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Thursday, February 10, 2005
Ron Moore On: Sex in SciFi

A viewer asks:

"I have a friend who has a son and they both enjoy watching the new Battlestar Galactica. But it is a very frustrating thing when he cannot allow his son watch the show when there are sex scenes and constant sexual innuendo scattered throughout the episodes.

The standard of the stories are superb and I would have to say it is one of the finest sci fi series I have seen in a long time. BUT IT DOESNT NEED SEX TO GET THE VIEWERS. Call me a little old fashioned but I nor others that I know really appreciate having to endure sex scenes that really do not further the story in any significant way. In fact I think they are rather pointless."

Ron responds:

First of all, I'm sorry your friend can't watch the show with his son, but I always intended this series to be for adults. I have two small children, and I wouldn't dream of letting them watch the show -- mostly because of the violent content. Second of all, I disagree that the sexuality is intended to be exploitative or that it's somehow not integral to the story. We're presenting adult human beings as adults, and their sexuality is a key part of their lives. Baltar's sexual weaknesses, Sharon & Tyrol's forbidden love affair, and Starbuck's promiscuity are part of who and what they are. I think the only reason this gets the kind of attention is does is that we're not used to seeing sex treated maturely in science fiction -- nine times out of ten, any sex is either something to snigger at or to make fun of. Somehow it's okay to fetishize sex by putting women in S&M leather "space" outfits or have Carrie Fisher run around in harem clothes (not that there's anything wrong with that), but to portray two mature adults simply having sex is somehow controversial in sci-fi circles.

I'd also point out, as I have many times before, the strange standards of American audiences, who can become red-faced with indignation over nudity, but find no problem with slasher films or chains-saw massacres. I mean, Galactica's premised on a massive genocide, and the pilot deals with violent, shocking deaths over and over again, but people get upset about the sex? Weird....
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