288 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2006
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.
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2006
This new Battlestar Galactica 2.5 DVD boxset release is full of special features and bonus material to attract all viewers. The split season format is great. It airs as half seasons on Sci-Fi and they release it to match its airing schedule and system. There are so many special features, you could spend more time watching them then the actual episodes.
One of the greatest bonuses to the set is the much anticipated and greatly debated extended version of the episode `Pegasus' this special version is over an hour and a half long it was not aired in this format due to time constraints. It views like a feature movie. It has amazing special effects and amazing cinematography.
Other features include deleted scenes, which are broken down by episodes, include the producer's podcasts that aired on the Sci-Fi channel's website during the original airings, and the producer's video Logs and much much more. The deletes scenes are broken down episode by episode.
The bonus material, if not ignored, will help viewers better understand the choices made in preparing the episodes and the season for release.
This half of season 2 has many unique twits and turns in the plots and lives of the characters. We are also introduced to new human cylon models. As to the content itself, in this half of season 2 the central character is Sharon,with her actions developed alongside those of (spoiler alert!) those of a few different Cylon version of her. Byond Sharon's development on Batlestar Galactica and Battlestar Pegasus, which is presented as strongly intertwined with the fate of the whole human race, a great deal of the season deals with relationships - Professional and otherwise - and especially friendships. Striking interactions occur between President Roslyn and Commander Adama; in the complicated relationship between Starbuck and Apollo; with Sharon and, well just about everybody.
In the broader scheme of things, by this point in the series the complexities of guiding a free population while trying to avoid the Cylon army has taken it's toll on both military and civilian leaders of this rag-tag group of humans trying to find a new home on a lost planet called Earth.
The excellent character development in this half of the season can be attributed to very strong scriptwriting. The cliffhanger ending leaves you mouth watering and you desperately awaiting season 3 - which hopefully, after snagging this DVD set, you can finally get caught up in watching. The Sci-Fi channel has to date released 4 of 10 web episodes that have story line development between season's 2 and 3. Season 3 begins airing in the US and Canada on October 7th for the first time the episodes will air in both countries at the same time. We here in Canada will not have to wait days, weeks or months for the US show to finally come to Canada.
BSG is often called the best Sci-fi on television and Newsweek has gone so far as to call it the best drama on TV. With such high praise and the series consistently receiving great reviews - not to mention the special features and additions offered in the 2.5 DVD - how could this DVD box set not be worth every penny?
So Say we all.
(First Pulished in Imprint 2006-10-20 as 'Galactica's secon half sizzles: Recently released DVD set offers rewarding bonus features'.)
330 of 369 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Like a previous reviewer mentioned, when Sci-Fi Channel announced that they were producing a new BSG show, I was causiously optimistic. I was hoping that it would revive an old classic. To a lot of people's surprise...it did. In fact, the new Battlestar Galactica has been called the "Best Show on TV" by a lot of media organizations. However it's getting some flak by a small but vocal group of die-hard fans of the original show. So much so, that they have banned discussion of the new show on their web site. Yes, I'm talking about you guys at 'CF.com'. "Family show..." Eh? Ahemmm...the new show was never billed as a family show. It is clearly an adult drama set in space. I'm as conservative as you all are, but I know the difference between '70's space cheese and 21st Century sci-fi.
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. For one, you don't have the commercials and second, you don't have to wait between weeks for the the next episode. There's a lot of continuity between episodes...and unlike Star Trek, they don't hit the proverbial "Reset Button" between episodes. 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.
The second season here picks up right where the first season left off. The major plot thread that was started with the first season's finale 2-part cliff-hanger, is built upon and concluded in the the first 5 or 6 episodes of the second season here. The remaining couple of episodes are more of stand-alone type episodes that are probably building up to what is to occur in the second half of this season which will air from January thru March.
Now then, why is Universal offering just a half season here? Who really knows. Although getting these episodes out before the second half airs is not really a bad thing, just a strange thing. I guess since the show is such a hit, Universal figures that they could boost their ratings for the second half if they get all available episodes out on DVD before the second half airs. This set, however, will include a "90-minute" (60 minute actual) version of the mid-season cliff-hanger episode "Pegasus". So with that, there's at least some incentive to buy this set rather than wait for a possible full season set next year that may or may never come.
UPDATE: I've been informed by a very observant reader that my above post is inaccurate with some out of date false information. I agree. So without further adue, I'll update the info below.
