I can count the times on one hand (maybe even a couple of fingers) when a television series has so moved me, so inspired me, so filled me with emotion that I have to write about it. I just watched the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. (Yes, I’m almost a week late, but I’ve been saving this episode.) This blog is about the triumphs of writing, and if ever there was a triumph of writing, of vision, for the big screen or small, it is this series. (Yes, I know this sounds like hyperbole, even as I write it. Didn’t I just say I was inspired?)
I was struck by the beginning mini-series in 2003, hooked by the themes, by the characters, by the story, and have been dragged along through its entire arc, having endured long droughts between episodes, stretches in the middle where storylines faltered and even went off the rails for a while, suffered from a fair share of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments, but in this last season, the writers, with Ronald Moore at the helm, pulled everything together. They created a series finale that was thrilling, moving, riveting, and so tremendously satisfying that I’m having a hard time imagining how any form of entertainment could top it.
I’m not going to offer any analysis or spoilers. There are thousands, millions of fans who will be talking about this for years to come, and they are far more capable than I of dissecting the minutiae and teasing out the interwoven themes and subplots. There are also plenty of people in the blogosphere talking about how badly the last episode sucked, for numerous reasons, and they make some good points, but I’m not here to argue.
I’m just here to say:
Reader, if you love a powerful tale well-told, and you have never watched an episode, or if you know BSG and somehow fell by the wayside along its six-year run, do whatever you have to do. Get the DVDs by hook, crook, dogsled, or parachute drop. Starting with the mini-series, watch them all in order (and make sure to include Razor), from start to finish. Parts in the middle will falter, but you must persevere. And when you reach the end, you will agree. For the story, for the performances, for the themes and issues it raised, Battlestar Galactica is not just the best sci-fi series ever; it represents the best of what drama can be.