All Things Considered, March 20, 2009 · Over the past five years on television, there's been a rigorous, messy, emotional exploration of important questions facing our country and the world — questions about torture, religious fundamentalism, resistance and genocide.
We're not talking about Frontline. Or Nightline. This is Battlestar Galactica,the SciFi channel's brooding, often brutal re-imagining of the cheesy '70s-vintage series.
Again and again, the writers and producers of BSG have put a civilization in immediate peril and asked how far its leaders ought to go to protect it. Tonight, the story comes to an end with the critically acclaimed series' final episode.
To mark the show's finale, its fans at the United Nations — people whose nonfictional jobs involve wrestling with similar issues day in and day out — invited the cast and producers to visit the U.N. for a two-hour panel discussion and talk-back.
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BSG came on the air during my first year in seminary. It caught the attention of many of my fellow students because of the theological subtext present in so many of the episodes. This wasn't the Battlestar Galactica of the 1970s simply redone. The premise of the show might have been the same - robots created as servants rebel and nearly wipe out the human population in a nuclear genocide - but this redux of the program wouldn't allow viewers to see life as so black and white. Issues like religious fundamentalism and terrorism were thrown into the story line and it often was hard to know who the bad guys were. All that combined with great writing, terrific acting and top-notch specific effects made it "the best show on television". It was The West Wing...in space.
The show ends tonight (unless you count the upcoming made for tv movie and the spin-off series set to air in 2010).
Have I ever mentioned the way cool fact that BSG star Katee Sackhoff (aka Starbuck) is also a graduate of Sunset High School...just 11 years after I was there?