June 10, 2007

GWC Podcast #47

In this week’s rewatch episode Flesh and Bone we meet one of our favorite BSG characters: Ellen Tigh. We also take more calls about BSG’s season four wrap. Highlights: We discuss the possibility of Ellen as Cylon, take listener quarter bets on whether or not Galactica will find “Earth,” question the Cylon’s desire to “preserve” nuked Caprica, discuss what Cylon abilities hylons like Hera might inherit from their parents, and listen to Boxy tell it like it is. Don’t forget to check in on galacticawatercooler.com if you’d like to meet up with us in Dallas soon.


74 Responses to "GWC Podcast #47"
  1. BoxytheBoxed says:

    yes, i feel specil

  2. BoxytheBoxed says:

    nice rap Audra
    i say it like i mean it

  3. adoracion says:

    audra does the BEATBOX? hollah!

  4. The Alpaca Herder says:

    I have a dry conference paper to give in eleven days. I have a lot of plenary sessions to go through. Critically and analytically listening to the podcast is the warm-up prior to going to listen to papers where people will say things that sound more like Elosha uttering Sanskrit and biblical Hebrew…

    1. Audra asked what does the Master of Arms do.

    Master of Arms is the terrestrial naval term for what Star Trek called a Security Chief. At least Hadrian is easier on the eyes than Worf. This is RDM’s background at Columbia University in Navy ROTC bleeding through.

    2. Grace Park out-running Helo

    Have you seen some of the Special Features bits about Sharon? Grace Park is apparently super gym rat which her character reflects. I do not see this out-running bit as inconceivable. Chasing elementary kids as a substitute teacher shows that just because you are bigger and more “built” does not necessarily mean you are faster or more agile.

    3. Preserving nuked Caprica

    I do think Audra judges that right where the walking is meant to preserve the planet. Listening to the RDM commentary for Downloaded indicates that the centurions planting that trees was supposed to be the Cylon version of Arbor Day. RDM said he specifically fought to keep that bit of CGI in just to have the centurions plant the trees. I guess it is supposed to be an ironic jab at environmentalism?

    4. “They get within sight of Earth and [the Voyager] blows up”

    Oddly enough, I keep expecting that to happen to the Galactica except for maybe one Raptor escaping just barely. Fortunately or unfortunately, Racetrack would be piloting…

    5. Beyond the Red Line — A Mac Download Link

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/games/action_adventure/beyondtheredline.html

    And the description at Apple’s site does mention conscription and impressment. At 650 megabytes…not on the download list until the upcoming conference is finished!

    I think Audra’s idea of a Leoben RPG would be easier to code and probably more amusing. Perhaps someone has thought of doing such? “This Leoben Life”? “BSG: Flashlight Wars”?

    6. All Two of You: Phil and Lisa — Looking ahead to the 50th episode

    Make the 50th episode a VIDEO podcast? Travel out of the silver state is a wee bit more complicated if one is not located in the Las Vegas valley…so a 50th episode meet-up outside Nevada couldn’t work. I dunno.

  5. Techie says:

    I am in the middle of listening to the podcast. And I am 100 percent sure that you have already had that discussion about crashdown.

  6. Cavatar says:

    Hey all. I wanted to say thanks for including my call in on the podcast; and Audra was correct, I am actually from just outside Chicago.

    Now I don’t actually remember the show from months old, but I watched it in reruns for years growing up and even as an adult before the creation of the re-imagined version of BSG.

    I agree with Chuck in what he was saying about what the first show brought to the table and how the second show brought us the same, but with an even better and more adult story to go with it. I in fact have a hard time now watching the original BSG series. That is not to take anything away with from the original series; I just feel the new show is so much better.

    Thanks, Cavatar.

    Paid for by people who side with Sean.

  7. BernUnit says:

    Great job as always, gang, but you played with my mind….

    One of the quarter mania questions was NOT “Do they make it to earth?” You had me rewinding and listening to myself make that call again and again! If you’re trying to frak with my mind, it worked! For the record, I’m taking the following bets:

    All of you: We see D’anna again.
    All of you: Baltar isn’t redeemed.
    Audra: Starbuck is the 5th Cylon.

    And I agree with Alpaca Herder – Nevada would be great for a rendezvous. Vegas or Reno anyone? I’m thinking it would be awesome if we could meet there for the 2-hour movie. Maybe if we beg nicely Bear McCreary would like to join us?

  8. Timbuck says:

    I think a seperate link about 78 Galactica (80 is dead to me like Enterprise is to Chuck) would be awesome! I could geek out on my fun from 4th grade.

    FYI: I’m one of those who likes the commentary podcasts. Put my vote in for more of them. You did my fav: 33.

  9. Pike says:

    Way to go Boxy!

    You guys should do an Original Series episode(s) of BSG. Keep your flying cars, gimme Flying Motorcycles!!

    I predict Galactica’s going to find a planet called Dirt, and call it close enough.

    I totally am going to do a Leoben adventure game. It’ll be about his time with Starbuck on New Caprica. It’ll be a very short game, but you can play it over and over…

  10. The 13th Cylon says:

    Close enough! lol Adama just doesn’t give a damn anymore.

    Maybe the Leoben game will be a bonus level on the BSG XBox Live game that is supposed to come out this fall, though there’s been no news since it was announced. http://www.battlestargalacticaarcade.com

  11. Yorick says:

    hey guys
    great podcast as usual. I was just trying to figure out what to think about last night’s finale episode of ‘The Sopranos’ and if Ron Moore would pull out something like that when I found he just posted a new blog entry (spoilers):

    http://blog.scifi.com/battlestar/archives/2007/06/#003055

    In the same way that the six season was building momentum toward the resolution of ‘Will Tony live or die in the finale?’, we have the same kind of momentum building in the bsg universe with the “Will they reach Earth or not?” question. Moore already stated they will, but he still might pull a twist like David Chase did in the last few seconds of the show… (I read a lot of people were disappointed with it, I loved it personally)

  12. Kai says:

    I forgot to unpack something with my Starbuck = Hera theory. If her mother were somehow made pregnant in the First Cylon War when she was a marine, but perhaps in a non-loving way, as in raped, or a “Farm” or something. Thusly you have a setup for an abusive, but resentful mother who still knows that this kid…Starbuck…is very special.

    From the get go the Cylons have been very interested in life (are you alive?) and also Love. Love is what turned Caprica 6 and Sharon into “good” (or at least better) cylons. They needed love (Helo and Sharon) to create a new hybrid that won’t be a screwed up, like Starbuck.

    And interestingly, Hera was the greek god of marriage and birth. And one of her sons was Ares, the god of war.

    Something to think about

    BSG-32 Minnesotia

  13. Nick says:

    Ellen seems to thrive on attention. I don’t think Ellen knew about Zak’s death. I always got the impression that she and Tigh had been estranged for a couple of years before the attack. Bringing up an old wound like Zak wouldn’t give her the attention she wants whereas goading Tigh with “Adama touched me” does. She wants to be the person 2 men fight over, even better if it’s her husband punching somebody out over little old her.

    Quarter bets:

    Deanna will return
    Baltar won’t get redeemed
    They will find Earth, but it won’t be 2008. I expect they will find Earth in the distant past.
    Adama is the 5th cylon

  14. Audra says:

    Techie: Thanks for the reminder – Honestly we try to have fresh discussions, but sometimes the brain gets lazy and just recycles an old one. 😉

    Yorick: Alas, poor you! (cool name.)

    Alpaca Herder: Thanks for all the info. And glad we can inject a little low-brau* humor into your day!

    *Misspelling intentional, for Futurama fans.

