After a long and winding space-road full of apocalypse, revelation, and stuff blowing up real good, Friday night saw the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. Regardless of what you thought of BSG‘s last episode — you can peep my take here, as well as scores of reader comments — one thing I think we all can agree on is that with Galactica‘s passing we’ve crossed a threshold. Televised science fiction will never be the same. As they said when the soldiers were returning from Europe after the end of WWII, How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm once they’ve seen Paree?
How are we supposed to take shows like Knight Rider and Heroes seriously now that we’ve lived through the idiosyncratic brilliance that was Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica? Where do we go from here?
The Sci Fi Channel (and, no, I’m not calling it Syfy…Prince will always be Prince, Sci Fi will always be Sci Fi) would have us fill the void with two Battlestar-y offerings: a two-hour BSG TV movie called The Plan (which’ll tell of the Cylon holocaust from the Cylon point of view) and Caprica (a prequel, starring Esai Morales and Eric Stoltz, about the creation of the first Cylons). And they’re hatching some new series, including Warehouse 13 — sort of Eureka meets X-Files at a party held in the cavernous storage facility at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark — the new Stargate Universe, and a just-announced show loosely based on Alice in Wonderland.
But where’s the next Battlestar Galactica going to come from? In a television landscape where Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse are withering on the vine, where the most watched shows feature celebrities dancing, or would-be celebrities singing, or gruff-looking men and women poking at dead bodies, who is going to step up and give us science fiction with the power to move us with its characters, provoke us with its writing, awe us with its spectacle? Will it be Caprica? ABC’s new take on V? Something that AMC hasn’t announced yet, but will sit alongside Mad Men and Breaking Bad in the annals of quality TV?
As the sun sets on Galactica, that old maxim rings true: It is darkest before the dawn. I just wanna know who’s gonna turn on the light.