I’ve just watched the finale of Battlestar Galactica, and whilst I’m probably not up to a proper review I did want to say something about it.
Earlier in the year I bought a box set with the mini-series and seasons 1-3 in and worked my way through it in a matter of weeks. I then started on season 4 – courtesy of my internet friends – but had had the final 3 or 4 episodes sitting on my harddrive for the last few months. I think part of me didn’t want to watch the end, and part of me had run out of patience with the increasingly convoluted plot and depressing storylines of season 4.
Anyway yesterday I finished all but the finale and today I watched that.
What a let-down. Not because I expected cast-iron consistency or wanted all those outstanding questions answered (“because of God’s plan” seemed to be the one-size-fits-all one anyway) but because I wanted something a bit more uplifting. Everyone seems to end up either dead or alone, or at the very least facing a life of hard work as a subsistence farmer with only their SO as company.
I’ll admit it’s been a tough weekend personally so I may be projecting my need for a happy ending but I found that, at best, a little flat.
One of my favourite Joss Whedon quotes comes from a commentary track where he’s discussing the liberties they took with consistency and reality etc and he says
“Some shows, X-Files for example, very much into the realism, the science behind whatever the horror is, explaining it, really justifying it in the world. We are so much more about the emotion resulting from
this. Not why there might actually be vampires, but how you might actually feel in high school if you had to fight them.”
BSG at its best let you experience what it would feel like to be a small band of refugees on the run from an enemy trying to wipe you out. All the technical stuff it always felt like it was grounded in how people relate to modern-day technology. So it felt real.
This ending didn’t feel real. Because I think that whilst there would be some spreading out if 38,000 people had a whole planet to share, I think there would be large groups wanting to stay close.
And despite the beauty of the African plains or whereever they were supposed to be, I reckon they’d never be so foolish as to throw away all their existing technology. “Never underestimate the desire for a clean slate,” says Adama. “Never underestimate a writer’s willingness to override the logical for the poetic, ” say I.
Still the series as a whole was excellent.