Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SciFiNow Top 10 Ronald D. Moore Episodes

"On some level, I wanted to extend sympathy for the person in that position. To realize that even someone like Laura Roslin, when they are thrust into the presidency in these circumstances, and literally have the fate of the human race hanging on their shoulders, there's going to be a transition, there's going to be a change. They're going to look at the world through different eyes.

And certainly George W. Bush went through a similar transition. The 9/11 attack was the seminal moment in the man's life, it was the seminal moment in his presidency, and he changed. And I think you can argue about the reasons for that, and was it a good change, was it a bad change, but on a human level, the change happened. And I wanted to dramatize that with Laura Roslin too, and say that anybody in that position's going to have certain reactions to that event, and they're going to take the responsibility much more seriously than they did before the event."

-Politically-sensitive scribe Ronald D. Moore drawing reasonable comparisons between Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica to President George W. Bush, The A.V. Club (2007)-

"We have this fundamental belief in the Constitution, a fundamental belief in the Bill Of Rights...I wanted the ragtag Fleet...to mirror our society in that way but then I wanted...the situation that the Colonials find themselves in to challenge and provoke their notions of society and freedom...[T]hat sort of challenge to the fundamentals of the system is something that I think we're going through right now...[T]he War on Terrorism, the assertion of executive power in all circumstances...the long march toward extreme authoritarian governance...those ideas are in the show because those ideas are in the culture right now."

-Writer and executive producer Ronald D. Moore on mirroring the state of America within his version of Battlestar Galactica from the book So Say We All (2006)-

Sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.  It's fair to say Ronald D. Moore's perspectives on government then remain as relevant and applicable today.  We could learn a lot through empathy, a certain degree of understanding and a little mutual respect. Intelligence and reason seems absent from the political debate.

During a weekend packed mostly with chores and fueled by a house full of sick, I happened across a relatively interesting Top Ten in SciFiNow #53.

These are the ten best episodes either penned or co-penned by Ronald D. Moore.  I'm not sure if these are Moore's personal favorites or SciFiNow's picks, but it appears to be a SciFiNow-selected list.

So, without further adieu, here is SciFiNow's Top Ten Ronald D. Moore Episodes in no particular order all from Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) unless otherwise noted.

10. Occupation.
9. A Disquiet Follows My Soul.
8. Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I.
7. Home, Part II.
6.  33.
5. Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II.
4. Pilot [Caprica].
3. Battlestar Galactica Mini-Series Pilot.
2. All Good Things [Star Trek: The Next Generation].
1. Yesterday's Enterprise [Star Trek: The Next Generation].

Where do you stand on Ronald D. Moore? He's a bit of a lightning rod to science fiction fans.  His efforts at deconstructing science fiction television expectations have certainly earned him his fair share of critics and fans.

He's not a science fiction writer in the strictest, most traditional, classic sense to be sure, but most of us can say there are plenty of terrific entries that have earned a spot in our enjoyment of all things science fiction thanks to Moore.

How about that ending, Daybreak, to Battlestar Galactica?

There are plenty of episodes written by Moore along the way that apparently didn't register for the list but certainly could have including the controversial Battlestar Galactica series finale Daybreak.  Was it among your favorites?

I did a recent viewing of Daybreak specifically to capture images for this post.  That three-part episode and that re-imagined series in general is a review for another day.  With so much time passed since my initial viewing of that series I can't comment too intelligibly on it at this time.

I will say that I had mixed feelings about Daybreak, but having given it another look recently I was surprised by how profoundly moving it was.  In particular, I would have no reservation about including Daybreak Part 3 in the aforementioned list.  It is at once staggeringly moving, beautiful and emotionally resonant even if I don't entirely understand certain logical flaws with the series.  I was incredibly moved seeing it again.  There were certainly many questions surrounding the Starbuck character in that final season and part of me felt it strayed so much from the first two seasons it sometimes felt problematic. 

To say any more about it would require a more fitting and careful analysis.  Perhaps that day will one day come.  Where Daybreak registers for you depends on just how satisfying or unsatisfying that finale played out for you after such a long political and spiritual journey within Moore's dark re-imagining of the Glen Larson classic.  It's easily as good as A Disquiet Follows My Soul.  But I do think Daybreak Part 3 registers on an emotional level with all who stayed with that series.  The series in general was quite a significant science fiction undertaking.

What about Star Trek: The Next Generation's (1987-1994) Sins Of The Father, Family, Reunion, Data's Day, First Contact, Redemption, Relics, Chain Of Command, Tapestry, The Chase, Descent, Gambit, The Pegasus or Thine Own Self?

What about some love for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's (1993-1999) The Search, Defiant, The Die Is Cast, Paradise Lost, Sons Of Mogh, Trials And Tribble-ations, Rocks And Shoals, Waltz, Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges or Tacking Into The Wild?

He even delivered a pair for Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001), a trio for HBO's Carnivale (2003-2005) and a good number for Roswell (1999-2002).  There's no love for those series either.  Do you remember Virtuality (2009)?

Does this list really represent his best?  Is this a proper list for Ronald D. Moore's work or selective memory?  You know your science fiction. You know a good story.  What do you think?

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