March 11, 2006

Agitstar Galactica

You might have wondered to yourself, 'what does a wantonly liberal college student like natasha do on a Friday night to blow off steam after all that studying?' Why, I watch Sci-Fi Fridays on the SciFi channel, of course. As a friend recently suggested, this is inescapably geeky. So be it. Though while I really enjoy the two Stargate spinoffs for their inventive takes on the classic peaceful-explorers-meet-implacable-enemy motif, Battlestar Galactica is developing into a series that transcends the niche. With due recognition for adjustment to the culture shock, I'd have no trouble recommending it to people who've watched just about as many episodes of The West Wing in syndication as they can stand.

In fact, I think Battlestar Galactica is going to be remembered as the science fiction show that finally lived up to the promise of the original Star Trek to use the genre as a backdrop for unsparing explorations of tough ethical conundrums. It gives us no perfect heroes and asks us to sympathize with devils, or maybe, it's the long narrative form of Quentin Crisp's poignant observation about getting all the facts: "To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody."

Last night was the season finale and if you didn't catch it, it runs again late Monday night. Set a tape. I can't praise the actor by name without being a spoiler, but the union hall scene was incandescent. The writers chose to quote closely a line from Mario Savio, a student agitator I'm now prompted to read more about, then to upstage the moment with a scene that spoke of crushing futility. What the union leader said was, very nearly, this:

"There is a time," he said, "when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

Anyway, that's my story for Friday nights and I'm sticking to it. Just don't ask me what I do on Saturdays ;)

Posted by natasha at March 11, 2006 03:24 PM | Entertainment | Technorati links |

you're far from the only person who blogs at pacific views to be glued to her tv set on friday evenings, watching battlestar galactica. and, yes, it was something of a surprise to hear savio's words in the mouth of one of the characters. at least one of the writers knows their history.

i thought that the most interesting scene in the episode was the post-election discussion bewtween admiral adama & president roslyn. the issues they discussed were just *slightly* reminiscent of another election, don't you think?

Posted by: magpie at March 11, 2006 03:51 PM

That, was good.

And I don't even watch television.

Posted by: Thomas Ware at March 11, 2006 05:10 PM

Todd Gitlin - _The Sixties_.

Read it.

Posted by: Palamedes at March 11, 2006 05:28 PM

Mario Savio was a good man who didn't become a prima donna when he became notorious. He was thrown out of grad school for his pains, clerked at a book store, and only years later ended up a professor. When he died, he was trying to save affirmative action from extinction in California (we lost).

Todd Gitlin on the other hand ...

Posted by: janinsanfran at March 13, 2006 05:40 PM