BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (TV SERIES) - HD DVD review

...I'll always love my Cylons clad in shiny silver armor.

DeanWink

Note: The following review has been corrected on March 7th, 2008 to contain a wild copy and paste error that resulted in a number of 'Battleship' replacements of the word 'Battlestar.' The reviewer would like to warn others against the dangers of technology when using cut and paste to surround film titles with double quotes.

I grew up loving the old "Battlestar Galactica" television series with Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict. I had a Colorforms playset where I could enact out battles between the Cylon Raiders and Vipers of the Galactica. "Star Wars" was my first love, but "Battlestar Galactica" bested "Star Trek" as my second favorite science-fiction outing. There was a lot of hesitation to my time being invested with the 2004 reimagining of the classic cult series. For starters, Starbuck was now a woman and not the Han Solo-clone portrayed by Dirk Benedict. Cylons were now gorgeous blonde women and not silvery tin cans with "Knight Rider" like eyes. The Sci Fi Channel brought back my beloved series with a big budget miniseries and resulting television series, but they made a lot of changes to things I loved about the show. At least the original Vipers were brought back in some measure.

This 2004 reimagining of "Battlestar Galactica" follows many of the themes from the original television show. In a sentence, the Galactica leads a fleet of surviving human starcraft after a Cylon war where humans were nearly eradicated and they head off for a secret world for the survival of humankind; a world called Earth. That much is exactly the same between both shows. This time around, the Galactica was being decommissioned to become a museum ship. A few vintage Vipers were being restored for the ceremony and the Galactica's old-school Commander, William Adama (Edward James Olmos) refused to connect the Galactica's computers to the network. The Battlestar is an aging mistress forty years removed from a vicious war. She is a reminder to the bloody war, but her technology is old and she is destined to become a tourist attraction.

However, the Cylons quickly attack and twelve various models of Cylon exist. Some of them are humanoid in appearance and have an organ structure that is difficult to identify as machine-built. One of the Cylons, Number Six (Tricia Helfer) kills a human during a yearly peace meeting that had never previously seen a Cylon attend. A second model of Number Six has romanced the scientist behind the defence force's computers and that scientist, Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis) has given her the knowledge to bring down the Battlestar's and their Vipers and leave the twelve colonies open for attack. Caprica, the home planet of the Galactica, is attacked with nuclear weapons and the Cylons attack takes a devastating toll on human life. The eleven other colonies suffered as similar fate and within moments, humankind is nearly eradicated.

The Cylons bring down the defense computers of all the Battlestars and their Vipers. However, the Galactica's computers were never tied to the network and she survives the attack. However, her newer Vipers are quickly eliminated by the wave of advancing Cylon Raiders. Adama orders his son, Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber) and pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) to lead a squadron of older Vipers against the Raiders. Their old computers do not use Baltar's code and the aging starfighters find victory against the unsuspecting Cylon attackers. When the dust has settled, the Galactica is the sole remaining Battlestar because its computers were not networked and a rag-tag band of pilots are forced to fly ancient fighter craft against the capable Cylons.

Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) is a teacher who holds a cabinet position with the government. She survives aboard Colonial Heavy 798, a civilian freighter and quickly finds out that her forty-third position as successor to the presidency makes her the sole survivor and she becomes the President of the Twelve Colonies. Her background as the Secretary of Education pits her against the military background of the Galactica's Commander Adama, but an agreement is made for them to share responsibility of the Battlestar and its convoy of surviving civilian ships that house roughly fifty thousand surviving humans; the possible last of the species. Roslin and Adama work frantically to keep order among the pilots and crew of the Galactica and the fleet of star vessels.

The first season begins with the Galactica and her entourage having to make faster-than-light (FTL) jumps every thirty three minutes because of routine Cylon invasion. The FTL engines allow the human fleet to survive, but they quickly learn about the humanoid Cylons and the realization that Cylons have infiltrated them and are keeping tabs on the human survivors, which is the reason for the attacks. Baltar continues to see very real visions of the woman he thought was Shelley Godfrey and the Number Six model Cylon confuses Baltar on her feelings towards the human race, but also the reason she continues to appear to him. The Adama men continue to mend their fractured relationship as father and son after the death of one of Adama's sons and Starbuck clashes with the Galactica's Executive Officer, Colonel Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan).

