The smartest show on TV
January 10, 2008
has to be Battlestar Galactica. I’m in the middle of season three and frankly, it’s charging like a wounded bull. We’ve got religious intolerance, racial violence, suicide bombings and waterboarding torture. And it’s all the wrong guys doing it! I bet the US audience doesn’t know what’s hit it. It’s West Wing meets Babylon 5 but with better animation.
Favourite moment from season three: (SPOILER ALERT) The Battlestar FTL’ing into atmosphere scaring the crap out of everyone, Cylons included, firing out its contingent of vipers and then bugging out before any of the toasters can do more than say WTF? Absolutely stellar. Heh.
Interestingly, from my current viewpoint with what, four episodes left of season three, knowing there’s only one season left, I’m thinking the show is going to do a Dan Simmons.
Dan Simmons, for those that don’t know, is a pre-eminent SF writer who seriously pushes the envelope. In his Hyperion cantos, he manages to create a situation where humans are fighting off an invading fleet of genetically modified humans who left Earth thousands of years before and perverted the gene pool by adding wings and the ability to survive in vacuum and so on.
The way Simmons builds it up I kept thinking “Hang on, surely it would be better to adapt the human than to adapt the world the way the ‘normals’ have done?” and eventually that proves to be the case.
Interestingly, I can see the resolution to season four of BSG being something similar. Both the humans and Cylons are chasing something spiritual – a home and salvation for the humans and some kind of emotional future proofing for the toasters.
So far we’ve been cheering the humans but frankly, they’re not evolving. I’m wondering about the Cylons…
Best of all, I might be completely wrong and the writers will come up with something else, something just as interesting.
Ahh, it’s a tough old world.