Battlestar Galactica 4x18: "Islanded in a Stream of Stars"

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by Agent Richard07, Mar 6, 2009.

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Grade the episode...

  1. Excellent

    26.2%
  2. Above Average

    41.9%
  3. Average

    22.5%
  4. Below Average

    7.3%
  5. Poor

    2.1%
  1. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suspect it's less them turning down work than the producers not wanting to pay them full guest-star rates for a role that reduces them to an extra.
     
  2. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It had unbelievable potential! The first season had me glued to my monitor till 5am having to be up in 2 hrs to go to work, now as I sit through the new episodes I keep staring at my watch wondering when this crap will end. At this point in time I'm pot committed, I've spent too much time watching this show to stop watching it, I need to know how it ends, but I'm unbelievably dissapointed.
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not hostile towards Lost, I love the show and own seasons 1-4 on DVD.

    But seriously, what is it about? What is it trying to say about the human condition? Star Trek and BSG at least try to ask questions about morality and what it means to be human, not always but sometimes. In the first season Lost was at least exploring what it would be like to crash-land on an island with a group of strangers, but now it is just a weird sci-fi show with big plot twists and revelations. It is still engaging and it has great character moments, but the only questions is asks anymore are about its own mythology, it doesn't ask any of the big questions.
     
  4. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with that assessment, mostly. I'd also add that the producer's of Lost also wanted that definitive end date for just that reason. So, it wasn't wholly involuntary. But, clearly they Lost writers adapted in a positive manner.

    I wish the BSG writers had done the same after being placed in the same situation. Instead, they still seem to meander. For example, the BSG writers have time management problems in terms of plotting; it's not tight. They don't seem to have enough plot to fill a season yet at the same time they need to cut crucial scenes within an episode due to a lack of time! There are structural problems with the plot and its pacing, just like there are structural problems with the Galactica itself.

    I'm actually expecting the BSG finale to be pretty good though. They seem to get the big events nailed, just not the lead up.

    Mr Awe
     
  5. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sorry, you're describing the last season of BSG as fully as you are "Lost."

    What does BSG have? Well, it's certainly not that it's meaningfully asking "big questions about humanity" at this point any more than that's really ever true of Star Trek. What it has, at its best, is that the writers and actors don't flinch at digging into the characters in unflattering and often surprising ways.

    Watching Adama come apart right now is pretty riveting - this guy's the star of the series and the leader of humanity, and he can't get through a staff meeting without a drink in one hand. :lol:
     
  6. stonester1

    stonester1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    C'mon, Polaris, Trek DOES ask those big questions. Not always, but often enough.
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If you say so. It usually poses superficial questions and offers "Sunday School" answers. That was pretty remarkable, as I recall, in 1966 because such things didn't come up much on commercial TV at all - but that was changing even as Trek premiered, and network TV would continue to become (occasionally) more provocative and topical throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. Star Trek was part of a change in American TV and culture, not the lonely beacon that its boosters made it out to be.
     
  8. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that's it in a nutshell. That is what BSG does best and, yeah, it has done that really well.

    Mr Awe
     
  9. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And certainly by TNG, Trek provided more pulpit sermons on our "social cancers" instead of posing any thought-provoking questions.

    Ahem-"The Outcast"-Ahem... Ahem-"Ethics"-Ahem... Ahem-Prime Directive as Morality in Voyager-Ahem...

    There were a few exceptions, like "In The Pale Moonlight" (DS9), but those were few and far between.
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't agree on this point. From the beginning of season 4 they have been exploring what it means to be human by having four characters learn that they are not human. Tory abandons her humanity at the first opportunity, Tyrol slowly abandons it and Tigh steadfastly refuses to let go of the man he wants to be. You also have Cavil's rant about not wanting to be human and wanting to be a machine, which at least brought up the questions in our mind of what constitutes a human.

    It also explored what happens to a society which loses all hope. The mutiny, Dee's suicide, Roslin's decision to die and Adama's breakdown have all been in response to finding out that Earth is a radioactive wasteland. They asked these questions and then played them out.

    What questions about humanity has Lost asked this season, or in season 4? It is fun and it has great characterisation, but ultimately it is a show about a battle for control over a magical island. I want to find out who wins, I want to find out who Jacob is, I want to find out if Desmond will get his happy-ever-after, but it isn't challenging me.
     
  11. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just watched this one myself. A bit boring really; pretty much nothing happened. Found myself rolling my eeys at shots of Adama walking down corriders with his sad face

    Get on with it!

