they had to admit they hadn't thought it out.

I was laughing at my TV when Cavil explained his Rube Goldberg-like plan for revenge; dumping the Final Five in human society so they could witness it's end.....and randomly deciding to put Tigh in years before the others, to explain why the character is older? Why not just all at once? It was a forced explanation of how they abandoned hints of just exactly when the Cylons started using sleeper agents.

Is "kill all humans" the worst plan ever? No, elegant in its simplicity. But you HONESTLY think that's what the podcasts, interviews, and opening credits were hinting at since season 1?

I don't know what you could have wanted it to be.
Honestly, I haven't thought about it....but I kind of half-hoped that the "Plan" was tied to the core Mythos of Earth: for large parts of the show, they kind of ignored the Earth subplot (Season 2.5 through 3.0 ). My hope would be that it would arise from an inherently logical question fans asked but they never answered: "doesn't Galactica realize that because the Cylons are always on their tail, they haven't outright thrown the Cylon fleet off their trail....that they're leading the Cylons right to Earth?" -- so from that, my hope is that the "Plan" was "destroy Galactica if possible, but if there is any truth to this Earth legend, wait for Galactica to lead us right to them."

Awesome Possum wrote: View Post
For all the people who complain about BSG, I can't find a single one who could have made it "better". They have nothing to complain about so they complain about nothing.
  • Starbuck shouldn't have been an Angel (they thought of that at the last minute; if they wanted to do that - lets face it other scifi shows have, Daniel Jackson style - they should have set it up far better).
  • Particularly, the entire "Final Five Cylons can be anyone" concept, breaking their past rules, was a massive character assassination of Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders (I may, may have accepted one, not all three). This should never have been done.
  • Making "Earth" the dead colony of the Thirteenth Tribe...who were actually Kobol's Cylons, was a great idea; it meshed with the core mythos of the show. I'd keep that.
  • The writers themselves would admit that they lost complete track of Apollo and Roslin in season 3, though admittedly they fixed them up surprisingly well in season 4. But even Ron admitted that Apollo/Dualla was a mistake...it's just that instead of ending it, they tried desperately to salvage it for 30 episodes, long after they should have cut their losses.
  • I don't blame Ron for the network forcing him to make season 3 a season of bottle-episodes and drop the Sagittaron Storyarc -- I blame Ron for not being transparent with fans about just how much this was affecting the show at the time. It was Farscape season 4 all over again.
So "Starbuck as an Angel was poorly set up" (and probably should never have been done), "Head-Characters are angels, not chips" was poorly done and should have been better set up (their behavior is contradictory at times), and the Final Five should not have been done. Well, making the Final Five the "hidden Imperious Leader" of sorts would have been okay, which is sort of what they did, but the choice of Final Five was for shock value. That, and the Cylon Plan should have been "track humans to Earth to destroy it". Those are the big issues much of the rest stems from.

Harvey wrote: View Post
This probably won't fit your "from the beginning" definition, but in retrospect "Lay Down Your Burdens" and "The Eye of Jupiter" both suggest Tyrol is a Cylon.
Well, actually, you raise a good point with "LDYB", Harvey. Tyrol fears he might be a Cylon...as much as anyone else in the fleet does. But the same episode also did a flashforward with him having impregnated Cally, setting up the writers to have to break their own rules if they wanted to make Tyrol a Cylon.
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Last edited by Neroon; March 2 2013 at 11:31 PM.
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Old March 2 2013, 11:41 PM   #23
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

V... don't forget the multi-quote and edit features can be used to combine replies into a single post. Posting several consecutive posts like this can be considered spamming. I've gone ahead and combined them into one post, but please don't post like that again.

Garak wrote: View Post
I'm surprised your parents let you on the internet long enough to post meaningless and incorrect ramblings of this length.

Your time is probably better spent making Justin Bieber mix tapes and posting funny animated movie scenes to Instagram for all of your 0 followers.
Infraction for trolling. Comments to PM
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Old March 2 2013, 11:42 PM   #24
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
There is no brilliant, successful example of an sf series following an overarching pre-plotted storyline from the beginning to the end of the series. That kind of narrow plot-focused writing produces mediocre drama.
Well that's some damn tasty bait you've got there, but I think I'll pass.
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Old March 3 2013, 12:57 AM   #25
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

I don't get hot and bothered about a tv show. First of all... it's a tv show!

