Battlestar Galactica / Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series Richard Colla

Battlestar Galactica / Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series Richard Colla
Twenty-five years after Battlestar Galactica made its television debut, it is finally experiencing a resurgence thanks to constant pressure from Richard Hatch and the legions of fans rabid for more (thanks to his website, battlestargalactica.com). There's now an interactive videogame, a new series of books penned by Hatch and a Sci-Fi Channel exclusive mini-series that picks up the Battlestar Galactica story two-and-a-half decades after the original left off, ignoring 1980's deservedly reviled Battlestar Galactica — Conquest of the Earth in the process. And for those nostalgic for the past, the original TV series and theatrical release get the proper DVD treatment here. The Battlestar Galactica movie, a re-edit of the three-part television pilot, "Saga of a Star World," introduces the 12 Colonies of Man, who are on the cusp of signing a peace treaty to end the thousand-year war with the extremely intolerant Cylon Empire. When the robotic race of Cylons entrap the humans in an ambush that destroys the 12 worlds of the Colonies, the fleet's last remaining Battlestar, the Galactica, must lead the "rag tag" fleet in an attempt to escape and find the legendary 13th colony: Earth. A superbly cast Lorne Green holds the series together as the solemn commander of the fleet who not only has to contend with the Cylon forces but also with the inept Council of Twelve on their spiritual exodus through space. Although outdated now, John Dykstra's special effects were cutting-edge at the time, especially for television. But Battlestar Galactica was never a second-rate Star Wars. Rather, the show's popularity centres on stories of morality and the interactions of the characters, with a dash of adventure. The 23 episodes of Battlestar Galactica are remastered, collected together on six DVDs and stored with a nice booklet of photos in a shiny silver Cylon head box that screams to be displayed. Most of the episodes in the collection come equipped with deleted and alternate scenes that mostly reveal the personalities behind the characters, as well as the prevailing sense of humour on the set. There's also a commentary track from Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Herb Jefferson Jr., the Galactica's trio of star Viper Warriors, for "Saga of a Star World," which doesn't reveal much about Battlestar Galactica but does give a lot of interesting tidbits of behind-the-scenes trivia, along with pointing out the minor differences between the pilot and the movie. Unfortunately, the DVD for the theatrical release is lacking this commentary. The only worthwhile special features of the theatrical version (featurettes on the upcoming Battlestar Galactica mini-series and interactive game) are also contained in the box-set. There's a bunch of other behind-the-scenes featurettes that include everything from the creation of Battlestar Galactica with creator Glen A. Larson to "Remembering Battlestar Galactica," a special look back on the series of which Hatch says, "Even 25 years later, that heart and the spirit and the soul of that story is there, and it's about the epic journey that we're all on as spiritual human beings trying to find our place." Perhaps that's what makes Battlestar Galactica poignant after all these years. Plus: deleted and alternate scenes, making-of documentary, photo gallery, more. (Universal)