Friday, April 24, 2009

Star Tr...I mean Battlest...I mean Astro Quest!

So, the episode of C.S.I. entitled "A Space Oddity" aired recently. I have to admit, I was nervous: it would be very easy for a prime time show like this to poke a lot of fun at science fiction. However, I was pleasantly surprised when not only did they not poke nearly as much fun as they could have, the episode was actually fairly well written. Here, have a look:

They are, of course, satirizing the situation with both Battlestar Galactica (the original series versus the 2000's remake) as well as more directly, Star Trek (original series versus the J.J. Abrams remake that is coming out very soon). What I really enjoyed was the intertexuality: the guy who stands up and voices the dissent of the mob ("you suck!" he says to a guy who is, basically, 1/2 him) is actually Battlestar exec. producer Ron Moore. The media professor is Kate Vernon, who was one of the Final Five (or first five, depending on how you look at it) cylons from that very same show. You might not have seen it but there's also a quick cameo by Grace Park, cylon #8 from that very same show, as well.

Notice even the musical references to Battlestar with Bear McCreary's now-infamous soundtrack of Taiko Drums . Notice, too, the shakey, hand-held camera work right around that scene that references the documentary style of Battlestar. It's just really nice interweaving of references.

The Best reference, though, is the rant of the producer character. This is a reference to the manifesto that Moore published just prior to the BSG series airing on "naturalistic science fiction" (his phrase, so I wanted to quote it). It looks like this is some of Abrams' goal in the way he's presenting the Star Trek film, as well. Listen carefully to what Vernon's character (the media professor) me, it will be prophetic come release date of that film. Even with all the geek cred Abrams already has, it is going to be an uphill battle for him once hardcore SF fans get to see the film.

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