Adama reveals that a thirteenth colony called Earth has been kept secret and the Galactica will lead the surviving human spacecraft to the planet and defend them against the Cylon onslaught. During their travels to Earth and limited to the thirteen episode length of the first season, the Galactica undergoes a number of trials and tribulations. After successfully overcoming the thirty three minutes attack cycle that limits their ability to sleep, the Galactica finds much of its water supply destroyed and the belief that Cylon spies may be behind the water problem weighs heavy on the crew. Apollo causes an uproar when he uses prisoners from a prison ship to bring an end to the water supply and harvest water from a planet discovered by Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii (Grace Park). Water is found, but the divide between Commander Adama and President Roslin becomes more apparent.

It is also revealed that Starbuck passed Adama's older son during training when he failed a key test and this led to the death of Lee's older brother. Starbuck is forced to face her past when the number of available pilots is depleted by the continual battles with the Cylon Raiders and an explosion that kills a large number of veteran pilots on one of the Galactica's flight pods. Starbuck faces her own problems, but also finds herself missing in action after one attack and Commander Adama and Apollo struggle to find the whereabouts of their trainer and highly skilled pilot. This further complicates the relationship between Starbuck and Apollo and between Apollo and Adama. Starbuck is eventually found.

The Cylon that had once only appeared to Gaius Baltar eventually appears in front of Adama to implicate that Baltar had something to do with the Cylon attack and the crippling of the computer network that facilitated the Cylon attack and their ability to defeat the human defence force with little resistance. It had already been apparent that Cylons were part of the fleet and disguised as humans, but this appearance of Number Six on the bridge throws another surprising problem regarding Cylons to Adama and the nature of Number Six's appearances to Baltar are potentially a computer chip implant or something else that is not explored or explained. Baltar had thought his own sanity was faltering, but after Number Six appears to Adama, he is not quite sure anymore.

More political and espionage battles take place between the Cylons and the humans. A humanoid Cylon named Leoben Conoy (Callum Keith Rennie) creates an uproar when he makes himself public to the human survivors and declares that he has a nuclear bomb stored on one of the human ships. This causes further problems between President Roslin and the military crew of the Galactica. After the water bombing and other problems aboard the Galactica, Roslin and others soon begin to suspect that anybody could be a Cylon operative working to destroy the shallow remnants of mankind. Roslin at one point believes Adama may be a Cylon. The number of altercations between Vipers and Raiders dwindle when politics and subterfuge take center stage.

However, Starbuck does lead an attack against a Cylon controlled planet in an attempt to hinder their resources and aid the Galatica in its quest of victory against the Cylons. Her and Apollo are the two most skilled pilots of the Galactica and having set aside their differences stemming from the death of the other Adama son, they are an effective team that is very good against the Cylon Raiders. The computers were updated to allow the Galactica crew to use the newer Viper fighters against the Cylons after the discovery of the computer attack that left them useless during the early stages of the attack. The battle returns to hidden spies and politics during a Vice Presidential election, when it is believed that the Cylons are trying to bring about mayhem to the elections and Roslin turns to Baltar to become a candidate and he ultimately becomes the vice president.

The two part season finale, "Kobol's Last Gleaming" further implicates a relationship between Baltar and Starbuck. This brings about uneasy feelings with Apollo and Number Six. Two Cylon Boomers had been in existence during the season and they finally both inhabit the Galactica during the finale and the Galactica based Boomer soon begins to give reason for others to realize she is indeed a Cylon spy. Baltar crash lands on the planet Kobol after a battle with Cylon Raiders. Kobol is considered to be the "Home of the Gods" and a possible key to Earth's location. However, President Roslin knows the truth about Earth and Adama's story to the survivors about the thirteenth colony. The two Boomer story comes to center stage when Boomer helps to bring down the Cylon Basestar, but another Boomer shoots Adama in the chest to end the first season on a mild cliffhanger.

"Battlestar Galactica" is good science fiction, but it is a quite different experience from the cult television show. Much of the focus of the first season lies in the Cylon humanoids and their ability to infiltrate the human survivors and cause mayhem. Espionage is married to politics routinely through the first season and when a Cylon isn't secretly undermining the Galactica, politics are. The relationship between Adama and Roslin is always strained and shows the lines between political rule and military rule. There is far more posturing and relationship tension on "Battlestar Galactica" than there are space age dogfights. There is far more stealth and spying than there are mass cannon firing from the Vipers. This new re-imagining of the cult classic spend a lot of time defining relationships and helping repair and tear them apart than it does in the cockpit of a Viper. This show is about drama and not about action.

