My Own Private Battlestar

Originally written August 8th, 2001. Obviously this was written before the RDM reboot.

Of all the ephemeral, frothy, stupid, worthless things I’ve ever written, this is absolutely the most feculent. I won’t blame any of you if you turn back now, rather than read on. I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time with this, except that this came to me as a dream, and it’s been burning in my brain for two days now. I notice that even though I’m trying to retain it, I’m losing some of the details and some of the nonsensical dream sensibilities of it. Hence, I wanted to write it down before I lost it entirely. But I’ll be the first to admit that it’s useless, fanboy tripe, and, really, you’d all be better off doing something more cerebral, rather than reading this, like, I dunno, betting on the dog races, or staring at the sun until you go blind.

Anyway…

Any of you remember Battlestar Galactica? (I told you to turn back.) For those of you unawares, or who have forgotten the pertinent details, it was a ludicrously expensive Science Fiction series, back during the ’79/’80 TV Season on ABC TV. Its premise: far off in space, at some undisclosed time in the past/present/future, there are twelve earth-like planets in the same solar system. (The Script says the show is in our past, the series itself seems to maintain that the show took place in our present, and, of course, the novel said that the show took place in the year 6999 AD.) Anyway, all these worlds (named after the Zodiac) are heavily populated by Humans – an exact number is never given, but say about four billion to a planet. Collectively, these worlds were known as “The Colonies.” There was a heavy biblical allusion running through the show, clearly its producers were trying to equate the twelve colonies with the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Anyway, the Colonies have been at war with The Cylon Empire for one thousand years. (Though in the show, ‘Years’ are called ‘Yahrens’, which is a phonetic spelling of the German word ‘Jahren’ which means ‘Years.’ Lots of wonky terminology on this show.) The Cylons are a species of intelligent machines, most of which were kind of stupid, but were chrome plated and looked cool. Also, for no explainable reason, these Cylons spoke English, and carried swords.

Humanity’s only apparent weapon in this millenium-long war were the Battlestars, which were kickass outer-space aircraft carriers that look vaguely like Alligators. Actually, like Alligators on skis with cropped tails. There don’t appear to have been too many of these things. The only ones we ever saw were the Galactica, the Atlantia, the Triton, the Kobol, and the Columbia, four of which were destroyed in the first thirty minutes of the first episode. Later on we stumbled across the Pegasus, and they made reference to the Rycon, which had apparently been destroyed prior to the first episode.

In the first episode of the show, the Cylons have decided to open negotiations to end the war, but big surprise, they’re lying. At the Peace Conference, the Cylons launch a sneak attack which devastates the Colonies and their military. The only ship to survive the holocaust was the titular Battlestar Galactica. It’s commander, Adama (Lorne Greene, best known as Pa Cartwright on Bonanza), quickly organizes a fleet of 220 civilian ships, carrying as many refugees as they can carry, and they haul ass away from the colonies, trying to find some place of refuge, before the Cylons slaughter the whole of humanity. There’s no word about what became of the forty-eight billion other people who lived on the colonies. Presumably they were killed. Certainly a lot of them were killed, based on dialog between Baltar and some Cylons, but really we don’t know. Anyway, shortly thereafter, Commander Adama announces that their destination is the mythical planet ‘Earth,’ which seems to be regarded about as realistically as most people regard ‘Atlantis’ in the real world.

All this happens in the first episode.

Lorne ‘Adama’ Greene became a Moses figure, a spiritual and secular leader, shepherding the ‘Rag Tag Fleet’ on it’s ‘Lonely Quest, to a shining planet known as ‘earth.’ Jane Seymour, Dirk Benedict, Richard Hatch (no, not the gay one), John Colicos, Anne Lockhart,  Jonathan ‘Dr. Smith’ Harris, and a bewilderingly large ensemble cast were along for the ride. Lloyd Bridges, Ray Bolgers, Lew Ayres, Patrick MacNee, Wilfred Hyde-White, Rick Springfield, Fred Astaire, and many, many others did guest starring bits. They really had the budgets and the big names. They even had the guy who played ‘Devon’ from Night Rider. He played an angel.

