Oct 13, 2011

[TV] Battlestar Galactica: Season 3

Battlestar Galactica: Season 3Yes, this is a review of season 3. Allow me to explain.

I got into the BSG game a tad late. Thankfully, a friend of mine started trying to stream the show at work and eventually I was hooked. And I eventually got my own copies of the show and managed to get through the first two seasons well enough.

But by the time I had finished season 2, a business trip to the US came up just as season 4 was starting. I watched a few of those episodes while there and for one reason or another never got back to finishing the third season.

Then the big last stretch started and I met my current partner and we ended up watching the last few episodes together - the gaps in my BSG "memory" having been filled with various iterations of the What The Frak show synopsis videos. It wasn't the same thing as watching the whole seasons, but it was enough.

So things ended up that I managed to see the end of the series without having seen the entire season 3 and the first half of season 4 either. Funny how things work out. So I finally decided to address these gaps in my idle time when Tobie doesn't happen to be home at the same time I am, which is an oddly rare occurrence given the alignment of our respective schedules.

The reimagined Battlestar Galactica series was developed by Ronald D. Moore as based on the 1978 b Glen A. Larson series. What had started as a TV mini-series had eventually expanded into a four season fan favorite on the SciFi channel.

The season begins with the Cylons in control of the human settlement of New Caprica. A resistance has formed trying to make lives difficult for their Cylon oppressors while tensions between the Cylons own factions continue to build. With the fleet still in hiding, it's only a matter of time before the resistance assets and the remainder of the fleet try to reconnect to escape New Caprica.

The season had a lot of strange circumstances here and there. We had a fat Apollo (Jamie Bambers) in charge of the Pegasus, the other Battlestar that had managed to escape the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Baltar (James Callis) has become president of the colony of New Caprica, although he's really nothing more than a Cylon puppet. And more of the larger mysteries of their past the Galactica's efforts to find Earth are revealed within this season.

Admittedly, the time on New Caprica was dark, and aptly so. It also felt rather slow and dragging, thus I was more than glad when they finally escaped that rock and brought the action back into space. And that meant dealing more and more with the larger meta-plot that the writers had been steadily working towards over the course of the past few seasons. This was more than just a shoot-em-up style adventure. There really was a larger purpose to everything.

The amount of religious prattle in this series has always been an odd point that has been hard to accept at times. We are dealing with a science fiction future of sorts and yet we have a very strong and rather devout pagan influence flavoring the show. But it works, I have to admit, and it does make some sense why things turn out the way they do. And as they reveal more and more of what needs to be done to get to Earth, as especially seen through the strange visions of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Stackhoff), things just start falling into place.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04:  Actor Edward James...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe show certainly has very, very strong relationships present all throughout as seen in the many pairings in the show. We could spend time talking about Chief Tyrrol (Aaron Douglas) and Cally (Nicki Clyne) or even the not quite right pairs of Starbuck and Sam Anders (Michael Trucco) alongside Apollo and Dualla (Kandyse McClure), but that's not much fun. The real heart of the show is the growing familiarity and near-affection between Adama (Edward James Olmos) and Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell). Beyond the fact that Olmos is obviously one of the most talented actors in the show, they also have wonder writing behind the characters and an obvious on-screen chemistry that works. It isn't even outright romantic love but more of a palpable sense of respect that just permeates all their interactions with one another.

This season really does a lot to lay the groundwork for the end story as more and more of the mythos behind the human race and even the Cylons is laid bare for us viewers, making this season a critical piece. As long as you can get past the foolishness on New Caprica, you're certainly in for another great adventure.

The third season of Battlestar Galactica isn't quite my favorite, but it's still an excellent and integral piece of the overall show. Thus it gets 3.5 crazy artsy moments for Starbuck out of a possible 5.

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