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Preview: Comments on: GWC Podcast #49

Comments on: GWC Podcast #49



A Galaxy of Creative Content



Last Build Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2017 18:27:46 +0000

 



By: Jason

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 17:00:08 +0000

Mike P said to Jason: “Apparently one of the tie-in novels features a Colonial rock star who winds up on the battlestar and the kids all go nuts for him, but of course that’s not canon. Could be a fun read, though (though I probably won’t). But if you are interested in the subject of arts in the BSGverse, it might be worth checking out.” There are BSG novels? As if I need more ways to waste time. Get thee behind me, Mike P! ;)



By: Nick B

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 12:05:42 +0000

Of course the Tighlons might be protecting a Cylon home world, not Earth. It might not be the home world of the sixes, eights, toasters and base stars, but perhaps the home world of Tighlons who evolved in a previous cycle. Perhaps the Tighlons have been trying to guide the more immature Cylons of this cycle, but at a distance, and perhaps even the Cylons don't know exactly where the Tighlons originate from. Imagine the possibilities for a new storyline if they were to run with the idea that the RTF are about to stumble on the homeworld of the Tighlons, a completely unknown place to Human and Cylon alike. Of course the Tighlon home world and Earth might be one and the same. I'm just trying to make Audra's head spin as much as I can ;-)



By: Nick B

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 11:58:14 +0000

Audra, Thanks for the recognition and your kind words ;-) Of course none of our amazingly insightful and intelligent discussions would be possible without you, Chuck and Sean and all the hard work (?) you guys put into the podcasts. Just don't stop when the series ends ;-)



By: Kappa

Sun, 01 Jul 2007 00:45:31 +0000

Thanks so much for the warm welcome! Armando: I really like your idea of creative drive in the Cylons being linked to spiritual quests. I think one could make a case for Six fitting with this pattern, too. She may not have achieved any creative acts yet, but throughout the entire series, she (and Head Six) longs to have a baby, but she cannot. She wants to become closer to God by obeying his commandment to procreate, and she is fascinated by creation in many forms (asking "Are you alive?" in awe every time she meets a human, for example), especially Hera; she just can't quite get her quest for meaning and fulfilment really rolling yet, perhaps because Baltar wasn't really in love with her before the miniseries in order to conceive a child. That said, taking on the role of surrogate mother and protector of Hera has pulled Caprica Six into the Opera House visions, so maybe we haven't been given the complete story on how Hera is Six and Baltar's child. Leoben is still a problem, though he is the one who pays attention to the Hybrid's speech, which someone (forgive me, I don't remember who, though I agree) classified as poetry. He is at least interested in art. writch/Nick B.: This is interesting territory. It would be just like BSG to give us a cliffhanger that leaves us wondering whether the Final Five are on the human side or the Cylon side and then fool us all by resolving it with "C) None of the Above." It would also explain why Six looked so terrified by the Final Five in the Opera House vision; perhaps Six takes Hera into the final chamber believing that she is protecting Hera only to discover that the forces that control that area, the Final Five, are not on her side at all. That still makes me wonder what the Final Five have to do with the Opera House in the first place, but I think I'll save that post for the "Kobol's Last Gleaming" frak-party. Audra/Chuck/Sean: Have you considered talking about additional content related to each season in one of the rewatch podcasts? I think it might be interesting to add discussions about deleted scenes, and I'm all for any excuse to watch BSG season blooper reels again :) (and again, and again, and again...). As always, excellent podcasting, and thank you for continuing to provide new content throughout the break--without you guys, the withdrawal might be too much to bear!



By: Audra

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 23:34:05 +0000

Nick B., your comment immediately above about the mixed humans and Cylons living peacefully and the Tighlons' being activated at a a certain proximity in order to protect earth -- is fascinating. It is also one of a very few theories I may totally buy into. Thanks for getting my head spinning in a new direction on this one! I am really intrigued and excited by the various theories here about Cylons becoming more human/creative/animated in small talk, etc., as they are in contact with humans. I think that all of you who are tossing this idea around have a fantastic new perspective on this. I have to say I'm blown away by the content in these threads. Everytime I think a topic is starting to dry up, I come here and GWC commenters have ten more intelligent, original theories about it. Thank you all for sharing your ideas and making this a great forum for us all. And welcome, Goldschmied, Above the Love, Shaymus22, David W. Griffin, Kappa, and Jason!



By: Nick B

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 00:56:03 +0000

OK - more Tighlon/Earth theory. The Tighlons are indeed meant to protect Earth from external threats. That's why they've been "activated" at a certain point. Essentially they've been awakened as part of an early warning system that activates sleeper Tighlons when they reach a certain proximity to Earth, a certain point outside the region occupied by the 12 colonies, or a certain sector of the galaxy. They can then set about doing whatever it is they need to do to ensure the safety of the Earth. This could include making sure that people who are searching for it never find it. But are they protecting Earth from the Cylons, from the Humans, from both, or just from any alien interference? Perhaps Earth is somewhere where humans and cylons have either mixed or learned to live together, and its inhabitants don't want these new idiot Cylons and Humans importing their race wars and religious conflicts. Nice crusades analogy here - the early Christian crusaders who settled in the Near East ended up integrating with and getting on pretty well their Muslim neighbours, and were horrified when a bunch of new fanatics arrived from Europe, bent on destruction and restarting the conflict. Better for the descendants of the earlier crusaders if the new crusaders had never arrived.



