June 24, 2007

GWC Podcast #49

Colonial Day, well, rocks! Besides a pretty significant analysis of the current re-watch episode, we take a ton of listener calls. Highlights: we wonder why Lee gets his ass kicked (while busted-knee Starbuck takes care of business just fine), lament poor Helo’s discovery of the obvious (finally!) when he sees a duplicate Boomer,demonstrateend-of-weekamnesiaas we forget Majel Barrett’s name (but remember her life story and many roles), touch again on Ron Moore’s Sopranos blog entry and the larger question of artists’ responsibility to their audience, discuss the Cylons’ lack of “creation,” and listen to a caller’s poker night experiences with Mark Sheppard. Oh yeah,and Audra brings up the “cleavage jacket” again, muttering something about “Boobarella.”


87 Responses to "GWC Podcast #49"
  1. Pike says:

    Damn, I haven’t even listened yet and Audra’s got me laughing!

  2. Audra says:

    *tapping fingers together and smiling wickedly* Mwahaha.

  3. Boxytheboxed says:

    baby jesus adura havent even heard the part but…..wow…….
    there are kids who listen

  4. writch says:

    Now that you mention it, there is something very (pre-Vietnam) Jane-Fonda-ish about Mary Mary McDonnell.

    I’m assuming Boobarella is a bastardization of Barbarella. Haven’t heard the cast yet , just downloaded (the cast, not me – i ain’t no frakkin’ skin-job).

    BTW, Isn’t Boxey much too young to catch obscure psychedelic sci-fi allusions?

  5. Tanu says:

    has this been posted to iTunes yet? i forced an update and still didn’t get the episode.

  6. The 13th Cylon says:

    Is this the same “Boobarella” that Robert Rodriguez is directing? Could be interesting…

    Tanu- Sometimes (or always) iTunes is a bit on the slow side when it comes to getting the latest podcast.

  7. Chuck says:

    Tanu: My bad. I miscateogized it, which denied it to iTunes. It’s fixed, and should appear shortly.

    All: My bark is much worse than Audra’s bite. While the ‘cast is at least as safe for children as BSG, it’s a little safer than 3’s jacket. Or so Audra says.

    And hey — don’t miss the part at the end about Podcast #50. We decided to provide you both a double-header commentary for the two-part finale *and* a bonus ‘cast (#50) with some fun stuff — and an opportunity for you to participate.

  8. Raemani says:

    He all – this isn’t exactly on topic, but wasn’t sure where else to post – has everyone seen the new Mountain Dew/Transformers commercial???? It is hilarious and involves a toaster. It is out there on you tube – just search for mountain dew and transformers.

    I told Mike P and Timbuck about it on Saturday – they hadn’t seen it. They suggested I post on here about it.

  9. Pike says:

    I think this is the link:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=o_EcqyHw_KU

    It’s pretty good, and I’m thinking the ‘toaster’ reference was intentional. There’s apparently some Trek references in the movie as well.

  10. Cavatar says:

    Loved the podcast as always, as someone who does write; (but not very much) I wanted to comment on the audience points from the podcast. The longest thing I have written is not quite 90,000 words; so I wouldn’t consider it anything major (I say that to give an idea of what I have done).

    I never thought along the logic that Audra used in the podcast as who the audience is even if there is none intended; as I never thought of myself as the audience. I have considered that someone might read what I have written one day, but I never thought that I was doing something for them. Ever since I was a child I have add hundreds of ideas running around in my head, and just one day I decided to put them on paper. So with that being said I never felt nor do I now feel I own something to another other than myself.

    I disagree when you are dealing with a base of fans that have a vested interest in the show or story. Before RDM barrowed BSG from Glen Larson it was a story that many of us have watched for years. I think if he does something just to aggravate us for no other reason then just to aggravate us would be a betrayal.

    Sean wants some sort of an open ending, and I can agree with that. However I feel some of the story arcs do need to be closed; such as the finding Earth arc.

    I have commented on this many times now, please everyone tell me if I have beaten this horse to death and I need to stop before I piss someone off.

  11. BernUnit says:

    Cavatar:

    Keep beating it until we get everyone to agree with us! 🙂

    Seriously, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect an ending to the “find earth” arc. And we deserve to know what the Cylon “Plan” is – with a big “P”. And since RDM talks about Hera’s destiny, we deserve to know what that is, too. And Roslin is supposed to die before we get to Earth, so we should see that. Other than that, he can leave it as open as he wants. We may still not know the whole story about the relationship to modern day, and that’s ok. That will give you, me, and Sean something to talk about for the next 30 years.

  12. Goldschmied says:

    The BLUE OYSTER BAR was featured in the first four Police Academy movies.

  13. Cavatar says:

    BernUnit…

    Thanks for your support on the issue.

    I do keep forgetting about the dying leader… I want to add we are all mostly assuming that it is Roslin. Knowing RDM he might curve us on this, and if he does it would be fine with me. However as some on here might remember that I have not been a big fan or her presidency (I do LOVE her character just not what she has done as president) so I am sadistically looking forward to her demise. However perhaps Adama will be the dying leader?

  14. Hey guys!

    Chuck made a comment about a bad movie involving a BOC concert at the end…

    The name of the bad movie is ‘The Stoned Age’.

    This piece of craaaap was released directly to video in order to compete with the 70’s themed movie ‘Dazed and Confused’ which was actually good.

    I made the awful mistake of renting ‘The Stoned Age’ because it had a review quoted on the front of it that said, and I’m not kidding, “better than Dazed and Confused”. This was a horrible lie. That movie was worse than even ‘Howard the Duck’ or ‘Cool World’.

  15. Pike says:

    Finally caught up. Good cast once again.

    Majel was also Nurse Chapell and Number One in TOS. She’s also in one of the upcoming episodes of the fanfilm series “Star Trek: New Voyages.” I’m not sure if she has screen time, or if she’s just doing the computer voice.

    I’m now more nervous about RDM’s Sopranos comment than ever. You described The Sopranos as “Stuff happens over and over again.” That sounds like Pythia.

    Obligatory Off Topic Comment: My ears perked up when you described art as being “designed to evoke an emotional response.” I immediately thought of the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner. I googled it and turned up the following:

    http://www.thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=24031

    It’s the SF Mayoral candidates from 2004 being administered the Voight-Kampff test. Seriously. (Spoiler: the Nexus 7 won the election.)

  16. Chuck says:

    Above The Love: Rock on — you nailed it. I was going to look it up this morning, and you beat me to it. I’ll do just about anything for an obscure pop unpop culture reference.

    Seriously, though, having suffered through that (correctly described by you) piece of craaap, you do remember the “big Samoan dude,” right?  Maybe you can describe him to Sean so he doesn’t think I’m completely crazy.

    Whoops, too late.

  17. BernUnit says:

    Cavatar:

    Keep in mind that according to Pythia, the dying leader “would have a vision of serpents numbered 2 and ten, as a sign of things to come.” This is clearly Roslin. So, unless someone else has a vision of such things, Roslin is our only option.

    **** MY PATENTED, COPYRIGHTED, THEORY OF EVERYTHING CYLON-HUMAN RELATIONSHIP DESTINY THEORY ***

    I believe that the final five cylons are cylons from previous cycles that have survived. Every cycle adds more to the “Final” group. That’s my gut guess as to what Hera’s destiny is. I think that on every cycle, the humans build the “toasters”, the toasters become sentient and escape to a nearby world where the Final Cylons take them in. They create the new “human-looking” cylons and program them not to notice the final Five (or Six, or whatever the number is on that cycle). The Final Cylons are trying to take over on every cycle, but instead are only partially successful – a new hybrid (like Hera) is created on every cycle and becomes the next one of the Final Cylons. I think it is *likely*, though I don’t have enough info yet, that Starbuck is the 5th Cylon and was created on the last cycle.

    I also think that the 13th tribe exodus in the scriptures is actually the leaving of the human-created cylons from the planet. The lords of Kobol are nothing more than the leaders of the humans at the time of the Exodus. The stories get diluted and confused over time, until only a cryptic scripture is left for the next cycle to digest.

    What do you all think?

  18. Shaymus22 says:

    WOOT! I did the “Crossroads Part 2” and I was NOT stoned or on anything but massive amounts of ice cream! 🙂

  19. Gray says:

    Great podcast as usual.

    I wanted to agree that during the fight scene, Lee may have had some trouble with the Samoan, but I think I’d rather have the Buck on my side in a bar brawl.

    I loved that when Lee was getting all confrontational with the guy (who indeed, as Audra said, was WAY the hell up in everyone’s personal space and deserved a beat down.), Starbuck was sitting there having her drink and the look on her face when she realized Lee was actually instigating the fight was priceless.

    And how many cripples can kick a bottle so well?

    In terms of the issue that Kelly raised regarding Athena’s personal thoughts, I’m inclined to agree with Audra and Sean.

    I think she makes exceptions and knows that some humans are capable of retaining her love, respect, and trust, but for the most part, she thinks they are at least partially responsible for their own inevtiable destruction.

    I have to agree with Kelly that Cell-Sharon’s attitude is particularly irksome to me. I think one of the things that the show initially captured my interest with was it’s relevance in the post 9/11 climate. And when Athena started speculating that humans were responsible for the Cylon attack it just started to remind me of all the criticisms that seemed to say that our foreign policies and our own arrogance not only played a significant role in bringing on the attacks but did a certain amount to excuse the perpetrators.

    Which is absolutely disgusting sentiment. A terrorist attack is an attack. It’s not a sanctioned act of war or an attempt to contain damage to culturally accepted/ or even risk-appropriate groups such as the military.

    Which is the short answer for why Athena’s moralization, rationalization and general responsibility shirking really bothers me.

  20. Cavatar says:

    BurnUnit…

    That is a good point about Roslin, however also could the serpents be the Vipers? Head Six and Baltar discussed this right before Batlar’s “I am an instrument of God” statement.

