Review: Battlestar Galactica

I just finished watching the remake of Battlestar Galactica which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel from 2004 to 2009. In hindsight, it is easily the most impressive series of its genre. I regret missing the show while it was on television.

In the BSG universe, the human species lives on the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in a distant part of the galaxy. Many years ago, humans created a race of machines called the Cylons who rebelled against human rule. A brutal war was fought against them but an armistice was eventually signed. The Cylons then disappeared for over forty years.

Battlestar Galactica kicks off when the Cylons return (some now in human form) and launch a devastating 9/11-style sneak nuclear attack on the Twelve Colonies. The human race is nearly wiped out. The Battlestar Galactica, one of the obsolete ships in the Colonial fleet, survives the attack and leads a fleet of 50,000 survivors into uncharted space. The show revolves around the search for the legendary thirteenth colony of Kobol, Earth.

Racially speaking, there isn’t much in the show to comment on. There are two interracial relationships (Helo/Athena and Apollo/Dee), but they are never used as a source of social commentary. Instead, humans in Battlestar Galactica are divided by class, religion, and national origin. The Cylons are monotheists whereas the humans are polytheists. Much is made out of this. In one memorable episode (“The Woman King”), a White doctor is accused of being a racist by a White soldier for killing White patients from Sagittaron, one of the poorer colonies.

Edward James Olmos (who plays Admiral Adama) is a well known Hispanic activist. You would never know this though from watching BSG. His ethnicity is never mentioned. In contrast, there were multiple episodes in Star Trek: Voyager devoted to Chakotay’s cheesy exploration of his Native American heritage. There isn’t a single moment in Battlestar Galactica comparable to, say, Captain Archer’s highminded paeans to diversity in Star Trek: Enterprise.

The main reason that I found BSG so refreshing is precisely because it wasn’t Star Trek. For example, in “A Measure of Salvation,” President Roslin endorses the use of genocide to end the Cylon threat once and for all. By comparison, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Commander Sisko and friends fight a shady organization called Section 31 to find a cure for the Starfleet engineered disease that is killing off the Founders.

In Star Trek: Voyager, Captain Janeway comes across as a haughty Yankee schoolmarm in space forcing her humanistic morals on recalcitrant alien cultures. She constantly put her ship and crew at risk to demonstrate her liberal pieties. In Battlestar Galactica, Colonel Tigh ordered suicide bombings, Cylon prisoners were regularly executed, and democratic demagogues are presented as a threat to the security of the fleet. Individual rights are sacrificed for the greater good.

Unfortunately, the show was far from perfect. I thought BSG had a real sloppy ending. There are moments in the fourth season where the storyline becomes unglued. I disliked President Roslin’s character from the beginning. I also hated Starbuck’s transformation from saucy heroine to messiah figure. Gaius Baltar’s character was mishandled in the last season. Finally, it was never really clear exactly what the Cylons were up to. This loose end had to be tied up in a made-for-tv movie that aired last weekend.

Certain aspects of BSG will strongly appeal to White Nationalists: the theme of dispossession, the search for a homeland, the illiberal treatment of subjects like terrorism and abortion, an insidious alien enemy that mimics our appearance, fighting for blood and soil, sleeper cells and so on. I found it to be an improvement upon other science fiction series. It left me wondering what White Nationalists could do with the medium.

Note: If you have already seen Battlestar Galactica, don’t miss the premiere of the new prequel series, Caprica, which is set to launch on SyFy on January 22.

About Hunter Wallace 9625 Articles
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22 Comments

  1. Never got into BSG, the plot and dialogue didn’t interest me, and of course too much obligatory diversity.

    Caprica on the other hand is more impressive, better actors, and if the series is like the pilot I’ll be watching it.

    I watched the pilot last year, you can download it. Better than suffering through commercials.

  2. “Racially speaking, there isn’t much in the show to comment on. ”

    Was I the only one that noticed multicultural them. In the “Oath” Gaeta and Zarek start a rebellion, because they didn’t want the cyclones integrating with the humans; they wanted to keep their peoples separate. Go listen to the arguments made about the will of the people versus the elite. It reminded me of this: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/index.php/2008/12/31/le-dernier-mot-washingtonian-madness/

    In “Blood on the scales” there was. what I call the multicultural march, where the Admiral and a mix of cyclones and humans, overthrew Gaeta and Zarek. It had all the themes of ‘transcending race.’

    In ‘Day break part two,’ you get the result. Having given up self-identity, grown weary of fighting, lost meaning and vision, the Leadership decides to destroy their technology and live native with the natives.

