Site Meter

Battlestar Galactica Interview

You may also like...

37 Responses

  1. Adam Kolber says:

    This looks great! Kudos to all.

    I’m watching season 2 right now. Will the interview have many spoilers?

  2. Colin Miller says:

    This is a really interesting endeavour. Thanks a lot. I’m just finishing up an article about the admissibility of duplicates under Federal Rule of Evidence 1003, and I have a dicussion of the first season episode “Six Degrees of Separation” as echoing society’s current fear about the ease with which media can be digitally manipulated. Moore and Eick have done a terrific job at capturing post-9/11 America in their show.

  3. Adam Mossoff says:

    I love the Sci Fi Channel’s rendition of BSG, and I think it’s great that Concurring Opinions has done these interviews. Great job!

  4. Steve Vladeck says:

    John Ip and I had a conversation about six weeks ago wondering about the percentage of law professors under the age of 40 who are BSG fans, given the high anecdotal evidence we had in support… This (wonderful) post only furthers our suspicions, and I suspect there’s a future post in here about why we, in particular, skew toward Starbuck, Six, and the rest of the gang…

  5. David Ross says:

    Can we have a transcript?

  6. Thomas Hart says:

    I’m afraid that I’m less than enthralled by BSG. As SF it is not fully imagined. It’s a hodge-podge of half-baked ideas. One glaring example is FTL travel for both fleet sized ships and fighters, but the absence of kinetic energy weapons that are capable of mass destruction without fallout. Nor is there any understanding of how technology transfer works. Nor is there any real understanding of computer science. Adama refuses to network his computers within his ship because he’s afraid of outside penetration. Think about this for a minute. The ship network would be as isolated as a single computer until the minute it was connected to a router making a connection between networks. If Adama maintains an isolated intra-ship network, his net is completely safe from Cylon penetration up until the moment his network goes extra-ship by making that connection to the router. So the writers messed up big time on that point.

    I’ve got a list of objections to BSG over in the archive section of my blog, ranging from the inadequacy of its SF world, to the political/military.

    I am looking forward to the president getting Adama and the rest of the group who committed treason, by overthrowing her government, into a room, and executing the lot of them.

    I doubt whether that will happen.

  7. Jim Rockford says:

    I thought BSG failed on pretty much all levels in depicting a fight for survival. It’s not even recognizable human behavior.

    To take one example, Moore seems intent on preserving PC assumptions than examining human behavior. The humans go from 50 billion to 50,000 people, and their fighter pilots include women of child-bearing age? Ridiculous PC assumptions. As would be caring about terrorism on a dead planet, allowing abortion, or caring about torture.

    People under survival pressure will do anything and have done anything to survive. Comfortable PC moralisms get thrown out the window first thing and the Law matters little. Only what helps or hinders survival.

    If anything BSG is the kicking and screaming of a PC-ridden elite who see that PC and Multiculturalism will go out the window with the modern era of mass terror. A cartoonist in an obscure newspaper prints something that Muslims don’t like, and “boom!” there goes Copenhagen or NYC. And soon enough, “boom” goes Pakistan or Iran right back.

  8. Bruce Boyden says:

    Jim, so if I understand you correctly, you don’t like BSG because it doesn’t criticize Pakistan? The spectrum of television you would enjoy seems pretty narrow.

  9. media girl says:

    I think Jim prefers the world of Children of Men. Now there is un-PC human behavior. Enslave the women, torture the dissidents. Yeah, now that’s a story Jim can sink his teeth into. Right?

  10. Buckaroo says:

    Jim-

    Your ideas are actually discussed quite thoroughly in BSG, mostly under the guise of Admiral Cain’s Pegasus. The Galactica/Pegasus dynamic is very much about which is more important- the survival of a sentient species, or it’s culture(s).

    Spoiler Alert-

    Things didn’t go so well for Cain.

  11. Buckaroo says:

    Jim-

    Your ideas are actually discussed quite thoroughly in BSG, mostly under the guise of Admiral Cain’s Pegasus. The Galactica/Pegasus dynamic is very much about balancing the survival of a sentient species and preservation of its culture(s).

    Spoiler Alert-

    Things didn’t go so well for Cain.

  12. Buckaroo says:

    And while I’m thinking about it, the problem with the geopolitical philosophy of someone like Jim is that it overlooks a simple real-world issue.

