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|Battlestar Galactica - Season One (2004)
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 316 reviews)
Sales Rank: 78
Actors: Edward James Olmos, Mary Mcdonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park
Publisher: Universal Studios
Studio: Universal Studios
Brand: Universal Studios
Label: Universal Studios
Format: Box Set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, Ntsc
Language: English (Original Language)
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Running Time: 756 minutes
Number Of Items: 5
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.9
Dimensions (in): 7.6 x 5.4 x 1.5
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: January 14, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Battlestar Galactica's Edward James Olmos wasn't kidding when he said "the series is even better than the miniseries." As developed by sci-fi TV veteran Ronald D. Moore, the "reimagined" BG is exactly what it claims to be: a drama for grown-ups in a science-fiction setting. The mature intelligence of the series is its greatest asset, from the tenuous respect between Galactica's militarily principled commander Adama (Olmos) and politically astute President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) to the barely suppressed passion between ace Viper pilot "Apollo" (a.k.a. Adama's son Lee, played by Jamie Bamber) and the brashly insubordinate Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff), whose multifaceted character is just one of many first-season highlights. Picking up where the miniseries ended (it's included here, sparing the need for separate purchase), season 1 opens with the riveting, Hugo Award-winning episode "33," in which Galactica and the "ragtag fleet" of colonial survivors begin their quest for the legendary 13th colony planet Earth, while being pursued with clockwork regularity by the Cylons, who've now occupied the colonial planet of Caprica. The fleet's hard-fought survival forms (1) the primary side of the series' three-part structure, shared with (2) the apparent psychosis of Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) whose every thought and move are monitored by various incarnations Number Six (Tricia Helfer), the seemingly omniscient Cylon ultravixen who follows a master plan somehow connected to (3) the Caprican survival ordeal of crash-landed pilots "Helo" (Tahmoh Penikett) and soon-to-be-pregnant "Boomer" (Grace Park), whose simultaneous presence on Galactica is further evidence that 12 multicopied models of Cylons, in human form, are gathering their forces.
With remarkably consistent quality, each of these 13 episodes deepens the dynamics of these fascinating characters and suspenseful situations. While BG relies on finely nuanced performances, solid direction, and satisfying personal and political drama to build its strong emotional foundation, the action/adventure elements are equally impressive, especially in "The Hand of God," a pivotal episode in which the show's dazzling visual effects get a particularly impressive showcase. Original BG series star Richard Hatch appears in two politically charged episodes (he's a better actor now, too), and with the threat of civil war among the fleet, season 1 ends with an exceptional cliffhanger that's totally unexpected while connecting the plot threads of all preceding episodes. To the credit of everyone involved, this is frackin' good television.
The fifth disc in Battlestar Galactica's season 1 set is highlighted by eight comprehensive featurettes covering all aspects of the series, from its miniseries origins to standard surveys of production design, visual effects, and particulars of plot and character. For hardcore fans and anyone interested in TV production, nine out of 13 episodes, plus the disc 1 miniseries, are accompanied by intelligent and informative commentary originally provided as BG website podcasts, mostly by series developer and writer Ronald D. Moore, who provides tantalizing clues about developments in season 2. The "Series Lowdown" is a cast-and-crew promotional program originally broadcast to attract SciFi Channel viewers who were initially reluctant to embrace a "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica. The strategy worked: First-season ratings left no doubt that the new BG was as good as--and in many ways better than--the original. --Jeff Shannon
With the 12 colonies of man virtually destroyed in the climax of a hundred-year war with the Cylon Empire, President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) gather up the few humans left and embark on a journey to find the mythical planet Earth, not realizing that the Cylon robot is no longer a recognizable enemy. Battlestar Galactica is a complete re-imagining of the 1970s series - upping the ante on the action, adventure, and drama that made the original so popular. Now, experience all 13 thrilling episodes of Season 1 and the four hour TV miniseries that started it all in this 5 disc DVD set loaded with explosive bonus features and presented in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.