    Hopefully it will kick into gear next week
     
  12. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Saying all of that doesn't mean that there's an interesting thought in there anywhere about "what it means to be human." Actually, "what it means to be human" within the context of popular drama is a bullshit question anyway.

    Why is it never enough that a story about people be observant and moving? Why do skiffy fans always indulge in this apologia about "big questions" and "teaching" and such pooh-bah? This is nothing but fodder for a C- sophomore essay.

    This, on the other hand, is worthwhile - well, not the "society which loses all hope," which is also middlebrow bullshit in this context, but the observation of individuals losing hope and struggling to motivate themselves has been a large part of what's driving the narrative lately and BSG makes it really, really interesting and sometimes surprising.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  13. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    BSG asks the big question "What would beings with artificial intelligence, downloadable memories, and functional immortality be like?" and the answer is "Whiney losers like the rest of us."
     
  14. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is as good an answer to a silly question like that as you're likely to get. :lol:

    Was a time, decades ago, when the editors of pulp science fiction magazines encouraged their readers to view all of those stories about spaceships and robots and so on as daring exercises in Deep Thought - "the literature of ideas!" was a phrase that I believe John W. Campbell was fond of. It was left to honest critics and writers in the genre to point out that ninety-nine percent of the time the "big thought experiments" were trivia on the level of "what if a robot were programmed to think it was a girl?"

    Fandom has never really let go of those conceits, at least in part because the subculture has never gotten past the sense of inferiority about the genre that motivated those original, strident clarion calls by the likes of Campbell. Writers and fans of murder mysteries have never been looked at cross-wise for their passion, and it's probably not a coincidence that neither have they ever constructed quite the Grand Unification Theory of Importance about it that we have.
     
  15. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh I'm not really a scifi fan. I like Trek because I was indoctrinated as a baby, it took me a long time to get into BSG and I watched Lost because it tried to hide its true scifi roots until I was already hooked. And I watched Firefly because I was going through a bad break-up and needed something to watch during night's long journey into day and it was the only show my brother had which I hadn't seen (other than B5 which I had previously tried and failed to get into).

    As for movies, I've watched Star Wars because it is a cultural phenomenon, I watched 2001 one afternoon when I had nothing else to do and I watched Blade Runner, which actually put me to sleep. People are shocked when I tell them I've never seen any of the Terminator or Matrix films, but the truth is that I have no desire to. As for scifi novels, I've read HHGG because I was told it was my kind of humour, which it was for the first two novels. I don't remember reading any others.

    So why do I look for "big questions" from scifi shows? Because I look for them everywhere be they in TV, movies, novels, music, pictures or nature in general. And if I don't find them then it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the thing but the experience is richer if they are there.

    By the way, I am currently suffering from the flu and appear to be pretty high on flu relief capsules, so that might account for that hippie bullshit I just wrote. :lol:
     
  16. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have the feeling the current episode being bitched about will play better on dvd with "Daybreak" immediately following it. A calm before the storm so to speak.
     
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's fair. I always get to blame both my hippie bullshit and my skepticism about it on my age. ;)
     
  18. Gregsmack

    Gregsmack Captain Captain

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    I have a silly question that I've asked before and never got a real answer to (maybe because no one actually knows the answer):

    Is the Daybreak finale actually two parts? People keep calling it the three hour finale, but it's split into one- and two-hour blocks. Is 'Daybreak' one episode that has been randomly hacked into two, or is it an actual two-parter a la 'Kobol's Last Gleaming,' 'Lay Down Your Burdens,' or 'Crossroads.' I only ask because I think it would be slightly a let down to watch part of the finale rather than an episode in and of itself (of course, when DVD comes out this is no longer a problem).
     
  19. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's a legit two parter (or three parter depending on how you want to qualify the finale).
     
  20. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    BSG and Star Trek are science fiction shows that deal with issues that are still relevant to today's society. You can argue all you want that it isn't, but that is simply one person's opinion.

    GodBen, I actually think BSG shows 4 characters learning what it means to be a Cylon and trying to hold onto their humanity afterwards since it doesn't really apply to them anymore. I think Tigh is a good example, from the moment he finds out he says "My name is Saul Tigh, whatever else that means, whatever else I am , that's the man I want to be and if I die today that's the man i'll be". Hating his own kind and keeping his friendship with Bill for him makes him feel more Human.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009

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