Above I said that a 60+ minute version of "Pegasus" was going to be included on this set. That is incorrect. First of all, that fact was just a rumor spawned by what was said during one of the Podcasts, I believe. However, due to time constraints, Universal Studios was unable to "ready" the extended version of "Pegasus" for this release. Why so? Who knows...
However, it has been reported that the extended version will be on the 2.5 set that will complete the second season. So in essence, fans who have bought both sets will have both versions of this episode. This is similar to the recent problem with the Stargate SG-1 Season 8 set in which the extended 60+ minute version of "Threads" was supposed to be included, but ultimately wasn't. This was remedied by a mail-in offer done by CheckMyRebate.com.
Also, I mention that a full season set, may or may not be offered eventually after the entire season is done airing. After acquiring the 2.0 set, I noticed that there is a half of a image on the spine. The image being one half of the Galactica Seal and President Roslin. I assume the 2.5 set will have the other half of the Galactica Seal and presumably a pic of Commander/Admiral Adama. So with that, I'm beginning to assume that a complete Season 2 set may not in the future. Although I may be proven wrong...but we'll see.
140 of 157 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
For those already familiar to the series: This set of DVDs offers some decent bonuses- you'll find that it includes an expanded version of the midseason cliff-hanger "Resurrection Ship" with some deleted scenes incorporated into the show. I liked this a lot, because watching the deleted scenes seperately from the show/movie usually loses some of the impact of the scenes. This alone makes the two part season purchase worthwhile in my opinion. The other extra material is standard- commentary and making of features.
In the second half of Battlestar Galactica's second season, you will enjoy the resolution to the arrival of the Pegasus in the climax of "Resurrection Ship". The show also brings the resistance movement on Caprica into better focus, and makes the characters there more important to the overall story. One aspect of season two that I am not completely sold on at this point is the expansion of the Cylon's internal structure, as expressed in the Cylon war-hero story. I think I enjoyed the mystery and confusion behind their true motives. It would be a shame for the arch-villains to become predictable and stale.
For those already addicted to this show, 2.5 will satisfy you to a point, but I believe the finale will only be justified by where the show goes in season 3. Right now I am a little skeptical, and will even go so far as saying it approaches the hokey sci-fi clichés (granted, clichés that we all like to watch) that the show has so assiduously avoided so far. One thing the final episode will do is set up a whole new string of story possibilities in the coming season/seasons; it is such a crazy ender that I don't see how they can possibly resolve the issues in the first episode or even entire season 3. Maybe that's what the whole idea ultimately is about: creating more story possibilities. The final cliffhanger is not quite as emotional as the assassination at the end of season 1, but it will leave you wanting more.
If you happen to be a new to this sci-fi phenomenon, I highly recommend you first watch season 1. This series is not the typical sci-fi that is `plug and play' at any point in the series (ala most Trek series). If you jump in midstream, you'll probably find yourself asking "what the ____?" and "why do I care about this character?". This quality is one of the shows strong points, conflicts are not resolved every 50 minutes and tidily packaged so that the next episode will be back at square one. Like real life the problems and troubles often follow the characters through their journey. And I will add this - Battlestar Galactica manages to bridge the gap between `sci-fi' people and people who typically don't watch sci-fi. I can say this with nearly complete certainty. I am a sci-fi person in the military, and I have enjoyed spreading this show around- despite many initial and long term refusals. Right now the tide has turned and most of my fellow officers and many men in the battalion are hooked on the show. So give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.
271 of 309 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2006
I love this show! In addition to being a great sci-fi series, it works perfectly well as a gritty drama. In the wake of the attempted genocide of the human race, a fleet of 50,000 survivors have left their homes in an attempt to escape their oppressors, the half human/half machine Cylons, in an attempt to find refuge on a little planet called Earth.
Led by President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), who is dying of cancer, and Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos), the fleet was last seen about to do battle with... fellow humans? Yes, after the discovery that the Battlestar Pegasus has also been on the run in the 7 or so months since the Cylons attacked the 12 Colonies of Kobol, a disagreement about leadership has Adama and Roslin looking down the figurative barrel at Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes), the commanding officer aboard the Pegasus and Adama's superior. The two-parter "Resurrection Ship" shows that the immaculate pair of Adama and Roslin can sink very low if they need to in order to protect the fleet. The two episodes also contain a huge revelation regarding the Cylons that may allow the humans to actually begin to have a chance at combatting their enemies.
