Geekanology UK: Battlestar Galactica Finale
There are “SciFi” films & series out there that make sense, there are some that don’t ... in the don’t category I list series such as “The X Files” (the truth may well be out there but it’s got naff all to with this series), “Lost” (good title ... 15 minutes in and I had entirely “lost” interest). There are others that rely on techno-babble, Star Trek & Stargate (love them though I do) amongst them and that’s fine ... I can live with techno-babble by making a rational trade off, I switch off the normal world step into the scenario I’m presented with and as long as it is internally consistent I’m fine with it. To my mind that is the secret to enjoying a science fiction film or series ... I don’t mind whether it entertains me on a rational level or on an entertainment level but, if the film strays too far from rational I demand that it makes sense within the scenario presented.
So when I first saw the pilot for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica first came on screen in the form of a 3 hour pilot I absolutely loved it ... sure it had flaws, which series doesn’t, but it was gritty & interesting in all kinds of ways; it had great characters including Commander Adama (James Edward Olmos), Apollo (Jamie Bamber), Gaius Baltar (James Callis), Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and the awesome Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff); it was stylish and it appeared to be, above all, rational by which I mean it was a scenario that made sense.
One intriguing thing was the religious relationship between the Colonials and their Cylon enemies ... the Colonials believed in Greco/Roman gods whilst the new model, humanoid, Cylons believed in “The One God”. Even as an atheist this was fine because the idea of gods are inherently irrational, there is never any proof so with two mutually opposed belief systems there could be no victor, no right or wrong so I had many, many hours of what looked to be an excellent, action-packed science fiction series to look forward to ... 3 seasons later I found out how hugely, mind-bogglingly wrong I was!
First of all a warning, this review is one huge spoiler, in order to deal with it as I intend to do it can’t be anything else. So, if you don’t want to know what happens, if you want to make up your own mind and do so objectively, without prejudice stop reading now. If, however, you want to be fully informed, to know the reason why I was so bitterly disappointed with it, a possible reason to (perhaps) stop before you start, before (as I did) you waste huge amounts of time and money on it ... read on.
Battlestar Galactica started well in the pilot introducing us the characters and the second war between Cylon and Human and the first season, with some baggage, went on well to expand on that fleshing out reasons for tensions between father, son and adoptive daughter (in order to preserve something for the wannabe viewer, I’ll try and keep some specifics out), why the military and civilian authorities didn’t see eye to eye, why the Cylons were engaged so determinedly in an effort to wipe the Humans out and on how determined (and why) the Humans were to survive.
Over seasons 1 to 3 there was some (inevitable perhaps) decay in the story, there were good episodes and ones that were not so good but when they were good it has to be admitted they tended to be very good and the bad episodes weren’t actually so bad as to be uninteresting. More to the point, as in often done these days, a story was being told ... a story that arced across each episode’s adventure, tying the whole series together, asking questions, sometimes answering them, telling a story of a lost people trying to find their way home and above all asking what they would find when they reached that home, the mythical planet Earth to which the thirteenth tribe of Cobol was believed to have gone. In some ways this was, for me, becoming a kind of new Babylon 5 ... in some ways it wasn’t quite as good (until the dire season 5 Babylon 5 just kept improving) but in other ways it was far, far better.
Season 3 ended with Starbuck returning from the dead and by half way through season 4 (with no surety it would continue what with the Hollywood writing strike) it appeared our fleet had reached Earth and, from the wrecked cities & all too familiar seeming skyline, at some point in our future. If only they had ended it there ... it wouldn’t have been a good ending, it wouldn’t have answered all the questions but if only, if only!
The writer’s strike ended and a little later the series continued and, god, was it depressing? Primarily dealt with a mutiny over multiple episodes which could, quite frankly, have been covered in one, maybe 2 ... there were lots and lost (and lots more) of “in corridor” scenes, person to person stuff and not a whole lot of FX/action. The impression many of us fans seemed to be getting was that they were saving their FX for one huge FX laden finale ... and that is exactly what happened but not quite in the way I thought it would.
[Read The Rest of This Review Here]
So there you have it ... what I really think of Moore’s awful ending to BSG!!! I’ve looked around the net and no one else seems to see it through my jaundiced eyes, do little but heap unwarranted praise on the man but ... where’s that damned baseball bat when you need it?