  15. Nick says:

    As I understand things the prophecy we see in BSG is all centered around the Scrolls of Pythia. Pythia was said to have observed the journey of the 13th colony as it left Kobol during the mass exodus when the other 12 colonies were formed. Yet… the book of Pythia (according to BattlestarWiki) was written 1600 years before the exodus. How does this happen? To have somebody write about events they observed 1600 years before they occured? How is the Tomb of Athena built to point the final destination of Earth even before the 13th colony arrives at Earth? How is any of this possible without time travel at some point?

  16. Armando says:

    Nick writes:

    “To have somebody write about events they observed 1600 years before they occured? How is the Tomb of Athena built to point the final destination of Earth even before the 13th colony arrives at Earth? How is any of this possible without time travel at some point? ”

    God I hope there’s no time travel! That would cheapen it for me. I’d like to think this all ties up to the religious aspect of the show and the nature of prophetic writings in Judeo-Christian tradition–and, I suppose, the Hellenistic oracles, though I know next to nothing about those. Though it was said that the Sybilline oracle, the second most powerful after the Delphic oracle, presented a book to the priests of Jupiter Capitolinus that predicted the fate of the Roman republich through the imperial period when the last king of Rome, Tarquin, was kicked out of the city (I think. My timeline may be off there). No one was allowed to read the Sybilline Prophecy other than the priests (isn’t that always the way?) and it was said to be scarily acurate (unlike Judeo-Christian prophetic writing, I suppose, which is terribly, terribly ambiguous in its language. Although, granted, I have no idea what the Sybilline Oracle’s language is like. It’s probably just as ambiguous, though.)

    The whole idea that “all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again” presents the notion that time to people in the BSG universe, as we’ve heard, is cyclical. So the exodus from Kobol and, later, the 12 colonies may indeed be the same event! (Could the people left behind on New Caprica–and you know there are some–be the contemporary equivalent of the 13th tribe then?)

    Maybe Starbuck, then, is her own grandmother!

  17. Stroogie says:

    Armando–I guess Starbuck would join the ranks of Lister and Fry if that were so. But I’m with you. I’m hoping there’s no time travel. Although, isn’t it weird that in a sci-fi show we’re more willing to accept resurrection or reincarnation than time travel? More proof that BSG is breaking the mold.

    Hey, Chuck-Audra-Sean (in no particular order), if I’m doing my math right, then if you do a two-for-one podcast for “Kobol’s Last Gleaming, parts 1 & 2”, it’ll be your 50th show. I like the poetry of that.

  18. The 13th Cylon says:

    I’m calling it- Because the new BSG is dark and all, the RTF will make it to Earth, but like that one Raptor in LDYB, they’ll jump into the planet. Sucks for them! Credits roll. Sean will be the only happy person though, because he wants people to be mad.

    And “NO!” to backwards time travel! Galactica 1980 did that, I think, to go fight Nazis or some craap like that. If they did weirdo time travel stuff, Tigh would go back in time to kick their ass for being stupid. And he ain’t afraid to do it.

  19. BernUnit says:

    Yorick:

    I, for one, will be *extremely* disappointed and upset if BSG ends in any way like the Sopranos. I personally feel that writers have a responsibility to their fans. Not a legal responsibility, perhaps, but an ethical one. This is a “quid pro quo” relationship – “I’ll watch and let you make money, and you will deliver the who enchilada. You won’t tell me what’s in the enchilada until we’re done, but when I get to the end of the enchilada, you’ll let me know what I just ate. I might not like your answer, but you’ll give me a definitive answer nonetheless. What you won’t do is say ‘I don’t want to tell you what’s in the enchilada because I like to see you suffer.'”

    Mind you, I don’t require a happy ending. RDM can kill off everyone and let the Cylons win. That’s ok, though it wouldn’t be my first choice. If we got to Pluto, saw 30 cylon base ships, and then faded to black – well, that’s a cop out – not an ending. If Galactica is destroyed, that would be ok – the story is resolved. This is drama. We have a right to expect the drama to end. Ron Moore himself has said that BSG is a drama with a beginning, a middle, and an end. People who place a series out in front of you and say “Watch this because it’s an epic struggle to save the human race and get it to earth” need to finish what they start. We choose to invest our time, and this allows them to make money. They owe us a finish to the story.

    My $0.02. Maybe others don’t feel this way, and that’s ok – I can take it! And Ron Moore, in the unlikely event you’re reading this, I’m not saying that it’s not your show and that you can’t do what you want. I’m saying that it is in your long-term best interest to do the right thing to the millions of fans you have out there. We have invested many hours of time into your show. We would like you to truly finish what you started. If you choose not to do so, your legacy will be tainted, and many of us will never want to watch a show you develop again – why would we want to do so when the story-teller decides to just walk away before things are resolved?

  20. Toaster Maker says:

    Audra we love you. We can’t begin to express what you mean to the Galactica community at large. You are the soft and sweet tootsie-roll center of the magnificent tootsie pop that is Galactica Watercooler. I could go on and on all day.

    So I say this out of deep love and respect . . .

    Audra, . . . please stop rapping . . . please . . . its for your own good.

    Keep up the great work with this podcast. =]

  21. Nick B says:

    OK folks, a long old post about (i) Baltar and Season 4 and (ii) Earth and the timeline of the Galactica universe. Sorry it’s so long – wasn’t meant to be when I started!

    I’m betting that Baltar redeems himself. I think there’s too much invested in the character for him not to be rehabilitated in some dramatic fashion. And he has to be brought back from the sorry state into which he’s declined over Season 3. I for one would like to see Baltar have some moments of glory – despite his generally weak and weasley character, there have been a few moments where he’s risen to the occasion, for example when he tells the guards in Gina’s cell on Pegasus to “get out”, and even when he shoots Crashdown. The rare (and they are very rare) occasions when Baltar has risen to the occasion have been great, and I’d like to see more of these. I think it would be really interesting and rewarding to see him find his courage at last and start developing a conscience. He just about got there on New Caprica, but only after he’d bottled it and signed the execution order. I don’t think he’s evil, or malicious, just weak, self-serving and amoral. But deep down, there is a conscience.

    Having said all that, I still think he may turn out to be the fifth cylon. For a long time he was an obvious cylon candidate, but perhaps a bit too obvious, and the writers seem to have rolled back from this path. However, I wonder if this is a bit of a double bluff. Whatever the truth, I hope we see him developing a spine and taking control of things a bit more in Season 4.

    As for the the rag-tag fleet finding Earth, I definitely say NO! to time travel. I think the most plausible outcome, given the mythology and what we know so far about the relationship between the 12 colonies, Cobol and Earth, is that Cobol was orginally colonized from Earth, at a time in our future (i.e. during of after the 21st century). This would make all the similarities between the colonials and us make sense – the ties, the military command structure, the Dylan. It would also explain why the original flags of the 12 colonies showed the 12 constellations as seen from Earth, and why the original names of the colonies were names of the constellations as we know them today, again on Earth. Perhaps the tribe the fled to Earth was returning to humanity’s original home.

    The route from Earth to Cobol to the 12 colonies seems to make the most sense. Maybe after settling on Cobol and then fleeing to the colonies people forgot about Earth, which slipped into the realms of mythology, leaving Cobol to be remembered as mankind’s original home.

    There’s certainly no mileage in civilization on Earth having been founded by colonists from Cobol. This would be about as believable as time travel. While it may have appealed in the 1970s, when the likes of von Daniken were talking about extra-terrestrial influences on human development, the development of civilization here on earth is explained very well by archaeology, and we can trace the development of the first civilizations back into the prehistoric period through the local archaeological records. And civilization didn’t start with Greece and Rome! So please, no associating the Cobol with the ancient Greeks and Romans in this series!

