Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons We’ll Miss It
Tonight we said goodbye to the most significant science fiction series on television. Great sci-fi like this only seems to come around one or twice a decade. It won’t be easily replaced now that it’s gone.
The finale wasn’t perfect, but it was an amazing way to say goodbye to the characters who have, if you’ve had the good sense to be watching, so deeply impacted all of our lives. For a detailed recap of the finale, go here. I’m not here to rehash it, I’m here to eulogize it, to laud it, to celebrate one of the greatest things ever to grace your television, and remember all the wonderful ways in which we’ll miss it. BSG is gone and there’s no replacing it.
We’ll miss… drinks with Adama and Tigh. Sure Starbuck could really knock them back but when Adama and Tigh got together to hash something out over a bottle of scotch it was an event. Their late night drink sessions were symbols of what it really means to be a man. Their friendship was unbreakable and in those rare times when it seemed about to break nothing cured it like a bottle full of sweet nectar, maybe take a few swings at each other, and then spend a night passed out on the floor. If you’re a real man, then grab a bottle of whiskey and guzzle it down in honor of Admiral William Adama and Colonel Saul Tigh.
We’ll miss… the battlestar Galactica. She’s one of the great design and imagination marvels of science fiction. While almost every other starship ever created was designed with either firepower or exploration in mind, the grand old Battlestar was designed with one true purpose: Dispensing deadly Viper fighters. She’s the first properly realized aircraft carrier in space and she’s beautiful in all her creaking, aging, rusting glory. There’s never been a ship like Galactica, with her endless metal halls, her dimly lit bar, her vast cargo holds filled with techs and refugees and soldiers. She was for a time both a protector and a home. She gave her life to give the people aboard her a future.
We’ll miss… Six’s red dress. And not just the dress but the way Tricia Helfer fit into it. We sci-fi geeks have had our share of outer space babes to lust over but seriously, none of them can hold a candle to Six in that frakking red dress. Or better still on the none too rare occasions when Six stepped completely out of it. For a show as dark and gritty as BSG was, it was at times also incredibly sexy. This was televised science fiction made, for perhaps the first time in history, entirely for adults. Adults have sex and BSG was never afraid to jump in the sack.
We’ll miss… riding a Viper straight into hell. BSG made space combat exciting, frenetic, and full of energy. It felt like real combat. The camera was used to suck you in, bring you in alongside the Galactica’s half-mad space jockeys and let you feel the out of control danger of what they were doing. In BSG’s hands space had an edge. While the show was focused primarily on drama and character, it never shied away from blasting the frak out of everything in the general vicinity when the moment called for it. It refused to be hemmed in by the small screen, never has anything on television felt bigger and more cinematic.
We’ll miss… the chemistry between Starbuck and Apollo. I never really bought into the whole love triangle thing the show’s writers tried to force them into, but there’s no denying that whenever they got together, whether to kiss or punch each other in the head, something special happened. Their relationship, in whatever state it happened to be in at the time, always seemed to be the center of the show. Over time other dynamics grew up around them but it’s always been Starbuck and Apollo. The next time you see them together Lee will talk with a British accent and Kara will call him Jamie as they reminisce about old times together on the set. That’s just not going to cut it. I like my Apollo American and with a ridiculously chiseled chin, and I like my Starbuck pissed, drunk and ready to frak the world.
We’ll miss… wondering whether we’re cylons. For the first few seasons especially, it seemed like anyone at any minute could turn out to be a murderous robot. Later in the show things got taken even further, until Ron Moore had us, the viewers wondering if even we, sitting at home in our living rooms wearing Snuggies, might actually be cylons ourselves. Worse, even after we knew who the cylons were you could never be sure which ones you could trust. Is that Boomer walking towards me with a gun or is it Athena? And if it is Athena are we sure she doesn’t share the same thoughts as Boomer? How did Helo deal with this crap? Now the mysteries is solved and the next time you encounter a cylon it’ll probably while watching reruns of Xena: Warrior Princess. Though I do have this friend named Daniel…
We’ll miss… politics… in space! Somehow political intrigue gets more interesting when it’s surrounded by an airless void. While America’s political process puts most people to sleep, watching Laura Roslin battle it out on the political playing field against the likes of Gaius Baltar and devious Tom Zarek was a thrill. The fascinating thing about BSG’s political landscape is that it always came in so many shades of grey. Even now I’m still not sure whether Gaius Balter was a villain or a hero. Most of the characters in BSG’s world, even the worst ones like Cavill, were a little bit of both. That kind of moral complexity is something you’ll almost certainly never get anywhere else.
We’ll miss… the perfect score. Before BSG began it’s run on television I had no idea who Bear McCreary was. Now he’s in regular rotation on my iPod. His music, as much as the show’s visuals, had a hand in giving this small screen product such a big screen, cinematic feel. Episode in and out, BSG soared on music worthy of Hollywood’s biggest, longest epics, but compacted down into under an hour. Every piece of music is more unique and different than the next, yet they all scream indelibly: Battlestar Galactica.
We’ll miss… imaginary friends. Gaius Baltar made talking to yourself cool again. Of course it’s only cool if your imaginary partner is as ridiculously sexy as Caprica Six. His weird and often hilarious conversations with a non-existent entity were from the beginning, a hallmark of the show. Even after so much of the mystery around BSG had been solved we were still left wondering what the frak was going on inside Baltar’s head. Now the show’s over and we still don’t really know? Doe it matter? Who wouldn’t want a Caprica Six inside their head?
We’ll miss… the Sci Fi Channel Now that BSG is over with the channel has little else worth watching left. They seem to know it, since in the near future they’re changing their format and their name to become something else. Unless you’re some sort of Stargate nut odds are that most of us will simply tune out, at least until the spinoff show Caprica finally shows up. Should you tune in, you’ll have to endure their intentionally misspelled new name on flashy, all-genre compassing logos. Even if the channel never really delivered on the promise of dedicated itself to Science Fiction, having a place like that out there was at least, fun while it lasted. Rest in peace SciFi, SyFy just isn’t going to cut it.
We’ll miss… Gaeta’s singing. And his desperate struggle to do the right thing, even though he gets it wrong. And Dee’s desperate struggle to find something positive to hold on to, to make something out of this life… even though she failed. And Brother Cavill’s bitter cynicism and Three’s crazed quest for knowledge and Anders courage and Tyrol’s humanity and Ellen’s crazy bitch scheming and even Cally, goddamn stupid annoying Cally and her idiotic whining. We’ll miss you Battlestar Galactica, the good, the bad, the depressing, the uplifting, the gripping, the amazing must see television you gave us from which we simply could not turn away.