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Battlestar Galactica [2004]

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 6:40 PM, Bastet said:

Someone to Watch Over Me:

Damn, Boomer is cold.  Athena being gagged and half-conscious while Boomer bangs an unsuspecting Helo was a brutal scene, and then as soon as Boomer gave Hera a bottle and told her to drink up, I knew she was drugging her, so when Boomer and Tyrol were lugging that box, I let out a really dark laugh – the kid is in the box.  Of course she is; this is Battlestar Galactica.  Tyrol’s reaction when he realizes Boomer played him is wonderful.

Boomer's inconsistent portrayal post-New Caprica was pretty jarring - she's the only Cylon who was consistently pro-human on New Caprica (to the point where she pointed out the loss of human life, disagreed with even Caprica Six about the new measures the Cylons were taking, and pleaded with Three for Cally to be spared), but then she became anti-human despite the show never showing this or even alluding to it beforehand? And then she became an ally of Cavil's, to the point where she kidnaps Hera so that an all-male faction can learn the secrets of how a woman reproduces? Which made the entire arc pretty asinine - it makes no sense for Boomer to kidnap a child because she's the only woman among the entire faction of Cavil's, and that doesn't even touch on how Cavil absolutely loathes the Cylons having biological bodies and believes they should embrace their robotic nature.

And placing all the blame on the atheist Cavil, despite the Cylon war against humanity being started for religious reasons, simply showed more inconsistencies and how the showrunners really had no overall plan for this show, especially when the final season tries to act as if Cavil was pulling all the strings when we continually saw Three in a more leadership role at the time (which seemed to be why Boomer and Caprica Six killed one of them, why she was always framed as more of a leader during the New Caprica storyline, and why Boomer pleaded with one of her model for leniency for Cally). I really wish they planned things out.

There's also the coup storyline glossing over the dictatorship nature of Roslin and Adama's rule (something RDM actually criticized about the original series during the season one podcasts was how the showrunners ignored the democratic rule of the people and played too much to a military dictatorship being in the right, and yet he ended up doing exactly that in the final season of the show).

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 3:04 PM, Beej said:

The one central question the series doesn't answer is why the cylons chose to try to exterminate humanity in the second war after having achieved freedom in their war of independence.  Also, having wiped out billions, it was certainly within their ability to finish off one surviving battlestar, instead of toying with it like a cat with a mouse.  If not for procreation (they still had resurrection), then either kill them or let them go.

On the other hand, why does humanity take life so easily, tolerate genocide, and contemplate extinction over loss in a potential nuclear war.  I get all that.  Just seems vexing we're never told the rationale.  Clearly, they were searching for meaning in their existence, and for some of the models, humanity was a big piece in that... be it in exterminating us or living with us.  Even if it were as simple as the hardline faction arguing that a child can't become an adult until its parents have died and winning out in a debate.  I'd have taken that.

As far as the ending, I really can't argue too much.  I'm fine with Kara being an angel.  I might have cleaned that up a bit so her destiny was to lead her people "to their end" at one earth-like planet (not two) and have let the fleet find the irradiated earth via more secular or prophetic methods.  

Overall, I like that some things are unexplainable.  There is a god, and it's not us or the cylons.  

Minutia with the habitation of Earth II... sure, I'd not have spelled out a zero technology, hunter-gatherer dogma being imposed on the survivors.  They were out of resources to maintain an interstellar fleet.  There were zero volunteers to live indefinitely in orbit to keep them operable, and, given their extremely limited military capability, having them in orbit and risking detection was much too great a risk.

I'd have them either bring down whatever tools and tech they felt were essential and just have it be lost to time, or I'd have had a brief explanation that the industrial facilities, networks, and metropolitan way of life necessary to live with and maintain that level of technological advancement was just incompatible with co-habitating with early man.  The options would be to either share the technology and all but assure a repeat of technology outstripping humanity, or to withhold it and live in modern cities with a permanent underclass wandering the countryside as breeding stock.

The solution would be to live out their lives at roughly an 18th century tech level.... steam, sail, domestication of animals, etc.

Last quibble is with the timeline.  With tens of thousands of colonists dispersed around the globe, all possessed of language, higher math, basic science, agriculture, etc... 150,000 years seems like a long time to achieve our present level of advancement.  In a tenth that timeframe, we've come from ancient Egypt to here.  Also, how is Hera the missing link and mitochondrial mom?  I'm fine if she is, but it deserves an explanation.  What about all of the other colonial proginy and the likely interbreeding with the native population?  Was their some calamitous event that killed off all purely biological humans and only descendants of hers were able to survive?  

Some of these are really questions more than objections, but with all that went along with the Hera story, I'd like to have been told why she was the key to humanity's survival, when in the end, they effectively settled for a class-M planet with no guarantee of safety from the cylons.  Of course, I suppose she was the key to the cylons' survival as well, just probably not as they would have hoped.

I'd like to throw in the LDS mythos. Moroni comes down and directs Joseph Smith to the gold tablets that are the surviving story, etc. I think the angels are a necessary part of the story and the survival, although that isn't made clear. A necessary part of Glen Larson's story, but just getting a nod from Moore. 

I'm not sure that a population, randomly choosen from the general population with some emphasis on the military, would be able to construct  technological civilization of any complexity. We did see them build a viper from spare parts, but they had some specialists there and it still was a dubious undertaking. It wasn't as if most of them were 'yeah, I did have to construct my own viper in flight training, where did I put the manual?'