    So, that’s my theory for what it’s worth. It might not provide all the answers, and I’m sure I’m not the first to propose it, but it might represent a reasonably framework for the chronology of the Galactica universe. By my reckoning, the RTF should arrive at Earth sometime in the 6th millennium AD. As the colonials haven’t had any contact with Earth we might suspect that the remnants of terrestrial civilization didn’t make it very far. Perhaps we had a human-cylon (i.e. AI/machine) war on Earth first, with the survivors fleeing to Cobol where the whole goddamn process repeated itself, only to do so again on the 12 colonies. Somewhere in the background there are survivors from these earlier conflicts, and the final 5 cylons are representatives of this group. Maybe the Cylons’ change of heart about exterminating humanity came about when they came into contact with elements from these earlier phases of Cylon-human history (although not the final 5, whose identities they don’t know). Maybe the Cylons’ belief in one god is also an innovation that resulted from their contact with archaic Cylon-human culture, a remnant of the monotheism that characterised Earth before the colonials “reverted” to polytheism. Their polytheism may be based on characters and events dating from the exodus from Earth, which carried with it some memory of ancient Greek and Roman religion (we use Greek and Roman mythology all over the place, and particularly when it comes to naming heavenly bodies and spacecraft). Perhaps the original colonials had rejected monotheism as a result of religious wars between monotheistic faiths on Earth.

    Well, enough from me. I obviously spend WAY too much time thinking about BSG, and not enough being a well-adjusted normal member of society.

    Sorry to clog up the forum!

    Take care

    Nick B

  22. Armando says:

    Bernunit sez:

    “”I, for one, will be *extremely* disappointed and upset if BSG ends in any way like the Sopranos. I personally feel that writers have a responsibility to their fans. Not a legal responsibility, perhaps, but an ethical one. This is a “quid pro quo” relationship – “I’ll watch and let you make money, and you will deliver the who enchilada. You won’t tell me what’s in the enchilada until we’re done, but when I get to the end of the enchilada, you’ll let me know what I just ate. I might not like your answer, but you’ll give me a definitive answer nonetheless. What you won’t do is say ‘I don’t want to tell you what’s in the enchilada because I like to see you suffer.’”

    Oh here we go again with the whole writers’ responsibility discussion! Time to dust off the old thread!

    Actually, it was a pretty cool discussion and worth continuing. I just had to give you craaaaaaap.

    Although I totally disagree with you. Artists have no responsibility to give their audience what they want. An artist only has a responsibility to him/herself as an artist. The only reason I would be disappointed in BSG ending like The Sopranos (which, not having HBO, I haven’t caught, but I can’t avoid all this “controversy”–quoth Shatner: get a life, people!–on the net over the open ending, which I think is cool. I, for one, love open endings. Life, after all, does not have neat story arcs and beginnings, middles and ends. Before RDM said so in his blog this week, Kurt Vonnegut did so in his novel “Breakfast of Champions,” which takes that advice very much to heart) is that Ron Moore has now gone on record as saying “I wish I’d thought of it first.” So, it would just seem like a pale imitation, in a way.

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure I should remind our regular readers and lurkers that I am a professional in the arts (a composer and conductor of new, experimental concert music–don’t say “classical,” whatever you do) and, thus, I’m a little biased in this angle. So…cut me some slack.

    Or don’t. Rip into me. It’ll be fun! 🙂

  23. Armando says:

    Sorry to add to the long posts, but I had two more quick things to say:

    NickB: that is a very, very cool theory about the colonies and Earth. I like it! All this time I’ve been working on the assumption that BSG takes place in the past and that they will arrive on Earth in the distant past, but why? It doesn’t explain a whole lot but your theory seems plausible. Now I REALLY can’t wait till January!

    Sean: you’re not the only dorky one out there. I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about when you mentioned the old Tie Fighter game. I had all of those and, frankly, wish they’d bring them back.

    Talk about needing to get a life, right? 😉

  24. Mike P says:

    Another awesome podcast, you guys — and cool points and kudos to Sean for what may be the first use of “threepio” as a verb! I love it! My new term for piggy-back rides. 🙂

    Two quick thoughts:

    1) If Baltar turns out to be a Cylon, that will majorly undercut a lot of the show’s dramatic tension. Baltar is a traitor to the human race — unwittingly at first, knowingly later on — and if he is a Cylon, then all of the emotional freight that his traitorous status carries simply evaporates. So I hope he turns out to be “one of us,” frakking-evil-adorable-jerk though he might be.

    2) Although I am surprised to find myself thinking it, I am not sure I agree that we are seeing Adama “at his best” (Sean) and “who we need him to be” (Chuck) in “Tigh Me Up…” and all his other fatherly, Picard-esque moments. I thought the whole boxing episode in season 3 was made worthwhile by Adama’s self-realization that he had gotten too close to the crew under his command. It totaly goes against the grain of the Trek universe (picking up on your comparisons of the two universes in the podcast), and I even personally wish it didn’t have to be that way, but I do think the hard truth Adama is on to is worth keeping in mind: at some point, Adama crossed the line from commander to “too close,” and that was in some way responsible for the debacle of New Caprica. I hope the creative team will continue that arc in this final season, because maybe Adama is now swinging too far the other way — i.e., he can’t have a normal relationship with his own son, even as he is –way– too close to President Roslin. But maybe Adama is “at his best” and “what we need him to be” when he is focused on being the commander, not the father-figure. (May Lorne Greene rest in peace.) 🙂

  25. Mike P says:

    I actually think it might have been best if Voyager hadn’t made it back to Earth… or, as some fans speculated at the time, if they chose to head right back out to the Delta Quadrant. The whole series’ emphasis on getting home seemed out of whack with Star Trek’s theme of “boldly going…”

    Oh, well. I digress. 🙂

  26. BernUnit says:

    Hi Armando:

    Thanks for the input. I don’t think necessarily that I disagree with you per se, it is more a matter of how the artist decides to portray and market his creative concern to the public. To use a silly example, if you host a 4th of July fireworks show that promises “coordinated music and the fireworks display of your life”, then you have set a fair expectation of the public that it will get just that. If you then decide, for the sake of art, that it would be really cool to quit playing music after the first volley of fireworks (probably right in the middle of the 1812 Overture), then you have not delivered what you promised – and, in my view, have not met your obligation. On the other hand, if you choose to play French independence music throughout the fireworks, that may well be considered to be insensitive and pig-headed, but I’ll accept it because you still gave us what you promised.

    This show has been marketed as a struggle to reach Earth. Therefore, we deserve a resolution along that line. They can lose the struggle and be blown to oblivion, or they can win the struggle and make it. It’s not acceptable to decide that the show will stop without a resolution of the struggle to reach earth. RDM and SciFi made a choice to market the show in that way – no one forced them to do so. So, in my view, they owe us a resolution.

    Does this make sense? And just one more little thing – you point out that life doesn’t come neatly tied up with endings. I totally agree with that statement, but this is DRAMA, not real life. Sadly, there are no real Vipers. Drama comes in three (sometimes four) acts, and comes to an ending. Maybe a tragic one (Antigone, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, et cetera), but an ending nonetheless. We watch drama to enjoy the escape from real life. Where heros can be white and true and the evil wear black hats (or maybe skimpy red dresses!)

  27. Yorick says:

    I see where you’re coming from BernUnit though I too think that an artist’s vision shouldn’t be dictated by the satisfaction of his/her future audience. And that’s definitively what David Chase did with the final Sopranos episode. Not that Moore should do exactly the same thing for BSG, but I thought it worked particularly well in the Sopranos universe. It reminded me of the last few seconds of the (very open ended) last Angel episode.

  28. Nick B says:

    Cylon Baltar…….?