    The example Jim describes (newspapers printing something Muslim extremists don’t like) happens every day. New York, Copenhagen, Pakistan, and Iran are all still, here, and (largely) with their powder dry.

    BSG is about more than just survival- in no small part it’s about the modern human struggle to balance our fear over the world we understand ending with a fundamental human need to understand ‘the other’.

    The more that I think about it, it’s not so much Cain that you’re sounding like- it’s the Cylons.

  13. william says:

    I secoond Jim Rockford’s thoughts. From what I’ve read the preferred instrument of torture of AQ is a power drill. I don’t know how many movies I’ve seen where the bad guys go medieval on the good guys and use water boarding as a means of toture. I’ve never seen the bad guys use a power drill. I wonder if Hollywood knows who the bad guys are.

  14. william says:

    I secoond Jim Rockford’s thoughts. From what I’ve read the preferred instrument of torture of AQ is a power drill. I don’t know how many movies I’ve seen where the bad guys go medieval on the good guys and use water boarding as a means of toture. I’ve never seen the bad guys use a power drill. I wonder if Hollywood knows who the bad guys are.

  15. moshy says:

    to me Jim is on the right track- what struck me was that after 12 worlds full of people being slaughtered and individually very few or no loved ones left society would have taken a much bigger hit than is depicted. The civilians would be as bad as Cain (good name there) and the military would be worse- go find mythical earth or kill every last one of those who killed billions of us? no contest there.

    However it’s a great story and i’m willing to suspend my disbelief in human nature and router security. seeing Kara and hearing what she said at the end of (you know) really choked me up in a way unmatched by any other tv or movie except for firefly/serenity.

  16. Katie says:

    go find mythical earth or kill every last one of those who killed billions of us? no contest there.

    Well, but how exactly are they supposed to do it? They weren’t choosing between fleeing and revenge; they were choosing between fleeing and extinction, which changes the picture somewhat.

    And William, shows like BSG are interesting precisely because they explore moral ambiguities rather than simply being torture porn showing us what we already think is evil. Besides, the bad guys in BSG don’t “go medieval” on the good guys through waterboarding; the good guys do it to the “bad guys” (i.e., it’s a technique the humans have used on the cylons.)

  17. Bruce Boyden says:

    William, I don’t know about others, but the last thing I want to see in a movie or television show is realistic torture. There’s plenty of dreck in theaters that does that, and I avoid it like the plague.

    However, although I still don’t agree with it, Ilya Somin’s version of this point over at Volokh Conspiracy strikes me as reasonable.

  18. maryd says:

    I have to echo Thomas Hart’s comments, Battlestar never won me over either. Thomas points out several of the Sci Fi elements lacking in the show, but I’d also add that if it’s to be sold as a “drama” as well as a Sci Fi show, it needs to have characters that I care about and I just never cared about these people. Rather than just being some average people who happen to have “some baggage” from their pre-holocaust lives, they all seemed to be TOO defined by their dysfunctions. For example, the President was defined by having cancer but when they “cured” it, she had nothing to do. We have the bratty hot-shot pilot who had a sad childhood that somehow explains her bratty behavior, the CAG with “daddy issues” and his “daddy” is the Commanding Officer of the fleet, the drunk XO, the mad scientist who has sex with a vision in his head etc. Doesn’t read like a “great drama” to me but more like a soap-opera cast. And watching these uninteresting people deal with subjects that should be interesting didn’t make me think about the subject at hand, just how incredibly stupid these people are. And the Cylons aren’t any better, in fact they are just as uninteresting. So yeah, the show brought up some interesting topics on paper but what appeared on the screen fell flat for me.

  19. william says:

    Is genocide worse than apartheid? Is water boarding worse than being tortured with a power drill? Is equality more conducive to human happiness than freedom? Will Hollywood deal with a moral dilemna for which they do not have an easy answer?

  20. Fen says:

    Gents, outstanding work on RAZOR. You’ve accurately captured a leadership dilemma thats been taken for granted – we stain our souls with blood so that others have the luxury to discuss morality.

    Cane’s story is about self-sacrifice. Example: you either use torture to save 10 million innocent New Yorkers from being nuked, or keep your hands “clean” and let it happen, resulting in another 10 million innocents in Tehran being nuked in retaliation. Either choice will leave you waking from nightmares for the rest of your life.