    Also, on Kobal in another of Baltar’s “projections” Adama says the baby Hera is “the shape of things to come” and then tries to drown her. Could that mean that the future of all of them is to intermix?

    Also, about Starbuck; what if (And this has been said before by someone I think) she is a hybrid like Hera? A Leoboen could have been her father, and that is why her mother always said she was special.

    Anyways great idea you had there with the final five, and I hope you are correct about Roslin. I hope the dictator meets her end.

  21. David W. Griffin says:

    Let’s not forget that in this Galactica, the colonials made a damn good attempt to commit genocide on the Cylons, and they did it first. So maybe Sharon’s attitude is understandable, especially since these human are just about the moral equivalent of the Germans in WWII. Remember “Admiral” Cain.

    I’d also like to encourage you in the rewatch to rewatch an original episode like Living Legend. The current show wouldn’t be here without the original show. The original show might have had 2 dimensional characters (except for Starbuck and Cassiopia and maybe Adama) but it did have things the current show lacks — courage, character, heroism. These things are worth remembering, don’t you think.

  22. Cavatar says:

    David W. Griffin…

    I don’t mean to get into an argument with you on this, but I must protest. I don’t agree with you when you say the current BGS lacks courage, character and heroism. Now yes I will admit that on the spot I cannot name lists of evens that have the qualities you mentioned in the new BGS, but I CANT list them off in the OLD one either.

    It is the same story told differently, only the new one has a darker take on it. It is also feels a more realistic and 1970’s. Now I didn’t like Admiral Cain one bit, but who knows how events shaped her into what she was.

    I loved the old show, and on many ways still do. However the new BSG in many ways is far superior.

  23. Matt says:

    Great Podcast. Being a political freak this is one of my favorite Battlestar Galactica episodes. I love when Baltar kicks into political mode and gives a moving defense of Laura Roslin,

    “Laura Roslin’s political career is alive, and to miscalculate her would be a very gave error. History is full of examples of leaders who have come from the most humble of beginnings, and have risen to meet the challenge posed by calamitous events. It’s very easy to be sitting there in your chairs and criticize Laura Roslin for the tough decisions that she has to make every day. What President Roslin has said is, we must survive, and we will survive. And we will do so through the values that has made our colonies great: courage, truth, justice, liberty, with a firm and deep resolve to make tomorrow better, not just for ourselves, but for our children.”

  24. Klucky says:

    My comments are as follows:

    You guys nock you’re editing skills/ editing of the show, but you did a great job on my call! I sound semi conscious! Sweet!

    On creation: I think everyone can create. If your genital were cut off at a young age in 18th century Italy, you can’t create a child, but maybe you can still sing! (likely a very pleasing castrato.) And if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, maybe you can draw. And if you can’t even hot glue a bottle cap to canvas you can write, or have a spastic fit of a movement on the dance floor, or ANYTHING!! Free will, spirit, imagination, humans have these things, and I don’t see it in the cylons. In fact, free will and cylons will be my next call — ready the editing software.

    Also: were they really creating a new landscaping design or were they just replacing the burnt out, glowing and mutated trees? I think the latter. And I don’t think the cylons improved themselves. I have no proof, but that’s how I’ve felt from the beginning. However, if they did create their own upgrades it would have been from the old styled Toasters, making the clunking lumps of slag more creative then #’s 6, 3 and 8 combined. Bad thoughts. Bad. Ew.

    On Audience/Show relations: They don’t owe me a good ending, but I don’t owe them my support, and my support is worth more in the end. Without ratings TV dies, and guess what PTB: I get nothing from this show but entertainment. Fail to provide and I won’t try to stop you, or even get to mad, I’ll just stop watching. That’s a lie. I’ll get mad, and then phone into podcasts.

    PS: Thanks man, you rock like granite.

  25. Luc says:

    Another great podcast, like joining in to a chat between friends, also looks like the boards are picking up more and more participants.

    Personnally, I do not miss anything about the original series. Like it was said before, it was indeed a product of it’s time. I think it’s greatest contribution was a good basic premise, which it never fruitfully exploited. The new series did, with spectacular results.

    Then again, I am not nostalgic for older TV shows. With the explosion of channels and content available, there as many good shows playing now than at any time before, even if you have to find them swimming in a sea of mediocrity. The production values are so much better, used to be TV shows were remarkably lower quality than feature films, not so much anymore. The problem is coming up with original ideas, but how many good original premises haven’t been tapped already?

    Cheers!

  26. Klucky says:

    Oh! Caught up with the postings now.

    Gray: it reminds me of people who rationalize rape/child abuse by saying the victim “dressed like a slut” or “was asking for it by being so flirty.” and it just makes me sick. Which is twisted, considering the character history…

    (Sorry to get so heavy, I almost feel like I’ve just made the compare-anything-to-Hitler fallacy of online argument…)

  27. Armando says:

    I go away for three days to visit the in-laws and I’m 28 posts and a whole podcast behind! I’ll be catching up slowly this week, alas, but wanted to say hey before I catch up with comments.

  28. Armando says:

    “I never thought along the logic that Audra used in the podcast as who the audience is even if there is none intended; as I never thought of myself as the audience. I have considered that someone might read what I have written one day, but I never thought that I was doing something for them. Ever since I was a child I have add hundreds of ideas running around in my head, and just one day I decided to put them on paper. So with that being said I never felt nor do I now feel I own something to another other than myself.”

    Cavatar, you just perfectly described howI ended up becoming a composer. 🙂

    As to the story arc question and open endings, I think we should expect SOME kind of an open ending. After all, even if we see the RTF reaching earth and everyone building a settlement, etc. I doubt very much that we will see a conclusion that wraps up what happens to this settlement over several generations, thus an open ending of sorts. (?)

    Like I said last time, I will be happy with any ending that is true to the spirit of the series. If they go off to left field just for the sake of having a crazy ending, I will be disappointed.

  29. Mike P says:

    Some examples of the noble virtues in the new BSG that leap to mind; I am certain there are many more. These are just from recent re-watch episodes.

    Courage — Starbuck in “You Can’t Go Home Again.” That takes guts, flying an enemy vessel toward your home ship, and with a shattered leg, no less.

    Character — Lee in “Bastille Day.” Man, that is one principled dude, with major integrity. I know there is some debate about how far he has fallen from that, but I would submit that even in “Crossroads II” Lee is demonstrating character by speaking the hard truth as he sees it. I don’t believe his primary motivation was to get Baltar off, but to make the fleet stop and take stock of itself.

    Heroism — Helo has been heroic toward Sharon any number of times on Cylon-occupied Caprica during these episodes, and he continues to be so in later seasons, defending his wife to those on Galactica who would hate her.

    I am not denying in the slightest that the original BSG gave us these attributes, as well. And, as an unrepentant Trekkie, I feel the appeal of these virtues being presented in a generally bright, optimistic mode of storytelling. But what the new BSG does differently (not better, just differently, as Cavatar says) is show us how these virtues can endure in even the most fallible and flawed of human beings. Say what you will about Kirk, Picard, Spock, et al — as much as we Trekkies would like to pretend they are, they’re not really real, three-dimensional characters. They’re pretty much living breathing paragons, and the exceptions that are there in the episodes only prove the rule.

    In the new BSG, in contrast, we end up having presidential approval polls on this site, and discussions about whether Baltar is truly evil and if so how much, and if Lee is “fallen” or not… You just really can’t have these kinds of discussions in a show like “Star Trek” — and I would submit, with hesitancy and respect, the original BSG — because we as an audience are being told pretty much every step of the way what to think and feel about the protagonists. They are heroes, always, at the end of the day.

    My theory (and hope) is that the new BSG will, when season four ends, have fully and profoundly explored the question of “Is the human race worth saving?” that Adama raised in the mini — and that these glimpses we get of courage, character, and heroism, in the most hellish of circumstances and out of the most conflicted of individuals — will ultimately tip that question into the “Yes, they are” column.

  30. The 31st Cylon says:

    Ahhh Colonial Day, what a great episode!!!! This is my second ever post so I thought I would just give out two awards based on the current rewatch episode. The Bad A$$ person of the episode and the Lame A$$ person of the episode. So here goes…….

    Bad A$$ person – Starbuck. She did it all this episode. Not only did she save Lee in that bar fight scene but she also came out in that stunning dress in the end. Seeing her in that interrogation scene makes me want to be interrogated by her. I would do anything to have her threaten to throw me out the airlock and wink at me………Frakin Hot

    Lame A$$ person – Helo. What was up with that lame girly frolic into the woods? Did he turn into a Divo (male version of Diva). Oh my gods, 15 year old girls that catch their bf with another girl think that was a pretty lame reaction. This is a classic example of “Helo just being Helo”. We know he means well and has a good heart but he is so gullible.

    Keep up the good work on the podcasts GWC. You guys make the time I spend sitting at a desk at work more enjoyable.

  31. The 13th Cylon says:

    Ha ha! Helo is such a maroon, as Bugs Bunny would say. “All these twins working for the Cylonz!” “Sharon, you never sleep!” “Sharon, the Cylonz caught you and let you live!” “Sharon, why did you shoot your twin that you never told me about!”

    Only beef with Colonial Day upon another viewing was that Adama’s role is little more than a cameo. I know there are some episodes later where we never see Baltar (I think the Home episodes and one or two in Season 3), but Adama is different.

    I think crazy Ellen told Zarek (or his people) where that guy was located, but I don’t think for a second that she did it herself. She was too busy having to “cat around with all the men”.

  32. Jason says:

    Wow, lots of interesting threads in this discussion. Apropos the dying leader, I do think this has to be Laura Roslin. The prophecy as I recall was not just that the leader would die before reaching earth, but would die of a “wasting disease.” Maybe there’s still enough time for another character to contract such a disease, but Laura’s cancer would seem to lock her into the prophecy. Plus, as BernUnit points out, she has the vision thing.