    Mike P – I agree about the risks of undermining the dramatic tension if Baltar is revealed to be a Cylon. But I wonder where the writers are going with him. It would seem a real waste to marginalize him as a character in Season 4 by just keeping him as the weasley, vacillating loser he’s turned out to be in Season 3. Sure, as a human he could still turn it around and do something noble, and there is also the possibility that the “Baltar Cult” the GWC guys dreamed up in one of their podcasts could turn into something interesting.

    But I suspect there might be something weirder in store for him. There are a lot of hints (OK, most of them from Six) that he has some sort of “special destiny” [playing in Kara’s cover band?]. And there’s still the problem of how he survived the nuke on Caprica, and how and why he has a Six in his head. All very suspicious.

    I think if he turned out to be a Cylon, or something in between, and then sided with the humans, or somehow frakked things up for the Cylons by disagreeing with and opposing their plans, that could maintain the tension and the drama. I’d like to see him taking some bold and lonely sacrifice to save humanity, or reconcile the two sides, thus redeeming himself, at least in the eyes of the viewers. I for one miss his comedic moments and the odd flash of assertiveness that has surfaced now and again, and would like to see more of one or both of these (preferably both).

    Then there’s the other possibility that keeps crossing my mind – that he might be some sort of uber-Cylon in deep cover. Probably not very likely, but I wonder if in the end he’ll find out that he holds the key to everything. Imagine that – suddenly everyone finds out that Baltar’s in charge, and he lays down the law to Cylon and human alike. He’s the archetypal outsider, and would be perfectly placed to tell the children to stop fighting – “break it up kids, you’ve had your fun – now go and play nicely with each other.” OK, probably one of my wilder notions.

    I also like the idea (heard on one of the casts – can’t remember which one, maybe the latest) that the Cylon god is some sort of machine or artificial intelligence that is influencing the action, e.g via the Six in Baltar’s head. Again, maybe this god originated in one of the earlier “cycles of time”, and perhaps the Cylons came into contact with it in their travels in the 40 years they were keeping quiet, or more recently. They seem to be having some sort of low-level internal religious disagreement, which suggests their monotheism is something new. Perhaps Baltar’s God, but doesn’t know it!

    As for artistic responsibility, well, I don’t really want to get into the whole duty thing, but I find that science fiction works best when it’s believable, when you can accept that what you’re seeing is broadly plausible. That’s the main reason I think (and hope!) that this BSG keeps away from any suggestion that we Earth-bound humans were shown the arts of civilization by, or are descended from, space-men who came to Earth between 2000 and 4000 years ago, which would have to be the case if Earth really was a colony of Cobol founded by the 13th tribe. Surely no-one with a passing knowledge of human history can swallow that craaaap.

    Cheers guys

    Nick

  29. Phil says:

    Audras, memory of biology class serves her well. Typically species are defined as reproductively isolated populations. As you mentioned sometimes species are close enough that they can form a viable offspring (horses and donkeys; lions and tigers) but these are usually infertile so no long term interbreeding can exist. However, I never thought of the question about whether cylons were the same species or not. As far as we know they were invented to mimic humans and the biological definition of species therefore doesn’t really come into play. But then again with the revealed Four representing a ‘different kind of cylon’ and appearing to be completely human in all other respects I guess we really don’t know a this point.

    You guys also mentioned the significance of the shared vision of Six, Athena, Rosilyn, and Hera. While 3 of the 4 are either known cylons or descended from cylons, I’ve wondered how Laura shares in the dream. Is it because she has been injected with the Cylon “baby blood” or is it because she is hopped up on Cahmala (sp?) or is she the Final Cylon? Also, while Baltar appeared in the vision, we had no indication that he was actually experiencing it. He doesn’t seem to get to see the inside of the opera house unless Head Six takes him along for the ride, and therefore bet he is clearly not a Cylon (then again I wouldn’t put $0.25 on it).

  30. Armando says:

    Damn, BernUnit, where were you when we were having a thread devoted to this a few months ago? You make some great arguments. If you (and the rest of the crew) don’t mind, I’d like to respond bit by bit.

    Ehem…:

    BernUnit: “Thanks for the input. I don’t think necessarily that I disagree with you per se, it is more a matter of how the artist decides to portray and market his creative concern to the public. To use a silly example, if you host a 4th of July fireworks show that promises “coordinated music and the fireworks display of your life”, then you have set a fair expectation of the public that it will get just that. If you then decide, for the sake of art, that it would be really cool to quit playing music after the first volley of fireworks (probably right in the middle of the 1812 Overture), then you have not delivered what you promised – and, in my view, have not met your obligation. On the other hand, if you choose to play French independence music throughout the fireworks, that may well be considered to be insensitive and pig-headed, but I’ll accept it because you still gave us what you promised.”

    Armando: Well, yes, I do know what you mean but I think the analogy of the fireworks show is not really apt here, since, as much artistry as there is in a good fireworks display, its goals are less lofty than a work of art’s (am I going to get in trouble for saying that?). Granted, BSG is a serialized drama in a commercial medium, television, so audience gratification is an important part of its survival as a show. Now that the end of the series is near, though, that element is relaxed somewhat and the creative team can proceed without needing to worry about generating strong enough numbers to secure their renewal into a fifth season (unless SciFi decides to screw us and cancel the series midway through the season or something evil like that).
    Audra recently brought up Dickens’ “Great Expectations” as a model for audience appeal to an artist to give them what they want. Dickens (and I didn’t know this until Audra mentioned it on the podcast last week) ultimately caved and wrote an alternate ending to the novel to appease his angry fans (I’ve never much cared for Victorian novels, so I’ve never read Great Expectations. Is it usually published now with both endings? If not, which is preferred?). As a creative artist, I think this is a cowardly act. Part of the joy of being a creative artist is being able to, in a very real sense, manipulate your audience’s emotions and part of that involves sometimes not giving them what they want. In BSG, for instance, part of the fun is the shock we sometimes, as the audience, get to see things happen that we don’t think should. Billy’s and Starbuck’s deaths are a case in point (although Starbuck’s is now lessened after she somehow appears to return from the dead at the end of season 3).

    Bernunit: “This show has been marketed as a struggle to reach Earth. Therefore, we deserve a resolution along that line. They can lose the struggle and be blown to oblivion, or they can win the struggle and make it. It’s not acceptable to decide that the show will stop without a resolution of the struggle to reach earth. RDM and SciFi made a choice to market the show in that way – no one forced them to do so. So, in my view, they owe us a resolution.”

    Armando: Well…yes. I can’t argue with you there. RDM, Eick and SciFi have always played up the whole quest for Earth part of the story as being central to the drama in BSG and Moore, in his podcasts, has spoken about how the series MUST ultimately end because of this promised pay off. So, in this regard, I think you’re right. But, again, this arises primarily because of television’s identity as a commercial medium (notice that on a network like HBO, where a show’s success is not based on advertising revenue generated by ratings, although ratings still count, writers and show runners can get away with a lot more experimentation than they can on a network that airs commercials like SciFi or NBC. Hence the controversial end to The Sopranos.)

    Bernunit: “Does this make sense? And just one more little thing – you point out that life doesn’t come neatly tied up with endings. I totally agree with that statement, but this is DRAMA, not real life. Sadly, there are no real Vipers. Drama comes in three (sometimes four) acts, and comes to an ending. Maybe a tragic one (Antigone, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, et cetera), but an ending nonetheless. We watch drama to enjoy the escape from real life. Where heros can be white and true and the evil wear black hats (or maybe skimpy red dresses!)”

