A Libertarian Battlestar

Ron D. Moore is not only one of the best writers in TV since Rod Serling, and I have to admit appreciating his willingness to buck the P.C. status quo:

“Why does the doctor smoke?”

Because smoking is cool. Don’t let anyone tell you different, kid.

Seriously, we’re showing people doing what people really do and not all of their choices are smart ones. We smoke, we drink, we have sex with the wrong partners — we make lots of bad choices and some of them we do knowingly and in full cognizance of the risks and consequences. Dr. Cottle obviously knows the risks associated with smoking and he elects to do it anyway — that’s his choice.

I’m also frankly tired of all the anti-smoking p.c. crap that we’re bombarded with these days and I decided that this was a world without all that. Call it my one sop to the idea of an idealized society, the notion that adults can make informed choices and not be nagged to death or run out of public spaces for making choices that others may not like or agree with.

Battlestar Galactica has consistantly been one of the best written shows on TV, and the fact that Moore has the balls to deal with such issues is one of the biggest reasons why. Thankfully the show is getting a second season — it deserves it. It also deserves to sweep the Emmys – between Moore’s writing, the excellent special effects by Zoic Studies, the incredible acting (notably Oscar nominees Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell both giving excellent performances and newcomer Katee Sackhoff reinventing the SF heroine), as well as the production values and general quality of the show.

4 thoughts on “A Libertarian Battlestar

  1. “Why does the doctor smoke?”

    I appreciate Ron’s desire to send a big F-You to the anti-smoking jihadists, and I support the sentiment, but c’mon – this doctor doesn’t live in a well-ventilated apartment, he lives in space!

    Smoking, or any open fire, on a spaceship is a good way to kill a whole lot of people. If I were the captain he’d have two choices – nicotine gum, or walk the airlock.

    I’ve been impressed by the level of realism in the BG series. But allowing a crew person to smoke on a space-going vehicle betrays that realism.

  2. I don’t know. Your civilization on 12 planets is destroyed, killing tens of billions. You are down to 50,000 people spread out on space ships fleeing the bad guys, with no where to go but toward a myth. I’m getting a carton of smokes in much less stressful situations.

    Jay, did you see the interview with Ron Moore where he says Starbuck is a “Republican”? Although I have no idea what Ron Moore’s politics are, I’m worried he’s going to make the show political – although I sense he won’t get too analogous to current events – but just wants to deal with issues that matter to humans – such as the nature of faith and fate. People who try to find direct Earth analogs between the humans’ polytheism and the Cylons’ monotheism are misunderstanding what Moore is doing, I think.

  3. It’s interesting how Hollywood is the alleged politically correct capital of the world when they are the chief promoters of the most politically incorrect activity of all. Battlestar Galactica is far from the only Hollywood production to brandish cigarettes among its main characters….even since the anti-smoking zealotry went into overdrive about five years ago. If the show lasts long enough, however, my guess is that the anti-smoking mullahs will get to Moore one way or another. Dr. Cottle will be slapping on the nicotine patch by the third season.

  4. Dr. Cottle will be slapping on the nicotine patch by the third season.

    You know it is true that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, and a doctor would know that.

    Is it possible that a character would choose to stop smoking on his own initiative, and not because the clean air cartels threatened to kneecap the writers?

    Let him smoke, or let him not smoke. Now, on the other hand, if he gets lung cancer on a very special Battlestar Galactica, we’ll know where the pressure came from.

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