2. Battlestar Galactica (2003)
The Best Show on Television? Yes, according to Time Magazine, The National Review, Rolling Stone and New York Newsday. Praised by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune and many other publications, Battlestar Galactica won a prestigious Peabody Award in the spring of 2006.
Ronald D. Moore, the producer of Carnivale and writer for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, boldly re-imagined the original 1978 space opera of humans versus the robotic Cylons. He teamed up with fellow executive producer David Eick on a powerful and dramatic update of the Galactica story.
Gone are the technobabble, disco-themed costumes and Egyptian helmets of the original series. The modern show introduces new elements to the Galactica story. The Cylons have developed human-form models that are indistinguishable from real humans. The Cylons have a monotheistic religion in contrast to the polytheistic religion of the human Colonies. The approach is serious and intense, with a focus on tough political, philosophical and religious issues set in a tale that manages to keep the focus on realistic and not always perfect characters.In the miniseries, the Cylons launch a massive attack against the humans and wipe out the Twelve Colonies, sending the 47,000 survivors on a desperate search for the fabled 13th colony -- Earth.
Season One Overview
The Cylons declare war on humanity, wiping out billions in an unprovoked first strike. The Colonial fleet is all but eliminated leaving just a handful of ships, including the soon to be decommissioned battlestar Galactica. Galactica is manned by a crew that never expected to be involved in real duty. With the president gone and the government all but eliminated, Laura Roslin, the Education Minister, takes on the mantle of President of the 12 Colonies.
Gaius Baltar, a top researcher in Artificial Intelligence, inadvertently betrayed humanity by allowing a Cylon agent into the defense network, rendering it and all of the Colonial military forces impotent in the face of the Cylon attacks. He sees her everywhere when no one else can. He initially attributes this to stress-induced hallucinations. She tells him that she implanted a chip in his brain during their time on Caprica, which enables her to talk to him. Over the season Baltar falls in love with the Cylon, Number Six, eventually betraying humanity again and again.
A lone soldier is trapped on Cylon-occupied Caprica, having given up his seat on a transport for Baltar, as he believes that his own life is not as important as one of the greatest minds of their time. He struggles against the odds, trying to stay alive amid the hostile Cylons. He is surprised to learn that Sharon Valerii, the pilot of the transport, returned for him. However, the truth is that she is actually another human-form Cylon. Sharon and Helo spend the season trying to escape Caprica. Sharon also finds herself falling in love with her human target. The season ends with her pregnant and fighting to save his life.
Meanwhile, the copy of Sharon onboard Galactica (known as "Boomer") has set off several bombs and engaged in other acts of sabotage. The season ends with a stunning turn of events after a successful mission to disable a Cylon base ship.
For a more detailed overview of the first three seasons, visit the pinned thread titled "Battlestar Galactica in Just Ten Minutes" located in the forum.
Awards and critical praise
The 2003 miniseries was the highest-rated miniseries on the Sci Fi Channel (soon to be known as Syfy) at the time. It was also the most successful cable miniseries that TV season.The first regular season premiered to excellent viewer numbers and critical acclaim. After the midseason break in Season Two, the show received widespread recognition from the mainstream media, including several outlets not always known for their interest in science fiction. As mentioned above, Time Magazine named BSG the best show on television for 2005. Rolling Stone Magazine and New York Newsday also named BSG the best show of the year. Many other publications like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune lavished praise on the series.The American Film Institute added the show to its list of the ten best television shows of 2005. The show won Emmy Awards in the usual sci-fi categories of special visual effects but it also received Emmy nominations for writing and directing. It also won a prestigious Peabody award for its general excellence in creativity in the television medium.
The Sci Fi Channel has used creative means to promote the series, including the release of certain episodes as free streaming video on the official website. In the month leading up to the start of Season Three, the Sci Fi Channel aired a Web-only series titled Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance. The brief, 2 to 3 minute episodes revealed key events from the time period between the Season Two finale and the Season Three premiere episode. Another Web-only series was shown on the official website in the lead-up to the Season 4.5 "final" episodes.
A Battlestar Galactica television movie, "Razor", was broadcast in late 2007, followed soon after with a release on DVD. The story followed the struggles of Admiral Cain and young Kendra Shaw as they tried to survive the Cylon attack on the Colonies. The hard-hitting movie was well received by fans and critics.
Even though the series "ended" on March 20, 2009, with the two-hour broadcast of "Daybreak, Part 2", the Sci Fi Channel (Syfy) will broadcast one final Battlestar Galactica television movie. "The Plan" is scheduled to air in the fall of 2009.
The Galactica franchise will live on, even after the final movie and DVD. A prequel series, Caprica, began production even before Battlestar Galactica ended. The pilot movie will be released as a stand-alone DVD in April 2009. The movie will later air on Syfy along with regular episodes of the new series in 2010. For more information about this look at the early days of the development of the Cylons on Caprica, please consult the separate guide for that series.
Original Broadcast History: Season One
October 18, 2004 - January 24, 2005 - 8:00 PM SKY One (UK)
January 14, 2005 - April 1, 2005 - Fridays @ 10:00 PM Sci Fi Channel (USA)