    Armando: Well, I don’t always watch drama for escape. Actually, I seldom do anymore. I tend to gravitate towards dramas and literature that aim at an understanding of the human condition and/or from which I can learn something (usually about the human condition, not necessarily in terms of factual knowledge or trivia). This is why I follow BSG, ultimately. Even more escapist fare like the Star Wars films offer some insight into the human condition (although that insight comes in the more “naive”–in Goethe’s sense of the word implying purity of spirit rather than simplicity of mind–form of mythology rather than a sophisticated drama). That’s just me though (and my wife thinks I’m a snob because of this. The things we put up with for love!).
    Anyway, I find it interesting that your references to drama are all ancient or Shakesperean. Since Shakespeare (and I’d venture that Shakespeare is not always neat. The end of Hamlet offers little by way of a tidy resolution, other than killing off every main character. The end of King Lear certainly avoids giving the audience what it wants and Shakespeare, I’d say, goes out of his way to actually foil the audience’s expectations, since he ruins the happy ending by having Cordelia hang herself AFTER the war with Regan and Goneril is won, simply because a messenger was too slow to get to her in time) drama has tended to move towards a more realistic direction, hence the move in the 20th, and now the 21st centuries towards grittier, more realistic stories without necessarily a strong tripartite Socratic (it was Socrates, wasn’t it, who said that good stories have to have a beginning, middle and end? I’m not sure) structure. Sure, the results aren’t always satisfying, but they can often be interesting.

    Which is not to say that I’d be satisfied with an ambiguous ending to BSG in 2008. I’m not sure I would. But I am willing to follow Ron Moore and his team down whatever road they take. I was willing to do so when they seemed to have killed off one of their central characters, and I sure want to find out what they’ve got coming up after this.

  31. BSG-32 Minnesotia says:

    It’s interesting to hear you guys talk about the series finale of the Sopranos. I was never a fan, so I didn’t watch it, but I’ve heard tons all over the radio and Internet about the finale. I was wondering if they were given the “creative freedom” of stopping when they wanted to, a la BSG 4th season? Or was it a cancellation thing or something else? I’ve heard a lot of fans say they hated the ending, but some liked it too. But it would be a bit anticlimacatic to just show up in orbit and thats it. They have way to many logs in the fire for that.

    My off the cuff opinions–

    Time travel would be lame. LAME. But how to reconcile that with “All this has happened before and will happen again”. Don’t know, frankly. Same play, different actors?

    The “All Along the Watchtower” bit still blows my mind, it’s a song we know, but not the one we’ve heard. Maybe I’m beating old ground, but hey, I’m new here. But that tells me Earth could be anything, as long as it’s got the right solar system, the correct 7 continents and a bunch of oceans.

    We still need more Vipers, battles, stuff that 9 year olds (in spirit–like me) love!

    Col. Tigh is the epitome of coolness. Drunk and frakked as he is.

    One last little geek thing. Richard Morgan has three great sci-fi novels that are sorta cyber-punk, action sci-fi with a lead character named Takeshi Kovacs. The first one came out about 7 years ago, but it was the first place I ever read or heard of “downloading of conciousness” to a new body. They call it “sleeving”. The mechanism that they do it by is pretty cool, and they actually explore what sort of societal implications that would likely arise. If you like sci-fi and BSG you’d love these books, they have the same dark, bleak vision of the future that apparently, we all really like.

    later

    -Minnesotia Actual

  32. Phil says:

    Nick B-

    I also like you’re theory on the Earth timeline. As far as Earth still being the original source of humanity in the BSG universe it closely agrees with my thinking. The only difference is that I thinks it’s possible that the original Colonials left Earth in our distant past. This of course would have required some ‘divine’ intervention, but as Chuck often states its been well established that religion in some form in the BSG universe is real. In this case the parallels between the Colonial and Classical gods would be explained by the fact that they were actually one in the same and in some sense ‘real’. The other reason why I like this time line is because it appears that when the Colonials inhabited/fled Kobol they weren’t particularly technologically advanced. Adama is building a model of sailing ship, it would seem that there would be little use for such a vessel for a civilization that possessed the ability to make interstellar voyages on their own. Given the fact that many of the Colonials thought Kobol was a myth until they stumbled across it in Season I, I assume that there actual historical record only dates to after the Exodus, and therefore there was a period where they lived on the 12 Colonies without advanced technology. However, I’m not sure about what this means for the 13th tribe and at which point in ‘our’ past they may have returned to Earth. And it certainly doesn’t address whether the Galactica is in our time period or not. Just some thoughts…

  33. Nick says:

    Nick B had some ideas more along the line of what I was having. I do think time travel will occur, but I never said it would occur on their way to find Earth. Quite the contrary. I have always envisioned Galactica showing up in orbit in Earth’s distant past and some last battle with the cylons the Galactica and most of the fleet’s ships are destroyed. Humanity survies to settle on earth, but most of their technology is lost. The humans that do survive will grow and then thousands of years later colonize space. It is at that point where time travel to the “past” will occur. That colony of humans set off from earth will time travel to the past and eventually settle on Kobol, thus closing the time loop and perpetuating the “This has all happened before and will all happen again”

    It’s may not be a popular theory but it’s my hill and my Roll of quarters that I’ll be happy to fling at all the naysayers untill the end of season 4 and we can find out just how wrong all of us have been all along.

  34. Yorick says:

    Phil: I was troubled too by the shared vision with Roslyn. I don’t remember the scene exactly but does Roslyn actually see HeadSix in her vision? Would that be an element of answer to the actual existence of HeadSix vs her being only a figment of Baltar’s imagination?

    BSG-32: David Chase (the creator) wanted to end ‘The Sopranos’ with the regular 12 episodes of season 6. HBO later asked him to extend it by an extra 9 episodes.

  35. Pike says:

    BSG-32, what are the titles of those books?! I’ve been trying to remember ever since they had Tony the scifi author on Watercooler! I’ve read the first two and heartily second the nomination.

    Armando, I suspect that many fireworks choreographers would take issue with your assesment of thier art.

    I’m curious, too, why you seem to think that suddenly ending the show in the middle of a season would be any worse than suddenly ending the show at the end of its run. How is one any different than the other?

    OK, here’s my early end of season four prediction. The last words of the the last show will be, “Are you alive?”

  36. Pike says:

    Wikipedia to the rescue:

    “In 2002 Morgan’s first novel Altered Carbon was published, combining elements of cyberpunk and hardboiled detective fiction and featuring the anti-hero Takeshi Kovacs. The film rights for the book sold for a reported figure of $1,000,000 to film producer Joel Silver, enabling Morgan to become a full-time writer. In 2003 the U.S. edition received the Philip K. Dick Award.
    In 2003 Broken Angels was published, the sequel to Altered Carbon, again featuring Takeshi Kovacs and blending science fiction and war fiction in a similar way to his cross-genre début. … His third Kovacs novel Woken Furies was released in the UK in March 2005 and was released in the U.S. in September 2005.”

  37. Armando says:

    “as Chuck often states its been well established that religion in some form in the BSG universe is real. ”

    Yeah, I’ve been meaning to comment on that. Thanks for reminding me, Phil.

    I’m not sure I agree with Chuck that this is the case. I don’t think there’s any religious occurrence in BSG that could not be explained away by rationalization…just as in the real world. It could very well be that the gods in BSG were actual historical people in the 13 colonies’ past (perhaps, as you say, the original settlers on Kobol) around whom myths have grown as memory fades and oral tradition gives way to a need to write things down. (Even the apparently mystical arrow of Apollo generated “glorified planetarium show” on Kobol could be easily explained as a sufficiently advanced technology made to look primitive and legendary (Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistiguishable from magic to a less advanced people, for example). The only hole, so far, is Kara’s re-appearance at the end of season 3, and I’m sure there’ll be a plausible explanation for it (there’d better be!).

    The same phenomenon happens around religious figures in history, to the point that sometimes multiple historical characters may even be joined, or “telescoped,” into a single literary/religious figure (there is some scholarly thought, for instance, that the stories of Abraham and Moses represent such a confluence of characters, and some radical scholars in New Testatment scholarship, most notably Robert M. Price, conjecture that the same might be true for Jesus, though, granted, this is a controversial view, especially among the devout).

