CAT | BSG Marathon
You Can’t Go Home Again
Synopsis: During the last attack Starbuck’s Viper was heavily damaged and she had to eject in the atmosphere of a small moon. But she also shot down the Raider that shot her down and it crashed on a near-by site. The problem is that she has no means of communication, Galactica does not know where to look for her and she’s running out of oxygen in 46 hours. Luckily for her, Adama is not willing to leave her behind.
My Opinion: I love this episode because it showed perfectly the triumvirate Adama²-Starbuck who would do anything for one another and once again Starbuck was awesome. Could you be more cool than return home with a commandeered enemy ship even when you stink like a latrine? But I also liked how the Cylons on Caprica (especially Caprica-Eight) manipulate Helo. Their scheming shows how human they really are.
Synopsis: It is not yet publicly known that Cylons can look like Humans and another Number Five (looks like the reporter Aaron Doral) walks into Galactica and kills himself in a suicide bombing after he was cornered. Adama orders an investigation on how Doral got his hands on explosives and a detonator and the Master-at-Arms discovers that Chief Tyrol is lying about his wherabouts during the time of the bombing which makes him a suspect of treason.
My Opinion: Now the secret is out. This episode reminded me of Star Trek TNG’s The Drumhead which also featured a witch hunt but here it wasn’t fully believable. Yes she may be the Master-at-Arms and Adama gave her command authorization but she went over the line too quickly for someone who isn’t used to boss Commanders around.
Six Degrees of Separation
Synopsis: Another Number Six copy with the name Shelly Godfrey comes aboard Galactica and claims that she has evidence that connects Dr. Baltar to the failure of the colonial defences and that in fact he planted a bomb in the defence computer system. Baltar finds this outrageous (he didn’t plant a bomb after all, he just unknowingly slept with the enemy) but he can’t tell anybody that Shelly is a Cylon (Why would he know that?).
My Opinion: Baltar and Head-Six, what a lovely pair. It was such a great scene when Baltar was in CIC and was introduced to Shelly and he searched for her, totally ignoring the woman standing in front of him – assuming that this was his imaginary Six. I like Head-Six scenes in general because she gets him in awkward situations where he has to simultaneously* talk to her and the other (real) person in the room. And once again he managed to wind himself out of a tight spot. Even if he isn’t a real villain like the classic Baltar, he’s my favourite villain on the show.
* I wonder if I will ever write that word correctly, spellchecker has to correct me every time…
Synopsis: The Cylons somehow always know the position of the fleet and follows it mercilessly. 33 minutes after the fleet has arrived at the new jump coordinates a Cylon fleet arrives also and starts to attack. The fleet has just commenced its 237th jump and the pilots and the crew of the Galactica have been awake for more than 5 days straight without relieve or pause. They have to put an end to this or they will make one final, deadly mistake.
Meanwhile another Number Eight (numerical designation of human copies that look like Boomer) pretends to have come back to Caprica to get Karl “Helo” Agathon out of there.
My Opinion: This was a great start to the show because you are thrown right in. One doesn’t know how much time lay between their jump over the “red line” and the first time the Cylons found them again but it can’t have been much. And then we see them already 5 days into this 33 minutes rhythm, all exhausted and on duty for over 130 hours and no hope of release except death. It was only the first of many hard situations to come but it showed directly that this won’t be an easy journey.
Synopsis: When Boomer (a Cylon who doesn’t know she is one) regains consciousness she finds herself soaking wet and she also has a plastic explosive plus a detonator in her hands. When she secretly brings it back she discovers that 6 more are missing from an arms locker. Soon after a huge explosion erupts in Galactica and 60% of the water tanks are emptied into space. If the fleet doesn’t find a new water source it won’t survive.
My Opinion: This was also a good episode, I liked it how Boomer struggled with herself, how she tried to override her Cylon programming without even knowing that it’s there. I also liked it how both Adama and Roslin didn’t really like the ceremonial pomp but both did it to make the other one feel better. I also took notice of Alex “Crashdown” Quartararo for the first time, because now I know his actor Sam Witwer from the eight season of Smallville.
Synopsis: They have found water, but in its liquid form it is to salty to be used, but there are also huge masses of frozen fresh water. It will be hard and dangerous work to mine that water and Apollo offers freedom points for the men on the prison ship if they are willing to help. But the prisoners stand united behind former terrorist Tom Zarek who uses the situation to take hostages and demands elections.
