"What do you hear, Starbuck?" "Nothing but the rain, sir." - the Battlestar Galactica finale.


Apologies to those who are ignorant of the landmark sci-fi tv series that came to an end in the US last Friday (with us Brits having to wait until tomorrow - think Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land with the Egyptians not only hot on their tails but also infiltrated into their ranks), but this exchange between Admiral Adama (Moses figure) + crack pilot Starbuck was one of many tear-inducing moments during the 5-year long serial's finale. Tear-inducing because of the fact that these two characters (like a father + daughter) have had this same exchange at key moments since the first series and it has acted as a pointer to the complicity, mutual trust and deep affection they hold for each other, and because of the context in which it happens (can say no more for now!).

I will say little more for now until the British showing has aired tomorrow. How do I know what's in it? I have to confess that I downloaded it Saturday and watched it last night. Judging by the legions of fans on web forums, I was not the only person who couldn't bear waiting till Tuesday to see it. Rest assured. I will of course be buying the final box set of dvds when it comes out to add to the collection I already have for the previous 3 + half series.

What I will say is that there are times in life when a film, a book, a song... just resonantes deep inside of you to the point where you don't want it to end and when it does end you feel a simultaneous fulness/emptiness that is exquisitely painful. A "happy/sad" experience: happy because you feel blessed to have been touched at such a deep level, to have had such a profound spiritual experience, and sad because just like Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration of Jesus up the mountain, that experience has to come to an end. You have to return to the valley, but you do so enriched by the experience and fired up with a passion to want to share with others the graces you have received. This is especially so with a book or a tv series into which you have invested yourself emotionally over a long period of time, with characters that have become your friends, your surrogate parents, etc... And even more so when the series, book... has so much to say about the important questions in life: faith, doubt, love, relationships, violence, revenge, freedom/destiny, God/Higher Power... and even angels.

The first time this happened to me was when I read "The Lord Of The Rings" for the first time at the of 18. Last night topped even that. I cried my way through the last 45 minutes of the 2-hour finale as the numerous character + plot strands were gradually tied up after being on the edge of my seat during the action-driven first 90 mins. which nonetheless contained many marvellously clever moments of sly humour and references back to ideas that have been touched upon throughout the show's run. At the show's end I was in shock. Couldn't sleep last night. Sought solace in the various fan forums, eg. the one led by the tv reporter of the Chicago Tribune, and found solace in the shared wisdom of many, many fellow sufferers.

It is frustrating that one cannot truly share such an experience with people close to you who have not watched the show and don't understand what you are referring to when you knowingly quote dialogue ("What do you hear, Starbuck?" "Nothing but the rain, sir."), when you start spouting off about "the final 5 Cylons", "the meaning of the Opera House visions", "is Starbuck really resurrected as an angel?"... Perhaps that is part of the "pain"... the loneliness inherent in personal revelation (forgive me for taking this all so seriously).

I think I'll seek comfort in the dvd box sets. I've already been watching from the beginning for the second time and am near the end of series 4.0. As Depeche Mode once said I "Just Can't Get Enough"! :-)

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