Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some Thoughts on a Crossover Between "Space: Above and Beyond" and "Battlestar Galactica"


A member of my message-board whose handle is robertp6165 has started writing a crossover between Space Above and Beyond and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.  The basis scenario is that when Racetrack's Raptor's jump-drive malfunctions, it takes her to the Lion's Head Nebula--one of the guideposts of the Thirteenth Tribe's journey from Kobol to Earth.  "New Caprica" is never found, Baltar never becomes the Colonial president, and the Colonial survivors encounter the Wild Card squadron from SAAB.

(He said the "trainwreck" of Seasons Three and Four never happens as a result.  I liked some elements of those seasons, but the macro-plot and Final Five stuff was immensely irritating.)

Robert wanted to stick with the more extreme variant of the Chariots of the Gods theory that inspired the original Battlestar, the notion that humans are not native to Earth and there are other human civilizations out there.

(If I remember correctly, the more "normal" COG theory is that aliens visited ancient Earth and helped bring about early civilization, which isn't nearly so much of a clash with what science has discovered about our genetic kinship with Earth life even if it is extremely unlikely.  The "we're not from here" version, however, is easily-disproven garbage.)

Back when I was active on the Sci-Fi Channel's Battlestar forum, I was among those who wanted the Colonials to find an advanced Earth, perhaps one where humans lived in harmony with artificial intelligences, and that Kobol had been settled from Earth.  Given the timeframes involved (I think the settlement of the Twelve Colonies from Kobol was 3,000 years before the series began), it would have to take place many thousands of years in the future for this to work.

However, when I was younger, I was really into cryptozoology (literally the study of unknown animals, it's basically stuff like Bigfoot).  Among the many books in the 0000 section of the library, where Bigfoot, UFOs, conspiracy theories, etc. lurked, was a book claiming there had been an advanced civilization in ancient India that developed nuclear technology and bombed itself out of existence.  The book cited some alleged fused glass, the sort that's found as a result of nuclear explosions, and some other anomalous odds and ends.

Here's a Google search that has some links elaborating on this theory, since I cannot remember the book I found and it's probably out of print anyway:


Dean Koontz's novel Twilight Eyes has a similar concept--there was an ancient advanced civilization on Earth that literally bombed itself back into the Stone Age, only with this one, the perpetrators were "goblins"--genetically-engineered shape-shifting soldiers bred for war that got out of control and into positions of power.

Robert's scenario involved a war between the Twelve Tribes that founded the Twelve Colonies and a Thirteenth Tribe that objected to the former's enslavement of the Cylons and joined them in revolt as the cause of the original Exodus from Kobol.

For a back-story more consistent with what science has discovered, I suggested a mishmash of the India scenario and the Twilight Eyes scenario.  Basically, there was an advanced civilization centered on India thousands of year ago that developed artificial intelligence and treated them like uppity machines rather than thinking beings.  These early "Cylons" revolted, aided by humans who objected to the situation, and the resulting war devastated Earth.  Many of the survivors left Earth and settled Kobol (which side did this isn't really important), while those that remained behind had their civilization collapse and had to build their way back up again, to the point we ended up with the scenario depicted in SAAB.  Given one of the dangers of nuclear war is radiation-induced sterility and/or birth defects, the group that left Earth could have collected human populations not immediately affected by the war, which would explain the racial diversity of the Twelve Colonies rather than all of them being Indian.

Robert said he wanted to stick with the original back-story and suggested that the Panspermia theory used in the show to explain the origin of the alien Chigs--basically bacteria from Earth were blown clear by the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs and ended up on their planet, leading to an entire ecosystem evolving--could be used to explain the genetic kinship between humans-from-another-planet and Earth life.  Basically, all life on Earth originated on Kobol and a celestial event similar to what brought Earth life to the Chigs' world brought Kobolian life here.

It's Robert's story and it's better written than some other examples of SAAB/BSG fan-fiction that someone linked to in the thread, so I'm not going to complain too much.  However, I think I might use the "nuclear war in ancient India" scenario if I wanted to have a story with an advanced human culture from outer space in our present-day or near-future.

Hmm...a friend of mine is writing a book involving an advanced human culture from deep space.  I think I'll send him this when I'm done.  And maybe I'll see if I can get hold of SAAB DVDs--apparently it was a really good show.


  1. Is the Vedic pseudo-evidence the only reason you have to push India? Because there's always the hoary old standby of Atlantis, or if you want to be slightly more obscure, the lost continent of Mu. They're always mentioned by the Von Daniken crowd, and I confess I was into that kind of stuff when I was a kid. I like that more because it answers the question of where the archaeological evidence went - under the ocean, of course.

    Found you through the alt-history message board, by the way (I also go by sarapen there).

  2. Atlantis has been done a whole lot before. I think Mu likewise, although I'm less familiar with that.

    Outside of those "forbidden archaeology" type books, I'd never heard of the "nuclear ancient India" theories before, so it'd be an innovative bit of background material if nothing else.

  3. Something else to chew on--thanks to the globalization of media markets, a story using the "modern civilization in ancient India" theory as a basis could be very popular over there.

    Hundreds of millions of potential consumers. Drool...