Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica
Question: Battlestar Galactica is my favorite show on television right now. It's so well done and feels so real for a sci-fi show. But whenever I bring the show up to my friends, they always laugh. I've noticed that because the show is in the sci-fi genre, people don't give it a chance. Do you think that this is going to change, or will the stereotype always be there for this show? Also, how is this show doing with ratings? Is it gonna stick around for a long time?
Answer: Battlestar is doing just fine, and there's no reason to think Sci Fi will pull another Farscape with this one. And while we're on the subject, tonight's episode (Feb. 24) is one of the best hours of TV in any genre you're likely to see all year. So many twists and revelations, including a welcome return to the Cylon-occupied planet of Caprica. It's smart, suspenseful, surprising — just a wow of an episode. But, as Mike suggests, just try convincing your friends who look at you like you're wearing Vulcan ears when you reveal you're a huge Battlestar Galactica fan. (I have even found myself in a situation where I needed to convince several TV-industry professionals to consider this show as seriously as they do anything on HBO.) The show has several strikes against it, most notably a generic-sounding militaristic title that not only pegs it within an often marginalized genre but invariably brings up memories of the laughable earlier series. If the legions who could convince themselves to sit through the numbing second trilogy of George Lucas' Star Wars cycle would give a show like this a chance, just to see how deeply thrilling and emotionally rich this sort of storytelling can be, we'd all be a lot better off. As it is, the new Battlestar enjoys a fair amount of critical acclaim (mine was not the only top-10 list that included the show), and I have to believe its cult following will grow in time and through DVD exposure. Eventually, it will be considered one of the classics, if it isn't already.