Universal // 2005 // 960 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 12th, 2010
So say we all.
Universal continues the staggered Blu-ray release of its flagship sci-fi bonanza, and reliving the dog days of the Cylon war in HD is frakking awesome.
The Cylons were created by men. They evolved. They rebelled. They have a plan. And it involves chasing the remnants of humanity through space and shooting lasers at them.
Season Two picks up right after the brutal Season One cliffhanger: Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) is hurting, President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) are in almost complete rebellion over a goofy prophecy, Dr. Baltar (James Callis) is eyeing the presidency, and the Cylons continue to infiltrate the fleet.
With these sets getting a rebirth on Blu-ray, I've been appreciating the opportunity to check back in with the seasons. I'm a BSG fan for sure. Though, like most people, when the series became too wrapped up in the home-stretch mystical stuff, my excitement wavered. It was still a good show and delivered some of the best stuff in an hour block of television (sci-fi or otherwise), but I was always partial to the more traditional storytelling of the early seasons: the focus on politics, war and kick-ass starship dogfighting.
As such, Season Two is my favorite of the BSG run. It has everything, even for fans who love all the mythology and supernatural-ness (albeit more subdued and unclear) that would become prevalent in later seasons. There are episodes filled with massive space battles ("Resurrection Ship"), thrilling ship-to-ship combat ("Scar"), political intrigue ("The Captain's Hand"), military tomfoolery ("Pegasus"), robust character development ("Black Market"), Cylon-torching jungle warfare ("Home") and even a behind-the-scenes look at how much it sucks to be a synthetic being waking up in a tub of slime ("Downloaded"). There really isn't a jalopy in the bunch, and it all culminates with one of the most memorable season finales of any show ever: the game-changing "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2."
Great stuff...and even greater on Blu-ray. Having previously reviewed Season 4.5 in HD, I knew what to expect for technical quality. As Ronald Moore explains in his introduction, the series was shot with HD in mind, and this set shows it. The 1.78:1, 1080p transfer is fantastic, hugely detailed and sporting that tactile sheen characteristic of the format's heavy-hitters. From the mundane, gun-metal tone of the onboard ship sequences, to the colorful forest sequences and eye-popping space battles (still the best effects to ever a grace a television screen), nothing falters, making the upgrade to Blu worthy of consideration. If you've never gotten into the show, here is the perfect opportunity to watch BSG the way it was meant to be seen. And heard, too, as the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio pipes out the thumping epic score and excellent effects work with gusto for a big-hitting technical double-shot.
Extras are largely recycled from the DVD sets (Ronald Moore's podcast commentaries, David Eick's video blogs, deleted scenes, the extended "Pegasus" episode with commentary, the BSG "Assignment Quiz"), save for "The Oracle," a pop-up ship and character guide, and BD-Live content: a trivia challenge and a battle card game.
The best season in one of the best series ever looks and sounds brilliant on Blu-ray. The re-enlistment is worth it.
Not Guilty, toaster.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 960 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Episode Commentaries
* Deleted Scenes
* Interactive Quiz