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October 1, 2014

Battlestar Galactica: Epiphanies

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jan 21st 2006 12:24AM
baltarAfter an amazing double-part season premiere, the show tones down a little. This episode dealt primarily with President Roslin's declining health and Boomer's unborn child, and along the way, what's going on with Baltar.

An interesting development this time around shows that the fleet has a group of Cylon sympathizers among them, which makes for a convenient hiding group for Cylon Number Six, the one of flesh-and-blood. Speaking of Number Six, I thought for sure the one in Baltar's head was gone after the last episode, though clearly I was wrong.

I wonder why Roslin right-out assumed the Cylon-Human hybrid would be a bad thing, and so strongly. I half wonder if she knows even more than she's letting on.

Another thing we learned in this episode: The Cylons, and Number Six in particular, seem to have a hard time pronouncing "nuclear" correctly. Maybe she got language lessons from George W. Bush.

As Roslin is about to die, and Baltar rushes in to save her life with the Cylon-Human blood, she flashes back to the say when she saw Baltar making out with Number Six. The thing is, Baltar should have an easy time talking himself out of that issue, should it ever come up.

What I thought was weird was Number Six was reading the letter from Roslin, as Baltar sat there listening to it. Usually everything Baltar does when talking "to himself" can sort-of be explained, though I'm not sure what to think of that scene.

Once again, go check out AOL's post-show clip for some behind-the-scenes stuff that's worth a peek.

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Emilio

I agree that, for whatever reasons, this one didn't feel as good as some of the best episodes. There have been special, hearthshaking stories across the seasons, like that filmmaking episode, or Kobol last gleaming. But this irregularity is what we usually find in any series. I still think BSG is the best series around, with such a powerful dramatic line. As for the answers... we just have to wait a week, right?

Personally, I think James Callis is a show by himself as Dr. Baltar. Despite the comments from some old galactica fans (I am one!), a lot of dramatic life was added by transforming the old, all-evil and dramatically useless character of "the traitor" in this sick little man. It's curious that Keith finds it weird that Six reads the letter for Dr. Baltar, as if it was mathematically incorrect. There has been some almost physical interaction before. I found that particular twist about the letter one of the most brilliant gags about how this imaginary friend of Baltar interacts with his mind and environment.

January 25 2006 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wayne

Let's all remember that the Cylon is (technologically speaking) far superior to the Human.

While they may be lacking in ingenuity (as Humans would argue, though they are quite creative) they do have the numbers and, more importantly, the will. The don't have inefficient brains as Humans have, they can access everything in their memory, and I am sure, link everything in their memory at will.

The Cylons (at least the lower models) are simply machines that do what they are told exactly, and even are able to learn new things on their own (capacity to learn) that they can apply to their jobs.

Basically the Cylon leaders (whoever they are) have thosands upon thousands of Cylon "scientists" at their beck and call for the advancement of technology and scientific discovery. (Remember, they were just all brewing on some "Cylon Home World" for forty years, probably mass producing old models (when they were new) for work on advancement of the race, which they achieved with the New Models.)

That said, it is no surprise that using all the information that humankind had collected, the things that they have discovered about the universe, and mammal biology that the Cylons were able to (by numbers intead of pure ingenuity) completely understand the mechanisms of the biologic human machine. As an example, we now have completely decoded the human genome. Much work still remains in understanding the results, but it is a step that we thought impossible 40 years ago.

It isn't surprising that after they built human-like Cylon models that there would be an explosion of advancement, after the new, more capable Cylon models were put to use.

If the cylons understood completely the workings of Human biology they would know, if possible, how it could be improved through genetic manipulation. They would also know how to figure out how to make thier DNA compatable with Human DNA.

January 25 2006 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ian smith

Anyone else think that a nuke is a good way to destroy a battlestar (ie. pegasus) from the inside?

January 24 2006 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Wes, you are an idiot. And I quote you: "just because you shoot your show in low-res video and apply weird color filters does not mean it's "realistic." For realism, you need a little reality."

For the record, Galactica is shot on HD and uses some of the most freshest lighting and camera styles to make the show even more interesting. To think that is is shot on low-res is an insult. Do a little research before you mouth off.

January 23 2006 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dorv

Wow, I came back to this thread b/c I'm listening to Moore's podcast re: Gina's "disguise." Uh, so, and I'll quote, "I don't know what the hell I was thinking." He also goes into saying that it did sound good "on paper" but when he saw it on screen, it was a little too Clark Kent, or something to that effect.