Fortunately, the new focus on drama and politics over flashy space battles and overpriced special effects offer an entirely different feel for "Battlestar Galactica." The storylines are very nicely done and flows nicely from one episode to another. In many ways, I see a few parallel's to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in tone and execution. This is a show very much about personal relationships and the Galactica is on a mission of exploration and survival rather than aggression. The Galactica is run by a large crew who each has important posts and jobs on the Battlestar. Every man is important. The show's creators had set out to make "Battlestar Galactica" appear differently than typical science fiction and I feel they have succeeded. This doesn't look like "Star Wars" and it doesn't look like "Star Trek." There are no green aliens; only a few mechanical robots and humanoids. It possesses Earth-like worlds where architecture is realistic and not far from our own reality. "Battlestar Galactica" is a show grounded in reality and ignores the science fiction convention of high technology populating every aspect of the population. Beyond the Galactica, her Vipers and the Cylons, this could very easily have taken place in a similar timeline to our own.

The different approach taken by the filmmakers does have its drawbacks. Many viewers who would have tuned into the Sci Fi Channel to experience exhilarating dogfights and a futuristic war will be sadly disappointed. "Battlestar Galactica" has an almost "Soap Opera" feel to some of its storylines and themes. Characters sleep around and there is plenty of female jealousy going around with questions of who is sleeping with who. There is plenty of love and loss in "Battlestar Galactica" and this separates it from many science fiction contemporaries. There is a tainted father/son relationship that needs repair. There is a power struggle for paternal and maternal control over the fleet. "Battlestar Galactica" is built to appeal to a wider audience than young males who worshipped Han Solo or wanted to be like James T. Kirk. This is a mature show that would rather philosophize than photon torpedo something.

The acting is quite good considering much of the cast are a band of unknowns. Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos give two familiar faces to the cast, but most of the crew of the Galactica will be unfamiliar to anybody experiencing the show for the first time. McDonnell and Olmos give perhaps the best performances of anybody in the cast. Olmos is a very good actor that has never been given many juicy roles and he is well suited to the aged, tough and respected leader of the Galactica. McDonnell handles being a cancer-stricken female president with class. I enjoyed the rest of the crew as well, although I'm still not sold on Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck or Tricia Helfer as a deadly Cylon. Sackhoff and Helfer seem to be sexual injections into the show to either gather a female audience or serve as pinup girls for adolescent boys. I certainly enjoyed watching Helfer on-screen and I'm not the kind of person to reject the notion of a gorgeous blonde, but I'll always love my Cylons clad in shiny silver armor.

My personal feelings are that I enjoyed the Miniseries and First Season of "Battlestar Galactica." I have friends who worship this show religiously with the passion and fervor that I worship "Lost." However, I can only say that I enjoy the show and would rather watch it on a home video release than tune in weekly. It is good and the story is captivating, but I don't think "Battlestar Galactica" is of a thread that pulls me in without missing an episode. There just isn't enough action and excitement for me to plan my schedule around. The show is good enough that I will watch it on my own terms, but the overly political and emotional dramas that continually build through each episode become tiring. I like the more serious tone to this series than the original, but the camp value and Dirk Benedict trump sexy blondes in space any day. I look forward to watching Season Two, but I won't do so until it arrives on my doorstep in HD-DVD form and not when it is broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.

This is an interesting show with a lot of story to tell. The characters are nicely fleshed out and the creators definitely have a path they are following. I would probably love the show if the Cylons were more of a military threat and flexed muscle instead of showing cleavage. I would have been more inclined to be floored by the show if Starbuck was a testosterone driven hot shot pilot who didn't look out of place smoking a cigar. No matter how many times I try hard to accept Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck, I can't buy into her smoking those little cigars and I can't buy into her being the best damn pilot on the Galactica. It's not a sexist issue for me, but she is just too cute to be the badass pilot she is supposed to be. I could buy into her being a good pilot on the Galactica that is the trainer and important to their mission. I just can't buy into the fact that she is Dirk Benedict's replacement. A modern day Face-man would have been more appropriate.

