Posted by: Ken Brown | January 23, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Season 3

Battlestar Galactica, which will begin its fourth season in March, has long been one of my wife and my favorite shows. I absolutely loved the first season (see here for why), and the second was also excellent, but I was not so sure about the third season. Like the first two, it continued to force its characters into uncomfortable moral quandaries and beg its viewers to decide for themselves whether the right choices have been made. It also continued to weave together intriguing storylines, leading up to a fantastic season finale (e.g. I loved the whole music-Cylons subplot; if you’ve seen the show, you know what I mean). Even so, at times the episodes weren’t as exciting as I had come to expect, and I felt like some of the theological undercurrents had disappeared.

In an excellent pair of posts at Church of the Masses, here and here (spoiler warning!), Catholic screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi provides some engaging discussion of these issues. She admits that she also found herself disappointed with the third season, but upon second viewing she realized that the problem wasn’t the show itself, which was as brilliant as ever. Rather, she had allowed herself to look for a Cinderella/soap-opera kind of story, in a show that admirably refuses to provide one. Looking deeper, Nicolosi points out an impressive theological trajectory to the season’s central plot-line (centering on Kara and Lee). Perhaps I’m not as bright as she is, but the “obvious bunch of connections” she describes were anything but obvious to me. Fascinating!

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the link, Ken! I’m happy to keep discovering all the smart people out there who are fans of BSG. It’s a great show.

    Um, so say we all!

  2. Greetings! I am a BG enthusiast – loved the original series (despite its heavy Mormon underpinnings) – hated Galactica 1980 (cheesy!). I was all for the re-imagining motif of the mini-series. I think that a re-imagined Star Trek would revive the series. I agree that season one was spectacular. I felt that Season 2 got a bit “soap-operish”, but feel that it is returning in a big way to what made it successful. Razor was an exceptional peice of work and the preview for Season 4 shows tremendous promise for the show moving darker into what is to be the greates series finale of all time (sorry about being a BG geek).

    Theologically, I have found no other show that reveals the consequences of actions. I feel that the show develops well the tension of life and attemtping to reconcile moral actions to resolve difficulties. Shortcuts never work and its not only the “red shirts” that die. Although I did not initially like the episode “The Woman, King” I have come to appreciate the complexity of the plot line. BG is sure to be a series that will reveal deeper meaning once it ends and is seen several times. You definitely cnanot say that about any other show that I can remember (outside of Mork and Mindy of course!). Sorry to take up so much space and appreciate your thoughts.

    Mark

  3. Hey Mark, thanks for commenting! I’m a bit too young for the original BSG (though I have seen reruns of a few episodes), but the new miniseries sucked me in – fantastic. I agree that the show does an excellent job of not only presenting difficult moral choices, but also allowing the full consequences of bad decisions to play themselves out. That they are able to combine this with important redemptive elements makes the show great.

    What I especially love, however, is the way they have left room for genuine divine action (not just a vague spirituality), including real prophecies, answers to prayer, even miracles. As I noted here, that is tragically rare on television these days, and it’s great to see it on the SciFi channel, of all places.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. BTW, you have a great blog, Barbara! Thanks for stopping by as well!

  5. Thanks…were you able to see Razor? If so, what were your thoughts. As April approaches, I’ll keep your blog in mind and perhaps we can banter about the final season. God bless.

  6. Hey Mark, I did watch Razor, but I’m really not sure what I think about it. The flashbacks didn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, and certainly did nothing to raise my opinion of Admiral Cain, but Shaw’s storyline was engaging, and the revelation about Kara is intruiging. In short, I found it interesting, but certainly not my favorite episode to date. To be honest, though, I was very busy when it aired and didn’t give it as much attention as I could have, so I’d be curious to hear what you liked so much about it

  7. it’s nice to see other folks out there who appreciate this show from the God-talk angle. great blog! blessings.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Carmen, I enjoy your blog as well!


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