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stretching the Definition of SF?

No, not another discussion of how to define SF, not really anyway. The Naples Daily News has an article from Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (hows that for convoluted?) about Battlestar Galactica entitled New ‘Galactica’ stretches the definition of science fiction. Basically, Mr. Owen’s thesis is that BG is stretching the realm of science fiction because it:

has enough political intrigue to satisfy fans of “The West Wing,” more religious allegory than any other show on television, enough action and plot twists to rival “24” and the kind of character drama “Lost” fans crave.

Who knew SF didn’t have this before? I guess Mr. Owen hasn’t seen Babylon 5 or Firefly. At any rate, I will grant him his premise to a certain extent, at least for SF on TV. Most of it is crap and campy (crampy?), with the SciFi Channel doing its best to uphold that tradition with its host of low cost creature feature crap fests, thus futhering the perception that SF on TV is nothing but junk. Certainly, written SF has been pushing the boundaries for quite a long time and has as much political intrigue (Dune), religious allegory (Gene Wolfe’s Books of the *** Sun) and action (Hammer’s Slammers, etc) as anyone could want. The problem being, most people think BG (and SF in general):

will appeal to that niche audience, but to dismiss it as a show only for the convention-attending, action-figure-collecting fanboys (and girls)…

See? SF is niche. Well it is, to a certain degree. But it’s got a huge following and not everything produced under its name is junky. The rest of the article goes over the how the cast is relating to being in a successful SF show and is kinda fun. My only wish is that the success of BG will cause others to re-examine their perception of SF and maybe try to find some good SF to read. Then they’ll realize just how awful televised and filmed SF really is and will ask/demand better.

And BG isn’t breaking any new ground here or actually stretching the definition of SF. It only seems that because of the dearth of quality visual SF in the recent past.

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

3 Comments on stretching the Definition of SF?

  1. Did he mention it also has actors who couldn’t get hired by 21 Jumpstreet? I attempted to watch yet another episode and can’t get past how bad Apollo and Starbuck are. Adama is good and so is the President (an outstanding strong female character!), but everybody else needs to get some time in at Summerstock.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if Scott is watching Battlestar Prophylactica on Cinemax.

    The majority of the cast aren’t major league thespians, but the certainly don’t reach the ‘acting’ levels of either Keanu Reeves or Hayden Christianson.

    Maybe Scott ought to stick to Firefly, which SciFi will be showing and then bait his breath until Sept 30th…

  3. Dven for it’s faults it’s quality entertainment, it blows the doors off the rest of Sci Fi Friday, and is better than ‘heralded’ shows like babylon 5 (crap) and Farscape (/yawn)

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