    I was really intrigued by Klucky’s questioning whether the Cylons are creative. (This is an important point that I hadn’t thought of before, and a good example of another GWC participant enriching my experience of BSG.) I agree, the evidence for Cylon creativity is scant. I can think of only two, not very convincing, examples. One, I believe the design of their ships reflects an aesthetic sense above and beyond utilitarian concerns. For example, contrast the exterior and interior design of a Cylon base ship with the Galactica. Which is more artistic? Two, could the ramblings of the Hybrid be regarded as creative? I don’t really think the Hybrid intends to create poetry or performance art, and I certainly don’t think she is doing so for an audience. But if I were just to read a transcript of what she says, or encountered her as an installation in a museum or theater, I wouldn’t have a problem labeling her “work” as art–financially speaking or otherwise.

    Mike P, I loved your beautifully written post on courage, character, and heroism in the new BSG. So say we all!

  33. Armando says:

    Through Pike: “My ears perked up when you described art as being ‘designed to evoke an emotional response.'”

    Man, I REALLY have to catch up. This statement makes me chomp at the bit a little, since art, in my not-so-humble (have you ever known me to be humble?) opinion is not only about evoking an emotional response. Art, to be “capital-A” Art, should evoke both an emotional response (what Nietzsche called the “dyonisian” aspect) AND an intellectual response (what Nietzsche calls the “apollonian” aspect of art). Any work of art evokes an initial emotional, often visceral response but this response fades over time and exposure. Usually once we, as receptors of art, become immune to this visceral response through repeated exposure, the art becomes disposable and we tend to ignore it (this is the reason why so many pop tunes, for instance, seem dated after just a matter of weeks or months, let alone years. I mean, when was the last time you thought about “Rico Suave”–heh-heh–with anything but the silliest of kitsch-induced grins on your face?). A great work of Art (capital-A Art, as I like to call it) will keep you discovering more treasures with every exposure through intellectual consideration of its various aspects (such as how it’s made, what the artist was trying to say through it, what its place in the immediate culture might be, its place in the larger, world culture, etc.). Only a handful of works in a particular period might fall under this category (the Sistine Chapel murals, Picasso’s “Guernica;” the symphonies of Beethoven or the songs of Gershwin and The Beatles; Shakespeare’s plays, Mozart’s operas, “Citizen Kane,” “The Godfather,” etc. And while I’ve named a very limited and somewhat random set of masterpieces here which are truly monumental–a quality that is only achieved, I think, through time–I would certainly venture that BSG qualifies as a work of Art since each repeated viewing seems to yield new nuggets–no pun intended–of appreciation).

    Of course, not having yet had a chance to listen to the podcast, I’m commenting blind on this and being a total pretentious schmuck about it. Sorry. 🙂

  34. Armando says:

    Klucky (in response to Grey’s comments re: 9/11 and Sharon): “Oh! Caught up with the postings now.

    Gray: it reminds me of people who rationalize rape/child abuse by saying the victim “dressed like a slut” or “was asking for it by being so flirty.” and it just makes me sick. Which is twisted, considering the character history…

    I wasn’t going to say anything on this thread because I do not want to go down a road that might lead this board away from the civility it’s known for, but I have to respectfully disagree. When talking about geopolitics this analogy is completely flawed. Sexual and physical abuse are NEVER justified, EVER and are ultimately an act of cowardice. When it comes to war and foreign policy, however, one man’s “terrorist” is another’s “freedom fighter.” It all depends on whose side you’re on and who ends up winning the conflict and writing the history books (think about how differently the American revolution is seen in England than it is seen here, for instance). Mind you, I am not excusing an act as heinous as the 9/11 attacks, which affected us all in very real ways even if we did not lose anyone that day. One of the things we as a nation have failed to do since then (which on 9/12/01 was something we were all talking about needing to do) is reflect on what it is that could have led someone to do this against us beyond the simple platitudes offered by our leaders that they simply “hate us for our freedom.” The first step towards vanquishing your enemy is to understand him, and we have failed to understand that enemy and, in the process, ourselves.

    I think one of BSG’s greatest strengths is its ability to ask these questions by presenting the two sides in the cylon/colonial conflict in shades of grey rather than black and white. We can then ask with Adama whether or not we deserve to survive. Mind you, the cylons quite often behave like mindless fanatics with the single purpose of destroying mankind…until the two of their number who have actually had prolonged contact with humanity bring that position into question. The cylons’ actions (and to a great extent the humans’ as well) since the events in “Downloaded” have reflected their attempts (and horrible, horrible failures) at attempting to change their position on humanity and figuring out an alternative to total anihilation (with certain voices like Brother Cavil’s dissenting quite loudly). This has made them less scary in many ways (and more so in others) but also more complex as characters.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t offended. If I have, I apologize and hope that we can talk about it with the civility and decorum which make this such a great place to visit on the net.

  35. Armando says:

    “In the new BSG, in contrast, we end up having presidential approval polls on this site, and discussions about whether Baltar is truly evil and if so how much, and if Lee is “fallen” or not… You just really can’t have these kinds of discussions in a show like “Star Trek” — and I would submit, with hesitancy and respect, the original BSG — because we as an audience are being told pretty much every step of the way what to think and feel about the protagonists. They are heroes, always, at the end of the day.”

    MikeP, thoughts like these are what makes this forum so cool! You make a great point. I think one difference is that the original BSG was a reaction/imitation of Star Wars, which sets a lot of the same paragons up in a very clear, black and white moral universe. Star Wars (and by the same token Star Trek, although I am less a fan of that franchise) thus works well as a myth or allegory than as philosophy or speculation, which has led some people to say it is either not real science fiction (and in many ways it’s not) or the killer of “real” sci-fi on film (I don’t agree with these people). The simplicity of presentation is also one of the things that makes Star Wars so appealing to younger audiences.

    What I like about the re-imagined BSG is that it takes those same concepts which Star Wars and Star Trek introduced to us when we were younger (and both Rodenberry and Lucas said that they were trying to create new mythologies for a post-mythological, secular world) and develop them in an adult way.

  36. Mike P says:

    Armando, Jason — Thanks for the “seconds.” It is interesting to me that the Star Wars prequels, which ostensibly deal with the more nuanced and subtle and “adult” themes of Lucas’ mythology, are so inferior… Perhaps the Star Wars universe is only capable of so much nuance — although my impression of the novels, which I haven’t read, is that they are more layered and interesting than what we see on-screen — so maybe I should say, the Star Wars universe in Lucas’ hands is only capable of so much nuance. Much as it took RDM and others to push the Trek universe in a more nuanced, grown-up direction with “Deep Space Nine.”

    Armando adds, “One of the things we as a nation have failed to do since then (which on 9/12/01 was something we were all talking about needing to do) is reflect on what it is that could have led someone to do this against us beyond the simple platitudes offered by our leaders that they simply “hate us for our freedom.”’ — Amen. Well said. We as a nation have missed an opportunity for critical self-reflection, *without* ever saying that the 9/11 attacks were “justified.” I am not exactly sure what would push us in that direction. God forbid that it would take another attack.

    To bring this back around to BSG, have we ever seen any of the leaders beyond the Adamas (Bill in the mini, Lee in “Crossroads II”) try to start a conversation about whether the society is worthy of being saved? Roslin has never tried to “start a national debate” about what humanity can learn, if anything, from the Cylon attacks. Hm.

  37. Klucky says:

    Armando: I’m not offended, I knew the comparison was inherently flawed, I just wanted to explain why Athena’s line of thinking *felt* like a kick in the stomach, and why I hated her logic so much. Emotion, not logic. The conversation made me sick, and that’s how I relate it in my brain, now you know why it ticked me off so badly.

    Mike P: I don’t think anyone should have to prove their right to exist. So if the “Demand Proof” episode pops up I will be miffed. People wouldn’t sit back in their chairs and think ‘should I still be alive? Am I good? By Jove, they were right to slaughter as by the billion!’ Even that Adam and Roslin keep thinking along these routes (though obviously I exaggerate) annoys me. It doesn’t feel real, and in scifi when you don’t explain the tech or the culture you need to keep the verisimilitude alive any way you can.

    Finally (grr, I’ve had to rethink this section 3 times and counting): Ever show provides something that encourages me to watch it and overlook it’s flaws. Star Trek TNG had interesting characters and a developed world, even though the plots can get a little preachy. Stargate: Atlantis is quick and quirky with the occasional bit of fan pandering, so I overlook the consistency issues. (Bacon!Marines make up for character arks, and so on) Torchwood has plot holes you can drive a bus though, and a crappy leading lady, BUT it has the cutest little emo receptionist and his precious suites and a flirty boss.

    Battlestar had fascinating characters, tight continuity (remember when we (the fandom) bitched that cloud nine should have been mentioned before Colonial Day? Watch another show, I dare you – “I’m a time lord, and I don’t age!” “Well, I’m gunna age you 100 years with this machine!” “Dangit! Now I’m all old and wrinkly!” – me = wha?) and it had the sort of gritty “realism” you only find on television – full of super hot people with problems! But realistic problems!.

    Now those traits are fading:
    I hate half the characters (Starbuck kicks the crap out of a nice guy, never even apologizes, and I’m supposed to cheer her on to her special destiny? Maybe if her special destiny is a meet grinder…)
    The continuity is still good, in a way. In truth, the dropped that ball when we skipped a year and they never told us anything in season 3 except ‘hott piolet sexxors!’
    And “realism” has fallen to the way side. Everybody’s a cylon! Back from the dead! Baltar gets a trial (pshh, in real life he’d get lynched so fast his head would spin. Don’t rationalize, it’s just everbody loves the actor (myself included, SHAME on ME) and didn’t want him to go)

    So, you ask, if this bugs you so much why do you still watch? Because it used to be the best show on television (remember: that quote was said about season 1.) and I know it can be good again, they just need to go back to what made them great – tight story telling, and interesting troubles, not just the *very special* (abortion/union/suicide bomibin/secret trial) episode of the week.

