Sunday, December 17, 2006

Battlestar Galactica: Nuke you!

"Battlestar Galactica" spoilers coming up just as soon as I figure out who I have to call to get the Sci-Fi promo monkeys fired...

Ron Moore said that he dreamed up the New Caprica arc because he was getting bored with fleet on the run stories, and worried that the audience was, too. He figured that by taking such a drastic departure from the formula, "Then by the time we get back into space, it'll have much greater impact."

Now, I consider the New Caprica episodes (from "Lay Down Your Burdens" to "Collaborators") to be by far the best sustained stretch this show has ever done, but the return to space hasn't had the impact that Moore was hoping. If anything, the extended stay planetside has made me less willing to indulge mediocre space opera, and we've gotten a little too much of that in the last month or so.

The New Caprica episodes felt like they had things to say, socially, politically and about the characters. The episodes since have had some strong moments, but overall they've felt aimless. Baltar is on the Cylon baseship. Why? Do we know significantly more about the Cylons than we did before? Are they more interesting now? Why bother having Tigh and Starbuck go so far off the deep end if you're going to resolve it (for the most part) so quickly? Was there any real point to "Hero"?

With "Eye of Jupiter," at least, a lot of the seemingly pointless strands began to come together: the Kara/Lee/Dee/Anders quadrangle, the D'Anna/Baltar/Six triangle, D'Anna's suicidal tendencies, the search for earth, etc. Plus, we got our first taste of Brother Cavil in quite a while, and Dean Stockwell continues to be all kinds of awesome. And the cliffhanger would've been pretty cool...

... if the eedjits in Sci-Fi marketing hadn't given away the entire damn resolution in the January promo. Way to not leave people on the edge of their seats, guys.

What did everybody else think? Am I being too hard on the most recent episodes?


Anonymous said...

You're right on the money as usual, Alan. I needed a wedge to pry my jaw off the floor during those New Caprica episodes (and the first episode back with the secret tribunal, which I thought was underrated), but BG has had all kinds of trouble regaining its momentum now that it's back to business as usual. It's just one of those unfortunate crises that face serialized television: It's hard to keep the story moving forward with no end in sight, so BG has been having to tread water in the meantime, no longer moored to the provocative political subtext that drove the New Caprica episodes. Friday's ep at least showed a little progress, but I feel much of the urgency has evaporated and I've lately found myself nodding off occasionally.

Open question: Is it such a good idea that we know how the Cylons operate? Weren't they a little more frightening when they were this unknowable "other" that relentlessly pursues mankind through the universe?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the SciFi promo dudes need to be smacked or something... Ugh. First, do not go the pop music route with the promos!! Especially All Star American Rejects! Mind you, I like them - but not in the Battlestar Galactica promos! Second, must we use the stupid romantic triangle soap angle? Blech.

As for the episode itself - I guess it was better than last week's, and at least it's moving the narrative forward. This has been an unfortunate slump. I hope it's rectified in the last half of the season.

Also, is anyone happy about the move to Sunday night? I'm not, mostly for social reasons. For the past two seasons it's been a Friday routine of mine to go over to a friend's house to watch the show, and then we'd all discuss. With the show being on a school night this routine isn't going to work so well.

Taleena said...

I don't know how I feel at BSG. I liked this last one - Adama getting cojones back from the writers - Roslyn going from snappy politician to scrambling through holy texts for clues.

The Lee/Anders square off was good. There were so many elements I enjoyed but they are not hanging together quite right. This I think hhas been the problem with this last season. Good elements but lacking a cohesive whole.

Anonymous said...

I thought the parley scene was good, with Tigh and Cavill trying to outcrust each other. Baltar has been losing his mind even more than usual lately, and boy did he look crazy when he was trying to talk to Roslin. And Adama getting right. Up. In Deanna's face.

As for the rest, I'm with you, Alan.