We’re always talking in the podcast about the kick-ass comments that our listeners post here at GWC.com. Damn, we’re lucky you take the time to send us all these great ideas!
I thought I’d take a minute and run down some of my personal favorites from the ones posted (or emailed) in the last few days:
On BSG’sDual Religions
In the last podcast, Audra speculated that BSG’s writers may have drawn a bit from real world religious beliefs in creating the separation of the Cylon and Colonial religions. (If you haven’t heard this yet, it’s right near the end of Podcast #12.) Listener Steve emailed to clarify things a bit:
I just wanted to clarify what Audra was saying about Abraham. Abraham had two sons, one with Hagar and one with Sarah. When Sarah, his wife, got pregnant, Abraham had Hagar and their son Ishmael leave.While they wandered thirsty in the desert, an angel visited Ishmael and Hagar and created an oasis for them. The angel said that Ishmael would be the patriarch of what we now know as Islam. Later another angel reveals to Abraham that his son with Sarah, Isaac, would be the father of Judaism (from which Christianity came). Just thought I’d clarify on what’s going on.
Another listener, Rich, also clarified this point, but took the whole idea a step further:
I definitely think there is something to the “Lord of Kobol who disagreed with the other Lords of Kobol being the Cylon God theory,” and the connection you were making to the histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. According to the Hebrew Bible, Isaac is the son of Abraham who was destined by God to carry out the legacy of divine favor. The Hebrew Bible says that the other son Ishmael was cast away from Abraham and Sarah with his mother Hagar, and was blessed by God to be the father of a nation. According to the Qur’an, Ishmael was in fact the child of divine favor, who became the ancestor of the Arabic people, from whom the prophet Muhammad emerged in the 7th century. So there is definitely a splintering of the ‘religious family’ in the histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Namely, Judaism and Christianity recognized Isaac, Islam favors Ishmael.
But I wonder if we might look at this a slightly different way: In Judaism and Islam, “the God” of both faiths actually began as one deity among many in the historical development of both religions. Consider this: The Hebrew word for ‘god/deity’ is “El.” Before there was a Judaism per se, there was a deity known as “El,” who was one among many. Some of the other Ancient Near Eastern lords included such figures as Ba-al, Chemosh, Asherah, etc. The Hebrew people (pre-established Judaism) belonged to the Ancient Near Eastern neighborhood and would have definitely known of these gods. Some scholars suggest that “El” was considered chief of the gods in the Ancient Near East, sometimes being called El Shaddai (God Most High). But “El” eventually became known as the ‘one true God’ of Israel. And, according to the Hebrew Bible, we even learn that “El’s” name is YHWH, or Yahewh (meaning “to be,” or “I AM”).
The same sort of progression of theological thought happens in the pre-history of Islam. “Allah” is the Arabic word for “God” not a proper name. “Allah” was one deity among many that was worshipped in ancient Arabia. (For example, “Allah” was worshipped as one god among many in the Kabba-shrine in Mecca before Muhammad arrived.) Muhammad announced that Allah was the one true God, who happened to be the same deity as the one worshipped by Jews and Christians.
So we see in both religions “God” emerging from among many ‘gods.’ To that end, we could definitely see that kind of back history detailed in BSG between the human and Cylon religions. In which case, we might see how it is/was that the Cylon(s) elevated one of the Lords of Kobol above the other gods, as the ancient Israelits and monotheistic Arabic people did with the ‘God’ whom most Western Monotheists are familiar.
Remembering that Cylon-Sharon told the Roslin-led party on Kobol that the
Cylon(s) knew the scriptures of the humans better than the humans did themselves (season 2), maybe we’ll see this flesh out in later descriptions of BSG religions.
On Cylon Models and Voting (Cylon Caucus)
We’re pretty interested in what’s become of the five remaining Cylon models, and we were blown away when they actually referred to the “seven models” in Collaborators. We speculated in the last podcast that maybe the other five just stayed back on the colonies — colonies other than Caprica as Caprica’s the only one we saw in the show. But listeners commented with other idea, some much better than ours, I think.
Listener Cavatar suggested one of my (currently) personal fave theories:
We know that Caprica Six told Baltar that there are 12 models in the mini-series. We also know that in that same conversation Baltar made reference to “walking chrome toasters.” Six then said [that]those “models” are still around. “They have there uses.”
Sharon later told Starbuck that Raiders were alive but not sentient.
So if you go from there you can devise that of the 12 models Six made mention of, she might have been including the Raiders, the Centurions, the Base Stars, and maybe even the Heavy Raiders. You might even include the resurrection ship in there also, because you have the 7 “Skin Jobs,” the Centurion, and 4 ship classes: That does add to 12.
The reason you don’t have the other 5 models voting is because they are not sentient models and are considered by the other 7 to be more animal like.
Of course, Listener McCabe offered what’s probably the real reason only seven Cylons vote:
Maybe there were only seven Cylon models voting because, like us, only around 60% of them can be bothered to get up and vote in major elections?
On Colonial Politics
Listener Cavatar scores again with:
Just a thought I had about Laura Roslin: Now I’m not saying that she was bad as the President, nor am I suggesting that giving her the office back is a bad idea. However, has anyone else noticed that she has never been elected?
Indeed. It sort of reminds me of a quote from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (back when I read it in jr. high): “It is a well known fact that those people who most wat to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.”
On the Lovely Dualla (Dee)
Listener Chris says:
Dualla does try very seriously to deter Lee from going to his father’s rescue. She has a long soliloquy in which she tries to convince him to head to Earth. In convincing Lee to abandon his father, she removes a central leader and a huge cadre of warriors in the death of New Caprica — leaving a fattened and weakened Lee to lead a civilian contingent. Without a sizable part of the fleet, Lee’s command would be nothing more than fodder for the Cylon — and provide the Cylon with an easy trail to follow to Earth.
And in classic form, listener Pike follows up with:
Dualla can take a walk out the airlock as far as I’m concerned. I hope Apollo ditches her like she did Billy. Note to white guys in sci-fi shows: Stay away from the black chicks. You’ll end up dead (Wash, Billy), fat (Lee), or cancelled (Kirk).
Ouch! (And doesn’t Kirk count on the second and third outcomes?)
Of course, you can check out most all of these comments in full form attached to various posts here on the blog, but I couldn’t help calling a few of them out for you. Enjoy!