My rambling thoughts on BSG after a full series run-through

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by sonak, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I watched nuBSG for the charactez, including Starbuck, who was one of my faves. I don't need characters to be cuddly and likeable. Flawed characters who are well acted and reasonably well written are fine by me.

    But I do need a premise to make fundamental sense. The plot never clicked because there was never a good, solid, sensible reason for the Cylons to attack humanity, at least not a rational one.

    And if you're going to make a story hinge on irrational characters, then the last thing you should do is make your characters robots. How exactly is an irrational, humanoid robot anything other than a human being?

    Ron Moore took the basics of BSG and crafted a new story out of it. I have no objection to that. But one fundamental part of BSG, the Cylons, really didn't fit the story he wanted to tell and the result was a story that made less sense as it went along.

    He would have been better off either changing the premise even more fundamenally, or perhaps not pretending it had anything to do with some other show called BSG, and just created a brand new series under a new name. Maybe he had no choice and the BSG label was slapped onto the show just so the SyFy suits would be less nervous.
     
  2. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Yea, I've never understood the arguments that "In S3 it went all Religious". It was that way from the Pilot, yea, halfway or more through the Series they revealed more of it, but, it was always there bubbling, waiting for it's proper time to surface :confused:
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I agree with this, too. Although I may not have expressed them well, my remarks were not intended to contradict this point; they were only intended to point out that the intervention of higher powers, in particular to resurrect Starbuck, paralleled events depicted in the original series.
     
  4. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Was refering to Tom Zarek more than anyone else.
     
  5. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    You need good character interactions when you don't have the "planet of the week" format that Star Trek relies on so heavily. You see the Enterprise's crew is not all that interesting from a dramatic standpoint, most of the drama comes from outside the Enterprise, not from within, in BSG you don't have a lot of interesting things outside the Fleet and the Galactica, therefore you have to make the crew interesting, you got to generate conflicts from within. Star Trek doesn't have a lot of internal conflicts, it is usually the outsider that causes trouble.
     
  6. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    The original BSG series made light of that fact, their civilization got destroyed, they quickly got over it and it became all about exploring the next planet. Thematically the original Battle Star Galactica wasn't that different from Star Trek. All they did was visit one lost colony of humans after another while having a "video arcade" of shooting down cylons in between.
     
  7. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    They don't need a rational one if their leader Cavil - Cylon Model 1 is irrational. Lots of wars are started by one'e irrational beliefs, including World War II. The Germans did not have a rational sensible reason to attack Poland, but they did anyway. Cavil is the one consistently bad guy in BSG more than anyone else, he is the "Baltar" of this new series, though he doesn't make a personal appearance until later in the series, it is his actions that drive the Cylon War against humanity.

     
  8. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    these things were there, but could have gone the route that Trek often did, where there were naturalistic(albeit far-fetched) explanations for various things. Or they could have been proven to be not there altogether. In the latter half of the series though, those themes dominate the show, and it becomes more and more literal regarding religion. By the end, it really WAS all part of "God's" plan.


    It's like I said with DS9- the "prophets" were just background wormhole aliens in the first few seasons, before they began to resemble literal Bajoran gods more and more, even giving Sisko a divine birth, and fighting "fallen demons" in caves. One of the reasons I prefer early-to mid DS9 over late DS9.



    Gods make poor drama for the most part-they turn mortal characters into puppets.
     
  9. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except NuBSG is not Star Trek.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    thanks for pointing that out. Up until I read your post, I had watched that series and been commenting it on this thread while under the assumption that BSG was actually the sixth Star Trek television series, but like Enterprise originally, did not include the words "Star Trek" in the title.

    Your post has forced me to re-evaluate the way I've been looking at this series, and I am grateful to you for providing me with this valuable information, and I will make good use of it in my future analyses of the themes, characters, and plots of BSG.
     
  11. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Star Trek always has someone "behind the curtain" playing the part of God. A God is never just a God, there is some technical explanation behind it. In Battlestar Galatica there is just God, and he can reach back in time several billion years and create another Earth on demand when Kara plugs in the coordinates to the BSG jump drive for the last time. I guess you don't like science fiction stories that have God in it, not an alien playing the part of God for some ignorant savages that don't know what their worshiping, but an actual God, that is just too much.

    In Star Trek it is never just God or an Angel, somebody is always playing a trick on some superstitious fool.
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure if you're being rhetorical, or what, but just for the record, this didn't happen. Earth—the real Earth—was established as existing at the climax of season three in "Crossroads, Part 2," in the zoom shot on the galaxy.

    Also, there is a matter of interpretation, as it is an open question exactly who or what God is in nuBSG. It is true, and I will agree on this point, that God is a mystery. That much, and more, is certainly in common with what people in real life consider God to be. However, at the series climax in "Daybreak, Part 2," words are attributed to the being known as God by Head Baltar, that God doesn't like the name God, which would seem to be at odds with the Judeo-Christian God.
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    yes, the nature of the BSG god is kept mysterious, but it is still shown that it is basically pulling all the strings, and has been from day one. It's kind of like Oedipis Rex I guess, which I also didn't like. Again, if the story is "Human puppets get moved around like chess pieces by God," it's just not that interesting as drama to me.Which is not to say that I have an issue with subtle religious themes in entertainment, but blatant "God did it" stories I do have an issue with.
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    But with 90%+ of Series resulting in being God explained away as "Superior Intelligence/Alien", don't you need this 10% or less in order to maintain your disbelief it might not end with being explained away? If there's no possible way a story could ever end with a real unexplained "God", doesn't that take some of the mystery out of it?
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I thought the mystery in that regard was one of the show's strengths, and among its positive contributions to the sci-fi genre. And here I go getting sucked into discussing the merits of the show!
     
  16. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Good point, so God reached out back in time billions of years and created this Earth for the benefit of the Audience to see, rather than the show's characters just a little Earlier. God could probably anticipate the need for it later in the show, as the Cylon Earth would prove to be a disappointment.

    Beware of the head Baltar, he seems to be playing the role of the Devil in this one. I don't know exactly which phase your talking about, I think your referring to when he is talking to Six in Manhattan 150,000 years later.

    So it appears you share the attitude of Baltar before he got "converted". Well how else can your explain Another Earth complete with evolutionary history? Apparently in this Universe Humans evolved on two planets Kobol and this newly created Earth, and they are the exact same species too. It really is hard to explain the whole BSG assumptions without going through contortions with ancient astronaut conspiracies and the like.

    Yes, the "alien as god" mythos has been so over done in shows like Star Trek for instance, where we have beings like Apollo as a kind of alien and so forth.
     
  17. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Battlestar Galactica is an inherently conservative show, it is hard to get away from that fact. It is conservative in many ways, it is conservative in its technological assumptions, it is conservative in its philosophy on mankind, on war, and on religion. Most sci fi shows lean towards the athiest liberal audience, BSG goes the other way, sort of in the C.S. Lewis tradition.
     
  18. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nope, he was appointed by the president and his party only had around 33% of the votes when that happened. 33% is a lot but it's factually wrong to claim that Hitler was elected.
     
  19. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Very good post sonak, I don't think I could argue against any of it.
     
  20. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ditto. But I have found it rewatchable. Just left a long enough gap for individual episodes to dim.