If there is any particular plotline that I dislike with the show, it is the concept of the Number Six Cylon appearing to our favorite scientist. She looks stunning in her outfits, but this psychological (or is it something else?) element of the show is annoying and tiresome. I could have bought into Baltar seeing her in his dreams, but she appears when he is fully awake and in the middle of conversations with other people. We know it is not a chip implant. We also know this hot robot babe is completely in love with him and just somehow appears to only him for much of her appearances and is perhaps more of an ally than an enemy. I want to hate and fear the Cylons. I want to see them walking around with red pulsating lights on their visors and not wearing skimpy red dresses.

Aside from my two complaints, I like "Battlestar Galactica." The two Boomers was the best done subplot regarding the humanoid Cylons. I enjoyed the relationship between Adama and Apollo and feel that Olmos did an excellent job of filling in for Lorne Greene. I enjoy the tensions between Adama and President Roslin. I love the fact that the old Viper Mark II fighters still kick Raider ass and I liked the new Cylon Raiders. The new Galactica looks incredible. There were a few times when "Battlestar Galactica" started to feel like the "Wing Commander" movie, where it was a mix between the original and "Beverly Hills 90210," but it never fell into the trap of being a pretty people space-based soap opera. Sure, there could have been a few uglier people in the show, but that's entertainment. The show keeps a wonderful feeling of dire circumstances and near impossible survival. It is not the original, nor does it try to be. It is a reimagining of a cult classic show and the storylines. The 2004 version of "Battlestar Galactica" is a worthwhile successor to the original "Battlestar Galactica" and has proudly given the Galactica another reason to cross galaxies.

Video:

A small piece of white paper has the following printed on it. "The HD-DVD release of Battlestar Galactica: Season One accurately preserves the artistic intentions of the filmmakers. The stylized visual elements are intentional and faithful to the broadcast presentation of the show." Anytime you see something like this come packaged with a home video release, you know the visual quality is not going to be something to write home about. Why? Because the ‘stylized visual elements' are typically the nice way of saying that the filmmakers wanted their creation to leak either beat up or old. In the instance of "Battlestar Galactica," the show is grainier than Hell. I'm not sure of a better way to say it. There are a lot of scenes that are clear and look pretty good on high definition, but many other scenes are so riddled with grain and of a lower resolution than one would hope with the HD-DVD format. A release such as this is always difficult to grade. It does faithfully exhibit what the filmmakers intended, but this attempt to make "Battlestar Galactica" look gritty and separate it from the typical glossy looking science fiction epic results in a subpar looking picture.

The 1.78:1 presented, VC-1 encoded "Battlestar Galactica" is clean and presentable once you get past the artistic intentions of its creators. Colors are de-saturated to aid in the rugged and downtrodden look of the show. Detail is good, but the intentional film grain does detract from what could have been a stunning high definition look. Some scenes show off excellent detail and coloring and whenever Number Six is onscreen, the film grain subsides to allow the viewer to see that the filmmakers included an incredibly sexy woman on the show. Her red dress looks stunning and shows that the colors can be quite strong when allowed to be. Black levels are incredibly strong and the space combat sequences and the numerous shots of the fleet show how true the blacks really are. Shadow detail is decent, but again plagued by the stylistic film grain. It is hard to knock the visual transfer, because it is presented as intended. It is hard to praise it either, as the stylistic choices made have resulted in a less-than impressive looking product. It is clean and faithful. There are moments when the stylistic intentions drop and the picture quality is above average, but other moments when it looks as gritty and rugged to the eyes as the filmmakers intended.

Sound:

"Battlestar Galactica" is presented with two English soundtracks. An English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is the preferred and recommended way to watch "Battlestar Galactica." The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is effective, but lacks the punch and impact that the higher bandwidth TrueHD mix possesses. The first thing to really stand out with this mix is the effective and powerful use of the .1 LFE channel. Bass pulsates heavily throughout each episode. And it never relents. The closing credits for each show contains some very strong bass. Rear surrounds are used effectively and the ambient sounds of life aboard the crowded Galactica are very nicely done. The space combat sequences are also improved because of the strong soundtrack. I loved hearing the mass cannon gunfire of the Vipers and how the sound moved when they made a strong maneuver. The filmmakers may have decided to lessen the visual impact of "Battlestar Galactica" to instill a feeling of dread and sorrow, but the sound hits home very nicely. Dialogue is quite clean and easy to understand during even the most dynamic moments. While I wasn't blown away by the looks of "Battlestar Galactica," I very much liked the way it sounded.

