Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Battlestar Galactica" (2003) The Complete Series [blu-ray]

"Battlestar Galactica" (2003) The Complete Series [blu-ray]
Starring Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Katee Sackhoff
Developed by Ron Moore and David Eick
Based on "Battlestar Galactica" created by Glen A. Larson

Go ahead.  Snicker.  It's a show about killer robots in space.  Or, you could watch one of the best TV dramas ever.  Time Magazine, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, The New York Times, Television Without Pity, the list of glowing critical response for Ron Moore and David Eick's 2003 reimagining of Glen Larson's terrible 1978 sci-fi show goes on and on.

Powerful, political, dark, gritty, moving and downright incredible, "Battlestar Galactica" is more, much more, than simply killer robots in space.  Sure, you could watch the show and enjoy its lengthy, CG-laden action sequences.  But what about the crackling dialogue, cast performances, complex storylines and complicated character work?

In "Battlestar Galactica," we find the Twelve Colonies of Man, an advanced and decadent culture on an alien world.  Earlier in the century, to make their lives easier, scientists had created the Cylons, sentient worker and soldier robots.  The Cylons rebelled, and after a long and bloody war for independence, finally went off into space to discover their own destiny.  Fifty years later, they return, wreaking vengeance on their creators.

With their planets nuked into oblivion, a small, rag-tag fleet of ships manages to escape and survive.  Led by the lone surviving military vessel, the massive battlestar, Galactica, the survivors attempt to find the mythical planet Earth, hoping it will be their salvation from the vicious Cylons.  But the Cylons aren't content to let any of them go.  Now evolved to include human-looking models, the Cylons vow to track down, infiltrate and destroy the human survivors at any cost.

Over the course of four seasons and two direct-to-video movies, the story of these survivors and the Cylons in their cosmic game of cat and mouse, their search for home, family and ultimate meaning, to break the cycles of violence of society, unfolds.  Its messages are powerful, its characters memorable, its storylines inventive and complex, and its action sequences are downright epic.  It transcends the sci-fi genre, full of allegories and expertly written explorations of humanity at its best and worst.

So go ahead.  Snicker.  Laugh.  Dismiss.  And miss out.  It's your call.

"So say we all."


Season One - After the destruction of the Colonies, Commander Adama leads the survivors of humanity on the run from the Cylons.  As they're hunted across the galaxy on their search for Earth, they must contend not only with their own human problems, but with Cylon agents among them.

Season Two - Tensions among the fleet are on the rise, and the Cylons are closing in.  But the arrival of another Colonial Battlestar might herald the beginning of a new era for the survivors... or their doom.

Season Three - Has humanity found refuge from the Cylons?  As the fleet deals with fallout from the exodus from New Caprica, the road to Earth gets clearer, and the identities of the remaining Cylons will be revealed.

Season Four - As revelations about the Cylons and about Earth begin to tear the fleet apart, the conflict between humanity and the Cylons will come to its ultimate, epic climax over the shape of things to come.

"Razor" - Set late in Season Two, "Razor" tells the story of Major Kendra Shaw, executive officer of the Battlestar Pegasus.  Shaw must overcome her personal demons when Pegasus is given a vital mission to investigate the return of the old Cylon models.

"The Plan" - All will be revealed - "The Plan" details the planning and execution of the apocalypse by the Cylons, and how each of the Final Five fits into it all.