Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ruminations on the Post-Coup Colonials

I suppose it may seem ooky to some that I am thinking about this. After all, the world of Battlestar Galactica is a goddamn TV series. The show, however, has dealt with some very adult and contemporary themes. The most cutting-edge were the episodes set on New Caprica, which dealt with the year-long occupation by the Cylons and the resistance of the Colonials. There were examples of pre-emptive imprisonment and torture for interrogation used by the Cylons and their Colonial collaborators. The Colonial resistance used spying, assassination and suicide bombings. At times it seemed as though those topics were covered better by the show in 2006 than they were by the press and the pundits when those topics applied to Afghanistan, Israel and Iraq.

I would not have been surprised if the attempted coup by Zarek and Gaeta had been used as a way to terminate the show early, that the "ten episodes" of Season 4.5 turned out to be a deception. That would probably have been too dark for the show's writers.

Admiral Adama is now back in command of his ship and in command of a crew, a good number of whom he cannot trust. The Fleet is divided between ships that would have followed Zarek and ships that remained loyal to President Roslin. Eleven of the twelve members of the Quorum of Twelve, the legislature of the Colonial Fleet, were killed on Zarek's orders, only the representative of the survivors of Caprica, Lee Adama, remains alive. Zarek and Gaeda were summarily shot by a firing squad commanded by the Admiral.

There is no effective representative government left. Roslin now has basically a dictatorship; Zarek's objective was achieved, but his enemies got the benefit of it. Roslin and the Admiral could easily sink into a fair degree of paranoia, creating secret police from known loyalists and imprisoning known or suspected traitors.

They are also on the verge of running out of fuel and supplies. They took nothing from Earth, the planet was too radioactive. Since they restocked on their fuel "Tylium" in the first season, there has been no mention of further supplies, so they have to be running low now. There is also the rest of the Cylon fleet to contend with; the rebel Cylons of Twos, D'Anna (the one surviving Three), Sixes and Eights are apparently down to one battered BaseStar.

The Colonial Fleet is, in the old aviation saying, running out of altitude, airspeed and ideas at the same time.

Six episodes to go.

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