The rest of the show consisted of run-ins with the Cylons, various failed attempts to find earth, power struggles within the ‘Rag Tag Fleet’, Spirituality, sports, disco, murder, the emergence of new enemies, other than the Cylons, and, most interestingly, a series of episodes in which the Galactica et al became pawns in a supernatural battle between Angels and the Devil. The episodes involving Sports were rather embarrassing. Oh yes, and there was an episode about a planet of Cowboys. That was pretty awful, also. Ultimately, after one last battle with the Cylons, the show was canceled abruptly. In all, there were just seventeen episodes produced, however, owing to the almost completely random lengths of these episodes, those seventeen episodes comprised twenty-four hours of TV.

Ok, I’ll be honest. This was not one of the high pointsof television. It was a sprawling train wreck of a TV show. It was rushed into production before they were really ready, episodes ran in multiple, contradictory directions at once,  the writing was occasionally good, but frequently quite bad, and a lot of the episodes seemed suspiciously like re-treads of old movies. (“The Living Legend,” parts I & II are suspiciously like “Patton”. “The Gun On Ice Planet Zero” is a dead rip-off of “The Guns of Navarone”. “The Long Patrol,” is essentially “High Noon” in space.) The show’s blend of bush-league acting, Star Wars special effects, and whacky-ass Mormon theology (Thanks to the show’s creator, Mormon Bishop Glen A. Larson), and inherently cowardly fundamental premise (“Run like hell from the bad guys!”) all combined to form one of the most memorable disasters in prime time history. Ultimately, it resulted not only in its own cancellation, but it also caused ABC to go from being the number one rated network, to number three, a position it did not recover from for another decade.

Harlan Ellison, who’s made a career out of being the angriest man in Science Fiction, simply dismissed the show as “Battlestar Ponderosa,” an opus so inherently derivative that he subsequently referred to the Series Creator and Executive Producer as “Glen Larceny,” and left it at that.

All that having been said, though the show was ultimately a wretched failure, it really was one of the most entertaining wretched failures in TV history. It’s really kind of hard not like a show that is so extravagantly clueless. It tried soooo hard, and it had so much ambition, and even a bit of potential, (which is unusual in TV SF) that, dammit, you really just want to like the show. It has a strange feeling of giddy excitement and foreboding, a kind of devil-may-care dread that no other show has ever captured, and I doubt any ever will, because, frankly, who would ever greenlight a mess like this again?

Obviously, I’m a fan.

Hell, I was a twelve-year old boy in 1979. I practically have no choice in the matter.

Periodically, over the last twenty-one years, there’s been some interest in resurrecting the show, and resolving its storyline, as nebulous as that was. The show actually was brought back in a bastardized fashion for the ’80/’81 season under the title ‘Galactica: 1980’. It lasted eight very bad episodes, starred Barry Van Dyke and Kent McCord, and only three people from the original series. Wolfman Jack guest starred in one episode. In my opinion, and the opinion of every other right-thinking Science Fiction Enthusiast, it is best to ignore it and pretend that it never happened. It was a bad, bad, evil series, and I will speak no more of it here.

Anyway, so there’s been periodic interest in bringing the show back as a series of TV movies, but the disastrous Galactica ’80 show pretty much killed that idea, as it was probably meant to. There was some vague talk of resurrecting it as a series of movies in the early ’80s, a’ la Star Trek, but then Lorne Greene died, and that kaiboshed that. At the time, I really wanted the show back. In the early 90s’, there was a revival of interest in the show, which I think the Fans took a little more enthusiastically than was warranted. After all, in the early 90s there was a general revival of interest in all things 70s. Sure, Galactica was hip again, but so was the Bionic Woman and Fantasy Island for God’s sake.

The end result of all this was an ambitious, and well-thought-out, but poorly written and badly drawn Comic Book from Maximum Press, which picked up the story fifteen years later, when they finally found earth. Then Richard “Apollo” Hatch – who seems to have been generally rather disinterested in Galactica while he was actually working on the show – discovered his old meal ticket was making money again. Since he really hasn’t done squat since then, he started hawking the idea of a reunion with renewed vigor. He has written three very bad Galactica Novels, and, with several other washed up Galactica Pals, made a fifteen-minute ‘Trailer’ film to show at Science Fiction conventions. It’s called “Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming” and it’s apparently pretty good, though there’s no movie or real story to back it up. Though I’m not a fan of Richard Hatch, I had to be impressed by his moxie, and such an aggressive grass-roots attempt at Science Fiction film making really was ballsy, if not particularly realistic. A friend of mine was attached to the project for a couple weeks, contributing his time, free of charge, to develop Computer Models of various ships in the Rag Tag Fleet.