By: Nick B

Sat, 30 Jun 2007 00:29:28 +0000

Gray - sounds quite reasonable to me, and succinctly put. In fact, I think the final five being the product/detritus of a previous cycle of conflict between humans and Cylons (using the term in a very general sense) is very likely - it seems almost inevitable to me. And perhaps the result of this previous cycle was an intermixing of Cylon and Human somewhere other than the 12 colonies and Cobol - like Earth, for example. And as someone else suggested a while back, maybe the 13th tribe were Cylons, or even Cylon-Human hybrids, although having left before the 12 tribes it suggests that they left before any previous conflict got going. Perhaps they set off while Cylons and Humans were still getting on with each other. And, Writch, perhaps you don't need to keep your tongue that firmly in your cheek. I quite like the idea of the final five being from an Earth that has been either Cylonised or hybridised, and that their job is actually to defend or protect the Earth from vengeful rapacious humans. Baltar could well be a rogue member of the five, perhaps having gone native (among the humans), or perhaps just being a loose canon. Whatever the nature of the final five, I'm still trying to construct a theory of precisely what their role is among the humans, and how they are playing this out without realising their true nature. I guess they are sleepers, perhaps now awakened to do their duty, but what is that duty, and on whose behalf are they doing it (or not). As for Cylon creativity, I'm guessing that this isn't something the writers have thought to address, but I am reminded of the scene in the cafe in "Downloaded", in which the Cylons ar sitting around in little groups, apparently hardly interacting - there isn't much of a cafe culture buzz about the place, and the "customers" are hardly animated. It's as if they are trying to mimic human behaviour in terms of social interaction, but haven't really got anything to say to each other. After all, much or our conversation is just chatter, that serves a social function, binding us together, but without really imparting vital information or achieving anything earth shattering. Reflecting the comments of posters here, the Cylons presumably don't have much need for this, as they appear to be networked with each other, or at least to others of their model. Next time you watch downloaded, look at the Cylons sitting around in the cafe and see how rigid and lacking in animation they are. The exceptions are of course 6 and 8, who have a lot to talk about, and who are becoming much more "human" as a result of their experiences.



By: Gray

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 20:53:01 +0000

Nick B. Okay, I'm just going to lay it on you with the added disclaimer that I can't recall precisely who I may already have forced to read this. Basically, what if the Final Five are the last descendants of the previous cycle's Cylon/Human progeny. It could account for the much vaunted "fundamental" difference. There's still an overwhelming amount that we don't know about Hybrid capability. Can they download, for instance? Conversely, perhaps the F5 are the last Hybrids, with the exception of Hera, who exist in the Colonies. Perhaps Earth is comprised entirely of these Hybrids. Also, I've been pretty clear that I think Starbuck won't be the final Cylon reveal, but I occasionally like to toy with this angle and think that if she was, it would explain a whole lot. Like how she managed to still be alive, for example :) I don't know, that wasn't organized and it doesn't sound quite as convincing as usual but that's the Cliffs Notes version.



By: Mike P

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 19:08:16 +0000

Jason: "I mean, we haven’t see much of that sort of thing on the Colonial side either." True. Apparently one of the tie-in novels features a Colonial rock star who winds up on the battlestar and the kids all go nuts for him, but of course that's not canon. Could be a fun read, though (though I probably won't). But if you are interested in the subject of arts in the BSGverse, it might be worth checking out.



By: Jason

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 17:42:50 +0000

Hi, Kappa! Thanks so much for following up on the creativity issue with your really insightful post. Perhaps the only reason we haven't seen more evidence of Cylon creativity is that the writers simply haven't visited this issue. For all we know, the Cylons are having poetry readings and art openings behind the scenes. I mean, we haven't see much of that sort of thing on the Colonial side either. However, if there is a genuine creativity deficit among Cylons, I think it is not because they lack the *capacity* to create, but rather the *motivation* to do so. I see no inherent reason why the Cylons should not be capable of creativity. They seem to have mimicked the biology of the human brain in all other respects, so I can't imagine they would have left that part out. Certainly if they have the capacity to dream, they have the capacity to be creative. So if they aren't creating, I don't think it's because they can't, but rather, as Kappa put it, they don't feel the *need*. And I think Kappa has a brilliant insight that the need for artistic expression is somehow contingent on the private nature of thought. Art is in essence a way to "download" our thoughts and emotions----not only for the purpose of sharing our thoughts and feelings with others, but maybe also for the simple act of "downloading" itself: that is, there is something inherently reinforcing about transforming something internal into something external. Cylons can fulfill this "need to download" in a much more direct way that circumvents the need for art. But deprived or cut off from that capacity, I think creativity would emerge, as in Kappa's example of Three's drawings when she was trying to make sense of a very private experience that she was keeping secret from the other Cylons. Chief Tyrol also invents the Blackbird, a completely novel form of spacecraft and definitely an act of creation. I realize that was a collaborative effort in which a lot of humans contributed. But it was the Chief's idea, and he was driven to pursue it, even when no one else believed in it. Classic behavior of a genuine artist or inventor. So yeah, I definitely think Cylons have latent creativity. As for why they might not actualize it, I think Kappa has come up with a good explanation.



By: writch

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 16:58:40 +0000

From Wiki on the Silver Surfer of The Fantastic Four fame: "Known from then on as the Silver Surfer, Norrin began to roam the cosmos searching for new planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels finally took him to Earth, the Surfer came face-to-face with the Fantastic Four, a team of powerful superheroes that helped him to rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was punished in return with everlasting exile there." "...new planets for Galacticus to consume..."?!?!?! As in Battlestar Galaticus? Fantastic Four in the context above DOES sound like the Tighlons. And casting Baltar as Norrin/Surfer, I believe we have the ending described there with Baltar's redemption! In Chuck's fear of an awful David Chasean ending, but with Sean's glee of an RDM twist, the RTF become Earth's enemy indeed as it realized over S4 that "we are all Cylonz." Baltar ultimately (and perhaps grudginly) betrays Galactica which will nullify the Cylon threat in someway that strands him alone on Earth. I'm kidding of course. (BTW, Chuck - "dixi" is latin for "I have spoken and was stated in an 'over-and-out' context; it's not my moniker. "writch" is a combination of my name, "rich", and "wretch" making me a hybrid.)



