I’ve just finished watching the finale of Battlestar Galactica. Yes, I’m behind the times (oh I am talking about the new series, not the original one, that would be really behind the times). It’s been hard to avoid spoilers for the ending because of the very strong opinions it’s generated, hence I was watching it with one eye on the telly and one eye on my reaction: would I hate the ending as much as some people did?

Um, no. I have no problem with the ending per se. I thought it was rushed, but only to the degree that the last four episodes needed to be six or seven episodes (it struck me that characters like Tyrol and Helo jumped in and out of the storyline over the last few episodes).


The “Golgafrinchan B-Ark” part of the ending is fine by me. It fits in with the overall themes of both the new series and the original. A little more time might have helped to show how the fleet agreed to this solution so readily. One line about “blank slates” doesn’t really cut it but that doesn’t detract from the basic concept.

The Mitochondrial Eve part of the ending is worrying but in line with general “Hollywood Dumb”. The very concept of Mitochondrial Eve is merely the application of statistics in hindsight. Given a long enough period of time, such a person is likely to exist, but they were, in all probability, not at all special at the time. (And there’s no way that anything resembling modern science could tell whether a given fossil belonged to Mitochondrial Eve.)

The Head Ghosts/Angels part of the ending is obvious tosh. The coyness about God (“You know he doesn’t like that name”) means that we’re left with half an answer and personally I prefer the less than half an answer we got for the Starbuck story.

I don’t mind stories with mystical or supernatural elements, such stories are an important part of our culture, even if some people take them literally and apply mystical or supernatural explanations to the real world. BSG managed the tightrope between both the rational and the mystical over is run. It decided that both were part of its world. I don’t think it could have ended with a rational explanation for the visions, and prophecies that had filled the past four years.

It was one of the best pieces of television that we’ve had. Possibly the best ever in the SF genre. For all its faults, in the ending or in any part, I can’t think any less of it. If you haven’t watched it, do so; if you have, I hoped you enjoyed it as much as I did.

One Comment

  1. Hal Berstram says:

    It was great… would you like to borrow “The Plan”? That’s not so great… but it’s OK.

    Strangely, despite not being a massive fan of religion per se, I had few problems with the religious angle (or indeed the religious angel) in BSG. In one of the podcasts Ron Moore said he had been impressed by Gene Roddenbery’s humanist vision but wanted to do something completely different.

    Thinking about it, divine intervention is probably the only way to explain how one ageing battlestar and a load of cargo ships survived for four years against vastly superior forces. Someone had to be pulling the strings out there.

    We were left with half an answer but really, I think that’s better than some guy appearing in a white suit. (Unless it had been Dirk Benedict of course. That would have been something really special.)

    I think Moore was trying to make a comment about the idiocy of the media’s attitude to science with that ‘mitochondrial Eve’ thing… the idea being that they didn’t understand the science and its implications. Which of course is what’s gonna kill us off eventually… a clever kind of recursion going on there.

    Certainly it’s the best TV sci-fi out of America… and maybe, just maybe, the best ever.

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