This begat renewed interest from Glen Larceny, who decided he wanted to make a big screen Galactica movie, and talked to Universal Studios about it. Though Universal doesn’t appear to have taken him seriously, Larson seems to really have believed he was gonna’ make the movie. His ill-conceived project battled it out with Hatch’s ill-conceived project in the generally rather addled minds of the Fen, despite repeated set backs on both sides. No studio would take Hatch seriously. Meanwhile, Universal wouldn’t let Larson have the rights to Galactica, so his story could only use characters that weren’t copyrighted by the studio. Thus, Larson’s Battlestar Galactica movie would not have involved the Galactica at all, but rather the Battlestar Pegusus and Commander Cain (Lloyd Bridges – who doesn’t ever seem to have been approached about reprising his role).

Encouraged by all the interest, Maximum Press asked Richard Hatch to write a four-issue mini-series of their Galactica Comic, and they apparently gave him carte blanch to do whatever he wanted. This was a real bad move. His generally incoherent story had nothing to do with the several years worth of issues they’d already put out, involved time travel, angels, the return of Jane Seymour, re-living the destruction of the Colonies, and, in the end, fundamentally re-writing the rules of the universe in which the story was set. This was not a good thing. Not only did it invalidate anything that had happened in the comic series up to that time, it also invalidated the TV series upon which it was based! The Maximum Press comic series folded immediately thereafter. There was a better comic series from another company – I want to say ‘Antarctic Press’, but I’m not sure – that came out afterwards, with better art, but no real stories to speak of. It folded after three years, from lack of interest.

Interest in the movies waned around this same time, and Richard Hatch still didn’t have a movie deal. Once Glen Larson realized that Hatch probably wasn’t actually gonna’ get a movie made, he lost interest in his Battlestar Pegasus project, and went off to make ‘Wing Commander: The movie’ instead. And there it sat, after five years of fighting and effort, and work, exactly nothing was accomplished. Everything was just where we left it in 1981.

Somewhere in that period, I lost interest. I didn’t stop liking the original show, but I stopped wanting it to come back. I liked watching the old episodes, though I’ve mostly memorized them. I enjoy discussing it, but I stopped wanting new episodes. Lorne Greene is dead. John Colicos is dead. Dirk Benedict is old as hell. Perhaps it was simply because the books and comics and movie ideas I was hearing just weren’t very good.

I realized the truth of the old saying that you never look at the same river twice. What I want is the ’79/’80 season of Galactica, but since it was never made, I’m not going to get it. The best I could get is a new show which was based on  the one season of a TV show that wasn’t terribly popular to begin with. I want more of the giddy, anarchic, mess that I watched as a kid. Now, if I get anything, I’ll get a professional, finely crafted, polished, soulless product. There comes a time when you realize this. If a beloved TV show is like a favorite pet, then that show’s abrupt cancellation is like the untimely death of your pet. Yes, you miss it. Yes, you wish it didn’t die. Yes, you want it to come back, but eventually you realize that you can’t bring your favored pet back to life. And even if, decades later, someone offers to clone the pet from its DNA that they’ve cobbled together, what you’ll end up with is just a clone. It may look and smell like your dead pet, it’ll be every bit as stupid or smart as your pet was, perhaps, but it’s not the same animal. It doesn’t have the memories, the spirit that the original did, any more than my wife and her identical twin sister share the same soul. They don’t. They’re very different people, who happen to look exactly the same. Eventually, you realize that you have to be content with your memories, and stop trying to Frankenstein your pet back from the dead. Eventually, I realized that the image of Galactica that I have exists more in my head than in reality, and what I want is the image in my head, which, of course, I’m never going to get. I realized that I should be content with my own private Battlestar and let it rest. Plus, really, most of the stories and story ideas I was reading really were shit-ass awful.

