So long, Cylons

The fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica begins tonight on the Sci-Fi channel. I guess you could say I’m a little behind. I just started watching season one two weeks ago. I know, shame on me, a huge sci-fi fan. What can I say? There’s only so much television a person can watch and I don’t stay in on Friday nights. But I’m making up for it now, I’m halfway through season one and having a blast. At the rate I’m going I’ll be caught up before the final season finishes.

I wasn’t born when the original Battlestar Galactica aired but I remember bits and pieces of repeats from when I was younger. For one thing, I definitely remember wondering how Faceman from The A-Team got into outer-space. We also had some toys from the original series floating around our basement. I think Starbuck’s cape is on a Lego man now.

The cast of the new series is a good mix. Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell are two fantastic experienced actors who head both halves of the show, the military and the government. James Callis, who I previously adored in Bridget Jones’s Diary, is already extraordinary as the paranoid Dr. Gaius Baltar. Regardless of the hot Cylon (Tricia Helfer) sitting on my lap every few minutes I probably would have thrown myself out of the nearest airlock by now if I was him. Bringing the old cast together with the new in the form of Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo on the original 1978 series, was a great idea. He takes up the role of terrorist/politician Tom Zarek in the new series. Of course the weirdest thing was seeing a chick playing Starbuck. Captain Kara Thrace, as played by Katee Sackhoff, is totally channeling Maverick from Top Gun, but she sure does have that Starbuck cigar thing down. Is she ever going to run out of those?

I’m thoroughly blown away by the action so far. The special effects and choreography for the space scenes look like they should be in a feature film rather than a series on the Sci-Fi channel. They’re exhilarating to watch, not just because of that but because there’s a sense anyone could die at any time. The last episode I watched they killed off 13 pilots and that was just in the hanger. I sometimes like a show where no character is safe, it keeps the tension high. I also enjoy the fact that technology is being used against the humans and that they have to take a step back in order to survive. Corded phones on a space battleship with faster-than-light capabilities is ingenious.
The worst part about the final season starting tonight is that there’s been Battlestar Galactica marathons and specials on all week that I’ve had to avoid. I’m so invested in the show already that I want to watch it all right now. Unfortunately real life responsibilities prevent me from watching it 24 hours a day until I’m finished. I long for the day of direct download of television shows to the brain.