    Cane is not a monster. Someone has to make the hard calls so that others will survive. Sure, the “not responsible” crowd will denounce her… but these are the same people who take a “righteous” stand against waterboarding, with a wink/nod that if their city is ever at risk, someone (like Cane) will violate the law and save their butt. Its so easy to be moral when nothing is at risk.

    Again, thanks for expending the energy to present RAZOR in more than the usual black & white simplistic morality nonsense we get from the entertainment industry these days. I’ll be buying the CD.

    Semper Fi

  21. Oddchoices says:

    Re: Fen’s Comments on admiral Cain.

    >>”Again, thanks for expending the energy to present RAZOR in more than the usual black & white simplistic morality nonsense we get from the entertainment industry these days.”

    since you invoke the simplicity of Hollywood but then cite:

    “Example: you either use torture to save 10 million innocent New Yorkers from being nuked, or keep your hands “clean” and let it happen, resulting in another 10 million innocents in Tehran being nuked in retaliation”

    Give me an example in history here torture has EVER resulted in such a successful outcome.

    While you’re at it I want three and references. Enough bullsh** about the ticking timebomb theory. We have had case after case of citizens tortured over suspicions that resulted in no useful information other than tp prove that people ill confess to anything under torture – poisoning the pool of information gleaned to the point of making it useless.

    End result…only pain and misinformation. And more torture since all sides now take part in it.

    Woo hoo…nice world. Next stop. Maybe your neighbor kills you to take over your wife and family because he wants to. Nature (Cain) only records that a family unit survived. Do you want to go there? I mean it’s only a simplistic thought experiment but perhaps as valid as the ticking timebomb.

    JB

    JB

  22. >>Cane is not a monster. Someone has to make the hard calls so that others will survive.

    I’m not sure you fully took the meaning of the story. Cain never made a hard call in her life. The extended DVD showed that, as a child, rather than take a minimal risk to double back a few feet and help her little sister up after she tripped while running to a shelter, she ran away and left her sister to die. Right after, I might add, her father said with his dying words that Cain had no other responsibility but see to the safety of her sister. Later, after the attack, rather than attempting to go along with an uncertain future, she decided the fate of her ship and crew would be suicide by cylon, because whether it took a week or a year, there is only one end her guerrilla war could’ve had. Her entire life had her make the morally costly decision regardless of whether it was right or not, because if she stopped equating the hard thing and the costly thing with the right thing and the necessary thing, she’d have to face the fact that she didn’t nobly sacrifice her sister so she herself could live to fight another day: she let her sister die because she was paralyzed by cowardice and couldn’t take the smallest of risks to herself. Hence she reason she rewarded Shaw for murdering an innocent women and then told her never to consider whether she made the right call or try to learn from the experience.

    As for the lives she “saved,” she killed considerably more people that should’ve been her responsibility. Her decision to walk right into an obvious cylon trap killed 700 crew and scored a victory she herself deemed insignificant. Her decision to leave the civilian fleet they found to die killed about 10,000, assuming a similar population density to Galactica’s fleet. And her decision to torture and psychologically destroy Gina out of spite rather than interrogate her properly or execute her led to the deaths of 5,000 people when Gina committed suicide by nuclear weapon. So that’s about 15,700 needlessly killed versus 1,700 who were still alive when the Pegasus found Galactica. Cain killed an entire order of magnitude more people than she saved. And, as I said, they, too, would’ve died if Cain’s quest for vengeance hadn’t come to a premature end.

  23. moshy says:

    always faithful to what really matters. thank you Fen.

  24. Johan W says:

    Thomas Hart:

    I think you are rather spectacularly missing the point. Yes there are certain assumptions about the BSG universe that are not hard SF, but the assumptions are mostly sufficiently dramatically logical that they invite a willing suspension of belief provided one is not wholly hung up on scientific veracity. Of course the idea that artificial gravity is so seamless that even Raptors have their own field is even more incredible than FTL drives. Seamless artificial gravity is accepted because the cost and logistics of attempting SF in a space setting without that assumption is prohibitive.

    But the objection that there are FTL drives but not non fallout kinectic energy weapons seems to be a stupid one. What makes you think that the Cylons, to begin with, wanted to avoid their weapons having fallout ? I mean they were trying to wipe out humanity, fallout would have been a feature, not a bug. Obviously in space Fallout would not be a problem. The use of bullets and shells rather than some form of directed energy may make less sense, and was done for a grittier feel to the show.

