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 Post subject: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Posted by Turtle10.


http://forums.scifi.com/index.php?act=f ... id=6310417

QUOTE (turtle10 @ May 12 2009, 10:01 AM)


For what it's worth, someone sent me this. One of the more complete Boomer rants I've seen.

For the first two seasons, Boomer was my favourite character. She was certainly the most sympathetic; she was a major character that stole the spotlight most of the times she was on screen, and the writers seemed to get some perverse glee out of torturing the poor girl, almost like they had some kind of internal contest going where they would compete to see who could make her the most miserable. Here she was, a loyal, talented member of Galactica’s crew. Her colleagues were family, Commander Adama was like a father, and she and Tyrol were madly in love… but as time wears on, it slowly falls apart.

The miniseries ends with the revelation that she is a Cylon agent within the fleet, but shortly into the first season we find out that Boomer is completely unaware of this, and thinks that she’s as human as everyone else. Underlying programming, however, causes her to black out and perform acts of sabotage… and from there on out she goes through hell every episode she appears in. Unexplained blackouts, circumstantial evidence, unexplained knowledge, and an ominous feeling that she’s going to hurt someone takes a tremendous toll on her psyche, along with all the other fun stuff that goes with it, like the Cylon witch hunt and Tyrol messily breaking up with her. By the end of the season, she’s already tried to commit suicide, forced Baltar to put her through the cylon detector (where he selfishly hides the results), and tried to break her concerns to the Chief only to be reassured that she’s mistaken, that she’s being set up. In the season finale, she’s given a mission to plant a nuke on a Cylon base ship in which she’s confronted by a dozen members of her own model. She flies back to Galactica only to have her programming take over and force her to shoot her beloved commanding officer twice in cold blood. She lasts a short time into season 2, being interrogated, beaten, rejected, and despised (a picture of her decorated the target range), until finally the woman who is for all intent and purposes her little sister guns her down in a hallway. Fast forward to the season 2 finale, in which Boomer finds herself in a resurrection chamber and promptly freaks out. She isn’t integrating smoothly, and her fellow Cylons are considering boxing her personality and memories.

And you know what? All of that was brilliant. It felt horrible watching each new indignity fall upon the character and each new knife get stabbed into her back and twisted around, but Grace Park did a fantastic job of bringing the character to life, and Boomer was perhaps even more interesting than she was before. The performance in the season 2 finale was particularly good, and I’d seen the potential for Boomer’s character just open wide up. There’s no longer any hiding from what she is: she knows she’s a Cylon now, and yet she utterly refuses to relinquish her humanity and assimilate! She plans to teach the Cylons the wrong in what they do, she saves the life of Sam Anders, and she befriends a kindred spirit in Caprica 6. Now we’re getting to the good stuff, I thought. There were so many interesting questions to be asked! How would she reconcile her human self with the knowledge that she was a machine? Where would the story with the unwilling betrayals she visited on Tyrol and Adama go? What relationship would she have with her own model, and the rest of the cylons? What relationship would she now have with humanity, and the people she loved in particular? What would her relationship to Athena be, as Athena was a copy with her memories and thought processes, but without the delusion of being human? Was her subconscious programming still there, ready to take over?

And from there on out, the writers decide that answering those questions is for chumps.

The invasion of New Caprica is where it starts to fall apart with the character. You see that she’s still trying to help humanity, and that she’s dedicated herself to trying to find a way for humans and Cylons to live together peacefully. You also see that she still wants to help her family. At the same time, though, her motivations seem to have become… selfish. She goes in to talk to Cally, hoping for acceptance, but she is unable (or unwilling) to take the steps necessary to free her old friend from a death sentence. Yes, I can imagine that her political power is marginalized by how badly the occupation she encouraged is going, but she’s going to let her little sister be arbitrarily executed just because she’s too afraid to rock the boat? Sure, Cally was full of hate and anger, and had shot and killed her on Galactica, but we’re talking about family, here… and we’re also talking about Sharon Valerii, a woman who tried to commit suicide because she was worried that she would hurt someone she cared about. So why didn’t she do more? Where the hell did THAT come from? Sharon might not have been the most selfless person ever born, but she gave up far more easily than expected.

