Anne Calhoun on President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica
Not long ago, I had dinner with the fabulous Anne Calhoun in New York City, and invited her to join Girls Who Wear Glasses as part of the month-long celebration of ladies in lenses in honor of the release of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. She immediately, immediately, chose the person she wanted to pay homage to--President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica! Eric and I watched Battlestar Galactica over a few months last year and loved it--I loved Laura Roslin most of all, honestly, and I was thrilled that Anne (author of super-sexy contemporaries including the upcoming Uncommon Pleasure), was willing to celebrate her!
I had perfect vision until I was in my late-thirties. I finally decided to get my eyes checked and discovered that yes, I was aging, and yes, I needed glasses for an astigmatism. Determined to make the most of this new accessory, I chose a really sassy little pair of cat’s eye glasses. Because girls who wear glasses are COOL, and I need every bit of COOL I can muster.
My favorite glasses-wearing fictional character is Laura Roslin from the SyFy Channel’s update of Battlestar Galactica. The whole series is absolutely incredible, full of strong, confident women, but none more so than Laura Roslin. When the series opens just before the Cylons attack she’s a former kindergarten teacher now serving as the Secretary for Education for the Twelve Colonies. She’s forty-third in line for the Presidency. Then the Cylons nuke the capital on Caprica, and suddenly Secretary Roslin is President Roslin with an entire species on the run and in danger of becoming extinct.
The series is full of interesting questions about the relationship between civilian and military life in a time of war. In a time of terror and horror, will people choose to live for hope or live for revenge? Who has authority: the people with what remains of the guns or the people in what remains of the government?
One snippet of dialogue perfectly encapsulates Roslin’s glasses-wearing, take charge attitude. Doral, a reporter traveling on Roslin’s ship, questions whether or not Roslin has the authority or the ability to take over the Presidency and lead the devastated survivors of the Twelve Colonies – to be “in charge”. He voices this concern to Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama, the military escort for Roslin’s ship, and suggests someone else (anyone else, really) might be better suited to assume the presidency.
Roslin: Start the cargo transfer, and prep bay 3 for survivors.
Billy: Yes, ma'am.
Apollo: I'm sorry, survivors?
Roslin: As soon as the attack began, the government ordered a full stop on all civilian vessels. So now we've got hundreds of stranded ships in the solar system, some are lost, some are damaged, some are losing power. We have enough space on this ship to accommodate up to 500 people and we're going to need every bit of it.
Doral: But we don't even know what the tactical situation is out there.
Roslin: The tactical situation is that we are losing, right, Captain?
Roslin: So we pick up as many people as we can, we try to find a safe haven to put down... Captain? I'd like you to look over the navigational charts for a likely place to hide from the Cylons. That's all.
Apollo: (to Doral, matter-of-factly) The lady's in charge.
Apollo sees Roslin’s leadership ability, her courage and confidence, and her ability to focus on the future in the face of all out war. Maybe it’s the glasses, maybe it’s the unshakeable authority learned after years of herding squirmy little kids through their ABCs, but as he says, “the lady’s in charge.”
So say we all!
So say we all, indeed! What a fabulous show that I resisted for far too long! If you haven't watched it, you absolutely should!
Your turn, reader...tell Anne and me about your favorite TV show of all time in comments, and one lucky commenter (US Only) will win a copy of her book, Liberating Lacey!