In three weeks a healthy segment of nerd-dom (self included) will witness the closing chapter of an epic five-year saga.
The Ronald D. Moore (of Star Trek repute) re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica is set to end, leaving a galactic void (zing!) previously occupied by the humans/cylon struggle for survival in the emptiness of space. Now that we won’t have Commander Adama, Colonel Tigh, or Starbuck for drinking buddies I’m going to have to find new excuses for why I can’t do whatever it is regular people have been doing on Friday nights.
Two fans with more foresight than I got a head start on a project perfect for those BSG devotees with a lot of soon-to-be free time. Hoping to keep human/toaster tensions alive in the public mind, Robert Gustafson and Alec McNayr (the creators of the 2006 online hit Flipper Nation) just launched their new web series, My Roommate the Cylon.
Bennett, Pjeter and Dale (played by Alex Enriquez, Tyson Turrou, and Kenny Stevenson) are just three young guys sharing an apartment. On one otherwise nondescript afternoon, the housemates are confronted with the terrifying news that one of them is a cylon and a ship will soon be coming to pick said cylon up soon.
The letter that arrived, however, was simply addressed “Resident,” so the fellas have no idea which one of them is the sleeper cell waiting for the first bars of a bastardized “All Along the Watchtower” to wake them to their reality (Quick question, fellow fans, why that frakkin’ song? Was that Ron’s idea? I shudder each time I hear it. But I digress…).
For those not acquainted with BSG, this show will probably make very little sense. That doesn’t necessarily preclude any enjoyment for the uninitiated, but the first episode of My Roommate the Cylon contains several inside jokes that will fly right over non-nerd heads. Hell, there were probably a few that I missed. Still, you should give it a try. Gustafson and McNayr have the beginnings of a very funny series.
If you need some background, here’s a primer: The basic premise of the new BSG is that the last remaining human population in the universe has been left adrift in space. An attack on their home planet of Caprica by “Cylons,” a species of intelligent robots originally created by humans, has left the planet unihabitable.
Humans survive harbored in the few remaining spaceships of what had once been a glorious military fleet. Further exacerbating the humans’ dilemma is their learning of “skinjobs,” cylons who near-perfectly resemble humans and are able to blend in with the population of the fleet (several versions of whom are not even aware they are cylons!). Elsewhere in space the cylons find themselves in the midst of a civil war, with some wishing to make peace with humans and others prepared to wipe the remaining numbers out.
Now the plight of the three roommates becomes clearer: one of them is an unawakened skinjob whose attitude towards humans is unknown. Suddenly, instead of worrying about boring jobs, girlfriends and unpaid bills they’re paranoid about being killed in their sleep. Perhaps that roommate has been programmed to wipe out humanity! Will they kill one another in desperate attempts to suss out the robot? Gods dammit, there is a female in the cast, but she doesn’t appear in episode one, why?!? Will Pjeter or Kenny ever leave the living room? Is anyone going to pay the frakkin’ electric bill?
For answers, tune in every Friday for the next five weeks at MyRoommateTheCylon.com.