Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Did It Turn Out?

Caption: The Galactica and her ragtag fleet. I suppose fans could say the ship never did make it home.

Image credit: screenshot by Cujo359

One of the things I've never had the heart to do was write about Battlestar Galactica's concluding episode, "Daybreak". To say it was a big disappointment, given the quality of the series to that point, has to reign as one of the all-time understatements of science fiction. In my wanderings around the Internet today, I happened on this one, which summarizes:

As I wrote at the start, I deem this the worst (most disappointing) ending based on how far the show fell in the last hour. There have certainly been endings with worse science, worse deus ex machina, worse characterization, worse mumbo jumbo and many other things.

I savage BSG’s ending because it began so well. Moore’s talent in making things up as he went along, hoping to find cool ways to resolve them, is actually a great one. He’s better at it than just about anybody else out there writing SF TV.

Battlestar's "Daybreak:" The worst ending in the history of on-screen science fiction

This review gets much of it right, from my perspective. I think it's well worth a read for any budding screenwriters or TV producers out there, because one of the sad facts of this show was that its ending just wasn't true to the series, in many, many ways. If you start out writing, say, Three's Company, The Next Generation, then the expectations your audience has would be very different from that which BSG's audience would have. It's fair to say that if someone had concluded such a series with what was a typical BSG episode, the audience would have said it sucked, and with good reason. Who wants dark, fatal events in a screwball comedy? No one that I'm aware of, at least among those who could be considered fans.

There are many other lessons in this review, though, and it's well worth a read if you're interested in that sort of thing. Spoilers abound there, of course, so be warned.


george.w said...

I cannot even speak about that ending... it's too soon.

Cujo359 said...

Probably why I haven't gotten around to writing about it. Grief is like that.