|Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 (2006)
Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer
Good sci-fi television is alive and well in the form of “Battlestar Galactica,” a re-imagining of the original ‘70s series. Creator Ronald Moore built the show on a solid premise: the human race is on the run after being attacked by their own invention – a robotic race of beings known as the Cylons. The Cylons fled the human worlds long ago, evolved (some of the Cylons can take human form), and now they’re back to conquer their former masters. The humans continue to evade capture in the hopes of finding the mystical thirteenth human colony, Earth. The third season begins in early October on the Sci-Fi channel, but Season 1, Season 2.0 and now Season 2.5 are available on DVD. Newbies that want to catch up should definitely read those reviews before reading on, as there are so many twists and turns in the series that it’s best not to spoil the surprises.
The Season 2.5 DVD set includes an extended version of the Season 2.0 cliffhanger, “Pegasus,” where two human ships are on the verge of war with each other. Once this issue is resolved, the health of President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) worsens in “Epiphanies,” and Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) is forced to prepare for life without her. Throughout the first two seasons, the two characters have formed a good working relationship and electing a new President might throw the fleet into chaos. Roslin’s life is eventually saved by the suspected Cylon collaborator, Dr. Baltar (James Callis), who later takes the advice of Cylon Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and runs for President. As the campaign proceeds, we are treated to a glimpse of life on occupied Caprica (one of the human’s home worlds), where two of the Cylons that are able to take human form are reborn into new bodies. They have trouble adapting to their new surroundings and their decisions have a major impact on the humans. As the season winds down, the fleet is faced with a big decision – do they settle on an inhospitable but livable planet that the Cylons are unlikely to find, or do they continue their search for Earth? The Presidential election and the future of the fleet will depend on that choice.
Each of the episodes comes with a podcast commentary from Moore, and several deleted scenes are also included. Producer David Eick hosts a series of video blogs, which cover a production meeting, a script read thru, a tour of the Pegasus, green screen technology and footage of a “tone” meeting, where Eick listens to any issues that the cast members have with their character’s dialogue or actions. There is also a hilarious video blog in which Katee Sackhoff (who plays Kara Thrace) and David Eick facetiously argue about what they’re going to do with their lovechild. Eick tries to continue with the video blog, but Sackhoff and Jamie Bamber (who plays Lee Adama) insist on giving him a hard time.Fans of sci-fi (or of good television) should consider catching up with “Battlestar Galactica.” The realism and attention to detail is fantastic, while the writing and the acting are consistently solid. This isn’t your father’s sci-fi – it’s better.