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  #51  
Old 01-12-2019, 02:28 PM
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Since we're all weighing on the finale, apparently: I thought it was fine. It felt in keeping with the show at that point, had moments of fun, and got the job done of being a fairly thorough send-off. I was only disappointed with it because I thought it coulda been better, not because I thought it was terrible. My bigger complaint is that I think the fourth season was messy in general -- too many loose ends and random balls in the air, and not enough of characters and grit and immediacy that made BSG special to begin with.
  #52  
Old 01-12-2019, 03:39 PM
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Since we're all weighing on the finale, apparently: I thought it was fine. It felt in keeping with the show at that point, had moments of fun, and got the job done of being a fairly thorough send-off. I was only disappointed with it because I thought it coulda been better, not because I thought it was terrible. My bigger complaint is that I think the fourth season was messy in general -- too many loose ends and random balls in the air, and not enough of characters and grit and immediacy that made BSG special to begin with.


I think this is a problem with lots of shows people think are great. Folks tend to have such high expectations of the series finally. And when it turns out, it's just like any other episode in the series, they get disappointed

Seinfeld is a good example of that.
  #53  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:13 PM
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I think the bigger problem is that you can't shrug off the problems. With a regular episode, you can say "Wait, that didn't make any sense. But maybe they'll explain it later". And whether they do or not, you probably eventually forget the problems. But when it's the end, there's no room for that.

Shows like BSG and (from what I've gathered) Lost have the related problem that they promise eventual explanations of some things ("and they have a plan"). But if there wasn't ever actually a plan, then the finale is when that finally becomes unambiguously clear, as opposed to "we just don't know what it is yet".
  #54  
Old 01-13-2019, 02:03 PM
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"they have a plan" in BSG was such a joke because it obviously referred to the Cylon characters, not the writers. But fans kinda took it as the writers hinting that THEY had a plan, too.

But then it became clear that the writers DIDN'T have a plan, and eventually became clear that [SPOILER ALERT] the Cylons didn't actually have a real plan IN the story.
  #55  
Old 01-13-2019, 03:07 PM
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"they have a plan" in BSG was such a joke because it obviously referred to the Cylon characters, not the writers. But fans kinda took it as the writers hinting that THEY had a plan, too.
Ronald Moore has talked about how Scifi wanted that line in there and how he was very hesitant to put it in since they were not sure what it was. He aquiesced and that is how it ended up there.

I forget Brother Cavil's quote later, but it is spot on. Something like, "The plan? The plan was to wipe out all of humanity in one quick swipe and watch as the universe bathes in the glory of the justice of it all. That was the plan."

Note: I found the quote and it actually goes:

"The plan is everything blows up a week ago. All the humans are dead, and we Cylons all download, and the universe basks in justice. However...It didn't frakking happen."

Last edited by Mahaloth; 01-13-2019 at 03:09 PM.
  #56  
Old 01-13-2019, 07:10 PM
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Since we're all weighing on the finale, apparently: I thought it was fine. It felt in keeping with the show at that point, had moments of fun, and got the job done of being a fairly thorough send-off. I was only disappointed with it because I thought it coulda been better, not because I thought it was terrible. My bigger complaint is that I think the fourth season was messy in general -- too many loose ends and random balls in the air, and not enough of characters and grit and immediacy that made BSG special to begin with.
Oh, I reckoned the ending was - story wise - inevitable. I'd have been pretty stunned if that hadn't been what happened. I think I watched the entire run of the show with the assumption that that was where it was going. And even if I hadn't, it was very clear from the meat and bones of the final episode what they meant to say. The problem was therefore the incredibly patronising sequence, right at the very end where the point - already so very clear - was explicitly made. A cheap way to spoil an ending with which I was otherwise perfectly satisfied.

