A Recurring Themeon March 2, 2010
2 Upcoming Appearances!!!
Staple! THIS WEEKEND!!!
March 6 @ The Monarch Event Center in Austin, TX
Emerald City Comic-Con
March 13-14 @ The Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA
If there’s one thing that makes Ron D. Moore’s space-beard stand on end it’s the juxtaposition of science and religion. When you boil it down to space-ics this is the central theme of every show he’s ever run. He often broaches the topic in such s way that really gets you thinking about the wider implications of the argument. “If a planet of space-jews tell me I’m the messiah and treat me like the messiah no matter what I do or say, AM I the messiah? Is that all it takes? Is that what happened to Jesus?”
But once the idea is presented from at least a dozen different angles it tends to wear thin. Why? Because in none of these shows does he ever actually come close to answering the question. Again, why? Because you can’t. It’s a universal unknown. And I think that’s his point. No matter how advanced we get as a species, spirituality and faith will always be open to personal interpretation and will typically go against the commonly accepted scientific theories of the day. That’s just human nature for better or worse. Robots, lasers, FTL’s and wormholes aren’t going to change us that drastically.
In each of the series mentioned in today’s comic Moore also gives plenty of evidence that both sides (science and religion) are probably believing the same exact truths, just with different perspectives. For instance, the wormhole aliens in DS9 ARE NOT GODS. They don’t claim to be. They are just super powerful, all knowing, non-linear aliens. The Bajorans view them as gods because… well they can do everything people expect a god can do. Then you ask the same question I asked about Captain Sisko/The Emissary in the first paragraph: if it walks like a god and bends reality to its will like a god, is it a god? I think Moore’s answer, again, is “it doesn’t matter.” DS9 never comes out and says the Bajorans are wrong in their beliefs or that they are the Alpa quadrant equivalent of an ant worshipping a human, but it also never affirms their deifying of their planet’s upstairs space-neighbors is really a great idea.
Ron Moore has always told SLOOOOOOOOW stories with a ton of gray area. Nothing is fixed, everything is open to interpretation. As I said earlier, this can wear thin. Those of you that shared my opinions on the conclusion of Battelstar Galactica (micro spoilers ahead) know what I’m talking about. In any situation where you’ve spent countless hours postulating and pontificating on the true causes behind a chain of emotional, intense and seemingly connected events “oh, what? oh, it was probably God that did it all” is not a satisfying resolution. It reeks of lazy story telling. But when you realize that is the ONLY way Ron Moore has ever told a story, you can begin to set your expectations appropriately.
Which brings us to Caprica. I pored my mostly negative feelings about the first few episodes of Caprica all over the LoFijiNKS Podcast and there they remain for your listening pleasure. Since then the show has taken a bit of an upward turn and really started to explore some of its untapped potential. The concept of V-World (the online, holographic, no consequences, virtual reality-scape all the kids are into) could be a show in itself. In fact, I won’t be surprised if Caprica begins to focus on the more “Matrixy” aspects of its reality as the season progresses. There’s a lot of meat on them scifi bones and it could make for excellent TV. The “I’m a dead girl stuck in a robot/am I really dead if my memories are in tact?/what are we if not the sum total of our experiences?/am I the robot messiah?” on the other hand is already more Moore than I bargained for. This space has been thoroughly explored to death by scifi since its inception as a genre and I doubt Caprica will uncover anything new in that arena.
I can say that I have changed my early opinion on Caprica from “PASS” to “PROCEDE WITH CAUTION.” You really have to understand Ron D. Moore’s M.O as a story teller in order to get into this series. He isn’t afraid to have ZERO sympathetic characters, incredibly slow pacing when the story calls for it and to borrow heavily from the themes of his previous work. He also just had an invincible virtual dead girl debug a few “agents” with her mind, and take out an entire online crime syndicate with virtual machine guns in a holographic version of Grand Theft Auto. So there’s that.
- James Marsters: Caprica Is About The Fall Of America
- Is Caprica Season 2 Already A Go?
- Caprica Is Quickly Becoming The Best SF Show On Television
UPDATE: BILLS! BILLS! BILLS!:
I am very happy to report that the Fancy Bastards have already donated over $1000 towards my medical expenses!
If you enjoy the comic and would like to help out, please consider making a small DONATION. Put “ER Bill” in the comments and I will make sure it goes straight to the Hospital/Collection Agency.
Thank you all so very much.