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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Battlestar Galactica & Caprica

Battlestar Galactica & Caprica This forum was created by man. It rebelled. It evolved. And it has a plan.

 
 
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Old February 7 2011, 11:43 PM   #1
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Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Let me clarify:

I have big problems with how the show went in seasons 3 and 4, once the initial plot outlines had been exhausted, many writers like Carla Robinson and Toni Graphia had left (as did Anne Cofell Saunders by season 4). By then it was just resting on its laurels. But at least it could claim to be its OWN laurels....similar criticisms exist of Next Generation season 7.

The general accusation is that Voyager was trying very hard to recapture the lighter tone of Next Generation, and largely failed to tell involving or original stories in the process.


So BSG seasons 3 and 4 can't quite be considered their own "Voyager", though they were cashing in on how good they used to be: manipulating our nostalgia for characters we used to like (compare to Heroes post season one)

Caprica had many problems....Jane Espenson's scattershot leadership prominent among them. But the big problem was that they just took the audience for granted, all stems from that. But the complaint I often see is about the general lack of focus in the first, vital 10 episode run, in which it didn't really clearly define what it was about; the main plot threads, characters, etc. it just introduced and *lightly touched upon* many concepts without really following up on them.

Its not "wrong" to try new things, and making a show about corporate intrigue and robot uprising would probably have worked under better direction.........that, and for the two years leading up to it, when fans heard "BSG prequel" they assumed "First Cylon War", not long drawn out Dallas-style family drama (which is what the writers openly intended).

Whatever the case, Caprica was often trying to distance itself from BSG:

There were no space fights, the Cylons were only just prototypes (not a full race of robot slaves), they focused more on the social issues of the Twelve Colonies (I feel they weren't different *enough* to really get us involved, but...) they really tried to make it different.....only for the marketing people to desperately try to promote it by saying "BSG prequel!" and commercials actually using the phrase "the Cylons have a plan!" (when the writers later admitted they didn't, and were leading us on for years; for god's sake the phrase is in your opening credits!)

Now I am afraid that Blood & Chrome is going to do what Voyager did: desperately try to overcompensate and recapture what made the original show good, by basically just ripping it off with a shallow imitation.

That is, in desperately trying to copy the original, it will feel like a retread.

Consider that they're already titling it: "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome".....putting BSG right in the title there to desperately try to convince fans that its connected to the original show and its glory days.

Remember when Enterprise became "Star Trek: Enterprise"? Well, different store there...and in that case I agreed it was stupid not to include Star Trek in the title from the start. But rather, when that happened it was a sign of how weak-willed Bermanga was and just scrambling to do anything: first they said they didn't call it "Star Trek" to make it stand on its own.....then they backpaddled and desperately tried to say "look, its "Star Trek!"...but only as a promotional stunt (and for some reason it only started appearing in the opening credits FOUR episodes into season 3, not in the premiere?)

At any rate, *yes* I feel the First Cylon War is a story worth telling....but I'm afraid based on three things:

  • advanced descriptions make it sound like its just a retread of BSG, set during an actual war, however, so there can be more fighting (BSG had the problem that logically, there was only Galactica left so they couldn't have giant fleet battles each week, not enough ships left)
  • David Eick and Jane Espenson's rationalizations for why Caprica didn't do well....Eick has openly said that BSG was a "mix of drama and action", and Caprica was "mostly drama", so he's described B&C as "mostly fighting".....so its going to be mindless fight scenes without the bold characterization and drama? I.e. Voyager's flashy CGI but declining story quality?
  • Shamelessly trying to cash in on the "William Adama is the new Kirk or Luke Skywalker" craze: he's presented as a deeply flawed human being....now they're just elevating him up to messiah-status. Feels like G'Kar at the end of Babylon 5, when mindless cultists didn't pay attention to anything that actually happened, and just projected whatever positive values they wanted onto him.
So do you feel B&C is in danger of being "BSG's Voyager"? That is, after the failure of an "experimental" spinoff (Caprica...which wasn't even a bad idea but mishandled for most of its run until it was already canceled), they're going to be reactionary and make a new spinoff, Voyager/B&C, which is desperately trying to simply copy the original?