    The objection to the Non Networked computers is equally silly and misses the point. The point was to illustrate that Human technology took a big backwards hit after the departure of the Cylons, some of it legally mandated. As for an onboard network being as isolated as a single computer, how do you figure this ? The show even goes as far as expositing that a Cylon attack would be accomplished through either the Radio Coms system or through the Dradis (Radar). You should probably not be criticising the writers when your critcisms are so poorly thought through.

    Jim Rockford:

    I hate PC pieties warping my drama as much as the next man, but I really think you are off base with BSG. The idea that in extremis people and cultures only do the most ruthlessly necessary to survive is massively refuted by some 5,000 years of recorded history. People regularly behave in self destructive ways, assuming that holding to their culture and norms in extremis is sometimes self destructive, and history is littered with the corpses of cultures that when faced with a choice of extinction or abandonement of their traditions and ways chose extinction. But, as has been pointed out the show really does explore those choices, in fact it is one of the major themes and propels much of the story line. From rationing medicine, to banning abortion, to simply requisitioning by force, to declaring martial law, executions without trial, attempting genocide, employing suicide bombers, contemplating abject surrender, torture, fraudulent elections, collective punishment, shooting cicvialian transports, abandoning those who can’t keep up – it is not the PC world of Star Trek, and very often the writers make the strong case even for the immoral action. I mean, have you even watched the show?

    To call it PC because in this world it has been the custom that Women serve in the front line and have long done so, and because the Society does not immediately transition to some sort of stepford wives arrangement is a failure of your imagination, not the writers. Leaving aside the problem that the survivors are desperately short of trained military personnel as it is and would find it very difficult to simply pull maybe half of those people off the line to make babies, it is not as if the show does not deal with the fertility issue, it deals with it all the time. Historically of course societies in extremis do not induce baby booms – WW2 was a baby bust – the boom occured in peacetime. This is based on the simple fact that at a minimum each new baby is a net drain on rescouces for a decade and a half, a society which is desperately fighting for survival will usually wait to settle that issue before weighing itself with so many extra burdens.

    BSG does seem to attract a certain amount of critics who are as vociferous as they are ignorant.

  25. Garrett J says:

    Jim:

    Battlestar Galactica is on the opposite end of the spectrum of political correctness. Case-in-point. The doctor smokes! He walks around the infirmary, dispensing medical information to cancer patients with a lit cigarette in his mouth.

    P.C. is Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Counselor Troi tells Mark Twain that the people of the future have become enlightened and given up smoking and upon seeing the wonders of the future, Mark Twain replies that some things would be worth giving up cigars for.

  26. Tom says:

    JB,

    Why do you think that it would be part of public record and available for public dissemination if someone, called BadGuy, has been succesfully tortured for info, what the info was, what actions were or were not taken as a result of the info, and finally who if anyone was killed, just so a Tranzi-Kosmo can look up said info, pass along to comrades of said BadGuy and allow for retaliation? Thats REALLY smart.

    Heres how the post sounds:

    Hey I want to feel warm and fuzzy about my Gubiment so I wanna know which one of our Citizens is keeping my lil ol butt free and safe at nite by hurting/maiming/killing BadGuys around the world thru torture and just to make me feel even better in my Warm N Fuzzy Bed let me (and ok I know I know, the BadGuys will also find out this info, and just in case they dont lets put it on overy PC/TV screen just so that they CANT miss it) know what plots were folied, how, when where and why, just so I feel OK. And no, the fact that intel can be inferred from said info being released to the Gen Pop, ie going back to BadGuys, doesnt make a lick o difference to me, Im Warm N Fuzzy in my Bed.

    Oh and please provide said info in triplicate, along with DNA, Xray, Biometric and any/all forms to Identify Citizens of U.S.A. that carried out such atrocities against poor and helpless BadGuys, I want to send a care package to a friend named Mohamed in Iran. Carry on, nothing to see here.

    Signed:

    Tranzi Kosmo Guy in USA(land I kinda love, not sure, lets hand it over to the rest of the world and find out how they can do with it)

    cc’d: International Court of Justice, The Hague, Brussels, Belgium (cause I can)

  27. Tom says:

    JB,

    Why do you think that it would be part of public record and available for public dissemination if someone, called BadGuy, has been succesfully tortured for info, what the info was, what actions were or were not taken as a result of the info, and finally who if anyone was killed, just so a Tranzi-Kosmo can look up said info, pass along to comrades of said BadGuy and allow for retaliation? Thats REALLY smart.

