Kevin Grazier apologizes for Tomb of Athena, etc.
Well, I had to pull my hair out a bit to read this post-series interview with BSG Science Advisor Kevin Grazier
In particular he is asked what he regrets getting wrong. One regret is boring, but the other floored me. It was only the climactic scene of the first season arc, where they come to Kobol looking for a clue to Earth and find, in the Tomb of Athena, the map of the stars of Earth and the realization that the flags of the 12 tribes have constellations from the Zodiac of Earth on them.
Most of us viewed that scene as a big revelation. It said, without equivocation, "This show is in the future." Kobol's culture and flags came from Earth. It was a big deal. Later, it was revealed it was the sky of the "first Earth" or 13th colony, but it still demanded a secret history to Kobol.
The other (regret) is I wish I would have been more instant with the constellations in Home Part 2. Because when you start thinking about those constellations, who put them there? Wasn’t the Kobolians. Those aren’t seen from the original Earth, so where did those constellations come from?
He may be saying he knew but could not convince Moore, or that perhaps he realized later. Either way, the show could have thrown us a bone. You don't want to tell fans your secrets, but if you make a mistake, and fans are interpreting the show differently because of it, throw something in. Have somebody ask, "Isn't it odd how our flags are those constellations?" And Ellen Tigh says, "Oh, that. In our history, we learned that the founders of the planet stretched and played with the flags to figure a way to draw them in the sky, since it was a cute idea to name our new constellations after our lost makers." Something. Anything.
I take Grazier to task for two other things: Participating in the horrible ending, and his statement that you would not be able to find a star given photographs of the constellations visible from it. He declares that to be np-complete, ie. you can't do it in a time that goes up in a polynomial way with the number of stars in your database. I contend you can, and in fact it's one of the simpler polynomials.
Sat, 2009-03-21 21:26
Did HE get it wrong?
I mean, does the show's science advisor know in S1 where the executive producer plans on sending the show at the end of season four?
Fri, 2011-11-11 16:41
Does THE PRODUCER know where
Does THE PRODUCER know where he plans to end the show after S1?
Sat, 2009-03-21 22:42
Boy oh boy.
Does this ever annoy me. But I do appreciate his admission that it was a mistake and/or a problem. This Tomb of Athena problem was one of the many unresolved issues I wanted them to address, and they did not, and i'm almost relieved it was a fuck-up because at least I know they didn't just forget about it. I'd rather them admit to botching it than just forgetting. Nobody's perfect, after all, and I can forgive them as long as the story is good (which i'm not sure yet if it really is. I'll need some years to fully digest the complete series).
Sat, 2009-03-21 23:00
Nobody is perfect
And I don't expect all the details to be right. If the momentum of the water shooting out from the ship is not handled correctly, it just is a flaw in a single episode.
However, the Tomb of Athena scene is the culmination of the first major story arc, crossing season 1-2. It is the first sign Earth is real, the first clue of where it is. It is the turning point of the first part of the plot. It is no ordinary scene.
So I can't be as charitable. There are only a few scenes of this order. They deserve special attention, the utmost attention. They are not the places where you can say, "Oh, we screwed up on that one." Because if you knew you screwed up there, then is the time to do a retcon to fix it. But really, this is the one place you should not be screwing up.
Sun, 2009-03-22 03:45
Brad, you're a machine.
Brad, you're a machine. Wow.
You're right. Something like the Tomb of Athena is a big deal you can't duck. Another worrying issue is how Ron's misunderstood hardcore sci-fi fans by suggesting they only wanted nonstop action and gore. The basic narrative strategy was fubared and they were out of touch. It's absolutely the right thing to do to call them on this. The hard part is presenting the case well and not raping people in the ass for the sake of it. I've said before that Ron aimed for a Lisa and got a Mac. I think, that's a fair call.
