Ron Moore's dark reimagining of Battlestar Galactica, which premiered in 2003, was a direct response to a post-9/11 world. Following the 55,000 survivors of the human race after a catastrophic attack, Battlestar helped to contextualize a world reeling in the wake of terrorism and addressed the new status quo.
It's been 16 years since the Twin Towers fell and the world has changed drastically, but the stories told in Battlestar Galactica remain relevant. According to Moore, the themes that made Battlestar so groundbreaking in its heyday can still provide insight to viewers in present as terrorist attacks are on the rise and the United States' political relationships with the other international powers seem tenuous at best.
"It was a show about ideas. There were a lot of questions and ethical dilemmas and moral problems. Hopefully those things are still relevant today even though we seem to be in a less serious environment where it's hard to believe what the conversations are in our political system," Moore told TVGuide.com at the Austin Television Festival.
Battlestar was many things, but at its heart, it was a story about humanity and the struggle to see similarities instead of differences in a time of war. Star Mary McDonnell touched upon the idea during the show's reunion panel Saturday.
"I think that the idea that humanity could be reduced to 55,000 people all of a sudden forces that collective group of people to have to see each other as one. It is, to me, the thing that continually resonates for me about this show," she said. "We are living in a time where the powers that be are trying to create as much difference between us as their pocketbooks will allow... Perhaps we can stop dividing each other and seeing each other as the other."
For Moore, he hopes future TV shows continue to touch upon the foundations of Battlestar Galactica's core themes. "There are real things to discuss in terms of the War on Terror, the civilians versus the military, the role of civil liberties in the time of war. The show really grappled with that," Moore said. "Those things and those ideas are still relevant today so they are still worth talking about and exploring."
At the time when Battlestar premiered, it can be argued that sci-fi television wasn't as comfortable depicting the darkness and grittiness of the political sphere. But the series proved that the audience actually craved shows that had something to say about the world, and it's legacy is still felt today.
"I think that when I did Galactica, it felt like sci-fi on TV, and films to a certain extent, had come into a rut. It was all just kind of escapist ridiculousness and it wasn't really about anything," Moore explained. "I hope that Galactica reinvigorated what you could do with science-fiction on TV and what you could really do with characters, telling complicated stories in a very entertaining way."
We think you succeeded.
Battlestar Galactica is streaming on Hulu.