    Heres how the post sounds:

    Hey I want to feel warm and fuzzy about my Gubiment so I wanna know which one of our Citizens is keeping my lil ol butt free and safe at nite by hurting/maiming/killing BadGuys around the world thru torture and just to make me feel even better in my Warm N Fuzzy Bed let me (and ok I know I know, the BadGuys will also find out this info, and just in case they dont lets put it on overy PC/TV screen just so that they CANT miss it) know what plots were folied, how, when where and why, just so I feel OK. And no, the fact that intel can be inferred from said info being released to the Gen Pop, ie going back to BadGuys, doesnt make a lick o difference to me, Im Warm N Fuzzy in my Bed.

    Oh and please provide said info in triplicate, along with DNA, Xray, Biometric and any/all forms to Identify Citizens of U.S.A. that carried out such atrocities against poor and helpless BadGuys, I want to send a care package to a friend named Mohamed in Iran. Carry on, nothing to see here.

    Signed:

    Tranzi Kosmo Guy in USA(land I kinda love, not sure, lets hand it over to the rest of the world and find out how they can do with it)

    cc’d: International Court of Justice, The Hague, Brussels, Belgium (cause I can)

  28. Rick says:

    This show keeps getting better and better.

    I am so glad it has kept up.

  29. You should REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, compress those .wav’s into MP3′s.

  30. fascist bullyboy says:

    Yo Tom, I think he meant historically when has torture done what you suggest it does? Obviously the government isn’t going to give up that info now but in 50 years it will be public record. So going back 50 + years, what examples do you have. The Nazis tortured the hell outta some people but it didn’t seem to help them much in the end.

  31. graham says:

    Hmm. Yet the Nazi’s managed to subjugate most of a continent with their barbaric and cruel activities with little effort. Churchill’s call “to set Europe ablaze” to SOE and OSS was a strategic failure despite the courage of those involved.

    Barbarity can subdue entire populations and to suggest otherwise is missing the point of the 3rd (or was it 4th?) Punic War. Where is Carthage now?

  32. Liveware Problem says:

    I don’t know if BSG is a realistic portrayal of the struggle for survival after unprovoked robot-perpetrated interplanetary nuclear armageddon – history is not brimming with precedents for such a catastrophe. But in my opinion, we’ve seen the “Mad Max” scenario on film and TV more than enough. Whether you think it’s realistic or not, BSG makes an eloquent (and to me, entirely plausible) argument against the popular idea that totally selfish disregard for others or fanatical devotion to order represent viable survival strategies in that type of situation.

  33. HotConflict says:

    Razor gives the fans enough of the old school BSG, talking about fate, destiny and the Jihad between the Cylons and the humans, while still bringing in a new story of Kendra Shaw.

    You can listen to the live Pop-Culture Radio show about BSG Razor.

    Discussing how War Terrorism and Pop-culture converge from the Islamic view.

    http://www.hotconflict.com/blog/2007/11/battlestar-gala.html

  34. Jay says:

    I am a fan of Galactica. But my disappintments are these.
    In the new series. There is no Cylon Imperius Leader. The Cylon Humanoids are too much human and not enough machine. I would have prefered them to be like Data,on Star Trek. And I wish that Baltar,would have been like he was in the old series. Comandant Baltar,Cylon Fleet Commander. And where are the old I.L. Series Cylons like Lucifer and Spector?
    I am happy that the new show is more military reality than the old show was,and that the reality of how a space craft like the viper would function and move through the vacume of space,is much more realistic in the new show
    Also the way the Centurians move and function in the new show is awsome. In the old show they were too slow and easy to kill,but I like their voices a lot better in the old show. Especialy those of the Gold colored Centurians.

  35. Joe King says:

    Did Moore ever say what became of the civilian fleet after the Pegasus looted it? Or is it just assumed they were eventually destroyed by the Cylons? Even if their FTL drives were gone, they probably had sublight engines of the same type as the sublight ships Galactica left behind. Provided there was a habital planet within range for them to survive on and provided the Cylons had devoted all their resources into destroying the Galactica and its fleet. And what will become of the lone surviving Cylon Base Star with the Centurions on it? I suppose either of these groups could be the basis for a future Galactica movie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image