Annotated Bibliography – Battlestar Galactica

Just a quick reminder of my thesis, mostly for my own sake. How Battlestar Galactica changed the science fiction genre with it’s emphasis on post 9/11 themes

Works Cited

Eberl, Jason T., ed. Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Print.

Though the book is huge and I won’t use most of it, the beginning of almost every article begins discussing the differences between the new and old BSG in some way. While the subject of the book is obviously philosophy, I’d like to use it for the questions it arouses about modern life. The book is very dense, so it will take me a while to see which articles are useful and which are not, but I can already tell that any moral questions BSG arouses will be answered by this book.

Ford, James E. “Battlestar Galactica and Mormon Theology.” Journal of Popular Culture 17.2 (1832): 83. Print.

This is a source discussing the Battlestar Galactica of the 70’s. I was looking for a source about the link between Mormonism and BSG after seeing it referenced in another source. I’m still looking for more sources on BSG in the 70’s, but this is a good start. It discusses the original BSG as being the first fictional television show to ground its theology in one religion; which happens to be mormonism. It gives a good history of religion in BSG, making clear much of the terminology in the show. It also sums up the plot of the old BSG, which has been great because I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet. The article also talks about how the personal views of the head writer influenced BSG’s mormon themes.

Franklin, Nancy. “The Critics: On Television: Across the Universe: A Battlestar is Reborn.” The New Yorker 23 Jan. 2006: 92-93. Print.

This article glosses over a brief history of science fiction writing in television, and then proceeds to cover how Battlestar is reshaping the genre by tying in modern themes with it’s wacky universe.

Gerrold, David. The World of Star Trek. New York: Bluejay Books, 1984. Print.

Another book I thought I might need for my comparison, but no longer. Not really of any use to me, I don’t think. But I have it.

Gilmore, Mikai. “‘Battlestar’ Apocolypse.” Rolling Stone 19 Mar. 2009: 36-38. Print.

This article discusses the blatant 9/11 themes present in BSG, along with many quotes from producers. Lots of great observations here, but little to no information about the adaptation of BSG.

Goldberg, Jonah. “How Politics Destroyed a Great TV Show.” Commentary 34-7 128.3 (2009). Print.

This article discusses BSG’s origins as a post 9-11 commentary. It discusses BSG’s origins in right wing theory, but also maintains it does not have a right wing agenda. Most importantly it discusses the duel approach to every issue which BSG takes. It presents BSG as trying to show both ends of an issue, without being decisive about the ends of the issue. I’m still digesting this piece as a whole, as I do not quiet understand why not taking stance is, in fact, taking a stance, as the writer concludes. This piece is also useful as it discuses the absolute rage many regular viewers had at the end of the series.

Harrison, Taylor, Sarah Projansky, Kent A. Ono, and Elyce Robert Helford, eds. Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek. Boulder: Westview, 1996. Print.

I originally got this book for the purpose of comparing BSG to Star Trek, or another show within the sci-fi genre. After settling on comparing the new BSG to the old BSG, I have little use for this book. It could possibly be useful for making generalizations about science fiction history. It could also be useful because the producer of the new BSG had a large role in much of the later Star Trek series.

Lehrer, Eli. “Battlestar Rules.” The Weekly Standard 6 Apr. 2009. Print.

This article is in sharp contrast to “Battlestar Galactica: The Beginning of the End”. This article talks about the campiness and failure of the old BSG, and talks about how the new BSG takes everyday themes to their extremes and the success the show has with doing so.

Peed, Mike. “Shuttle Diplomacy; Brave New World Dept.” The New Yorker 6 Apr. 2009. Print.

This article discusses the usefulness of the sci-fi genre in the modern world, and the UN forum about BSG that took place early this year, before the series finale aired. Limited usefulness besides its mention of conference taking place, a lowly news bulletin almost.

Potter, Tiffany, and C.W. Marshall, eds. Cylons in America. New York: THe Continuum International Group Inc., 2008. Print.

This book useful overall, as it covers much of the history of BSG and the various changes it has undergone over the years. It focuses extensively on BSG’s themes of modern American life. One essay in particular disccuses how BSG’s middle ground (BSG always presents both sides of an issue and never concludes on it) is a potentially dangerous weapon. My thesis that BSG’s use of modern themes changed science fiction television is heavily supported by the content of this book, though I have only been able to read a few of the chapters thus far. More to come on this one as I am able to read.

Tulloch, John, and Henry Jenkins. Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. London, New York: Routledge, 1995. Print.

This book discusses science fiction audiences as they pertain to Doctor Who and Star Trek. I might use this book to extrapolate how BSG changed the science fiction genre, especially in who wants to watch it. It actually discusses the changes they predict would happen with science fiction audiences, and I would like to see if they match up with what BSG has done. It also contains an entire chapter devote to authorship in science fiction and it’s role in telling stories in space.

Vary, Adam B. “Battlestar Galactica: The Beginning of the End.” Entertainment Weekly 20 Mar. 2009. Print.

This article discusses the differences between the old BSG and the new BSG through interviews with the shows producer, Ronal Moore, and various cast members. It discusses the selling of BSG through the miniseries, the negative reactions of fans to the miniseries, and the subsequent series start-up and what they changed to ensure it’s success.

Steiff, Josef, and Tamplin, Tristan D. “Battlestar Galactica and Philosphy: Mission Accomplished or Mission Frakked Up? Chicago. Open Court. 2008

This is a review of the book “Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy”. I thought it might be useful, it really wasn’t. It mostly talked about how the book wasn’t so much about philosophy as it was an eclectic collection of essays. Fortunately for me, that’s what I wanted anyway.

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