At Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint web site, Alex Wainer discusses the modern remake of the science fiction show Battlestar Galactica as a vehicle for discussing society’s most pressing problems. What other show confronts the topic of religious extremists who see it as their divine mandate to wipe out infidels or confronts liberal views on abortion when the survival of the human race is at stake.
Battlestar Galactica is consistently rated as one of the best shows on TV and it’s not just for sci-fi geeks (especially since they keep a lot of the technical gobbledy-gook to a minimum), but focuses on the big questions and human drama in familiar, but alien settings. Also keep in mind that the producers—who have an episode-by-episode commentary podcast—aren’t conservatives by any means. But they are open-minded and interested in questioning the assumptions of their ideological fellow-travelers.
Wainer looks in particular at one episode in which the fictional president—who is “for abortion rights”—is confronted with the fact that humanity has been reduced to about 50,000 people and every pregnancy is not just a blessing, but a matter of survival for the species. In some ways, this a question being faced by many countries, not extinction of the species, but a collapse of the culture. Russia’s population is going to shrink from 143 million to 101.5 million by 2050. Other Western European countries are seeing a similar collapse with the only gains being made by immigrants who will bring in an alien culture to supplant their own. Sound familiar?
What science fiction does best is to remove controversial matters from our current context and put them in an alien or futurists one to let us look at them fresh. Battlestar Galactica does that. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you have plenty of time. The next season doesn’t start until October.
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