I found 1KSTWD kind of uneven and even a little meandering, but I didn’t hate reading it and would probably give it another try. Also in the pile are Teenagers From Mars, Birth of a Nation, and A Contract With God, so the catching-up continues.
For some reason or another, I was pretty wiped out Friday night, so the Best Wife Ever stayed up until 11:30 watching the season finale of “Battlestar Galactica.” After a Saturday’s worth of “I wish you would watch the tape already so we could talk about it,” I finally watched it today, and I have to say, it took a pretty giant step towards getting back into my good graces. SPOILERS FOLLOW, of course.
Pretty much since the beginning, the whole Baltar/Six subplot has really annoyed me. Most of that is frustration at Baltar’s incompetence continually being concealed, so now that he appears to be completely exposed, that part of his arc seems to be at an end. Baltar may have been a tragic, misunderstood figure at the beginning of the series, but by now he is almost beyond redemption, and I look forward to his comeuppance, if not outright villainy.
Watching the end of the episode also made me remember the 1978 “Galactica” pilot, whose discussion of settling on a viable planet ended with a Cylon ambush. It’s a compliment to the current show that I wondered whether it would devote a substantial series of episodes to planetside society, much like it has allowed the Pegasus to stick around. The Best Wife Ever considers the show more interesting (“more like Star Trek,” in fact, which I know would cause many “Galactica” buffs to clutch their chests and/or rend their garments) when the fleet is in space exploring, not stuck in orbit.
And since I mentioned Star Trek, the occupation of New Caprica and the flight of the fleet (har har) also produced strong echoes of the Cardassian/Dominion occupation of Deep Space Nine. Here as there, I expect that the fleet will liberate the planet and restore some kind of familiar status quo, but instead of this being a temporary cliffhanger stunt, I get the feeling that it is more of a thought-experiment by the producers. “What if Baltar did win? What if they did colonize a planet?” Here are the answers, plus Lt. Castillo’s old mustache and Tigh in a Floyd R. Turbo hat.
I do want to clarify that my satisfaction with the current cliffhanger doesn’t stem from any familiarity or dumbing-down of the series. I’m not going to say that the familiar elements were handled with irony, because that probably reads too much into them. Moreover, I don’t think the show will change Baltar’s character enough to make him an outright black-hatted villain, like his ’70s predecessor. I am glad the show seems to have taken a few big steps forward while leaving room for its original premise to remain valid, and that’s why I’ll still be watching in October.
Until then, it looks like we’ll get the new “Dr. Who.” Apparently the rest of the world loves this show, so I hope it’s not wrong.