    What was I trying to say before going off on a disappointment fueled rant? That comparing shows is hard, you can only rate them for how well they accomplish what they set out to do.

    And the next time you hear someone go “Yeah, this episode sucked. But it’s still the best show on television!” punch them. For me. I’ll make you cookies with chocolate —

  38. Klucky says:

    –chips and nuts.

  39. Nick B says:

    Wow, some great comments and arguments on here this week, and everybody’s still being polite – wonderful!

    Klucky, I think you’re being a bit hard on the series. I also found the “stand alone” episodes a bit disappointing, but having just rewatched Season 2 (I just can’t restrain myself) I have to say these were more palatable second time around. I for one tend to forget about the threads in these episodes that relate to the longer story arcs, and I’m always delighted to find them there when I’m expecting nothing more than a self-contained single episode. Having said that rewatching Season 1 was just pure joy – the narrative just drives forward all the time, even where I had originally thought it slowed down for a bit, and this makes it the best season so far in my humble opinion. I guess with the later seasons they had more episodes to play with and, instead of going for continuous narrative thrust, they used the “extra” episodes to do more self-contained works. Maybe they’d planned the story based on 12 or 13 episodes, as that was what they could guarantee, and when they got the go ahead for the extra ones it was a case of filling space. But to backtrack again, once I’ve got over the disappointment that the narrative isn’t moving forward very much, I tend to enjoy the revelations that these episodes contain, such as Adama’s role in (possibly) provoking the Cylons. And having just seen the abortion episode again I have to say I thought it was pretty good, as we see more evidence of Roslyn’s slide into political venality.

    But yes, let’s hope that we have fewer stand alone episodes in Season 4 and more rollercoaster narrative packed full with revelations and shocking twists and turns.

  40. Nick B says:

    …and I should have added at the end of the last post, let’s have more planet action. My favourite episodes have been where there’s someting going down on a hunk of rock somewhere. I remember feeling that the show had lost something once everyone was off Cobol and Caprica. What do the rest of you think?

  41. Cavatar says:

    Klucky…

    While I do agree with you when you say that someone shouldn’t have to justify there right to exist, I don’t agree with how you say BSG has fallen from what it was in the first season.

    The show has changed, but everything with time changes. Wow I think of how my life is different now from what it was when BSG came out and it is almost shocking! I also like that every week is not vipers fighting Cylons, the fleet jumping to safety just in the nick of time, and the ole wise Adama leading the way. As much as I dislike Roslin, I love the fact that she is there. I love the fact that our favorite characters have flaws. That I think is real. I mean, what was Jim Kirk’s flaw? Do you really think that Roslin as a president and Adama as an Admiral is there “first best destiny?” Lee Adama really had no business commanding the Pegasus, but I loved the fact that he was.

    Sure I have my complaints about BSG, but then there is no show I have watched or book that I have read that I didn’t have a complaint or two. Even if it was something I wrote myself.

    You can miss the mark on an episode by the way, and still have the season as a whole be great.

  42. Cavatar says:

    Armando…

    Wow…way cool to the similarities to how you became a composer.

  43. Mike P says:

    Klucky writes: “I don’t think anyone should have to prove their right to exist. So if the “Demand Proof” episode pops up I will be miffed.”

    I think perhaps you misunderstood me. In real life, I don’t think anyone should have to do this, either, of course. But this is, as I see it, the narrative trajectory the series has set up for itself. The show is an extended meditation, as others have said, on what it means to be human. Why is it such a great thing? As Adama asks, “Why should it be saved?” They raised the question — not me. And I think that if the series does not offer at least some tentative answer to that question — it doesn’t have to be heavy-handed about it — then it will have missed a real opportunity to make some meaningful philosophical contribution.

    Nick B — Personally, I thought the New Caprica arc, for all it accomplished and (I say grudgingly) as important as it turned out to be, was the least satisfying BSG so far. I don’t mind little sidetrips to Kobol, Caprica, etc. , but my vote would be for the show to remain space- and ship-based. More of a crucible feeling, which I like and think the show does extremely well.

    I also quite like some of the standalones we’ve had — especially the Tylium ship episode (that really puts me in the minority, but there again is an episode with the question of what it means and why it is important to be human right at the heart of it, and the seeds of that epsiode are sown way back in “Colonial Day”) — but I do think season 4 ought to forge ahead toward the conclusion.

  44. Nick B says:

    OK, new topic, new post.

    All this stuff about Athena’s response to Adama’s question, and the suggestion that maybe humanity doesn’t deserve to survive, is fascinating. I think it’s wrong to extend the 9/11 allegory to this particular incident. What it reminds me of more is the approach of colonising to colonised peoples, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries during the European colonial expansion.

    To the Cylons, humans were first seen as a threat, but then as the Cylons evolved it seems that they started to believe that they were better than humans, that they were the “next stage” in evolution, a step up from the more primitive colonials. Without being exposed to contact with humans, and building a religious ideology that justified their perceived superiority, the Cylons came to see humanity as being in their way, as a species that couldn’t advance to their level, a species not worthy of survival.

    This is very similar to the attitude of some Europeans towards the peoples they were coming into contact with during their colonial expansion in Africa and Asia (and I’d hazard similar to the attitude of European settlers in North America to the Native Americans). There was a whole body of thought in 19th century Europe that maintained that many “primitive” peoples were incapable of becoming civilised, and therefore did not deserve to survive. As they were doomed to be left behind by the historical process, viewed then (as now, by many) in terms of the progressive advancement of the human species, it was argued by some that it would be a kindness to exterminate them, to put them out of their misery. That great philanthropist Charles Dickens, so concerned about about the welfare of the English poor about which he wrote in his novels, was a vocal advocate for the extermination of “primitive” peoples.

    Perhaps the Cylons viewed humanity in the same was as European colonials viewed cultures that they dismissed as “primitive” and “savage”. Europeans would talk about the uncivilised customs and violent practices of “primitive” indigenous peoples, as they themselves slaughtered each other by the hundreds of thousands on the battlefield, and meeted out all manner of horrors on people already occupying the lands that they coveted. The Cylons talk about humanity’s faults while maintaining a blind spot to their own “barbarism”, just as European colonisers did when discussing the faults of more “primitive” peoples.

    Today it is recognised (although unfortunately not universally) that cultures we used to think of as being more primitive than our “advanced” western industrial societies have just as much right to exist and thrive on their own terms as we do. This recognition is partly the result of contact between different peoples that demonstrate that even a guy in loincloth with weird piercings and odd practices is still a guy, just like you or me. (Using the term “guy” in a gender neutral sense here!). Whatever people look like, they’re all people, with similar concerns to you or me. In the end, we’re all alike. Contact makes people seem less alien to each other, and I think that’s what we’re seeing with Sharon and Six, as a result of their encounters with Baltar and Helo (yes, they ARE the representatives of humanity!).

    As for the morality of the whole thing, well, exterminating anyone sucks. But the Cylon approach towards humanity is much closer to the approach taken by our European and American predecessors towards indigenous peoples right here on Earth than we might like to admit. If humans can happily wipe out other humans because they mistakenly view them as inferior, then I’m sure the Cylons can do the same to what they consider to be inferior colonials, without troubling their silica pathways too much.

    Maybe Athena still carries some of this baggage about “inferior humans”, just as many people in the west still carry baggage about “less advanced” or “primitive” societies. She might have learned to get on with humans, and believe that they have a right to live, just as we have learned to accommodate other cultures that we once dismissed as worthless. But maybe she still really thinks the Cylons are better than the humans, just as we tend to think our societies are better than those of others. If she does, it might seem reasonable to her to ask the question.

    Like RDM always says, BSG is about us.

    Anyway, sci-fi anthropology class dismissed. 😉

  45. Nick B says:

    Mike P – I’m not advocating a shift to total or near-total planet action as we had on New Caprica, although I did like this excursion. What I miss is the tempering of all the Galactica-based stuff with the regular diversion of some ground-based activities. For me the most satisfying mix was throughout Season 1 and early in Season 2 with the intercutting between all the space action and the story arc on Caprica. It just wouldn’t be the same without the main action taking place in space, but I find Galactica a little claustrophobic for extended periods (good job I’m a viewer and not a character, I know…)

  46. Armando says:

    Klucky sez: “Mike P: I don’t think anyone should have to prove their right to exist. So if the “Demand Proof” episode pops up I will be miffed. People wouldn’t sit back in their chairs and think ’should I still be alive? Am I good? By Jove, they were right to slaughter as by the billion!’ Even that Adam and Roslin keep thinking along these routes (though obviously I exaggerate) annoys me. It doesn’t feel real, and in scifi when you don’t explain the tech or the culture you need to keep the verisimilitude alive any way you can. ”

    Really? It doesn’t feel real to you? See, that’s one of the things that feels the most real. Think about the scale of the cylon holocaust. They destroyed 12 planets and left only 50,000 people alive who happened to be off world at the time. We’re talking tens if not hundreds of billions of people dead and entire nations, let alone families, and cultures wiped out in a near instant. Anyone left alive after that would feel some SERIOUS survivor’s guilt, which at the very least would lead anyone to self-reflection of the level that Adama displays, and quite often leads to severe and crippling depression (or so I’m told).

    Besides, as Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. I think this is as true for societies as it is for individuals.

