Saturday, June 02, 2007

Journey's End

One more year and the best science fiction show on television will be over. No, I don’t mean the report in MediaGuardian that Russell T Davies is set to flounce off Doctor Who and take the whole crew with him.

Since that little nugget apparently originated in The Sun, which usually concentrates on tits rather than complete cocks, it probably should be taken with a big pinch of salt – like I care. Though if he did fuck right off the show might actually improve.

Instead the show I’m talking about is Battlestar Galactica and the news today from the Sci Fi Channel confirms that executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have decided the upcoming fourth season will be the last. After the spectacularly mind-bending third season finale, with four of the final five Cylons revealed and the return of Starbuck, ready to point the way to Earth, it was obvious the show was heading into the final straight.

Winner of a Peabody Award and twice honoured by the American Film Institute as one of the 10 Outstanding Television Programs of the Year, Battlestar Galactica was always about human drama first and genre second. It used science fiction as allegory, commenting on everything from racism, stem-cell research, terrorism and government foreign policy, rather than spunking a good portion of the budget on fancy latex creations.

The real plaudits will come later, and hopefully – finally – Emmy recognition for Mary McDonnell and especially Michael Hogan, on top of the critical acclaim it has already received. I suppose all good things have to come to an end at some point and Moore and Eick’s creation will leave behind the opening three-hour miniseries, 73 episodes, The Resistance web episodes and the two-hour Razor, broadcast later this year, which centres on the Battlestar Pegasus and takes place well before this:

With a lot of shows it’s easy to pick favourite episodes – Star Trek’s The City on the Edge of Forever being an obvious example – but Battlestar Galactica proves more difficult as every episode provides remarkable highlights. That said, I’d go with the quartet that opened the third season, leading up to the escape from New Caprica.

Story and character has always taken precedent over special effects, but in Exodus, Part 2, we were treated to spectacles like this:

Around this time next year, when it’s all over and the characters have reached the end of their long journey, all we can do is echo Lee Adama’s words when he leaves the bridge of the Pegasus for the last time: "Thank you!"


At 2:02 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

Amen to that.

What a show!

At 6:20 pm, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

Fans of the show absolutely rave about it. And yet so many of us have never been hooked.

Obviously the association with the trashy original was an ongoing problem.

Still, despite the gruesome mental images of Lorne Green and Dirk Benedict, I still managed to sit through the pilot. It diddn't draw me into the world, and that was that. Maybe I'll give it another chance on DVD sometime.

The moral of the story is that no matter how good the product, and no matter how willing the viewer, you only get one chance to make the sale.

At 11:03 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

J&C, dispell all images of Lorne Greene - now residing under a green lawn - and give it another go.

Get hold of the first season DVD and I guarantee you'll be hooked. Hell, it's science fiction for grown ups with no silly compromises.

At 9:39 am, Blogger Robin Kelly said...

I've just blogged about this actually. While the mini-series wasn't too bad, I agree that it's season 1 where it became must-see for me.

Although I was checking the ratings, after what Jay had said, to see just how popular it was and there's this discussion where fans talk about why ratings have fallen and their problems with the show.

I'm not sure if I'm too dense to have noticed the problems or they're way too picky.


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