A bit like if at the end of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye had said "So BJ did say goodbye to me after all: look, there, he wrote it in big letters so it would be visible from the helicopter".
  #57  
Old 01-13-2019, 07:16 PM
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Oh, I reckoned the ending was - story wise - inevitable. I'd have been pretty stunned if that hadn't been what happened. I think I watched the entire run of the show with the assumption that that was where it was going. And even if I hadn't, it was very clear from the meat and bones of the final episode what they meant to say. The problem was therefore the incredibly patronising sequence, right at the very end where the point - already so very clear - was explicitly made. A cheap way to spoil an ending with which I was otherwise perfectly satisfied.

A bit like if at the end of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye had said "So BJ did say goodbye to me after all: look, there, he wrote it in big letters so it would be visible from the helicopter".
Nvm...cant figure out how to make spoiler modifiers

Last edited by Dale Sams; 01-13-2019 at 07:17 PM.
  #58  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:29 AM
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Oh, I reckoned the ending was - story wise - inevitable. I'd have been pretty stunned if that hadn't been what happened. I think I watched the entire run of the show with the assumption that that was where it was going. And even if I hadn't, it was very clear from the meat and bones of the final episode what they meant to say. The problem was therefore the incredibly patronising sequence, right at the very end where the point - already so very clear - was explicitly made. A cheap way to spoil an ending with which I was otherwise perfectly satisfied.

A bit like if at the end of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye had said "So BJ did say goodbye to me after all: look, there, he wrote it in big letters so it would be visible from the helicopter".
It's funny; that didn't bug me at all. I mean, it's a little cheesy but I think they earned it. I'm on board. What DID bug me was the dearth of surprises or interesting new reveals at the end. The main plot moved towards a predictable end and the remaining loose threads and mysteries were just kinda handwaved. Which was an option. It was just...dull.
  #59  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:46 AM
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I tend to find that the people that hated the finale were those that really wanted BSG to just be a military hard sci-fi and originally thought the metaphysical/religious aspects were just world building and were increasing dismayed that the metaphysical/religious aspects became more and more pronounced. At least that is what I recall from the discussions around the finale. Personally I thought it was one of the best treatments of religion in sci-fi (it's not A Canticle for Leibowitz, but then, what is).

So for anyone newly jumping in, I'd be sure to note that the show is military sci-fi, but also about metaphysical search for meaning in such a universe (including religion).
  #60  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:29 PM
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I was reluctantly willing to go along with the ending, until that final bit. Spoilers ahoy.

First, the bit showing modern life just seemed both really unlikely (humanity evolved from the BSG crew, on a planet full of creatures with our genetic code who weren't on the ship? nah) and pat.

Second, the robot dancing the robot was a huge tonal shift, nearly slapstick, and felt like a "fuck it, the series is over, what do we care?" moment. It really, really, REALLY didn't work for me.

The metaphysics during the show were great, but at the end they didn't hold up with the hard SF feel of the show.
  #61  
Old 01-14-2019, 12:51 PM
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I would have volunteered to hold Moore down while he did it.
I would have helped.
Hell, I'd still like to do that..
  #62  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:39 PM
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I tend to find that the people that hated the finale were those that really wanted BSG to just be a military hard sci-fi and originally thought the metaphysical/religious aspects were just world building and were increasing dismayed that the metaphysical/religious aspects became more and more pronounced.
No, I liked the metaphysical/religious aspects throughout the start of the series. What disappointed me was the revelation at the end definitively proving that the supernatural powers exist. I would preferred a more realistic ending, in that, whatever you might believe about metaphysics/religion/supernatural powers, in the end, there's never a definitive answer. It's always ambiguous. That kind of ending would have been true to the tenor of the series.

But what bothered me most about the ending was the ridiculously impossible and patently unrealistic development that we evolved from humanoid beings from a faraway planet. That's what really pissed me off the most. I expected more than that.
  #63  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:53 PM
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Deus ex machina.
  #64  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:23 PM
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Hopefully Chefguy has stopped reading by now, but in case not, I'll spoiler my issues with the finale.

