Thursday, August 16, 2007

In a galaxy so close to home...

I've been discovering Battlestar Galactica (not the dire 1970s Star Wars rip off but the new Sci Fi/Sky TV series) and it's riveting stuff.

I've read a couple of pieces on this series - which hasn't made it to terrestrial TV over here yet - which whetted my appetite so when I found the whole of season 1 ridiculously cheap in the HMV sale, I thought 'why not'.

The guy behind this revival cut his teeth on Star Trek - so the space sequences and battles are well done. But nothing prepares you for the politics of it. Here is mainstream US TV addressing issues of war with unseen enemies, suicide bombings, how much civil liberties can be sacrificed in the name of security, etc. One episode takes place on a prison ship where all the inmates are in cages wearing orange boiler suits. The scripts are sharp and the characters are pretty well drawn - at least they seem to be people of depth and contradiction.

Oh and everyone's religious. The humans worship a pantheon of gods, the cylons, who have now evolved 'human' characteristics, are fundamentalist monotheists. So, in the midst of battle, theological discussion ensures, people pray for deliverance, others stress that everything that happens is willed by God or the gods.

If you've not seen it, it's worth checking out.

5 comments:

Geoff Colmer said...

Like you I got hooked by a similar offer and tonight we watch the final episode of the first series, having already bought series two in anticipation - riveting stuff with loads for theological reflection. I didn't really expect to get into this sort of sci-fi, but a recommendation to watch the Firefly series around Christmas time paved the way for some expansion. Say 'Hi!' to Jonathan S. Grace and peace, Geoff

Janice said...

Hello Simon. We knew each other at Manchester university and our birthdays are next door to one another. It's good to see you enjoying life and being so well-read (still) and thoughtful(still) and clever (still). But more so... Marvellous. Janice

simon said...

Hey Janice, how are you? what are you doing? Thanks for stopping by.

Janice said...

um... don't want to say too much where the whole world can see it, but.... four children aged 11-26. Eldest (Matt)living in Leicester nr Cradock, having studied History there. At the uni that is, nit the Cradock. Mind you... Next one, Alex, living in Manchester having done Linguistics degree there. Em (same age, 21,as yr eldest?)studying Art at Salford. Ellie about to take up Drama scholarship. I'm working for Cheshire Music Advisory as vocal animateur and on Singing Advisory group for Howard Goodall & DfES & teaching music in a high school & performing... writing - articles & songs - the novel is next! Your sermons and cafe church stuff sound very creative. My belieifs are very different these days!Is Jonathan S Jon Savage? I'm recently in touch with Judie and Ba. Can you remember the collective name you gave us?

simon said...

fantastic - I love it when old friends achieve so much. email on its way!