I Feel No Harm

Battlestar2

Lighten Up

Episode two of Battlestar Galactica, very appropritely entitled The Valley of Darkness, was a case lesson in how to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. As Adama was struggling for life in the medical unit, a group of Cylons had invaded the ship. Apollo led the recently returned pilots on a desperate mission to intercept and destroy the intruders while up in CIC, Colonel Tigh battled to stay in control of (i) the Cylon situation, (ii) his inner demons, (iii) the medical crisis threatening his oldest friend. If that wasn’t enough Starbuck and Helo were stuck on Caprica with (as the saying goes) no chance of escape AND Tyrol, Baltar and the survivors on Kobol were up against even more Cylons and doing their bit (as the other saying goes) battling against all odds.

This was bleak. Almost every character was being put through the wringer and you wonder how, or even if, they’re all gonna survive. The plotting was fast and furious as the makers tried to sew all these plotlines together. The distinctive look and feel of the show and the creative use of classically inspired incidental music served only to ramp up the tension and excitement. I have a feeling that Babylon 5, the reigning champion of “arc” storytelling in science fiction, is going to have to relinquish its crown sometime very soon. Could it be further removed from camp, 70’s/80’s, post-Star Wars original that we all loved and cherished until we were old enough to know better?

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