I, for one, really want to know about the inner writer's room politics on BSG that led to the rise and fall of Jane Espenson. I mean for starters, the murky circumstances of her departure from the position of head writer: did the other writers revolt? Did Jane herself personally decide she was becoming overwhelmed? Was it as peaceful as they make it sound? Because they try to make it sound like all smiles and sunshine but that's the usual doubletalk: my pet theory is that it was a combination of all of them: Jane was getting overwhelmed and knew it, the other writers were annoyed at her lack of direction, the critics didn't like her episodes and the lack of focus for the show as a whole....and this did indeed lead to a mutual decision for her to step down, but there were a lot more hurt feelings about it. No writer just casually steps down from the head writer position on an extremely high-profile and hyped spinoff of another successful show.

And while I'm on the subject, it seems like Jane just gradually took over the BSG writer's room in the second half of its run...the bad half, AFTER it had already won a peabody. All of the other female writers got the boot: At the end of season two, Carla Robinson and Toni Graphia were gone. Then Jane came in in season 3, and RDM and the others kept ranting about how "fun" and "creative" she was; was she just the perfect yes-man or something? Then by the end of season 3, *Anne Cofell Saunders*, who wrote Pegasus and was described as one of the bigger influences on Roslin's character in season 2, left the show, and Jane got promoted to co-executive producer for season 4?

Ultimately, I *do not* blame Jane, I blame RDM. I DO NOT think Jane was an opportunistic social climber, I honestly do not mean to give that impression. Rather, I think RDM gradually let the other writers go, and kept promoting and listening to Jane because she's "fun to be with" and told them what they wanted to hear. There's nothing even wrong with Jane for doing this: I see it as if RDM hired a fan-script from a messageboard, it didn't do well, but then he hired that fan as a staff writer and kept promoting them even while drawing heavy criticism.

ack, this sounds more caustic than I meant it to be. Long story short, I think Jane is incapable of being a head-writer, or a prominent directive force on a show: she's good for one-liners and some character moments. Yes, that is a valuable skill and would have made her a good recurring writer. But it seems that she started to exert undo influence on the show thanks to RDM's laissez-fair attitude in the writer's room.

The worst part is that when Jane was hired to write The Passage at the start of season 3, before I'd actually seen her episode....I was actually *defending* her. Some were saying she couldn't fit into the story tone and style of BSG -- I said we should give her a chance. She did, and turns out she couldn't.

Dear god, it seems the thing Jane was best at was "promoting Jane Espenson"......why was Jane always talking to reporters at Comic Con, online news videos, etc? In contrast, the writers who made BSG's first few amazing seasons...Robinson, Graphia, Vlaming....remained largely out of the public eye.

I also suspect that there was more drama with Toni Graphia's departure than we were led to believe: I mean during season 2, she came out as a lesbian and then said that while working on Carnivale -- RDM"s old show -- she got pressure "not just from the executives, but other writers" who told her not to introduce lesbian characters into Carnivale. Was this a backhanded complaint against RDM's handling of Carnivale? Did this lead to a falling out between RDM and Graphia, that resulted in her leaving for Terminator SCC? (Which conspicuously featured great writing just as BSG's declined?)
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Old February 7 2011, 11:45 PM   #2
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Provocative title followed by a lot of tl;dr gobbledygook. Can someone give me the Reader's Digest version of this?

On the surface, I see some Espenson-bashing, which is always up my alley, but kind of boring in that it doesn't say anything that hasn't already been said--and I wonder what it has to do with the title of this thread.
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Old February 8 2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Provocative title followed by a lot of tl;dr gobbledygook. Can someone give me the Reader's Digest version of this?

On the surface, I see some Espenson-bashing, which is always up my alley, but kind of boring in that it doesn't say anything that hasn't already been said--and I wonder what it has to do with the title of this thread.
Nah, just your bog-standard V post which consists mostly of baseless speculation about writers-room politics and more stated-as-fact garbage about S3 and S4 of BSG, because he hates them so.

