Battlestar Galactica, the award-winning television show with a cult fan following has been a favorite of mine. The superb acting, stunning visual effects, beautiful cinematography, and great writing have had me coming back season after season. On the eve of the launch of the final episodes of the series' lifespan, I thought it'd be nice to bring some attention to first canonical inclusion of queerness on board the rickety ol' space cruiser. This is by no means breaking news, but I've noticed a distinct lack of gay geek oriented contenct, so I thought I'd fill the need.
Battlestar Galactica has gained much attention for its inquisitive scripts and racy scenes. In addition the cast is by no means sore on the eyes. With a veritable pantheon of hunky and sexy actors, male and female, it's been the one regret of mine that a show that I love so much never included any mention of queer relationships. This is in spite of the very deliberate gender equity in the recasting of the character of Starbuck as a female pilot, and the inclusion of the Colonial fleet's female president, Roslyn.
In a 10 part series of webisodes, Face of the Enemy, Battlestar writers out a major character in the series, and his relationship with a fellow crewmember. While I can't say it's a huge surprise, it makes me glad the show writers were able to see a gap in their show's inclusiveness and fill it. Spoilers, after the jump.
In an relatively expected move, Lt. Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani), turns out to be the queer in question. But less expected, we discover he and Lt. Hoshi (Brad Dryborough) have been in a relationship. For how long, we don't seem to know, but the revelation is done seamlessly and without much pomp. A simple peck between lovers, as Hoshi bids Gaeta farewell, bound on a leave of absence to recover from the recent amputation of his leg.
When Gaeta's transport ship suddenly goes missing, Hoshi approaches Colonel Tigh, requesting to launch a search operation to find Felix. It is clear that Hoshi debates with himself how much to reveal about their relationship to Tigh, which hints that there still exists some prejudice against queer people on the Galactica. On a positive note, while searching for Gaeta and the lost Raptor with Pilot "Racetrack", in a touching scene it's revealed that there is support amongst the crew for Hoshi and Gaeta's relationship.
Meanwhile, Gaeta finds himself trapped on a transport, separated from the fleet due to a glitch with the ship's FTL drive. On board are three other humans and two cylons, one of whom Gaeta has a personal history with. When the passengers on the transport mysteriously begin to die, suspicion and chaos spread through the cramped quarters of the Raptor.
The production value to everything the Battlestar people do is always high, and this web series is no exception. Queerness is far from the center of attention, which is refreshing in its ability to avoid the "after-school-special" feeling that happens when queer characters are introduced to mainstream television series. You can catch Face the Enemy at the SciFi channel's website, and I encourage you to tune in to the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica later this week.