What I learned from Battlestar Galactica.
So, I -- thankfully -- watched all of Battlestar Galactica over the course of several days, rather than having made it a long, drawn out television affair. Frankly, I think I preferred watching the series this way, because while it was worth seeing, it wasn't really worth obsessing over to any significant degree.
Let's be frank... Battlestar Galactica was a hackneyed, made-for-television pulp sci-fi vehicle back in the '70s... and it took a prodigious facelift and some able casting, writing, and effects to make it redeemable in the '00s. Its fans have talked about it like it was the best thing since tribbles and Romulan ale, but the fact is, it still suffers from an escapist, theological, antiscientific premise that spits in the face of all those who appreciate REAL science fiction... That's not saying it was a bad series at all... it clearly wasn't. But it does leave you with a theological aftertaste faintly reminiscent of cleaning out Aslan
's litterbox with your tongue.
So, with that in mind, here is a short list of what I learned from watching BSG:
1> God's invisible messengers work in mysterious ways... especially when they get you to indulge in embarassingly exhibitionistic public sex acts.
2> There is only one God and he has very specific, largely unavoidable plan, designed to effectively rob you of free will only about 99.998% of the time. As such, your fate will be judged entirely based on the .002% where you do, in fact, have free will... unfortunately, you don't actually know which .002% that is.
3> The big advantage to having so little true free will is that you are, by definition, almost certainly following God's plan... which makes you perfect, just the way you are. (Except, of course, when you're not.)
4> When traveling on a long, long voyage across the great expanse of space, you oftentimes can't avoid traveling through perilous territory to reach your ultimate destination... except, of course, for those times when it's necessary to rapidly jump all the way back to where you started from.
5> Due to the nature of faster-than-light travel through space, it is commonplace to run out of raw materials, fuel, and food supplies well before you make a significant dent in your supply of single-malt scotch or imported cigarrettes.
6> Nothing makes a person turn evil quicker than becoming an itchy gimp.
7> What's the best way to explain ________ in a science fiction series? God did it!
8> Science fiction is when you take a brave, futuristic group and give them difficult-to-fathom challenges to overcome with their wits, heroism, and advanced technology.
Fantasy is when you start introducing fairies, unicorns, and gods into the mix, which trump technology and the best laid plans, but which ultimately are overcome through heroism, true love, and/or purity of spirit.
Fraud is when you get 35000+ people to spontaneously reject thousands of years worth of technological advancement, modern medicine, public sanitation, their guns, and every other form of creature comfort they have, all because one sickeningly naive, idealistic prat thinks that enduring a 150,000 year dark age would somehow lead humanity to wisdom.
9> The quickest, most certain way to get in touch with your place in God's plan is to either take drugs, perform Bob Dylan covers... or a combination thereof. (Everybody must get stooooned!)
10> There's a reason why Japanese and British TV series usually do only around 13 episodes a year. It allows them to actually stay focused on the actual storyline, while editing out all the superfluous drinking, smoking, interpersonal squabbling, and snogging. Japanese and British edit their TV shows... Americans pad their TV series like bad 6th grade history reports.
(Just feel fortunate that the modern series of BSG didn't have another Spaceball