Extras:

"Battlestar Galactica" comes as a six disc set in some nice-looking, but not entirely useful packaging. Contained in a clear plastic outer sleeve, the inner box has its corners clipped in a way that is reminiscent of ever piece of paper in the show. Somewhere in the future, it was decided that squared off corners were bad. This gives it a different look, but an unattractive spine. The real problem I have with the packaging is the rubbery knubs that hold the discs in place. It can be difficult to get the disc out of the packaging and troublesome to get the disc safely held back in place. You have to force it to fit and there is no clicking in place. I had two discs free themselves in the week I viewed the box set. If an MVP award were to be given out for the box set, Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore would receive it. He sits in for all of the commentaries and spent far more time than anybody else adding value-added content to his creation. Good job Ron! Some limited U-Control functionality is provided, as are Deleted Scenes and Commentaries to most of the episodes. The first disc also contains about an hour's worth of making-of footage that is worth sitting down to. As far as the actual value of the extras; if you love commentary tracks, this is a good set. If you don't listen to them; you will find the offerings to be thin.

Disc One:
The first disc contains only the first half of the miniseries, however, the supplements contained on the first HD-DVD are a little more diverse. The Web-Enabled Features are available from this first platter and contain much of the same promotional trailers familiar to other Universal titles. At the time of this review, TV Spots for "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Kingdom," were included with trailers for "Easter Promises," "Evan Almighty," "Heroes, Volume 1" and a HD-DVD promotional trailer. Deleted Scenes (20:00) for the miniseries included extended scenes and other character development moments. Some introductions that were ignored in the finished version are woven back into the story. A few space sequences are also included and feature unfinished scenes with no graphical textures and empty green screens. I found the scenes enjoyable, regardless of how rough they were. The Miniseries Part I Feature Commentary with Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore was quite informative, if not a bit dry for the technical information provided by the crewmembers.

Other supplements on the first disc included a collection of Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes and some Sketches and Art. The eight featurettes are selectable to be played individually or collectively with a "Play All" menu function. From Miniseries to Series (8:29) talks about how the Sci Fi Channel miniseries found success and the story continued in the form of a television series. David Eick and Ronald D. Moore talk about how the series was intended to change the face of science fiction and their worries about the miniseries and eventual success. The Change is Good, Now They're Babes (7:28) touches on the subject that bothers me the most; the decision to make Starbuck and Cylons hot blonde babes. They make their point, but I'm still not buying it. The Cylon Centurion (5:30) takes a short look at the last remaining red pulsating eyed Cylon. The old vintage Cylon makes an appearance here. I don't care if they looked like guys in suits, I miss the old guys. The Future/Past Technology (7:43) looks at the evolving technology between the original series and the re-invention of "Battlestar Galactica." This was an interesting vignette. The Doctor is Out (Of His Mind) (7:43) looks at the character of Gaius Baltar and his role in the series and his relationship with Number Six. Production (9:07) and Visual Effects (8:55) look at what went on behind the scenes to bring the series to life. Epilogue (8:15) is a general look at the show.

The Miniseries also contains Universal's U-Control technology. This particular title contains two elements of the interactive experience. Encyclopedia Galactica features pop-up information that details many aspects of the new canon for the show. Information relating to the starships, the twelve colonies and characters from the show can be viewed by hitting the button on the remote and reading the information. The Picture-in-Picture feature provides a good deal of information on the making of the show. Various persons from the show's production take part in the video commentary pieces and this includes both interviews and vignettes on the making of the miniseries. The U-Control functionality for "Battlestar Galactica" wasn't as rich as it is on some other Universal titles, but it was nicely done and did lend more to the viewing experience. The menu allows you to turn on or off either element of U-Control and it also shows which chapters contain U-Control information. This was nicely done.

Disc Two:
The second part of the miniseries does not contain as many items as the first disc, but the U-Control feature continues with the second half and features the same items as detailed in the previous paragraph. The Miniseries Part 2 Feature Commentary with Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore is the continuation of the first half of the commentary track. The episode "33" does feature a few bonus materials to add to the enjoyment of the first episode from the television series. The Deleted Scenes (5:17) for "33" looks more into the sleep deprivation faced by the characters and a few additional moments between Starbuck and Apollo. The episode also features a Feature Commentary with Director Michael Rymer and Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore. The trio does talk about the genesis of the television show and do provide more details about "Battlestar Galactica" canon, the cast and the crew. This is another good education on the reimagining of the show.

