Okay, I realize this is an odd topic, even for me, but hey, it's the beginning of a long weekend for many of us, so why not sit back and make room for something just a little bit surreal? :)
For those of you who've never encountered it, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
is a play by Tom Stoppard that is set inside Shakespeare's play Hamlet
. The idea is that two minor characters from Hamlet -
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - become the main characters of this play, and they spend most of their time wandering around trying to figure out what is going on. They only get caught up in the action for very brief moments, and the rest of the time they analyze the few things they've been told to try to understand who they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to do (for example, Hamlet calls them his "friends" so they assume they knew him at school. The King and Queen ask them to help Hamlet, so they spend a lot of time trying to figure out what's wrong with him). They don't remember anything from the past because they only exist when they're onstage or waiting to be onstage. They don't know their own names, they don't know what relationships they're supposed to have with people, they just act polite and hope they can make it through the play in one piece. Of course, they don't. In the play Hamlet
they are killed, and once they begin to suspect that they are trapped in a tragedy their story becomes a meditation on fate and free will and the meaning of death.
I would like to reimagine Season 4-4.5 of BSG as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Pilots.
Let's imagine that Kara and Lee pop into existence at the beginning of this Season with no memory of what has happened before or who they are supposed to be, they just know that they're in this together. In their copious time off-screen, they wander around and have secret conferences to try to deduce what is going on and how they are supposed to feel about each other and about the other characters in their lives, but they only know whatever they can piece together through observation and the clues that other characters drop in passing. What would the last season look like through their eyes if they were uninformed observers just going along for the ride and trying to act like they know what they're doing? What right (and wrong) conclusions might they jump to? What impressions would they form of other characters? Would they even try to figure out the plot? What would they decide about their Fates, and how might they try to change them? Most importantly, what would they decide about each other?
And if all of this seems too weird and/or complicated to think about over the weekend, then feel free to get into the spirit of the play by sharing pics of Kara and Lee (or Jamie and Katee) with their best confused, WTF? expressions. That will help us all get into the proper frame of mind! :)
Here's a little quote from the play to give you a sense of what it's like:
Player (Leoben?): Events must play themselves out to their aesthetic, moral and logical conclusion.
Guildenstern (Kara?): And what's that, in this case?
Player: It never varies — we aim at the point where everyone who is marked for death dies.
Player: Between "just desserts" and "tragic irony" we are given quite a large scope for our particular talent. Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have gotten about as bad as they can reasonably get.
Guildenstern: Who decides?
Player: Decides? It is written. We're tragedians, you see. We follow direction. There is no choice involved. The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means.