By: writch

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 16:43:04 +0000

Pike: right, cosmic rays. And the Final One shall be the Silver Surfer. (The Silver of course being misidentified for the Chrome as must be His/Her true heritage.)



By: Nick B

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:57:42 +0000

Pike - OK, the provenance of the "Significant Seven" had passed me by, but this is obviously a legitimate term if the writers use it! Just shows how anal I'm being in my interpretation ;-) Glad you like "Tighlons" - I was pathetically pleased with myself coming up with this.... Gray - go on: I've rambled on with my theories, which are probably highly dubious and somewhat nonsensical in some respects. Would love to hear yours and not be alone in this particular (now) public obsession!



By: Pike

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:23:58 +0000

They were exposed to cosmic rays?



By: Gray

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:05:44 +0000

The Fantastic Four? Probably not. I have my own little theory for what the F5 are but I'm not entirely sure how much sense it makes. It sounds cool though.



By: Pike

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 13:29:27 +0000

Nick B, actually 'Significant Seven' is the term that the writers, et al., use. Likewise with 'Final Five.' Of course, we're free to devise our own. I've been using 'Semi-Final Four' and 'Final Four Fifths' for the Tighlons, but I think I like yours better.



By: Nick B

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:38:33 +0000

Pike - Significant Seven is a lovely alliterative pun. I resisted using it, and went for the good, but not quite as apt Magnificent Seven, on a technicality. So far there have been seven highly visible Cylons, but I wonder who the most significant Cylons will be once we're into Season 4. Very anal I know, and I'm letting literalism get in the way of art, but perhaps we could keep going with the attempt to devise names for the various categories of Cylon. I'll have a go with another name for the four newly revealed ones (aka the Fab Four in my last post) - how about Tighlons? Whadya think?



By: Nick B

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 09:33:50 +0000

Kappa - good to have you out of the shadows. Great posts - to think we've been missing your insights all this time! I still have a hunch that all 5 of the final 5 are older than the magnificent seven. My pet theory is that one of the final five had a falling out with the other four, then teamed up with the toasters and helped to create the seven. The rogue Cylon from the final 5 thus became number 1 of 8. So I propose that we have a schism in the final 5. Perhaps the other four of the final 5 are actually in hiding from the rogue No. 1, maybe in different forms. Perhaps the rogue No. 1 does a similar thing so that he/she can keep an eye on the other four. However, in order to evade detection the five have to totally "humanise" themselves. The four ensure that they are "programmed" to help humanity defeat the rogue Cylons, explaining their prominent/important positions. The rogue No. 1 programmes himself to appear human, but also not to be too helpful to the humans, and what better cover than a tortured (some might say evil) genius. If Baltar is a rogue Cylon this would seem to chime with the Baltar character from the original series. I still have a hunch that there's something weird going on with Baltar, and if he is somehow a manifestation of the No. 1"uber-Cylon", this would explain a lot - his survival, Head Six, his tricky relationship with the final five. Baltar the human character as a manifestation of Baltar the head Cylon - even Baltar as the Cylon god (no wonder god has a plan for him - it's Baltar's plan for himself). There are some problems with this theory. For example, we know Tigh has been around in human form for a long time, so what was going on there? What about Starbuck? (Maybe she has somehow been resurrected or snatched from the jaws of death by some benign force (other versions of the fab four of the final five safely ensconced on Earth?) But for me the biggest problem with my own theory would be that it would mean Baltar is an uncharacteristically (for BSG) easily identifable bad guy in the end, and this would be disappointing (although I'm sure the writers could handle it without making him too 2-dimensional). Anyway, I'm not saying that's how it is - just had an idea and wanted to run with it.



By: Pike

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 05:03:55 +0000

Significant Seven. Really.



By: Armando

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 03:36:47 +0000

"Final comment: So we call the newly revealed and remaining mystery Cylon “The Final Five”; what can we call the other Seven? It’s tempting to go with “The Original Seven,” but as Nick B.’s theory and the many who have suggested that the Final Five are actually *older* models or are even Cylons from an earlier cycle of history, we don’t really know that they’re the “originals.” Maybe “The Magnificent Seven”? " The Seven Cylon-ai? Seven brides for five Cylons? Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Doc and Doral? Those OTHER cylons? I need to go to bed...;-)



By: Armando

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 03:31:34 +0000

Kappa, First of all, welcome to the posting side. I hope, based on your first post (I want to respond in order), that you will quickly become a regular. Your post on Klucky's very astute idea about the difference between cylons and humans being displayed in the cylons' apparent lack of an artistic/creative impulse brought on a thought of my own: when Three/D'eanna starts creating art in attempting to draw what she sees between life and death as she is downloaded she is in the process of a spiritual quest. A lot of human creativity through the ages is tied to religion and spirituality, not to mention an attempt to engage, as you point out, with others outside of our immediate sensory experience (even across time) and perhaps even achieving immortality (at least in having our work live beyond us). I think it's interesting that as D'eanna becomes more obsessed with the final 5, she becomes more obsessed with God and her perceived (though misguided) role as a chosen one. Sharon/Athena, in taking part in the creation of a new life, is also engaging in a spiritual task and her particular model's propensity towards expressing love suggests to me another spiritual quest. The missing links here are Six and Leoben, both of whom continue to reference God but neither of whom are engaged in any creative acts that we've seen yet. I could be barking up the wrong tree, of course, but you got me thinking about this...



By: Gray

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 03:20:57 +0000

Kappa- Excellent thoughts on the S4 Roslin/ Starbuck dynamic. I think we all would've enjoyed seeing these two face off more often. There relationship has never really been one at the forefront of the show but every time they're together it seems to be under fascinating circumstances. And several times already we have seen them disagreeing. The two scenes I think of immediately are the scene where Starbuck is presenting her plan to return to Caprica for Anders and other survivors. It's a heated, spirited debate and you can see the tension there. Also, the scene in KLG pt 1 where Roslin reveals the Commander's dishonesty regarding Earth's location. Fireworks, baby. It should be exciting.



