Getting the Story Right

Battlestar Galactica is a special show. But season 3 went off-track. Less than half the episodes were of the high standard set in the first two seasons and the miniseries. Spoilers for the coming 4th season (set to debut in April in the U.S.) seem promising, but I am worried about what Ron Moore and David Eick (the shows creators of this modern incarnation) will do with the story in Season 4. Hence this fansite seeks to comment, and submit a little so-called 'fan fiction' as to where the story should go.

Living Up to the Promise

First, let me say I loves me some Battlestar Galactica. It is simply one of the best shows ever made, period. It is superior in many ways - from the storytelling to the acting to the special effects, to the production design, to the casting to the choice of subject matter within episodes. However, this special show, this rare gem, lost its way and I fear the creators Ron Moore and David Eick have abandoned it to work on other projects and have chosen to let it die prematurely, and without a proper conclusion. I fear the worst, a time-travel story device to close the loop of the story. Or, an ending on an Earth that is not the Earth we know. Or, ending it on our Earth in the wrong era. A great show could end with a whimper, leaving audiences to feel empty rather than elated.

The HUGE mistake the show made was to jump the story ahead at the end of season 2 by 18 months. The creators and writers may have felt this was risky and bold and gave them new creative opportunities, but it really just felt like bad sex to a discriminating viewer - needlessly rushed. And, if the Cylons agreed to live with the humans on New Caprica, why do they still hunt them now? The Cylons had the chance to exterminate the majority of the humans while pinned down on that planet and did not, yet as of the end of the 3rd season there is no declaration as to the Cylon and human fates being inextricably intertwined. Why do the Cylons want to go to Earth? We should have been given some indication by now.

The "stand-alone" episodes have all been pretty weak, but especially in season 3. First, why have them at all? The story is a one big arc - why digress at all -why break it up? Below are the weakest of the stand-alone episodes from season 3. Hopefully they won't do any more during season 4.

308 - backstory of pilot "Bulldog" who escaped Cylons and was years earlier abandoned by Adama on a secret mission that perhaps had something to do with provoking the new Cylon attack (some insight into the past but overall it was a marginal episode)

309 Unfinished Business - Boxing, flashbacks to New Caprica (the boxing was stupid - the dialogue and the contrived conflicts. Why would Adama say such things to Tyrol and why would he be so resentful? That did not gel - and strangely, this episode is a fan favorite)

314 The Woman King - Helo-centric story (and he's a dull character) about the Sagitarrons being persecuted

315 A Day in the Life - Tyrol and Callie are in danger/Adama remembers his wife (the flashback to Adama with his wife wasn't very insightful nor moved the story ahead, and the trapped-in-the-airlock subplot was weak)

316 Dirty Hands - Labor Dispute (Completely relevent, but the episode fell pretty flat - we should have seen the food being processed, the water being treated, the clothes being made, how people lived on other ships, etc. - but did not. A throwaway episode, one you'll skip on the DVD)

317 Maelstrom - Starbuck 'dies' (Ah, where to begin: we didn't really get to know if she was hallucinating, really experiencing things, and why the vortex is so important. Further, the representation of the vortex was washed out of its color compared to the artwork version of it and rendered uninteresting rather than being revelatory as with Roslin looking at the recon images of Kobol [the best moment in the whole series]).

They better do a good job of revealing why Loeben and Kara are destined to be together and why the backstory with Kara's mother is relevent in season 4. Among Season 3 episodes, only Exodus, Eye of Jupiter-Rapture, and Crossroads really felt as good as seasons 1 and 2. Moore, Eick and the writers simply couldn't recover from the idiotic jump ahead in the story when they advanced it 18 months in the timeline at the end of season 2.

How BSG will come full circle to the level of sophistication in the storytelling that kicked off the show in the miniseries and season 1 and nearly all of season 2 and a few places in season 3 is not certain. I hope for the best. Some very talented people work on the show.

It seems pretty obvious what needs to happen in the story: civil war on both sides; Roslin dying just before getting to Earth; Adama finally stepping up as the central hero; Baltar's megalomania transforming him into a true villain; most of the humanoid Cylons aligning with the humans - including most of the Four; the reveal of the Final Cylon [Roslin or Baltar - no other character has the heft]; and a final battle near Earth, etc. ... and how the show needs to end (at Earth 1500 B.C.) But I just don't think they'll get it right. As much as RM may love that Dylan song, it traps them in a wrong avenue for taking the story. If they reference it directly they'll ruin the show. It it's left as mere unexplained atmosphere, there is a chance of recovery.

Fingers crossed. I do so love the show.

Ironically the show will grow substantially in audience for the new season (even if NBC doesn't broadcast it as replacement programming due to the writers' very justified strike), as a tipping point was reached in the last year in which the average viewer has been clued in by those in-the-know to watch it and the audience may grow 25%-50% and Moore and Eick will be in a weird position of planning for the end of a show with a growing audience.

