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BSG Season 1: Act of Contrition Ep. 4 April 23, 2008

Posted by Chris in Battlestar Galactica (Re-imagined).
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Noble Sacrifice or Self-Destruction? — Starbuck and the Crew are Caught in a Cycle of Love Leading to Sacrifice Leading to Self-Inflicted Wounds

It’s interesting that in a series whose central premise is the persecution of the Humans by “machines”, this episode begins with a self-inflicted loss as a Human-controlled drone (read: “machine”) cuts lose on the hangar-deck and kills a bunch of pilots during a celebration for one of their comrades on his 1,000th flight.  The Humans can’t seem to keep their own, “dumb” machines from hurting them, let alone the their rebellious Cylon servants.  In fact, this episode seems to suggest that Humans are more than capable of hurting themselves, with or without machines.  This sets up the plot line for the episode as Adama asks Starbuck to train the next batch of replacement pilots.  But rather than healing the wounds from the hangar-deck loss, Adama’s request only scrapes the scab off a previous tragedy — the loss of Adama’s son and Starbuck’s role in it. 

Further self-inflicted wounds are described in flashback scenes for various characters.  Starbuck’s memories of how she passed Zack (Apollo’s brother) in flight school even though he was dangerous in the cockpit.  Starbuck adds insult to this self-inflicted injury by telling Apollo what she did.  In brief, he was horrified and pissed.  This all builds into the memory of how Adama confonted her and found out what she did for Zack.  And all this interspersed with quick-cut scenes of Starbuck falling through the atmosphere of some planet with her Viper burning up around her.  The bad memories continue with Starbuck’sfear of training a class of new pilots due to her guilt about Zack’s death.  After the blowout with Adama she buckles down and starts to adjust to being an instructor resolute to the task of making something of the trainee “nuggets”.  Just as this transformation of her character takes place, where she moves from self-destructive behavior to self-sacrificing, she sacrifices herself to save Hot Dog, one of the more high profile “nuggets” (and the real-life son of Olmos). 

But Starbuck isn’t the only one working to distinguish between self-sacrifice and destruction.  The self-inflicted wounds are slowing growing between one of the Sharons (later to be known as “Athena”) and Helo on Caprica as they fall in love.  Here, their selfless acts of love for each other set the stage for later in the series when they form a key couple affecting the day-to-day politics in Galactica.  In this sense, they are responsible for a great deal of the tension and the “wounds” that occur later in the show. 

Similarly, we privy to Dr. Cottle’s examination of Roslin.  As he learns the facts of her cancer, he confronts her on why she did not have regular breast exams for a period of five years.  Her defensive answer is that she was very busy, but this is mere deflection.  [!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!] Since Roslin was having an affair with the President, she may have been inflicting punishment on herself for her love by ignoring the growing warning signs of her illness. [!!!END SPOILER ALERT!!!]

In all these cases, we see a repeated pattern of love leading to self-destruction and guilt, leading to more self-destruction.  What an interesting and depressing show this is!


io9’s Top 10 Unsung Sci-Fi TV Series April 4, 2008

Posted by Chris in Interesting News, SciFi TV Shows.

Several of these series are new to me, so I’ll be checking them out.  I recent stumbled across Surface, and was surprised that I really liked it (despite several scientific and practical implausibilities).  I keep hearing such great things about Farscape.  I tried to watch the first few episodes and couldn’t deal… It’s just hard for me to take Muppets seriously — sorry Jim.

Caprica: How the Cylons Were Created April 2, 2008

Posted by Chris in Battlestar Galactica (Re-imagined), Interesting News.
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Ahhh…just as I’m struggling with how to survive after the fourth and final season of BSG, hope springs forth in the form of “Caprica”, the long-awaited prequel.  This article claims insight into the series’ plot, and of particular interest, the motivation for creating the Cylons.  Interestingly, the Cylons weren’t created as robotic slaves, but rather as a repository for their creator’s recently deceased and uploaded personality and memories.