By: Kappa

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 02:47:59 +0000

Posting was so much fun, I can't help but want to do it again :) On Roslin as the Dying Leader: Maybe I’m alone in this, but though I’d be all right with Roslin dying of cancer or being the Dying Leader of prophecy, I’d be *very* disappointed if it turned out she was the dying leader *and* died of cancer. Prophecies are no fun if they’re interpreted correctly on the first try; they’re only interesting if people interpret them, think they understand them and act accordingly in order to avoid bad consequences (think Oedipus) or in order to fulfil the prophecy, and then find out that although the prophecy was accurate, their original interpretation was completely off-base and all their careful planning for naught. Plus, wouldn’t it be fascinating to watch what would happen if Laura found out she *wasn’t* the Dying Leader and had to cope with the fact that her power and decisions, especially going to Kobol, were *not* divinely sanctioned? I vote for Baltar and his new cult challenging Roslin’s position as Dying Leader in S4. Gray: Starbuck and Roslin as adversaries in S4? Ooh, that would be fun! What would poor Adama do? Maybe Starbuck will challenge Roslin’s interpretation of the Dying Leader prophecy? Or maybe Roslin will believe Starbuck is a Cylon, since how else could she come back for the dead? I don’t much care why: I’m just excited at the possibility of seeing two such strong female characters--and actresses--go toe-to-toe with each other. Nick B.: Excellent theory! It would explain the seeming inconsistency with the numbering, that the Final Five can neither have the first five or last five numbers out of the twelve (since we know the numbers of Three, Six,and Eight, and I believe Doral was called Five somewhere in an early episode), meaning that it seems that these “fundamentally different” Cylons can’t all be newer or all be older than the Seven. It’s been bugging me that while everybody has been asking the “Who is the final member of the Final Five?” question, not too many have been asking “*Why* don’t we know who the final member of the Final Five is?” To me, the only way it makes sense that the fifth Cylon isn’t drawn to the same room that the other four are is if that person is not on Galactica (which supports Starbuck’s Cylon candidacy) or that the Final Fifth is not only fundamentally different from the Seven but fundamentally different from the Final Four. Final comment: So we call the newly revealed and remaining mystery Cylon “The Final Five”; what can we call the other Seven? It’s tempting to go with “The Original Seven,” but as Nick B.’s theory and the many who have suggested that the Final Five are actually *older* models or are even Cylons from an earlier cycle of history, we don’t really know that they’re the “originals.” Maybe “The Magnificent Seven”? :)



By: Kappa

Fri, 29 Jun 2007 02:44:43 +0000

Long-time lurker, first-time poster: In response to Klucky’s call about the Cylon’s ability to create, there is one example of a Cylon creating art in the series: when Three becomes obsessed with seeing the faces of the Final Five, she shows Baltar some really freaky, twisted drawings of what she had seen of their faces when she went to the Opera House Between Life and Death. She may not have created it with the intent of it being “Art,” but I think we could classify it as a creative act. She did act on an impulse to create, an impulse to express her thoughts, to make them concrete, in a way that enabled somebody else (Baltar) to see into her thoughts. Even so, I think Klucky is on to something making the distinction of the Cylons lacking creativity. I’d like to elaborate on this idea at a later time, but I think that the Cylons were not capable of creation beyond copying and occasionally adapting things that humans had created. My favourite example is when Doc Cottle points out to Athena right before he performs the Cesarian for Hera is that for as much trouble as the Cylons went through to look like humans, why didn’t they “upgrade the plumbing” and design Cylon innards so they wouldn’t break down the way humans’ do. Contact with the humans, though, is somehow awakening their creativity; Eight’s creative act, Hera, is the result of contact with (and love for) a human, and Three’s quest to see the faces of the Final Five, which inspires her art, seems spurred by her connection to Baltar. Many posters have discussed what makes art and, especially Cavatar and Armando, have touched on why humans feel compelled to create art. Even if someone doesn’t intend for his or her creation to be for an audience, the posters all seem to agree that we feel compelled to create, to take the ideas that are in our heads and form them outside our heads in a way that, should somebody ever run across it, they *could* understand or at least experience a physical translation of those thoughts. Which makes me wonder, do the Cylons, who apparently share a collective consciousness, really *need* art? If the Cylons can download their thoughts and memories and trade them with each other in pure form, maybe they never felt the need for artistic creation--*until* they started running into beings outside that shared consciousness, namely humans. The desire to reproduce like humans seems like copycatting the humans again, especially since they’re basing a lot of that desire on scripture that the humans and Cylons share. But I’d also argue that Sharon and Six’s desires to bear and protect children go farther than adherence with scripture and are genuine impulses for creation. I think contact with humans is changing the Cylons in ways they never expected, and in trying to become better than humans, some are slowly losing (or overcoming, depending on how you look at it) the traits that separate Cylons from humans. Except one trait, which I’ll try to post on later.



By: Nick B

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 23:55:51 +0000

Gray - yes, great to have the opportunity to discuss all these interesting matters in the context of a handy template like BSG. Working at home, this is often the most intelligent and stimulating human interaction I have all day. (Note to self: must get out more). Completely off the wall here - I was wondering the other day how the 7 skin-job Cylons we've come to know and love were created. Given the strong biological nature of these models, I wonder if they were originally cloned from human originals, and then "improved". I thought it would be pretty good if in Season 4 we came across the original human Sharons and Sixes. Probably not, but it just suddenly dropped into my head. And it's just struck me that Sharon and Boomer are representatives of model number 8. Now, we've seen seven "old-style" humanoid Cylons, and we're told there are 12 Cylon models. The fact that we have a number 8 suggests that there are eight models in the same series - i.e. the ones associated with Six, Boomer, etc. So who's the eighth? We've seen 4 of the final 5. Is the fifth of the final five also number 1 of the old familiars? Did one of the final five take it upon themselves to create what became models 2-8? Did 2-8 then misbehave? Was the fifth of the final five going against the wishes of the other 4? Is the fifth of the five the rogue ancient Cylon? Could it be Baltar? Is that how come he can communicate with Head Six and vice versa? Or have I just got my numbers muddled up?



