Tuesday, November 27

'Galactica' special episode is backdrop for final season

Source: Chicago Tribune

On the run from the relentless Cylons, the Battlestar Galactica and its ragtag fleet, remnants of a multiplanet human civilization nearly eradicated in nuclear attacks, search through the vast reaches of space for a mythical world called Earth.

Twenty-two episodes from now, one way or the other, the search will end.

The march to the fourth-season -- and series -- finale of Sci Fi Channel's acclaimed drama "Battlestar Galactica" begins on Saturday, with "Battlestar Galactica: Razor," a two-hour episode that relates an untold tale from the series' back story and offers a tantalizing glimpse at future plot twists (hint: don't tune out early). The rest of the season is set to air beginning in early April 2008.

"It's been bittersweet for a while now," executive producer Ronald D. Moore says. "The set is very much having senior year, is what it feels like. It's been that way pretty much since we made the decision and told everybody. Now you're up there (on the sets in Vancouver, Canada), and people get starry-eyed on 'This is the last Thursday of production on episode four ...'

"It'll go on for a while, and it's genuine. I feel it, too. It's hard for me. It's hard for everybody. I think it's balanced by the fact that, especially among the cast and the writers, there's a tremendous amount of satisfaction of being able to bring the story to a conclusion and resolve a lot of things that we set up, and go out on our own terms."

Launched in late 2003 as a mini-series, Sci Fi Channel's reimagined version of the short-lived 1970s space opera "Battlestar Galactica" evolved into a weekly series and has become a favorite of regular viewers and the Hollywood entertainment elite.

Lauded for its bold storytelling, finely drawn characters and such relevant themes as war, survival, freedom and faith, "Battlestar" has chosen to go out on top. Part of the reason for this lies in the work history of Moore, who began his TV-writing career on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which aired seven seasons in first-run syndication.

"If you asked us all, to a man, on the writing staff (of that show)," Moore says, "we felt the sixth season was our best. We felt really good about it. We had pushed things, tried different stuff, and we felt really good. Then our seventh season, the last one, was very unsatisfying. ... We were just tired. The show was tired. We all felt, one year too many."

If "Razor" is any indication, the fourth season of "Battlestar" maintains the show's tradition of tackling tough subjects. It flashes back to fighter pilot Lee Adama's (Jamie Bamber) first mission as commander of the Battlestar Pegasus, which also survived the original Cylon attack on the human Colonies, but suffered a far different fate from Galactica. Accompanying him is fellow pilot and on-and-off lover Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), whose destiny is intertwined with that of the human survivors.

The story within this story is another flashback, looking at how the Pegasus' original commander, Adm. Helena Cain (Michelle Forbes), saved her ship, as seen through the eyes of ambitious young officer Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen).

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