Two more issues that caught my eye over the past week when I was digging for other stuff is how RDM sold the show to sci-fi by bringing in pro marketing people and going behind people's backs. I understand that caused some stick around the time RDM won the franchise but that's a seperate issue. The other thing that really bugged me is the woman on steroids roles. As a man I get ticked off with too much machismo in this world and women signing up like lemmings to some nu-feminist agenda is just pouring petrol on the fire. And what's with this "cougar" thing in the last episode where Roslin's lay was some wet nappy ladyman? Hypocrisy, or what.
Okay, so the BSG team can't write and they don't know a thing about character. That explains a lot. And to top it all, we get this overt and covert Zen Buddhist spin and there's RDM front and centre in a making of pimp video and doing some shallow PR stunt at the UN. That's nothing new. It's the same old "here we are come buy our stuff model" that all the cynical retreads this show claimed to be against pull every day. I'm not going to scapegoat Ron for it but I expected better and what was delivered has aspects to it that are disappointing. The plus side is we can learn from our mistakes. Maybe next time will be better. Hur, hur.
Sun, 2009-03-22 08:27
Perhaps the problem is...
...the fundamental question of why these shows are written by people who need a science advisor to explain basic science to them. In general hard SF novellists are themselves fans of science who understand what they're writing about, and presumably enjoy researching the science behind the stories they are creating.
But then in TV, they need to hire someone to tell them the difference between a star and a planet. Bit depressing really. It's like me, who knows very little about the history of the Wild West, trying to write a western novel. I would get lots of things wrong, because I wouldn't be aware I was making mistakes in terms of settings, history, behaviour, technologies and so on. It's obviously better for people with a deep knowledge of the wild west to write westerns. Likewise, you'd think people writing SF would be people with a knowledge of, and interest in, science. Wouldn't you?
Sun, 2009-03-22 10:43
I completely disagree. You
I completely disagree. You don't need answers why things happen in Sci-Fi. It is Sci-Fi. Unless you are trying to be Star Trek, in which case, I'll pass on that thank you very much. If they told me that FTL was handled by a monkey with wires into their sex organs I would be fine with that. Give me a good story, not a science lesson. If I wanted a science lesson I would have gone into a science program at school.
Sun, 2009-03-22 12:43
If You Had...
...gone into a science programme at school, you may appreciate fiction which is scientifically plausible more. Bad science grates in the same way as fiction which is historically or geographically anachronistic, like a story set in 1850 featuring the use of a telephone or a story set in modern Iran featuring characters going to the pub for a beer. It's not about lecturing people, just getting the background facts right.
Sun, 2009-03-22 12:50
Last I checked all Sci-Fi
Last I checked all Sci-Fi was hypothetical? Even the science. Truth is 500 years from now we might find out that one of the most heavily believed scientific/mathematical principals is actually wrong by the most minute fraction, not enough that say, gravity changes, except by an indiscernible fraction that we never noticed, but enough that it changes something so insane we learn how to create light speed engines that run on cow patties. Just because you joined the church of science, one must remember a lot of it is as hypothetical as god. You can't prove anything and neither can the clergy. You have much better facts, but at the end of the day, you can't conclude 100% certainty and in there lies the possibility for the improbable.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:16
Not to mention comparing
Not to mention comparing theoretical science flaws to actual historical flaws in stories is comparing apples and oranges. One is fact the other is theory.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:35
Argh, here comes the brain
Argh, here comes the brain bug "Evolution is just a theory" again. The word "theory" has an specific meaning in science that is *not* reflected on its everyday use, e.g. "glorified hunch". It means that you have a way to predict results from experiments. It means that you don't have to take the scientist word for it, you - or anyone else - can perform the experiment and confirm that the theory is right, wrong or incomplete.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:36
How did life begin? What's
How did life begin? What's that? Nobody knows? Not even science? So there is unexplained theories in science? Amazing?
Sun, 2009-03-22 14:32
There it goes again. Life is
There it goes again. Life is a fact. Science has hypotheses about how life begun. It also has a theory - an organized explanation, in agreement with known facts - about how it evolves: Natural Selection. Evolution is a *fact*. One billion years ago, life was not like we know today, but it evolved.
