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SciFriday: The ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Christmas Special

“You shouldn’t have!” said President Roslin, as she ripped the small shiny box from Adm. Adama’s hand. “Really, you shouldn’t have.” Roslin tore into the box as if it were the last bit of wrapping paper in the ragtag fleet, which really wasn’t far from the truth. Inside was a small gold locket that glistened […]

“You shouldn’t have!” said President Roslin, as she ripped the small shiny box from Adm. Adama’s hand. “Really, you shouldn’t have.”

Roslin tore into the box as if it were the last bit of wrapping paper in the ragtag fleet, which really wasn’t far from the truth. Inside was a small gold locket that glistened under the lights of Colonial One. Roslin slowly cracked it open and inside found faded tiny photographs of Adm. Adama on the left and her on the right.

“Bill …” Roslin stammered, stepping toward the smiling Adama. “Does this mean …”

Before she could finish, Adama leaned forward and gave Roslin a long kiss. The president of the Twelve Colonies simply melted to the feel of the military leader’s warm, moist lips on her own.

After what seemed to be an eternity, the two finally separated with Roslin nearly collapsing. “You do love me, Bill. You really do love me.”

“Love you?” Adama said in sudden shock. “What are you talking about? You stepped under the mistletoe, and I had no choice but to kiss you.”

“But the locket …” Roslin stammered. “This is us!”

“Laura, I respect you a lot, but I think the chamalla is starting to mess with your mind,” Adama said. “Those aren’t pictures of us. Those were just the photos that came with the locket.”

“Dammit, Bill. Why can’t I just ave one moment to make the shippers happy?” Laura yelled, throwing the locket on her desk and turning toward one of the portal windows overlooking space. “I mean, this is our Christmas special and all.”

“Christmas special?” Adama said, confused once again. “Laura, we believe in multiple gods, and none of them are Jesus. In fact, we won’t even know who Jesus is until we get to Earth, so how the hell can we have a Christmas special?”

“Oh, come on, Bill. Do you think the Timelords celebrate Christmas? I think not. Yet, the BBC pumps out those Christmas specials every year. Hell, even Wookies celebrate Christmas, according to George Lucas, and they were in a galaxy far, far away in a time long, long ago.”

“Laura, you should know better than that,” Adama said. “Unlike those programs, we’re gritty and we’re serious. Hell, we don’t even know what it’s like to have cheer, let alone Christmas cheer.”

Laura sat down behind her desk, putting her head in her hands. “Maybe it’s time to change that, Bill. Maybe it’s time we put up a few Christmas trees, some wreaths, and maybe give some gifts to make everyone forget that these robots we created wants to annihilate us, and that we’re hopelessly lost trying to find Earth.”

“No,” Adama said. “We will not have any network computers aboard my ship as long as I’m in command.”

“Why the hell do you always say that whenever I suggest something?” Roslin said. “I mean, that has nothing to do with this. I think you say that to frack with my mind.”

“Say what?” Adama said.

“The whole ‘I won’t have network computers because I’m stuck a dinosaur in a stone age’ garbage. You bring it up every time, even when it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.”

“But it’s true,” Adama said. “And with that, I’m heading back to Galactica.”

“Thanks for the gift, Bill. It was sweet,”
Roslin said.

“Sure,” Adama said. “I was cleaning out an old foot locker, and I thought it was better than throwing it away.”

“Merry Christmas!” Roslin yelled toward Adama, but he had already disappeared to the lower decks to catch his raptor back to Galactica. “Merry Christmas,” Roslin said quietly, as she played with the small locket in her hands.


Before you start sending me angry letters about how that was the worst Christmas story of all time, at least give the Jew here credit for trying. Fine, then don’t give me any. Let’s just read some letters.

Re: David Tenant leaving next season and calling it possibly the biggest cast shakeup in the series’ 40-plus history … inaccurate.

While it may be big news, the biggest cast change occurred in 1969 when Patrick Troughton and his two companions left at the end of “The War Games.” The following year, the series not only featured a new cast, but the format had changed to provide more Earth-bound adventures to save money and was broadcast in color for the first time.

Other similar if not as Earth-shattering cast changes included Peter Davison and his companions being phased out in Season 21 until by the end, no one was left that had started the seaosn out. And Romana and K-9 leaving toward the end of Tom Baker’s run could also be considered a big change.

Thank you for your time. I hope you read this in the spirit of friendship I intended while writing it.

— Matthew Campion

I hear you, Matthew. Of course, I did say “probably the biggest cast-shakeup” and while I would normally argue that Airlock Alpha doesn’t cover classic “Doctor Who,” I did open myself up when I said “the entire 40-year history of the series,” so your statements are more than legitimate. They’re accurate.

And yes, everyone, once per year (usually at the end of the year), I admit I make mistakes.

When we go to the bookstore, I let my children pick out whatever they like (budget allowing). Some years ago, my son picked out “The Golden Compass,” he read most of it and pronounced that it was not that good. Weeks ago, when we were viewing trailers on the Internet, we came across “The Golden Compass” and thought that the trailer looked great, and we wanted to see it.

When we heard that the books positioned the Catholic Church in a foul light, and that populace was followed around by “daemons,” we decided it was not a movie for our family. We have very much enjoyed the Harry Potter books and message, and Lord of the Rings and Narnia are re-read quite a bit around here. The issue for us is that we did not want to pay money to see our faith mocked and put down, nor would we pay money to see a movie where the faith of our Hindu, Jewish or Muslim friends was mocked and put down.

My question to you, as you seem to be a fair-minded fellow, is this: Is “The Golden Compass” failing because people found it offensive?

— R. Murray

This is a great question, R, and I’m with you. If you feel a movie or a book or something is diminishing something you don’t like, then do not put your own money on it. As a free society, we have every right to pick and choose what we want to see, and I found it very much refreshing how you made not seeing the movie a personal choice, and not one you demanded of others.

I grew up in a town that was like 90 percent Catholic, and I have a lot of respect for the Catholic Church. I think those involved in the church really want to do good things, and there’s corruption in everything involving high numbers, and the Catholic Church (nor really any major religion for that matter) is immune from it.

To be honest, I watched the movie, and outside of the word “magisterium,” I didn’t personally find anything I felt would be detrimental to the Catholic Church, at least not in the same sense as “Stigmata” or “The Da Vinci Code.” But then again, I’m not Catholic. So I wouldn’t begin to tell someone they shouldn’t be offended by a film, because they have every to be.

I am not sure if “The Golden Compass” is “failing,” per se. The film made $25.8 million last weekend — not a lot compared to historical takes for that same week — but still the top film in the country, and still more than double what the second place film made. But maybe how people were offended could have drove people away from the theaters overall, I don’t know.

One thing I do know is that controversy usually breeds success. One could argue that controversy dogging the Harry Potter book and movie series from religious groups helped make that movie a success, while not-so-religious groups speaking out against “The Passion of the Christ” might also have contributed significantly to the success of that film.

Send your letters to, and if you’re lucky, they may end up right here.

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Have a great week, and don’t be a stranger!

Michael Hinman, a 22-time winner of the British lottery and heir to three Nigerian fortunes, is the founder and site coordinator for Airlock Alpha, writing out of Tampa, Fla. He can be reached at

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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