«...And They Have a Plan». La promessa di un universo coerente in Battlestar Galactica
| COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2009 - 1. Arredo di serie. I mondi possibili della serialità televisiva americana
The cult series Battlestar Galactica has a position of emblematic example in the always-growing trend of
American TV serials world . The series, produced by Basic Cable Sci-Fi, has a series of captions, the last of
which, for this first three seasons says: «And They Have a Plan». The enemies of the survivors in Battlestar
Galactica are superior artificial intelligences following a prophecy, and they seem having an elusive and
omni-comprehensive plan. In this way, the scriptwriters of the series ensure in each episode that they have a
clear direction for the general narration and for the way in which single facts and characters fit in.
This need of a direction or of an ending (even if only partial) is almost an everyday occurrence in the
world of American comics, and in the same way it is frequent in serial genre literature (fantasy, but not only).
It has also become always more necessary in TV. We can also argue that some recent series having a complex
plot: Six Degrees, Jericho, The Nine have been cancelled just because of their lack in having a direction and
a pact with the audience; while others, having an elaborate architecture, have benefit of the authors’ reassurances
and of the announcement of an end date, from Lost to Heroes, until the ultimate FlashForward.
In Battlestar Galactica, as the episodes go on, it is always clearer that the whole plan is adjusted so that the
series can cause a reflection on important issues about war and politics. The audience doesn’t consider these manipulations
as a betrayal. On the contrary, it appreciates the possibility to influence the choices of the authors by making
their voice heard. When, at the end of the third season, the ‘plan’ turns out to be ineffective, the end of the series
has already been announced. This reassures the audience about the existence of a planned conclusion.
The interest of Battlestar Galactica for politics (and philosophy) finds a strong support in the complexity
of the series (which in its turn is built on a pact with the audience): if a fictional fact appears at a first
level to be valid also in the real world, and can be only denied after a reflection, so such a complex narration
results more persuasive when presenting its arguments. The political fervor, this needs be said, is part of a
strategy to free Battlestar Galactica from the ghetto of science fiction and give it the media interest in spite
of being broadcasted on Sci-Fi. Whatever the reasons, it has been obtained both a cultural status and a media
and critical resonance. This is because in Battlestar Galactica the coherence (illusory or not) of the fictional
universe is the key to unveil the inconsistencies and contradictions of our real world.