Last Saturday we visited a friend in London. She's good fun but intimidatingly intelligent. As a meat-eating, wine-drinking person who wasted their university education, I always feel slighted chastened by this teetotal, vegetarian with a PhD and wonder why she seems to enjoy our company when we're so different. But then I casually glanced at her DVD collection and saw Battlestar Galactica! She saw me looking and started extolling the merits of the series, praising the casting and the storylines. What is going on? She is the third non sci-fi person I've discovered enjoying Galactica.
I decided to lend my DVD to someone at work who is one of the worst intellectual snobs you could ever meet (although I usually think he's right and everyone else is wrong). He loved it. There must be something good about the series although I still watch it alone with a mild feeling of shame, as if I'm viewing some sort of deviant pornography. Sci-fi isn't cool. You only have to look at the people that buy SF and fantasy novels.
There is something about Battlestar Galactica that is attracting a mainstream audience who are prepared to ignore the absurd premise of the series and become fully engaged in the quest of the Twelve Colonies to find Earth. Apparently Galactica killed off the Star Trek Enterprise series and I can understand why. Battlstar Galactica isn't really a science fiction series - it's a dystopian post-9/11 drama which most people can relate to. Star Trek is good because it envisages a post-capitalist society in which racism and sexism are a thing of the past, but that also makes it quite dull at times and I can see why the politically correct world of the Enterprise has been superseded by the smoking, swearing, alcoholic crew of the Galactica.