Battlestar Galactica

 

" Battlestar Galactica is known for raising thought-provoking questions on ultimate morality, the role of women, martial law, artificial intelligence, power and corruption, spirituality, and, most of all, what it means to be human."

 

 We were pretty hard on network TV audiences in "Your Show Is Too Cerebral", so we thought we would try to present a "more cerebral" example of American television.

A TV series that is widely considered the best science fiction show to date is the last full incarnation of Battlestar Galactica. Although the series started out on ABC, it soon moved to a more specialized (cerebral?) outlet.

The show has a long, disconnected and controversial history which we won't go into, but suffice to say, it's more recent incarnation (2004 to 2009) starring Edward James Olmos (as opposed to Lorne Greene, who was in the 1978 series), takes a bit of "smarts" to fully appreciate.

Those who see it as only "space battles" completely miss the point -- a point that is layers deep.  The layers are explored in books written by respected scholars.*

 Battlestar Galactica

If the above photo offends you, you will probably
 not be comfortable with the series.

The show is no longer on the air anywhere that I know of, so the only way you are going to see it is by buying new or used DVDs, or from some source such as Netflix (No commercial interruptions!) or HuLu.

There are a number of Internet sites still devoted to the series and there have been a half-dozen books written on it.

" Battlestar Galactica was voted TV Show of the Year by Time magazine, and it also received a Peabody Award, an unprecedented achievement for a sci-fi show."

 

Before you order any DVDs be aware that there is controversy surrounding the sequence and supplier of the DVDs. You might want to read some of the customer reviews at Amazon.com to sort this out.

If you are really tired of bland, 6th grade level, lowest-common denominator network television, and you are ready to stretch your mind around some thought-provoking moral and philosophical dilemmas, this is a possibility.

The series was expensive to produce, it's rather "cerebral," it's open to many interpretations, and it has had to weather some lawsuits, so we may never seen anything like it again. 

Based on my personal experience, you have to see Battlestar Galactica series more than once to catch the underlying messages.  


* Just two that I'm familiar with are So Say We All, edited by Richard Hatch, and Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Knowledge Here Begins by Jason-T.-Eberl.  These are not "picture books," they get into some very meaty reflections on the series.

-Ron Whittaker


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