Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mr. Roboto

"I'm not a robot without emotions -
I'm not what you see.
I've come to help you
With your problems, so we can be free.
I'm not a hero, I'm not a saviour,
Forget what you know ...
I'm just a man whose circumstances
Went beyond his control."

DAY 106:  I've always been a HUGE science fiction fan.  I remember two shows of the late 70's and early 80's with great fondness - Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers.  Watch them now, unfortunately, and they will throw you into HYSTERICAL fits of laughter ... perhaps the cheesiest, silliest series ever to air.  SO ... you can imagine the serious doubts I had when the SciFi Network announced a new series - their remake of Battlestar Galactica.  Little by little, details emerged about the new show that gave me further pause - Starbuck (played by Richard Hatch in the original series, and who surprisingly played a major and VERY different role in the new show) was now a woman, and the Cylons (the robot "bad guys" chasing a group of refugee humans across the universe as the humans searched for a prophecized "Earth") could actually look like human beings.  BLASPHEMY!

Boy, was I ever WRONG!  SciFi's Battlestar Galactica was one of the greatest TV series ever produced and I'm forever grateful for the four years of the BRILLIANT writing in this "reimagining."  This was gritty, pulse-pounding, and unforgiving - a dark, brooding tale of racism, identity, betrayal, justice, and incapacitating loss.  It was also an incredibly sexy film noir-ish tale of lust and love.  The most fascinating aspect of the series, however, was the way it toyed with morality and its intriguing exploration of spirituality, mysticism, and religion.  EVERY character was gray and inescapably conflicted ... no truly good guys, no unredeemingly bad guys.  This was a story filled with drug-induced prophetic visions leading a group of humans on their search for the mysterious land of "Earth," as foretold in their holy books.  These "good guys" were polytheistic and the robotic "bad guys," who were capable of RESURRECTION and came in TWELVE "models," believed in "one true" God.  It comes as no surprise then that the publicity image for the final season of the show (that I posted above) is a recreation of "The Last Supper," with the main "bad guy" - the beautiful woman in red - taking the place of Jesus in the painting.  BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BRILLIANT ... 

And, to top it all off, SciFi made the ASTOUNDINGLY noncommercial but intelligent choice of ending the series after only four seasons, while it was still thriving and in its prime.  Going out on a high left all of us BSG fans mourning the loss of the show, but it was clear that the writers respected the storyline, and realized that dragging it out over additional seasons would only dilute it's impact.  It was also clear that the writers had a definite timeline and plan for the story which had reached "its time" to bring it to a close - unlike other shows, like Lost and Heroes, that seem to have outlived their complexity and meandering plot seasons ago.

I sure do miss my Friday night thrills with Commander Adama, Kara, President Roslin, Lee, Gaius, Boomer, and Number Six.  Tonight, SciFi re-aired the pilot episode of a new series called Caprica, a prequel based on their Battlestar Galactica universe (the reason for my post today), before it begins its regular run every Friday night starting next week.  The show holds great promise, and I felt like a giddy kid coming home to a world that I had grown so attached to.  But it's not Battlestar Galactica, and I'm certain nothing ever will be ...

1 comment:

  1. Ok. Now I am going to have to put BSG in my queue. :-)