Music From Earth

With spoilers for the Battlestar Galactica third season finale (which you really don't want spoiled) a couple of paragraphs down.

My Mars music mission is going well: I bought the soundtrack album and downloaded forty other tracks from the first series. Then I asked myself why I bothered with four by Hawkwind. I cut the modern music and stuff that was already old when they played it in the Seventies. I cut the Bowie and the Rolling Stones because I have those songs elsewhere and I cut bad pop like Wizzard to fit it on one sixteen-track rock 'n' reggae bonus disc. The final episode of Life On Mars airs Tuesday. Gimme til the weekend to make a Series 2 bonus disc.

Music's a funny thing. I associate it with good times. When I was unhappy living in Virginia I didn't feel like putting a record on very often. And I'd turn them off halfway through, dissatisfied with something intangible. My mood was actually spoiling new albums. Now my hunger is back and there's usually something playing at home. Read into that what you will!

The winner of the Even More Integral Use Of Music In A Serialised Drama Than Life On Mars award goes to Battlestar Galactica. Drunk Colonel Tigh was hearing music that no-one else could hear and mumbling how there was too much confusion and he needed to find some kind of way out of there. Then three other characters started hearing it... and reciting other lyrics from All Along The Watchtower. It turns out, the cylons were transmitting the signal into the heads of four of their agents. Transmitting Earth music! By implication, the bad guys have reached Earth before us and it's at least 1967 (when the song was written) there in the show.

There are many questions still to be answered but I adored how they communicated huge conceptual changes using more than plain dialogue.


Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Dammit. I missed so much of season 3, but I did catch the season 3 finale.... good stuff. I can't wait till Season 3 is out on DVD.

Blogger strange [pills] said...

I don't actually remember where I saw this (or what I was doing looking, more to the point!) but some BGS viewers I saw discussing this didn't pick up on the message they were trying to convey with the music at all. They just saw the addition or that particular music as incidental. I guess you might really have to think about it to pick it up. (Geek!)

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Well, we won't really know what's up until Season Four starts.

Central to the whole BSG mythos is that certain rhythmns of life repeat themselves - "all this has happened before and will happen again", they say. So the race memory (for want of a better phrase) of All Along The Watchtower could exist for past or future generations too - meaning someone other than Dylan could have written the song in a different "cycle of life".

So we're not necessarily bound for 20th Century Earth. Likewise, we don't really know if what Lee saw at the end was real or a vision. And we have to wait til Jan 2008 for confirmation :(

Blogger kgtechnician said...

I don't know if you guys listen to RDM's podcast but he explains the music means nothing, besides the fact he's always wanted to put it in the show. I love the end of the 3rd season though.

Here is the link

you can click this one (below) if you don't believe me.


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