Battlestar Galactica – Season One

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Edward James Olmos as Commander William Adama “Husker”
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Lt. Kara Thrace “Starbuck”
Jamie Bamber as Captain Lee Adama “Apollo”
James Callis as Doctor/Vice President Gaius Baltar
Tricia Helfer as Number Six
Grace Park as Lt. Sharon Valerii “Boomer”
Tahmoh Penikett as Lt. Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon
Michael Hogan as Col. Saul Tigh / Colonel Saul Tigh
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol
Kandyse McClure as Petty Officer 2nd Class Anastasia Dualla
Paul Campbell as Billy Keikeya

Special Features:
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

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 12 Hours 36 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the description from the DVD cover:

“With the 12 colonies of man virtually destroyed in the climax of a hundred-year war with the Cylon Empire, President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) gather up the few humans left and embark on a journey to find the mythical planet Earth, not realizing that the Cylon robot is no longer a recognizable enemy. Battlestar Galactica is a complete re-imagining of the 1970s series – upping the ante on the action, adventure, and drama that made the original so popular. Now, experience all 13 thrilling episodes of Season 1 and the four hour TV miniseries that started it all in this 5 disc DVD set loaded with explosive bonus features and presented in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.”

Battlestar Galactica – Season One is not rated.

The Series:
After having reviewed the Battlestar Galactica Mini-Series, I decided to check out the first season of the show as it aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. I was hooked from the first episode. I’ve now watched every episode from the first and second seasons. It’s one of the two TV shows that I follow regularly (the other is Lost).

The series takes a lot of the high points from the mini-series and expands on them. Baltar continues to have his hilarious and creepy visions of the Cylon Number 6. The Cylon version of Boomer appears on Caprica and starts pulling Helo’s strings. Revelations are made about Starbuck’s history with Adama’s son. Adama and President Roslin continue to butt heads. The surviving humans also continue on their quest to find Earth. The entire series is filled with action, intrigue, drama, romance, humor, and mystery. It’s everything you could want in a TV series. The season concludes with a cliffhanger that will leave you eager to see the second season.

One of the good things about Battlestar Galactica moving beyond the mini-series is that it lets the actors continue to grow and establish the characters as their own rather than new versions of the characters from the original series. Nobody cares anymore than Boomer is a female Asian Cylon. Nobody cares anymore that Starbuck is also female. Nobody really cares that the kid Boxie has disappeared and is nowhere to be seen. In fact, there’s little of the show that resembles the original Battlestar Galactica besides the concept, the character names, and the ships. This re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica is significantly better than the original.

All of the cast from the mini-series return in fine form. Edward James Olmos continues to be tough and somber as Commander William Adama. Mary McDonnell is thoughtful and honorable as President Laura Roslin. I didn’t care for Katee Sackhoff in the mini-series as Lt. Kara Thrace “Starbuck”, but she’s grown on me as the series progressed. The British Jamie Bamber continues to impress as Captain Lee Adama “Apollo”. James Callis continues to steal the show and provide much of the humor as Gaius Baltar. Tricia Helfer makes a sexy and intimidating partner for him as Number Six. Then there’s Grace Park as Lt. Sharon Valerii “Boomer”. She provides much of the mystery and drama on the show as the hidden traitor. Also look for a noteworthy cameo by the original BSG Apollo Richard Hatch. He plays a revolutionary leader in multiple episodes and causes strife among our survivors.

The mini-series had an impressive number of special effects shots and battle scenes in it. Unfortunately, the series provides fewer space battles and more character drama. That’s not a bad thing, but I would love to see more epic battles on the show.

If you missed the mini-series and the first season and you want to see what all the hype is about, this is the perfect opportunity for you to jump on board. (It’s great to see that they included the mini-series on this DVD, too.) If you’re a fan of sci-fi or large ensemble character dramas, then this show will certainly please you.

The Extras:
There are a lot of bonus features included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Commentaries – There are quite a few commentaries included on this DVD set. You can find them on the pilot, “Bastille Day”, “Act of Contrition”, “You Can’t Go Home Again”, “Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down”, “The Hand of God”, “Colonial Day”, and “Kobol’s Last Gleaming: Part 1″. While it’s great to hear comments by the directors and executive producers, it would have been more fun if some of the actors had taken part in some of the discussion.

Behind The Scenes Featurettes – There are 8 behind the scenes featurettes included on the DVD. ‘From Miniseries to Series’ discusses the transition from the mini-series to the regular series. They discuss where the story is going and how the characters will change. ‘Change is Good’ discusses the changes made from the original series such as the ship designs, character sexes, stories, and more. ‘Now They’re Babes’ takes that theme a step further by highlighting the women on the show. They talk to Starbuck, Boomer, and Number Six. ‘The Cylon Centurion’ highlights the robots on the series and the CG effects used to create them. ‘The Doctor Is Out (Of His Mind)’ features Dr. Baltar and his dysfunctional relationship with Number Six. They discuss the challenges of filming their scenes where she only appears in his mind. ‘Future/Past Technology’ talks about the props and ships on the show while ‘Production’ highlights the sets. ‘Visual Effects’ talks about the spaceship effects while ‘Epilogue’ wraps everything up. All together it’s a fantastic look at the making of the series.

Deleted Scenes – There are deleted scenes from every episode of the series. When you total them all up it’s almost an hour of extra footage. I found one of the most notable deletions to be the removal of all the scenes of the kid Boxie from the first episode. He’s shown to be a bit of a punk and a thief, so I can’t say I’m sad to see him go.

Battlestar Galactica Series Lowdown – This looks like it was a special that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. There are interviews with all the cast and crew. It’s fun to see Mary McDonnell clown around with Edward James Olmos. It’s also extremely odd to hear Jamie Bamber speak in his normal British accent alongside James Callis. Tricia Helfer also looks incredibly different and she comes across as extremely nice when she’s not vamped up as Number Six. One of the highlights is when they answer e-mail questions from fans of the series. This ends up being a really fun bonus feature.

The Bottom Line:
With fans of Star Wars and Star Trek trying to figure out what to watch next, Battlestar Galactica comes along at just the right time and is poised to please fans of both franchises. It features colorful characters, poignant political commentary, action, adventure, and an intriguing story. It’s well worth checking out.

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