As the second half of the second season progresses, the characters that we've grown to love (or in some cases, love to hate), are put through more trials as they deal not only with the Cylon threat, but also each other. Vice President Gaius Baltar (James Callis) has his loyalties divided due to the discovery of a captured Model No. 6 (Tricia Helfer) aboard the Pegasus. Of course, the twist is that they are divided three ways; to his fellow humans, to the corporeal 6 (known, possibly as a joke to a group of people who dislike the show, who call the show GINO, or Galactica In Name Only) as Gina, and finally to the mental 6 that he sees in his head. Capt. Lee "Apollo" Adama, the commander's son, is given more responsibility as his role as pilot and CAG is expanded to do gritty missions, including shutting down a black market ring. Of course, the now Captain Kara "Starbuck" Thrace acts tough as usual (but then, we wouldn't have it any other way), though her position as best pilot/biggest b**** aboard Galactica is challenged by one of the pilots she trained in season 1. And the love triangle of Sharon "Boomer" Valerii/No. 8 (Grace Park), Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas), and Karl "Helo" Agathon (Tahmoh Penniket) is further strained by the arrival of the cylon/human hybrid baby as well as the creation of a kind of "love trapazoid" when Cally (Nikki Clyne) begins to express her feelings for Tyrol. Even another love triangle forms when Lee begins to become the object of affection of Dualla (Kandyse McClure), much to the disappointment of her boyfriend Billy (Paul Campbell).
Unfortunately, these 10 episodes contain some of the weakest of the show's run. Episodes like "Scar" and "Black Market" are only ok by comparison to some of the show's episodes, most of which are amazing. Still, the weakest episode of Galactica is still 10 times better than the best episodes of most of what's on television these days. There are many really good episodes in this set, including "The Captain's Hand", and "Sacrifice". Also, the two-part "Resurrection Ship" is wonderful, as is "Downloaded", which is told from the point of view of the Cylons on the planet Caprica. However, I must say that "Lay Down Your Burdens, Pts. 1 and 2" have ousted "Pegasus" as my new favorite episode(s). While the season finale does share a slight similarity with the season 1 ender (the discovery of a planet), it is handled much differently this time around, and there are numerous other things going on. By the year's end, another Cylon model will be revealed (taking the total to 7 known models and 5 to be discovered), a few characters in the military will be promoted, and, in the second part of the season finale (which is an extended episode), there will be more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at, especially in the last half hour.
The writers continue to impress as the characters are taken in great new and terrifying directions. This show is unpredictable, and it revels in going places many shows fear to tread. Every character is flawed in some way, and the people inhabiting the universe of BSG are some of the most human characters on television. Sadly, we didn't see much of Ellen Tigh (Kate Vernon), the insane wife of Galactica's executive officer Col. Saul Tigh (Paul Hogan). On his own, Tigh is a self-destructive alcoholic, but Ellen serves to take all his worse tendencies and amplify them, as well as planting ideas of ambition in his head (think Lady Macbeth crossed with 24's Sherry Palmer). Ellen is despicable, but she is part of what makes this show great; she forces Tigh to confront his demons in the most twisted ways imaginable.
The stories are also amazing; the show is very much a product of a post-9/11 America, and that is reflected in the grim, survivalist nature of the fleet. The humans once thought that nothing could touch them, but now their entire way of living has been obliterated, and they must scrape by living on crowded ships with meager rations to sustain them. Furthermore, the lines of good and evil aren't drawn clearly; the Cylons view their actions as just and right. Even though they claim not to condone murder, in this case, the ends justified the means. And of course, no human is completely good or evil. Even Baltar, who can't seem to pick a side, can't always be blamed for his actions, as he is certifiably insane. That doesn't make his horrible decisions and actions right, but he isn't doing them because he is "evil". In a clever twist, the writers even reversed the roles of religion on the show; most of the time in film and television, the protagonists are monotheistic (unless they live in a time/place in history where a polytheistic religion is practiced), but here, the "good" humans are the polytheists while the "evil" Cylons worship the "one true God".
Battlestar Galactica is without a doubt one of the best series on television. While many people tend to look down on science fiction series as trivial and childish, this is anything but. The messages that are found layered within the plots of the story accurately reflect the state of the world today. If you don't want to take my word for it, look at the numerous mainstream critics who love the show, such as Time Magazine (which listed it has the best new show of 2005) and Entertainment Weekly, which is trying to get the show nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama (which, unfortunately, it probably won't get due to the academy's phobia of sci-fi; but then again, LOST won, so I guess anything's possible). If you have yet to check this show out, buying season 1 should be a top priority for you!
