Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Archer's Idea for an Adult Forum

I have finally gotten around to watching the new Sci Fi channel show Battlestar Galactica. It has been on my queue of things to do for about 3 years. I finally got Netflix to carry the DVD set, so I have been watching the show from the beginning one disc at a time.

A friend of mine who is now a Catholic priest in Knoxville, with whom I did Clinical Pastoral Education with, was gahgah about the show. I was at his diaconal ordination in the bustling metropolis that is Morristown, Tennessee. Oddly enough, his sponsoring priest there was the principal at my high school when I was there. Yes, I survived Catholic schooling, which is probably why I am now a transitional deacon and an Anglo-catholic.

He was the only other person I have met that has likewise read the entirety of the Frank Herbert Dune novels as well as his son's prequel Dune novels. We had extensive conversations about the Dune universe when we should have been working, but given the complete dysfunction of our CPE site, it was probably more productive in the grand scheme of learning. In any event, suffice is to say that my friend and I had similar taste on Science Fiction, so I always kept his recommendations in the back of my mind.

And, what do you know...he was right. I have likewise been incredibly impressed with the new Battlestar Galactica. The original was a campy series from the 1970s that was not really that good, although it did achieve cult status in some circles. The new series, which started as a mini-series and evolved into a full length show because it was just so well done that it is going to start its 4th and final season in March of 2008.

The acting and writing is one of the best science fiction series I have seen since the last few seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the mid- to late-1990s. Battlestar Galactica has a lot of elements from some of the great Science Fiction shows and novels. There are elements of Dune, especially the Thinking Machine War of the Prequel Series, amongst others.

Basically the premise of the show is that humans of the 12 colonies created robots that ultimately rebelled and eventually wiped out most of the human worlds save a fleet of ships like the Battlestar Galactica. But this series is anything but your run of the mill Sci-Fi laser blasting, wookie goodness. What is so interesting about this show is that there are a lot of theological and ethical subplots floating about. The robots are basically the only ones who believe in a monotheistic god. Its really interesting. I think an adult forum or ongoing theological discussion group could really have some substantive discussions on the issues this show presents in terms of terrorism, belief in God, social justice, religious conflict, etc.

That would probably never float unless I had a parish full of Science Fiction junkies who liked discussing theology. But, has to be better than the Gospel According to Bart Simpson.

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