Tor.com content by

Robert Bland

In God We Rust: Final Thoughts on Battlestar Galactica

Psst. Come here, I have a secret to tell you. From one godless monkey to another: up until the point that God actually proved to be real in the BSG universe, I really enjoyed the religious aspects of the show. I found it fascinating that a race of machines could have a monotheistic culture and that the human race was polytheistic. It was not lost on me either that the monotheistic culture waged their own form of ethnic cleansing upon the religiously misguided humans. Be that as it may, what really pulled me in was the process of mulling over how a race of machines could find religion in the first place, and secondly, why the humans were polytheistic. I certainly didn’t expect that the war they were fighting was a conflict waged by proxy, with Cylons and humans as mere puppets, with Almighty God on one side pulling His strings and the six gods on the other side pulling theirs. I knew I wasn’t watching a story akin to the Iliad. I could tell that the story was driven by the characters who were actually onstage—not by God or the gods. To think otherwise would have been downright foolish.

I am only half the fool, it turns out. Understand though: I am not the fool because I was wrong. I am the fool because I thought RDM & Co. were honest brokers. Silly me. I believe it was John Joseph Adams, one of Tor.com’s bloggers and member of the BSG Roundtable, that succinctly said, “Ronald D. Moore is dead to me.”

Actually, it’s worse. His characters are dead. All of them. They’ve been gutted, fileted, and hung out to dry. Their eviscerated husks are nothing more than bitter memories of what could’ve and should’ve been. This is what happens when writers run away from their own story, when they forego the most basic rule of writing: don’t lie to your audience. Don’t dupe them. Don’t you dare take their intelligence and treat it like toilet paper. Don’t. You. Dare.

But they did.

[God had a plan, you see, and the plan was a deus ex machina.]