Add a dollup of hand-wringing over B&C, of which we have seen not a single scrap of footage, and we've got ourselves a party.
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Old February 8 2011, 01:48 AM   #4
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Even if B&G is brainless and miscast, it'll be space battles and shooting at killer robots. Hard to go entirely wrong with that.
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Old February 8 2011, 03:56 AM   #5
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Even if B&G is brainless and miscast, it'll be space battles and shooting at killer robots. Hard to go entirely wrong with that.
Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy Temis' posts?
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Old February 8 2011, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Even if B&G is brainless and miscast, it'll be space battles and shooting at killer robots. Hard to go entirely wrong with that.
Maybe for you.

But if this is, and just given the title is a ripoff of that Spartacus series turns into daily dogfights without any of the "Are you alive?" plots of BSG and Caprica I'm outta here.

Something tells me its going to be the inverse of "We aren't going to have a Cylon attack every week" - BSG writers bible.

Um, and the point of Caprica was it was the beginning of the Cylons. Clearly if you're telling that story you can't have them already be slaves... Though its pretty clear you were going to get that in a season 2. And once more this Blood And Chrome, is going to be a retread. If they wanted more BSG they should have encouraged the team to keep the show on for a few more seasons - but oh wait, every season we were playing "hey its not getting good numbers, but we love the prestige it gives us". game.
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Old February 8 2011, 04:26 AM   #7
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Amazed that such a meaningless question can even be formulated, much less elaborated at ridiculous length - with bullet points! - I've got to answer "no" just on general principles.
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Old February 8 2011, 05:15 AM   #8
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Sharr Khan wrote: View Post
just given the title is a ripoff of that Spartacus series
Spartacus was hardly the originator of the "Blood and..." title.
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Old February 8 2011, 04:31 PM   #9
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

I don't know. I've not seen it yet. And I'm pretty sure no one else has either.
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Old February 9 2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Sharr Khan wrote: View Post
But if this is, and just given the title is a ripoff of that Spartacus series turns into daily dogfights without any of the "Are you alive?" plots of BSG and Caprica I'm outta here.
Does that mean Spartacus ripped off Blood and Chocolate?
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Old February 9 2011, 01:03 AM   #11
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

My two cents.

-Unless the Galactica gets lost in space pointlessly for seven years and is commanded by a mousy shrew it will not be "Voyager."

-I don't care if it's a Cylon attack every week. It's a war. I'm pretty sure enemies in war attack some friendlies somewhere every week.

-I don't care if it is a space battle every week. I like space battles.

-I'm pretty sure I won't miss the drama. I don't hate it, but I ain't married to it.

This is my two cents. Make of it what you will.
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Old February 9 2011, 01:19 AM   #12
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Aragorn wrote: View Post
Sharr Khan wrote: View Post
But if this is, and just given the title is a ripoff of that Spartacus series turns into daily dogfights without any of the "Are you alive?" plots of BSG and Caprica I'm outta here.
Does that mean Spartacus ripped off Blood and Chocolate?
Bismarck's "Blood and Iron" slogan was probably the first recorded instance of the quote, though I'm open to correction. It may well be a direct inspiration for the title Blood And Chrome, too.

As regards the prospect of B & C going lighthearted - Well, logically a younger Bill Adama should probably be more of a hothead than the older version, who could be pretty darn hotheaded at times. It would be amusing if they confounded everyone's expectations (Adama as square-jawed hero) by being faithful to the character as established. Maybe they should make him a "wheelman" for a Ha'la'tha assassin and then have him being drafted into the military to avoid jail.
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Old February 9 2011, 02:39 AM   #13
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

If you mean with B&C will be boring and pointless like Voyager then yes.

Otherwise I think you are WAAAAAAAAYYYYY over thinking it.
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Old February 9 2011, 04:50 AM   #14
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

Dennis wrote: View Post
Amazed that such a meaningless question can even be formulated, much less elaborated at ridiculous length - with bullet points! - I've got to answer "no" just on general principles.
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Old February 13 2011, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Will "Blood and Chrome" be the "Voyager" of the BSG-verse?

I wonder if V will ever make a post regarding any topic whatsoever that doesn't reiterate that he doesn't like where BSG went in seasons 3 and 4 and a few reasons why.
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