Sun, 2009-03-22 17:38
Not the question I asked.
Not the question I asked. How did it start? I will give you a hint: there is more than 1 scientific THEORY about how that happened.
Sun, 2009-03-22 19:48
Well, I'm taking to task the
Well, I'm taking to task the expression "unexplained theories". Since a theory is by definition an explanation fitting known facts, what would this expression mean ? Or perhaps you just built a theory but you don't have any idea why ( or how ) you came up with it ? That would be an unexplained theory. :-)
If you're reading a mistery novel it's okay to say that you have a theory about who killed Mr. Morgan. If you're discussing science, it's not - because in this context, it has a specific meaning.
Sun, 2009-03-22 20:08
Abiogenesis also known as the origin of life.
- The Primordial Soup Theory
- The deep sea vent theory
- iron-sulfur world theory
- Clay theory
- Lipid World Theory
These are all scientific theories about the origin of life on Earth. None of which can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. So, I ask again, how did life begin?
PS: There are at least 10 more I didn't list. All scientific THEORIES.
Sun, 2009-03-22 20:09
Yes, I do know my science, I
Yes, I do know my science, I do know what a theory is and Darwin himself would tell you he was 100% certain of nothing.
Sun, 2009-03-22 21:02
Yes, there are instances
Yes, there are instances where you can't tell for sure which theory is the right one, because of the lack of information. But there are also instances where the theory allows one to predict results up to the tenth decimal point. Science is not dogma. A theory should be accepted while it can provide adequate explanation for the set of facts that belongs to its domain. And while you can choose among 10+ theories for origin of life, I bet all of them are compatible with natural selection, the one that explains life evolution.
So, science sits on shaky grounds, because someday a fact that doesn't fit the current theory may be discovered, causing the theory to be discarded or revised. The catch is: the new theory fitting the new fact also has to explain all the old data, as well as the previous one. Therefore, you have a lot less freedom on your "hypothetical" science than you might think at first.
Scientific method is about falsifiable explanations and repeatable experiments - the opposite of dogma and "this is so because I want it to be". Mr. Moore wanted to make Hera the M-Eve and to this end he bent everything else on the story ( the blog's author has a post about it). IMHO, he could have done better.
Sun, 2009-03-22 21:16
Actually the spontaneous
Actually the spontaneous existence of life on Earth has nothing to do with natural selection and 100% to do with perfect circumstances. As for M-Eve, it is possible, just not very likely. However, 0.0000000000000000000000...infinite...000001% isn't 0.
Mon, 2009-03-23 09:21
So, your argument is: "since science can't provide an undeniable
So, your argument is: "since science can't provide an undeniable and definitive explanation for origin of life on Earth, it must be on the same level of religion, in which requires faith" ?
If that's right, I don't think I can be clearer than http://ideas.4brad.com/battlestar/kevin-grazier-apologizes-tomb-athena-etc#comment-9235.
PS: Life's origin and evolution are orthogonal issues. What I meant by compatible is that you don't have any scientific theory positing that life sprung in the past the way they are today. All of them assume some sort of unicellular/molecular type of life that *evolved* into the species we have nowadays.
Mon, 2009-03-23 09:32
Actually the point is really
Actually the point is really simple, you just can't seem to get passed your own arrogance, which is also the point. Nothing is 100%. Nothing. By establishing a position with 100% certainty, you are no different than those who have faith in a god and creationism. It is the same arrogance and lack of humility.
Mon, 2009-03-23 10:04
Oh right. There's no
Oh right. There's no certainty whatsoever. Why don't you jump out of a window ? That uncertainty might kick in and you'll find yourself flying...
Yes, I *will* find one day facts that evolve our knowledge - *evolve* is the operative word here, because the set of things that we already know must be contained in the new theory. Just because Einstein gave us General Relativity, it doesn't mean we scraped Newtonian Mechanics. It just became a special case of the former.