By: Boxytheboxed

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 17:13:42 +0000

"BTW, Isn’t Boxey much too young to catch obscure psychedelic sci-fi allusions? " Which ones i getsome of them, futurama Firefly some othersbut whickones in particular Yeah i agree if theres anything in particularbesides the final5/earth its Tioghs and SBs vriendship get more involvedi also hopethe Rosilin/Adama shippers get their way Im now more unhappy aboot tigh and Tyrol being cylons there way to human tome to makec ylons iwould rather have had Rosilin be a cylon, Dee would also make a good cylon, because she still needs to be more devolped as a character



By: The Alpaca Herder

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:56:19 +0000

I've been busy getting back from the conference and all. It looks like the baby alpaca is going to stay Starbuck with the two goats we've added being tentatively named Racetrack and Hot Dog. All the other animals are already named, alas. As to the Samoan remark...nah, that guy wasn't Samoan. A fat palagi maybe but not somebody from the Samoas. Robert Louis Stevenson noted that the pastime of Samoans historically was war-making which is reflected today in how many American Samoans join the US military and how they make a disproportionately high part of casualties in the Middle East. The guy we saw was just a fat palagi who was not the greatest of fighters. Of course, I missed "Boobarella" somewhere...I guess I have to listen again for that!



By: Gray

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 22:50:07 +0000

Nick B- Enjoyed the debate, sir! Although we ended up quite agreeing when all waas said and done. Once again, I have to echo Nick's thoughts about seeing Tigh develop in S4. Michael Hogan is such a tremendous, incredible talent. I can't wait to see what he does with his character. In Entertainment Weekly they have a nice little photo and short interview with Hogan and Sackhoff and a longer interview posted at EW.com. It's nice to see them being recognized and they seem to have a genuine chemistry. Both actors seem disappointed that they didn't get to explore the Tigh/Starbuck friendship more.



By: Yorick

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 19:40:41 +0000

Talking about Michael Hogan, there's an interesting bit here: http://www.syfyportal.com/news423821.html where he seems apparently as unhappy as his character about being a cylon. I love when actors are really genuinely invested in their characters and the integrity of their characters.



By: Nick B

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 17:56:36 +0000

Gray - absolutely, I think we'd all rather be Han than Luke. He's so much cooler. As for Roslyn's corruption, it's depressing to watch, but as I've alluded to before on here, I think it's sadly inevitable - just look at our illustrious leader here in the UK (who just left office today) - he developed a bit of a messiah complex, thought he could single handedly sort out some of the world's most intractable problems, and became convinced of his own rightness, refusing to listen to advice. But he wasn't dying, and he didn't lead us anywhere particularly edifying. At least Roslyn has Earth for her legacy. The thing I'm most excited about regarding Season 4 is how Tigh will develop. He's gone from being one of the least sympathetic to one of the most sympathetic characters, in my view. As Gray said, we have good characters going bad, and bad characters going good, and this makes the show so interesting - I'm always wondering what they'll do next. One of the things I found most moving in the last series was right at the end when Tigh firmly decided where his loyalties lay - he forcefully exercised his free will and decided who he was, regardless of finding out he was a Cylon (and I'm prepared to accept this at face value). Such loyalty, such virtue, coming from a really frakked up character capable of being incredibly mean spirited, as Gray nicely puts it, was brilliant. I started off loathing Tigh's character, but he's my new BSG hero (at least until he does something really nasty again). Partly this is down to Michael Hogan's sheer brilliance as an actor, but also because of where the writers have taken Tigh. If the rumour about a Starbuck-Roslyn confrontation are true, that should be fun.



By: Gray

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 17:37:44 +0000

Nick . Well said. I think part of the reason we want to see heroes in entertainment is that we know in real life so much falls short of the things we see or want to believe in. That's another reason I love BSG, because they don't flinch away from showing us the conflicted hero. We've got characters like Tigh and Starbuck who do really mean-spirited, spiteful things that we can't agree with but they tend to turn that around in a time of crisis and do what they have to do to survive and bring as many people as they can with them. There's aslo characters like Adama and Roslin who are intrinsically moral people who tend to become embroiled in certain situations that push the question of ethics/morals to extremes. Heroism in that context is harder to define and probably subtler, though no less or more so than the overt, arguably more traditional heroism of the Viper pilots, for example, whose actions are much more tangible. Though I love the Roslin character, I think one of the saddest things about the show has been her development into the leader who will get things done regardless of some of the moral issues attached to a problem. We saw her go from this pragmatic, yet somewhat idealistic president to one that has become not necessarily enamored of her power, but convinced of it. She truly believes she is the only one that can get them to Earth. Interestingly, I read something somewhere that hinted toward a rather adversarial relationship between Starbuck and Roslin in S4. I don't know how true it is but it would definitely be an entertaining dynamic to follow. Especially now that Roslin apparently embodies the role of Dying Leader again, it will be cool to see that play out with a newly returned Starbuck. Nick B said: In fact the heroism is better coming from flawed characters, because it’s more believable and in a way more inspiring. We’re all flawed, and if those frak-ups on Galactica can pull the heroism out of the bag then perhaps we could too. Someone who is always heroic and good soon gets boring, Could not agree more! That's what makes Han Solo infinitely more intereting and alluring than Luke. The moralizers and Dudley Dorights are noe fun to watch. It gets off-putting and alienating. I love conflicted heroe! :)