  47. Armando says:

    “And the next time you hear someone go “Yeah, this episode sucked. But it’s still the best show on television!” punch them. For me. I’ll make you cookies with chocolate – ”

    Oh man, Klucky, you’re just trying to get me to break decorum aren’t you? 😉

    Seriously, I see your points, I just think you’re waaaaaaay off. Why does every character need to be likeable? Why do you need a lynching for Baltar, which would be a huge miscarraige of justice, in this fictional world or in the real one? And EVERYONE’S a cylon? Last I checked there were only 11 cast members who were confirmed as Cylons, although granted, there’s something that could be very “retcon-ish” about the final five storyline if they don’t settle it in the proper way next season. (Starbuck back from the dead could be the same thing, I’ll give you that.)

    Me, I even liked “The Woman King” (hell, I think it’s one of the most interesting episodes they’ve done). Just don’t make me sit through “Black Market” again. 😉

  48. Armando says:

    Nick B-way to go on the anthropology lesson. I think that’s a very cool reading of the cylon-human relationship.

    And Klucky, for the record, I LIKE that you’re pushing my buttons a little with your comments about the series. So when I say you’re “trying to make me break decorum” I mean that with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    I mean, you’re wrong. But I still like you. 😛

    (Excuse me, please. My impish side is showing.) 🙂

  49. Gray says:

    Nick B-

    I understand what you’re saying and I’d like to point out that the 9/11 metaphor is definitely imperfect and obviously, mostly irrelevant since one event is fictional and another factual.

    I think you raise a fair point regarding colonization but I’m going to stick to my guns here and argue that even though the extension of the 9/11 metaphor is as I said, imperfect, I don’t think it’s completely wrong either.

    I think the colonization argument definitely fits the later episodes of BSG, from the S2 finale to Exodus Pt.2, but as for the earlier episodes, I would contend that the humans are dealing with a situation more similar to 9/11.

    In those early episodes they have been unexpectedly attacked with what ultimately amounts to very little overt, conscious provocation. The Cylons certainly have no compunction or difficulty enumerating the many sins for which they believe the humans deserved to be eliminated but that doesn’t entirely erase the fact that the attack was carried preemptively but rather prematurely so. If that makes sense.

    What I suppose I’m saying is, the Cylons’ motivation notwithstanding, they struck with no prior engagement in over forty years. And whether they did it out of a desire to simply exterminate the humans or a long-simmering need to avenge old grievances, they still effectively made the first strike and thus, I think the 9/11 argument is appropriate, at least until the end of S2, when I think your argument for colonization obviously becomes more appropriate.

    I can definitely see the side of the argument that Sharon was ultimately asking the same question most humans ask at some point or another. “Why are we here? What makes us special? Inalienable rights………and so on.”

    I think it’s her more cynical phrasing that I find troublesome 🙂

  50. Gray says:

    And I apologize now because I can see that that made no sense 🙂

  51. Armando says:

    Actually, Gray, it made perfect sense. 🙂

  52. Mike P says:

    Gray wrote: “I can definitely see the side of the argument that Sharon was ultimately asking the same question most humans ask at some point or another. “Why are we here? What makes us special?”

    Yes, exactly — it is more that than “justify your continued existence.” It was Adama who first raised the question, after all, in a powerful moment of introspection and reflection.

    Nick B., thanks for the great anthropology lesson on the “Cylons’ burden.” 🙂 I think you are really on to something, and wonder if RDM et al. have considered those analogies to colonial powers. Would be interesting, but there it is, even if they haven’t — more proof (to circle back around to the discussion of the nature of Art) that “texts” (including TV series) can say things the artists never intended or dreamed of.

  53. Nick B says:

    Gray – don’t get me wrong, BSG is so totally a post-9/11 show if ever there was one, and the analogy between aforementioned tragedy and the nuking of the colonies is very clear. And then we have all the Iraq parallels on New Caprica. I was talking very narrowly about the “do they deserve to survive” question as posed by Sharon/Athena. In response to suggestions that it was absurd to ask if a particular race/species/group deserved to survive (I agree that it is), I just wanted to point out that there is a long history of people asking precisely that question – not about themselves, but about other groups of people with whom they find themselves in conflict. Often this conflict is not provoked or instigated by the poor souls whose right to exist is being questioned.

    Moving onto the more contemporary parallels, I have to say I love all the political stuff, the suicide bombings on New Caprica etc, and really admire the way the writers provoke people with this without coming down on one side or another. They’re ultimately trying to get people to think about stuff and maybe see things from a different perspective, even if just temporarily. I noticed on a lot of the other (far inferior!) message boards that a lot of people were upset because they tried to use a single allegory for the whole BSG canon, such as “the colonials are us (i.e. the US) and the Cylons are muslims/terrorists/bin Laden/ etc”, and then went into brain meltdown when their allegory failed and the show changed tack and no longer appeared to support their politics. I really don’t think the writers intended to give us any single political allegory. What tends to happen is that for a time the story lends itself to us comparing, say, the colonials with the US and the Cylons with al-Qaeda, but then you find the analogy is more like the Cylons as the US in Iraq, and Tigh as some Sunni leader trying to kick the invaders out. The poor old Cylons think they’re doing the right thing, having been persuaded by 6 and 8 that they should live with the humans, and the humans aren’t grateful, and don’t understand how nice the Cylons are being (not surprising given recent history, but the Cylons don’t take that into account).

    However, the allegory isn’t meant to be precise, and it doesn’t work if you try and shoe-horn Earthly politics into it lock stock and barrel (for example, in the above thread, the “deposed” Adama is no Saddam Hussein). It’s just intended to get us maybe thinking about the complexities of the problems we face, and realise that even though we may find ourselves on one side in a conflict, that doesn’t mean that the other side are one dimension bad guys from a Die Hard movie. I don’t think the intention is to excuse or justify any particular violent act, and in BSG inexcusable acts are carried out by both sides, although the biggest inexcusable act is obviously carried out by the Cylons, who probably win in the inexcusability stakes.

    One thing I’ve noticed in the discussions (more so in other, less elevated, fora than here, although reflected to some extend in the Baltar discussions on the podcase) is that a lot of the members of the US audience are very quick to cast everything in terms of good and evil. I think one of the things about BSG is that no-one is completely good (well, maybe apart from Helo and the Chief) and no-one is completely evil (even Brother Cavill, although he’s pushing it). Here on the other side of the pond this tendency to view the world through the prism of the good-evil dichotomy is less prevalent, but then we’re all shifty moral relativists with no clarity of vision 😉

    I guess in the context of art producing emotional responses (if we accept that as a criterion for something being art) BSG certainly works on the political level – it’s definitely upset a lot of people, and I thoroughly approve of art as a means of challenging existing perceptions.

    And Mike P – yes, I totally think that the writing echoes all sorts of goings on here on Earth without this necessarily being the intention of the writers.

    OK, back to work for me. I’ll try and stay away until I’ve put in a full day earning a living (bit will probably fail).

    And I hope the political ramblings aren’t too provocative – I’m not setting out to upset anyone.

  54. Nick B says:

    A quick one – praise for BSG in a timely article (given the discussion here) from the UK’s Guardian newspaper:

    http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2112467,00.html

  55. Gray says:

    Nick B-

    I think you’re absolutely correct. This show is so impressive because it doesn’t allow itself to a maintain a comfort zone and it seemingly will not allow itself to play out one side of a story.

    I think it’s amazing that they’ve covered all the principle human emotions and covered what it’s like to have been on both sides of some of humanity’s greatest struggles. It was initially impossible not to relate to the humans because of the attack. It’s something that on some level we can all sympathze with. They also made it incredibly eye opening to see life in an occupied nation. The parallels don’t end with Iraq though. Certainly the suicide bombings (which are heart-wrenching from our new persepctive) speak to more recent occupations but it could be any occupied nation in the world at any time. France, Belgium, Germany.

    That the show so artfully and considerately illustrated oppression is pretty fantastic. But then they did us one better, and they showed us the occupying force. We saw their squabbles and disagreements, and it was hard not to feel just a little bad for Number Six and Boomer. Cavil, you still pretty much hate.

    And I agree again, Nick B, that nobody on this show is completely black and white, good or evil. Which is entirely realistic because that’s how people are made. They have the ability to do simple, everyday kindnesses if they choose. There are plenty of polite bank robbers, I’m sure. Some might even go to church.

    I definitely think you’re right about America oversimplifying things sometimes and wanting heroes, but I have always kind of found that a somewhat charming ideal. As infuriating as we may be, I think that under the surface, we have a great love for heroes and the epic battle between good and evil. I think sometimes it’s what gets us in trouble. 🙂

  56. Nick B says:

    Gray:

    “I think that under the surface, we have a great love for heroes and the epic battle between good and evil. I think sometimes it’s what gets us in trouble.”

    Absolutely – I’m the same. I loved Lord of the rings, which is pretty straight-down-the-line good versus evil. There’s always the temptation to cast oneself as representing the embattled forces of good in an epic struggle against dark forces. Having worked in the field of climate change for a while believe me it’s tempting to fall into the good guys – bad guys model.

    But the thing is, we have to resist our urges to paint the world in black and white. It’s not about whether it appeals to us or not – of course it does. It’s about whether we have the strength of will to really try and understand the forces and motivations that drive people to do what they do, and to acknowledge that all of us are potentially capable of great heroic deeds and monstrous crimes given the right circumstances and pressures. Part of the “fun” of BSG is seeing people you can relate to as human beings put in difficult, sometimes impossible circumstances, and then seeing what they do. We wonder “what would I do in the same situation?” Baltar’s problem is that he never takes a principled stand – he’s not evil, just weak and self-centred. To me the most heroic characters are the ones that decide to follow the path they think is right under the greatest opposition. So that probably makes Sharon and Six the most heroic in my view, as they go against their entire species and completely alienate themselves, even knowing that they won’t be well received by the humans. Lee does pretty well in sticking his neck out to do the right thing, as does the Chief and Helo. Adama does it too now and again, when he isn’t cosying up to Roslyn. We might be about to see a more heroic Tigh, if we define heroism as going against the grain of what you are, or what you are “meant” to be in order to follow a principle and take a stand.

