TV is the answer: “Battlestar Galactica

Beth Carpenter

In honor of the first episode of its prequel series, “Caprica,” airing last week, the time has come to out myself. Yes, that’s right, I watch – and am addicted to – “Battlestar Galactica.”
Not the 1970s version, with bad special effects and clunky robots, but the reimagined series, running from 2003 to 2009, brought to the world by Ron Moore and the SciFi – now SyFy – network. I briefly alluded to the show in my wrap-up of 2009, but those short sentences cannot really express my deep and unending love for that show.
In all honesty, and with no facetiousness intended, “Battlestar Galactica” is the best television show I have ever watched. Many of the actors involved with the show have said that they feel it transcends the sci-fi genre – that it is simply a show about humanity that just happens to take place in space. I am inclined to agree.
The basic premise of the show is that the entire human race is blown up by a bunch of angry robots called Cylons. About 50,000 humans survive by virtue of being in orbit around the planets on which they live, and so begins the saga of “Battlestar Galactica.”
Yeah, it sounds pretty science fiction-y, I’ll admit, but there are deeper themes to the show. The Cylons have a monotheistic belief structure that closely mirrors Christianity, whereas the humans possess something more akin to the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and their government is modeled after the Mormon Quorum of Twelve.
All of these things result in many interesting dialogues about religion in a secular world. Beyond that, there are questions of genocide that may actually find the viewer contemplating scenarios when such a thing might be acceptable. Suicide bombing becomes a thing that you can understand and sympathize with.
At every turn, “Battlestar Galactica” is a show that challenges the viewer, and for that alone, it is great television.
If that’s not enough to convince you to watch, the show also boasts an all-star cast. Edward James Olmos plays Bill Adama, commander of the Battlestar Galactica. He shows range in his acting, from crying inconsolably over a lost comrade, to indescribable rage over a threat to his family, to the unique happiness of finally seeing the person you love after a long absence.
His counterpoint is Laura Roslin, president of the Twelve Colonies, a position which makes sense once you watch the show, played to perfection by Mary McDonnell.
I could literally go on and on about how amazing Mary McDonnell is, and many of my friends have suffered through my admiration of her, but I will just say that I could not imagine a better actress in the role, and because of it, Laura Roslin has become one of my favorite fictional characters.
Among other actors are Katee Sackhoff, currently on the show “24” and Lucy Lawless of “Xena: Warrior Princess” fame.
I will put an end to this love letter to “Battlestar Galactica” by saying that everyone should watch it, buy the DVDs and let their lives be consumed. I will even lend out my DVD set so that the Lawrence population can become engulfed in the glories of “Battlestar Galactica.