Disc Three:
The third disc contains deleted scenes for the two of the episodes contained on the disc. The "Water" deleted scenes (8:18) and the "Act of Contrition" deleted scenes (2:47) add a little more character development and extends existing scenes. The scenes from the two episodes are grouped by episode, but may be played collectively with the "Play All" feature. Additionally, two commentary tracks are included. "Bastille Day" has a Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore. "Act of Contrition" also has a Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore. Director Michael Rymer was absent from this pair of tracks. The commentary tracks continue to be informative, but with the decent number of episodes containing commentaries, they truly are for the hardcore fans of the series. The two men give information about their relationship with the network and the information about "Bastille Day" was especially interesting and one of the better tracks in the box set.

Disc Four:
The bonus materials continue with much of the same on the fourth disc of the set. Deleted Scenes are provided for the three episodes. The excised bits are again grouped by the episode they belong to and a "Play All" function lets the viewer watch all the pieces collectively. The "You Can't Go Home Again" deleted scenes (:52) are two deleted moments with Number Six wearing an incredible teal outfit in one and Adama and the Galatica's doctor sharing a moment. The "Litmus" deleted scenes (5:04) are far more numerous in count and length. The "Six Degrees of Separation" deleted scene (1:09) deals with working on a Cylon Raider. Another Commentary with Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore is included for the episode "You Can't Go Home Again." It was at this point that I stopped sampling the commentary tracks, but I assume it is another detailed quality effort from the show's two executive producers.

Disc Five:
With two discs remaining for the first season of "Battlestar Galactica," the supplements improve in quantity over the fourth disc of the set, but not necessarily in quality. David Eick must have gotten tired of providing commentaries, but "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" has a Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore that is a little drier in tone than those where he shared time with one or two others. There is also a little more dead air in his commentary track, but he is still quite informative. The episode titled "The Hand of God" also features a Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore. I would assume it is similar to the first track. More Deleted Scenes are also provided for all three episodes, although they run for just over five minutes. "Flesh and Bone" (1:08) contains two scenes, with one featuring Starbuck and the other with Baltar and Boomer. "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" (3:19) is the longest and features sex talk, rubber gloves, more sex talk and more on the captured Cylon Raider in its three long scenes. "The Hand of God" (:49) has some snakes in its only deleted scene.

Disc Six:
The sixth and final disc contains more Deleted Scenes and commentary. All three episodes contain a Commentary with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore. He truly is a trooper and aside from missing out on about two or three episodes, Moore provided plenty of insight and information on the Sci Fi Channel show. The three commentary tracks here are just as informative as his two solo outings on the fifth disc, but Moore is certainly comfortable recording these tracks and seems more relaxed especially during the two part season finale. With so many commentary tracks offered, fans have a lot of value in this box set. The deleted scenes run for 17:19. "Colonial Day" (:22) just has one scene during the election. "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1" (12:31) contains most of the deleted materials for this sixth disc with plenty of Boomer footage. "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2" (4:25) is shorter in length, but has another set of nice moments.

Closing Comments:

This review has long since passed the five thousand word mark, so I'll keep my Closing Comments relatively short. I like "Battlestar Galactica." I like it a good deal. But I don't love it. The creators took a few liberties from the original storyline that don't sit completely well in my gut. The first choice made was the decision to make Starbuck a perky blonde bombshell. That hit below the belt. Dirk Benedict was my favorite character from the original show. I wanted to see a similar character in this reimagining of the cult classic. The second decision was to make Cylons a humanoid army with only one of twelve models representing the pulsating red-lensed warriors that made me uneasy as a boy. Now, the Cylons have a gorgeous blonde with a plunging neckline leading the efforts against mankind. There is just something wrong with that. Still, the political and dramatic plotlines are a nice break from typical science fiction fare. The new "Battlestar Galactica" certainly carry the torch for Commander Adama and his Battlestar with class. I feel the show could have been better and without the two elements of my reservations, I'd probably tune in weekly. It's a hit, but not a home run. The HD-DVD release is hindered visually because of the style in which it is delivered. It is a grainy and muddy looking show at times. The sound is excellent and there is a lot of commentary tracks to sit through, as well as some deleted scenes and an hour's worth of making-of featurettes. Regardless, there are no commercials and you can watch the show to fit your own schedule. This makes HD-DVD the preferred to watch "Battlestar Galactica." It's good. Very good. Just not great.

Ratings

Video
7
Audio
9
Extras
6
Film Value
8