My Opinion: While I liked to see the classic BSG alumni Richard Hatch (Apollo in classic BSG), I never cared much for Tom Zarek or his “mission”. At no time this character was somehow likeable, he’s simply a bad guy who happens to be human. This was also the first episode that Starbuck becomes an all-purpose Swiss knife (Is that a pleonasm?) because otherwise there would be no reason why she would lead the marines to rescue the hostages and it’s also her who carries the sniper rifle. But I am not mad about this, because it gives her more screen time.
But I really love this quote from Adama: “There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”
Act of Contrition
Synopsis: An accident on the landing deck occurs which kills twelve Viper pilots and injures seven more. Adama gives Starbuck the task of training pilots to become Viper pilots since Starbuck had been an instructor before the war. What Adama doesn’t know is that Starbuck passed Adama’s son Zek in basic flight even though he should have failed because she was engaged to him. Soon after he died in his plane.
My Opinion: Another thing I like about this show: Past events are rarely forgotten, no pushing of the reset button after the episode has ended. And also the occasional flashback to a pre-war Caprica. This episode also introduces two new pilots: Brendan “Hot Dog” Costanza and Louanne “Kat” Katraine and the latter one will become a worthy challenger of Starbuck’s and she will call Starbuck out when no one else dares to. Starbuck needs that on occasion and that’s why I like Kat.
Synopsis: Many years ago the Humans in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol build themselves advanced machines that would work for them. But these machines developed and one day they began a war against their masters.
40 years has it been since the war has ended and the Cylons disappeared. Now they are back and they want the total annihilation of mankind. They have hacked into colonial defences and disabled it. The attack comes swift and deadly. Only a handful of ships under the lead of the Battlestar Galactica survives this holocaust. Now they want to find the mystical thirteenth colony of Kobol: Earth.
My Opinion: When I heard that there would be a new Battlestar Galactica series, I was excited. This series is nothing like the old one except for the basic story. Some of the characters have changed gender and/or skin colour, their names have become call signs and Adama is no longer the lone leader of the fleet. He’s now a military commander who was about to retire. The role of the civilian leader was taken by President Laura Roslin who is a counterpoise to Adama. Also, the characters aren’t so upright anymore: Lee “Apollo” Adama dislikes his father because of what happened to his brother, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace hits “superior assholes” once in a while, Colonel Tigh is a drunk, Baltar is the egocentric scientist who inadvertently let the Cylons into the defence mainframe and Sharon “Boomer” Valerii is a Cylon sleeper agent. Ah yes: And some Cylons look like Humans now. Of these 12 human models we know 4 so far.
What I like about this mini-series and the following series was that they didn’t overdo the Sci-Fi elements. When they use FX it looks great but they decided to don’t make everything futuristic. The interior and the normal stuff looks pretty much normal. No fancy laser pistols, no communicators, no spacy music instruments.
Categories: BSG Marathon, DVD / Blu-ray, DVD Marathon
Tags: Apollo · Baltar · Battlestar Galactica · Boomer · Caprica-Six · Cylon · Gaius Baltar · Helo · Kara Thrace · Karl Agathon · Laura Roslin · Lee Adama · Saul Tigh · Sharon Valerii · Starbuck · William Adama
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Galactica Discovers Earth
Synopsis: After many yahren, the Galactica has finally discovered Earth. But Earth isn’t the save heaven they had hoped for. They are technologically inferior and wouldn’t survive a Cylon attack. Adama decides to send small teams down there to speed up Earth’s development while he leads the fleet away from Earth since they are still followed by the Cylons. Troy (who was called Boxey when he was a child) and Dillon are being send to a country called “United States of America” where they want to meet with a leading nuclear scientist. And the local TV reporter Jamie Hamilton becomes their “tour guide”.
My Opinion: And once again Los Angeles was destroyed by aliens – even though it was only a simulation. I liked this first episode of the series, it showed promise. To bad the bridge sets seemed to be destroyed. The new bridge looked far inferior to the old one, but I liked to see Colonel Boomer again. I had forgotten that another recurring character (besides Adama) from the old show reappeared in this show. I also like the new two-seated Vipers because I like Jamie and that gives her the chance to ride along.
Galactica Discovers Earth, Part II
Synopsis: Troy and Dillon have been ordered back to the Galactica and they brought Jamie along (they didn’t have much choice). Dr. Xaviar has travelled back in time to advance Earth’s development in th past. He’s gone into the year 1944 and to Peenemünde in Nazi-Germany. He’s helping to develop the V2 and must be stopped. Troy, Dillon and Jamie follow him there.
My Opinion: The whole plot doesn’t make much sense. Even if he could change the past, 36 years are clearly not enough to catapult Earth’s technology forward in a way that it would be of any use in 1980. And even though the Nazis were the most advanced in regards to rocket science at this point in time I think it’s very unlikely that the “Master Race” would be very open-minded towards a truly superior alien race.
