Answering my own questions since 2001

Science World in Battlestar Galactica Finale?

Last night I finally got a chance to watch the Battlestar Galactica finale. Early on in the show, at about the 2:00 mark, the camera pans across a futuristic cityscape. At one point it passes over an inlet or river. There’s a bridge in the foreground and a geodesic dome further back. Here’s a screen capture:

Cambie Street Bridge and Science World in Battlestar Galactica Finale

Does that remind anybody else of False Creek, the Cambie Street Bridge and Science World? I couldn’t find a perfectly analogous photo (I suppose I could install Google Earth and see how it looks), but this one gives a lower perspective:

And here’s an aerial view of the region.

Obviously the show is shot in Vancouver, and I’d imagine that the special effects are done locally, so it’s only natural that we might recognize bits of the city in the finished product. This is the first time, though, that I’ve noticed renderings of Vancouver in a CG-only shot.

Warning, Spoilers Ahead

As for the finale itself, I give it a ‘B’. Some random notes: the final battle was reasonably satisfying, in an SDF-1 Macross sort of way. In retrospect, I’m still unclear on why Hera was so important to everybody, practically speaking.

I’m glad they found Earth, but it was a bit silly when they’d already found an ‘Earth’. It seems highly implausible that, after four years of a brutal struggle for survival, that the humans would send all their remaining assets into the sun. But what do I know?

The bit with Gaius and Caprica 6 each having a kind of Swayze-esque ghost was charming the first time I saw it, but they pushed their luck. That whole present-day New York denouement to the denouement was incredibly cheesy, and really should have been cut.

My unanswered questions:

  • What was Starbuck in the fourth season? A corporeal angel? I noticed that nobody called her “Starbuck”, which I suppose meant something.
  • How many cylons are left? Aren’t there a bunch of baseships out there still, roaming the galaxy?
  • What will future generations of humans do when they find the lyrics to Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” written on some cave wall?

Here’s an interview with the cast and creators which may answer some of these questions–I haven’t read it yet.

UPDATE: I spoke to a member of the visual effects team who said that since the Caprica City scenes are shot on location in Vancouver, it made sense to base the look of the CG city on Vancouver, but with a few extra “futuristic” buildings thrown in.

The second photo is by Steena.

15 Responses to “Science World in Battlestar Galactica Finale?”

  1. David Morton

    I love the fact that you are obviously passionate about this program and that you have a “geeky” detail-oriented eye. I doubt if I would have ever seen the connection of this landscape to False Creek, but I think you’re right!

  2. Wandering Coyote

    I have really mixed feelings about the finale, too. I’m not sure I was satisfied as much as I’d have like to be. I didn’t get the whole Kara disappearing act, and I was really disconcerted by the kind of Scientological aspect of these people coming to earth in a space ship thing – with Cylons. I also didn’t buy that everyone would just be OK with being dumped on earth wherever and settling down with the few possessions they had and then sending off all their ships into the sun. I don’t know… I also found the whole opera house thing a little weird and not very satisfying.

  3. Wandering Coyote

    I also thought VANCOUVER with those city scape shots. Well, I guess it’s natural; it was filmed there after all. Only those of us who have been there or lived there would probably know though!

  4. filmgoerjuan

    Hera’s important because she’s the mother of all humanity (that’s her skeleton on the cover of the magazine Ron Moore is reading at the end of the finale). I didn’t say this was a satisfying answer (it isn’t), but that’s the reason.

    As my wife said to me last night “You know, the more I think about the way ‘The Sopranos’ ended, the more I think how brilliant it was; the more I think about the way BSG ended, the less satisfied I am.”

  5. John Galt

    On your first two “ponderances”

    Starbuck – Starbuck in the 4th season could be considered an Angel…or whatever you would like to call a resurrected being. She had a destiny, a role to fullfill. She died trying to fullfill that role but didn’t succeed. God resurrected her to finish her role in the plan.

    Cylons – All the skin jobs were on the colony when it was destroyed. All the skin jobs that were left were on the Galactica. The metal Cylons were given their freedom and they rode off into the sunset to go do their own thing and were never seen again.

    darren Reply:

    Thanks for that. Did I miss the bit where all the other base ships were destroyed? I seem to recall seeing a lot of them near the end of season three…

  6. gillian

    It looked to me like the CGI artists took footage from a plane flying over downtown Vancouver and morphed it into Caprica, but part of that’s wishful thinking. As it is I can’t visit SFU or UBC without remembering the various scenes shot in those places.

    Here’s a blog from one of the CGI guys from the show, if you’re interested: http://darthmojo.wordpress.com/

    There’s also a blog by the composer for the show, which is more my thing given my music education: http://www.bearmccreary.com/blog/

    Oh, and Starbuck’s exit was so cheesy. Totally saddened by that.

  7. Derek K. Miller

    So I guess we won’t see a reboot of Galactica 1980. Darn.

    darren Reply:

    Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the final episode of BSG, stop now.

    Derek: Don’t know if you’re a fan, but the final episode features a slightly dubious bow to the old series. When the humans attack the Cylon colony (their mothership, basically), it’s defended by CG versions of the old school cylons. They look like this in the new show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgH83IqL8T8

  8. Roland TANGLAO

    loved the baum and mercier (sp?) shop with the miniature race carand the LCD screen showing the MSNBC robot segment at the end, i walked by that many times, it was on pender west of granville!

  9. Jhenifer @ TransLink

    Sorry for joining in this conversation a week late — but just wanted to mention that you could also briefly see a TransLink bus swoop by in the finale! magsec4 sent me a screenshot: http://twurl.nl/fdhpgt

    :)

    darren Reply:

    I spotted that, too. Along with a half-concealed Bread Garden sign, if I recall correctly.

    Jhenifer @ TransLink Reply:

    Bread Garden! They’re everywhere!

    Btw, a bit of the Caprica pilot was shot in Granville Station, so you might look out for that in the future.

    Jhenifer @ TransLink Reply:

    PS. The pilot is out now! So here’s the clip of Granville Station in Caprica, in case you were interested :)

    http://buzzer.translink.ca/index.php/2009/04/granville-station-in-caprica/

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