Battlestar Galactica: Season One (RECOMMENDED)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    [​IMG]
    Battlestar Galactica: Season One
    Studio: Universal Studios Home Video
    Year: 2003-2004 (2005 Release)
    Rated: Not Rated
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays
    Audio: English DD 5.1; Commentary
    Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; Spanish Subtitles
    Time: Approx 12 hours, 36 minutes
    Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) x5
    Case Style: Individual Thin Cases in a Slip Cover

    The Feature:

    I was a teenager when the original Battlestar Galactica aired on network television. Back then, we were starved for science fiction. Apart from a late-night syndicated run of Star Trek and spotty repeats of Space: 1999, there was not that much on--which I guess was a good thing. It allowed more focus on classic TV like The Muppet Show. But the universes, effects, mythology, and drama promised by the science fiction movie of our generation had yet to transpire on TV. Battlestar Galactica was supposed to be that show.

    Star Wars it wasn't, but it sure was fun for a thirteen-year-old. There was Papa Cartwright leading his rag-tag group of wagon ships to find the Ponderosa of the cosmos--Earth. There were good guys you cheered and robots you feared. The visual effects were at least as good as anything theatrical, albeit repetitive. (Exactly how many times did they reuse the footage of the vipers launching?)

    Unfortunately, the show did not hold up well over time. When Universal released the complete original series on DVD some time back, I got through the first disc and was amazed at just how... no offense... cheesy it all was.

    Flash forward to the next century. A devious plan was put into place to infiltrate our memory banks and rob them of our youth. A new version of Battlestar Galactica was "re-imagined" to include major plot changes while inhabiting a similar universe. The Cylon was a babe! Starbuck had breasts, and was a woman. The XO had a drinking problem. The Commander did not get along with his son (the horrors! Imagine Papa Cartwright not getting along with Little Joe!)

    And you know what? It worked. The new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, which airs on the Sci-Fi cable/satellite network, has already made it through a miniseries, a first season, and half of the second season--with no end in sight. Last year, the miniseries was released to DVD. In July, a British version of Season One (with slightly different music in the opening sequence) was released at Best Buy. Last week, the U.S. version of Season One, with the miniseries included, was released in a single package--and at a lower total cost. It crossed my doorstep a week ago today.

    As far as the story goes, it is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away--or something like that. It is a time of peace, some 40 years after the original Cylon wars. There are twelve colonies, we learn, all on separate planets. The vintage Battlestar Galactica, commanded in solitude by William Adama (Edward James Olmos) is about to be decommissioned. (Don't even think about where this fits into the original series timeline, or you might become confused... I did.) Adama is retiring, presumably to sell dog food somewhere quiet.

    In attendance is Adama's estranged son Lee (a.k.a. "Apollo", played by Jamie Bamber). Secretary of Education Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is also in attendance. She's just had some bad news: the Secretary is dying of cancer. A vaguely familiar slate of characters is in attendance: a drinking Col. Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan), the bravura but egotistical Lieutenant Kara Thrace, a.k.a. "Starbuck" (the first of our sex change operations when compared to the original series, played by Katee Sackhoff), and the lovely Lieutenant Sharon Valerii, a.k.a. Boomer (another sex change, played by Grace Park).

    The Galactica is peppered with other interesting characters and relationships, including the Chief Petty Officer Tyrol, who has a relationship with Boomer). In a throwback to the original series, the pilots like Starbuck play cards, while Starbuck chomps on cigars. Col. Tigh does not get along with Starbuck and throws her in the brig (in the miniseries) after she strikes him in one of said poker games. Starbuck had been invoived with Apollo's brother--and there seems to be some guilt here--and Apollo holds his father responsible for his brother's death. Hmm... I guess it's a bit of a space opera.

    Adama is old-style. He does not want his ship to have networked computers (it seems that he is the only person who recalls the lessons learned from previous wars). He wants his pilots to be able to fly and land without computer assistance. Do you think this will come in handy? You bet it will... but not before the decommissioning ceremony. In a blaze of familiar theme music, the new vipers fly by with a restored old viper, piloted by Adama's son Apollo. Apollo is not to keen on this "honor" but he does it because it is expected. And then the dignitaries accompanied by Apollo head back home to planet Caprica.

