I'm thinking a lot about theology and cosmology in scifi and fantasy right now. After watching Bablyon 5 for the first time, and now rewatching BSG, religions are so _present_ in both shows.

B5 takes its religions seriously as character's worldview, more deeply than I've seen in any other show, and even more so, the religions in B5 have bases in their world's history and actual events.

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BSG on the other hand uses them aesthetically, and doesn't really build its religion so deeply. It's interesting for a show that has so many philosophical conceits how few of them really come through there.

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Just in general, BSG (2003) is a much more aesthetically centered show, and its trying to repave the original leaves some real holes for worldbuilding.

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When it comes around for the long scale payoff, it misses, where B5 nails the mark several times over.

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BSG is such a better production value show — costumes, sets, CGI (and a decade later on that front). It was an expensive show.

B5, in its cost-controlled glory leaned on character hard. Wooden acting at first was, I think, lack of re-takes, under-resourced. But the cast gelled into something really solid, the way a sitcom cast does after a couple years on the sound stage.

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And the writing. The coherent story of B5 is remarkable — it was written largely by one person and that shows — but more than that, it leaned on story and character to the exclusion of most else. It built a mythos and a rich world out of nothing. And it has a cosmology. Billions of years in the past. A million years into the future. A religion with its recent events a thousand years in the past. A projection of religion into a space age.

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I'd compare it to Star Trek, but Star Trek's religion is its humanism, and its cosmology is science. It's remarkably backward-looking for a show set in the future, but it doesn't ever set a vision for its own future, just ours, the viewer's. I love it, but its touches on religion, on meaning and long term ideas were always light if they existed at all. (Roddenberry famously did not want religion at all — it wasn't until DS9 that religion was portrayed, and that against his wishes)

So you've got a show with a cosmology of species growing toward their own transcendance, a show with no cosmology at all but the trappings of Christianity turned plural, and a show whose cosmology is a speculative and ultimately Humanist take only the real that we know here and now. They're such different takes.

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