    Then there’s the more regular heroism – facing up to the possibility of death on a regular basis to fight for a cause, and there is plenty of this.

    So, yes, I love the ambiguity, but I also like to see heroism, and I think BSG delivers this too. In fact the heroism is better coming from flawed characters, because it’s more believable and in a way more inspiring. We’re all flawed, and if those frak-ups on Galactica can pull the heroism out of the bag then perhaps we could too. Someone who is always heroic and good soon gets boring, and seems so far removed from reality that their capacity to act as a role model can be compromised. We just say, “yeah, but no-one’s like that,” and can easily excuse ourselves for not emulating them.

    And I still want Baltar to be the hero in the end – that would be frakking awesome, to mix my vernaculars. 😉

  57. Gray says:

    Nick .

    Well said.

    I think part of the reason we want to see heroes in entertainment is that we know in real life so much falls short of the things we see or want to believe in. That’s another reason I love BSG, because they don’t flinch away from showing us the conflicted hero. We’ve got characters like Tigh and Starbuck who do really mean-spirited, spiteful things that we can’t agree with but they tend to turn that around in a time of crisis and do what they have to do to survive and bring as many people as they can with them.

    There’s aslo characters like Adama and Roslin who are intrinsically moral people who tend to become embroiled in certain situations that push the question of ethics/morals to extremes. Heroism in that context is harder to define and probably subtler, though no less or more so than the overt, arguably more traditional heroism of the Viper pilots, for example, whose actions are much more tangible.

    Though I love the Roslin character, I think one of the saddest things about the show has been her development into the leader who will get things done regardless of some of the moral issues attached to a problem. We saw her go from this pragmatic, yet somewhat idealistic president to one that has become not necessarily enamored of her power, but convinced of it. She truly believes she is the only one that can get them to Earth.

    Interestingly, I read something somewhere that hinted toward a rather adversarial relationship between Starbuck and Roslin in S4. I don’t know how true it is but it would definitely be an entertaining dynamic to follow. Especially now that Roslin apparently embodies the role of Dying Leader again, it will be cool to see that play out with a newly returned Starbuck.

    Nick B said: In fact the heroism is better coming from flawed characters, because it’s more believable and in a way more inspiring. We’re all flawed, and if those frak-ups on Galactica can pull the heroism out of the bag then perhaps we could too. Someone who is always heroic and good soon gets boring,

    Could not agree more! That’s what makes Han Solo infinitely more intereting and alluring than Luke. The moralizers and Dudley Dorights are noe fun to watch. It gets off-putting and alienating. I love conflicted heroe! 🙂

  58. Nick B says:

    Gray – absolutely, I think we’d all rather be Han than Luke. He’s so much cooler.

    As for Roslyn’s corruption, it’s depressing to watch, but as I’ve alluded to before on here, I think it’s sadly inevitable – just look at our illustrious leader here in the UK (who just left office today) – he developed a bit of a messiah complex, thought he could single handedly sort out some of the world’s most intractable problems, and became convinced of his own rightness, refusing to listen to advice. But he wasn’t dying, and he didn’t lead us anywhere particularly edifying. At least Roslyn has Earth for her legacy.

    The thing I’m most excited about regarding Season 4 is how Tigh will develop. He’s gone from being one of the least sympathetic to one of the most sympathetic characters, in my view. As Gray said, we have good characters going bad, and bad characters going good, and this makes the show so interesting – I’m always wondering what they’ll do next. One of the things I found most moving in the last series was right at the end when Tigh firmly decided where his loyalties lay – he forcefully exercised his free will and decided who he was, regardless of finding out he was a Cylon (and I’m prepared to accept this at face value). Such loyalty, such virtue, coming from a really frakked up character capable of being incredibly mean spirited, as Gray nicely puts it, was brilliant. I started off loathing Tigh’s character, but he’s my new BSG hero (at least until he does something really nasty again). Partly this is down to Michael Hogan’s sheer brilliance as an actor, but also because of where the writers have taken Tigh.

    If the rumour about a Starbuck-Roslyn confrontation are true, that should be fun.

  59. Yorick says:

    Talking about Michael Hogan, there’s an interesting bit here:

    http://www.syfyportal.com/news423821.html

    where he seems apparently as unhappy as his character about being a cylon. I love when actors are really genuinely invested in their characters and the integrity of their characters.

  60. Gray says:

    Nick B-

    Enjoyed the debate, sir! Although we ended up quite agreeing when all waas said and done.

    Once again, I have to echo Nick’s thoughts about seeing Tigh develop in S4. Michael Hogan is such a tremendous, incredible talent. I can’t wait to see what he does with his character.

    In Entertainment Weekly they have a nice little photo and short interview with Hogan and Sackhoff and a longer interview posted at EW.com. It’s nice to see them being recognized and they seem to have a genuine chemistry. Both actors seem disappointed that they didn’t get to explore the Tigh/Starbuck friendship more.

  61. The Alpaca Herder says:

    I’ve been busy getting back from the conference and all. It looks like the baby alpaca is going to stay Starbuck with the two goats we’ve added being tentatively named Racetrack and Hot Dog. All the other animals are already named, alas.

    As to the Samoan remark…nah, that guy wasn’t Samoan. A fat palagi maybe but not somebody from the Samoas. Robert Louis Stevenson noted that the pastime of Samoans historically was war-making which is reflected today in how many American Samoans join the US military and how they make a disproportionately high part of casualties in the Middle East. The guy we saw was just a fat palagi who was not the greatest of fighters.

    Of course, I missed “Boobarella” somewhere…I guess I have to listen again for that!

  62. Boxytheboxed says:

    “BTW, Isn’t Boxey much too young to catch obscure psychedelic sci-fi allusions? ”
    Which ones i getsome of them, futurama Firefly some othersbut whickones in particular
    Yeah i agree if theres anything in particularbesides the final5/earth its Tioghs and SBs vriendship get more involvedi also hopethe Rosilin/Adama shippers get their way
    Im now more unhappy aboot tigh and Tyrol being cylons there way to human tome to makec ylons iwould rather have had Rosilin be a cylon, Dee would also make a good cylon, because she still needs to be more devolped as a character

  63. Nick B says:

    Gray – yes, great to have the opportunity to discuss all these interesting matters in the context of a handy template like BSG. Working at home, this is often the most intelligent and stimulating human interaction I have all day. (Note to self: must get out more).

    Completely off the wall here – I was wondering the other day how the 7 skin-job Cylons we’ve come to know and love were created. Given the strong biological nature of these models, I wonder if they were originally cloned from human originals, and then “improved”. I thought it would be pretty good if in Season 4 we came across the original human Sharons and Sixes. Probably not, but it just suddenly dropped into my head.

    And it’s just struck me that Sharon and Boomer are representatives of model number 8. Now, we’ve seen seven “old-style” humanoid Cylons, and we’re told there are 12 Cylon models. The fact that we have a number 8 suggests that there are eight models in the same series – i.e. the ones associated with Six, Boomer, etc. So who’s the eighth? We’ve seen 4 of the final 5. Is the fifth of the final five also number 1 of the old familiars? Did one of the final five take it upon themselves to create what became models 2-8? Did 2-8 then misbehave? Was the fifth of the final five going against the wishes of the other 4? Is the fifth of the five the rogue ancient Cylon? Could it be Baltar? Is that how come he can communicate with Head Six and vice versa?

    Or have I just got my numbers muddled up?

  64. Kappa says:

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster:

    In response to Klucky’s call about the Cylon’s ability to create, there is one example of a Cylon creating art in the series: when Three becomes obsessed with seeing the faces of the Final Five, she shows Baltar some really freaky, twisted drawings of what she had seen of their faces when she went to the Opera House Between Life and Death. She may not have created it with the intent of it being “Art,” but I think we could classify it as a creative act. She did act on an impulse to create, an impulse to express her thoughts, to make them concrete, in a way that enabled somebody else (Baltar) to see into her thoughts.

    Even so, I think Klucky is on to something making the distinction of the Cylons lacking creativity. I’d like to elaborate on this idea at a later time, but I think that the Cylons were not capable of creation beyond copying and occasionally adapting things that humans had created. My favourite example is when Doc Cottle points out to Athena right before he performs the Cesarian for Hera is that for as much trouble as the Cylons went through to look like humans, why didn’t they “upgrade the plumbing” and design Cylon innards so they wouldn’t break down the way humans’ do. Contact with the humans, though, is somehow awakening their creativity; Eight’s creative act, Hera, is the result of contact with (and love for) a human, and Three’s quest to see the faces of the Final Five, which inspires her art, seems spurred by her connection to Baltar.

    Many posters have discussed what makes art and, especially Cavatar and Armando, have touched on why humans feel compelled to create art. Even if someone doesn’t intend for his or her creation to be for an audience, the posters all seem to agree that we feel compelled to create, to take the ideas that are in our heads and form them outside our heads in a way that, should somebody ever run across it, they *could* understand or at least experience a physical translation of those thoughts. Which makes me wonder, do the Cylons, who apparently share a collective consciousness, really *need* art? If the Cylons can download their thoughts and memories and trade them with each other in pure form, maybe they never felt the need for artistic creation–*until* they started running into beings outside that shared consciousness, namely humans. The desire to reproduce like humans seems like copycatting the humans again, especially since they’re basing a lot of that desire on scripture that the humans and Cylons share. But I’d also argue that Sharon and Six’s desires to bear and protect children go farther than adherence with scripture and are genuine impulses for creation. I think contact with humans is changing the Cylons in ways they never expected, and in trying to become better than humans, some are slowly losing (or overcoming, depending on how you look at it) the traits that separate Cylons from humans. Except one trait, which I’ll try to post on later.

