Yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have been sucked into Battlestar Galactica (the new series) on the sci-fi network. I didn’t get into shows like Star Trek as a kid, just Star Wars. But this show has me hooked.
Anywho, the season finale was just on. The song that a few of the characters have been hearing turns out to be “All Along the Watchtower”, sending the fans into a torrent of speculation about time settings for the show, meanings, etc. At first, I thought it was a bit cheesy, as the characters recited spoken word Bob Dylan. This is especially true when contrasted with the coolness of Stewie doing spoken word Elton John on Family Guy.
But as I thought more about the song, I had to recant that opinion. The song is found on Dylan’s John Wesley Harding album, an album full of religious overtones. Dylan worked on this album while recovering from a motorcycle accident, which many feel marked a turning point in his career and life. It is often speculated that the two figures (the joker and the thief) are allusions to the men hung next to Christ (or Christ as the joker, and the thief as next to him). The song has a sense of impending confrontation, and many ties to the idea of class systems.
All of these themes tie into the current thread of the show. Much like the use of music in the Sopranos, it would seem that this was carefully chosen. And much as I like the Sopranos for reasons that have nothing to do with mafia stories, I find myself like Battlestar Galactica for reasons that have little to do with spaceships.