I don't take the position that our knowledge is complete, far from it. But it's positively a long shot from "nothing is certain", specially in certain areas, like engineering and physics.
Tue, 2009-07-14 14:56
0.00infinite0s0001 is in
0.00infinite0s0001 is in fact 0, inasmuch as it makes any sense to suggest such a number.
Sun, 2009-03-22 19:31
I had someone pull the
I had someone pull the "evolution is just a theory" line on me. They thought it was their "killer blow" but I explained to them that everything is a theory and, as you explain, there's a difference between something that matches reality and a mere hunch. It's that sort of religious arrogance (and equivalent scientific arrogance) that irritates the hell out of me. It's dumb. It's rude. There's no good reason for it.
Sun, 2009-03-22 20:14
I am an atheist, so I guess
I am an atheist, so I guess that makes this kind of a pointless comment. Science and religion are equally fallible because the source is humans. I have more faith in monkeys than I do humans.
Mon, 2009-03-23 00:26
Science is quite different from religion, and far less fallible. Which is why we trust its models to design the airplanes you fly in, the cars you drive, the buildings that hold you up and a million other things you trust your life to every day. Because it is vastly, vastly less fallible.
Why? Because science's perhaps most fundamental tenet is repeatability. Somebody proposes a theory, and an experiment to test it, and they do it, and then others must be able to repeat it. Again and again. You don't trust the other people. Eventually you trust a group of people who all repeated the experiment and showed the result to be true.
Then science adds another test. Prediction. Its theories must predict something we didn't know. Then people go out to try to test the prediction. If it predicts correctly again and again, and never predicts wrongly, we start to trust it. Eventually we trust it with our lives.
Many people put their lives in the hands of their religion too. Many more of them die.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:46
In SF, typically some small part of the science will be hypothetical. More commonly none of the science will be hypothetical but the technology or its consequences will be hypothetical.
Indeed, scientists find errors and improvements in existing models and theories. That is a far cry from "You can write SF and ignore science." When a good SF writer decides to ignore science, or find a way to go beyond it, she does it with great care, and tries to keep the parts she doesn't need to change close to reality.
Reality is not a straightjacket, after all. It allows great creativity. In many ways it allows more creativity than letting the writer do anything.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:50
In SF, typically some small part of the science will be hypothetical.
This is some. I am going to keep pointing out that nothing here is completely impossible except the stars and I bet those can be explained somehow, even if it is just divine intervention. It is unlikely they landed here, but ultimately impossible to prove 100% wrong. That is science fiction. You need to go back and look at your definition of hard science fiction, because I think that is what you want, and this was never that.
Sun, 2009-03-22 15:20
Hypothetical does not mean impossible
Quite the reverse, it means a proposal of something unknown, but plausible. There is an argument for how it could be.
And to a scientist, "ridiculously improbable" is what the public means by "impossible." Scientists are just such sticklers for accuracy that they avoid the word impossible even for things of probability of 10^-99.
In everyday parlance, it would be correct to say that two species able to interbreed arising on two planets is impossible. (Without divine intervention.) It's like rolling a fair die a million times and having it go 1-2-3-4-5-6 forever. It is "possible" but so improbable that it fits the ordinary meaning of impossible.
And our evolution was the result of rolling a die many billions of times, in a way.
Just because something is not hard SF does not mean it is anything goes. Almost all "soft" or any other kind of SF is a case of following the rules of reality with a few exceptions, rather than ignoring the rules with a few exceptions. The fewer rules ignored, the harder, that's all.
Sun, 2009-03-22 13:50
Show was excellent... Most of all fans had a good time...
I´d just say that thanks to the decision of DIRECTING the show´s attention to people, relationships, DRAMA, they could sell a product that can be appreciated by a large audience who wants a nice story, involving characters, and a great time.