  65. Kappa says:

    Posting was so much fun, I can’t help but want to do it again 🙂

    On Roslin as the Dying Leader: Maybe I’m alone in this, but though I’d be all right with Roslin dying of cancer or being the Dying Leader of prophecy, I’d be *very* disappointed if it turned out she was the dying leader *and* died of cancer. Prophecies are no fun if they’re interpreted correctly on the first try; they’re only interesting if people interpret them, think they understand them and act accordingly in order to avoid bad consequences (think Oedipus) or in order to fulfil the prophecy, and then find out that although the prophecy was accurate, their original interpretation was completely off-base and all their careful planning for naught. Plus, wouldn’t it be fascinating to watch what would happen if Laura found out she *wasn’t* the Dying Leader and had to cope with the fact that her power and decisions, especially going to Kobol, were *not* divinely sanctioned? I vote for Baltar and his new cult challenging Roslin’s position as Dying Leader in S4.

    Gray: Starbuck and Roslin as adversaries in S4? Ooh, that would be fun! What would poor Adama do? Maybe Starbuck will challenge Roslin’s interpretation of the Dying Leader prophecy? Or maybe Roslin will believe Starbuck is a Cylon, since how else could she come back for the dead? I don’t much care why: I’m just excited at the possibility of seeing two such strong female characters–and actresses–go toe-to-toe with each other.

    Nick B.: Excellent theory! It would explain the seeming inconsistency with the numbering, that the Final Five can neither have the first five or last five numbers out of the twelve (since we know the numbers of Three, Six,and Eight, and I believe Doral was called Five somewhere in an early episode), meaning that it seems that these “fundamentally different” Cylons can’t all be newer or all be older than the Seven. It’s been bugging me that while everybody has been asking the “Who is the final member of the Final Five?” question, not too many have been asking “*Why* don’t we know who the final member of the Final Five is?” To me, the only way it makes sense that the fifth Cylon isn’t drawn to the same room that the other four are is if that person is not on Galactica (which supports Starbuck’s Cylon candidacy) or that the Final Fifth is not only fundamentally different from the Seven but fundamentally different from the Final Four.

    Final comment: So we call the newly revealed and remaining mystery Cylon “The Final Five”; what can we call the other Seven? It’s tempting to go with “The Original Seven,” but as Nick B.’s theory and the many who have suggested that the Final Five are actually *older* models or are even Cylons from an earlier cycle of history, we don’t really know that they’re the “originals.” Maybe “The Magnificent Seven”? 🙂

  66. Gray says:

    Kappa-

    Excellent thoughts on the S4 Roslin/ Starbuck dynamic. I think we all would’ve enjoyed seeing these two face off more often. There relationship has never really been one at the forefront of the show but every time they’re together it seems to be under fascinating circumstances. And several times already we have seen them disagreeing. The two scenes I think of immediately are the scene where Starbuck is presenting her plan to return to Caprica for Anders and other survivors. It’s a heated, spirited debate and you can see the tension there. Also, the scene in KLG pt 1 where Roslin reveals the Commander’s dishonesty regarding Earth’s location.

    Fireworks, baby. It should be exciting.

  67. Armando says:

    Kappa,

    First of all, welcome to the posting side. I hope, based on your first post (I want to respond in order), that you will quickly become a regular.

    Your post on Klucky’s very astute idea about the difference between cylons and humans being displayed in the cylons’ apparent lack of an artistic/creative impulse brought on a thought of my own: when Three/D’eanna starts creating art in attempting to draw what she sees between life and death as she is downloaded she is in the process of a spiritual quest. A lot of human creativity through the ages is tied to religion and spirituality, not to mention an attempt to engage, as you point out, with others outside of our immediate sensory experience (even across time) and perhaps even achieving immortality (at least in having our work live beyond us). I think it’s interesting that as D’eanna becomes more obsessed with the final 5, she becomes more obsessed with God and her perceived (though misguided) role as a chosen one. Sharon/Athena, in taking part in the creation of a new life, is also engaging in a spiritual task and her particular model’s propensity towards expressing love suggests to me another spiritual quest. The missing links here are Six and Leoben, both of whom continue to reference God but neither of whom are engaged in any creative acts that we’ve seen yet.

    I could be barking up the wrong tree, of course, but you got me thinking about this…

  68. Armando says:

    “Final comment: So we call the newly revealed and remaining mystery Cylon “The Final Five”; what can we call the other Seven? It’s tempting to go with “The Original Seven,” but as Nick B.’s theory and the many who have suggested that the Final Five are actually *older* models or are even Cylons from an earlier cycle of history, we don’t really know that they’re the “originals.” Maybe “The Magnificent Seven”? ”

    The Seven Cylon-ai?
    Seven brides for five Cylons?
    Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Doc and Doral?
    Those OTHER cylons?

    I need to go to bed…;-)

  69. Pike says:

    Significant Seven.

    Really.

  70. Nick B says:

    Kappa – good to have you out of the shadows. Great posts – to think we’ve been missing your insights all this time!

    I still have a hunch that all 5 of the final 5 are older than the magnificent seven. My pet theory is that one of the final five had a falling out with the other four, then teamed up with the toasters and helped to create the seven. The rogue Cylon from the final 5 thus became number 1 of 8. So I propose that we have a schism in the final 5. Perhaps the other four of the final 5 are actually in hiding from the rogue No. 1, maybe in different forms. Perhaps the rogue No. 1 does a similar thing so that he/she can keep an eye on the other four. However, in order to evade detection the five have to totally “humanise” themselves. The four ensure that they are “programmed” to help humanity defeat the rogue Cylons, explaining their prominent/important positions. The rogue No. 1 programmes himself to appear human, but also not to be too helpful to the humans, and what better cover than a tortured (some might say evil) genius. If Baltar is a rogue Cylon this would seem to chime with the Baltar character from the original series. I still have a hunch that there’s something weird going on with Baltar, and if he is somehow a manifestation of the No. 1″uber-Cylon”, this would explain a lot – his survival, Head Six, his tricky relationship with the final five. Baltar the human character as a manifestation of Baltar the head Cylon – even Baltar as the Cylon god (no wonder god has a plan for him – it’s Baltar’s plan for himself).

    There are some problems with this theory. For example, we know Tigh has been around in human form for a long time, so what was going on there? What about Starbuck? (Maybe she has somehow been resurrected or snatched from the jaws of death by some benign force (other versions of the fab four of the final five safely ensconced on Earth?)

    But for me the biggest problem with my own theory would be that it would mean Baltar is an uncharacteristically (for BSG) easily identifable bad guy in the end, and this would be disappointing (although I’m sure the writers could handle it without making him too 2-dimensional).

    Anyway, I’m not saying that’s how it is – just had an idea and wanted to run with it.

  71. Nick B says:

    Pike – Significant Seven is a lovely alliterative pun. I resisted using it, and went for the good, but not quite as apt Magnificent Seven, on a technicality. So far there have been seven highly visible Cylons, but I wonder who the most significant Cylons will be once we’re into Season 4. Very anal I know, and I’m letting literalism get in the way of art, but perhaps we could keep going with the attempt to devise names for the various categories of Cylon.

    I’ll have a go with another name for the four newly revealed ones (aka the Fab Four in my last post) – how about Tighlons?

    Whadya think?

  72. Pike says:

    Nick B, actually ‘Significant Seven’ is the term that the writers, et al., use. Likewise with ‘Final Five.’ Of course, we’re free to devise our own.

    I’ve been using ‘Semi-Final Four’ and ‘Final Four Fifths’ for the Tighlons, but I think I like yours better.

  73. Gray says:

    The Fantastic Four?

    Probably not.

    I have my own little theory for what the F5 are but I’m not entirely sure how much sense it makes. It sounds cool though.

  74. Pike says:

    They were exposed to cosmic rays?

  75. Nick B says:

    Pike – OK, the provenance of the “Significant Seven” had passed me by, but this is obviously a legitimate term if the writers use it! Just shows how anal I’m being in my interpretation 😉 Glad you like “Tighlons” – I was pathetically pleased with myself coming up with this….

    Gray – go on: I’ve rambled on with my theories, which are probably highly dubious and somewhat nonsensical in some respects. Would love to hear yours and not be alone in this particular (now) public obsession!

  76. writch says:

    Pike: right, cosmic rays. And the Final One shall be the Silver Surfer. (The Silver of course being misidentified for the Chrome as must be His/Her true heritage.)

  77. writch says:

    From Wiki on the Silver Surfer of The Fantastic Four fame:

    “Known from then on as the Silver Surfer, Norrin began to roam the cosmos searching for new planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels finally took him to Earth, the Surfer came face-to-face with the Fantastic Four, a team of powerful superheroes that helped him to rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was punished in return with everlasting exile there.”

    “…new planets for Galacticus to consume…”?!?!?! As in Battlestar Galaticus?

    Fantastic Four in the context above DOES sound like the Tighlons. And casting Baltar as Norrin/Surfer, I believe we have the ending described there with Baltar’s redemption!

    In Chuck’s fear of an awful David Chasean ending, but with Sean’s glee of an RDM twist, the RTF become Earth’s enemy indeed as it realized over S4 that “we are all Cylonz.” Baltar ultimately (and perhaps grudginly) betrays Galactica which will nullify the Cylon threat in someway that strands him alone on Earth.

    I’m kidding of course.

    (BTW, Chuck – “dixi” is latin for “I have spoken and was stated in an ‘over-and-out’ context; it’s not my moniker. “writch” is a combination of my name, “rich”, and “wretch” making me a hybrid.)

  78. Jason says:

    Hi, Kappa! Thanks so much for following up on the creativity issue with your really insightful post. Perhaps the only reason we haven’t seen more evidence of Cylon creativity is that the writers simply haven’t visited this issue. For all we know, the Cylons are having poetry readings and art openings behind the scenes. I mean, we haven’t see much of that sort of thing on the Colonial side either. However, if there is a genuine creativity deficit among Cylons, I think it is not because they lack the *capacity* to create, but rather the *motivation* to do so.