    Just a thought.

  38. Armando says:

    >

    Dang it, Pike! Why’d you have to go and call me on that. 😉

    Defining what art is is such a difficult and touchy thing, that you’re probably right that I should just avoid doing it, especially in a field that I do not understand. Maybe it’s a question of objective and intent? Anyway, as a practitioner of an art that until the 19th century was considered a science and which from around 1945 through 1975 or so seemed to be headed in the same direction (as the composer Milton Babbitt asserted in a famous essay called, not by him but by his editor, “Who Cares if You Listen?,” where he advocated the view that composers should be regarded in the same way as research scientists), I can understand the difficulty in using slippery labels.

    And I’ll be damned if I’m not hitting the high-falutin’, book learnin’, academic lingo today! And in long-winded posts too! What gives?

    Ehem…moving on…

    >

    You mean if they didn’t give the series a satisfying end? Well, like Bernunit, I would feel rather cheated. That was never part of my argument. I just don’t think Ron Moore, David Eick or their staff have any responsibility to satisfy my craving for a resolution to this story. They should end the show in what is the best way for this show. And I’m sure they will. If that involves an open ending, like (I’m told) The Sopranos’, then I’ll go with them on that. It’s MY responsibility as a member of their audience to at the very least meet them halfway.

    Besides, then the fan fiction floodgates would REALLY open, wouldn’t they? 😉

    >>

    Oooooh! That would be sooooo cool!!!! I’ll second that.

  39. Phoenix says:

    Good ‘cast as usual. I’m digging the idea of Starbuck downloading because she’s a Cylon

    Phil beat me to the species thing, but I’ll throw in that if humans and cylons were 2 different species, they might be able to reproduce, but their children would be infertile. So we wouldn’t actually know until Nicky and Hera grow up.

  40. The 13th Cylon says:

    I too, will be really upset if we get no resolution at all. I’ll be the first to grab a pitchfork and/or torch- depending on my level of anger- and start hunting for RDM and Eick. Earth has been the juicy steak dangled in front of us and the folks on BSG for almost 5 years now and to have it spontaneously combust in front of our very eyes would be disappointing.

  41. Pike says:

    Armando, I suspect we’re actually on the same page here. There are inherent assumptions to dramatic forms (e.g., fireworks end with the big BOOM BOOM finale.) I will always acknowledge that an artist can operate outside those assumptions, but they shouldn’t be suprised if they’re not well recieved. In Sporanos terms, I found the ending interesting, but I haven’t watched/invested time in it since the second season. Were I a regular viewer, I almost certainly would have felt it was a cop-out. I hope to the gods of Kobol that RDM doesn’t do something similar.

    The speciation thing is very interesting. As has been mentioned the definition of a distinct species is pretty much one that does not (not cannot) interbreed succesfully. (The classic example of this is “Frogs.”)

    The Cylon thing really does smack that upside the head. If an artificial being can interbreed with a ‘natural’ being, is it the same species? I’ve seen a lot of scifi that talks about our creations being our succesors, but none (before this) have mentioned that they might be speciously (I may have made up that word) our equals.

  42. Audra says:

    Toaster Maker: I never said I was *good* at rapping!

  43. LVogt says:

    I heard the podcast follow up on Hadrian.

    You blame Hadrian, a person thrown into the job out of necessity, for following a line of questioning that went a little off base but you absolve Adama for shutting it down all together? Really? More appropriately, Adama or the other members of the tribunal would direct her to refine her questioning. It’s done every day in court. You make a course correction and move on but not Adama, he shut the whole process down, the other members of the tribunal were shocked and angry at Adama that the process was simply ended in a fit of peak. That’s the point. He could have adjusted the process but he just ran roughshod over it. I think they were showing how power tends to corrupt. The show is about trying to keep society together and this showed a crack in the system. The ultimate power of the military. Sorry, your argument is well argued but I just don’t buy it. And to Audra, I thought Hadrians “glee’ was that by discovering these lies she made progress in solving the case which is delight in catching the guilty party and doing her job. Also, I think the writers wanted to create ambivalence by making someone unlikeable do the right thing while the person you like does the wrong thing and BSG does this all the time. I thought it was brilliant. Ok I’m done.

  44. Nick B says:

    Nick – I guess your circle of time with the Fleet colonizing Earth in our distant past and then humans from Earth time travelling back from our future colonise Cobol in the past could work. Seems more Dr Who that Galactica though (but don’t get me wrong – I love Dr Who!). Apart from time travel element, this raises the question of when Galactica would reach Earth. Given all the Graeco-Roman “heritage” (for want of a better word) in the Galactica universe, it seems unlikely that they’d be arriving back in the stone age, as they’d have to develop agriculture, colonise the Americas from Asia, go through the earliest phase of civilization associated with the likes of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and then “remember” all the familiar mythology just in time for the Classical period of Greece and Rome. The earlier show seems clearly to have associated Colonial Culture with “Classical” western civilization, the implication being that civilization started with Greece and Rome and was brought to Earth by the earlier colonists from Cobol (although I was never a fan, and didn’t watch much of the first BSG, so am prepared to be corrected on this). And this just doesn’t work historically or archaeologically. Personally, I’d find time travel easier to swallow than I would the seeding of human civilization from Cobol. (Cards on the table – I do research on links between climatic and environmental change and the increases in human “social complexity” that ultimately led to the development of civilization here on Earth around 5000 years ago, so can be pretty geeky on this!).

    Phil – I like your idea of the original colonials having left Earth in our past through some sort of “divine intervention” (i.e. alien kidnapping) as happened in the original Stargate Movie (about the only interesting thing in the whole Stargate universe in my humble and no doubt controversial opinion ;-)). This would work for me, would explain all the Graeco-Roman stuff, and would provide a mechanism by which Galactica and the Fleet could show up at Earth in the present day. I have to say that Florida coastline in the final shot of the final Season 3 episode looked pretty present-day to me – I expect most of Florida to be underwater within a few centuries as a result of melting ice caps (although perhaps in the BSG universe we Earth-bound humans manage to get to grips with climate change before sea-levels rise too much.)

    Arnando – glad you liked my idea on this all being in the far future. Like I said, I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest it so am wary of taking any credit.

    Audra, Chuck and Sean – I’m looking forward to the next podcast. You guys are definitely keeping my sad little life going in the long dark winter of the soul between Seasons 3 and 4.

    NB

  45. BSG-32 Minnesotia says:

    Beat me to the answer Pike 🙂 Wikipedia is kinda handy. They are seriously sweet books, and the genre bending is really cool.

    Being new here, I have note/commend this board on something. I’ve seen NONE of the poor forum manners and personal cheap crap that has kinda soured it for me elsewhere (Fireflyfans.net as an example). Nor does there seem to be any demonstrably crazy people either. Maybe its just the quality of posters, or maybe S C and A rule the place with an iron fisted wrath. Either way, nicely done!

    I have a hard time figuring the ending also. I thought Seinfeld went out nearly perfectly, MASH was good too. Next Generation was ok.

    Actually, that last one got me thinking. Do you suppose that they may make it open ended enough to have a Battlestar Galactica…..feature film? As in buy a ticket, popcorn, and a jumbo coke with your girlfriend? How cool would that be every few years for a while?? Its what they did with Picard and Co.

    Minnesotia Actual

  46. Stroogie says:

    >

    This is part of why I stuck up for Hadrian, although Chuck’s arguments in the last podcast have swayed me quite a bit (darn you, Chuck, and your well-thought, persuasive opinions!). It wasn’t so much that I thought Hadrian was doing the right thing, but that the writers gave us a story that was so predictable. BSG is at its best when they create stories outside of the usual conventions; but from the beginning of this episode, when Roslin warned Adama about the dangers of independent tribunals, we knew it was gonna be the same old story of an investigation turned into a witchhunt, along the same lines as ST:TNG’s “The Drumhead”.

