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Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 - 14.98

Battlestar Galactica's Edward James Olmos wasn't kidding when he said "the series is even better than the miniseries." As developed by sci-fi TV veteran Ronald D. Moore, the "reimagined" BG is exactly what it claims to be: a drama for grown-ups in a science-fiction setting. The mature intelligence of the series is its greatest asset, from the tenuous respect between Galactica's militarily principled commander Adama (Olmos) and politically astute, cancer-stricken colonial President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) to the barely suppressed passion between ace Viper pilot "Apollo" (a.k.a. Adama's son Lee, played by Jamie Bamber) and the brashly insubordinate Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), whose multifaceted character is just one of many first-season highlights. Picking up where the miniseries ended, season 1 opens with the riveting, Hugo Award-winning episode "33," in which Galactica and the "ragtag fleet" of colonial survivors begin their quest for the legendary 13th colony planet Earth, while being pursued with clockwork regularity by the Cylons, who've now occupied the colonial planet of Caprica. The fleet's hard-fought survival forms (1) the primary side of the series' three-part structure, shared with (2) the apparent psychosis of Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) whose every thought and move are monitored by various incarnations Number Six (Tricia Helfer), the seemingly omniscient Cylon ultravixen who follows a master plan somehow connected to (3) the Caprican survival ordeal of crash-landed pilots "Helo" (Tahmoh Penikett) and soon-to-be-pregnant "Boomer" (Grace Park), whose simultaneous presence on Galactica is further evidence that 12 multicopied models of Cylons, in human form, are gathering their forces.

With remarkably consistent quality, each of these 13 episodes deepens the dynamics of these fascinating characters and suspenseful situations. While BG relies on finely nuanced performances, solid direction, and satisfying personal and political drama to build its strong emotional foundation, the action/adventure elements are equally impressive, especially in "The Hand of God," a pivotal episode in which the show's dazzling visual effects get a particularly impressive showcase. Original BG series star Richard Hatch appears in two politically charged episodes (he's a better actor now, too), and with the threat of civil war among the fleet, season 1 ends with an exceptional cliffhanger that's totally unexpected while connecting the plot threads of all preceding episodes. To the credit of everyone involved, this is really good television.

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
Battlestar Galactica - the best show on TV : It seems a strange thing to say, but never has a TV series set largely in space seemed so real. It's not just the physics-realistic CGI and documentary-style virtual camerawork - the characters all react to difficult situations in such a way that you say to yourself "yes, I really believe it could be like that".

A couple of characters do initially come across as larger than life, and these are Starbuck and Dr Gaius Baltar, but their characters become fleshed out very quickly so you understand after a very short number of episodes just why they react to certain situations in the way that they do.

Dr Gaius Baltar's relationship with humanoid Cylon Number Six - who now resides within his own mind, constantly advising him, seducing him and implanting thoughts of treachery - is one of the highlights of this re-imagining. Is she really communicating with him by means of a chip in his head as she tells him she is, or is she a persistent daydream created from his guilt over opening the door for the Cylon attack on humanity? That's a great mystery, and you can be assured that there will be some surprising twists and revelations with this relationship over this series and the three that are to follow.

Make sure you buy and watch the miniseries first though!

Rating: 5:
Fracking incredible TV : I bought this as I'd seen the mini series and had enjoyed that immensely. This is even better. Quite amazingly good. The plots are fantastic, the writing is witty and erudite, the casting and acting magnificent, the special fx, filming & sets are top notch. Special praise has to be given to the actor who plays Dr Baltar, it's a great role and he plays it to perfection...the coward you have to love. I can say, with hand on my heart, that I was gripped by every episode and enjoyed it more than any TV I've seen in years. Beware, you'll find it impossible to stop watching, so make a space in your schedule before you start. My only regret is not ordering season two earlier, I'm desperate for it to land through my letter box (by the 'Gods of Cobol' please let it be tommorrow!).

Rating: 5:
Battlestar Galactica = Best show ever! : After reading good reviews on Amazon I took a chance and bought the mini-series and season 1 of Battlestar Galactica as a trial show, because my favorite TV shows (Lost, 24) had finished. Now Battlestar Galactica IS my favorite show, the acting, the Special FX and the storylines are outstanding. I'm totally hooked on this show now, sadly the series will end after season 4. Season 2 gets even better, I've not seen season 3 yet but I can't wait to buy the DVD.

Rating: 5:
Excellent series, not just for sci-fi fans : Yes, this is one of the best science fiction series created to date. It is also, more significantly, one of the best TV series created to date. Ignoring the star-filled backdrop, this series could be set anywhere and with the same writers and cast it would be just as good. The all-action space scenes just add that extra something for sci-fi fans. I strongly recommend this expertly written, compelling series.

Rating: 3:
It's all about generations : Ok,

I am 37 and lapped up the original series in the late seventies as a kid. Something to fill in between the first and second Star Wars movies really. So I got this after being wisely advised to get the mini series as well. Trust me you will be lost without it.

Now the main points:

1. This is NOTHING like the original series. The only things to remain are the basic back story and the beloved viper ships.

2. It's far more adult. The space fights are shot documentary style a la Black hawk down. Crew memebers regularly slam each other against walls and fight within their own circles as well as the dreaded cylons. There's even a few post watershed words of choice used in the many tense scenes.

3. Starbuck is now a woman, all balls and attitude. Dirk Benedict's big hair and sardonic smile are gone. And I miss that.

4. The cylons are of course updated and look fantastic when they do appear. And we now have cylons that are human in appearance.

5. The Galactica's characters are all grown up and have issues ranging from alcoholism to loathing of other crew members. No more clean cut happy family stuf here.

Final review: The series has some fine action sequences although if you're about my age you will find the characters pretty hard to like after the original. But give it time..I'm halfway through season two now and the episodes seem to blend into the next seemlesly. Indeed, it's one long story arc. They pay homage to the orginal with old episodes being retold.

What really annoys me: That damn woman who is a cylon and is in Doctor Baltars head only. There constant scenes drivel on and for the life of me I can't see the point of it. Although it seems to be very slowly going somewhere half way through season two. The doctor is regularly seen talking to himself by crew members and hardly an eyelid is batted. This is very hard to take seriously. It was this aspect that got me to go buy the orignal series and watch that instead.

So i returned to the new series and gave it another try..sighed my way through the stupid doctor/cylon lover scenes. But like all tv shows it takes time to lift off and develop characters. To be fair you have to aquire the taste for it but then Edward James Olmos is such a brilliant heavyweight character as Commander Adama, he's a joy to watch. And the other actors are settling into their roles.

In the end: If you like your sci-fi sweet and fluffy,..avoid. If you like sci-fi meets hi tension..you will lap this up.

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