…and then that’s the last we see of her until the algea planet and the temple of the five. And even then, you only get two things out of her: one, she’s really, REALLY bitter about being treated like a machine, and two, she’s apparently so messed up at this point that she’s ready to SNAP A BABY’S NECK because she’s upset. Oh yeah, and her best friend sucker punches her and snaps her neck, which must have helped her state of mind tremendously. And then that’s it for season 3. My reaction after that episode was: “holy ****! What happened to Boomer?” but that was never really answered. So all we get is a previously major character suddenly reappearing after a long hiatus, doing something completely out of character with no explanation of motivation or character development, and then we don’t see her again until a quarter through season 4. What the hell.

And then the same thing happens in season 4, and we see she’s gone COMPLETELY off the deep end, again with zero explanation or character development. She’s now Cavil’s willing pawn and completely abandoned everything she knew and loved. The closest you get to actual explanation is Cavil talking about how angry she felt about being made to think like a human. And then she “rescues” Ellen, wraps Tyrol around her finger, spectacularily betrays him, kidnaps Hera, and does absolutely vile things to Helo and Athena. Hera unearths a tiny bit of her humanity in transit, but it’s only JUST enough to convince Boomer to switch sides at the last moment, save Hera, and walk into the muzzle of Athena’s rifle. And then the writers try the bold, exciting new strategy of foreshadowing something AFTER it’s been done. Boomer says she did it for Adama, because she “owed him one”, a statement that is only explained in a flashback as she bleeds out on the floor.

I’m sorry, but that’s just ****** writing there. If they’d shown that flashback at the start of the episode? Maybe. If they’d shown it far earlier into the season? Even BETTER. But no, they ad lib a motivation for her right at the end, completely arbitrarily and COMPLETELY in the face of her ACTUAL motivation: that she couldn’t let them dissect Hera like a biology experiment.

And this just drives me crazy, because my favourite character was reduced to a plot device once the series was past New Caprica. She was there as a handy way for the writers to make other people’s lives worse. They never explained, foreshadowed or otherwise notified the audience of her new motivations, and they CERTAINLY didn’t answer the most important questions her character raised. What happened to the entire issue with her programming dictating her actions? That’s freaking PERFECT for exploring the idea of nature versus nurture. The writers obviously went to great lengths to humanize the cylons… and Boomer was the perfect vehicle for that, yet was never used. If you wanted a human perspective from the inside of the Cylon war machine, you couldn’t ask for a better point of view. She NEVER talks to Adama again, despite the fact that in season 2 Adama is still being eaten up by the betrayal, and so is she, and THAT of all things demanded resolution. Her family is completely cut from the picture, she never even grieves when they die off over time.

And for gods sake, she only meets Athena FOUR TIMES: once to deliver a message to Athena, once to threaten Athena’s baby, once to brutalize Athena and have sex with her unwitting husband while Athena was forced to watch, and finally in the hallways of The Colony for Athena to gun her down in retribution. And here you had the potential for probably one of the more fascinating relationships in the series: Athena was Boomer! At the very start of the first season, they’ve been based off the same memories, with only one crucial difference: Athena knew what she was, Boomer didn’t. The two of them were so incredibly interesting as a contrast, and it would only have gotten more interesting after Athena became a full officer, won the respect of the crew, married Helo, and had a kid. So, basically got everything Boomer ever lost or ever wanted. Those two characters were always most interesting by CONTRAST, but they practically never met and the writers certainly didn’t play off those themes. The closest they ever got to addressing the issue was the vile, nasty things Boomer did to Helo and Athena… since they were completely unnecessary to the mission Cavil had given her, the only explanation makes sense is Boomer having a perverse sense of jealousy. Even that was left to the audience’s imagination.

Also, while this is possibly completely contrary to the goals of the BSG writers (ie, do terrible things to your characters and then keep doing them), I can’t be alone in thinking that the poor girl could have used at least a tiny bit of justice. She’s victimized for being something she isn’t aware of and can’t control, is blamed for things she never did (the rebel cylons wanted to try her for treason? Really?), is forced to betray the people she loves by the programs in her head, and has every attempt to do the right thing fly back in her face and punish her for the attempt. She never really gets a chance to choose her own fate, since it’s always being dictated by circumstance or programming or complete lack of opportunity, right up until the end, where she makes one bad choice (the nasty things she did to Tyrol, Helo, and Athena) and one good choice (rescuing Hera… after getting her into the mess in the first place). Nothing ever went her way, and she could be forgiven for going absolutely batshit crazy after all that.

Quite frankly, she’d built up enough karma by the end that she could concievably flip off a box of kittens while simultaneously burning down an orphanage and kicking a stray dog and she’d STILL come out fairly even.

