Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on CSI

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune has a preview of "A Space Oddity" episode of CSI:

For the geeks out there, especially fans of “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica,” Thursday’s “CSI” is required viewing—there are in-jokes large and small for followers of those franchises (“Battlestar” executive producer Ronald D. Moore even shows up for a brief cameo). I had to stop the advance DVD once because I was laughing so hard at a “Battlestar”-related joke.

The writers of the episode, “A Space Oddity,” include Bradley Thompson, David Weddle and Naren Shankar. The first two wrote for “Battlestar Galactica” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and Shankar penned scripts for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and "Farscape." Director Michael Nankin has helmed many episodes of “Battlestar” and does a typically excellent job here. The vintage “Astro Quest” sequences—which feature DayGlo colors, lumpy Styrofoam rocks, flat lighting and static camera angles—are so perfect that you expect William Shatner to arrive and start hamming it up.

...The episode also contains sly rebuttals to (or acknowledgments of) some critiques of "Battlestar," which ended its run a month ago. One of the characters at the sci-fi convention wants to re-invent "Astro Quest" -- he wants to free fans "from a vision of an antiseptic future filled with heroes and heroines who are always steadfast and well-adjusted and altruistic."

He unveils a clip from his proposed "Astro Quest Redux" that features shaky camera moves, a dark palette and characters at the extreme edge of desperation. Even the music recalls the soundtrack of "Battlestar Galactica."

Also in the episode Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh) is a media-studies professor who offers insight to the fictional Astro Quest.

Mo also has some trivia notes:

* They couldn't use Bear McCreary's score for "CSI," but they tried to pay homage to his music in the score for the "reinvented" "Astro Quest."
* For legal reasons, there could be no references to "Star Trek." At all. The sound crew even had to invent '60s-appropriate sci-fi sounds for "Astro Quest."
* For the soundtrack to vintage "Astro Quest" scenes, Shankar thought of using a '50s album by composer Russ Garcia: It's called "Fantastica: Music From Outer Space."
* You'll be able to easily spot Moore and Kate Vernon (who played Ellen Tigh on "Battlestar") in Thursday's "CSI." The other two "Battlestar" cast members? You'll have to look more closely to spt them.

Mo will have more on The Watcher from "CSI" writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, after the episode airs.

Also on the Tribune she has an excellent essay noting the similarities between the resurrections of John Locke from Lost, and Starbuck from BSG:
Kevin, a commenter on my most recent "Lost" post, pointed out recently that the journey of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on "Battlestar" paralleled that of Locke -- both were "dead" but returned to the living in order to bring about certain events.

That comment left me pondering the lives -- and rebirths -- of Locke and Starbuck (as I drove to an Easter gathering on Sunday, as it happens).

Both characters sought redemption for their perceived sins. Both have spent time in kind of purgatory -- unsure of their purpose, mistrusted by others, wondering whether their existence has any meaning. Starbuck realized that being the "chosen one" was as much of a burden as a blessing, and Locke may yet find that to be true.


muldfeld said...

Starbuck is so much more interesting and mysterious and beautiful than what those silly "Lost" writers pulled off with Locke, which was so predictable; as soon as people started dying off in Season 3, I knew every one of them was coming back, especially the French woman

Chris said...

I saw Grace Park in that CSI episode. Who and wherein was the 2nd BSG alum?

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