Star Trek vs. The New BSG

Centennial I swarmed with Trekkies and Colonists alike for Friday’s “Star Trek vs. the New Battlestar Galactica” panel. Richard Hatch, known not only as Tom Zarek in the new series but also as Apollo in the original BSG, moderated the question and answer format, focusing on the contrast between the new BSG‘s dark adult content as compared to the squeaky positive aura that permeates the Star Trek franchise.

Actors Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh), Aaron Douglas (CPO Galen Tyrol), James Callis, (Gaius Baltar), and surprise attendee, Tamoh Penikett (Lt. Karl C. Agathon {Helo}) received warm adulations from the crowd.

Douglas credited the appeal of BSG to its acceptance and reflection of real world relevance, noting that people embrace the adult content because of the similarities to their own experiences.

Callis noted that BSG‘s champions are fallible and not as heroic as traditional Star Trek heroes. He also noted the significance of the show as a cautionary tale, illustrating how society’s political consciousness makes similar choices that are leading those of us in the real world to an eerily similar fate.

Hatch credited Star Trek for its controversial and provocative scenes for its time. Furthermore, everyone agreed that science fiction shows have always tested the boundaries of the safe and pedestrian mainstream viewing audience.

Dr. Kevin R. Grazier, NASA planning engineer and science advisor for BSG, shared his enthusiasm for the project and added that everyone who works for the show is also a fan. He often, “Rips open the script when it arrives, reads it, and says, ‘Wow'”.

Deborah Warner, known for her appearance in Trekkies, and John C. Snider, editor of the online science fiction magazine scifidimensions, also participated in the panel.

As the hour wound down, talk of the Emmys and BSG’s poor representation ensued. As one of the most underappreciated shows on cable, the panelists reminded everyone in the audience to “Convince a friend, especially a non-SF viewer, to give Battlestar Galactica a try!”

Final gossip tidbit: The show may only run a short but concentrated life. It’s expensive and Ronald D. Moore, Executive Producer, has a dedication to quality, so watch it while you still can.

Author of the article

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.