Great little article by Sam J. Miller over at mental_floss Blog Â» Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Trek looking at the difference in anthropologies underlying Star Trek (pretty positive) and the new Battlestar Galactica (pretty negative). Worth a quick read.
Miller argues that Galactica doesn’t hide the warts or flaws in human nature and relationships, or paint a rosy picture of some kind of trajectory towards perfection achievable through the myth of progress. He says of that,
Galactica is sci-fi without that BS. Sci-fi with all the anger and stupidity and sadness that real people experience. Sci-fi without the conviction that we will conquer our own ugliness. Sci-fi for the age of peak oil and 9/11 and natural disasters compounded by climate change to the point where they can completely destroy major cities. Galacticaâ€™s message is that unless we come to terms with our own history, we are doomed. Mankind created the Cylons to fight our wars and to do our grunt work for us. Eventually they rose up and wiped out 99.999% of us. This basic lesson is one we still havenâ€™t learned: that exploitation leads to exploitation, that if you oppress someone you sow the seeds of your own oppression. â€œYou canâ€™t play God and then wash your hands of the things youâ€™ve created,â€ says the Galacticaâ€™s commander, William Adama. â€œSooner or later, the day comes when you canâ€™t hide from the things that youâ€™ve done anymore.â€
It’s similar to the flaws in humanity that Joss Whedon brought out in Firefly or J. Michael Straczynski kept in Babylon 5.