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Old 05-11-2007, 03:16 AM   #1
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The most politically-insightful show in the history of US pop culture

Please don't merge or delete this thread admin, as I'm trying to reach a political audience which doesn't know anything about this show.

Sci Fi Channel is airing a marathon of Season 3 from May 16th to May 18th from 8 am to 4pm Eastern on those days. Please check it out. In Canada, Space is reairing the show from Season 1 onward on Sundays at 9pm Eastern and 3 am eastern on Mondays.

Here's why it's so important:
The Peabody-award-winning new Battlestar Galactica is the most politically-insightful show EVER in American pop culture -- far more complex and dramatically-realistic than 24 or The West Wing. This re-imagined show (which is nothing like the usual escapist sci-fi, let alone the atrocious 1970s show from which it derives only vaguely its premise) intelligently explores themes ranging from terrorism, torture, war, religious faith, political campaigns, the tension between civilian and military authority in a fragile democracy, abortion, stem-cell research, genocide, marital problems, labor disputes, and, most recently for most of Season 3, the complicated politics of collaboration in an occupied regime. While the writing never feels too aping of current world issues, Ronald D. Moore and his staff show greater understanding of history and world affairs than most of the US media (except PBS) with its short-term sense of causality and American nationalist leanings that have led most recently to a war in Iraq that went largely unquestioned until it was too late.

It challenges conventional perceptions in US culture in very thoughtful ways. For example, the third season premiere had the "heroes" engage in suicide bombings against the "villains" because, unlike most of the US media, the head writer understands that terrorism is a means, and not morally worse than war since both are terrible and violent means of solving political problems. This is not to say I agree with anything resembling Al Qaeda or its followers, but the American Revolution (especially in the South, where US soldiers would engage in hit and run attacks and use deceptive propaganda about British-allied natives raping white women) and French Resistance in WWII were terrorism, and Hitler used war, proving that war can be just as deplorable as terrorism in its goals and means. If one is not to use the scale definition of "terrorism", and instead the behavioral one, then the US and its allies, especially Israel, have engaged in terrorism throughout the world, especially in Latin America and the Middle East.

What is equally impressive with how these issues are discussed is how the characters are portrayed. There is not one hero on this show who doesn't occasionally do "the wrong thing", but feels no guilt about it because they don't realize how wrong they are; there is not one character ("good guy" or "bad") who does not show both dark and heroic traits in a way that is similar to human nature.

Without presenting simple answers, this show is so real that it can change how we traditionally look at our societies. I firmly believe this insight can reduce conflict in this world. What this program depicts so well is that “the other” is not as homogenously terrible as we might think and that “we” are not necessarily as good or as true to our principles as we’d like to believe; each side stereotypes the other and prejudges its individuals based on what the group has done. There is no pure good or evil person in this series, only what is in-between – that we all have the capacity for kindness and selfishness, for clarity and mistakes -- which is far truer to human nature.

I am a student of history and have been disillusioned and saddened to learn from many university professors that the biographical and other works (including many on the genius of the US founders) written by many historians are actually deceptive hagiographies, as are the high school history books that seek only to uphold those on "our" while completely denigrating those on the other. It is my strong feeling that this approach to history has harmed societies, including the US and the rest of the West. It is only when we learn about the capacity for fault and kindness in all of us, and of our great heroes' abilities to make mistakes that we may better judge our past and plan for the future as peoples and voters.

"Battlestar Galactica" is the kind of show that best resembles the reality of human relations. Perhaps its one slightly weak area is its exploration of romance, but the painful side of love is written beautifully. It deserves attention, despite losing to formulaic shows in televised award shows. It also features an impeccable cast of actors, including Academy Award Nominees Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell.

Check out the miniseries to see what I mean, if you're uncertain -- even just a few minutes. The show is best enjoyed from the start, and I can only vouch for the near perfection in subtle writing that are the miniseries and Season 1. There are incredible episodes in following seasons, but nowhere near the consistency of the first. This show is losing in the ratings and needs your help, but it is on hiatus right now.

Please check this show out. It normally airs at 10pm Eastern in Canada and the US on Sundays on Sci Fi in the US, and Space in Canada, but the DVDs are available.

Thanks so much for reading.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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Wow. I had no idea about this show. I always assumed it was a remake of the original. I'll check it out.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:24 PM   #3
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Speaking of Mormonism
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:01 PM   #4
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I have never watched
I just got back from video store

and I am watching

season one

disc one now

I will report back after viewing
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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This past year in college I lived with a bunch of rabid Battlestar fans, and they would tell me about how politically relevant it is (though I haven't seen an episode). I'm intruiged though.
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Speaking of Mormonism
I'm not sure I understand.

As for the rest of you, I'm thrilled to have peaked your interest.
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Old 05-12-2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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I watched the original series as a young teen, this is indeed nothing like it. Well written and fearless, it's too good to miss.
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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I think it's the best show on TV right now. I think a lot of people haven't given it a chance simply because it's sci-fi. Think of it more like a very human, compelling and gripping drama that just happens to take place in space.
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:02 PM   #9
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I'll have to check this out.
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Old 05-13-2007, 02:50 AM   #10
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when i was a kid i watched the original Battle Star and i liked it very much.The new one is really bad.Maybe its the shitty actors.
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Old 05-13-2007, 02:53 AM   #11
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Definitely an improvement on the old series, though, you'd have to work hard to do worse than the old series.

