Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0
The Sci-Fi Channel's reworking of Battlestar Galactica, adapted from the campy '70s television series, is one of the most grown-up and complex science fiction stories ever told on television (no offence to Trekkers, Firefly Browncoats, or a certain Time Lord from Gallifrey intended). Season 4.0 is the first half of the fourth and final season, with the remainder of season four currently airing on the Space Channel here in Canada. For those not familiar with the trials and tribulations of the Battlestar Galactica, let's recap: an evil robot empire known as the Cylons have destroyed 12 human colony planets in one fell swoop, leaving only a rag-tag band of survivors to wander the stars in search of safety. The fleet, led by the sole remaining Battlestar class warship, Galactica, must defend the last members of humanity from Cylon attack and internal strife while searching for the mythological "13th colony," Earth. To make matters worse, the Cylons have created 13 human form biological robots that are indistinguishable from real humans. These "skin jobs" act as sleeper agents in the human fleet, though eight models are discovered early in the series. Five hidden models remain on board the fleet, with four of them becoming aware of their lineage at the end of the third season. Season 4.0 finds the fleet continuing the search for Earth, with the four newly activated Cylons coming to terms with their previously unknown heritage. Disappointingly, Season 4.0 continues its descent from the somewhat hard sci-fi of the first two seasons to the mythic/fantastic story-line involving prophecies, fate and God's will. While still entertaining, the "hand of God" scenario removes some of the story logic that sci-fi fans crave, allowing the writers to use a sort of Deus Ex Machina to hand-wave away odd occurrences with mystical explanations, losing some of the tension of the initial seasons when the human race had only themselves to rely on and there was no "all knowing" force guiding the journey. The DVD set includes the two-hour television movie Razor (previously released as a standalone DVD), which tells the back-story of the doomed Battlestar Pegasus prior to its brief time travelling with Galactica and the rest of the fleet in the second season. The set also includes the a number of DVD and Podcast commentary tracks, "making of" documentaries, a short commercial for the upcoming Caprica spin-off series, and a series of amusing video blogs featuring the cast and crew hamming it up for the camera. Season 4.0 doesn't have very many critical plot developments outside of the final two episodes, with the story plodding along and killing time before the final ten episodes wrap everything up. But, if you want to be able to watch Season 4.5 on TV before some jerk at a party reveals who the final Cylon is, then you better pick up these DVDs pretty quick. (Universal)