SPOILER:
While I didn't love the "life on earth evolved from the BSG crew" part, I can live with it. It doesn't make a lot of sense if you start thinking about it too much, but it fits OK within the framework of the show and its world-building. Sure, the final scene was cheesy, but still fits completely with the rest of the show and the continuous thread of those two characters.

But I was bothered by what I saw as a copout with Starbuck. What was she. how did she come back? Who knows, who cares. I'm all-in on nebulous endings like The Sopranos, but this didn't seem nebulous to me. It just felt like the writers painted themselves into a corner and didn't care enough to do anything with it. "Eh, just make her disappear and no one will ask questions because we'll distract them with this final scene."
  #65  
Old 01-14-2019, 02:36 PM
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Hopefully Chefguy has stopped reading by now, but in case not, I'll spoiler my issues with the finale.

SPOILER:
While I didn't love the "life on earth evolved from the BSG crew" part, I can live with it. It doesn't make a lot of sense if you start thinking about it too much, but it fits OK within the framework of the show and its world-building. Sure, the final scene was cheesy, but still fits completely with the rest of the show and the continuous thread of those two characters.

But I was bothered by what I saw as a copout with Starbuck. What was she. how did she come back? Who knows, who cares. I'm all-in on nebulous endings like The Sopranos, but this didn't seem nebulous to me. It just felt like the writers painted themselves into a corner and didn't care enough to do anything with it. "Eh, just make her disappear and no one will ask questions because we'll distract them with this final scene."
Was that Earth?
I agree with you about Starbuck, but I thought that was also Deus ex machina.
  #66  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:35 PM
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The planet they ended up on was definitely, unambiguously proven to be our Earth. And the planet before that that had the Cylons on it was also definitely, unambiguously proven to be our Earth. And they were definitely, unambiguously two different planets. I can't square that circle. Make just a few minor changes, and I'd say it was time travel (which they actually did a pretty good job of setting up for), but they ruled that out, too.
  #67  
Old 01-14-2019, 04:45 PM
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Remember, spoiler tags are broken on the new theme.
  #68  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:18 PM
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Specifically, spoiler tags in quotes. But there's really not much of a good workaround for that.
  #69  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:27 PM
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The planet they ended up on was definitely, unambiguously proven to be our Earth. And the planet before that that had the Cylons on it was also definitely, unambiguously proven to be our Earth. And they were definitely, unambiguously two different planets. I can't square that circle. Make just a few minor changes, and I'd say it was time travel (which they actually did a pretty good job of setting up for), but they ruled that out, too.
The first planet they found was very much not definitely, unambiguously proven to be our Earth. We never saw the moon, we never saw the continents, we didn't see anything that would make us think it's this planet.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:33 PM
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Ronald Moore has talked about how Scifi wanted that line in there and how he was very hesitant to put it in since they were not sure what it was. He aquiesced and that is how it ended up there.

I forget Brother Cavil's quote later, but it is spot on. Something like, "The plan? The plan was to wipe out all of humanity in one quick swipe and watch as the universe bathes in the glory of the justice of it all. That was the plan."

Note: I found the quote and it actually goes:

"The plan is everything blows up a week ago. All the humans are dead, and we Cylons all download, and the universe basks in justice. However...It didn't frakking happen."
Dean Stockwell is gold.
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  #71  
Old 01-14-2019, 06:48 PM
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We saw the constellations. Nowhere else would the constellations look the same. IIRC, they even pointed them out, by the same names we use.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:03 PM
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I remember seeing constellations, don't recall their being named. In any case, that came later as they were getting closer to our neck of the woods. Our planet was named (by Adama?) 'Earth' in memory of the Cylons' planet. They're different planets. Moore was messing with heads.
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  #73  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:18 PM
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Spoilers



We arnt just the descendants of the Colonials but of Cylons too. We all came from the baby....the implication being that only someone with the combined genetics could survive the quickly approaching genetic bottleneck.