This is not a popular opinion. When I tell this to people, they say that I’m wrong, with almost religious fervor. They get facts wrong about the show, which most of them were too young to remember when it was first broadcast. They say things like ‘Who do you think would win in a fight, the Galactica, or the Enterprise?’ They make way the hell too many Star Trek comments. They say ‘Trek came back from the dead.’ I reply, ‘Yes, but Star Trek ran for three years, before it’s cancellation. It had a sense of what it was before it died, and ‘The Motion Picture’ was made only ten years after the show was canceled. Galactica only lasted a year, clearly had no sense of what it was before it died, and it ended twenty one years ago!’ ‘No matter,’ they say, ‘look how successful Star Trek has been since it came back!’ I say, ‘Do you like the modern Star Trek?’ ‘Yes,’ they say. It is at this point that I terminate the conversation. No one who likes the Modern incarnations of Trekdom can understand the basic rules of Drama, be it SF or Mundane. The Aristotelian Unities are completely lost on them, so it’s a foregone conclusion that they won’t be able to understand how a show is a product of its time, and the differences in tone between then and now, or, well, really, anything. Nor do they want to. They don’t really want anything new. They want what they have seen a million times already, but with slightly newer packaging. They want predictable stories, and shiny objects, and whiz-jets that go swoosh when they zip by you. They want battles and flashing lights, and women in revealing clothing, all of which Galactica has in droves. What they want is More Trek. Listen to some of their discussions, or read some of the truly awful Fanfic out there: They talk about ‘Warp Drive’ on the Galactica, which had no such thing. They talk about ‘Raising the deflector shields’ on the Galactica, though the series made very clear that the Galactica had no kinds of shields whatsoever. They talk about ‘Non-interference with less-developed races,’ as being a law amongst colonials. They’re making stuff up, and grafting it on to the Galactica universe, which is fine, but they seem incapable of incorporating anything that they didn’t steal from Star Trek.

I’m not going to get on my hobby horse here about which show is better, because none of them are better. Galactica is not better than Trek, and Trek is not better than Galactica. They’re both shit. They are, neither of them, any more important or more relevant than any random episode of The Bionic Woman, or Lost in Space, or My Mother The Car. Trek, however, has become the standard of SF, lamentably, and it’s a goddamn boring standard at that. Galactica is different. It plays by different rules, and in my horribly biased and subjective opinion, it’s moderately less boring than Trek has been for the last thirteen years. If and when Galactica comes back, it’ll probably be a repeat of the Galactica: 1980 debacle, and it’ll be cancelled in 13 episodes and forgotten, however the possibility exists that it’ll be successful, which is far worse. If it is successful, it will become Trek, a multi-headed, boring monster spawning series after series of dull, drab, tepid, flaccid, boring TV that Just Will Not Fucking Go Away!

I don’t want this. Hence, I oppose a Galactica revival, as I have explained on numerous occasions, in personal conversation, in personal correspondence, on message boards, in e-mail, and in Interpretive Dance, and even with hand puppets when the Trekies, or Trekkers, or Trekazoids, or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves this week, can’t seem to understand my words. This isn’t my mission or agenda or anything, I don’t generally dogmatize upon it, but I give my opinion when the subject comes up. I do find it interesting to note, however, that a shockingly large number of Trekophreniacs, or whatever, are completely incapable of understanding just about anything I say. Make of that what you will.

Having said all that, Battlestar Galactica is coming back as a new, mid-season replacement series in the 2002 Season. I’m opposed to this, of course, but I’ll probably watch it because, when all is said and done, I’m a whore.

Which brings me to the point of this diatribe, my dream, as you’ll recall:

***  ***  ***

In my dream, I’m talking to my friend, Ian, and watching TV. Apparently we’re discussing the premier of the new Galactica show. The commercial break on TV ends, and I say “It’s coming on, I gotta’ go, I’ll call you back later, bye.” Then I hung up the phone, and watched the TV. The rest of the dream is pretty much me intently watching TV, as I recall.

There was no teaser or preamble, it just started out with the opening credits. They were exactly the same as the opening credits of the old TV show, and I was thrilled.

Then the episode began, and I wasn’t thrilled.

“God, this is just an old episode of the show, what a rip off!”

I’d seen it before, they were just repeating one of the later episodes of the original series. I watched it anyway, because, as I said before, I’m a whore. Even in my dreams. Presently, I realize that this ‘New’ episode is actual several sequences from the old series, spliced together to form a ‘new’ story. I note that the dialog has been changed, and, I figure, it’s probably been re-dubbed with new dialog by the surviving actors from the show. Adama’s voice seems a bit spotty in places, so I figure they’ve probably spliced together bits of dialog from elsewhere – Galactica, Bonanza, or perhaps his guest appearance on Love Boat, whatever – to make his dialog.

