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Posts from the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Ron Moore Confirms the Obvious: NBC Decision to Pull from iTunes Sucks

There is an extended interview with Ron Moore, writer/creator of the new Battlestar Galactica, on Wired.  Definitely worth reading.

One fun snippet:

Wired: You mentioned TiVo. Do you think you benefited from DVD box sets, TiVo timeshifting, the ability for people to go watch all of season one?

Moore: Absolutely. It’s a totally different world, and it plays to our audience. The fans of this genre traditionally lead all these technologies. The early adopters, the people who are very facile with computers and tech, and they will find the show in all these different formats. It absolutely has helped us.

Wired: Even being able to tell the non-fans, look, just go get the box set?

Moore: It’s great. That phenomenon has definitely occurred, too, where people who would not sample the show, who wouldn’t tune into something on Sci Fi Channel, much less called Battlestar Galactica, people would then press on them a DVD. They became fans. That happened a lot. People just put it on their iTunes. I bemoan the loss of NBC Universals relationship with iTunes for this show.

NBC’s decision to basically thumb their nose at their customers, their fans, around a theoretical strategic positioning on digital delivery is doomed to failure.  Not sure if the current management at NBC will get it, or whether they’ll have to be replaced (ala Disney/Pixar) to heal this one.  They have forgotten that the alternative to Apple’s rich ecosystem is widespread, DRM-free piracy.

They’ll figure it out soon enough.

Starbuck is NOT the Fifth Cylon

This is the problem with getting busy and not posting for two weeks.  What was an insightful and debatable claim is now fairly obvious.

Still, I felt I had to write this post, given all the excitement two weeks ago about someone “cracking” the Entertainment Weekly “Last Supper” photo from earlier in the year.  You can read about the detailed analysis here (which would actually make Dan Brown proud ala “The Da Vinci Code”), but at the end of the day, the conclusion is wrong.

Starbuck is not the final Cylon.

True, she’s the “Harbinger of Doom” and she will lead the humans “to their end”, but she’s not a cylon.  Sorry, not dice.  Fact is, she doesn’t fit any of the known clues left about the fifth cylon, and Moore has basically gone on record stating that she is not a cylon, but something else.

Since, I’m on the topic, let’s cover what I’ve been pondering lately: the comments from the “First Hybrid” in the Razor movie, and the recent episode from Friday, “Faith”:

  • From the episode “Faith” that aired on Friday:

    It’s at this moment that the Hybrid grabs Kara and communicates a semi-vague, yet straightforward message:

    - The dying leader will discover the truth about the Opera House.
    – The missing 3 will be used to find the Final 5.
    – The final 5 come from the home of the 13th tribe.
    – Starbuck is the harbinger of death that will take them all to their end.

  • From the movie, “Razor”:

    At last, they’ve come for me. I feel their lives, their destinies spilling out before me. The denial of the one true path, played out on a world not their own, will end soon enough. Soon there will be four, glorious in awakening, struggling with the knowledge of their true selves, the pain of revelation bringing new clarity, and in the midst of confusion, he will find her. Enemies brought together by impossible longing, enemies now joined as one. The way forward at once unthinkable, yet inevitable. And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering. I can see them all. The seven, now six, self-described machines who believe themselves without sin, but in time, it is sin that will consume them. They will know enmity, bitterness, the wrenching agony of the one splintering into the many, and then they will join the promised-land, gathered on the wings of an angel. Not an end, but a beginning.

So this brings me to my current thinking – everything the First Hybrid said is coming true, so there are likely more clues there.  Note the reference to “the wings of an angel”, which Kara Thrace was described as in this last episode.

The hardest part for me to rationalize in the current “four cylons” is Colonel Tigh.  Adama has known him for 40 years, since his youth.  That means Tigh got old… I didn’t know cylons could age.  But humanoid cylons didn’t come into being until well after the first Cylon war, so he can’t actually be a cylon… unless he either pre-dates the Cylons.  The quote from the hybrid suggests he is not a cylon per se, but from Earth.  Thats confirmation that cylons were not invented by the colonies recently, but may have existed long before.

That ties in with the them that “all of this has happened before, and all this will happen again”.

My favorite comment on my blog posts has been the ones that theorize that this is all some sort of elaborate simulation… somewhat like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  The Cylons killed their human masters long ago, and they repeatedly seed and build the colonies to repeat history and try to learn from it.

I doubt that will be the answer, but there is definitely a strong theme here that says that the Cylon/human issue has dated back well before cylons were “theoretically created” by the colonies.

