"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Galactica Dylan

Battlestar Galactica this season was a sandwich in which the bread was spectacular but the meat was, well, chicken liver. 

The opening sequence of episodes in the Fall were among the best of anything I've ever seen on television. Picking up perfectly from the stunning events at the end of the second season, the first shows this past Fall put BSG easily in the company of the best of Star Trek. The last few minutes of the season finale on Sunday were similarly superb. We'll be talking all summer about how those four people - four! - on Galactica could really be Cylons, and who the fifth still unidentified Cylon really is. 

And the Dylan song was prime. Viewers have been speculating what "All Along the Watchtower" from the 1960s says about the timeframe we are now seeing on Galactica. Of course, there have been so many covers of that song, from Hendrix, U2, Neil Young, et al - and so many more likely to come (maybe some inspired by its role, now, in Battlestar Galactica) - that there's no reason to assume that the BSG rendition came from 1968. 

And something to keep in mind: ships travel faster than speed of light in Galactica's universe. So there's really no telling how far into the future Galactica's story is taking place, based on the song. And when you add in the possibility of time travel - which, admittedly, we haven't seen on Galactica, but hey, this is science fiction - then Battlestar Galactica could still be taking place in the distant past, even with the Dylan song heard by the Cylons. I actually doubt that time travel will be the way this will be resolved, but even just thinking about this is precisely what made this part of BSG great television. 

As for the rest - well, let's not dwell on it overly. After the opening arc of episodes, BSG gave us show after show which didn't really move the central story forward, a few good personal interactions - but not the stuff of soaring television. Fortunately, that's all in the past now. The finale did what it was supposed to do, and I eagerly await the resumption of the story in 2008. 

20-minute podcast with further analysis, and some choice musical samples

Bear McCreary's explanation of the Dylan song in BSG he did the musical arrangement for the song on BSG Battlestar Galactica - The Bob Dylan Connection Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV How Star Trek Liberated Television

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"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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