  3. Before I became deprogrammed, I liked Star Trek despite the corniness, and my brother, Dad and I liked Battlestar Gallactica. But my dad for some reason could never stomach Star Wars, Dune, or anything like that. My wife and I watched Next Generation religiously. But about the time of Voyager, I become much more racially, politically, and Judeaoically aware, and couldn’t watch even one episode, or the other space shows I used to enjoy. I still enjoy a good sci-fi today, though I’ll turn them off as soon as the PC programming becomes too heavy.

  4. “Certain aspects of BSG will strongly appeal to White Nationalists: the theme of dispossession, the search for a homeland, the illiberal treatment of subjects like terrorism and abortion, an insidious alien enemy that mimics our appearance, fighting for blood and soil, sleeper cells and so on.”

    Politically speaking BSG is likely channeling the point of view of beleaguered minority recovering from genocide, i.e. the Jewish or Israeli mentality.

  5. “There are two interracial relationships (Helo/Athena and Apollo/Dee), but they are never used as a source of social commentary”

    It’s been a long road from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

    People are now so desensitized and bereft of meaning that they will tolerate just about anything to feed their addictions – like John Belushi before his last speedball. I just cannot watch this stuff anymore. I stopped ten years ago. I know that every dollar they raise is reinvested in cultural debasement (DRIP).

    Try reading Dune instead. It is full of stirring archetypes.

  6. Some series are more interested in indoctrination and liberal lecturing than the real plot. The genre is merely a prop and the real reason the show is made is to change society. Lost is one such show, they even admit it.

    The Dune novels are great as is the original movie. The newer TV series isn’t bad either.

  7. Battlestar Galactica? Was that the one with the black actor who went on to be the pre-Morgan Freeman all knowing voice of rectitude and reason in Spencer for Hire and then the double Ph.D highschool teacher in American History X? If so, to hell with Battlestar Gallactica! You’re pussies, just like Jim Giles says, wasting time revisiting that schlock. Just the dumbass name “Galactica” makes me want to 50 push-ups. It’s sounds like a brand of vacuum cleaner

  8. @whodareswings, dude that was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was a Babylon Five ripoff.

  9. Voyager’s horrible. It slaps you in the face constantly.

    BSG was a mixed bag. The funniest stuff surrounds the president. Humanity’s down to 50k souls, but the White House press corps all survived. Ever seen the press corps for a real city of 50k? A couple of guys and a radio station would’ve been more appropriate. But it does show the media’s self-obsession.

    The constant soul-searching over lib-dem values was absurd. If humanity was down to 50k, there’d be no “soul-searching.” They’d be fascists fundamentalist religious fanatics, and like it. They’d ban abortion, not agonize over a woman’s right to choose. Hell, they’d probably force all the women to procreate. They military would have taken over. If Adama wouldn’t do so, Tigh would have killed him and taken over and done so, or the guy below him would have killed them both, etc. They would have blown the “half-Cylon” baby out the airlock. They would have blown the president out the airlock. They would never have tolerated a couple of officers killing humans to protect a Cylon from “rape.” Etc., etc., etc.

  10. All those useless mouths (starting with the president and her staff, and the White House press corps) would’ve been forced into productive labor.

  11. As adversity increases, humans become more authoritarian and more religious. The BSG population would’ve been far more of both than any population in our history.

  12. The whole relationship between the toaster chick and the traitorous idiot officer is sickening. They should’ve both been blown out an airlock too. Over and over he puts a robot over his own species, never mind his race.

  13. The last episode reminded me a lot of Janeway and Voyager. Why risk the whole ship and hundreds of lives for one half breed? I hated the ending and much of the Fourth Season.

  14. The message in the last episode was that race mixing saved humanity, because the half breed became the “genetic Eve”.

  15. What do you think of Babylon 5? At times the storyline was interesting – in particular, the development of the shadows and vorlons – but the show could be ridiculously PC at times – though not as bad as any of the Star Trek series.

    What most of these scifi writers fail to realize is that a highly advanced ET civilization would have long ago abandoned its “liberal egalitarian” phase. It almost certainly would practice forms of eugenics and genetic manipulation, and be beyond our current political paradigms.

    Interestingly, any alien observer of Earth would quickly notice a couple things: Europeans discovered science, and Africa is a dunghole.

  16. Never watched BSG, wasn’t interested. I do enjoy the setting and some of the ladies of ST-TNG, although I get frustrated with the PC cr*p alot. My better half just looks at me when the Enterprise is attacked and I hollor at the TV something like “NO! Do NOT raise shields and try to UNDERSTAND, just frickin’ return fire and destroy the target, you morons!” LOL

  17. Nordicreb, I’m reminded of a great line from Braveheart: “And not my gentle son. The mere sight of him would only encourage the enemy to take over the whole country.” An advanced alien species that sees “our” sci-fi would be very likely to pull a V on us. If I was flying an Enterprise and I happened upon sci-fi programming from Earth, I’d take a long detour just to destroy such a stupid species. I’d consider them an offense to creation.

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