Just as an aside, if these all sound like fairly unreasonable observations to make in a dream, they probably are. I have a degree in Television Production, and produced and directed my own TV show for three seasons. I’m also a movie buff from way back, so I’ve just sort of trained myself to notice things like this in real life. On random occasions, I also notice them in dreams. Put it this way: If I have a dream about a painting, I notice the painting. If a painter has a dream about the painting, he’d probably notice the brushstrokes or some other aspect that I’d be only vaguely aware of. Likewise, if a painter dreamed of a TV show, he’d probably only notice the TV Show, whereas if I dream about a TV show, I tend to notice the way the show is put together. Unless, of course, we’re dreaming about a TV show that’s about painting, in which case all bets are off. Now back to our regularly scheduled phantasmagoria:

Anyway, in my dream, I notice that they’ve cleverly edited footage and dialog from several sources together, and cut this in with new Special Effects, in order to tell a new story. This strikes me as pretty clever.

Presently I start to notice a scene featuring Adama and Starbuck that I can’t place. It’s new footage, but Starbuck is still in his late 20s, and Adama is still alive. This confuses me at first, but I soon I realize that there must have been an episode in Production when the original series was canceled, and they just never bothered to complete it. I assume that this ‘raw footage’ must have sat in the can for twenty years, and then been hauled out and worked into this new story.

This whole episode, in my dream, is cobbled together sort of like ‘The Crow’, out of whatever they happened to have on hand. I’m thrilled at the idea of seeing a ‘New’ old episode that I never got to see – essentially an episode from the abortive second season, which really is all I wanted all along – but I’m very aware of the fact that they won’t be able to keep it up. Ok, so maybe twenty or thirty previously unseen minutes of the old show exist somewhere, but clearly they’ve used most of it in the episode I’m watching in my dream. You can’t build a series around it.

We’re about fifteen minutes into the episode. I notice a couple people I can’t recognize. They’re dressed just like everyone else, in Colonial Warrior’s uniforms, but somehow they don’t fit. Suddenly, I realize it’s their hair. They don’t have 70s disco cuts. They seem conspicuous in the background. There’ll be a shot of a doorway, and these two loitering outside if for a second. Then the door will open, and they’ll skedaddle. In come the principle cast, who deliver their lines, and then leave. Then the two I can’t identify will come back into the scene, stand by the doorway as it closes, look at each other conspiratorially, and head off. This kind of thing happens several times. Evidently I’m supposed to notice them.

The second time this happens, one of the two says, “Where are we?”

“I’m not sure. Late fourth or early fifth season.”

Then they wander off. Apparently the cobbled-together episode I’m watching is supposed to be from the fourth or fifth season, which should have taken place around  ’82/’83 or ’83/’84. Split the difference, and call it 1983.

Interesting.

Anyway, the fourth of fifth time these unidentified two show up, Starbuck catches them at it, and everyone suddenly realizes that they have no idea who they are. Someone asks them to identify themselves, which they refuse to do. Security catches them, and Adama asks them what they’re doing there.

Suddenly, everything changes, and the next ten minutes or so, everything happens in a kind of highly stylized, vaguely Egyptian-flavored ink-and-pen animation. In Voice-over narration, one of the mysterious two says, “You recall when you made good your escape from the Cylons, right? The last time you saw them?” We see the last five minutes of “The Hand of God”, the last episode of the original show, but animated. We then see a rapid animated synopsis of all the events that have happened since then, up until the ‘new’ episode, which, in dream-logic, is set about four years after “Hand of God.” The two new guys narrate all this.

I remember thinking, ‘Damn, what a clever way to catch us up on the progression of a story we didn’t get to see,’ or something like that.

The Animation ends when we see an animated Sheba (Anne Lockhart) say “But we know all that. We lived through it.” The animation fades to live action of Anne Lockhart as she’s saying this line. Again, a nice effect.

“You only know the events themselves, but you are lacking their significance.” One of the two says.

“So what’s this big significance that we’re missing?” Boomer says.

“Sometime between the time you finally escaped from the Cylons, and now, you made a mistake. One that has made it impossible for us to continue.”

