Battlestar Galactica: Worth taking seriously.
The other night, a few days before the showâ€™s four-year run as a cult hit ended, the United Nations opened its Economic and Social Council Chamber for a panel discussion on how â€œBattlestar Galacticaâ€ might inform the international bodyâ€™s approach to some problems of the day: terrorism, torture, religious conflict. (The evening was part of the U.N.â€™s new â€œcreative community outreachâ€ program.) Placards at the seats, which earlier had identified delegates from France and Venezuela, now read â€œCapricaâ€ and â€œAquarion.â€ The panel included William Adama (played by Edward James Olmos), the admiral of the spaceship Galactica, and Laura Roslin (played by Mary McDonnell), the president of the Twelve Colonies, along with two producers from â€œB.S.G.â€ and a handful of earthbound U.N. dignitaries. Whoopi Goldberg, a big fan of the show, had been enlisted to moderate. The line of sci-fi buffs snaked out the door. A sign on the wall reading â€œSmoking Discouragedâ€ (the U.N. is not subject to New York City regulations) enhanced the feeling that the event was taking place in another dimension. What the frak?
â€œBattlestar Galacticaâ€ depicts a race of robots called Cylons, who morph into sentient beings in order to nuke the humans, a.k.a. Colonials, who created them, and thus addresses issues of wartime justice and moral relativism. In one episode, a Cylon is treated to the deep-space version of waterboarding. In another, President Roslin channels George W. Bush: â€œMy job is and always will be to keep the people safe”. . .
Speaking of interstellar transportation, here’s more on Phaeton the car from Sir Peter Stothard.