Also Starbuck was Starbuck. God brought her back til her mission was done and then she 'went home'.


Full disclosure: Their was a ton of braying on the USenet BSG group after the finale. Mostly from atheists who had been peddling "Baltar is a Cylon/has a chip' for over four years. I took great pleasure in saying "It was all there in episode one. You chose to disbelieve it." Not that I'm some evangelist. I just thought it was funny.

HERE in this thread, I respect everyones opinions and reasons for disliking the finale. You lot are reasonable chaps.

Finally, I thought the point of the little dancing robot was to show we have avoided The Colonials mistakes by using AI as a toy and not a weapon.
  #74  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:03 AM
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I agree with you about Starbuck, but I thought that was also Deus ex machina.
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Also Starbuck was Starbuck. God brought her back til her mission was done and then she 'went home'.
This is about the most literal "deus ex machina" you can get. That's not a good way to end a story.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:59 AM
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That's not a good way to end a story.
This is true.
  #76  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:45 AM
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Don't say "God". You know it doesn't like when we call it that.

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The metaphysics during the show were great, but at the end they didn't hold up with the hard SF feel of the show.
That's the thing - it was never more than a hard SF feel. BSG was not "hard science fiction"; in fact, it was so "soft" that it made Star Wars feel like The Martian. I've encountered few science fiction stories that cared as little about actual science, as this show. You know how they say how SW was just Tolkien, with spaceships? Well, BSG was just 2004 America. With spaceships. And magic.

And that's fine by me. Hard SF, Space Opera and Science Fantasy are all equally legitimate sub-genres, with an equal number of great works in each. If pressed, I'd even argue that I don't think science should stand in the way of a good story. It's just that people mistook mature storytelling and complex characters for "hard SF", which is a term that has absolutely nothing to do with story or character.

Last edited by Alessan; 01-15-2019 at 09:46 AM.
  #77  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:54 AM
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I didn't actually have any problem with "Entity-that-doesn't-like-to-be-called-God Did It". I have a problem with how hamhandedly Entity did it. Giving Starbuck a dream of a song that can somehow be interpreted as jump coordinates for right where they needed to go, sure, that feels like appropriate divine intervention. Making that planet be already populated by people genetically identical to the crew of the Galactica? No. That's not subtle, that's just "nothing else in the entire show matters".

Oh, and while we're at it, if you're going to toss in "You know that It doesn't like to be called God", you really ought to include some clues to what It does like to be called. The way they did it, it's just pointless mystery for the sake of being mysterious.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:55 AM
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I wish I hadn't read this thread. I'm going to have to increase my blood pressure medicine.
  #79  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:05 AM
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Since the spoilers are being flung with open abandon now, what I was alluding to is that the "they were really Adam and Eve" twist ending was already ensuring that submissions to the cheap pulps never made it out of the slushpiles in the 1950s. It was already a gigantic overused silly cliché a half century before BSG used it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:29 AM
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They knew about Mitochondrial Eve in the 1950s?
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:43 AM
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They knew about Mitochondrial Eve in the 1950s?


I linked this in spoiler tags earlier.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:53 AM
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I didn't actually have any problem with "Entity-that-doesn't-like-to-be-called-God Did It". I have a problem with how hamhandedly Entity did it. Giving Starbuck a dream of a song that can somehow be interpreted as jump coordinates for right where they needed to go, sure, that feels like appropriate divine intervention. Making that planet be already populated by people genetically identical to the crew of the Galactica? No. That's not subtle, that's just "nothing else in the entire show matters".