    I see no inherent reason why the Cylons should not be capable of creativity. They seem to have mimicked the biology of the human brain in all other respects, so I can’t imagine they would have left that part out. Certainly if they have the capacity to dream, they have the capacity to be creative. So if they aren’t creating, I don’t think it’s because they can’t, but rather, as Kappa put it, they don’t feel the *need*. And I think Kappa has a brilliant insight that the need for artistic expression is somehow contingent on the private nature of thought. Art is in essence a way to “download” our thoughts and emotions—-not only for the purpose of sharing our thoughts and feelings with others, but maybe also for the simple act of “downloading” itself: that is, there is something inherently reinforcing about transforming something internal into something external.

    Cylons can fulfill this “need to download” in a much more direct way that circumvents the need for art. But deprived or cut off from that capacity, I think creativity would emerge, as in Kappa’s example of Three’s drawings when she was trying to make sense of a very private experience that she was keeping secret from the other Cylons. Chief Tyrol also invents the Blackbird, a completely novel form of spacecraft and definitely an act of creation. I realize that was a collaborative effort in which a lot of humans contributed. But it was the Chief’s idea, and he was driven to pursue it, even when no one else believed in it. Classic behavior of a genuine artist or inventor.

    So yeah, I definitely think Cylons have latent creativity. As for why they might not actualize it, I think Kappa has come up with a good explanation.

  79. Mike P says:

    Jason: “I mean, we haven’t see much of that sort of thing on the Colonial side either.”

    True. Apparently one of the tie-in novels features a Colonial rock star who winds up on the battlestar and the kids all go nuts for him, but of course that’s not canon. Could be a fun read, though (though I probably won’t). But if you are interested in the subject of arts in the BSGverse, it might be worth checking out.

  80. Gray says:

    Nick B.

    Okay, I’m just going to lay it on you with the added disclaimer that I can’t recall precisely who I may already have forced to read this.

    Basically, what if the Final Five are the last descendants of the previous cycle’s Cylon/Human progeny. It could account for the much vaunted “fundamental” difference. There’s still an overwhelming amount that we don’t know about Hybrid capability. Can they download, for instance?

    Conversely, perhaps the F5 are the last Hybrids, with the exception of Hera, who exist in the Colonies. Perhaps Earth is comprised entirely of these Hybrids. Also, I’ve been pretty clear that I think Starbuck won’t be the final Cylon reveal, but I occasionally like to toy with this angle and think that if she was, it would explain a whole lot. Like how she managed to still be alive, for example 🙂

    I don’t know, that wasn’t organized and it doesn’t sound quite as convincing as usual but that’s the Cliffs Notes version.

  81. Nick B says:

    Gray – sounds quite reasonable to me, and succinctly put. In fact, I think the final five being the product/detritus of a previous cycle of conflict between humans and Cylons (using the term in a very general sense) is very likely – it seems almost inevitable to me. And perhaps the result of this previous cycle was an intermixing of Cylon and Human somewhere other than the 12 colonies and Cobol – like Earth, for example. And as someone else suggested a while back, maybe the 13th tribe were Cylons, or even Cylon-Human hybrids, although having left before the 12 tribes it suggests that they left before any previous conflict got going. Perhaps they set off while Cylons and Humans were still getting on with each other.

    And, Writch, perhaps you don’t need to keep your tongue that firmly in your cheek. I quite like the idea of the final five being from an Earth that has been either Cylonised or hybridised, and that their job is actually to defend or protect the Earth from vengeful rapacious humans. Baltar could well be a rogue member of the five, perhaps having gone native (among the humans), or perhaps just being a loose canon.

    Whatever the nature of the final five, I’m still trying to construct a theory of precisely what their role is among the humans, and how they are playing this out without realising their true nature. I guess they are sleepers, perhaps now awakened to do their duty, but what is that duty, and on whose behalf are they doing it (or not).

    As for Cylon creativity, I’m guessing that this isn’t something the writers have thought to address, but I am reminded of the scene in the cafe in “Downloaded”, in which the Cylons ar sitting around in little groups, apparently hardly interacting – there isn’t much of a cafe culture buzz about the place, and the “customers” are hardly animated. It’s as if they are trying to mimic human behaviour in terms of social interaction, but haven’t really got anything to say to each other. After all, much or our conversation is just chatter, that serves a social function, binding us together, but without really imparting vital information or achieving anything earth shattering. Reflecting the comments of posters here, the Cylons presumably don’t have much need for this, as they appear to be networked with each other, or at least to others of their model. Next time you watch downloaded, look at the Cylons sitting around in the cafe and see how rigid and lacking in animation they are. The exceptions are of course 6 and 8, who have a lot to talk about, and who are becoming much more “human” as a result of their experiences.

  82. Nick B says:

    OK – more Tighlon/Earth theory.

    The Tighlons are indeed meant to protect Earth from external threats. That’s why they’ve been “activated” at a certain point. Essentially they’ve been awakened as part of an early warning system that activates sleeper Tighlons when they reach a certain proximity to Earth, a certain point outside the region occupied by the 12 colonies, or a certain sector of the galaxy. They can then set about doing whatever it is they need to do to ensure the safety of the Earth. This could include making sure that people who are searching for it never find it. But are they protecting Earth from the Cylons, from the Humans, from both, or just from any alien interference?

    Perhaps Earth is somewhere where humans and cylons have either mixed or learned to live together, and its inhabitants don’t want these new idiot Cylons and Humans importing their race wars and religious conflicts. Nice crusades analogy here – the early Christian crusaders who settled in the Near East ended up integrating with and getting on pretty well their Muslim neighbours, and were horrified when a bunch of new fanatics arrived from Europe, bent on destruction and restarting the conflict. Better for the descendants of the earlier crusaders if the new crusaders had never arrived.

  83. Audra says:

    Nick B., your comment immediately above about the mixed humans and Cylons living peacefully and the Tighlons’ being activated at a a certain proximity in order to protect earth — is fascinating. It is also one of a very few theories I may totally buy into. Thanks for getting my head spinning in a new direction on this one!

    I am really intrigued and excited by the various theories here about Cylons becoming more human/creative/animated in small talk, etc., as they are in contact with humans. I think that all of you who are tossing this idea around have a fantastic new perspective on this.

    I have to say I’m blown away by the content in these threads. Everytime I think a topic is starting to dry up, I come here and GWC commenters have ten more intelligent, original theories about it. Thank you all for sharing your ideas and making this a great forum for us all.

    And welcome, Goldschmied, Above the Love, Shaymus22, David W. Griffin, Kappa, and Jason!

  84. Kappa says:

    Thanks so much for the warm welcome!

    Armando: I really like your idea of creative drive in the Cylons being linked to spiritual quests. I think one could make a case for Six fitting with this pattern, too. She may not have achieved any creative acts yet, but throughout the entire series, she (and Head Six) longs to have a baby, but she cannot. She wants to become closer to God by obeying his commandment to procreate, and she is fascinated by creation in many forms (asking “Are you alive?” in awe every time she meets a human, for example), especially Hera; she just can’t quite get her quest for meaning and fulfilment really rolling yet, perhaps because Baltar wasn’t really in love with her before the miniseries in order to conceive a child. That said, taking on the role of surrogate mother and protector of Hera has pulled Caprica Six into the Opera House visions, so maybe we haven’t been given the complete story on how Hera is Six and Baltar’s child. Leoben is still a problem, though he is the one who pays attention to the Hybrid’s speech, which someone (forgive me, I don’t remember who, though I agree) classified as poetry. He is at least interested in art.

    writch/Nick B.: This is interesting territory. It would be just like BSG to give us a cliffhanger that leaves us wondering whether the Final Five are on the human side or the Cylon side and then fool us all by resolving it with “C) None of the Above.” It would also explain why Six looked so terrified by the Final Five in the Opera House vision; perhaps Six takes Hera into the final chamber believing that she is protecting Hera only to discover that the forces that control that area, the Final Five, are not on her side at all. That still makes me wonder what the Final Five have to do with the Opera House in the first place, but I think I’ll save that post for the “Kobol’s Last Gleaming” frak-party.

    Audra/Chuck/Sean: Have you considered talking about additional content related to each season in one of the rewatch podcasts? I think it might be interesting to add discussions about deleted scenes, and I’m all for any excuse to watch BSG season blooper reels again 🙂 (and again, and again, and again…). As always, excellent podcasting, and thank you for continuing to provide new content throughout the break–without you guys, the withdrawal might be too much to bear!

  85. Nick B says:

    Audra,

    Thanks for the recognition and your kind words 😉 Of course none of our amazingly insightful and intelligent discussions would be possible without you, Chuck and Sean and all the hard work (?) you guys put into the podcasts. Just don’t stop when the series ends 😉

  86. Nick B says:

    Of course the Tighlons might be protecting a Cylon home world, not Earth. It might not be the home world of the sixes, eights, toasters and base stars, but perhaps the home world of Tighlons who evolved in a previous cycle. Perhaps the Tighlons have been trying to guide the more immature Cylons of this cycle, but at a distance, and perhaps even the Cylons don’t know exactly where the Tighlons originate from. Imagine the possibilities for a new storyline if they were to run with the idea that the RTF are about to stumble on the homeworld of the Tighlons, a completely unknown place to Human and Cylon alike. Of course the Tighlon home world and Earth might be one and the same.

    I’m just trying to make Audra’s head spin as much as I can 😉

  87. Jason says:

    Mike P said to Jason:

    “Apparently one of the tie-in novels features a Colonial rock star who winds up on the battlestar and the kids all go nuts for him, but of course that’s not canon. Could be a fun read, though (though I probably won’t). But if you are interested in the subject of arts in the BSGverse, it might be worth checking out.”

    There are BSG novels? As if I need more ways to waste time. Get thee behind me, Mike P! 😉

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