Friday, December 03, 2004

Battlestar Galactica: Litmus

Running behind again, but hey. Litmus is a strong offering which delves quite nicely into the effects of a witch-hunt on board the Galactica. With the knowledge that Cylons look like humans official, Adama gives the Sergeant-at-Arms absolute authority to investigate the spate of attacks on board. As Tyrol, Boomer and even Adama are called to answer tough questioning, loyalties become clouded.

I think what I like about this episode is that it accurately depicts the way in which the military would handle similar investigations. The public need for a person to pin the blame on has to be met, even if the person is no more than a Lee Harvey Oswald.

Unlike many other popular Science Fiction shows, the resolution is not always easy to stomach. Adama, in choosing to accept the incarceration of a potentially innocent man does so purely out of pragmatism. He doesn't have many experienced men left. And as such he can't afford a vital member of staff to be fingered with blame. It is a dangerous compromise, but one that is more realistic than the typically happy Star Trek endings out there.

Similarly, I like the direction being taken by the Cylons on the now occupied Caprica. The humanoid models seem more human than even they realise. They are curious about every aspect of human existence and while I have come to detest the Number Six/Baltar relationship I do very much enjoy the more subtle Boomer/Helo sub-plot.

In summary, a strong episode, with some good performances. It doesn't offer happy endings and leaves things nicely set up for the future.


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