The wow goes for the fact that this thread degraded into a whinefest. Wes... If you dislike the show that much, skip it, and skip the threads.

January 23 2006 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

"1. Robots interbreeding with human beings after having "evolved" into a "subspecies." Enough said. The technology for this is beyond imagining."

They are not exactly robots. Over the course of time they fused themselves to biological material and eventually developed to the stage they are at now. This is not a far stretch of imagination for science fiction by any means.

"Robots whose spines glow red during orgasm, whose minds can be uploaded to alternate bodies over thousands of miles, with far greater-than-human endurance... who are physically identical to humans. Give me a break. All of these amazing traits would certainly require some sort of physical basis. You could detect a Cylon just by forcing her to masturbate in a dark room."

The human mind is a great factor in what sets limits for us physically. SInce they are part machine I am sure they can control things like adrenal flow and other processes at will. It takes several gurads to subdue a cylon, the same that would take in the real world to subdue a deranged psychopath that is much stronger than the average person. Since the people on Galactica don't know about the glowing spine orgasm thing, you could hardly expect them to look for it.

"3. Humans did not evolve on Earth. Never mind the last 150 years of anthropological evidence. We evolved on "Kobol." Uh huh."

They don't even seem to know their true origins. For all we know they did evolve on earth. Hell, they whole show could be set thousands of years in the future, as opposed to TOS which took place concurrently to real time.

"4.A society could be so incredibly technologically sophisticated as to create sentient robot slaves and faster-than-light travel, yet continue to need to use gunpowder in weapons, handheld telephones... how do the ships communicate with each other? Do they have long copper cables running across the fleet?!?"

In the real world we can send man to the moon, have nuclear energy and bombs have cellular phones, yet hard wired land lines are used all over the place, still burn fossil fuel and have not ventured past the moon with piloted space craft ever. I guess the real world makes no sense either.

"5. A genius scientist who thinks he can destroy digitally stored data... by smashing a chair into a computer MONITOR."

I don't think he thought that at all. He was desperate and if anything it delayed getting that information. He just bought time.

"6. The show frequently breaks its own logic. Galactica supposedly survived the Cylons because its technology was old and not networked. Pegasus, brand new and totally internetworked, also survived and has actually been ATTACKING the Cylons since then. No explanation of this amazing feat, nor is anyone curious. Please."

One of the great things about this show is that they don't hold your hands explaining how they come to every conclusion on the show, as opposed to other shows that seem to deliberately be explaining things to the audience even though the colleague they are explaining to should already know this. The Pegasus was supposedly in deep space when the Cylons attacked. It's not too hard to believe that they could have put up firewalls and changed codes after finding out how the Cylons so easily defeated the fleet.


"7.Another example: After almost all humans have been exterminated by the unstoppable Cylons, the leftover group decides to go find Atlantis (excuse me, Earth) for no apparent reason. The Cylons are following them, so if they find Earth, what will immediately happen is MORE extermination. To save humanity, the Galactica ought to be trying to AVOID leading the Cylons there. The whole premise of the show is horrible."

No, their belief is that Earth may be one of the oldest colonies and may be more advanced than the Cylons themselves. The Cylons also do not know where they are at all times otherwise they would be on top of them at every jump. The fleet holds out hope that once they jump and find earth, the Cylons will never find them.

"Just because you shoot your show in low-res video and apply weird color filters does not mean it's "realistic." For realism, you need a little reality."

It's Science Fiction emphasis on FICTION. There has never been one piece of a space drama science fiction story ever made that is truely "realistic". To repeat Keith, if you want realism watch the NASA channel.











January 22 2006 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Wes, first of all let me say that having a cylon masterbate in a dark room is one of the funniest comments I've heard. Brilliant. As one who has been ripping the "realism" of this show recently myself (mostly in character behavior and the logic of the plot), I have to say that I think you are going overboard with your criticism, although I will concede on most points you are absolutely right. I guess I have to backtrack and say that to some extent, to the extent that there is a fantasy element to science fiction, you DO have to suspend some of your disbelief, otherwise you might as well stick to watching CNN.

As for #1 Robots interbreeding, I don't think its been established clearly what these things are, but they are more likely (or more obviously) clones with cybernetic qualities integrated in. I cannot defend this since in reality this is not yet possible, but I accept it and move on.

As for #2, I think the writers' are taking creative license, but I never thought of it that way before. Funny.