Surely galactica will be seen in some years by people that´s just curious about SF, but never went on science classes to know what Dark Matter could mean.
The point is that these SF subjects are ALIEN to 90% of people, and MOST IMPORTANT is to UNDERSTAND that people can´t be blamed on just because they chose another way of life, other than being a weirdo-beardos geek fashioned breed, usually targeted by bullies on college, or pushed to classroom corners by themselves because they didnt learn how to socialize.
So the show always was marketed and said to be targeted on a larger audience than traditional scifi has.
Its curious how some people care to discuss the series, but cant remember that starbuck was linked to supernatural even on her childhood. So even before the 1st episode, or the pilot itself, the story was also driven by supernatural forces.
The point is that people cant understand that Galactica ISNT A PURE Scifi. Mainly its a DRAMA series WITH scifi elements. Only difference is the they were on a space ship, and they will fatally mention some words on tech because those are the means to reach their objectives inside a spaceship.
So we can question: Do ALL stuff that is filmed inside a space ship IS OBVIOUSLY scifi?
Well, I can shoot a father and son discussion inside a spaceship, space station, whatever, and just because they are doing that on a spaceship, does that NECESSARILY qualifies it as scifi ??
MY ANSWER, NO. Its just a matter of scenarios.
What tech words we got from it? FTL - Faster than Light, Mainframe (which most people already heard about), and what else?
One ship was called Raptor (jurassic park), the other Viper (a car), then Colonial (from colony, and thats not a scifi term). The weirdest one is DRADIS, which was the name of the radar. Probably weirdest thing, to relate a radar to a strange name... dradis contact, dradis contact.
Other than that what we had? Baltar researching on cylon´s genetics? Weapons with bullets, atomic bombs.... Everyone have heard about that
See, theres NO "termo-nuclear device", no "bla bla bla smart bombs"... Most all elements are from general knowlegde, because the series were made to a wider audience.
Sorry PURE UNSOCIABLE NERDS that cant believe in supernatural, god or whatever.
Just look for the proper product for you.
Sun, 2009-03-22 15:22
Drama doesn't ignore reality
A good mainstream drama, with no SF to it, which is all about characters and story and not at all about setting, still tries to follow the rules. You treat SF like it's an excuse to ignore reality whenever you want. Not even fantasy is that. That it is not pure SF, as you say, should be an argument that it wants to stick more to reasonable situations.
BSG was not just an ordinary story on a space ship.
Sun, 2009-03-22 16:04
Did i miss something here?
Did i miss something here? This show was on sci fi channel, isn't it supposed to be sci fi then?
I don't watch anything else on sci fi because it mainly panders to psychic bullshit, horror and fantasy.
Why do they call it sf when its got a miniscule amount on the damn channel. Now its gonna sy fy what the hell is that supposed to mean?
The show was based mainly on a spacecraft with gritty storylines etc the religious stuff and this stuff didn't really go together very well.........oh i must be geeky science nerd who can't socialise...oh dear
i can't help being intelligent.
Sun, 2009-03-22 19:37
To be fair most people
To be fair most people aren't physicists or psychologists. Both science and character beyond a certain point are alien territory. Battlestar Galactica started off as a fairly well balanced show but as the plot came off the rails they had to ditch sound science and shift focus to character. That's bait and switch. What Ron is admitting is that he made bad choices and is emotionally manipulting the audience to get his ass out of the fire. That's just so much power politics and marketing, not reality.
Mon, 2009-03-23 00:11
Stay in school
You need to pay more attention to your written English skills than you do about nerds and television. Seriously.
Mon, 2009-03-23 15:05
Seriously, give me some credit, cuz Im a brazilian living in brazil. So I couldnt live outside here.
My listening practice is like 90% of everything I listen to.
So Im sorry if my english isnt perfect, but for many times people didnt believe me as I told them I never visited USA, nor any other country.
