Tuesday, September 26

The future is now

Source: Lexington Herald

'Battlestar Galactica' is smart, complex and well-acted

It's on the Sci Fi Channel, but the science fiction is the least interesting thing about about Battlestar Galactica.

Take the addictive action drama, translate it from outer space to another setting -- such as the Middle Ages -- and it would be just as addictive. Putting it in the future does add an intriguing twist, however. It's a future where the last of humankind is on the run from their creations -- the Cylons, an artificial intelligence that has evolved to the point that some of them are nearly identical to people.

Diving into Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5, which comprises episodes 11 to 20, might not seem the place to start, but it makes sense to fans. Sci Fi usually airs the show in 10-episode segments.

Season two ended with the Cylons having conquered the remaining humans (about 50,000) who had settled on a habitable planet, while Galactica, the battle spaceship that had protected them, is hiding.

Season 2.5 tells how they got there, and season three, dubbed "The Resistance," begins Oct. 6 on television. You can watch Webisode teasers on it at www. scifi.com.

Besides strong storytelling that places emphasis on personal conflict, religious themes and questions of community over razzle-dazzle, Battlestar Galactica boasts an attractive cast. Edward James Olmos as Cmdr. William Adama, the leader of the military, is a real presence on screen, giving authority to the role. Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin and James Callis as Vice President Gaius Baltar, who has mixed loyalties because of his relationship with a Cylon spy (Tricia Helfer), are clever political adversaries.

And despite the dreary future that Galactica postulates, the show boasts plenty of eye candy, with Grace Park, Katee Sackoff and Kandyse McClure. The blond, seductive Helfer is the poster girl for fan sites. Fortunately, all of them can act. Galactica was a surprise at first, considering the creaky, silly TV series it springs from, but the new series is one of the best shows on TV.

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