Friday, January 16, 2009

The Final Cylon

The episodes of Battlestar Galactica finally begin again tonight. The Sci Fi Channel has run the Battlestar series in odd mini-arcs, sort of like half-seasons with apparently long hiatuses mid-season.

Season 4, which was billed as the final season, began back in the fall and ended in mid-September. All that was ever listed on the website during this period was "New Episodes coming soon..." At Christmas, the air date for the final mini-arc finally was posted.

If you have not been keeping up with the series, its probably too late now to just in because its a very complicated storyline. If you have never watched the series though, I highly recommend getting it from Netflix or something and starting from the beginning. Make sure you watch the original 4 hour movie pilot before jumping into the regular Season 1 Episodes. The movie pilot is very helpful and found in the Season 1 DVD set, but is on a disc by itself. Its easy to want to just jump in with Episode 1, which is a fabulous episode but only if you know the back story from the pilot movie.

The coming of the last mini-arc is bitter sweet. I hate when really good TV shows end, but I also appreciate when producers know when its time to end the show and not drag it on past its expiration date. I'm thinking of shows like the X-Files that went on about 3 seasons to long. Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) was really close to doing that with season 7, but were able to end very respectably. Unfortunately the movies for TNG went on too long though.

Battlestar though is ending but not really. A prequel is apparently beginning at some point in the next year called Caprica, which apparently is going to take place before the massive Cylon attack that begins Battlestar Galactica. Its also apparently going to have a completely different writers and feel as a show. The director of the current series made the teaser analogy in an interview, that immediate got my attention, of comparing Star Trek: The Next Generation to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Those two shows were completely different, even though they were both in the Trek universe. It took DS9 a few years to recover from the fact that DS9 was not a rebirth of TNG. I know a lot of people in the early years kept wanting to badmouth DS9 because Sisko was not Picard, yada, yada, yada. Granted, the first few seasons of DS9 were, in fact, mediocre at best. DS9 was just not episodic like TNG was. It was much more complex. That show did not fully come into its own until the 4th season (After TNG had been off the air a few years). I've talked about this on this blog before, but the last 2 seasons of DS9 with the Dominion War was some of the best script writing and acting of any show in the 90s. It was truly phenomenonal.

I hope that's the case with Caprica, that it feels the freedom to be a different show but still retains the overall quality befitting the franchise. If it can become to Battlestar what DS9 was to Next Generation, it will be in great company. I just is does not become to TNG what Star Trek: Voyager was. Which, saving another rant, suffice is to say that Voyager was basically where bad science fiction writing when to die. (Although, in Voyager's defense, the last season or so was salvageable as they finally gave up on the episodic alien of the week schtick they had going for years.)

I've rambled on long enough. Suffice is to say, "Battlestar Fans: Sci Fi Channel, Tonight 10/9 Central."

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