This is getting long, so I’ll wrap this up. Boomer, as a character, was completely sidelined and completely mishandled starting in season three, and it just got worse the more it went on. It was utterly ridiculous… they had such a strong character and so many options, yet they chose to pursue NONE of them. I can think of a half dozen scenarios that they could have thrown in anywhere in the third or fourth seasons that would have been more dramatic, more interesting uses of the character that would have actually made SENSE. After season 2, the Sharon Valerii that we knew was gone for no good reason, and that was a huge shame. I could even have been fine with her going hopelessly evil if it had been ******* foreshadowed.

As much as I loved Grace Park’s performance in the season 2 finale, perhaps it would have been kinder to just let Boomer die and stay dead.


Quote:
She goes in to talk to Cally, hoping for acceptance, but she is unable (or unwilling) to take the steps necessary to free her old friend from a death sentence.

This alone is quite brilliant, when you examine it deeply enough. Yes, Cally was her friend.

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Pierre wrote:
Posted by Turtle10.


Quite frankly, she’d built up enough karma by the end that she could concievably flip off a box of kittens while simultaneously burning down an orphanage and kicking a stray dog and she’d STILL come out fairly even.


That alone is brilliant.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:53 pm 
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yup.
everyone chooses a part. c'mon.

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:12 am 
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Turtle10 wrote:
And here you had the potential for probably one of the more fascinating relationships in the series: Athena was Boomer! At the very start of the first season, they’ve been based off the same memories, with only one crucial difference: Athena knew what she was, Boomer didn’t.


Loved this quote. It's a shame that TPTB didn't do better with Boomer, considering she was there at the start of the series. Sharon Valerii in Downloaded was THE greatest moment as a Boomer fan for me, and it's a shame they didn't explore this better. I thought I was going to see her planting Jammer to save Cally, helping Felix get the secrets, sacrificing herself while helping Caprica Six and Athena escape with Hera. Even her relationship with Cavil isn't explained, and Grey_sw and NT2 have proven that all it takes is a little writing and some actual effort to present this as workable albiet dark ship.

Then again, Caprica's POV in Caprica-Tigh was non-existent (came out of nowhere and was dropped just as fast) while Cavil, Aaron, and especially Simon got no POV. Why did they side with Cavil? Did Cavil convince Aaron and Boomer convince Simon? Did they just know the truth because Cavil shared it w/ them? It's an example of the problematic writing of the show, where the writers simply do not bother to explore plots if they don't want to, despite the need to explore such stories so that the plots make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 1:27 am 
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What's really annoying is the sheer laziness of it. Suppose they just had to do "Someone to Watch Over Me," like it was. Well, let's see...

How about in "The Eye of Jupiter," they actually show us a disillusioned, brokeback Boomer. Back on Galactica, she's pissed, but she knows about Hera, knows something about how Athena feels, because they're more sisters than anyone. She genuinely doesn't know whether to tell Athena or not. So there's a lot of ambiguity when she finally does. Maybe she even offers to help, which worries Athena; she doesn't know whether she's getting an ally or being set up. Lots of tension there. It doesn't break until an ambiguous Boomer does help at the most desperate moment. We get a little real compassion between them, after which Boomer sacrifices herself to get Athena and Caprica launched.

So there--Athena still gets her heroic suicide to save Hera, Caprica still gets to go be redeemed by twisted prison sex with Tigh :roll:, and Cavil decides it's time to really teach the resurrected Boomer a lesson. So the next time we see her, she's all droopy and voting with him, and she still does her bad girl bit on Galactica. But this time, there's a real reason for Boomer to connect decisively with Hera--saving her was the last thing the real Boomer did. And there are a lot of possibilities in the final Athena/Boomer confrontation. Because Athena owes Boomer, and however pissed she is, she has to suspect something was wrong. Something happened to the Sharon all alone in a bad place with no Helo to stand up for her. There's your nature versus nurture staring you in the face.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:17 am 
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I think Boomer would've been great as a window into the Cylons post-Rapture. If we could've seen how Cylons would have reacted post Hera's rescue, especially with the two war heroes going against the other Cylons and the Threes being boxed, it would've been great to see how every remaining model responded. Would Leoben have thought it was part of God's plan? Would Simon have kept skin samples of Hera for scentific curiousity, explaining why the Cylon fleet sees no need to worry about Hera's presence among the humans?

Caprica Six had Athena, although we rarely saw it. The character moments of the person mainly responsible for the human holocaust trying to atone would be great for Caprica, with Athena there for her as a friend and confidant.