Im like a self-taught guy, so consider that and give me some credits. After all, você entenderia ao menos pouca coisa, se eu falasse em portugues contigo? (would you understand at least a bit if id talk to you in portuguese?)
By the way I consider myself a nerd, and im quite happy with it. But im not that old fashioned ALIEN TYPE NERD.
Mon, 2009-03-23 15:13
anyone who feels the need to
anyone who feels the need to insult someone's written english skills on the internet is covering for the fact that they can't argue with that person on any meaningful level and feel the need to belittle them instead
Tue, 2009-03-24 07:39
THANK YOU Mr. Hertz
For a minute there, I thought I was the only person who watched the show, without playing it over and over, pathetically analyzing each and every frame for clues, answers, and mistakes.
The show was absolutely more about the relationship between the characters and their struggle, than it was the science fiction.
Basically what ya got is a bunch of science geeks pissed that a show didn't end the way they wanted it to, so they will now attempt to use real science to attack the show and it's writers. And of course they'll now act like RDM pulled the religion card out of his ass at the last minute, when religion was always a part of the story. And you know damn well that if Kara didn't just disappear, like everyone is complaining about, but instead had this huge sendoff with angels carrying her up to heaven or her family shown waiting for her, or something like that, it would have been picked apart.
Tue, 2009-03-24 08:58
Thanks JrzRob. Some other notes too...
I guess that SCIFI broacasted a series which had to do with scifi "themes", but not EXACTLY scifi as they got used to.
Its impossible to make 100% people happy, so you find many controversials around the topic.
While some guys DEMAND everything as they want it to be, real physics, real bla-bla-bla, others simply can be more flexible and understand that "it was a good show", despite of its flaws.
To ask you (my reader) to consider some points while you´re criticizing other´s work, I´ve come with a short story about what happened to me once...
Once I participated of an academic work, a short video clip. And I remember all planning we made, the script, post effects and the desired final result.
I ran (holding a camera) in the middle of the cars at 12:00 PM, completely on a rush, almost getting caught by one or 2 cars, just to shoot my friend running on the sidewalk in the middle of people, cuz we didnt have the right lenses to get closer. It was funny, curious, all people looked at us. Then we had difficulties along the days, some things were modified, some scenes were deleted (even on this VERY tight budget production we had deleted scenes, what the hell :)
In the end the result was exactly what we wanted. Still, it was incoherent in some parts. While some others could be rewritten. But as we were on a tight deadline, like everyone else, we didnt mess with it no more. Still we got 10 (here in brazil is like A++ to USA), for the kinda work with many variables, creative hardware usage and some tech research.
Still the teacher gave us that 10, cuz he knows that NOTHING IS PERFECT. So we had a credit for that.
Then I remind you to give the deserved credit to Moore and his writers, because he did an excellent job on all these 4 years.
Of course Im not asking anybody here to "see no evil", but to give him the right credits, in a way to rationalize before starting to madly criticize the series.
Some people are saying that the whole series was a mess, a waste of time, and all by 1 episode. Does that seems true or fair?
To those of you who are thinking like that, GET YOUR HANDS ON, and start any production. A cartoon, a short-clip, anything... and you´ll get what I mean.
Fri, 2009-07-24 07:12
i second that, it seems some
i second that, it seems some people just watch it over and over again to pick out the flaws,
i really dont care if its not scientific and correct me if im wrong, but not only does science change, this is fiction!
i didnt see much breaking of the fictional worlds rules, maybe its because i didnt sit there picking over every little bit of it! The ship was damn litteraly breaking apart at the end,unlike star trekky stuff which is not only filled with overly complicated and boring techy sciency explinations, but has magical ships that never seem to take any damage even with the magical shield 'down'.
i thought it was a great series and i really dont feel the need to nit pick and over anaylse everything, it was about the characters and the story, not the science!
