When SF is as Real as Tomorrow’s Headlines
Posted by hyperpat on November 11, 2006
While I’m in the mood to plug things, I suppose I should mention Battlestar Galactica. Now the original show with Lorne Greene back in the sixties wasn’t terrible, but neither was it great, and its fan base was too small to keep it on the air when the inevitable budget axe fell, unlike a certain other SF series of the same period. In its reincarnation, though, what we have is a show that goes to places the original wouldn’t have dared go: the morality of genocide (last night’s episode), inter-species sexual relations, the rationality (or not) of religion, the validity of torture during war time (sound familiar?), discourse on the best and worst of political campaigns – this list keeps getting longer. All rounded out with characters who, while often strange, are also immediately recognizable as real people, with anywhere from stoics and martyrs to cowards and schizophrenics occupying the stage.
This series is dark and often somewhat depressing, but it has an edginess and relevance that Star Trek never quite got (and that Star Wars never even thought about). While its special effects are good, they are not the centerpoint of this drama, a welcome change from all too many Hollywood attempts at what it thinks is science fiction, but rather the story always remains uppermost.
I just hope the writers and actors can continue to maintain the very high level of brilliance that has graced this series so far.