Friday, 13 February 2009

Battle Star Galactica (Spoiler Free)

Political bloggers tend to be geeks. So there has been lots of discussion of Battlestar Galactica among American blogs recently. Including a series of letters to the editor of fleet newspapers about the latest events in season four.

I wrote my own letter to the editor over at Alas. I won't post it here, because obviously many people won't have seen the new episodes. But if you have (or dont' mind spoilers) my view of the BSG world is here

Note please keep discussion in this thread only to episodes that have aired in New Zealand.


Carol said...

Cool! BSG is back on NZ TV!

Also I appreciate you creating a thread here that is spoiler free for those of us watching eps on NZTV for the 1st time. I'm very happy to wait for such programmes to get to NZ FTA TV. But I find it frustrating that mostly NZ discussions online focus on the latest eps available in the US and online. I don't understand why Kiwis who keep up with the US airings, don't just join the international discussions.

Though this tends to leave few kiwis who want to discuss the NZ eps.

Carol said...

Hmmm. Well it was the first half of Razor tonight, not season 4. But.... gee... A fascist lesbian cabal. I hope they do something to move on from this negative stereotype in part 2.

Otherwise, all this has been done before and (unfortunately), will no doubt be done again in the future.

Julie said...

I have never quite joined the bit torrenting revolution, although I have benefited from friends who have. Haven't seen any BSG 4 yet so hanging out for Friday nights now, and being oddly grateful that having a baby is a good excuse to stay in :-)

The first bit of Razor last night was a good reminder (I saw the whole of Razor ages ago). I didn't see the brunette 6 as an evil lesbian, more as someone who took advantage of Kane's lonely position, given her leadership style. 6's purpose, in her various incarnations, seems to be largely about her sexual power to get close to people with resources/information/roles that the Cylons need to access, regardless of their gender.

But I can completely see the frustration - homosexuality is so under-represented in sci-fi, and when it is it seems to be part of a bigger meme of Villain. Which sucks. Watching Razor I became quite sympathetic to Kane in many ways, and Kendra Shaw by extension as her legacy. I'll be interested to see what you think of it once you've seen the whole thing Carol :-)

Craig Ranapia said...

Hmmm. Well it was the first half of Razor tonight, not season 4. But.... gee... A fascist lesbian cabal. I hope they do something to move on from this negative stereotype in part 2.


To get all pedantic for a bit, isn't it logistically tricky to have a cabal of one? :) And if you want to make the case that there's homophobia (with a dash of misogyny) in play in BSG, then I think you also got to argue that heterosexuals and/or men are somehow idealised or privileged. I'd just say that I don't think this is a show that deals in white hats vs. black hats, full stop.

I also find it rather interesting that when Kendra guesses the Admiral and Gina are lovers, her reaction isn't homophobic or a defensive assertion of her own (presumed) heterosexuality to Gina. She's more surprised that someone she's always pictured as a hard-arse military officer has time for a relationship.

And like Julie, I felt an enormous amount of sympathy for Cain -- without ever being allowed to forget that she did truly heinous things -- arguably even was guilty of war crimes, mass murder and high treason. Far from being a homophobic presentation of an "unnatural" dyke twisted by trespassing on male territory, we're forced to see a complex character who is confronted with hard choices, and the consequences of bad ones. Very far from a "fascist lesbian" or some martinet from the Big Book of Narrative Clichés.

An interesting parallel in the mini-series, is that nobody expresses any surprise that a woman had become President -- but everyone does a double take at the position being held by the Secretary of Education (who is 43rd in the line of succession!) I might be over-thinking things a bit, but it could be dry joke about how teachers aren't valued.

Craig Ranapia said...

And while it's a delightful novelty that we might see the last ten episodes of BSG before the DVDs are released, I'd actually recommend seeing 'Razor' on DVD.

For various reasons, the producers were contractually obliged to recut the movie into two episodes. The lost of sixteen minutes -- including a sequence showing what happened to Helena Cain on the last day of the Cylon War, and the loss of her sister -- shows.

backin15 said...

Great there's no spoilers. I'm up to date but promise I'll not ruin it for others with any of my comments.

Craig's very insightful comments reflect my own views about this, although I've not thought about it greatly. The depiction of the queer community is miniscule and I appreciate that what coverage there is, particularly in a popular series, will attract a lot of interest.

I'll track down the extended Razor as I've not seen this footage.

Kain's not a likable character I agree. The contrast between her an Adama Snr (but more particularly Lee Adama) is a little cartoonish although you'll remember Adama Snr led a military coup so he's not a complete cleanskins.

Regarding Julie's comment on torrenting, I have belatedly joined this revolution. My rationalisation is that I don't have the SciFi channel (which is who screens BSG in Australia) and am sick of FTV mucking about with shows I like. The Sopranos was the clincher for me. Nine moved it all over the show before scheduling it ridiculously late. FTV needs to improve its act markedly if it wishes to survive (in my home at least).

Julie said...

That sucks that they cut that bit out of the episodic version of Razor, it is really integral to understanding Kain (Kane, Cane, whatever!).

What did you think of the second bit on Friday night Carol? I missed it but would be interested in your thoughts as I have seen the whole thing previously.