Friday 2 June 2006

Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0

Battlestar Galactica
Season 2.0
Universal DVD
ISBN 1417075058

This is the best show on TV right now. Maybe the best Sci-Fi show ever. If you are a sci-fi fan, this is a must-see show. If not, you should still consider checking this out. Yes, it is in space and yes, it has killer robots, yet even with that, the depth of human drama is comparable to anything on TV today.

Last season, the 12 Colonies of Kobol were nearly blown away by the Cylons, machines that resemble humans and the old warrior mechanical types. The humans almost ran out of water and fuel, yet somehow manage to survive. This ragtag group of human refugees is in search of a 13th lost tribe of humans on a planet called Earth. Things this season start out badly, and they only get worse.

Both of the leaders of the fleet are incapacitated at the beginning of the season. President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is in Galactica's brig for inciting Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) to mutiny which caused the loss of the Cylon Raider that had been captured, which was a valuable military asset. Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) was shot by "Boomer" (Grace Park), who is a Cylon,

The second season here picks up right where the first season left off. However, unlike most TV shows, the problems presented in the Season 1 finale are not resolved in the first episode. Some will take the whole first part of the second season to be resolved.

As we learned in season 1, there are 12 models of Cylons. The question is: is the Raider (ship) and Warrior, unit 2 of the twelve, or are there 12 models that resemble humans? We do have the introduction of 2 new human-form cylon models (bringing the total to 6/8, leaving 6/4 left to be uncovered), and the reappearance of political activist/terrorist Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch, of the original Battlestar Galactica).

A unique feature this season, and one that is a most interesting addition, is a textual representation of how many people are still alive. Each week in the credits, there is a sentence which lists the exact number of survivors, and it changes every week, depending on how many people died (or appeared) the episode before.

In comparison to Season 1 it is hard to say which is better. The 13 episodes of Season 1 were all great. In the first half of Season 2, there are also no bad episodes. Battlestar Galactica season 2 has such powerful episodes as " Pegasus" and "Scattered". Yet the best episode of the Season 2.0 DVD is " Valley of Darkness", which in my opinion is sheer brilliance, and possibly the best episode of the series.

This is one of the best shows on TV right now, according to many media outlets. "A Breakaway Hit!" -TV Guide and "The Best Show on Television." –Newsday are but two examples of the rave reviews it has received. If you are a sci-fi fan, this is a must-see show. If you aren't a sci-fi fan, you should still consider checking this out. Even though it's in space and has killer robots, it is more human than most other drama shows on TV today. So say we all.

Anyway, for those who haven't seen this show, but you like a good character drama, be sure to check out this show on DVD. I believe it's even better on DVD. Much like Babylon 5, there is a single story line, with multiple story arcs all tying into that one line. So there is continuity between each episode...and unlike Star Trek, they don't hit the reset button between each episode or movie. What's damaged on a ship in one episode stays damaged in following episodes, as the first season takes place just over a 3 month period.

I recognize that this is a compelling drama that just happens to take place in outer space. It deals with many weighty subjects such as genocide, human flaws, paranoia, depression, and religion. The creators of the original 1970’s Battlestar Galactica included many Mormons. On the Internet there are hundreds of articles looking at the religious imagery, the Mormon end-time theology. The religion themes are just as powerful in this new series and this series has practicing religious (clergy – faithful believers), visions, a drug to induce religious visions, and the president believes she is to fulfill prophecy and save humanity.

This is possibly the best Sci-fi series ever!

So say we all.

(First Published in Imprint 2006-06-02 as 'Galactica takes sci-fi to new extremes!')

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