    You’re right that Hadrian should have stuck with the basic questions of where the Chief was that night instead of weaving a huge conspiracy theory and trying to indirectly blame the Commander. But Adama shouldn’t have created an independent tribunal in the first place. Why would a normal investigation not be good enough? And why could he not just have redirected Hadrian’s questioning, as LVogt suggested, to get her back on track, instead of completely shutting her down? The drama of the episode should have come from Chief and Sharon trying to cover up their guilt, not from the contrived story of a power-hungry investigator.

    Whew…hope I’m not dragging this out. Thanks, guys, for lending your charming talents to filling the BSG void till January (and beyond, we hope?).

  47. Stroogie says:

    Okay, I meant to quote LVogt in my post, where the little > is. Must have accidentally deleted it:
    “I thought Hadrians “glee’ was that by discovering these lies she made progress in solving the case which is delight in catching the guilty party and doing her job. Also, I think the writers wanted to create ambivalence by making someone unlikeable do the right thing while the person you like does the wrong thing and BSG does this all the time.”

  48. Pike says:

    “Being new here, I have note/commend this board on something. I’ve seen NONE of the poor forum manners and personal cheap crap that has kinda soured it for me elsewhere …”

    This gets mentioned a lot, and I have to say that it’s largely due to the tone of the podcast. You just can’t listen to CS&A for an hour and then jump on the boards looking to tear someone a new one.

    “Nor does there seem to be any demonstrably crazy people either. ”

    Have you met Boxy? 😉

  49. Chuck says:

    Hey — Boxy may be crazy, but he’s our kind of crazy, right?

  50. Nick B says:

    As for the good natured discussions and lack of demonstrable crazies, all I can say is that BSG and GWC obviously attract an audience of uncommonly well-balanced, intelligent, and reasonable people……. 😉

  51. BSG-32 Minnesotia says:

    Well…I’ll copy that 🙂

  52. Stroogie says:

    Agreed. I got tired of the Sci-Fi BSG forums because I felt like every comment I made, however innocent, I had to defend. Plus, the conversations are too hard to keep up with, buried in endless threads as they often are.

    GWC is much more my speed, and I appreciate how even a relatively polarizing discussion like the one about Hadrian is kept within the bounds of mutual respect. Props to Chuck for being a good example on the podcast and showing genuine gratitude for everyone involved in the debate. More of this gentlemanly behavior would be a nice thing in the world.

  53. Phil says:

    Hey Armando-

    I’m not sure I agree with you that most events in the BSG universe can be ‘rationalized’. To my eye the supernatural has run pretty deeply throughout the entire series. For example while I agree that many of the things that Head Six seems to tell Baltar could are actually things that a Supergenius could subconsiously intuit, on Kobal she tells him about the upcoming Cylon/Human child before any of the Colonials even ‘conceive’ the idea of a Hylon child. Come to think about it I don’t even know if the Cylons knew that Sharon was actually pregnant at that point (only that she had gotten Helo to fall in love with her).

    In addition, the Oracles clearly seem to be a little more accurate with their prophecies than coincidence would allow. The Oracle that talks to Starbuck before she dies pretty much knows her whole backstory. That may just be the Camallah (sp?) talking, but it still seems to defy a reasonable scientific explanation.

    On the other hand, the prophets of the Cylon world appear the be the Hybrids. Have the Cylons unwittingly found a technological way [other than Kahmala (sp?)]to tap into prophecy?

    As far as personal preference with story telling devices, I know a few people who are uncomfortable with a reliance on the supernatural as plot device in BSG. I guess they like to keep their scifi and fantasy separate. However, I think the writers here have done a pretty good job laying the seeds of the supernatural through out the whole show. My personal feeling is somewhat contradictory in that I am more comfortable with the supernatural underpinnings to the BSG universe that allow for the origin of Humanity from Earth (i.e., some exodus in our ancient past), than a purely rational internally consistent explanation that says that Humanity arose from Kobol but requires the viewer to put aside our knowledge of our own fossil record (but that could just be because I have a more than a passing interest in our evolution). Anyway, in reality the writers are free to choose any reality they want in fiction, and I’ll gladly follow along whichever direction they take.

  54. Armando says:

    “Actually, that last one got me thinking. Do you suppose that they may make it open ended enough to have a Battlestar Galactica…..feature film? As in buy a ticket, popcorn, and a jumbo coke with your girlfriend? How cool would that be every few years for a while?? Its what they did with Picard and Co.”

    I don’t know. I didn’t much care for those Next Generation movies.

    And yes, it is nice that people are generally pretty civil around here, BSG-32. Although I resent the comment about our not being crazy enough. 😉

  55. Armando says:

    All right, Phil, you have a point about the Cylon baby. Dang it! As far as the oracles go, well, I don’t think they do anything much different than your common psychic or would-be necromancer like John Edwards (the hack who claims to talk to the dead, not the former senator and presidential candidate) do, asking the sorts of leading questions that are ambiguous enough for the recipient (oraclee?) to give away the answer while feeding into the illusion of some sort of supernatural contact. (Although granted, for the sake of drama it is played as though it is real on the show, which does require suspension of disbelief on the supernatural front.)

    The study of religion is something of a hobby of mine, since religion was a huge part of my life for a number of years, so I’m willing to see where the writers take us in that area (although not professionally. I take it you must be either a historian, archaeologist or anthropologist?). Actually, that aspect of the show is one of my favorites, since it gives it a flavor of the mythological or biblical in a very cool way.

  56. Pike says:

    “Hey — Boxy may be crazy, but he’s our kind of crazy, right?”

    Absolutely right. It’s Slingshot who’s the problem one.

    (Actually, Slingshot and I got into a faux flame war a while ago, since we figured that sort of thing was sorely lacking on this site. I’ll have to try to find that thread.)

    “… would-be necromancer like John Edwards…”

    Man, did I ever do a double-take when I read that. I could make a joke about his campaign, but the GF is a big supporter so I probably shouldn’t…

  57. Pike says:

    How did I do anything without google? Here’s the start of the the name-calling thread (caution, it’s about as nasty as it gets around here):
    http://galacticawatercooler.com/2007/02/12/gwc-podcast-29/#comment-6670

  58. The Alpaca Herder says:

    BSG-32 Minnesotia – As to the making of a movie…let us see how Razor goes over. If that doesn’t do too well would you want to make an attempt to get into theaters? I’m not so sure it would be a good idea.

  59. Melissa says:

    Here’s my question… I had originally submitted as a theory, but this is as good a place as any. If Cylons are born in their current form (i.e. Six has always looked like Six), then I wondered why we all assumed that Hera would “grow” like a human. It bothers me. Yes, we’ve seen Hera age, but I’m surprised by the lack of discussion about it – both on the show and here. That seems to me to be a HUGE DEAL! Cylons don’t age – they are born that way (and what on earth were they thinking with the Brother Cavil model – perhaps Quantum Leap fans?) Anyhoo, I listed to the podcast on my way home from watching the Giants get slapped around by the Blue Jays, so if this is stupid, I’ll blame it on the heat.

  60. Mike P says:

    Melissa — Can’t we assume Hera (and Nicky, for that matter?) will grow since they are only half-Cylon?

    I wonder if we will learn how Tigh aged (since we saw him looking younger in flashback in some early season 3 episode). I think Chuck-Sean-Audra have suggested in the podcasts that the final five models are maybe programmed to “grow up”…?

  61. Trak101 says:

    Well, since the non-mechanical Cylon(z) are biological, they must age. No programming necessary. It’s just that we haven’t seen any live long enough to change/grow old(er), get fat, lose weight etc. much except for Tigh (who, face it , looked exactly the same in the flashback except he had more hair) and the two hylon babies.