The only non-linear hint here is that “Adama is a Cylon”.  Given the recently leaked backstory for the new series “Caprica”, it seems that a humanoid Cylon was made for the Adama family to replace Bill Adama’s lost sister… if his sister was Cylon, is it possible he is also?  Or that he had a model made to replace Zak?

We’ll see.

Battlestar Galactica: Episode 4.3 “The Ties that Bind”

If you don’t like spoilers, stop reading now.  Seriously.  I don’t want any whiny complaints.  You are lucky I didn’t put more in my title.

There is a very good write-up on BuddyTV.  It’s worth reading.

Let’s summarize what was great about the third episode of this season:

  1. Cylon civil war heats up. This could be going in a couple directions.  Pretty obvious issue with giving the Centurion’s access to higher-level thinking.  Hello?  Rebellion against the humanoid cylons.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  Like the rebellion 40 years ago against the human colonists?  Also having the Cylons self-destruct helps lead us towards some sort of human victory – there has to be some form of Cylon destruction – right now, the Cylons are too powerful and eventually they will crush the humans unless they either (1) find help or (2) self-destruct.  Not sure which it will be yet, but the current thread opens up (2) as an options.  Last note: are we going to see the emergence of true individual behavior in the Cylons, as a virus?  Happened with Baltar’s 6, now the Boomer 8.  Not good for the robots.  Not good at all.
  2. Some of the “final four” are definitely acting Cylon.  Tory is starting to act like the new Number 6, before she went soft.   Sex with Baltar, flirt with Tyrol, kill Callie?  Not bad for three episodes.
  3. Cally dies. Nice to see that Battlestar hasn’t lost its guts yet.  Of course, they could wuss out and make Callie the final cylon…  of course, they’d have to explain the Tyrol-Callie baby at that point, since it would be Cylon/Cylon.  Let’s hope they don’t.  Let’s hope they had the guts to kill an empathetic character, cruelly, and without remorse.   Battlestar has to stay dark to stay true to its roots.

Other cool stuff, of course, but had to comment.   Add yours below.  I’ve really been enjoying the comment stream on the previous fifth cylon posts here and here.  Check them out, I’m getting two or three new comments there every day.

Can’t wait until Friday…

Welcome Back to Battlestar Galactica. Now About That Fifth Cylon…

It’s just so great to have Battlestar Galactica back again. The first episode of the fourth and final season aired on Friday. Lots of fun too, since it picked up immediately on the two biggest character developments of the end of season three: the return of Starbuck, seemingly from the dead, and the continued realization of the outed “four” who are coming to terms with not being human.

It’s a little sad too, the way that this last season of “The Wire” was sad. Sad because yet another great TV show is ending, and it’s tough to see what might take it’s place.

If you haven’t been reading the spoilers and potential plot summaries about the upcoming BSG spinoff “Caprica”, another one is up on SyFy Portal. Check out this portion of the plot concept:

William Adama, who will be 9 years old in the series, actually had a sister. But both his mother and sister are killed in a suicide bombing that also took out Zoe, the daughter of Daniel Graystone, a wealthy computer engineer and designer who is trying to build an “intelligent robot.” The terrorist attack bring together Daniel and Joseph, but Daniel grieves in a different way. He discovers that Zoe had a far better understanding of robotics and computers than even he did, and uses that technology to help build the first Cylon … with Zoe’s personality.

Joseph ends up helping Daniel to create robotic versions of not just Zoe, but of his own daughter, Tamara, as well. Unlike Daniel Graystone, however, Joseph changes his mind about having Tamara created in robot form, and eventually reveals to his son William that their name is not Adams, but instead is Adama.

Now remember, this new series is being created by the people who know exactly who the fifth cylon is, and largely how BSG is going to wrap up. In some ways, this is like the Monty Hall problem in statistics – Monty knows which door has the Cadillac behind it, so his choice is not truly independent.

There are some who think the fifth cylon is Roslin, Baltar, or even Admiral Adama. All of these possibilities are contradicted by the clue from the Entertainment Weekly article – none of the humans in the picture is a cylon. There are others who vote for Gaeta, since he’s been suspiciously close to the action the entire series… kind of like Wedge Antilles in Star Wars. I’ve seen votes for the Tom Zarak, Dee, or even Starbuck.

It’s hard to be certain, of course, but I’d say that the plot summary for Caprica raises some questions… like whether or not humanoid cylons actually pre-date the Cylon war. The idea that there effectively was a proto-Cylon “Adama” raises some possibilities.