Oh, and while we're at it, if you're going to toss in "You know that It doesn't like to be called God", you really ought to include some clues to what It does like to be called. The way they did it, it's just pointless mystery for the sake of being mysterious.
I fully admit I just sieve out stuff that doesn't make sense* or is kinda irrelevant. (Like 'it doesn't like to be called that'...uhh ok. Let's move on then)

*Like "Don't follow Starbuck, she's the avatar of death" Or whatever that was. And how or why Starbucks Viper and body found itself on the 'Nuked Earth'. And Leoben freaking out cause it didn't fit his prophecys and...OK GUYS. If *I* can't find a way to fanwank whatever it is you're doing, then we have a problem. Cause I am a MasterFanwanker.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:05 AM
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I was reluctantly willing to go along with the ending, until that final bit. Spoilers ahoy.

First, the bit showing modern life just seemed both really unlikely (humanity evolved from the BSG crew, on a planet full of creatures with our genetic code who weren't on the ship? nah) and pat.

Second, the robot dancing the robot was a huge tonal shift, nearly slapstick, and felt like a "fuck it, the series is over, what do we care?" moment. It really, really, REALLY didn't work for me.

The metaphysics during the show were great, but at the end they didn't hold up with the hard SF feel of the show.
They could have handwaved that bit about us having the same genetics by referring to the '13th tribe' mentioned in Kobols Last Gleaming. And something about 'what catastrophe could have sent them to the Stone Age?'



...but they didn't. They specifically mention how strange it is to find identical humans here.
  #84  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:16 AM
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Star Trek had dozens, maybe hundreds of humanoid races capable of cross-breeding with humans scattered throughout the galaxy, some of which looked virtually identical to us (barring a pointy ear or forehead ridge). Why not BSG?
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:54 AM
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Star Trek had dozens, maybe hundreds of humanoid races capable of cross-breeding with humans scattered throughout the galaxy, some of which looked virtually identical to us (barring a pointy ear or forehead ridge). Why not BSG?
There was a Next Generation episode that had aliens placing DNA that would eventually become people on various star systems to explain how the various species were related.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:08 PM
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There was a Next Generation episode that had aliens placing DNA that would eventually become people on various star systems to explain how the various species were related.
All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:55 PM
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All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.
Ha! I forgot that blurb. It solidfies my theory that Moore had a bunch of blurbs and then had to build a series around it.

Moore: What have we got??!!

"All of this has happened before and will happen again"

"...And they have a Plan."

"There are twelve models"

Moore: Right!
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:23 PM
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This is about the most literal "deus ex machina" you can get. That's not a good way to end a story.
Just because something is deus ex machina doesn't make it automatically bad. Especially in stories that already have high amounts of mysticism. They could have easily done what Starbuck did in other ways, but they chose to have Starbuck be an angel. And they didn't do it all of a sudden, but had her be around for a while, even finding her dead body and having to deal with that. I enjoyed it and that they didn't try to overly explain it.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:27 PM
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Oh, and while we're at it, if you're going to toss in "You know that It doesn't like to be called God", you really ought to include some clues to what It does like to be called. The way they did it, it's just pointless mystery for the sake of being mysterious.
It seemed to me to be similar to the Jewish tradition of not referring to God (or G-d if you really wanted to). They had other terms for God, but the show preferred the it doesn't have a name and doesn't like to be called God. Which was fine, IMO. That with the 12 colonies/tribes sort of thing seemed to be channeling some Jewish traditions into the story.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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It seemed to me to be similar to the Jewish tradition of not referring to God (or G-d if you really wanted to). They had other terms for God, but the show preferred the it doesn't have a name and doesn't like to be called God. Which was fine, IMO. That with the 12 colonies/tribes sort of thing seemed to be channeling some Jewish traditions into the story.
I believe that comes from "Thou shalt not take My name in vain" rather than anything else.
One might do it my accident if s/he went around saying the name of G-d all the time.

"In the words of Maimonides, the great Jewish codifier:

It is not only a false oath that is forbidden. Instead, it is forbidden to mention even one of the names designated for G‑d in vain, although one does not take an oath. For the verse commands us, saying: “To fear the glorious and awesome name.”1 Included in fearing it is not to mention it in vain."

