Judge David Johnson is a Cylon. If by "Cylon," you mean "Taurus."
Our reviews of Battlestar Galactica: Season One (published November 7th, 2005), Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0 (published January 9th, 2006), Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 (published October 2nd, 2006), Battlestar Galactica: Season One (HD DVD) (published January 28th, 2008), Battlestar Galactica: Season Two (Blu-Ray) (published April 12th, 2010), Battlestar Galactica: Season Three (published March 24th, 2008), Battlestar Galactica: Season Three (Blu-Ray) (published July 22nd, 2010), Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0 (published January 16th, 2009), Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 (published July 28th, 2009), Battlestar Galactica: Season Four (Blu-Ray) (published January 21st, 2011), Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (published July 28th, 2009), and Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries (published February 2nd, 2005) are also available.
This has all happened before. And it will all happen again.
The second half of the final season of Battlestar Galactica has spooled up its FTL drive. If you have an even passing interest in this show, let me cut through the biological Cylon matter right now and say this: if Blu-ray is your bag, do not hesitate to secure this release. Seeing Centurion-on-Centurion violence in high-def is a revelation.
Facts of the Case
I'm going to keep this whole thing spoiler-free, so if you want my spoilery reactions to the ins and outs of what was a gobsmackingly complex mythology, I encourage you to track down my wrap-up on our sister site, TV Verdict.
Basically, this final stretch of episodes leading up to the massive three-hour finale concerns itself with the revelation of the fifth Cylon and the fallout that erupts from the shocking(ish) unveiling. As the remnants of humanity inch closer to Earth, having forged an uneasy alliance with the enemy, a political firestorm threatens to tear the fleet apart. All of that shooting and turncoating will soon enough be trumped by a lot of exposition, a toddler kidnapping, and the mother of all counter-offensives, before the destination of Galactica is finally reached.
I'm a fan, perhaps not as rabid as some of the show's more hardcore supporters, and there are plenty of deficiencies I can drone on and on about, but Ron Moore and his compatriots definitely got a whole lot more right than wrong with their ambitious re-imagining. And so, four seasons later, the journey ends, and these last ten episodes act as a nice, tidy microcosm for the series proper…
Awesome Space Action
What makes Battlestar so great, despite its up-and-down personality, is when it's up, the show is brilliant. I know this sounds like a Basestar's worth of poo-pooing, but really I liked this final run, especially the ending. There were a few contrivances I wasn't feeling (again, see my TV Verdict write-up), but overall the finale was satisfying.
Now about that Blu-ray. Cadets, this is how BSG needs to be viewed. The show was shot in high-def from the beginning, and the payoff in visual fidelity is astounding. Besides some grain during the darker scenes, this picture is virtually flawless. The details and colors are given new life, and no episode failed to wow me. Between the production design and the excellent visual effects, there is so much to discover in this high-definition transfer (1.78:1). Space battles are a face-full of fantastic, specifically that finale, which has so much going on I nearly passed out from vertigo. But the HD upgrade can handle it and every tiny detail, from the shine on the Centurion to the blood splatter on a broken Raptor windshield, pops. This is how much I loved the picture quality: I own the rest of the seasons on DVD and am now seriously considering taking out a second mortgage to pay for that mammoth complete series set on Blu. The DTS-HD Master Audio track performs well alongside the video, blasting out a clean, robust mix. The memorable soundtrack will reverberate with depth and punch, and the effects during the action scenes will engulf your surrounds, putting you in the middle of the firefight.
For extras, two U-Control items headline the set—"The Oracle," which is essentially an interactive, text-based trivia balloon on characters, and "Battlestar Actual," a pop-up glossary on show terminology. If those sound half-assed, that's because they are; easily one of Universal's lamest implementations of the in-movie experience. Traditional bonuses fare better, kicking off with podcast commentaries from Ron Moore on each episode; three separate commentaries with Moore, Edward James Olmos, and producer David Eick; deleted scenes that are worth watching; David Eick's video blogs; behind-the-scenes featurettes on the music, the final episode, and the mythology; a promo for the upcoming movie BSG: The Plan; and, finally, "A Look Back," a great cast and crew retrospective. There's also a BD-Live card game you can play, if that's your thing.
A terrific show ends suitably, if a bit on the lack-of-space-robot-shooting side, and the Blu-ray tech treatment is outstanding. Extras aren't bad, but the in-movie experience was a missed opportunity.
Not Guilty. Frak yeah!
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.