    Oh yeah, did I mention the Cylons yet? It seems the Cylons are a race of robots created by man. In the opening of the miniseries, it is explained that they Cylons revolted, and after the long war a truce was declared, and they were sent off to inhabit their own planet. No one heard from them for over 40 years... then suddenly, crash, boom, bang--they were on the scene. But instead of just being the wandering-red-eyed metallic monsters from our youths, they have 12 models in their arsenal who look... human. One of the Cylons, Number 6 (Tricia Helfer), is a blond bombshell who is involved with renowned intellectual computer scientist Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis). Baltar unwittingly allows Number 6 to access government computer systems, thus planting the seed for the Cylon attack that could destroy the Colonies. (Speaking of planting the seed, Baltar has quite the relationship with Number 6. It certainly pushes the rating of this show beyond that of the original series.)

    And then it happens.

    Planet Caprica is nuked (in a rather spectacular effects sequence). The fleet is disabled and virtually obliterated. The only ships with a fighting chance are Apollo's viper, Boomer's recon ship, and the Galactica with its museum displays of vintage viper equipment. Education Secretary Laura Roslin, 43rd in line of succession to the Presidency, is now the president--and her transport is dubbed "Colonial One." Roslin is immediately at odds with Adama. She wants to rescue survivors. Adama wants to exit the vicinity, regroup, and counterattack.

    When all is said and done, there are 50,000 human survivors, in a rag-tag convoy of ships, led and defended by Battlestar Galactica--en route to a fabled 13th colony named Earth. Unfortunately, some of the people who look like survivors may be Cylons...

    Well done.

    I did not expect to like Battlestar Galactica, but friends raved about it and that piqued my curosity. By the time I gave the original broadcasts thought, I had missed enough of the show to just wait for the DVD. I'm glad I finally got on the battlestar--er--bandwagon. While I am only roughly halfway through the set, I am anxiously awaiting the time to watch the next episode. So far, I did get chills with the episode Bastille Day where new Apollo clashes with old Apollo. Richard Hatch, in a role completely unlike his Apollo from the original series, plays a terrorist leader on a prison ship. New Apollo tries to enlist the prisoners to help work a dangerous assignment. It does not go well.

    Battlestar Galactica and its supplements are laid out across five single sided, double-layered discs. Way to go Universal! Given the number of problems people have reported with DVD-18 (dual-sided, dual-layered) discs, this is major progress. The discs are housed individually in thin-packs, just like the Firefly set.

    It should be noted again that this is the first combined release of both the Original Miniseries and Season One. The Original Miniseries was released with different supplements back in December of 2004. A Best Buy exclusive rendition of Season One was released in July of this year. The differences between these discs and the new set are detailed in the Extras section.

    The miniseries and episodes on this box set are as follows:

    Disc One
    Battlestar Galactica: The Original Miniseries

    Disc Two
    33
    Water
    Bastille Day
    Act of Contrition

    Disc 3
    You Can't Go Home Again
    Litmus
    Six Degrees of Separation
    Flesh and Bone

    Disc 4
    Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down
    The Hand of God
    Colonial Day
    Kobal's Last Gleaming, Pt. 1

    Disc 5
    Kobal's Last Gleaming, Pt. 2

    For complete episode summaries, please check out the SciFi.com website, and be sure to check HTF's very own TV and HDTV Programming forum for discussion of Season 2. For talk about the Season One DVD set, there's also a great
     
  2. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Messages:
    1,704
    Likes Received:
    7
    I must say im surprised-I only started watching season 2, and while very good, it is still not living up to its full potential IMHO. And to tell an epic story like this you really need 90 mins-the stories go by far too quickly

    Moneys tight for me, but I have seen sets going for $35...
     
  3. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got my set just in time for my birthday, and so far, based on what I've seen (the miniseries, The Series Lowdown, and From Miniseries to Series), I'm MIGHTILY IMPRESSED!!! Even my wife, who is not a sci-fi fan, found it to be interesting. The little things really come out through the series, right down to Ron Moore's striving for accuracy in having the rescue crew decked out in accurate personal protective gear when effecting rescue operations. This degree of realism is what Star Trek needed so badly over the last few years and missed on more than too many occasions.

    Count me sold on BSG! I'm looking forward to S2.0 when it comes out! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Vaughn

    Dave Vaughn Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been watching via Netflix since last week. I am on my second disc already and it is outstanding. It is more a hard hitting drama set in space, than a typical sci-fi series (Star Trek for example). As opposed to the original, I think this one will hold up over time as to not being so, as you said, "cheesy"!
     
  5. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,379
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dave, I think the problem is that while the original series is quite enjoyable to watch, after 20 years ago, the series does seem dated. But it still is some of the best classic and original sci fi ever. Far as the new series goes, it's still too early to tell if this new series will still be enjoyable 20 years from now.