“I mean that we can not go forward into the future because of that mistake. We must find it, and fix it, or else we will all die.”

“We? You mean the two of you?”

“No. We all will die. Us, you, everyone. All dead.”

“So what was this mistake?”

“We can’t tell you that.”

“So when was this mistake?”

“We don’t know. That’s what we’re trying to find.”

Throughout this interrogation, Starbuck was getting more and more agitated. Finally, he can’t take it any more, and lashes out at the two new, unnamed guys.

“Why should we believe any of this? What the hell are you talking about, anyway? Who do you think you are, anyway, barging in here and telling us we’re all going to die? Who are you?” He screams at them.

“We are your sons, Starbuck, as yet unborn.”

This flummoxes everyone, and Apollo (Richard Hatch) patently doesn’t believe them. I’m a little fuzzy on what happened next, because there was a lot of yelling and screaming, and a hint of violence towards ‘Starbuck’s sons.’ Then there was a bright flash of weird, lazerium-style lighting. A big, pulsing mass of light has formed in the corner of the cabin. Everyone turns to look at it. The figure of a man can be seen walking on the other side of the blob of light, and it comes thorough. Evidently the light was the visible manifestation of some kind of dimensional gateway, or time machine, or teleporter, or some other such unlikely science fiction hoo-haa.

The man emerges from the light.

It’s Dirk Benedict – Starbuck – at his present age, about fifty-five. He’s dressed differently. He’s not wearing the brown cowboyish Colonial Warrior’s Uniform like he always did on the old show. Instead, he’s dressed in the very dark blue uniform of the Galactica’s bridge officers. He’s wearing the same medallion that Adama always wore. In fact, he’s dressed exactly like Adama.

Adama, suddenly looking very old, and apparently bearded (If he had a beard previously in the dream, I never noticed it) steps up to Future Starbuck, then looks back at Starbuck, Age 27. He motions for the guards to let go of the two mysterious visitors, which they then do, and looks at the Starbuck-of-the-Future. Adama is clearly beside himself with shock and confusion. Starbuck, meanwhile, is beside himself literally, thanks to the cliché of time travel.

Finally, apparently because he can’t think of anything else to say, Adama says, “Who are you?”

“I am Commander Starbuck, late of the Battlestar Galactica, recently destroyed. So far as I know, my sons and I are the only human beings left anywhere in the universe. We three are all that’s left of our species.”

A long pause ensues, while everyone digests this. Future Starbuck seems a little too chipper in delivering such grim news, which struck me as odd, but he doesn’t offer any more information.

Eventually, Adama speaks again, “Your…sons…spoke of a mistake….”

“Yes.” Future Starbuck says.

Adama, the Moses-figure, the spiritual center of the series, the savior of the remnant of humanity from extermination at the hands of the Cylons, the messiah-figure who will lead Humanity on its exodus to a new promised land, speaks again. His voice is barely a whisper. He is afraid. He knows something, but he’s hoping he’s wrong. He has a secret, and he’s afraid it’s going to get out.

“What…what was the mistake?” Adama says.

Starbuck looks him in the eye, and says, “You were.”

“You were humanities final, greatest mistake, Adama. Twice.”

“Your first mistake,” Starbuck continues, “is when you led us away from home, abandoning the colonies, even though you knew what was really going on there.”

“Your Second mistake,” he says, “Is when you decided to abandon the fleet, leaving all the civilians behind to die.”

***  ***  ***

It was at this point that I awakened with an urgent pressure on the inner wall of my bladder. I quickly scribbled down some notes in the bathroom to help me remember, and then when I was done in there I tried to get back into the dream, but I couldn’t. Sometimes it works, this time it didn’t.

I’m now more opposed to bringing the series back than ever. My dream was trippy, and weird, and compelling, as are all good dreams, but for some reason it stayed in the format of a TV show. I didn’t turn into Starbuck or Adama, or end up flying a Viper around myself. It didn’t strangely mutate into an episode of Love, American Style, or The Mothers-In-Law like so many of my dreams about TV shows do. It was a pretty damn good episode of Galactica, from what I saw of it (About a half-hour, subjective time.) It’s probably arrogant to assume that my dream, clearly the product of too much cheese before bedtime, was better than the new show will be, but, hey, I’m nothing if not arrogant. Whatever the reality will be, it can’t match what my dream was, or the sense of fulfillment that it gave me. The show is two decades dead, and I’m resolved to that. Therefore, any time my subconscious decides to revisit Galactica, it’s a bonus. Even at it’s best, however, the new show will be zombie shit, and that’s got to be disappointing. Bringing back old, dead TV shows is a pastime for people with no imagination to play with what they’ve already seen.

