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22 August 2013

TV Review: *Battlestar Galactica* (2004-9)

After years of hearing from folks in all corners of my life that I would love it, I finally got to make my way through the re-imagined sci-fi series, Battlestar Galactica (BGv2). They were right. It's an incredible piece of art. Like the original series (BGv1), BGv2 is the story of a group of humans who, having survived an attack on their home planet by cyborgs that they had created, search for a suitable planet on which to settle permanently. BGv2 could never be accused of being derivative, though. There are several important changes from BGv1: gone is the hokey humor, many of the primary characters are recast as women, and the Cylons (i.e. the offending cyborgs) are now androids who are virtually indistinguishable from humans. As is the amazing gift of science fiction, BGv2 is able to indirectly address many, many sociologically-relevant issues that are both timely and universal. Here is a partial list of those themes: racism, terrorism, religion, social class, gender, technology, violence, militarism, and torture. As a scholar of religion, I was particularly intrigued with the subplot that addressed the differences between the humans' polytheism and the Cylons' monotheism. This is one of those TV shows that I would love to teach an experimental summer course on.

As if that weren't enough, Bear McCreary, the show's composer, is amazing! He also does the music for another new favorite show of mine, The Walking Dead. Here is his re-imagining of Hendrix' version of Dylan's "All Along the Watch Tower":


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