October 11, 2006


Moral dilemmas pulled into 'Battlestar' galaxy (Joanna Weiss, October 5, 2006, Boston Globe)

[T]he secret to "Battlestar ," as one of my colleagues keeps saying, is not to think of it as science fiction. This is a show about religion, politics, parent-child relationships, and the moral dilemmas of insurgency. Consider it a workplace drama where the business is armed resistance.

And see it as a sharp and pointed exploration of modern times. Yes, TV today is filled with post-9/11 reflections, but most come as wish-fulfillment: unassailable heroes, embodied by the likes of Kiefer Sutherland and Dennis Haysbert, conquering black-hearted enemies. These shows can make you cheer if you need escape, but they won't make you think.

"Battlestar," in contrast, aims to unsettle us. The enemy here is a race of machines called Cylons who were created by humans, then rebelled. They are driven by religious fundamentalism, obsessed with reproduction, and exceedingly hard to kill. For the last two seasons, they tried to destroy humankind. Now, they're aiming for peaceful coexistence, even if they have to use deadly force to make it happen. [...]

A scene of a nighttime raid is shot in grainy-green night vision that conjures war footage from Iraq. But while the elements are there, ``Battlestar" is less an allegory about current events than a rumination on how we might view things if tables were turned.

Folks who don't get that this is the table don't understand their own times.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2006 12:00 AM

I'm easily confused.... let me see if I can get this straight. If I lived in a place ruled by madmen who executed women for hideous crimes like wearing makeup, and some outsiders came, toppled that regime, spent billion on new infrastructure and introduced democracy.... then supposedly I would think it was ok to blow-up little children to fight those outsiders. Hmmmm.

The left has so convinced themselves of some fantasy were Americans torture and murder that they can actually equate cylons to Americans. We don't need more shows that reinforece that demented fantasy. Personally I would prefer shows that show the actual bad-guys as bad-guys.

Do the half-wits who make that show actually believe that Americans pull prisoners eye-balls out for fun? Where were these people when the Soviets and Saddamites were doing that for real?
They were rooting for the Sovs and Saddams, along with the other marxist creeps, that's were they were.

Posted by: lebeaux at October 11, 2006 5:41 PM

The season opener was particularly egregious, even if one is rooting for the robots.

It's a sad commentary on the intelligence of both the show's writers/producers, and the journalist who wrote this piece, that they believe this sort of brainless moral equivalence "makes you think."

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 11, 2006 11:32 PM

Watching the season opener challenged my generosity towards it's producers. If the notion is simply to make us view the iraqi insurgency from the other side, then it is a profoundly stupid show. If it meant merely to provide a view of A insurgency then it's at the very least clumsy.

Posted by: RC at October 13, 2006 11:26 AM

How much coherence can you expect from folks who think we're the pagans, not the monotheists?

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2006 12:51 PM