Character “Deaths” in BSG

As we all ponder the possibility of a character dying during the remainder of season 3.5, I can’t help but think about how, well, different, BSG is from so many other shows. Whereas you could rest safe that the main characters in most TV shows wouldn’t die because the actors themselves were critical to the show’s success, that’s just not the case in BSG.

Could Baltar (or Starbuck) die? Sure. Even thought we’re totally in agreement that both of these actors are absolutely critical to the success of the show, the big difference here is that when someone dies on BSG they might stick around.

In Starbuck’s case, she could prove to be one of the “Final Five.” (Why do I always get a mental image of a centurion playing basketball when I type those words?) While the idea of Starbuck-as-Cylon has always seemed repulsive to me, we’ve already seen a significant body of evidence to suggest that the ‘Five are fundimentally different than the Cylons we’ve already met. Maybe as a ‘Fiver, she wouldn’t be a complete enemy to the Colonials. For that matter, Athena’s actions have softened the idea of “all Cylons are bad” a bit, hasn’t she?

It alsoseems completely reasonable for Baltar to die — at the hands of the Colonials or the Cylons — while James Callis remains on the show as ChipBaltar. (In fact, let’s have a show of hands. Who else out there loves ChipBaltar? “Too bad you nyuked it.” Classic!)

And this doesn’t even count the possibility of a J.R.-style recanting at some future date.

One thing’s certain, though. With all these options available to BSG’s writers, I’d say that no characters at all are safe in a mortal sense. Actors, on the other hand, are a different store.

16 Responses to "Character “Deaths” in BSG"
  1. Carol says:

    I agree and also love Head Baltar (ChipBaltar), largely because it’s
    fun to see him suave, poised and funny again. I’d greatly prefer that
    we still also have regular Baltar, as well, though, if it can be arranged,
    because we can get fun things out of that character that we really
    can’t get out of Head Baltar (can’t imagine Head Baltar caught with
    his pants down, for example).

    Don’t read the rest of this if you haven’t heard RDM’s podcast for this
    week and you want to avoid spoilers.

    [spoiler removed]

  2. eric-michael says:

    I know this sounds awful, but who exactly has died that was so important as to say that BG is different in that it’s okay if the main characters die? I mean … let me think, Billy (minor player at best), that Jammer guy (huh? who’s the frack was that anyways?) am I finished? BG is exactly the same as any other show in that it does not kill off it’s main characters … Gods, I love to see the final end of a couple of the characters just because it would make sense that SOMEONE would die, this is a very dangerous situation they’re in, but NO ONE EVER DIES!

  3. Chuck says:

    Carol: We don’t normally “moderate” comments, but I have a feeling that the spoiler you dropped might upset some of the people here. We normally catch hell for even mentioning the “next episode trailer!” Since Sci-Fi can’t seem to avoid releasing the podcasts days early, let’s all be careful not to drop spoilers from ’em. But for what it’s worth, I totally agree with your sentiment in the part that I [removed]. 🙂

    eric-michael: My point is that because some of the science-fiction premise of the show allows main characters to stick around after “death,” it’s likely that they can “die” without actually departing the show. Therefore, I suspect that the upcoming “death” may well be a main character. Except they won’t leave the show.

  4. Carol says:

    Ok, I”ll be good. Sorry.

    I had just been sitting on that for several days since hearing it and while
    I was trying to keep it in, reading this post had it bustin’ a move outta
    my fingers.

  5. eric-michael says:

    sorry chuck I got your point, but it just got me to thinking that NO ONE had died on the show, and how safe they had been playing it. I realize there are people who play these characters, and it is their jobs and all, but they really hadn’t been tooooo real in the sense there a lot of people who really should have died (oh and the last time I forgot to mention Ellen Ty who had the best death of all), but come on so many of these people get caught in so many death worthy situations, and it’s like star trek where the red shirt gets it. If you’re going down to the planet, and you’re not hanging with the captain, you’re going to buy it. Just an observation.

  6. Pike says:

    e-m, I know what you mean. The irony is that RDM used to write for Star Trek, and didn’t want to have the classic red shirt situation in BSG. Unfortunately, unless you’re redoing Blake’s 7, it’s almost a necessity. I will say that sometimes they do it right. (Billy, Ellen, and sort-of with Kat.)