By: Nick B

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 14:55:19 +0000

Gray: "I think that under the surface, we have a great love for heroes and the epic battle between good and evil. I think sometimes it’s what gets us in trouble." Absolutely - I'm the same. I loved Lord of the rings, which is pretty straight-down-the-line good versus evil. There's always the temptation to cast oneself as representing the embattled forces of good in an epic struggle against dark forces. Having worked in the field of climate change for a while believe me it's tempting to fall into the good guys - bad guys model. But the thing is, we have to resist our urges to paint the world in black and white. It's not about whether it appeals to us or not - of course it does. It's about whether we have the strength of will to really try and understand the forces and motivations that drive people to do what they do, and to acknowledge that all of us are potentially capable of great heroic deeds and monstrous crimes given the right circumstances and pressures. Part of the "fun" of BSG is seeing people you can relate to as human beings put in difficult, sometimes impossible circumstances, and then seeing what they do. We wonder "what would I do in the same situation?" Baltar's problem is that he never takes a principled stand - he's not evil, just weak and self-centred. To me the most heroic characters are the ones that decide to follow the path they think is right under the greatest opposition. So that probably makes Sharon and Six the most heroic in my view, as they go against their entire species and completely alienate themselves, even knowing that they won't be well received by the humans. Lee does pretty well in sticking his neck out to do the right thing, as does the Chief and Helo. Adama does it too now and again, when he isn't cosying up to Roslyn. We might be about to see a more heroic Tigh, if we define heroism as going against the grain of what you are, or what you are "meant" to be in order to follow a principle and take a stand. Then there's the more regular heroism - facing up to the possibility of death on a regular basis to fight for a cause, and there is plenty of this. So, yes, I love the ambiguity, but I also like to see heroism, and I think BSG delivers this too. In fact the heroism is better coming from flawed characters, because it's more believable and in a way more inspiring. We're all flawed, and if those frak-ups on Galactica can pull the heroism out of the bag then perhaps we could too. Someone who is always heroic and good soon gets boring, and seems so far removed from reality that their capacity to act as a role model can be compromised. We just say, "yeah, but no-one's like that," and can easily excuse ourselves for not emulating them. And I still want Baltar to be the hero in the end - that would be frakking awesome, to mix my vernaculars. ;-)



By: Gray

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 14:17:53 +0000

Nick B- I think you're absolutely correct. This show is so impressive because it doesn't allow itself to a maintain a comfort zone and it seemingly will not allow itself to play out one side of a story. I think it's amazing that they've covered all the principle human emotions and covered what it's like to have been on both sides of some of humanity's greatest struggles. It was initially impossible not to relate to the humans because of the attack. It's something that on some level we can all sympathze with. They also made it incredibly eye opening to see life in an occupied nation. The parallels don't end with Iraq though. Certainly the suicide bombings (which are heart-wrenching from our new persepctive) speak to more recent occupations but it could be any occupied nation in the world at any time. France, Belgium, Germany. That the show so artfully and considerately illustrated oppression is pretty fantastic. But then they did us one better, and they showed us the occupying force. We saw their squabbles and disagreements, and it was hard not to feel just a little bad for Number Six and Boomer. Cavil, you still pretty much hate. And I agree again, Nick B, that nobody on this show is completely black and white, good or evil. Which is entirely realistic because that's how people are made. They have the ability to do simple, everyday kindnesses if they choose. There are plenty of polite bank robbers, I'm sure. Some might even go to church. I definitely think you're right about America oversimplifying things sometimes and wanting heroes, but I have always kind of found that a somewhat charming ideal. As infuriating as we may be, I think that under the surface, we have a great love for heroes and the epic battle between good and evil. I think sometimes it's what gets us in trouble. :)



By: Nick B

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:11:26 +0000

A quick one - praise for BSG in a timely article (given the discussion here) from the UK's Guardian newspaper: http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2112467,00.html



By: Nick B

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 08:00:36 +0000

Gray - don't get me wrong, BSG is so totally a post-9/11 show if ever there was one, and the analogy between aforementioned tragedy and the nuking of the colonies is very clear. And then we have all the Iraq parallels on New Caprica. I was talking very narrowly about the "do they deserve to survive" question as posed by Sharon/Athena. In response to suggestions that it was absurd to ask if a particular race/species/group deserved to survive (I agree that it is), I just wanted to point out that there is a long history of people asking precisely that question - not about themselves, but about other groups of people with whom they find themselves in conflict. Often this conflict is not provoked or instigated by the poor souls whose right to exist is being questioned. Moving onto the more contemporary parallels, I have to say I love all the political stuff, the suicide bombings on New Caprica etc, and really admire the way the writers provoke people with this without coming down on one side or another. They're ultimately trying to get people to think about stuff and maybe see things from a different perspective, even if just temporarily. I noticed on a lot of the other (far inferior!) message boards that a lot of people were upset because they tried to use a single allegory for the whole BSG canon, such as "the colonials are us (i.e. the US) and the Cylons are muslims/terrorists/bin Laden/ etc", and then went into brain meltdown when their allegory failed and the show changed tack and no longer appeared to support their politics. I really don't think the writers intended to give us any single political allegory. What tends to happen is that for a time the story lends itself to us comparing, say, the colonials with the US and the Cylons with al-Qaeda, but then you find the analogy is more like the Cylons as the US in Iraq, and Tigh as some Sunni leader trying to kick the invaders out. The poor old Cylons think they're doing the right thing, having been persuaded by 6 and 8 that they should live with the humans, and the humans aren't grateful, and don't understand how nice the Cylons are being (not surprising given recent history, but the Cylons don't take that into account). However, the allegory isn't meant to be precise, and it doesn't work if you try and shoe-horn Earthly politics into it lock stock and barrel (for example, in the above thread, the "deposed" Adama is no Saddam Hussein). It's just intended to get us maybe thinking about the complexities of the problems we face, and realise that even though we may find ourselves on one side in a conflict, that doesn't mean that the other side are one dimension bad guys from a Die Hard movie. I don't think the intention is to excuse or justify any particular violent act, and in BSG inexcusable acts are carried out by both sides, although the biggest inexcusable act is obviously carried out by the Cylons, who probably win in the inexcusability stakes. One thing I've noticed in the discussions (more so in other, less elevated, fora than here, although reflected t[...]