    While it might not feel dated years down the line sci fi fans are only a small minority when it comes to the vast other genres of the entertainment industry. There are a lot of sci fi fans and while the series is only shown on sci fi, there are a lot of sci fi fans who either don't get cable and don't watch the series and those legions of fans who won't watch the series because of their loyalty to the original series.
     
  6. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Joshua Bal
    Wow Steve, a total change of tone since your Mallrats review. This one was a well covered analysis. [​IMG]
     
  7. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,729
    Likes Received:
    669
    Bah - I'd rather have a cheesy show with heart over empty, disfunctional characters in a show with no soul any day of the week.
     
  8. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Paul McElligott
    That's good but we're talking about Battlestar Galactica here.
     
  9. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,729
    Likes Received:
    669

    Tigh an alcholoic? Check.
    "Starbuck" an angry chick with a chip on her shoulder? Check.
    Adama and Apollo hate each other? Check.

    Yup - we're talking about the same show.
     
  10. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,111
    Likes Received:
    474
    Real Name:
    Joel Henderson
    So the theme on this set is the "Thirteenth Landing Edit"?
     
  11. Jason Walstrom

    Jason Walstrom Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tigh an alcholoic? Check.
    "Starbuck" an angry chick with a chip on her shoulder? Check.
    Adama and Apollo hate each other? Check.

    Yup - we're talking about the same show.




    Tigh an Alcoholic dealing with the extreme stress of being second in command while dealing with his psycho wife and his blind loyalty to his commander - Interesting

    Starbuck and angry chick with a chip on her shoulder who constantly is shown to be more human each week - GOLD!

    Adama and Apollo hat each other? - What show are you watching?

    BTW I love the review and it's gonna be a xmas present for some friends who've yet to watch the show.
     
  12. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 1999
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    My copy should be here in a few days.

    I bought the UK version and prefer the music actually.

    I never bought the mini and for the $39 with .99 shipping that Familyvideo had it for I picked it up mostly for the mini.

    Easily the best show on TV right now regardless of its sci fi background.

    Its so good I hope Mr Moore doesn't do a Chapelle off the deep end for S3.
     
  13. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill


    Well, they don't actually hat each other. [​IMG]

    - Steve
     
  14. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    Congratulations to Carl Walker, who won the contest for a copy of BSGS1!

    - Steve
     
  15. Carl Walker

    Carl Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1999
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    0
    Woo Hoo!!! Thank you very much, Steve!!! [​IMG]

    I look forward to receiving a copy of this fantastic show... [​IMG]
     
  16. Jason Walstrom

    Jason Walstrom Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0



    Or Hate each other either. hehe [​IMG]
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,792
    Likes Received:
    1,461
    I finally picked this box set up. My only exposure to this new re-imagined Galactica has been the long thread on the HTF discussing it and seeing bits of the later S1 shows when NBC aired them. Of course I know the orignal Galactica very well, though not enough to own the set, just the movie.

    And many here know me as a long time TOS Star Trek fan. With all that said, I wanted to see this new version of Galactica and I saw it with an open mind. Last night I saw the 3 hour mini-series all in one sitting. Wow, it was very well done. I wasn't bored as some have mentioned. I was actually glad it was not a remake of the Richard Hatch version. Seeing the attack on Caprica from the eyes of the Galactica and Mary McDonnell's characters, was a nice way to do it. It didn't have that in your face aspect to it. I think this way, it made it more scary, and of course, a massive budget saver. But less is more here.

    And I thought it was respectful of the original in a subtle way. The band playing the original theme at the decomission ceremony, and using the original Vipers and how it's older technology saved them. Giving the characters real names was good too with Starbuck and Apollo names as call signs or nicknames made more sense to a modern Top Gun exposed audience. And of course, Starbuck is a woman. Okay, I didn't mind it. And the kid, my first thought was Boxy, and it was! And the Maren Jensen character was replaced by that girl who liked the Mary McDonnell's assistant character.

    I also liked the way it ended.

    I'll rewatch the end with the audio commentary, but I can't help but wonder if the last bit with the Cylons was added after the green light was given for the series. It felt added on. Given how Baltar's character was only interested in saving his own skin, I was surprised to see that one guy left at the ammo supply station was really was a Cylon.


    Nelson
     
  18. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    0
    I stayed away from this one since I was such a huge fan of the original series but I gotta admit after reading the review I'm kind of tempted. I might pick this up in the near future.
     
  19. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last night I sat down and watched "33", and was that intense or what! If more series had episodes like this one, they'd all be upping the ante quite a bit. Even Star Trek could have used a few episodes like BSG's "33".
     
  20. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    447
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I loved 33 for a number of reasons and personally I thought it was probably the 4th or 5th best episode of S1.
     

Share This Page