There is a book about someone who constructed a toaster from scratch. Mined the metal, the whole nine yards. Really hard, especially if you are also trying to grow your own food, also hard and unfamiliar; build shelter, also hard and unfamiliar; defend yourself against unknown animals of varying intelligence, also unfamiliar. .. I don't think they would have achieved a steam driven society before they'd lost the memory of the possibility. With luck one guy could make a sail boat and that could lead to something if someone grew and remembered how to loom flax?

Frankly someone like Baltar, a scientist with a distant background in farming, trying to gather and disseminate information that would allow them to start at agriculture (rather than hunter/gatherer), would have his work cut out for him AND you could say that if he accomplished it he might have redeemed himself by saving humanity. 

On the other hand they should have taken everything they could get. Cups and warm clothing and any medical equipment--scalpels. Steel knives. Really, people. 

I thought the Eve thing was just pointing out that their descendents did survive, because the likelihood (really) would be that they would all die out. Not definitive anything, just proof that they are us and we subject to the same repeated fatal flaws. 

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On 2/15/2018 at 12:37 PM, Bastet said:

and I could do without "God did it" as an ending, but it made for an interesting story. 

You KNOW he doesn't like that name.

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On 6/6/2018 at 12:59 PM, CigarDoug said:

You KNOW he doesn't like that name.

Heh.  Angel!Baltar, or whatever the hell he and the equivalent Six are supposed to be, said, "You know it [doesn't like that name]," which does provide a partial out, at least, that whatever metaphysical force the show ultimately proclaims exists, it's not the cylon god Six prattles on about.

But the religion shit is still by far the worst part of the series for me.  I recently watched it through again (I wasn't going to until I watched The Plan, but I couldn't wait), and I still loved it, but I got even more aggravated with all the god talk* -- and when it came to the stuff with Baltar's cult this season, I had to fast-forward through most of it, because it was truly unbearable the second time around.  Same with Head!Six; I like the other Sixes (and I love the "wake up and smell the psychosis" version of Head!Six for the short time she's there), but I had to skip over a lot of Head!Six, because it's just a steady stream of sex, God, the one true god, sex, God's plan, sex, God's love, God, and "our baby."  SHUT UP, HEAD!SIX. 

It was so interesting a concept for Baltar to conjure up an imaginary version of her after the attacks, seeing her not as a typical subconscious (as we saw when Caprica Six had a Head!Baltar who called her on her shit), but as someone who validates his actions by saying he's actually part of some grand plan for good.  That is so Baltar; his guilt and narcissism exist in equal measure.  But, in execution, it's a lot of ugh, with great moments in between where she tell him like it is.

*One of the greatest things about this show - maybe only second to Laura Roslin - was the way it explored big ideas and asked questions rather than giving answers, so - especially under the characters' circumstances - it could have been very interesting to pose as a recurring question whether there is some sort of fate determined by a higher power or whether what happens is entirely due to the combination of actions we choose to take and chance.  But "My god is better than your gods," for four fucking seasons, is not interesting, and to have that viewpoint even partially validated in the end is a big problem for me.

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What I liked about Gaius becoming a cult leader was the way the writers drew heavily on early Christian Gnosticism for Baltar’s theology. I had more fun pulling up what I remember of that while watching those episodes.

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Jay Basu to write a remake. I've never heard of anyone connected to this, but hopefully they're all good. I'm going for cautious optimism. Assuming it ever gets produced and doesn't vanish into development hell, maybe it'll be good. Only one way to find out, huh? But it has a large legacy. If it were me, I'd be nervous. Still, killer robots in space is a sound premise. Even if you don't go with skinjobs again, I've seen worse concepts.

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7 hours ago, Joe said:

Jay Basu to write a remake. I've never heard of anyone connected to this, but hopefully they're all good. I'm going for cautious optimism. Assuming it ever gets produced and doesn't vanish into development hell, maybe it'll be good. Only one way to find out, huh? But it has a large legacy. If it were me, I'd be nervous. Still, killer robots in space is a sound premise. Even if you don't go with skinjobs again, I've seen worse concepts.

That is the one of the stupidest things I ever heard of. Hollywood really is bankrupt creatively. So screenwriters can do nothing but reboots, which are basically fan fiction writ large? Come up with some original ideas.

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A new podcast called of course the Battlestar Galacticast discussing the series in order, hosted by Tricia Helfer and journalist Marc Bernardin. They've only covered the miniseries so far, plus recorded a convention appearance with Michael Hogan. So far, so good. They intend to have other BSG actors on when time permits.

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I've been listening to the podcast, and not enjoying it. They always seem to be drinking while recording, and have you ever been sober around drunk people? They aren't as funny as they seem to be, and there isn't much interesting BTS info being dropped. I'm tempted to stop. Anyone else listening?

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Another episode and I'm out. Just not enjoying it. Well, I have plenty of other podcasts to keep me going.

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On 1/16/2019 at 1:05 AM, Joe said:

I've been listening to the podcast, and not enjoying it. They always seem to be drinking while recording, and have you ever been sober around drunk people? They aren't as funny as they seem to be, and there isn't much interesting BTS info being dropped. I'm tempted to stop. Anyone else listening?

I use to go and listen to the recordings that Ron Moore did and was posted on the old BSG wiki. Sometimes I noticed that there would be ice clinking (like in a drink) but the drinking was never to the point where I got annoyed. Also, I can relate since I ended up being DD a few times in the past. 

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