The following column contains MAJOR SHIPPER DRAMA from the third season of "Battlestar Galactica." Please proceed at your own risk. Do not attempt to read this column and heavy machinery at the same time. Read only as directed.
Previously on "Battlestar Galactica," Starbuck finally realizes that no vow can keep her away from the man she really loves. "Apollo, you complete me."
But her true love is torn between the blonde bombshell Viper pilot and his wife, Dualla. "I can't cheat, but as long as I'm not wearing my wedding ring, then it's out of sight, out of mind."
Will Apollo do what's right? Can Anders ever forgive her? Will Gaeta get conjugal visits with Dr. Baltar? Tune in next week for another episode of "As the Battlestar Turns."
Yes, I am exaggerating a bit the margin that exists between "Battlestar Galactica" operating as a space opera and a soap opera, but if my only exposure to the show were the promos being put out by SciFi Channel's marketing department, I wouldn't have a clue that this show is head and shoulders above garbage like "Grey's Anatomy." Seriously, going into the most recent episode, SciFi Channel's promo concentrated solely on whether or not Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) and Apollo (Jamie Bamber) would finally get together, despite the fact that they've already buried the snake way back on New Caprica.
Was that actually the main story behind "Taking A Break From All Your Worries"? The Starbuck/Anders/Apollo/Dualla love story? Not from where I was sitting. The episode had far more to do with the imprisonment of former President Gaius Baltar (James Callis) and some of the most stunning acting I've ever seen from Mary McDonnell.
But for the second week in a row, a BSG episode was advertised almost exclusively toward the love storyline.
There are a specific sect of "Battlestar Galactica" fans that truly eat this up. They are known, for whatever strange reason, as "Shippers," and if they had their way, Adama and Roslin would be replaced by Victor Newman and Katherine Chancellor. Apollo would become Nicholas Newman. Starbuck, well, she'd probably have to be Colleen Carlton. And Baltar, well, who better than Jack Abbott? (For those of you who are now totally lost, these are all characters from "The Young and the Restless."
Please, please, please don't take what I'm saying the wrong way. I am totally for this type of character development, and I have not been disappointed with any episode (outside of "Hero") this season. I like the fact that we have this very sappy B-story going on, and I'm enjoying the character development. But how is promoting those storylines as if they are the bread-and-butter of the show truly showcasing what "Battlestar Galactica" is?
It doesn't. And SciFi Channel needs to figure that out, and they need to figure it out now.
Not much to talk about this week as it has been busy for us here on the site, and for me personally. I just talked about "Lost" Wednesday, so it's not like you haven't had your fill of my opinion. Why not take a few minutes and share yours with me? Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you're lucky, I could use it in an upcoming column. Please include a name we can use, as well as where you're writing from.
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Michael Hinman, recently named Time magazine's Person of the Year, is the founder and site coordinator for Airlock Alpha, writing out of Tampa, Fla. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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