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BSG: Humanity’s Interesting

About the inital Cylon attack in Battlestar Galactica’s miniseries, Dave R. writes:

The battlestar Galactica survived by virtue of its being obsolete and on the verge of retirement, thus making it a low-priority target.

The other, and perhaps as important reason being of course that Commander Adama distrusted technology and had kept Galactica purposefully low-tech, meaning that the Cylon “cybernetic attacks, computer viruses” didn’t work. I haven’t heard the producer talk about it yet on his podcast but it seems to me that though he has an admiration for Gene Roddenberry‘s Star Trek he wants to tell a different type of story.

In both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, technology was almost inherently a good thing. There were cases in a few episodes where bad people used technology to do bad things, and of course the Borg were brought in to try to show the danger inherent in reliance on too much technology, but for the most part the civilization was one in which technology had been used to enhance life and promote freedom.

Onboard the Galactica on the other hand, technology is secondary to the humans and a tool of the enemy. All the technology of the colonies didn’t save Caprica or the rest of the fleet from attack; in fact it was exploited by the Cylons – who themselves are an outgrowth of tech arrogance. Ships break down, tools aren’t completely reliable, and bad things happen to when computers are networked. Human hard work and feelings – both intuition and feelings for each other – are what keeps civilization going.

From a storyteller’s point of view, that makes the story perhaps harder and messier to write – they can’t just whip out the Widget Of The Week to save the day – but isn’t that what makes “real” life interesting – the messiness of humanity?



For whatever it’s worth, I agree with Dave on another point he makes – getting more people to watch the BSG Miniseries could serve to build the fanbase and increase viewership. Spinning up new fans, before season three begins, can only be a smart move. Get ’em hooked with enough time to then buy or borrow the season 1 & 2 DVDs, this isn’t a series you want to jump into mid-stream.

Giving the miniseries away for free via the iTunes Music Service would help with a “connected” segment of the population; getting the Sci-Fi channel to show it again during primetime, before the third season starts would also be a big help, as would getting Season 2.5 out on DVD quickly. For that matter, if they could get Blockbuster to carry the DVDs that would help – at least here in my area there’s not one BSG disk on Blockbuster’s shelves.

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