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So I've just started watching this series (yeah, I'm late), finished season 1 today so don't give me any spoilers about the rest thanks.
Now that that's out of the way, this show is pretty damn cool. Great characters and mostly great acting, the plot is certainly interesting and I don't think there has been a bad episode so far.
My only real issue with the show is it's just a tad too in your face theological philosophy. Now I've got no problem with theological discussions and ideas being presented in my tv and films. In fact it is really what sci-fi should be; idea based stories written in a pulpy, entertaining way. My problem with it is that they seem to not understand the point of atheism or atheists in general, now I'm agnostic myself but I was still a bit annoyed at how they handled atheist characters.
The most prominent atheist in the show is Dr. Gaius Baltar at the beginning of the series he mocks the idea of religion in a condescending and obnoxious way, and he starts talking about logic and reason as if it was some kind of replacement god. That's a trend hollywood atheism seems to have so I didn't think too much of it, but still that isn't how atheists think. But then it turns out (SPOILER ALERT) he's responsible for the complete and total destruction of humanity due to his own 'sins'. Now this still wouldn't be too much of a problem since the character is supposed to be selfish and despite being a genius quite short-sighted but the show wants to delve so much into his atheist nature as being the sole root of his flaws, it becomes a little offensive.
This is where the show seems to lack, throughout the first season Gaius Baltar goes on a spiritual journey in which he begins to pray, believe in god and in turn be a better person. This was just ignorant writing, and there is no excuse for that sort of thing. He did not begin to redeem himself because of his guilt and internal struggle with his dark secret, he changed because the gods showed him the way. The writers should have understood that atheists don't believe in a god not because they are afraid of being punished for their sins but because they literally can't believe in a god.
I can only hope in the following seasons there will be some characters who can debate the idea of religion without being arseholes.
TL;DR: Battlestar Galactica (first season) is a good show but doesn't understand atheism or atheists.
Edited by Redlegs on 5/7/2011 7:42 AM PDT
As someone who's seen and loved the series, I'll put in my $0.02
The religion isn't really meant to push religious views on the viewer, it's really more of a vessel to move the story along. It might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but you eventually realize that some characters (not naming any :P) use the "gods" or "God" like many fundamentalists do in today's world: it isn't so much that they believe, but they know other people do and they can use it as a weapon. As a man of strong faith, I did think it was a bit heavy handed in the beginning, but you eventually see the subtext and reason for it.
Baltar... I'm not sure I can actually comment on his character at all without spoilers >.< Safe to say that he's very, VERY important in the future. The science vs faith thing doesn't last too long, so just keep watching.
I'd almost say that it isn't that BSG doesn't understand atheists (many of my friends are), it's that the characters themselves don't quite understand what it means to believe or not believe. A good majority of them are ignorant about what faith is and isn't, and it comes up later on down the road.
If the religious thing is what's bothering you, I can't say that it goes away, but you have to realize that the world they live in is different from ours. They believe in gods, and it is the major faith of nearly every person on the 12 worlds. However, a lot of people don't quite believe as strongly as they lead you on to. Religion isn't so much a view of the creators as it is a plot device to move the story along and develop characters. I guess all I can say is, keep watching, it's amazing. One of my favorite series of all time.
As someone who's seen and loved the series, I'll put in my $0.02
Yeah I don't have an issue with the religious philosophy of the show it's part of what makes the show good I just feel it comes off too heavy handed and slightly unrealistic. Like when all of the government representatives bow before the president when she mentions the prophesy. It just feels like there would be a bit more speculation among some people. I mean I was so surprised they didn't have any characters who began claiming that their gods had forsaken them, or who used to be religious but stopped believing and became a more interesting character because of that journey. (well so far anyway).
Sorry to completely disagree...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_A._Larson (yes, he is a Mormon)
Well the religion they choose doesn't matter only the way they choose to tackle the subject matter. When you have atheist characters seen as either selfish, stubborn, or ignorant characters it feels like they are being to forceful with their ideology. The most interesting aspects of the show are the philosophies of the cylons, and the racist ideologies that both sides possess.
Great show. In fact one of my favorite scifi shows. There were minor things I didn't like with the show, but for the most part the writers and producers for the show definitely had balls. I really miss that in most shows. They're afraid to do things that would change the show, or they simply afraid to change the show.
Anyway, season 2 was my least favorite. The other seasons were better IMO.
For geeky reference, I also like(d) Farscape, all 3 Stargate shows, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation. And for the record: F*U Syfy channel for ending the Stargate shows like that (especially Atlantis). They deserved better send offs than that. Also, there are some other really good shows on the Syfy channel that aren't your average space scifi:
1.) Being Human (remake of a British show), it's about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. I know, I know, but really it's good. The first season ended a few months ago.
2.) Warehouse 13.
3.) Alphas, a new show.
4.) Haven, a surprisingly good little show. No massive budget, but good stories, characters, writing, and mysteries. It plays on the spooky horror scifi aspect too, like Tales From the Crypt and Twilight Zone, which most shows never do.
Edited by Khorim on 7/29/2011 8:50 PM PDT
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