83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
While I would give the series as a whole (and each individual season preceding this) 5 stars, I feel compelled to drop this final chapter to 4 stars. Battlestar Galactica is a brilliant, gutsy show, and the risks it took are part of the reason we fans got so intense about it over the years. It was called the most subversive show in television history by Rolling Stone magazine, and, given the plot-lines about terrorism and insurgency at the height of the Iraq War, I think that's a fair assessment. The final season (4.0 and 4.5) become more about the internal mythology of the show, and this is where a few problems sneak in. As shows like Lost demonstrate, it's easier to set up mysteries than to resolve them. Battlestar resolves many of the plot-lines brilliantly (I love the choice of the final cylon in particular; and one character's suicide is truly haunting), but others leave me wanting. Starbuck, one of the best characters in this all-around extraordinary cast, gets muddled. I'm trying to avoid spoilers, so I'll just say that the resolution of the mystery surrounding her character is not satisfactorily handled. Ron Moore's decision to leave her conclusion ambiguous is, in my opinion, a glaring error.
The series finale is naturally the focus of this set, and I must say I've had mixed feelings about it since it aired. On the one hand, it was an intense, emotional experience, never boring for a moment, and brought nearly every character and plotline to a conclusion. However, I think it may have over-reached, beating us over the head with its "message." Battlestar Galactica was often a reflection of ourselves and our world, but never before had it been didactic, as it is in its final scene.
With another movie on its way and a prequel series for next year, Battlestar Galactica isn't over yet, but this is the end of the story as begun in the 2003 miniseries. It's been a remarkable journey and absolutely essential viewing for sci-fi and non-sci-fi fans alike.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Hopefully both halves of Battlestar Galactica's second season will be issued together in one DVD set soon. But "Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.5" still gets high marks from me for the intense battle of wills between Michelle Forbes's Admiral Cain and Edward James Olmos's Commander Adama, which will determine how the surviving Colonial fleet will protect the humans fleeing from their merciless Cylon foe. This second half of Season Two is important too in playing out the consequences of Boomer's (Grace Park) pregnancy, especially after revelations of her less-than-human origins disclosed during the first season and first half of the second season. President Laura Roslin's (Mary McDonnell) relations with Commander Adama remain important dramatic fare too, though now the emphasis lies more on her incurable illness and the consequences it might have for a potential successor like Gaius Balter (James Callis).
Is "Battlestar Galactica" the best science fiction television drama? No, it is quite simply the best drama airing now on American television. Series creator Ronald D. Moore and his crew of writers and technicians have done a fine job keeping intact the edgy, gritty qualities of Season One which made "Battlestar Galactica" popular with viewers. However, I still regard "Babylon 5" - especially from its second through fourth seasons - as the finest science fiction drama ever to air on television. "Babylon 5" series creator J. Michael Straczynski wove such a fascinating, elaborate web of drama and fascinating back-story, with ample religious connotations from Christianity and Buddhism, and discrete references to such science fiction and fantasy classics as "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Prisoner" television series, which has yet to be equalled by Ronald Moore and his crew. Still, I strongly recommend acquiring "Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.5" to those unfamiliar with this series, as well as loyal fans. You will be well rewarded with ten hours of gripping, intense drama that deserve recognition for being the finest currently airing on American television.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Not everyone watches the show when it airs, and if you're one of those people or if you'd just like to know what's on the discs, then this review is for you.
First, let me just say that I absolutely loved the finale. I also believe that the final half of season four was perhaps the strongest of the series (definitely the bleakest). This show had always been a drama with a scifi setting, and while some folks didn't like the fact that it became much more dialogue driven and less focused on action, I loved it. There are ten episodes (finale being a three-parter, but aired as two episodes, so you could say 11 episodes) spread across 3 discs. Here's a breakdown of the EXTRAS on each disc with my opinion of what's useful and what could have been airlocked.
"The Journey Ends: The Arrival" is a look back at the series with the cast and crew. Worth watching.
"What the Frak is Going On With Battlestar Galactica" is a quick 8-minute summary of the show through the first 3 seasons. It's concise and hilarious.
"A Disquiet Follows My Soul Unaired Extended Episode." Better than the broadcast version, and definitely the version I'd recommend.
