atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#227: Continuing my thoughts about Battlestar Galactica

I was thinking about the old version of BG and remembered a few things.

The new version has remained remarkably true to the concept of the original series. During the first season, in particular, every once in a while they would pull out some plot point from the original series and deal with it--the ship of criminals, for example, or the Colonial capture of a functional Cylon raider.

In the mini-series/pilot of BG, they dealt with the entire original episode "Fire" in about thirty seconds: the parts of the Galactica which were on fire were vented to space. Score one for rational science fiction!

The original episode "Fire" dealt with the aftermath of Cylon "kamikaze" attacks on one of the landing bays--it started a huge fire which was in danger of reaching the tanks of fuel ("tylium") and destroying the ship, and they had to do all kinds of crazy things to avert disaster...and even at the time--I was ten--I was wondering why they just didn't evacuate the crew and vent to space? I mean, fire needs oxygen, and if you take away the air....

But there are things we have not seen, yet...and one of them is Baltar in command of a Cylon Base Star.

In the original, Baltar was simply a Hollywood villain: he sold out humanity for power and survival. In the new version, it's a lot more complex. Given the choice, Baltar wouldn't have betrayed humanity.

But the Cylons didn't give him a choice. They knew their boy; they knew that if they threw a hot blonde Six-type in his way, he'd fall all over himself to have all kinds of hot sex with her, and do whatever she wanted him to do in order to continue to receive her favors. And so he gave her the backdoor passwords to the entire freaking Colonial defense net; and they were able to make sashimi out of all the Colonial defenses, thus making their surprise attack that much easier to accomplish.

At that point, Baltar is stuck: he knows he has betrayed humanity, but he's far too much of a coward to face the consequences of his actions and own up to what happened. It keeps getting worse; prompted by the Six in his head, he keeps doing things which ultimately lead to his position as President of the Colonies when the Cylons hit dirt on New Caprica.

This is one of the most excellent features of the writing of the new series: Baltar is the focus of, in the classical sense, a tragedy: his story cannot be otherwise, and it's all his own damned fault.

As President on New Caprica we see him wallowing in his wretched excess: a pill-popping whoremonger of a President, a kind of hyper-Bill Clinton. (Only, one who doesn't have to worry about his excesses damaging his public image, since the Cylons invade before the next election cycle.)

After that--and after his collaboration with the Cylons--he cannot remain with the "ragtag fleet" any longer. So he goes with the Cylons--and having wrangled a billet aboard one of their Base Stars, near the end of season three he's having routine menage a trois with "Caprica Six" and one of the type Threes (Lucy Lawless, complete with New Zealand accent).

At this point, Baltar wants to know if he is a Cylon or not. Having seen the clues, he realizes the possibility; if it's so, then he is one of the secret (and sacred?) "final five" types and no longer has to scramble to stay alive.

Instead he will end up in a position of power, probably in command of at least one Base Star, just as Baltar did in the original series...and he'll then bend his intellect to the destruction of Mankind.

As a final note, it's not lost on me that there are five Cylon types which have not been revealed yet; and the temple that has been found is the "Temple of the Five".... Jupiter is the fifth planet in our solar system, and they are looking for the Eye of Jupiter.... Is this crazy or what?
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