    If I remember my basic biology, the fact that Cylon(z) and humans can produce viable offspring indicates that they must be genetically compatible, not necessarily the same species, but very, very close. The genetic differences may manifest themselves in the offspring in any number of different ways, including being sterile, growing at an increased or decreased rate, having mixedup instincts, etc. etc. So as for the hylonz, we’ll see…

    Now that being said, we don’t really know if Cylonz grow because we don’t see how they start out in the goo, we just see the finished product waking up. But if the Hylonz were unable to grow, then gestation would have been difficult. Or they’d always look like neonatal infants. But since there is genetic compatibility with humans, I think it’s safe to assume that they will grow, they will age… but will they download? If they can, what would they download into since they were born and not grown in clone goo?

    Things that make me go “Hmmm.”

  62. Melissa says:

    I like the idea of the final five being more “human” in that they grow up (which could explain Nicky and Hera). I just thought assuming they would age was a big leap. And yet my assumption that all the skin jobs were “born” that way is also plausible. I’m with Sean, though (at least I’m thinking it’s Sean) that we’ll find out at the end that everyone is a Cylon – maybe it’s a reimagining of the Star-Bellied Sneetches of Dr. Seuss. Each group thought the other was better, so they kept finding ways to look like the others they admired, to the point where you couldn’t tell anyone apart. Oh, and then the con guy took off with all the money.

  63. Mike P says:

    LOL on the Sneetches, Melissa! What a great story. I do hope, though, that BSG doesn’t go that route. I feel like “The Cylons were created by man” is a very explicit pledge that these two beings, no matter how similar they may have become, no matter how much “They Evolved,” are still fundamentally different in some way.

    Is Baltar the guy with the stars-on-thars machine? 😉

  64. writch says:

    *Off Topic Alert*

    With many fans of Firefly & other films such as Bladerunner (First use of phrase “skin-job, btw) and with all the discussion of shows-cut-down-in-their-prime. How come no one here mentions “Space: Above And Beyond”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_Above_and_Beyond

    With its cult-like following like Firefly’s AND its story-archs covering Clones (InVitros & ‘Nipplenecks’) and AI (Silicates) , I’m suprised there hasn’t been a peep in the forums or even an allusion from the GWC Triumpherate.

    I’d like to see this come back – heck even worth a podcast! (“Saratoga Watercooler”, anyone?)

    What say we all?

  65. writch says:

    Oooo boy. I may be opening a can of worms here, but I can’t just let this slide. I randomly was looking at the Episode description in SAAB (not my acronymn) here:

    http://www.spaceaboveandbeyond.tv/shows/show-09.html

    And found this:

    “Lt. Stroud, Krantz, and Webb analyze the ship but cannot inform the 58th if any aliens remain aboard. In spite of Sewell’s attempts to thwart the 58th, they board the bomber and discover that it is ‘alive.’ Filled with a conducting gel made of bacteriohodopsin, the ship can ‘heal’ itself and transfer bioelectrics to and from the individuals flying it. By inserting their arms into the jell covering the console, the crew and ship can become ‘one’ in which speed and sequence are key.”

    Smacks of something near and dear to us, eh? Sort of Basestar-esque and Raider-ish, dontcha think?

    I proffer that Chigs and Cylons were swapping technology like Romulans and Klingons.

    Dixi.

  66. writch says:

    OK, promise – last post for a bit. If you’re familiar with the SAAB series, it had the Silicates which were rebel androids, basically. And there was suspicion that they were in collusion with the Chigs.

    I can’t help but think if the two of them got together and Borgified; Chigs + Silicates = Chilicates. But they’d look like, walk like and quack just like Cylons. In fact, maybe that’s what happened, and they were out there when the Bulletheads left the Colonial System in their Diaspora after the First Cylon War. Imagine a chance meeting, somewhere deep behind the Armistice Line…

    Cylon meet Chilicates; Chilicates meet Cylon. “So we have a mutual problem, do we? Welcome to the Family. We may just be able to help you with your little problem. All we ask is that you return a favor when we ask. Now lets go make Gaius Baltar and offer he can’t refuse.”

  67. The 13th Cylon says:

    Interesting morsel of unimportant info- BSG’s “Crossroads Pt II” was #1 on Variety’s 10 Most Shocking TV Moments of 2006/2007.

    http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_article/VR1117966878.html?nav=edrama07

  68. BoxytheBoxed says:

    “Our kind of crazy”?
    Yes i definitly am and proud of it
    were all crazy
    13th im suprised by the links results. Once part 1 aired it dodent shock me. but i would have never guessed it before the music

  69. Stroogie says:

    Argh! Trying…not…to catch…Sopranos spoilers…
    Cool link, though, 13th Cylon.

  70. BSG-32 Minnesotia says:

    I went and bought SAAB when it was really cheap from Best Buy because someone told me “If you like BSG you like SAAB”, and truth be told, I didn’t really like it much–except for Lee Ermy (sp?) of course. Maybe its because I’ve been spoiled by the cinema verite SFx in BSG or maybe after Firefly and BSG it seems kinda..I dunno…uninteresting to have “aliens” as the enemy. It seems that it did pave the way for a grittier look for sci-fi TV tho, although in movies, Blade Runner and Alien/Aliens did THAT back in the mid 80s!

    And a crossover plug here too. Here in Minneapolis they’re having the second annual “Serenity” screening on June 23rd (Whedon’s b-day I think) as a benefit for Equality Now–a womens rights advocacy group. I think it’s a nationwide event (it was last year) so check to see if your town is involved. I’m pretty sure there’s one in the Dallas area SC&A.

  71. The 13th Cylon says:

    I just want to correct my last post- It was a list of the most dramatic moments, not shocking.

    I was reading the Wiki article about SAAB and saw the part with fans complaining about FOX’s handling of the series and it reminded me of the Family Guy quote. A couple of podcasts ago, Chuck mentioned this, but I think he was wrong because they (if I recall correctly) were shows that FOX had canned since the time that Family Guy was on the air. Just goes to show you how a bunch of bafoons run that network.

  72. Nick B says:

    I sometimes wonder if Fox axes shows that turn out to clash with the network’s rather particular political stance. Fox does seem to have a political agenda that would be incompatible with promoting movies and TV shows that encourage independence of thought, skepticism about government and big business, and that are generally critical of the socio-economic status quo. Fox seemed to do everything to kill Mike Judge’s film “Idiocracy” which, despite the Beavis and Butthead style toilet humour, was nonetheless a pretty solid sci-fi satire on life in the US. Despite its flaws and ostensibly low-brow take on politics the film was much funnier and considerably more intelligent than any number of its contemporaries spewed annually from the Hollywood factory. More on Fox’s treatment of the film here:

    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,1866608,00.html

    As a limey I’m a bit wary about venturing into the territory of US politics and the culture wars, but thought I’d risk this as it seems relevant to the last few posts. And we have the same issues on this side of the pond. Of course, maybe the people at Fox are just frakking useless when it comes to anything remotely sci-fi (http://www.syfyportal.com/news423114.html).

    The bottom line is, thank the Lords of Cobol that BSG didn’t start life in the Fox stable – it might not have lasted too long, although I’m sure they’d have approved of the scenes showing the torture of Cylon agents.

  73. Melissa N says:

    I’m a 2 weeks behind on the podcasts because I’ve been on vacation, but I had to stop by and shout out to Chuck that I know where Archer City is (actually grew up going to Holliday) but am now stuck in Audra’s upstate New York territory. Wish more than anything that I could meet up with ya’ll in DFW because it would mean I would be in TEXAS!!
    Keep up the great work guys!!

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