"Evolution of a Cue" is a behind-the-scenes look at composer Bear McCreary's creation of music for a specific scene (with Roslin). It's incredibly detailed and if you're a fan of the music on BSG, I couldn't recommend this one enough. Actually, even if you're not a fan of the music it's still very interesting.
"David Eick's Video Blogs" is a collection of 11 3-5 minute video diaries with the cast and crew covering a range of topics. Some are funny and some are just fun to watch. Definitely worth watching.
"Islanded in a Stream of Stars Unaired Extended Episode." Much better than the broadcast version. I wasn't a huge fan of this episode when it originally aired, but this extended version definitely fleshes out the story a lot better and also fills in a few gaps.
"A Look Back" is another collection of videos(6) with the cast and crew. Not repetitive in the least, this is also well worth watching.
"...And They Have A Plan" is a quick 4-5 minute sneak peek at what the upcoming movie, "The Plan" is all about.
"The Musicians Behind Daybreak." Bear McCreary is again on-hand to discuss what went into creating the epic score for the finale. Even better, we're introduced to the various musicians (and their instruments) who have worked on the score from the very beginning. And once again, this one comes HIGHLY recommended.
"Daybreak Unaired Extended Episode." The finale the way it was meant to be seen. This contains all three parts, and along with extra scenes, it was also re-edited a bit. I highly recommend watching this and forgoing the broadcast version.
Across all discs you'll find deleted scenes (some are very interesting while some are just filler that should have been deleted, and they are presented in SD), audio and podcast commentaries (they're all worth a listen), along with U-Control. U-Control is an interactive feature that offers little facts about the show/characters which you can access as you watch an episode. Frankly, I found it completely useless. I haven't tried the BD-Live content as yet.
It should be noted that you should watch the entire series before watching any of the extras because they do contain massive spoilers.
There is, however, one glaring omission from this box-set: "The Face Of The Enemy" webisodes. While they are available elsewhere online, they should have been included in this set. They answer a question or two (from season 3) and greatly flesh out a certain character's motivations in these final episodes. I'd recommend finding and watching them before watching the episode, "The Oath." While this exclusion is noteworthy, the strength of the rest of the content in this set more than makes up for it. And perhaps we could see them available through BD-Live one day?
Visually, BSG looks gorgeous on Blu. You do notice the intentional grain a bit more at times, but colors pop and lines are well defined (CGI looks better as well). On the audio side, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is simply fantastic. Technically, this set is remarkable.
If you've come along for the ride this far, there's absolutely no reason to not pick up this final half-season to see how this story ends. However, as to be expected, the finale won't please everyone. Whether or not you like it, at least we were given a proper conclusion, which is a rarity in today's television landscape. They told the story they wanted to tell, and left it up to their audience to decide...and that's exactly what I did.
A wonderful conclusion to the best show to ever grace our television screens.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2006
This DVD set of Battlestar Galactica (the new series) encompasses the episodes 11-20 of the second season.
211 Resurrection Ship Pt. 1
212 Resurrection Ship Pt. 2
214 Black Market
217 The Captain's Hand
219 Lay Down Your Burdens Pt. 1
220 Lay Down Your Burdens Pt. 2
This DVD set has all my very favorite episodes on it. The two episodes that reveal more about the Cylons (Scar and Downloaded) are both phenomenal. In Scar, we learn more about the Cylon raiders, which are not funny-looking vipers piloted by Cylon pilots (like in the first series) but the ship itself is a space-dwelling AI robot/cyborg that is downloaded and reborn when it is destroyed just like the human-form Cylons. In Downloaded, we get to see occupied Caprica and into Cylon society. It's fascinating and tour de force world-building.
My favorite episodes, though, are Lay Down Your Burdens (1 and 2.) In these two climactic episodes, so much happens that changes the plotline so much. I was astonished. It always amazes me how incredible the writers are in this series that they progress the plot and allow the characters to change so much with every episode that the characters' arcs over the course of these first two seasons are huge. BSG is probably the best show on TV.