By: Mike P

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 04:36:44 +0000

Gray wrote: "I can definitely see the side of the argument that Sharon was ultimately asking the same question most humans ask at some point or another. “Why are we here? What makes us special?" Yes, exactly -- it is more that than "justify your continued existence." It was Adama who first raised the question, after all, in a powerful moment of introspection and reflection. Nick B., thanks for the great anthropology lesson on the "Cylons' burden." :-) I think you are really on to something, and wonder if RDM et al. have considered those analogies to colonial powers. Would be interesting, but there it is, even if they haven't -- more proof (to circle back around to the discussion of the nature of Art) that "texts" (including TV series) can say things the artists never intended or dreamed of.



By: Armando

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 01:07:46 +0000

Actually, Gray, it made perfect sense. :-)



By: Gray

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 00:23:12 +0000

And I apologize now because I can see that that made no sense :)



By: Gray

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 00:21:07 +0000

Nick B- I understand what you're saying and I'd like to point out that the 9/11 metaphor is definitely imperfect and obviously, mostly irrelevant since one event is fictional and another factual. I think you raise a fair point regarding colonization but I'm going to stick to my guns here and argue that even though the extension of the 9/11 metaphor is as I said, imperfect, I don't think it's completely wrong either. I think the colonization argument definitely fits the later episodes of BSG, from the S2 finale to Exodus Pt.2, but as for the earlier episodes, I would contend that the humans are dealing with a situation more similar to 9/11. In those early episodes they have been unexpectedly attacked with what ultimately amounts to very little overt, conscious provocation. The Cylons certainly have no compunction or difficulty enumerating the many sins for which they believe the humans deserved to be eliminated but that doesn't entirely erase the fact that the attack was carried preemptively but rather prematurely so. If that makes sense. What I suppose I'm saying is, the Cylons' motivation notwithstanding, they struck with no prior engagement in over forty years. And whether they did it out of a desire to simply exterminate the humans or a long-simmering need to avenge old grievances, they still effectively made the first strike and thus, I think the 9/11 argument is appropriate, at least until the end of S2, when I think your argument for colonization obviously becomes more appropriate. I can definitely see the side of the argument that Sharon was ultimately asking the same question most humans ask at some point or another. "Why are we here? What makes us special? Inalienable rights.........and so on." I think it's her more cynical phrasing that I find troublesome :)



By: Armando

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 20:31:46 +0000

Nick B-way to go on the anthropology lesson. I think that's a very cool reading of the cylon-human relationship. And Klucky, for the record, I LIKE that you're pushing my buttons a little with your comments about the series. So when I say you're "trying to make me break decorum" I mean that with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I mean, you're wrong. But I still like you. :-P (Excuse me, please. My impish side is showing.) :-)



By: Armando

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 20:23:19 +0000

"And the next time you hear someone go “Yeah, this episode sucked. But it’s still the best show on television!” punch them. For me. I’ll make you cookies with chocolate – " Oh man, Klucky, you're just trying to get me to break decorum aren't you? ;-) Seriously, I see your points, I just think you're waaaaaaay off. Why does every character need to be likeable? Why do you need a lynching for Baltar, which would be a huge miscarraige of justice, in this fictional world or in the real one? And EVERYONE'S a cylon? Last I checked there were only 11 cast members who were confirmed as Cylons, although granted, there's something that could be very "retcon-ish" about the final five storyline if they don't settle it in the proper way next season. (Starbuck back from the dead could be the same thing, I'll give you that.) Me, I even liked "The Woman King" (hell, I think it's one of the most interesting episodes they've done). Just don't make me sit through "Black Market" again. ;-)



By: Armando

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 20:17:45 +0000

Klucky sez: "Mike P: I don’t think anyone should have to prove their right to exist. So if the “Demand Proof” episode pops up I will be miffed. People wouldn’t sit back in their chairs and think ’should I still be alive? Am I good? By Jove, they were right to slaughter as by the billion!’ Even that Adam and Roslin keep thinking along these routes (though obviously I exaggerate) annoys me. It doesn’t feel real, and in scifi when you don’t explain the tech or the culture you need to keep the verisimilitude alive any way you can. " Really? It doesn't feel real to you? See, that's one of the things that feels the most real. Think about the scale of the cylon holocaust. They destroyed 12 planets and left only 50,000 people alive who happened to be off world at the time. We're talking tens if not hundreds of billions of people dead and entire nations, let alone families, and cultures wiped out in a near instant. Anyone left alive after that would feel some SERIOUS survivor's guilt, which at the very least would lead anyone to self-reflection of the level that Adama displays, and quite often leads to severe and crippling depression (or so I'm told). Besides, as Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. I think this is as true for societies as it is for individuals.



By: Nick B

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 19:15:30 +0000

Mike P - I'm not advocating a shift to total or near-total planet action as we had on New Caprica, although I did like this excursion. What I miss is the tempering of all the Galactica-based stuff with the regular diversion of some ground-based activities. For me the most satisfying mix was throughout Season 1 and early in Season 2 with the intercutting between all the space action and the story arc on Caprica. It just wouldn't be the same without the main action taking place in space, but I find Galactica a little claustrophobic for extended periods (good job I'm a viewer and not a character, I know...)



