I haven’t had much to say about the BSG finale. For better or worse it was very like the show, that big baggy 19th century novel of a show. Brilliant in parts, bathetic in others. Never afraid to stand up and make a complete prat of itself or to risk creating seriously dodgy subtext and sometimes the risk would pay off but then sometimes it wouldn’t. In the light of all the recent discussions around Patricia Wrede’s The Thirteenth Child
has been linking), the very ending is a case in point.
It’s ironic really, the week the finale aired the Guardian ran an article about the series comparing it favourably to The Wire
. Their particular point was that although both were big complex novel-like stories The Wire
was very specifically American (USAian) and BSG more universal. Which there’s some obvious truth to – there are no cybernetic Americans - but the ending was very much a return to a specifically American founding myth. The ragtag band of exiles and the fine green country empty but for a few wordless primitives. The initial good intentions. I hear the new Star Trek movie has changed the bodly go tag line from “ where no man has gone before” to “where no-one has gone before.” Points for feminism but space is an empty frontier once more.
It’s not that other colonising nations don’t have their own heroic origin myths but they’re all slightly different. Steampunk, an entire genre celebrating Victorian daring-do. Dr Who, the scion of empire, leaving the playing fields of Gallifrey to travel and observe and (where necessary) keep order among the natives. What’s the Japanese version? The French, the German, the Belgian?