Gathan Beaga

gratuitous kiwi connection

The election, it’s so… tomorrow. I need a break.

Every week for the past couple of months our Friday night thing is to swing the couch round in front of the TV and play another episode of Battlestar Galactica. Sounds dull, but hey: when you have kids every quiet moment at home is to be treasured.

A couple minutes in to this week’s episode and Becky recognised a familiar face. “Hey, isn’t that Lucy Lawless?”

And so it was: our Lucy plays a video reporter given access to Galactica to do a fly-on-the-wall style doco.

Now running through the series is a strong sense of the contemporary American situation. Consider this: in Battlestar Galactica, a strong and wealthy nation is threatened by foreign terrorists. These terrorists execute an overwhelmingly successful attack on the home soil of this country. The only defenders of those that remain are the military.

Oh, and did I mention that some of the terrorists look just like everyone else in this country? And that the terrorists practice a different faith to that of the majority, a faith that (the terrorists say) permits the slaughter of non-believers?

Cylons = Terrorists. Except they are somewhat more numerous and better organised than bin Laden’s mob.

So sometimes the series plays to me like one long and seriously cool recruitment video for the Navy: the ordinary heroes on Galactica are the only ones who know how to deal with this particular threat.

In the case of Battlestar Galactica this is undoubtedly true, but it’s not always the case in real life.

But mostly, despite the sci-fi basis of the series, it has a realistic vibe. Galactica survived because its more advanced and newer siblings got hacked in a cyber-attack and destroyed by the Cylons – so it’s a little old-fashioned by starship standards. And just like (one presumes) in contemporary real-life naval ships onboard comms is via telephone. Things look a bit claustrophobic, grungy and lived in. Amongst the fleet of survivors there’s tension between the military and government. And all of this adds to the believable atmosphere.

Back to Lucy though. A couple cool things about this appearance by her: she speaks in a New Zealand accent (which makes sense: amongst the refugees of 12 planets, regional accents should abound); and this is said to be the first time she’s done that on American TV. It really stands out too – amongst all the standard American accents it sounds a little exotic.

The other cool thing is that she’s almost certainly guaranteed of a return spot. I’d say why, but that would be a spoiler. If you can’t guess and want to know, check the episode guide here.

Suffice to say, she does speak in an American accent. But just the once.

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