Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Atlantis: Bridging the Gap
I don't write spoilers. Not for my own projects and not for anything else. Now that I've gotten that out of the way and you know that this little article is spoiler safe, let's get on with it.
Like a few other million people around the globe I eagerly await each and every episode of this little series called Battlestar Galactica. Producer / Writer Ronald D Moore has a talent for keeping us glued to the screen. The first time he did it for me was when he was working on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The only time he lost me was when Star Trek DS9 when he got all religious. That was so terrible that I didn't see the series finale until years later.
Let's let the past reside right where it belongs; way the frack behind. I say that because the new Battlestar Galactica uses all the classic elements of the original series and introduces important new factors. With a female president and Starbuck with along with few other transformed and invented elements the show feels new and shiny. Well, not quite, since they do such a great job of making everything look so used and dirty. The work they've done has been enough to carry this new show much further than the original.
Over the years since this show first started airing it has become a staple to science fiction fans, as much as the various Star Trek series were, as much as Buffy or Angel were. There's a certain group of core fans that need science fiction content on television, they're discriminating, they demand quality, but that doesn't mean that they won't watch bad science fiction. They watch it, and they tear it to pieces on the Internet. Other science fiction fans read the posts and blogs. The same happens when a show like Battlestar Galactica goes wrong, those core fans are the first to scream. Funny thing, we're seasons in and I don't hear much screaming yet, that's a good thing. A welcome change if you ask me. Battlestar Galactica has not reduced in quality at all as far as I'm concerned, and as we watch the last few episodes for the next several months, I'm looking forward to finding out where this wild ride goes. If you haven't seen this show yet, you should know it's available on iTunes and DVD, I highly recommend it.
There's one other point that I feel is really important to mention. Battlestar Galactica came just in time. Star Trek Enterprise flopped and disappeared, Stargate SG-1 came to an end after 10 seasons (watch out for the straight to DVD movies!), Firefly was slapped down fast by Fox (need a big damn sequel!), and most of the other shows weren't that great. Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Atlantis has bridged the hungry, lonely gap for us Science Fiction lovers. It has been a dark few years where deep space futuristic science fiction is concerned.
In about 10-12 episodes Battlestar Galactica ends for good, forever. This is a decision that I'll back all the way. I say it's better to call an end to something well before it ceases to be at it's best. That way, when I pop the DVD collection into my player I don't sit there thinking; too bad the last season sucked. We are left with a classic that may stand the test of time. Now THAT is rare in this environment where the big networks don't trust their showrunners unless their show is an instant hit and can draw massive advertising revenue. Something inside me will still miss awaiting new BSG episodes on Friday nights. I think it's my inner child.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, however! This September Caprica, a prequel series in the same universe as Battlestar Galactica, begins. In July Stargate Atlantis comes back with a new season and I can't wait. This summer the animated series; Star Wars: The Clone Wars launches with a major motion picture release. The rest of the series will air on the Cartoon Network in half hour episodes every week. George Lucas has informed the world that the new live action Star Wars series was in the works as of fall 2008 and we should see it sometime in 2009 or 2010. In May of 2009 the new Star Trek movie, a franchise reboot under the direction of J.J. Abrams of Lost fame, will premiere. That's just the stuff that's set in outer space, there's a lot more science fiction that's set on or near earth, in current day or not long from now.
The future of science fiction is looking a little brighter again, and I'd be remiss if I forgot to thank Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Atlantis for keeping us all entertained while we waited for it to happen. Here's to you!
Hey, if science fiction gets really popular, maybe I could get my own little First Light show on television?