Galactica Discovers Earth, Part III
Synopsis: Troy and Dillon can successfully sabotage the start of the V2 and it explodes shortly after launch. Xaviar is accused of being a spy and gets arrested but can escape, returns to his Viper and travels back to his own time. Jamie, Dillon and Troy follow him but lose his trail. After they successfully returned Jamie to California a new problem arises: The cloaking field has deactivated and made the Vipers visible. They are now in the hand of the US military and they need to get them back.
My Opinion: Even if the V2 test had worked (btw: the V2 tests started in 1942, in 1944 they were already mass-produced in slave labour), one year later a nuclear bomb over Europe would have still ended the war.
Also: They won’t kill german soldiers because that would change the future but they free an entire train of Jews who were about to be brought to Auschwitz. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t critizise the break-out but then they might as well shoot the Germans.
The Super Scouts
Synopsis: After the Cylons have attacked and destroyed the fleet’s school ship, Dillon and Troy have to evacuate 12 of the children down to Earth. There they disguise themselves as boy (and girl) scouts. Due to the higher gravity and the denser atmosphere in the fleet the children are stronger and faster as normal children of Earth. But that doesn’t protect them from Earth’s diseases and especially not from water that is poisoned by a chemical plant.
My Opinion: C’mon, gimme a break! Kids that jump 30 foot high? How high can Troy and Dillon jump? The Empire States Building? It’s always a good idea to critizise how we treat our environment, but to shift the focus in a Sci-Fi show from their main protagonists to a bunch of kids who (of course) do childish things isn’t a good idea.
The Super Scouts, Part II
Synopsis: Troy and Dillon have to care for three of their children who are very ill. But that’s not their only problem. The military is after them because they detected the landing of the shuttle. The police is after them because they are accused of bank robbery. And the local workers are after them because they threaten the chemical plant.
My Opinion: And now a real “flying saucer”, too. This ship looks nothing like a ship from the colonies. Why would they use such a design? No, these two episodes didn’t work for me at all.
Saga of a Star World
Synopsis: For a thousand yahren the war with the Cylons has lasted. The Cylons are machines and their creators – the original race called “Cylons” – have died out long ago. But now an armistice was negotiated by Baltar and the fleet of the Twelve Colonies of Man meets with the Cylons to sign a peace treaty. But Baltar has betrayed his own species to seize power and the Cylons launch a large-scale attack on the colonial fleets and the colonies. Only one Battlestar – the Galactica – and a few refugees survive that holocaust. But there’s a myth about a thirteenth colony of Kobol. Commander Adama and his fleet of 220 ships leave the colonies behind to find that legendary colony: Earth. But it won’t be an easy journey and there are still those who believe that mankind should lay down its weapons and seek peace with the Cylons.
My Opinion: The show begins with an epic three-parter which was re-cut and re-published as a movie. The designs of that show are still great. The Galactica, the Cylons (“walking chrome toasters”), the Cylon Raiders, the Basestars. Although the deception of mankind and the destruction of the fleet was a bit too easy, it was a decent start for the story and it showed that Adama is an astute commander and that he has the best pilots in the fleet. I also liked their sense of humour: One of the ships had an advertisement printed on the side: “Colonial Movers – We Move Anywhere”. The characters are also good. They may not have the depth of nowadays’s characters, but they have charm: Adama, Apollo, Starbuck, Athena, Cassiopeia, Serina, … and of course the diabolical Baltar.
Lost Planet of the Gods
Synopsis: Starbuck and Apollo detect a vast electromagnetic void on one of their patrols. Once inside it, there are no more stars, no more anything. But Galactica hasn’t much choice because Jolly and Boomer have detected a cylon outpost on their patrol. And there’s another problem: Jolly and Boomer have brought some kind of disease with them and they have infected most of the fighter pilots during Apollo’s bachelor party. Now the shuttle pilots have to learn how to fly a Viper. Amongst them: Athena and Serina, Apollo’s fiancé.
My Opinion: It sounds a bit harsh but it would have been more realistic if they had killed at least one of the cadets. They’re sitting in a Viper for the first time and yet they destroy an antire squadron of Cylon Raiders. But I really liked it that they made no (verbal) issue about them being woman, just rookies. But one could see that Starbuck and Apollo felt a bit uncomfortable because “things had changed”.
This evening the first part of the great finale of Battlestar Galactica airs in the US. And I thought this would be the ideal moment to re-watch the entire saga again, starting with 1978’s Battlestar Galactica, continuing with Galactica 1980 and then finishing with the re-imagined series from 2003.