So what does it all mean? Not a damn thing. It was, after all, just a dream. The bombshell from Future Starbuck at the end was pretty amazing, though, and I spent about a day pouring over what I consciously remembered from the show, just to see if perhaps my subconscious had caught some detail that I’d conveniently missed since I was thirteen or so.

The only thing I can come up with is this: In the Epilog to the first episode of the show, the new Imperious Leader of the Cylon Empire (The previous one having been blown up before the previous commercial break.) strikes a bargain with the traitorous John “Baltar” Colicos, who was scheduled for public execution. I’ll repeat the conversation from the show here as best I can remember it.

Imperious Leader: “You said you could find the humans who escaped?” [Paraphrase]

Baltar: “Yes. I…I…I thing as they do, I…I reason like they do. I know….where they must go, what they must do….”

Imperious Leader: “I find your reasoning…logical.”

Baltar: [Sensing hope] “Then I am to be……”

Imperious Leader: “Spared.”

Baltar: [Emphatically] “To Serve the Empire!”

Imperious Leader: “No. To Serve Your People.”

Baltar: [Looks confused]

Imperious Leader: “My predecessor was programmed at a time when we were vulnerable. Now that we are omnipotent, we can afford to be more charitable. I am giving you a Base Ship…” [I admit, my memory is fuzzy on the next couple lines. “Go to your people. Explain to them how I am benevolent, and bring them back to me.” Was the gist of it.]

Imperious Leader: “Lucifer!”

In walks Lucifer, a different kind of Cylon who will be Baltar’s executive officer on the Base Ship he’s given.

I’m not sure how much of this we should take seriously. The scene was broadcast like this, then re-broadcast in a shortened, less benevolent form at the beginning of the second episode of Galactica, so I’m unclear if we’re supposed to take the first version at face value, or if the shortened version is the ‘canonical’ one.

Was the Imperious Leader lying?

Was it a trap?

If it wasn’t either of these, then what did the Cylons have in mind? Subjugating humanity? Perhaps subjugating humanity under Baltar?

Assuming for the minute that the new Imperious Leader was on the level, how come Baltar took every opportunity after that to disobey the Imperious Leader’s orders, and attack the Galactica?

What became of the forty-eight billion people on the Colonies? Obviously, millions, billions survived the Holocaust. Adama says they had to leave ridiculous numbers of people behind for a lack of ships. Clearly the Cylons were slaughtering these people, but did they all die? Did the new Imperious Leader stop the slaughters? Are there still humans living on the Colonies?

Who knows. I doubt they knew. One of the fun things about the show is how little about it was thought out before hand. I assume, however, that this is what my subconscious picked up on, and decided to run with in my dream when Future Starbuck said that Adama ‘knew what was going on in the colonies.’

Either that, or else some part of me assumes that Adama knew more about the Cylons than he let on. Who knows.

As to the other mistake, Adama abandoning the Rag Tag Fleet, he’d never do that. He’d die first. Also, interestingly, in my dream, this event hadn’t happened yet. My dream took place about five years after ‘The Hand of God’, and the fleet was still around, so apparently it was an event that had yet to take place. It was a decision that Adama hadn’t made yet, but apparently would, if the future remained unchanged. What could prompt that decision? Since this aspect of the dream wasn’t based on anything that actually happened in the show, I don’t think I can make any conclusions about it. I don’t know me that well.

The only possibility is that for some reason, Adama felt that continuing with the fleet would doom humanity. For some reason, the fleet became a liability. Clearly, he made the wrong decision.

I have to wonder if both mistakes were related, in the logic of my dream, or if they’re just random things caused by an over-filled bladder.

But in the end, it was just a dream, and just a TV show, and just a lot of typing on my part, all for nothing. I told you it was frothy and stupid and ephemeral and useless. But I thought I’d bore you with it anyway.

Mahatma Randy,

Lord of the Geeks.

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