Saturday, November 23, 2013

Binro Was Right: The Most Powerful Moment In SciFi Television

Binro in the throes of being right
There have been some astounding moments in the history of science fiction on television. Moments that just hit you with their significance so strongly that tears leap from your eyes. And we aren't talking about simple moments. There's always a complexity requiring an understanding producing a tremendous gravity to those moments that lends them their character. Here are some examples.

Talyn Takes Out A Command Carrier - Farscape

Talyn was a fucked up confused spaceship with a mind and a soul. He wasn't supposed to exist. He belonged to a race of sentient spaceships genetically designed by a very old and very cool race that wanted interstellar travel to be free for all of us. Kinda of like the "white bike" concept (click here) that the hippies started in the 60's. You'd ride on a leviathan (what they were called) until you got where you needed to go, then someone else would ride it to where they needed to go. So the ironically named Peacekeepers (the badguys on Farscape) messed with the genetics of one so it would be born with and grow weapons. Unfortunately Talyn also had serious mental problems, and eventually goes completely insane. Him and all the "good guys" end up getting captured by the Peacekeepers on a moon sized ship called a Command Carrier. And what happens with Talyn happens so fast you aren't expecting it. And it's hard because you've come to care about Talyn. You feel for him. He never wanted to be born. Leviathans aren't supposed to have weapons. They only have one defensive ability called Starburst. It allows them to open a hole in spacetime and warp across massive distances. It's not something you can do in an enclosed space and live. You'd blow yourself and everything around you up. But Talyn (and Krais) do it anyway. To save their friends.

Galactica Risks Everything To Save Us All

The heroes don't have to die. They just have to be heroes. And when the humans were trapped on New Caprica, and being obliterated by the Cylons, and there was no way to get troops onto the planet, Commander Adama said "fuck your shit". He drops his fucking battlestar through the atmosphere, deploys attack ships, and warps out in the atmosphere. He had no choice. And it's absolutely amazingly powerful. The unfortunate problem with Battlestar Galactica was it was allowed to be manipulated by a very ignorant woman named Bonnie Hammer when she ran the SciFi Channel. She's also responsible for the stupid name change, and the cancellation of Farscape at the height of its appeal. So the show ended up being a lot blander than it would have been had the writers been allowed to do their jobs properly. So this amazing scene happening at all was itself a miracle. 

The Tachikomas Prove To Be Very Human Afterall

I do count Japanese Anime as science fiction if it is indeed in the genre. And nobody can argue about Ghost In The Shell being so. In the second season of Stand Alone Complex, the Tachikomas were introduced. They were basically adorable little armored tanks with the minds of children. They had a very advanced AI, and the research that created them has the goal of eventually realizing the first true "living" machines. Well, they succeed. And they prove it by saving us from a nuclear missile strike. See, their "brains" were housed on a satellite. This was so they'd survive if their robot bodies got destroyed. They were literally "cloud based". So these impossible to hate, and just recently self aware beings are put in a situation where there is a nuclear missile about to kill all their friends. All the people that have loved them, made them, named them. So they crash their own satellite into that missile killing themselves instantly. Showing gratitude. I can't watch it to this day without losing it. 

and last but not least,

Binro Was Right

Binro had a horrible life. He was on a planet stuck in the dark ages, and he made the mistake of questioning the church. So for decades he has been beaten and abused. Chased by children. Forced to live in filth. But in the end, before he dies, he finds out he was right. Binro was right. His entire life had meaning. It's like a middle finger to every persecuted scientist that has ever lived. Every poor soul sacrificed for fairy tales and dogma. He is every Galileo. Every Hypatia. And this is, in my opinion, the most powerful moment in SciFi.

Love you guys.