If it was matter of Cavil genuinely thinking knowing the Final Five would go against their inherent programming - and not the ridiculous supervillain recton of No Exit that causes more questions than answers - then I can see Boomer siding with Cavil given her inability to overcome her own programming that made her shot Adama in S1. No recton of Nicholas Tyrol's paternity or the stupid affair Cally was said to have, no need to kidnap Hera for reasons that are never explained in cannon, no need for Boomer to be Darth Vader. Maybe the remaining Guardians are now a threat to both groups.

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:00 am 
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Since this is a Boomer rant, could I ask one question: What exactly was Boomer supposed to be doing on New Caprica? Yeah, yeah. I know the retcon--it was her idea, apparently coming after separating from humans being her idea. At least according to the Cavil who came to Galactica with a message. But all we saw on New Caprica was her attending the odd meeting here and there, being ineffectual and blown off when she did, and explicitly not being in charge of security. So what?

Public works? Local news anchor? Sporting event concessions?
Amway?

And a second question specifically for Pierre. Lots of ideas have been thrown around about what could have been done with Boomer after Downloaded, from people here to that excellent rant. As her biggest fan, if you could pick, what would you have liked to see done with her?


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 5:00 pm 
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Hum, I feel flattered, NT2.
Let me think a bit...
Why not simply continue what had been started in Downloaded? Boomer could have become a mediator between Humans and Cylons.

RDM miserably failed to construct a coherent plot after New-Caprica, concerning Boomer. Seeing her with Cavil was quite ok for me.
BUT: There was NO need to present us Cavil as a hysterical maniac. S4 destroyed all the greyness and anti-manichean aspect of BSG, and this was so stupid and so sad. There are countless examples in fiction where the "enemy" isn't portrayed as a carnival-villain with a James-Bond hide-out. Grotesque. The deus ex machina Earth ruined it further.

No. I see: the war finally ends. Both sides agree. The Human Fleet continues the search for a new home. There are some Human-Cylon mixes/couples, maybe.
Boomer stays with Cavil, or not. We learn a bit more about their relation. Convincing and senseful stuff. Or, why not, a reunification with Tyrol could also be hinted at. At least one significant Adama-Boomer scene (not the cr*p/sh*t we got) would be appreciated. Oh, and Athena/Boomer? You know, even I don't think that a good scene between these two doesn't require exclusively "life-stealer" dialog... (hmmm... but a bit of that could be funny) :french: Something good, where BOTH acknowledge their mistakes, yes.

voilà. :write:

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:36 pm 
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Pierre wrote:
Hum, I feel flattered, NT2.


Well, you did buy the Valerii, S. bag patch. That alone puts you in the 95th percentile of Boomer fans, right? ;)

Couldn't agree with your comments more. That's what's so exasperating about the last two seasons of Battlestar--it really had the potential to be a show about the unbearable greyness of existence. And it was squandered.

The basic setup would acknowledge more than just the Cylons rebelling. It would be that they were conscious entities who experienced there own holocaust before rebelling--that humanity did something unforgiveable. Then the Cylons became what they beheld, doing something unforgiveable in return. So what's it gonna' be--hate and kill until the last of both are gone, or maybe figure out something else? Think of it as a hate story infected by love. Boomer and Athena were set up perfectly for that. Athena would be the vehicle forcing humanity to look itself in the mirror; Boomer would be that vehicle for the Cylons. They would literally be mirror images of each other, with even great comedy potential in any meeting ["Frak you." "No, frak you." "We're pretty much frakked, aren't we?"]

That gets you to a very dark ending where mutinies, civil wars, whatever all boil up into one tragic confrontation across lines between those who can't forgive what was done and those who, whether they can forgive or not, just want it to stop. Nobody's evil. They're just frakked up, each trying to salvage something precious in their own way.

Lee's line about "if forgiveness is to heavy a burden, if hope is you enemy, then I am your enemy" would then actually mean something. And maybe Baltar is really redeemed as well. Maybe he willingly confesses all that he's done, accepting that they'll probably kill him, just to try and get them to see what a frakked up box they're in, how it doesn't have to end that way.

So much potential squandered. It hurts more than bad science fiction, because it really could have been great.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:59 pm 
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Pierre wrote:

RDM miserably failed to construct a coherent plot after New-Caprica, concerning Boomer.


Not just concerning Boomer. As I said in response to the rant at Skiffy, the whole show lost it's way after New Caprica. Kara's death and "magic" return...Caprica Six and Tigh getting together, only to have that relationship simply dropped without any explanation...the Nicky is not Tyrol's baby reveal...and a lot more.

