Battlestar Galactica Review
Last time I reviewed BSG, I received somewhat of an ear-bending that I was so very wrong and that this is a wonderful show, blah, blah, blah. I even had another reviewer saying that this should have been rated a 10! I didn't overly defend myself, choosing to let everyone rant on in their fanboy-esque way, the same way that Lucas devotees stare at you with clear anger and froth at the mouth whenever you point out that Star Wars isn't actually that good and rips off, sorry, pays homage to so much it's untrue. I'm sure I'll get the same reaction yet again where (if) they read this, but let me say something off the bat - it's better than Season 1, but it's still not the Holy Grail of TV.
Be warned, here be spoilers for Season 1, although I'll try and not make things too obvious!
Following directly on from the end of Season 1, we find Adama struggling for life, his would-be assassin taken directly to the brig, as are his son and President Roslin for their apparent attempt at a coup. Baltar is still going off the deep end with Number 6 still playing her games in his head and Tom Zenk (Richard Hatch or Apollo from the original show), is in the background, making his political moves slowly but surely. During the course of these first 10 episodes, we learn more from the Cylons, such as how many are in the fleet and the identity of another one, the building of a new viper and a well-timed cliff-hanger for the end of this half-season.
Ok, no more spoilers or even hints from hereon. For the first 4 or 5 episodes, this to me was still very much business as usual, but they had built on the character development from Season 1, but by the time it has got to episode 10, they are really beginning to hit their stride, with things being more intriguing rather than exciting - and I'd rather prefer to think than see whiz-bang explosions all the time. The tension builds quite nicely - we don't interact with the assassin until episode 3, but it's mentioned throughout to keep us focussed on where this could be going. Baltar and Adama are still the strongest characters of the show, one due to his presence (as I said before, he reminds me of Daniel Benzali from Murder One, but not quite as dominant) and the other with his obvious descent into manipulated madness. Roslin is becoming a much more interesting character, due to her erratic behaviour from the medication she is taking and Colonel Tigh is getting there as well, with his wife clearly pulling the strings and manipulating him for whatever reason. We even have a confrontation between Adama and the assassin, as well as the thread of Helo finally returning to the Galactica, which in itself has ramifications with the chief. Of course with so many plot threads beginning to unravel, one has to wonder which are the important, more pertinent ones to the development of the show (Helo and Boomer is obviously going somewhere) and which ones are mere distractions from the main plot thread of what the Cylons are actually up to.
In fact, when sitting back and reflecting on the series, the show doesn't really have to be Battlestar Galctica and Cylons. It's getting more political internally than the original show did and I'd argue that it could still work if it wasn't set in space etc. Just think about it - politics vs. army, Number 6 a mistress as opposed to someone in Baltar's head, assassinations and coups, It could easily be a standard political West Wing-esque show, but it's not and I'm beginning to believe that is why it's becoming successful - not because of Aliens and new worlds to seek out, but because you could easily hold a mirror to it. I've got to say that the initial episodes of this half-season seemed to be going through the motions that the previous season had, however, by the time we get through just over half of the episodes in, it actually starts getting better, so much so that I'm actually looking forward to seeing how they resolve the cliffhanger from episode 10. However, having said that, it still isn't quite the best thing on television that the critics have hailed this as, but it could be.