  7. Promethia says:

    At least they’re willing to kill off people we actually know as opposed to total red shirts. I figure, if you’re not on the opening credits you should probably be prepared to snuff it at some point. I’ll give TPTB credit for going even that far, considering how most shows operate.

    I’ll also agree that there are prime opportunities out there for killing a main cast member and then bringing them back. Lately I’ve been thinking of the possibilities of Roslin’s semi-cylon blood, which has been ignored for a full year now and is past due for a story arc. Now, she’s not a cylon in a “one of the twelve models” sense (probably), but the question is open about how much of a cylon she has become. If the cylons could grow her a body from some DNA and track her consciousness through some trace mechanism in Hera’s blood, could they kill Roslin in order to get their hands on her? Could they kill Hera to get her back? I think it’s an interesting possibilitiy, and fodder for some great character development given Roslin’s staunch anti-cylonism, pretty much unequaled by any other character. How would the woman famous even among the cylons for airlocking cylons feel waking up in a resurrection tub?

    Lastly, real, human Baltar has to stay. He’s such a complex character, and while I love Head Baltar as much as the next person, Head Baltar lacks most of that complexity.

  8. Pike says:

    Promethia, interesting take on Laura. How much does it take to be ‘Cylon?’ And I’m with you on Baltar. Head-baltar really works because he’s not like (Meat-Baltar? Baltar-Prime?) We need to see the original in contast with the copy.

  9. Its Boxey (O gods no) says:

    Unreal Boxey and collar Daggott fighting crime in Helos mind

  10. Blue says:

    For the season 3 cliffhanger I still expect to see Ellen Tigh come walking up to Brother Cavil and say, “What the hell’s up with the oatmeal goo? That lumpy stuff’s still stuck in my hair!”

  11. Pike says:

    “Unreal Boxey and collar Daggott fighting crime in Helos mind”

    LOL—literally!

  12. eric-michael says:

    I know it’s not my place to say …cause it’s not my blog, but who do you think could die and it would advance the show … I’m saying Roslin could die and it would provide soooooo much drama with Zarek taking over…

  13. MikeL989 says:

    I think it Roslyn is a final five.

  14. rachel says:

    So who wants to bet that Starbuck isn’t really back? Any takers?

  15. Guntrkgrl75 says:

    There is something that I can’t get out of my head with relation to Starbuck and the Final Five. Can’t remember if it’s in “Eye of Jupiter” or “Rapture” but there is a point where Roslin is quoting scripture and being largely ignored by Adama. She says this, roughly paraphrased “A temple dedicated to the five who worship the one who shall not be named…”

    Given how the cylons keep referring to Starbuck as “special” it would seem odd that she’s merely a cylon or even a member of the FF. If that was the case, we could assume that the cylon knew that Starbuck was one of the FF and by extension know the identity of the FF and might be trying to take out Tory’s ovary as well.

    So what makes Kara so “special”? I think she’s the One Who Shall Not Be Named. The fact that she loves both a cylon and a human makes her a bridge to the species. One that’s also been resurrected. Whatever the hell that means! 😉

  16. thebanite says:

    @Guntrkgrl75

    I think Starbuck has run into the Ship of Lights. The Evil Sharon (the star which remains on a basestar and seems to dislike Hera) was wearing a white colonial uniform from the Old Show–sign of the Angels from the Old Show. Glenn Larson is invovled–his reference to old BSG is fairly common. The Old Apollo returned from the dead with a new ship, if I recall. If she is really Starbuck, not a cylon or a clone she’s resurrected in a new way. RE: “A temple dedicated to the five who worship the one who shall not be named…” I’d forgotten that. The cylons don’t seem to know the FF’s identities ( I do: The Thing, Reed Richards, etc. ;)) It may be as you say. I think the show is heading towards a hybrid civilization. If she is One Who Shall Not Be Named she’s Cthullhu or an Uber-God or an Angel, or the like. The upshot is I think we may see, in the end, Starbuck as an example, or template of the hybrid civilization on Earth. The virus carrying vessel “from Earth” killed cylons only. Perhaps hybrids only will be capable of living on Earth?

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