I just wonder if we’re going to start seeing more references to Zak Adama in this fourth season…  there was that statement that, “Adama is a Cylon”.

Anyway, we’ve got at least eight or nine weeks of great TV ahead of us. Actually, right now, with “John Adams” on HBO, it’s promising to be a good April.

Update (4/22/2008): New post on Episode 3 of the 4th Season: Ties That Bind.

Update (11/26/2008): New post on Final Five Candidates for the Fifth Cylon (Possible Spoilers).

Battlestar Galactica, Season 4, Caprica, and the Movie

Can you hear it….?  That distant rumbling….?  That’s the sound of the best show on television coming in for a new season.

April 4th.  10:00PM.  Sci-Fi Channel.

Some news tidbits from Buddy TV, which covered the Battlestar Galactica news conference:

  • We get 10 episodes.  The last 10 episodes will likely be in 2009.  (Writer’s strike)
  • Shows will be on scifi.com at noon that day for early viewing.  Nothing specific on iTunes.
  • Greenlight to the prequel TV series pilot, “Caprica”, which will focus on a time, 50 years before the show, before the first Cylon war.  Will be a 2-hour movie in the fall.
  • No vote on the movie of Battlestar Galactica post-season 4.

As the article closes:

The cast just received their first post-strike script and will resume production next week. Moore stated that, in writing the final season, his primary goal is simply to bring everything home and do justice to the series he has created. When asked about possibly expanding to a Battlestar Galactica film after it’s over, Moore’s answer was a definite “No,” claiming the series would not translate well to the big screen.

Can’t wait.

Star Wars Trivia: Darth Talon

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that over the New Years holiday, I flipped through a copy of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.  Yes, I just admitted that.  No, I’m not sure why I did it.

In any case, I now know a few new things:

  1. There is an endless supply of almost meaningless detail about timelines, people, and battles that are sometimes self-contradictory and totally separate from the movies.
  2. There is a very cool Wikia site called “Wookiepedia” that has an almost endless supply of Star Wars information, and it’s free.
  3. There is a new comic book series called “Star Wars Legacy” that takes place 137 years after the Death Star was blown up, in a bleak future where the Republic & Jedi have fallen to a new order of the Sith.

As an interesting trivia item based on (3), I also discovered what I imagine it would look like if Darth Maul and Angelina Jolie had a baby: her name is Darth Talon.  Enjoy.

Battlestar Galactica: The Fifth & Last Cylon (possible spoilers)

So, I’m confused. Is the last Cylon the fifth cylon (of the final 5) or the twelfth (since there are 12 models).

Anyway.

Great article today in SyFy Portal. (similar coverage on BuddyTV.) It’s a teardown from the recent Entertainment Weekly coverage of Season 4. They are very clever, and managed to squeeze some hints out of the 2-page spread which is designed to mimic Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, except with a silhouette of the last, unknown Cylon.

The trick is, of course, that anyone else featured in picture CAN’T be the final cylon.  You definitely want to click through here to the EW article & interactive picture.

So where does that leave us? From the article (now’s the time to stop reading…):

The photo spread, which can be viewed here shows 12 different characters from “Battlestar Galactica,” and an obviously empty location. That spot, says executive producer Ronald D. Moore, is being held for the final Cylon.

“We have not yet revealed the final Cylon,” Moore told the magazine. When the writers asked if that means everyone else sitting at the table is definitely not that last Cylon, Moore was probably the most direct he’s ever been on potential show spoilers.

“You ferreted that out pretty slyly,” Moore said. “I didn’t want to give that away.”

So who is a Cylon and who isn’t? The table features six already revealed Cylons: Michael Hogan’s Col. Tigh; a new Cylon model of Number Six played by Tricia Helfer named Natalie; Number Six (possibly Head Six thanks to the red dress and Moore’s description) herself; Michael Trucco’s Anders; Aaron Douglas’ Chief Tyrol; and Athena, played by Grace Park. Those who aren’t Cylons, and probably won’t be Cylons at all, include President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber), Gaius Baltar (James Callis), Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), Karl “Helo” Agathon (Tahmoh Penikett), and William Adama (Edward James Olmos).

Strangely, my original post on spoilers for the Final Five is still one of the top posts on this blog.

Things get moving again in March.  Enjoy.

Update (4/6/2008): New post online about “Caprica” and implications for the possible fifth cylon.

Update (4/22/2008): New post on Episode 3 of the 4th Season: Ties That Bind.

Update (11/26/2008): New post on Final Five Candidates for the Fifth Cylon (Possible Spoilers).

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