Last edited by carnivorousplant; 01-15-2019 at 02:39 PM.
  #91  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:49 PM
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Well, the first season was entertaining. Still not sure what to make of the doctor and his pretend girlfriend. Is he deluded? Is he possessed? Is he just insane? I like her better in ass-kicking mode, personally. And what's with all the god business?
  #92  
Old 01-15-2019, 03:00 PM
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And what's with all the god business?
Oops.
Er, are you still here?
  #93  
Old 01-15-2019, 03:01 PM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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Well, the first season was entertaining. Still not sure what to make of the doctor and his pretend girlfriend. Is he deluded? Is he possessed? Is he just insane? I like her better in ass-kicking mode, personally. And what's with all the god business?
Uh... hopefully you are cool with the god business because it is there to stay. Dr. Baltar is definitely one of the most interesting characters.
  #94  
Old 01-15-2019, 03:01 PM
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Well, the first season was entertaining. Still not sure what to make of the doctor and his pretend girlfriend. Is he deluded? Is he possessed? Is he just insane? I like her better in ass-kicking mode, personally. And what's with all the god business?
The god business is... god business. This is your make-it-or-break-it moment - either accept that this is fantasy series with sci-fi trappings, with gods, prophecies, visions and magic items, or reject it and walk away. I'm as much a fan of fantasy as I am of science fiction, so I stayed and enjoyed it. Your own MMV.

Last edited by Alessan; 01-15-2019 at 03:02 PM.
  #95  
Old 01-15-2019, 03:12 PM
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Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Don't say "God". You know it doesn't like when we call it that.

That's the thing - it was never more than a hard SF feel. BSG was not "hard science fiction"; in fact, it was so "soft" that it made Star Wars feel like The Martian. I've encountered few science fiction stories that cared as little about actual science, as this show. You know how they say how SW was just Tolkien, with spaceships? Well, BSG was just 2004 America. With spaceships. And magic.
Stipulating that, that's why I specifically said "feel." My problem wasn't with some supposed shift in the level of science; my problem was with a sudden shift in the tone.

I'm not great on understanding physics on any level beyond "Gravity make thing go down." But storytelling shit I'm a little more in tune with, and this just didn't work for me as a storytelling shift.
  #96  
Old 01-15-2019, 03:24 PM
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I recorded the show and burned it to DVD. I tossed them when the god stuff came up.

So, Chefguy, now you know. Perhaps it won't hurt so badly now that it is spoiled.
  #97  
Old 01-15-2019, 04:49 PM
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Since this thread was started by someone just starting shouldn't spoilers be hidden?

Since we're talking about the end here's what I didn't like:

SPOILER:
I thought the fact that the story was in the past and they were our ancestors was all fine. In fact it was expected (my pet theory while the show was airing was the Cylons would "win" and it would they, not the humans who were our ancestors). What didn't like was how so much of the Finale was "G-d did it". Moore made such a big deal about how he hated that Star Trek waved away problems with Technology and he did the exact same thing using Religion. It was literally "A Wizard did it". Also everything with Starbuck after she disappeared and reappeared was stupid as hell. As was Angel Baltar and Six walking off into the Sunset. The ending sucked.
  #98  
Old 01-15-2019, 05:07 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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I want to add The Devil was in the original. So....there's that. I'm sure any supernatural trappings of the original won't sway people dissappointed with the remake but...there it is.
  #99  
Old 01-15-2019, 05:25 PM
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I want to add The Devil was in the original. So....there's that. I'm sure any supernatural trappings of the original won't sway people dissappointed with the remake but...there it is.
Say what? The devil was in Battlestar Ponderosa?
  #100  
Old 01-15-2019, 05:37 PM
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Say what? The devil was in Battlestar Ponderosa?
This guy.
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