Sunday, March 22, 2009
The series finale of Battlestar Galactica has come and gone, and it's all over except for the synopsizing and commenting. As more an admirer than a fan--the stilted acting in the supporting ranks, the at times suffocatingly morose atmosphere, and irritating use of flashbacks when the show needed to be moving forward, always bugged me--I was mostly pleased with the way things concluded. Having some of the characters turn out to be angels was a cheat; the show has always been an interesting (if vexing) mix of sci-fi (or, ugh, "syfy," as the Sci-Fi Channel is soon to rechristen itself) and theology, but that was a blind alley we were being led through on our way to an easy, unsatisfying out.
But that's my only real grievance. (Well, that, and the notion that characters so closely confined and intertwined would so swiftly abandon one another, and that they would someday get down to the business of mating with primitives. Oh, and that the starships would just be sacrificed, even if did give the new show a chance to salute the old one. Three or four things.) Otherwise, the climax played to the show's strengths: The mother of all space battles more than compensated for the relative lack of action this past half-season, the guiding hand of the creators and writers was as always strongly felt (I may not like where they took us, but they were true to the spirit of the show and got us there in a reasonably coherent fashion, unlike so many shows in this genre, like The X-Files) and the climax to the Adama/Roslin romance was sensitively played by Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell and beautifully handled. Their late spring relationship was the single best element of the show, far outshining similar storylines in non-genre programs; in a Wall Street Journal interview, Olmos was said to have been in favor of killing off everyone, but then he would have missed out on one of his finest moments as an actor. (As it was, just about everyone in this photo made it through on one plane or another.)
I have no real interest in Caprica or The Plan or the other spin-offs SyFy (ugh!) has up its sleeve in its post-BSG scheduling. This was a lot more than anyone might have hoped for, or expected, from a reboot of its predecessor--who knew, for example, that the old show's co-star Richard Hatch could act, and act well, in the leathery mode of Tommy Lee Jones? But if I hear that they, too, are guided by the same higher intelligence that moved Galactica, I may have to check them out.
UPDATE: Mr. President, I know the feeling.