Final Cylon Must be Roslin or Baltar

If the final Cylon is not Baltar or Roslin, we are being cheated. [Updated comments 7.28.08] And it looks like we will be. None of the lesser characters not pictured in the so-called Last Supper portrait released for PR purposes prior to Season 4's broadcast debut will suffice. Gaeta or Dualla are most likely, but It will be a massive letdown if it isn't Roslin or Baltar. Others in the blogosphere have pointed out that the Caprica spinoff has Dualla's family being tied to the Adamas. At the ComicCon in San Diego [7.27.08] David Eick joked that when picking the Final Four they went back-and-forth between Gaeta and Anders and chose Anders, so Gaeta may still end up the Final Cylon.

The writers have foreshadowed Roslin twice (she felt something in her head prior to Cylons doing something - once at the brig and at the end of Season 3 in Galactica's C&C). Baltar makes a much more interesting Final Cylon - think Doctor Daystrom and the M-5 in the original Star Trek.

Obviously civil war breaks out among the humans and among the Cylons, with a melding of some of the Cylons with some of the humans. Most likely the Brother Cavils will emerge as the main bad guys who still seek the genocide of humans. [Predicted correctly]

D'Anna will be the one to lead them to Earth, not Kara. D'Anna is now the enlightened one and she will lead the faction of Cylons that allies with the humans who survive. [D'Anna played a part "The Three gives you the Five," according to the Hybrid] It is the Cylon Centurions, sent by the female Hybrid, who awaken her. [It was actually a Cavil who brought her back]

There will be a great final battle - probably at the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. [It is coming - sounds like in the last few eps - but where is YTD]All of the metal models will die there and all of the Cylon ships will be destroyed or die there. Several of the Cylon models will die and most of the humans in the Colonial Fleet will perish as well. The asteroid belt is significant because this is the place the virus which kills the Cylons resides - a natural barrier to the Cylons ever reaching Earth. The handful of Cylons who do make it to Earth must join with humans in that special way to gain the antibodies needed for protection against the virus. [YTD]

Adama finally steps forward as the active hero - taking upon himself all of the leadership responsibilities as Roslin fades. [YTD and very much in doubt now that they gave him a nervous breakdown]

The CYLON PLAN: To break the cycles of time. They feel trapped. The winning side in the Cylon civil war believes they must do anything to break the cycle, which includes allying with the right humans in the right combination so that time can be free from the feedback loop in which humans and Cylons are trapped. [YTD - it looks for now that they are going to simply ignore "the Plan"]

Kara's Vortex: A small black hole or wormhole perhaps (even though science has now discredited wormholes as a possibility [ref: Stephen Hawking]) - which made her travel possible from the atmospheric "deck" of that vortex planet. The flashbacks (Mother)? Hmmm. Don't know what they're doing with that, and, frankly, don't care much. Starbuck should have dreams all right: of another cycle of time – she can see a different past or future (not sure which) in which she is with Loeben as his mate. [YTD - instead it sound from ComicCon spoilers of the 4.5 trailer that Kara and Lee reunite]

Baltar becomes a true villian - in the full grip of his megalomania - and James Callis gets to chew some scenery again! [Predicted correctly - at least partially]

Origin of the Cylons is revealed: We'll see a flashback of an AI (artificial intelligence) program becoming sentient and having machines build other machines. [YTD]

Roslin becomes a zealot, convinced that she must immerse herself into Scripture and Kamala, and gain insight to find the path to Earth - we'll get more cool dream sequences (are there ever enough of those?). [Partially correct - so far ... and by D'Anna keeping Roslin close, perhaps Roslin is the Fifth after all]

The only correct way to end the story is around 1500 B.C. in the eastern Mediterranean - Ron Moore and David Eick must resolve why the Earth Greek God structure is meaningful to the Colonies. Research Minoan culture and the eruption of Santorini and you'll begin to get the picture ... for example: Greek mythology immortalized Crete and Knossos with its legends. According to the Greeks, Mount Ida (on Crete) was the location where Rhea, the Earth Mother [Hybrid?], gave birth to Zeus [Baltar?]. He was fed by nature a diet of honey and goat’s milk, was tended by a group of nymphs[see Episode 1, Season 4], and was guarded by an army of youths against his father, Cronus [Adama?], whose reign was threatened by Zeus’ existence. Zeus fathered a son, Minos, who became the King of Knossos, Crete, and the rest of the Aegean. And that is just one possibility. My favorite scenario is a thriving Atlantis - the island of Santorini before it blew up - figuring prominently in the ending. Various of the surviving characters would be perceived as godlike by the locals and thus could give rise to the Greek gods structure and legends.


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