Mon, 2009-03-23 00:08
That is incorrect
Science never claims to be 100% infallible. Science proposes theories that can be tested. If you perform an experiment and it confirms your theory, then you accept that perhaps your theory is correct. If it doesn't, then you discard that theory. Religionists cannot test any of their God theories. There are no experiments one can perform to confirm or refute the existence of God (who I happen to believe in, I'm just not a crazy, blissfully ignorant fundie).
Years, decades, even centuries of observed factual evidence give credence and weight to some scientific theories. It would take only ONE counter-example to shoot them down. None have been forthcoming. To compare science and religion is like comparing apples and oranges. There are no valid comparisons. Only religious fanatics are threatened by what they perceive as "evil" or "atheist" science. It is neither. Not that every scientist is unscrupulously honest and ethical, but that's another ball of wax completely.
Sun, 2009-03-22 14:55
I don't think anyone is upset or would disagree that BSG is a drama first and foremost...I know the problem for me is that the ideas that were set in motion with the mini and expanded on in S1 & S2 were not consistent with most of S4 and the finale.
For those of you that were sure that this show was about gods and angels, biblical prophecy set to reality etc, I am sure you are completely happy with the way this series ended.
I was not unhappy with religion being in the show. To the contrary I found it consistent with our own culture and civilization. Even while I heard characters describe Kara's role as an angel or head Six and Baltar as god's messengers I never in my wildest dreams thought that th is was actually what they were...never. Why? Because this WAS a well thought out, brilliantly written piece of sci fi. To fall back on god's will as answers to the most mysterious and troubling questions is no different if I told you the sun came up each morning because god willed it. That babies are made and die because it was god's plan. Many who watched this show simply do not fall into the fundamentalist religious camp so this explanation is a cop out.
Finally, because you can use this device to explain ANYTHING it renders all good and consistent storytelling moot. No need to if you can pull good old God out of your hat.
Sun, 2009-03-22 16:41
A good story reveals itself - if not blocked!
I posted something similar to what I'm posting here on another strand of this blog, but it looks like this strand is more active, so I'm putting it in here too:
I believe the bogus science (or non-science) explaining modern human origins derives from a literary failing as well as it just being wrong science. So to those who are saying "well, it's science fiction so it doesn't have to be true to science", I'm going to argue that it's not only not true to science - it's not true to the whole storyline of BSG as a whole, as it preceded the finale.
I can't read Ronald Moore's mind, but I am speculating (why not?) that he became wedded, for whatever reason, to making the point that Hera is not just the mother of a future humanity, but the mother of present humanity. My view is that his insistence on maintaining this in the plot blocked what the story itself was calling for. By doing that, one ends up with inconsistencies in the story - like how did the Earth visible constellations get to the tomb of Athena - and the contrived divine interventions at the end, just to be able make the final point about Hera being our "mother". It forces the non-scientific presentation of human origins into the story: that we (modern humans) are the descendants of human aliens from Kobol, Cylons, and primitive humans.
It forces the colonials to dump all of their technology, so as to "fit" the BSG story of human origins into what we know today. The ending says, well, we integrated human and machine in a positive way (Hera) at incredible cost, but the best thing to do now is to just forget about all that and then, hopefully, everything will turn out OK. I think BSG has been a much better show than that: the whole BSG story is a story of redemption based on the union of human and machine, as symbolized by the Hera story (or at least the possibility of redemption). That's powerful stuff that just gets ejected in the ending, by having the major characters essentially say, let's forget the "true" history (true from the perspective of the story as told; false from the perspective of what we know about human evolution) of human origins, and let later humans figure it out all over again, maybe. What good redemption story does that? It fails scientifically, but also from a literary point of view, because the ending thematically undermines the story up to that point.
The plotline where the Earth constellations are seen from the tomb of Athena clearly indicate the story is saying, someone from Earth - our Earth, our past - came to Kobol and created this. The fact that the science advisor to the show, Grazier, acknowledges a problem with it given how the story developed, is relevant.
