Two key Spinoff writers Alex Casey and Joseph Moore share a dirty little secret: they’ve never seen any of the defining ‘important’ TV shows of our time. They launched Catch Up Club to save them (and possibly you). For Sci Fi week, they space-jumped into the rusty depths of Battlestar Galactica. //
Joseph: What the frak is up?
Alex: I struggled this week, I struggled so so much. The battle scars from this Battlestar are very evident in my recent search history. I tried so hard to keep up, had so many wikis open.
Joseph: Can I be honest with you Alex, I had already seen this episode of Battlestar Galactica.
Alex: All I knew about it was that The Office‘s Dwight Schrute was a huge fan. Therefore I tried very hard to keep up with the play and be cool like him.
Joseph: I was happy to just watch it again, because how good is Battlestar Galactica?!
Alex: I wish I thought it was good, instead I am pure Downton-level confused.
Joseph: I was feeling feels for you while watching this Alex, because this is a bit of a sneaky S01E01 as far as S01E01s are confused
Alex: Yep. I didn’t know there was a prior miniseries. When episode one opened with “previously on…” I genuinely thought it was some sort of twisted narrative spaceman technique.
Joseph: Well space is infinite, so of course there is going to be a previously on. And no season finale ever.
Alex: Please talk me through what I should have known going into Battlestar Galactica.
Joseph: This episode takes place after four hours of miniseries that set up basically EVERYTHING. (Would you like to borrow my DVD of it, it’s in a box set shaped like a Cylon)
Alex: That seems key to this discussion. Can you outline the premise briefly? (no I don’t want your Cyclops DVD thank you though)
Joseph Moore’s Battlestar Galactica Synopsis:
So, it’s the future or something and robots are super smart. Some of them look like people and some of them look like big dumb robots. They do a big ole’ attack on their planet Caprica, so everyone hops aboard this old ass ship that was supposed to be put in a museum (look at all the rust!) They go in search of a mythical planet from which they are said to originate…Earth (where we live!) And the robots are chasing them the whole time.
Alex: So wait, they leave earth to have a cruise and come back to earth?
Joseph: Yes, four seasons of that, basically. A different Earth. They live on “Caprica” obviously.
Man I’m just realising how confused you must have been I’m sorry you had to go through with this.
Alex: Bloody hell. Okay. So here’s the show from my point of view. The show opens: two lovers are having a romp in what looks like a romantic Queenstown lakeside lodge. Wait, is that on Caprica or Earth?
Joseph: That’s a dream.
Alex: Frak’s sake.
Joseph: Oh yeah – the robots can make you have hallucinations.
Alex: Okay. So we open: a horny robot-induced dream sequence. Bridget Jones’ gay friend catches a flight somewhere, he is chatting to himself but sometimes chatting to a lady in a red dress. I assume this is robot sorcery again.
Joseph: Classic robot move, pretend to be a sexy woman
Alex: This guy keeps having visions of Lake Taupo. There is a dust cloud. Like Interstellar. Assume this is a dream. I continue to lean heavily on Interstellar as my only recent sci fi reference point.
Joseph: Maybe just assume everything is a dream.
Alex: Cut to: a big Natcoll first year designed ship thing with little planes shooting out of it. They have been awake for 130 hours or something. There are countdown clocks everywhere, tally charts everywhere, whiteboards everywhere.
Joseph: Well wouldn’t you put a bunch of clocks up if you knew robots were coming to kill you every 33 minutes? I would at least two alarms on my iPhone. One at like 27 minutes, one at 31.
Alex: Oh ffs, that’s what it was?! One of my giant gripes was that I never had any idea what they were counting down to all the time? Lunch? Smoko? Should have known: robots.
Joseph: Always assume robots in the Battlestar world. The robots show up, and they have to “jump” to another part of space. Which is like teleporting or something, I don’t really know. You might not pick it by my Robot shaped box set of this show but I’m not really a sci-fi guy
Alex: I see. Okay. So the space jump with the wee rusty planes is happening. Cut to: a man in a dewy forest.
Joseph: Guess what his deal is and I’ll rate your guess out of ten.
Alex: “IT WAS ALL A DREAM, HE USED TO READ DEWY FOREST MAGAZINE”
Joseph: 3/10. Because you said Dewy forest, which he is in. He got left behind when everyone went on the dangerous cruise.
Alex: So he’s still on Caprica?
Joseph: Yeah just running away from the robots. Who are doing god knows what with the planets. What would you do if you were a robot and took over a planet?
Alex: I’d probably just go to the movies and that for free.
Joseph: Yeah same. This series would be a lot more chill if the robots just went to the movies a bunch
Alex: Man the future looks weird. Did you see their munted old telephones? That’s a classic sci fi thing right? To get a bit steampunky with it, fuse the old and the new? Hence rusty ships and the like.
Joseph: Yeah, you want everything to look a bit rubbish, but still have it capable of teleporting through space. I reckon if I invented a ship that could teleport through space I’d leave it out in the sun for about 15 years before using it
Alex: Man, distressed jeans really are the future. Can you explain to me again who the temptress in the red dress is?
Joseph: Guess, it rhymes with Blow Pot.
Alex: Frak me life. Is anyone not a goddamn robot in this goddamn show?
Joseph: As far as the audience knows she is the only robot (and the ones that are obviously robots, ie, there are no humans disguised as robots). Her name is Number 6, I think. She is basically a babe robot who tricks Bridget Jones’ gay friend into compromising security through sultry temptress moves such as “implanting ideas ideas into his brain through robot hypnotism” and “being hot”
Alex: Taking him to the Queenstown Lodge of his dreams. She even makes it to the dewy forest to kiss Mr Radiation. Probably because all the robot looking robots are down at the cinema eh?
Joseph: Checking out Despicable Me 7, or whatever movie is big in the distant distant future. For all your confusion, and I totally understand it, did you not at least resonate with the scene where the President has to succumb to military pressure and blow up the space ship with 1300 innocent people on it? I mean swap out “spaceships” with “drone strikes” in we got ourselves some #allegories
Alex: Always the allegories with the sci fi. Does it reflect badly on me that I fail to empathise because of all the space and the future and the rust? I forget that they are humans. Maybe I am the true robot here after all #allegories
Joseph: I get that generally, there are some great characters in this one like “The President” who make it a bit easier. I will understand if you don’t carry on (it’s not like the human race DEPENDS on it or anything). On that note – did you know I am now up to Episode THREE of Top of the Lake, like a bloody legend.
Alex: I have not watched any of the fancy shows in the past week, but I have watched three episodes of Lady Hoggers (incidentally also available here on Lightbox). I’m regressing, I’m rebelling. I’m the lone man in the dewy forest running away from fancy TV robots. Might I suggest we take a break from the future and hurtle back to Vikings times nek week?
Joseph: “Aye, aye, captain” (but in Norwegian)