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BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - SEASON ONE (2004)



Battlestar Galactica - Season One (2004)

Starring: Edward James Olmos
Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Box set
Run Time: 756

DVD Features:

  • Available subtitles: Spanish
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
  • Feature Commentary with Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ron Moore
  • Pilot Commentary with Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore
  • "Bastille Day" Episode Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore
  • "Act of Contrition" Episode Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore
  • "You Can't Go Home Again" Episode Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore
  • "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" Episode Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
  • "The Hand of God" Episode Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
  • "Colonial Day" Episode Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
  • "Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 1" Episode Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore
  • From Miniseries to Series
  • Change is Good
  • Now They're Babes
  • The Cyclon Centurion
  • The Doctor Is Out (Of His Mind)
  • Future/Past Technology
  • Production
  • Visual Effects
  • Epilogue
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Battlestar Galactica Series Lowdown
  • Sketches and Art

Number of discs: 5

Movie:
Disc:
  

It may be sci-fi for depressives as one wag described it, but this re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica is still pretty darn good and - along with the new Doctor Who TV series - the best SF television show we've seen in quite a while. 

Sure, this new Battlestar Galactica may be as unrelentingly bleak and humourless as Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings adaptations, but hey! We are talking about the extinction of the entire human race here and not just some starship not stopping to ask for directions while lost in the Delta Quadrant here.

Battlestar Galactica has lots on offer as the very first episode in the series shows. Taking off shortly after where the mini-series ended, "33" sees the human fleet being constantly attacked by the misanthropic Cylon robots. As soon as the last surviving humans make a hyperspace jump to escape, the Cylons take a mere 33 minutes to find them again. Being understaffed, the crew has been without sleep for days on end now. The enemy is relentless and inhuman, while there are limits to human endurance and things are heading for a close . . . 

It is a great episode and one can see why it won a Hugo award. Initially the camera techniques  consisting of jerky hand-held camera movements to simulate the feel of a documentary sometimes calls attention to itself and distracts from one's enjoyment of the series. After a while one gets used to it again, but creatively it was probably the wrong decision to make.

Some subplots and strands get carried on with the next episode, "Water", as the series reveals its proclivity for ambiguity: a Cylon infiltrator that looks human thinks it really is human and one character may be either going insane or is being plagued by a chip transplant in his head. Answers are few and plot complications many as the story investigates several heavy philosophical and political issues (such as where military authority ends and civilian authority begins particularly in a crisis situation such this and so forth). Early on it becomes clear that few answers would be forthcoming - even during a second season of the show.

THE DISCS:  You get five single-sided discs in thin jewel cases, all encapsulated in a carton container. Disc one contains the original three-hour mini-series, which is kind of nice, but it is a move bound to irk dedicated fans who already own the series on separate DVD. (Expect to some copies of it to float around on eBay for cheap.)

The thirteen episodes of the series are contained on the other four discs while the final disc contains lots of special making of style featurettes. Sound and image are decent, although it's difficult to judge since the show often has scenes which are purposefully grainy. Menus have a Play All function as well as a plot synopsis for each episode, something I wish Paramount would put on their Star Trek discs.

WORTH IT? This Battlestar Galactica isn't really for kids: it offers a grittier and adult alternative to the Star Trek shows.  (It's not that I disliked, let's say, Star Trek Enterprise, a show that is enjoyable in its own right, but Galactica avoids the tradition of stoic square-jawed heroics that Captain Kirk kicked off so many years ago, which is a welcome change.) With no cute robots dogs and some sex and violence, this Galactica is far better than the original TV series that inspired it. And you may quote me on that.

RECOMMENDATION: Buy it and give away your copy of the Battlestar Galactica 2003 mini-series to a friend.  He or she will only thank you.


 



 

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