#3--I just think you are being too rigid. This is fiction, after all. Besides, there's an "Ancient Astronaut" argument in there as well, but I'm just not willing to make it.

#4--I think these things are all for effect, but these things always bug me too. The biggest inconsistency to me? They can do all these things, but still haven't found a cure for cancer? If they can't do that in an advanced civilization (or the near or even distant future for us) then my charitable contributions are going to stop today. Then again, I'm sure there are pharmaceutical companies in their world too, doing whatever needs to be done to keep selling drugs, but that's a whole different blog.

#5 can be explained by irrational behavior.

#6--people say this over and over again. I thought it was explained directly in "Resurrection Ship, Part I." The Pegasus was in drydock for repairs/upgrades and its computers were taken offline. It can be assumed that it has remained as such and still isn't networked either.

#7--The premise of finding earth was a promise by Adama to give people hope for survival. At the time, he didn't know where it was. Now that they are actually making progress toward that end, then I would expect they will address that. To some extent, I think patience needs to be exercised while they tell their story. But that said, I don't think they will ever find earth, because the whole premise of the show really is about the journey. Besides, as I have advocated before, I think they should ultimately turn around and try and take back their own civilization and abandon the idea of finding refuge on earth, which is really just an unneccessary remnant of the old show. But I can also think of a few things that you may not have. First, who says they can't find earth and figure out a way to elude the cyclons--surely, they wouldn't go if they didn't think they were safe. Second, who says the earth that they find is 21st century earth? Dates haven't been established. Who's to say that earth of their time hasn't developed into a power significantly greater than both the cylons and the colonies? Anything is possible.

January 22 2006 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gudlyf

Wes -- Dear lord, man, can't you just enjoy a show? I'm a notorious nitpicker with TV shows, and even I can't sit and nod in agreement at your list of gripes. It's a science *fiction* show, airing on the Sci*FI* network. What more is there to understand? Nevermind that some of your gripes are answered in the show already, had you paid attention.

If you want realism in space, go watch the NASA channel.

January 22 2006 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wes

No offense, guys, but this show has some of the WORST science continuity I've ever seen on TV. A few examples:

1. Robots interbreeding with human beings after having "evolved" into a "subspecies." Enough said. The technology for this is beyond imagining.

2. Robots whose spines glow red during orgasm, whose minds can be uploaded to alternate bodies over thousands of miles, with far greater-than-human endurance... who are physically identical to humans. Give me a break. All of these amazing traits would certainly require some sort of physical basis. You could detect a Cylon just by forcing her to masturbate in a dark room.

3. Humans did not evolve on Earth. Never mind the last 150 years of anthropological evidence. We evolved on "Kobol." Uh huh.

4. A society could be so incredibly technologically sophisticated as to create sentient robot slaves and faster-than-light travel, yet continue to need to use gunpowder in weapons, handheld telephones... how do the ships communicate with each other? Do they have long copper cables running across the fleet?!?

5. A genius scientist who thinks he can destroy digitally stored data... by smashing a chair into a computer MONITOR.

6. The show frequently breaks its own logic. Galactica supposedly survived the Cylons because its technology was old and not networked. Pegasus, brand new and totally internetworked, also survived and has actually been ATTACKING the Cylons since then. No explanation of this amazing feat, nor is anyone curious. Please.

7. Another example: After almost all humans have been exterminated by the unstoppable Cylons, the leftover group decides to go find Atlantis (excuse me, Earth) for no apparent reason. The Cylons are following them, so if they find Earth, what will immediately happen is MORE extermination. To save humanity, the Galactica ought to be trying to AVOID leading the Cylons there. The whole premise of the show is horrible.

Just because you shoot your show in low-res video and apply weird color filters does not mean it's "realistic." For realism, you need a little reality.

January 22 2006 at 3:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Paul, you make a great point that I had never thought of. Who knows how far the cylon conspiracy and infiltration goes? Based on what we do know of them, no one can be trusted and no information is truly reliable. Sharon said on Kobol, "We know your scriptures better than you do." This point you raised makes me all the more uncomfortable with the fate of the fleet.

Also, by my count, we've seen 5 of the 12 cyclon models: #6/Gina, Sharon, Reporter played by Lucy Lawless, the doctor who operated on Starbuck, and 2 other men whom we haven't seen or heard from in a while. Any guesses on the next cylon to be revealed? Do you think we'll get any more this season, or will we have to wait?

January 22 2006 at 12:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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