I really wish we could have a do over...pick up the story from Collaborators and try again.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:45 am 
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terribleted wrote:
Not just concerning Boomer. As I said in response to the rant at Skiffy, the whole show lost it's way after New Caprica.


Actual Ted, thinking about your comment, maybe you've hit on the fundamental problem. Maybe the show has already lost its way in New Caprica, but we just don't see it. We're still the mark who doesn't get the con--there never were any Cylons. They were props who might have appeared alive at times, but they weren't.

The whole thing starts falling apart after Season 2 because that's when the Cylon perspective begins to be seen. And that ultimately reveals there is no Cylon perspective. Our mistake when watching the show was in assuming there was another half of the equation. There was no plan, no real sense in the creator's minds of who the Cylons were or what they're motivations might be. That's how they wind up just puppets of a James Bond villain--as characters, they never really existed.

We're becoming subliminally aware that something's wrong in Season 3. It crashes completely in Season 4.5, because that's when the Cylon story should be maturing in tandem with the Colonial story. Except there is no Cylon story. That's why the whole "it's dark" PR campaign for Season 4.5. It's dark with Dee killing herself, shocking with Gaeta's mutiny, dark again with Boomer's escapades. All of that is just filler, cover for the fact that there is no Cylon story to tell. We're simply marking time to Earth, where the Cylons are a total afterthought.

Think about it. Boomer is better written than Athena initially, because Boomer is with the Fleet, which has a perspective. When they swap places, Athena becomes better written than Boomer because she's now on the side that has a perspective. Downloaded works because they're still treating Boomer as a Colonial--with a perspective. That's also the last time she has one. Once she's a Cylon, she's a prop, too. And Athena inevitably becomes one-dimensional because they have no actual Cylon perspective to meld with her human experiences.

What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:41 am 
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I can agree with most of what the original poster said with one major exception: Cally and Boomer were NOT friends. Did they work together when they had to? Sure. Did they have stuff in common OTHER than Tyrol? Probably. Prior to her reveal as a cylon, would Cally have saved Boomer if she laid dying? Why not? But they weren't friends and Boomer certainly didn't see Cally as a 'little sister'. For the most part, Cally seemed like a complete after-thought in Boomer's eyes. It didn't seem like Boomer saw Cally as her 'competition' for Tyrol in any way. I do think Boomer treated Cally (and all of the knuckle-draggers) as more of an equal than the other pilots did, but that was the extent of their connection. And that's only from Boomer's pov. From the very beginning, Cally appeared to dislike Boomer because of Boomer's relationship with than man Cally loved. Did Cally hate Boomer? Maybe, maybe not. But I don't think Cally wanted to invite Boomer over to play a nice, long game of triad or read through the Fleet news-bulletins. Sorry for the Cally ramble but that one comment really bugged me...Anyway...

On most of the other notes, I agree. After Downloaded (which was not the season 2 finale, btw) Boomer became nothing more than a plot device the writers pulled out whenever they felt like it. They used her, discarded her, and put absolutely no thought into her storyline/arc as a character. And that sucks. But as others pointed out, Boomer is not the only character the writers did this to. Anyone remember what happened to Tyrol in 4.5? How about Tory? Or Leoben? Or even poor dead Cally? All of those characters got ignored/screwed over by the writers at some point.

RDM may've written the final two episodes with some of these characters in mind but he didn't really take any of them into consideration for the entire season prior. (Actually...for anything post-Rapture). In a series where the writers chose to base their storylines on the darkest possible plot simply because it was the dark plot they could imagine, I'm surprised ANY of the characters made it out even remotely in-tact.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:43 pm 
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NT2 wrote:

We're still the mark who doesn't get the con--there never were any Cylons. They were props who might have appeared alive at times, but they weren't.


Ultimately, the show was about the humans and their fight to survive. So the cylons were never intended to be fully realized characters, I suppose. They were the boogymen. Attempts were made to flesh them out as the series went on...with mixed results...but they always played second fiddle to the humans. That's why it never really bothered me when people would criticize the lack of a cylon plan. The "plan" was to kill the humans and chase the survivors around the galaxy so we could have a show. They were the McGuffin. I really had no problem with that.


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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:09 am 
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I agree with most of this Boomer rant, except maybe the part about Cally being like a little sister to her. Thanks for posting it. More comments later.

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 Post subject: Re: "DeLuxe" Boomer rant found on SciFi
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Pretty good!

hey Chris getting any sleep?

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