Wednesday, October 25

'Galactica' Is Edgier Than Ever Before

Source: SyFy Portal

The following review contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the fourth episode of the third season of "Battlestar Galactica."

With a breathtaking and completely astounding space-battle and what has to be the most emotionally packed hour of television yet, the Galactica and the civilian fleet have taken flight once again, continuing their search for the thirteenth tribe of planet Earth.

After watching the second part of "Exodus," it's hard to believe that this series has any connection at all to its 1970's predecessor. Exchanging camp-looking tights and bad hair cuts for intense drama and what has to be the most talented cast on television, the new "Battlestar Galactica" is now a force to be reckoned with by proving just how good science fiction can be.

That is exactly the point I have been trying to make to a friend of mine all summer, and over the last few months I was been able to share the series with him thanks to the DVD releases. But although he hasn't been able to watch all of the episodes, he did manage to see the important ones that build on the larger story in time for the launch of the third season.

This is the first time he has been able to sit down and watch the story unfold an episode at the time and he can't believe what he's been missing for the last two years. So when I asked him what he thought of "Exodus," I wasn't at all surprised with his response. "Beyond spectacular," he said. "The Pegasus taking out three Cylon ships is the best damn thing I've seen this year."

I couldn't have said it better myself. But for me, the greatest moment is not the dramatic destruction of the Pegasus. Instead, picture this: Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) and his fellow resisters are pinned down, Cylon raiders are everywhere with Centurions tearing through the settlement, and there is virtually no hope of turning the tide on the ground assault. Enter the Battlestar Galactica in free-fall launching every viper it has before it hits the ground. The special effects were groundbreaking, the directing absolutely tremendous and the ensuing battle the most gripping the series has produced.

From that moment, right through the epic battle that claimed the life of Pegasus I had goose bumps. Everyone outdone themselves on "Exodus," but there is someone who deserves a special mention. With so much attention falling on Ronald D. Moore for re-imagining the series, the writers for their constant innovative scripting and the actors for bringing this show to life, I consider him something of an unsung hero: Bear McCreary. McCreary's score for this episode is perhaps the best he's devised, with each note striking a chord with the unfolding action.

His score was particularly potent during Colonel Tigh's (Michael Hogan) tough decision and also his homecoming aboard Galactica's flight deck. Tigh now has very humanizing influence on the series as the leader for the human resistance on New Caprica, and normally such a role will bring about the utmost respect and admiration. But after watching him eliminate the traitor to the resistance, you can't help but feel a deep pang of sorrow for the old man. The woman he loves, traitor though she was, is dead, and he is only half the man he was yesterday. Not even the momentous victory over the Cylons gives him cause for celebration ... to Saul, this victory tastes just as bitter as defeat.

Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) is also dealt a similar blow as she learns that her half Cylon child, the daughter she worked so hard to love, turns out to be a lie perpetrated by the Cylons for their own twisted plans.

So although the fleet has returned to space in search of their home and despite the overwhelming sense of optimism at the very end, the series will be living with the consequences of what happened on New Caprica for a long while to come.

"Battlestar Galactica" stars Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff and Jamie Bamber. "Exodus, Part 2" was written by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle and directed by Felix Alcala.

by Alan Stanley Blair
October 24 2006

Newshound: SciFi

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