Customer Reviews: Read 311 more reviews...
Exciting! July 26, 2006
1 out of 2 found this review helpful
What a great, smart, and clever series! Love it all the way. Nothing is predictable. That is so rare to find these days. Usually have to watch more than one episode, cause I have to know what happens next.
Could be one of the best sci-fi series of all time July 26, 2006
0 out of 1 found this review helpful
I am a huge fan of the original Battlestar Galactica (see my review), but I have to tell you that this re-invention of the series is nearly as good as science fiction gets.
If you want state-of-the-art flying/combat sequences, realistic drama, and realistic characters then this could be the series for you. It really doesn't matter if you don't like science fiction. Space is simply the back-drop. The power of the show is in its story and characters.
I've said it time and time again, a show is as good as its writing. I don't care how good the actors are, if the story is weak, then the rest simply doesn't matter. And here, the stories are strong and fresh.
The old Battlestar Galactica was set further in the future, in some ways. The fighters had lasers as well as the hand-weapons. The battlestar itself looked more futuristic. But here, the vipers fire bullets as do the hand-weapons. In a lot of ways this gives the audience something that is more relatable.
Star Wars was a series with an outline on the spiritual which is evident in the Jedi. It is set in the far future with technology to match. Star Trek is a series about exploration, not only of the stars, but of oneself. The original Battlestar Galactica harbored a sort of mystical/mythological quality to it. This new Battlestar Galactica is able to put realism in science fiction. And it does this better than anything else to date. This is why the new Battlestar Galactica, even though it uses the original series as a template, is revolutionizing the way science fiction is done.
Where the technology in the Star Wars and Star Trek universes bordered on the mind-blowing (transporters, lightsabers, phasers, photon torpedoes, ion cannons, etc.) the science in Battlestar is sound. The writers make sure that it is something that can be done before they incorporate it into the series. For the first time ever, we see ships fly in space the way they WOULD fly. Vipers using thrusters to make hard turns, move up and down, and use all dimensions of space indicates this.
I like this new series also because they have made the new Battlestar Galactica their own. Thankfully, they didn't try to copy the original. The writers and Ronald Moore obviously understand that each show depends on the period of time in which is was shown. Therefore, what is the point in copying it?
The characters here are terrific. Edward James Olmos is fantastic is Commander William Adama. Adama has an edge to him. Don't expect the grandfatherly approach that you may have been used to seeing from Lorne Greene. This Adama doesn't take anything from anyone. He's clearly in charge. The Galactica is a military ship, and he isn't afraid to push is authority, even in the face of President Roslin.
Jamie Bamber is a good Captain Apollo. The original Apollo (Richard Hatch) could come across a bit too preachy sometimes. Captain Apollo here is a young man who has a tough relationship with Adama. He's put in a difficult position as a liaison between Adama and Roslin. He is also unaware of how he really feels about Starbuck. He's tough but principled. Apollo, much like the original portrayal, is about doing the right thing.
Katee Sackhoff has the most controversial role of anyone in the series aside from possibly Grace Park as Boomer. The creators decided to make Starbuck a woman. Why not? Isn't it feasible that women would be serving in this capacity in a future civilization? And Sackhoff is right: nobody can duplicate Dirk Benedict's performance, so why try? Instead she's made Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace her own. And she's simply wonderful. Here, it's clear she's the best pilot by far. In the original series, it was never so cut-and-dry. "She's the best I've ever seen," Adama says. She's tempermental and a bit of a rogue. She doesn't get along with Colonel Tigh at all, and she has a history with Zac, Apollo's younger brother who was killed. Starbuck is brilliant as a tactician as well.
One of my favorites is James Callis as the brilliant Dr. Gaius Baltar. Baltar isn't the evil character from the original. He's a man who is obsessed with satisfying his own needs and desires, and he'll do anything to get them. He isn't evil. He's troubled. He's constantly plagued by the hallucinary form of the Cylon known as "Number Six" (Tricia Helfer) who more or less steers his conscience. Callis give Baltar a likeable charm and makes it apparent as to why he's so likeable among the Galactica crew.