I loved Season 1, but found season 2 to be a let down, and stopped watching 3/4 of the way through. Perhaps I'll finish Season 2 and watch Season 3 and see how I like it.

As for the best show on TV right now, hard to really believe it's better than The Wire, unless Season 3 is exponentially better than Seasons 1 and 2.
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Old 05-13-2007, 03:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by No spoken words
Definitely an improvement on the old series, though, you'd have to work hard to do worse than the old series.

I loved Season 1, but found season 2 to be a let down, and stopped watching 3/4 of the way through. Perhaps I'll finish Season 2 and watch Season 3 and see how I like it.

As for the best show on TV right now, hard to really believe it's better than The Wire, unless Season 3 is exponentially better than Seasons 1 and 2.
Well the stand-alone type episodes in the latter half of Season 2 were pretty mediocre, but the last 3 eps of the season were awesome with the finale being the best episode to date!
However, the mid-point episode in Season 2, "Pegasus" was awesome; you didn't like that? The extended version on the 2.5 set is even better.

I HAVE heard good things about The Wire, and I'm planning on buying Season 1 in a month or so.
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Old 05-13-2007, 03:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2fan628
when i was a kid i watched the original Battle Star and i liked it very much.The new one is really bad.Maybe its the shitty actors.
It might be nostalgia helping you think the older version was better. The new one is excellent and the acting is amazing, though it can be odd-sounding because so many of the actors have West Coast Canadian accents, tending to narrow their vowels, and that can sound like bad acting, when they actually just talk like that.
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:13 AM   #14
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I have watched this show since the pilot. My wife and I love it. However, season 3 was a bit of a disappointment.
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muldfeld


I'm not sure I understand.

As for the rest of you, I'm thrilled to have peaked your interest.
Quote:
Are there parallels between Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism?
Yes there are. Glen Larson (producer and creator) is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, hereafter referred to as the "Mormon" or Latter-day Saint (LDS) church. Some of the ideas in Galactica are unmistakably Mormon in origin.

1. In Battlestar Galactica, twelve tribes of man founded the Twelve Colonies after departing from Kobol. A lost thirteenth colony colonized Earth. In The Book of Mormon, around 600 BC, the prophet Lehi took a remnant of the tribe of Joseph from Jerusalem to ancient America, during the time of the Babylonian captivity and the scattering of the twelve tribes of Israel.

2. In "Lost Planet of the Gods", it is revealed that the mankind originated on Kobol, the mother world of all humans. Kobol is a rearranging of the word Kolob, which is the star "nearest unto the throne of God" (see The Book of Abraham, Ch. 3, found in The Pearl of Great Price.) The "Star Kobol" was also the ship on which armistice talks between the Colonials and the Cylons were held.

3. The episode "War of the Gods", with starred Count Iblis and the Ship of Lights, introduces viewers to various elements of LDS teachings. The universe is under the law of Free Agency: "We cannot interfere with freedom of choice. His, yours, anyone's." Even Count Iblis (Satan) is bound by these laws, for he has only control over those who had "freely given him dominion." Those who accepted Iblis' words were willing to follow him blindly provided he guaranteed their safety. According to the Mormon account of creation (The Book of Moses, Ch. 4, found in The Pearl Of Great Price), one of the reasons God cast Satan out of heaven was because he "sought to destroy the agency of man."

4. The beings on the Ship of Lights are highly evolved brothers of man, and may also have founded Kobol. The phrase "As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become" is a rewording of a quote from Lorenzo Snow: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." This is an important component of the doctrine of Eternal Progression. According to LDS beliefs, all humans are children of God, who is Himself an exalted man. By following God's laws, a believer can enter the path to godhood.

5. In their sealing ceremony, Adama sealed Apollo and Serina with these words: "A union between this man and this woman not only for now but for all the eternities." In a Latter-day Saint temple marriage, a couple is sealed for "time and all eternity."

6. There is a similarity in the political structures of the Colonies and the Latter-day Saint church. Both bodies have a Council (or Quorum) of the Twelve, and a President.

7. In the Galactica 1980 episode "The Super Scouts", Dillon uses the phrase "The glory of the universe is intelligence," a rewording of a passage in Doctrines and Covenants #93: "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." In Experiment in Terra, aboard the Ship of Lights, the "angel" John tells Apollo "I have no physical body, as you know it." Apollo, pointing to John's "body", asks him "What do you call that?" "A reflection of intelligence. My spirit, if you will." Later on in "The Super Scouts", Dillon remarked that he was admiring "this choice land." This is a variation of the Book of Mormon description of the Americas "This land is choice above all other lands" (1 Nephi, Ch. 2. et al.)
http://www.kobol.com/archives/BG-FAQ.html#E21
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