Finished of watching the remake of Battlestar Galactica last night. On the whole a reasonable job though TV3’s slicing for commercials destroyed pretty much any continuity or tension. I remember going to see the first movie when I was a kid and the old Cinerama theatre in Wellington shook with the “Sensorround” effects.
There were a few retro touches that were nice and you can cope with the switching of genders/ethnicity of some of the characters. What struck me was that it looks like religion may play a more significant part in the new series than the original. It will be interesting to see how they handle it as on the whole sci-fi TV shows don’t handle religion well. (Babylon 5 is an exception that I’ll blog about later on.)
A couple of useful books for looking at the relationship between science fiction and religion/theology are Stephen May’s Stardust and Ashes and Anthony Thacker’s A Closer Look at Science Fiction.
May’s book is the more academic offering a critique of a wide range of science fiction literature and its themes. Thacker’s approach is more useful for discussion material as he takes a theme (e.g. redemption) and then uses science fiction films (e.g. Star Wars) and TV (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Dr. Who) to unpack that theme. Both are written from a UK slant.
Related to this is also Stanley Grenz’s use of Star Trek’s development to trace modern to postmodern shifts in contemporary culture. See Grenz, Stanley J. “Star Trek and the Next Generation: Postmodernism and the Future of Evangelical Theology”, Crux (Vancover), 30(1), March 1994, pp.24-32. (Also part of his A Primer on Postmodernism”).