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Battlestar Galactica starts it's third season on the Sci Fi Channel next Friday (October 6).  For those of you who haven't watched it, this is not your father's Battlestar Galactica.  TV Guide has called it "The best show on TV", and NEWSDAY has called it "the Year's Best Drama".  There's a good cover story on it on Entertainment Weekly (when will this be available on Zinio?)

This even has some stars that you may know.  Edward James Olmos plays Commander (now Admiral) Adama, Mary McDonnell plays Laura Roslin (until recently President of the Twelve Colonies) and Lucy Lawless has had a recurring role as D'Anna Biers (a Cylon).  Olmos has said of the show, "The last thing I wanted to be doing was science fiction on cable.  But I'll be in science fiction every day if they can give me this kind of drama."

What makes it different? Yes, it's a science fiction drama, but the emphasis is much more on "drama" than "science fiction".  The science fiction is a part of the plot, not the thing that defines the story.  A friend of mine described it as "'Law and Order' in space".  A better description might be "'Lost' in space", but that brings up too many memories of another campy show, or might even be confused with this Star Trek spin-off.  But it's none of those and stands well on its own.

Chances are there's someone you work with who's an addict an has seen every episode and has them all on DVD (you can also download the episodes from iTunes).  Get with this person and find out what you've been missing.  You can also catch up with an episode on tomorrow night called "The Story So Far".

But, I'll add a quick summary (some spoilers included)

  1. As in the 1978 series, "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet known as Earth."  Humanity has been nearly destroyed by the Cylon machine race, and have fled the Twelve Colonies in search of a mysterious 13th colony called Earth.
  2. Gaius Baltar is still the traitor to the human race, although apparently he didn't realize it at the time.  He's now actively working with the Cylons, or at least the one in his head (more on that later).
  3. Yes, Starbuck's a girl, played by Katee Sackoff.  That was a big deal to me to for about 2 minutes.  Then I decided to see what the creators did with her.  They made a good choice here.  Kara Thrace (Starbuck) is the heart of the show.
  4. As is often quoted in the show, "the Cylons look like us now".  There are 12 models that don't look like metal robots but instead look human.  We've met 7 of these 12 models so far.
    1. Number Three aka D'Anna Biers (Lucy Lawless) - A reporter in the human fleet not known by the humans to be a Cylon model.
    2. Number Five aka Aaron Doral (Matthew Bennet (I))
    3. Number Six (Tricia Helfer) - She's literally "in the head" of Baltar and guides him on what to do.  One version, known as "Caprica Six" along with one of the Number Eight's tries to change the direction of the Cylon race at the end of season 2.
    4. Number Eight aka Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (Grace Park) - Once a sleeper agent on Battlestar Galactica (she didn't know she was a Cylon), she later shot then Commander Adama and was killed.  Another one had a child with a human.  The child has been taken away from them, and Sharon and the father (Karl "Helo" Agathon) have been told the child died.
    5. Loebon Conoy (Callum Keith Rennie) - This model seems to be somewhat of a mystic, and deals primarily in deceit and intrigue.
    6. Simon (Rick Worthy) - First appearance was as a doctor in the episode "The Farm"
    7. Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) - First appearance in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I" and discovered as a Cylon in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II".
  5. Season 1 mostly dealt with introducing the characters to us, and the slow realization by Boomer that she's a Cylon.  Season 1 ends with the discovery of the planet Kobol, mythical home of the Gods.
  6. Season 2 was divided into two parts, sometimes called Season 2.0 and Season 2.5.
    1. Season 2.0 dealt with the exploration of Kobol, the fleet being split up and later unified, the discovery of a "map" to Earth on Kobol.  It ends with the discovery of a second Battlestar, the Pegasus (note that the DVD collection puts this episode in season 2.5)
    2. Season 2.5 was eventful.  It included the promotion of Commander Adama to Admiral, the promotion of Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace to Captain and CAG (commander air group), the promotion of Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama (the Admiral's son) to Major and eventually to Commander of the Pegasus.  Sharon and Helo's baby was born.  Gaius Baltar was elected President, and the people emigrated to a new planet (New Caprica).  The renegade Number Six and Number Eight Cylons came to this planet with a Cylon force and now control New Caprica.
  7. Since Season 2.5, a number of "Webisodes" have been released under the collective title "The Resistance" detailing the events between the end of Season 2.5 and the upcoming Season 3.

There are several good articles on it at Wikipedia.

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:47 PM General | Back to top


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