If you read things that writers say about their creative process, it's not uncommon for them to say that, as the writing unfolds, their characters' true natures inform the author of where the story should go. This is often different from what the initial conception might have been. And a good writer will listen to what his or her characters are saying. Even Moore has spoken of this sort of process multiple times. I believe that the Earth constellations at the tomb of Athena is an example of a story so well conceived, that even if Moore didn't have the ending worked out at the time this was written, the story itself was pointing in the direction that the Kobolian humans had origins on our Earth, in our Earth past.
By forcing Hera to be the "mother" of present humanity, the structural bounds and consistency of the story that enable its aesthetic meaning are therefore broken. This was not necessary from the story itself unless you really feel that the meaning of the story is bound up in Hera being our "mother"
So in contrast to what Moore himself has said - that the ending was all about characters and not plot - I think it's possible he messed up the ending for what was basically a plot point: that Hera is the mother of present humanity. Maybe he didn't view it as a plot point; maybe he thought the message and meaning of his creation are all contained in that ending. But I don't agree with that. I pointed out earlier the structural inconsistencies in the ending that derive from the story itself, to indicate that this ending doesn't really make sense based on the story alone.
I think a story where Hera is the mother of a future humanity, where human and technology are integrated and reconciled in a spiritual-religious context, is pretty powerful, more powerful than Hera as the "mother" of us, in the present. The future can still be left open, maybe the integrated humans and machines are susceptible to more cycles of war; but at least redemption is a possibility, and this is absolutely consistent with the symbolism of Hera.
Sun, 2009-03-22 16:53
modification to long post
I said in my previous post "The plotline where the Earth constellations are seen from the tomb of Athena clearly indicate the story is saying, someone from Earth - our Earth, our past - came to Kobol and created this."
What I actually meant was "...someone from Earth - our Earth, our future - came to Kobol and created this."
Sun, 2009-03-22 22:18
Well pointed, random_joe.
Considering on hera as the mother of anything else, i agree with you, on imagining a new humanity, integrated with machine... No more pure humans or cylons, but Hybrids.
But a "new humanity" sounds too much scifi, and relating that as "our humanity" brings most people much more closer to "gettin around" the concept of the series finale, as you observe that since its very beginning, galactica always cared for being a show that even "non-scifi" fans can watch.
Of course im considering the PRODUCT, not the story telling. Surely BSG attracted the curiosity of some people to scifi channel itself, which found a chance to show its other products, and make a little more money.
Also there was a lot of supernatural intervention even before the pilot. Afterall you gotta remember that Starbuck got her song on her childhood, so the supernatural interventions on the colonies already started long before the pilot ep itself.
However, even with seasons having different approaches, if I analyse the full pack (4 years 66 eps), still its a very decent product.
Many scifi fans didnt got the hera as humanity´s mother, or starbuck as an angel. But what can we do?
My finale would be all of them drifting in space, coexisting all together... cylons, centurions, hybrids and humans. Which would invite us to wonder how they would manage to survive under so harder conditions... the lack of trust on centurions, even cylons themselves, the humans with their ever selfish side...
Would be a darker finale, but like i said on the beginning, would not make most audience confortable with the concept of the journey (no matter what flaws happened).
My guess is that this decision mostly had to do with linking people expectations from "the long journey" to "a confortable ending".
Also we´ll never know whats behind their deadlines, and all the meetings and schedules with scifi channel´s directors. You know, this is TV... nothing is free.
Wed, 2009-03-25 22:03
I FOUND IT , I FOUND IT... alternate ending for BSG
Guys, at least you have to agree with me. This ending will solve all problems listed.
Sun, 2009-03-22 17:43
How About This:
Starbuck's Bob Dylan Jump goes back in time. (I know they said they wouldn't, but ...)
Sun, 2009-03-22 19:06
But it didn't...
But it didn't...
Mon, 2009-03-23 17:15
Well, considering this is my
Well, considering this is my first fan wank, ever, I am rather pleased with myself, but I do realize that I still have much to learn. Devil's in the details, eh?
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