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Feature: Battlestar Galactica

Life Lessons

Battlestar Galactica

Edward James Olmos reflects on how Commander Adama's brush with death has left him a changed man – and how Battlestar Galactica reflects the modern world

Commander William Adama stares death in the face and returns to take charge of Battlestar Galactica a changed man – the first series’ dramatic cliff-hanger ending saw the Cylon infiltrator Boomer blast him twice in the chest with a gun. As Season Two opens, Adama is still fighting for his life and the fleet is in chaos, with his second-in-command Tigh taking control and initiating martial law…

Olmos says he’s revelling in the twists and turns in the plot and the almost prophetic parallels between the story and world events. “It’s very real drama, it’s not like creatures from the black lagoon are coming up or four eyed monsters, but it can still seem quite bizarre and crazy stuff,” he says. “But when you look at it all this is happening around us right now.

“Something like what has happened on Caprica could become a reality real quick. There are nuclear weapons in China, Iran, Korea and Pakistan. It wouldn’t take much to send a couple of warheads off on this planet somewhere that would cause a lot of environmental damage, then if you have got someone who wants to retaliate you have real problems. I remember hydrogen bombs in the ’50s and ’60s, then they said if 16-H-bombs ignited at any given moment it would knock the planet off its axis. Nuclear warheads are many times more powerful, so what would happen if several of those were set off at once?

“Then there are robots which being used to fight the war in Iraq. They are little tanks, with a camera and a gun, a guy sitting behind a bush somewhere two miles away is working them like playing a video game. And of course in Korea and China, they’re cloning Human Beings – they are not stifled by the feeling there is a higher power.

“Everything in this show, you are looking at and living it right now. So you can go to it and say, ‘I wonder how I would act and what would happen to me’.

by Jenny Eden

Get the full interview in
TV Zone #193

Image © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #193, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #193
September 2005
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