Battlestar Galactica: A Plan?

Battlestar Galactica has been a staple in our home since we were blown away by the original miniseries. I still have a Battlestar lunchbox from the original 70s series, now full of plastic green army soldiers, that I’ve passed on to my five year old. How the old series could even have evolved from that campy, sexist show into what we saw come to completion this week strains the imagination. Previous attempts to revive the series were either bad continuations of the series or complete derailments like Richard Hatch’s obvious attempt at ripping off Star Wars and various other scifi classics.

The old series was as ragtag as the opening credits claimed and at the time was too expensive for the limited audience it held. It’s daliance with aliens was kept at the very borders of the story, probably a bad stab at reliving Lucas’ hit cantina scenes, and eventually abandoned. The series completely sank when the Colonian Fleet arrived at earth and tried to make a series out of that. At 13, even I had to hold my nose to watch it.

My history with beloved TV shows has been such that if I liked it, it went off the air shortly after: Space: Above and Beyond, The Flash, Adventures of Brisco County Junior, Firefly.  Only this show has outlasted them enough to get to a smoothly flowing story.  Now, at the end of the fourth season, Battlestar has reached a conclusion that has wrapped up most, but certainly not all of our questions.  The final pieces have been left for a final 2-hour television movie to be aired by what will then be known as SyPhy, called Battlestar Galactica: The Plan.  After having waited almost a year between seasons two and three, and almost another year between seasons three and four with only a 2 hour movie (Battlestar Galactica: Razor) to tide us over, they again have me waiting until the fall to catch a last glimpse of a favorite universe.

We hope that the creators of the series will answer some final questions such as what exactly were these angels and how was it that, if Starbuck was one of them, that everyone was able to see her.  Since she was dead and lived again, is she some hybrid cylon and human?  What was the relation to the hybrids on the basestars that Anders joined.  How was it that a society so entrenched in their technology suddenly agreed to live without any technology at all?  And are these angels the ones guiding these cycles of destruction by settling the humans down again and sending the mechanicals off, knowing that both sides will eventually forget the truce after hundreds of thousands of years?  And how do they explain another humanoid species, when ours only came about by lucky destruction of the previous dominant species by random world shattering comet/asteroid strikes?  Why would a selfish, plotting person like Cavil, a being that no longer had any chance at being resurrected, just kill himself in the opening shots of a firefight? What would prevent the centurions that flew off into space from rediscovering resurrection technology on their own as happened so many times in the past and returning en masse to scoop up the protohumans?  And why would Adama, knowing that Laura was dying on that final flight, decide to leave his son?  The behavior of the Colonials upon landing on this new Earth is puzzling, but maybe understandable and more realistic considering what they had just survived.  Why was this planet, our planet with its recognizable continents, not the real Earth, but just another Earth?  And for Hera’s only importance to be just to survive long enough to be the genetic Eve of our planet.

The final shots of the dancing robots did put a disappointingly corny touch on it all, but this is where I hope the fall movie will put a final capstone on it all.  The end season of the series seemed rushed, certainly not helped by last year’s writer’s strike. I wonder if they can really cover all the remaining details to leave fans fully satisfied.  This is certainly a series that I’ve enjoyed more than many others and I’ve loathe to see it gone.  The TiVo will surely be a lot emptier for it.  It may be some time before another series will match its brilliance as a whole, but this will be quite memorable.  For now I have DVDs of BSG Season One to keep my attention, and I’ll be able to look back and find those hinting seeds of story that may make even more sense out of that final two hour telling.