Secondly, it's someone else's creation. I can say I liked it or not (I liked it BTW), but I'll be darned if I would waste time getting so worked up over how I felt something should or should not be when it is not my own creation. If RDM is happy with it, then so be it.
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Old March 3 2013, 01:01 AM   #26
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

OphaClyde wrote: View Post
I don't get hot and bothered about a tv show. First of all... it's a tv show!

Secondly, it's someone else's creation. I can say I liked it or not (I liked it BTW), but I'll be darned if I would waste time getting so worked up over how I felt something should or should not be when it is not my own creation. If RDM is happy with it, then so be it.
I bet you'd waste the time if RDM's Dog ran off with your Boy/Girlfriend
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Old March 3 2013, 01:09 AM   #27
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

^Nah. Just get really drunk, pick myself up the next morning and move on.
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Old March 3 2013, 04:48 AM   #28
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

V wrote: View Post
  • Starbuck shouldn't have been an Angel (they thought of that at the last minute; if they wanted to do that - lets face it other scifi shows have, Daniel Jackson style - they should have set it up far better).
  • Particularly, the entire "Final Five Cylons can be anyone" concept, breaking their past rules, was a massive character assassination of Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders (I may, may have accepted one, not all three). This should never have been done.
  • Making "Earth" the dead colony of the Thirteenth Tribe...who were actually Kobol's Cylons, was a great idea; it meshed with the core mythos of the show. I'd keep that.
  • The writers themselves would admit that they lost complete track of Apollo and Roslin in season 3, though admittedly they fixed them up surprisingly well in season 4. But even Ron admitted that Apollo/Dualla was a mistake...it's just that instead of ending it, they tried desperately to salvage it for 30 episodes, long after they should have cut their losses.
  • I don't blame Ron for the network forcing him to make season 3 a season of bottle-episodes and drop the Sagittaron Storyarc -- I blame Ron for not being transparent with fans about just how much this was affecting the show at the time. It was Farscape season 4 all over again.
So "Starbuck as an Angel was poorly set up" (and probably should never have been done), "Head-Characters are angels, not chips" was poorly done and should have been better set up (their behavior is contradictory at times), and the Final Five should not have been done. Well, making the Final Five the "hidden Imperious Leader" of sorts would have been okay, which is sort of what they did, but the choice of Final Five was for shock value. That, and the Cylon Plan should have been "track humans to Earth to destroy it". Those are the big issues much of the rest stems from.
I'd argue that having Tigh revealed to be a Cylon actually made him a better character. It lead to him deciding to become a better person instead of the drunk he usually was. It was great development and I wouldn't get rid of it because a small minority don't like it.

Also the less connection to the original, the better. So no Imperial Leaders, cowboy planets or other random stupid crap from the 70s. I'm sure they could have made a three faced disco alien work, but we're better off without it.
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Old March 4 2013, 04:29 AM   #29
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
There is no brilliant, successful example of an sf series following an overarching pre-plotted storyline from the beginning to the end of the series. That kind of narrow plot-focused writing produces mediocre drama.
Well that's some damn tasty bait you've got there, but I think I'll pass.
That's probably a good idea, because one would have to come up with an example to the contrary that holds up.
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Old March 4 2013, 04:52 AM   #30
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Re: RDM interview in a military blog (in 4 parts)

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There is no brilliant, successful example of an sf series following an overarching pre-plotted storyline from the beginning to the end of the series. That kind of narrow plot-focused writing produces mediocre drama.
Well that's some damn tasty bait you've got there, but I think I'll pass.
That's probably a good idea, because one would have to come up with an example to the contrary that holds up.
Having a completely pre-planned arc can backfire if the audience is able to figure it out before it is finished, robbing it of any drama or if they just don't like it. Most shows seem to go with a combination of both. Some elements are pre-planned and others are thrown in as it develops.

I don't think the writers of Fringe really knew the direction of the show until roughly half way through the first season, which would explain some of the early hints about Peter's past. They would also drop storylines if the audience didn't like it, like a character who thought there was a religious aspect to the Fringe events in the series. The audiences didn't care for it and it was quickly dropped and never mentioned again.
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