Review: Battlestar Galactica Returns to Form

January 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Battlestar Galactica, Sky 1, 9pm Alert Me

In its heyday Battlestar was hailed by Time magazine amongst others as being the best show on television. I heartily agreed. In a time after 9/11 with patriotism running out of control, fear and war becoming a part of every news  broadcast, how many mere TV shows could tackle the moral questions inspired by this sh*tstorm? The answer was one, and it was Battlestar.

As humanity struggled for survival (a story that resonated in a not so unreal way with the feeling after 9/11 of post-apocalypse), those charged with protecting them faced terrible conflicts and moral quandaries. What made these early episodes interesting was that in many ways they reflected an Iraqi world view far more than a western one: a technologically superior people infused with a sense of moral justification and bent on the destruction of their world, attack.

After 2 sterling seasons things started to tail off in Season 3 and by the first half of season 4 this wonderfully complex show seemed to have been dumbed down into something far more populist and dull.

So it was with some trepidation that I watched the first episode of the returning season 4. I need not have feared, as tonight’s episode is a return to the dark, brilliantly written days of Battlestar yore.

The cliffhanger of last season saw humanity at last discover Earth and tonight’s episode opens with the crew’s exploration of its ruins. As they quickly discover it is uninhabitable the people of the fleet must deal with the fact that their four year quest for safety will have no magical happy ending with the discovery of Earth. After years of war and fear, hope is finally gone.

Kara Thrace (Starbuck) is haunted by the prophecy of the Hybrid that she would bring death to the human race and makes a terrible discovery that makes the truth even more difficult to unravel.

Gloriously dark in tone and storyline, tonight is a return to form for Battlestar. Don’t miss it.

By McGee Noble