Our latest episode is up and as you might imagine it’s heavy on the Battlestar Galactica talk. I made a comment during the ‘cast that I wanted to expand a bit upon, “nerds don’t like God in their Science Fiction”. I felt even stronger about that statement after I read this on the io9 blog.
Now that’s a pretty broad statement. I mean plenty of great Sci-Fi has had an element of the supernatural or spiritual in it, mostly in literature and some in television (most notably in my mind is Quantum Leap, for example). I think that what makes the way Battlestar used it in the finale different that the way other shows have used it is that it was explicit in its use. That is to say that BSG didn’t mince words when it said that Starbuck was some kind of angel (horrible descriptor) and that Vision Gaius and Six were emissaries of a higher power. In a lot of science fiction they hint at a “God” or use it subtly, but in BSG they just came right out with it, and I think that bothered people.
I truly think that it’s because that kind of answer doesn’t give the hardcore sci-fi viewers the sort of concrete, trivia question answers that they crave. Check out any discussion board on a variety of genre subjects comics books, fantasy, sci-fi, TV; they all have a devout conversations about continuity and where things fit. Comic Book discussions are notorious about this, but I think it applies across the board. The answer of “God” is ultimately unsatisfying for many I think because it doesn’t deliver anything concrete. The spiritual is a nebulous thing that can cover a lot of ground and can easily be abused. Which is a shame since as one of the great mysteries of existence, the “God” question and answer is one of the best topics for speculative fiction to cover.