Grace Park is great as Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valeri. This was controversial because she's a woman as well. Even more controversial is that she's a Cylon. And yet this twist gives the show some real flavor! The Galactica is in more trouble than people think as they have to deal with Cylons looking and acting like real humans! They have to be on the look out for sabotages, and the real surprise comes in the last episode of this season that will have to running to the store to get season 2!
I also really like having Mary McDonnell as President Roslin. She's always played her roles in film as soft, nurturing women, but with real strength. As the former Secretary of Education, it is unclear if she can take the helm of the fleet and work with Adama in holding the fleet together.
Supporting members of the cast are just as good such as Michael Hogan as Colonel Tigh, Tahmoh Penikett as "Helo," and Tricia Helfer as "Number Six."
This series is gritty with language, sex, and violence. The ships don't go to light speed but actually "jump" from one location to another, even though this takes tremendous power and fuel to do.
One of the best episodes, and they are all good, is "33" in which the Cylons are somehow finding the Galacica's location every 33 minutes.
The Cylons are cooler too. In the original series, they always got blown apart pretty easily. Not here. Even one Cylon Raider is more than a match for several Viper pilots. Also, the Cylon Raiders are "alive" without pilots, thus funtioning on their own. The writers have made them formidable, so that when you hear that Cylons are coming, you worry because they are more dangerous then ever depicted before. This is especially true of the clones that are made to look/act human. How the Galactica and her crew deal with the paranoia that "anyone" could be a Cylon is a fun angle to work with.
All in all, this is one heck of a series. It's the Sci-Fi channels highest rated show of all time. That says something. And as good as the miniseries was, the episodes are even better! And if the following seasons are just as good, if not better, then that is why this could very well be one of the best science fiction series ever.
So, if you're a fan of great writing as well as a compelling back-drop in space, hang on, because this is one of the best rides in television history. Enjoy!
One of the Best Shows on Television July 21, 2006
0 out of 1 found this review helpful
Battlestar Galactica is not just for the traditional SF fan. If you enjoy "Lost" or "Alias," this new show will please you. Don't be too mired in what you may remember of the Original Series of the '70s. It was a fun show, but this show gets serious and dangerous. Whether you're a sci-fi fan or not, this show will get your blood pumping. Think of it as "Lost," in space. :)
Simply the best television series I have witnessed July 19, 2006
2 out of 3 found this review helpful
This is the first sci-fi series I have ever enjoyed. This is also the first drama series I have ever enjoyed. It's likely the reason this is the first sci-fi I have enjoyed might be due to the fact that there simply aren't many sci-fi shows on television, and therefore even less quality sci-fi. However, there is no shortage of drama series on television today, so that this show could somehow catch my eye where all others failed is testament to its greatness.
The bottomline is that this show will get you involved. It's greatest strength is its characters, and from that everything simply flourishes. Everything is perfect. Camera work, transistions, acting, you name it and I can't find fault with it. Perhaps most impressive is that the creators of the show actually took the time to make sure when they spout of a scientific explanation of something, it is viable. Rarely do you see a show offer a legitimate explanation for something, even (or perhaps especially) in shows that aren't science fiction. It adds a sense of realism that enhances your connection with the characters. The show is entirely believable, the reactions and interactions all emotionally involving, and unlike many other shows today the episodes are not formulaic or repetitive.
My only concern is that they fall into the pitfall that plagues many writers (both novel and broadcast alike) today: being unable to know when to stop the series. Allowing something to go too far only tarnishes the earlier successes, and I hope this fate does not befall Battlestar Galactica.
Regardless, this is the best television series that is out right now. To be honest, I don't expect to see another show of this caliber for another decade.
Awesome!! July 19, 2006
I can't even tell how much time I've been waiting for sci-fi like this.
I wasn't even hoping anymore...