The role and future of SciFi

In an era where political discourse too often seems to be a series of cheap shots on late night talk shows, one program seemed to rise about the rest. And it all takes place long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Well, maybe not exactly, but Battlestar Galactica did raise raise the bar on both what issues a series can deal with, and with what a surprising level of honesty it can do it with.

As an issue of full disclosure, let me tell you that I’m not usually a fan of science fiction, and started watching Battlestar on the recommendation of a friend. Strongly influenced by 9/11, the show about the last band of humanities survivors, their world completely destroyed in an surprise attack by machines they themselves created, dealt with issues such as torture, abortion, suicide bombings, cancer, religious freedom, and a laundry list of others. The fleet is constantly on the run from their robot attackers, and are searching for a safe haven, the (mythical) planet Earth.

Okay, it sounds really geeky. But here’s the thing, it’s not. The whole thing plays much more like a maritime adventure than a Star Wars style space epic. Not seeing any show brave enough to take its place as a political drama that ruses to be labeled ideological, I for one am sad to see it go.

Here’s NPR’s sendoff to the show.


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