|Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0 (2005)
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer,
The modern-day reinvention of “Battlestar Galactica” has come out of nowhere to become one of the best shows on TV. Someone once described it as “The West Wing” in space and, although it isn’t as witty as the political show, it is still an apt comparison. The series storyline involves a group of humans fleeing from their home worlds after being attacked by the Cylons, a robotic race that was initially created by humans. The ragtag band is looking for safety on Earth, but they’re not exactly sure where it is or if it even exists. To make matters worse, some of the Cylons look like humans, which makes espionage – and the twists and turns that go with it – a big part of the series.
Keep in mind that this isn’t your father’s sci-fi. Creator Ronald Moore’s (“Star Trek: TNG,” “Roswell”) mission statement for the series is all about realism. This means real problems, tough decisions, and most of the time the main players don’t feel all that good about what they did by the end of the episode. Everything about the show is gritty – the storylines, the cinematography, the special effects – everything.
The series is now in the midst of their second season and the first ten episodes of this season (referred to as “2.0”) are now available on DVD. If you haven’t seen the show, be sure to check out our review of the first season and watch it before reading the rest of this review. It’s better not to ruin the surprises.
Season two picks up right where season one left off - Commander Adama (played brilliantly by the stoic Edwards James Olmos) was just shot by the Cylon infiltrator, Boomer (Grace Park). The first few episodes follow Adama’s second in command, Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan), as he deals with the responsibilities of leading Galactica during this crisis, while President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) must escape prison and attempt to regain political power within the fleet. Over the course of the season, we learn more about Dr. Baltar (James Callis) and the reasons why he continues to have visions of the beautiful Cylon, Number Six (played former Victoria’s Secret model, Tricia Helfer).
Moore does a great job keeping the story moving from episode to episode, utilizing both capsulated plots and compelling season-long storylines. The ensemble cast has fully settled into their roles, and the acting has improved dramatically from the first season. This is especially true for the younger actors that don’t have as much experience as the two recognizable veterans of the show, Olmos and McDonnell.
As bonus features, the three-disc set includes deleted scenes and podcast commentaries from Moore, who goes into detail about the different decisions he and the crew made during the filming of each episode. It’s this attention to detail that makes the show so strong and keeps its fan base growing. This is the first period in years that there isn’t a Star Trek series on the air and surely there are sci-fi fans out there dying for something to watch. “Battlestar Galactica” not only provides that fix, but it improves on the genre as a whole. In many ways, it actually transcends the genre; it’s just good television.