Most forms of entertainment can be construed as propaganda. This is a bold statement to make but nevertheless a true one. Individuals are slaves to their own feelings and notions. It is not absurd to believe that something an individual creates will carry the individual’s message, either with intent or without. It’s human nature. Like the adage says, we write what we know. So, too, must we create what we know.
An issue that Battlestar Galactica seemingly had upon its conclusion was a religious message. Throughout the series there was a polytheistic leaning that was creative and new, but then the Cylons and later Baltar started spouting about a one true god. This would be fine except for the fact that in the end this god revealed itself as angels in the heads of two characters and a messenger/harbinger in the form of a resurrected human character. It would seem that Ron D. Moore was saying something about the rightness and righteousness of a one true god. Most of us viewers did not care for this in our humans versus robots war show with a heavy emphasis on terrorism and internal politics.
In starting to watch Caprica, a show produced by Moore but not entirely in his control, the message of the one true god is being lost. I’m confused but amused by it. In the first episode we see an attack on a train carrying many innocent people, and the perpetrator is one of those terrible monotheists. He was able to perform such a horrible act because his god said it was right. I’m going to gloss over the fact that he was dark-skinned and may as well have been Persian, but it’s interesting to see monotheists being persecuted for their believes and shown to be the bad guys despite the ending of the previous series.
It will be interesting to follow the rest of Caprica and found out what the writers ultimately want to say about religion. These series are hardly about religious tolerance, especially given the ending of the previous. What kind of religious and political messages will we find on the way to its conclusion?
As an aside, I’m pleasantly surprised with the series. I intended to avoid it, but Cylon development and virtual people won me over. I’m particularly interested in the virtual Zoe and later the virtual Tamara, as they were created not from the usual scifi brain download but from metadata as it exists on the internet, in public and private records, etc. These are nigh perfect copies of the originals, so far, and they are based on people’s actions. It’s not what you think that shapes who you are. It’s what you do.