Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Battlestar Galactica (2004)

My best friend has long praised television's second go-round of Battlestar Galactica.

I purchased the one-disc, three-hour miniseries several years ago. That DVD was finally viewed this month. I waited much too long.

It's worth watching.

Battlestar Galactica, at least the start of the five-year series, doesn't grab me by the throat like Kiefer Sutherland's 24 did. But, this sci-fi drama does boast intriguing storylines, some good action scenes and a cliffhanger that definitely teases for upcoming episodes during Battlestar Galactica - Season One.

Let's keep the plot recap simple. Humans create cylons to make life easier. Cylons decide to kill masters. Armistice reached. Cylons disappear, for decades. Cylons return, but have evolved - at least partially - from machines into very realistic looking humans. Faux human Number Six (Tricia Helfer) seduces Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis), a specialist in artificial intelligence. With his help, cylons disable defence capabilities of Twelve Colonies. Almost all of mankind is wiped out. Battlestar Galactica, about to be decommissioned, isn't affected by cylon sabotage efforts. Credit skipper Admiral William Adama (Edward James Olmos) and his aversion for networked computer systems.

Galactica becomes the sole major fighting vessel to survive cylon attack. Visiting low-level government minister (Mary McDonnell) becomes president after all more senior cabinet ministers are wiped out. Ragtag collection of ships that have escaped destruction are under Galactica's protection. The war is over. Adama suggests there is distant hope - a mystical place called Earth. He doubts it exists, but wants to give his crew and surviving humans hope.

What lifts Galactica up every so often is some very clever dialogue. A flight technician offers, "I hate this part," when Galactica prepares to jump through space. "Go find me some bullets, chief," is Adama's order to his second-in-command, a great crusty Col. Saul Tigh. Adama gets another good line when he meets a human at a munitions dump with a mysterious illness. "Must be your allergies," he suggests as said man struggles during a radiation storm.

Watch this mini-series and there's plenty of reasons to keep watching. Will Baltar sell out the remaining humans to the cylons? The president has a serious illness. What impact will that have on her ability to govern? Tigh has a problem with the bottle. Will that affect his judgment in a moment of crisis? Are there human-looking cylons on board Galactica?

Get on board, folks. This looks like an interesting ride.

RATING: 8/10

FUN FACTS: Edward James Olmos was Lieut. Martin Castillo in a major television hit of the 1980s, Miami Vice.

Mary McDonnell was Kevin Costner's love interest in Dances with Wolves.

Tricia Helfer played Farrah Fawcett in a Behind the Camera TV movie.

1 comment:

CharmedLassie said...

One of those things I've meant to watch too. Frequently picked it up and put it back down again, saying another series was beyond me. I think you've encouraged me to rethink, sounds just my thing.