As a dedicated Battlestar Galactica fan I can’t wait for the final episodes to start in January and I’m already enjoying the countdown webisode series, ‘The Face of the Enemy’ which features Felix Gaeta, two Cylon Eights (Sharon’s model) and a few very desperate, very lost, BSG crew. The first webisode went live today and sets up an pretty engaging storyline. It also featured one other bit of story that’s sure to get a reaction:
On his way off the Galactica, to catch a raptor to another ship of a bit of leave, Felix Gaeta says goodbye to Hoshi and they lock lips which is the first visible and openly gay male relationship in the series. (There are other mentions of gay couples, although the most notable lesbian relationship was between Admiral Cain and the poor Six who eventually turns up horribly tortured on the Pegasus; this left more than a few questionable readings possible about the consequences of non-heterosexual relationships!) I’m very much in two minds about the outing of Gaeta; I’m delighted that his sexuality is basically treated as completely normal – the big issue is Hoshi smuggling some painkillers to Gaeta, while their relationship seems normalised (or as normal as anything gets on the rag tag fleet). That said, I wonder if Ron Moore and the producers are playing it too safe leaving this sort of material for the webisodes? Their nature as online add-ons might just mean that the writers are allowed to push boundaries they can’t during the actual episodes (and kudos to Jane Espenson and Seamus Kevin Fahey for writing this webisode series), but for this to be a powerful and clear statement about the normalisation of same sex relationships in the world of Galactica, I’d really like to see this thread continue into the final episodes and actually screened on television, not just pushed to one side on the web.
For international viewers, we’re once again victims of the tyranny of digital distance as the webisode are geo-locked and only visible to those with US IP addresses; there will be lots of workarounds, no doubt, but for a short time until it’s pulled, the first webisode is available on YouTube.
Update: Apparently in the run of webisodes we find out Gaeta is bisexual, not gay; I’m not sure if this depletes the overall message or not … probably not.