At The U.N., 'Battlestar' Troops Talk Ethics Of War
by Lara Pellegrinelli
All Things Considered, March 20, 2009 · Over the past five years on television, there's been a rigorous, messy, emotional exploration of important questions facing our country and the world — questions about torture, religious fundamentalism, resistance and genocide.
We're not talking about Frontline. Or Nightline. This is Battlestar Galactica, the SciFi channel's brooding, often brutal re-imagining of the cheesy '70s-vintage series.
To mark the show's finale, its fans at the United Nations — people whose nonfictional jobs involve wrestling with similar issues day in and day out — invited the cast and producers to visit the U.N. for a two-hour panel discussion and talk-back.
On Tuesday, some 500 people took seats in the chamber, a stiff, formal space with miles of dull, blonde wood. (Delegates have come from some exotic-sounding, faraway places to the U.N. building in Manhattan, but it was probably the first time they were there representing other planets.)
Whoopi Goldberg, a UNICEF ambassador as well as an Oscar-winning actor, served as the panel's moderator. U.N. representatives joined actors Edward James Olmos, who played the commander of the show's title warship, and Mary McDonnell, who starred as President Laura Roslin, his civilian superior. Ron Moore and fellow BSG executive producer David Eick also sat on the panel.