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel
229 of 281 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's hard to believe that things could get any worse for the 50,000 humans left alive in the universe. Last year, the 12 Colonies of Kobol were nearly blown away by the cylons, machines that resemble humans, nearly ran out of water and fuel, and had the two leaders somehow incapacitated. Commander William "Husker" Adama (Edward James Olmos) was shot by Junior Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (Grace Park), who turned out to be a cylon, while President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) was put in Galactica's brig for convincing Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) to defy Commander Adama. Starbuck is now on Caprica, stranded with Lt. Karl "Helo" Agathon (Tahmoh Penikett) after another copy of the Boomer cylon stole the ship that Starbuck used to get to the planet. Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber), the commander's son, is also under arrest for attempting to stage a mutiny with the president and pointed a gun at the head of the Executive Officer of Galactica, Col. Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan). Finally, Vice President Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis), Chief Gallen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas), Lt. "Crashdown" (Sam Witwer), and Specialist Cally (Nicki Clyne) are stranded on Kobol and are surrounded by cylon centurions. As I said, things start out bad, and they only get worse.
With the older Adama unconscious, Tigh is put in charge, and it is clear that he is no leader. He has an alcohol problem, an ambitious wife (Kate Vernon), and a surly attitude towards most people. Furthermore, his relationship with Apollo, who is the head pilot on Galactica, is obviously very strained now that Apollo put his gun to Tigh's head. In the first two episodes, Galactica gets seperated from the rest of the fleet, leaving the civilians defenseless, and a cylon raiding party boards the ship and attempts to take out the ship from within.
On Caprica, Starbuck and Helo try to find a way off the planet, only to run into a human resistance group that has been operating out of an old hospital. But they aren't the only ones that Starbuck finds; a frightening plot is uncovered by her when she encounters a group of cylons. Meanwhile, the people on Kobol are forced to fend for themselves while Galactica is busy trying to find the fleet and deal with Boomer. Number Six (Tricia Helfer) begins to get a firmer grip over Baltar's mind, and gets him to do more and more questionable deeds.
And that's all in the first few episodes. Unlike most shows, the problems presented at the end of Season 1 aren't solved in the first episode. Many of them are so deep that it requires multiple episodes to resolve certain characters' predicaments. I'm going to give a small spoiler by saying that eventually, everyone makes it back to Galactica, meaning that Helo is back on the ship for the first time since the Miniseries pilot. Of course, this creates only more trouble due to the bizarre love triangle that exists between Tyrol, Boomer, and Helo. Each man loved her, and in S1, they each got to know a different copy of the same model. Now, they both have a love/hate relationship with the copy remaining on Galactica. Further troubles come about through the paranoid actions of crew members (my favorite involving Specialist Cally), the introduction of 2 new human-form cylon models (bringing the total to 6, leaving 6 left to be uncovered), and the reappearance of political "activist" Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch, of the original Battlestar Galactica).
These 10 episodes further prove that a science fiction show can not only be good, but be amazing. It is a shame that this show is overlooked by many people as just a "sci-fi" show, but it is so much more. Most critics as well as the relatively large number of fans (for a show on a cable genre network, it sure does get good ratings) recognize that this is a compelling drama that just happens to take place in outer space. It deals with weighty subjects such as genocide, human flaws, paranoia, and religion.
This season retooled the opening theme a little bit. The music is now the chant used in Season 1 in the UK (instead of the march used last year in the US), and while most of the clips are still from the miniseries, there are a few from the previous year. For a while, the second part of the credits, which showed scenes from the episode set to a drum beat, was removed, only to be replaced halfway into the run (fortunately). The 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 week before.
It's hard to say which season is better (so far; this is only half of S2, which I'll get to soon). The 13 episodes of S1 were all great. In the first half of S2, there are no "bad" episodes per se, but there are some episodes that don't seem up to the usual quality that we expect from Battlestar Galactica (such as "Valley of Darkness"). However, the best episodes of the season (so far) have been absolutely amazing. "Scattered", "Home, Parts 1 and 2", and "Pegasus", which in my opinion is the best episode of the series so far, are sheer brilliance.
As for the whole "Season 2.0" thing, I am very upset about this. All the respect that I had for Universal for releasing the Miniseries with the S1 set evaporated when I learned that they were pulling this stunt. Due to the schedule of the Sci-Fi channel, they are releasing the first half of S2 before Christmas, and then when the season ends in March, they'll release the second half, thus forcing us to spend more money on these two sets than we would have to if it were one set. I really hope that they eventually release "The Complete Second Season", and I will hold off buying this until I get a definitive answer. If there isn't going to be a Complete S2 set, I will buy both sets (I will be a little ticked off, but I love BSG too much), but if they release a Complete S2 set, I would reccomend buying that one.
This is one of the best show's on TV right now. 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.