By: Nick B

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 19:07:59 +0000

OK, new topic, new post. All this stuff about Athena's response to Adama's question, and the suggestion that maybe humanity doesn't deserve to survive, is fascinating. I think it's wrong to extend the 9/11 allegory to this particular incident. What it reminds me of more is the approach of colonising to colonised peoples, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries during the European colonial expansion. To the Cylons, humans were first seen as a threat, but then as the Cylons evolved it seems that they started to believe that they were better than humans, that they were the "next stage" in evolution, a step up from the more primitive colonials. Without being exposed to contact with humans, and building a religious ideology that justified their perceived superiority, the Cylons came to see humanity as being in their way, as a species that couldn't advance to their level, a species not worthy of survival. This is very similar to the attitude of some Europeans towards the peoples they were coming into contact with during their colonial expansion in Africa and Asia (and I'd hazard similar to the attitude of European settlers in North America to the Native Americans). There was a whole body of thought in 19th century Europe that maintained that many "primitive" peoples were incapable of becoming civilised, and therefore did not deserve to survive. As they were doomed to be left behind by the historical process, viewed then (as now, by many) in terms of the progressive advancement of the human species, it was argued by some that it would be a kindness to exterminate them, to put them out of their misery. That great philanthropist Charles Dickens, so concerned about about the welfare of the English poor about which he wrote in his novels, was a vocal advocate for the extermination of "primitive" peoples. Perhaps the Cylons viewed humanity in the same was as European colonials viewed cultures that they dismissed as "primitive" and "savage". Europeans would talk about the uncivilised customs and violent practices of "primitive" indigenous peoples, as they themselves slaughtered each other by the hundreds of thousands on the battlefield, and meeted out all manner of horrors on people already occupying the lands that they coveted. The Cylons talk about humanity's faults while maintaining a blind spot to their own "barbarism", just as European colonisers did when discussing the faults of more "primitive" peoples. Today it is recognised (although unfortunately not universally) that cultures we used to think of as being more primitive than our "advanced" western industrial societies have just as much right to exist and thrive on their own terms as we do. This recognition is partly the result of contact between different peoples that de[...]



By: Mike P

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:57:11 +0000

Klucky writes: "I don’t think anyone should have to prove their right to exist. So if the “Demand Proof” episode pops up I will be miffed." I think perhaps you misunderstood me. In real life, I don't think anyone should have to do this, either, of course. But this is, as I see it, the narrative trajectory the series has set up for itself. The show is an extended meditation, as others have said, on what it means to be human. Why is it such a great thing? As Adama asks, "Why should it be saved?" They raised the question -- not me. And I think that if the series does not offer at least some tentative answer to that question -- it doesn't have to be heavy-handed about it -- then it will have missed a real opportunity to make some meaningful philosophical contribution. Nick B -- Personally, I thought the New Caprica arc, for all it accomplished and (I say grudgingly) as important as it turned out to be, was the least satisfying BSG so far. I don't mind little sidetrips to Kobol, Caprica, etc. , but my vote would be for the show to remain space- and ship-based. More of a crucible feeling, which I like and think the show does extremely well. I also quite like some of the standalones we've had -- especially the Tylium ship episode (that really puts me in the minority, but there again is an episode with the question of what it means and why it is important to be human right at the heart of it, and the seeds of that epsiode are sown way back in "Colonial Day") -- but I do think season 4 ought to forge ahead toward the conclusion.



By: Cavatar

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:42:38 +0000

Armando… Wow…way cool to the similarities to how you became a composer.



By: Cavatar

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:39:20 +0000

Klucky… While I do agree with you when you say that someone shouldn’t have to justify there right to exist, I don’t agree with how you say BSG has fallen from what it was in the first season. The show has changed, but everything with time changes. Wow I think of how my life is different now from what it was when BSG came out and it is almost shocking! I also like that every week is not vipers fighting Cylons, the fleet jumping to safety just in the nick of time, and the ole wise Adama leading the way. As much as I dislike Roslin, I love the fact that she is there. I love the fact that our favorite characters have flaws. That I think is real. I mean, what was Jim Kirk’s flaw? Do you really think that Roslin as a president and Adama as an Admiral is there “first best destiny?” Lee Adama really had no business commanding the Pegasus, but I loved the fact that he was. Sure I have my complaints about BSG, but then there is no show I have watched or book that I have read that I didn’t have a complaint or two. Even if it was something I wrote myself. You can miss the mark on an episode by the way, and still have the season as a whole be great.



By: Nick B

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:28:52 +0000

...and I should have added at the end of the last post, let's have more planet action. My favourite episodes have been where there's someting going down on a hunk of rock somewhere. I remember feeling that the show had lost something once everyone was off Cobol and Caprica. What do the rest of you think?



By: Nick B

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:25:15 +0000

Wow, some great comments and arguments on here this week, and everybody's still being polite - wonderful! Klucky, I think you're being a bit hard on the series. I also found the "stand alone" episodes a bit disappointing, but having just rewatched Season 2 (I just can't restrain myself) I have to say these were more palatable second time around. I for one tend to forget about the threads in these episodes that relate to the longer story arcs, and I'm always delighted to find them there when I'm expecting nothing more than a self-contained single episode. Having said that rewatching Season 1 was just pure joy - the narrative just drives forward all the time, even where I had originally thought it slowed down for a bit, and this makes it the best season so far in my humble opinion. I guess with the later seasons they had more episodes to play with and, instead of going for continuous narrative thrust, they used the "extra" episodes to do more self-contained works. Maybe they'd planned the story based on 12 or 13 episodes, as that was what they could guarantee, and when they got the go ahead for the extra ones it was a case of filling space. But to backtrack again, once I've got over the disappointment that the narrative isn't moving forward very much, I tend to enjoy the revelations that these episodes contain, such as Adama's role in (possibly) provoking the Cylons. And having just seen the abortion episode again I have to say I thought it was pretty good, as we see more evidence of Roslyn's slide into political venality. But yes, let's hope that we have fewer stand alone episodes in Season 4 and more rollercoaster narrative packed full with revelations and shocking twists and turns.



By: Klucky

Tue, 26 Jun 2007 17:24:27 +0000

--chips and nuts.