With the SCI FI Channel splitting up their seasons into “Summer” and “Winter” halves, it only makes sense for the DVDs to be similarly split up so people don’t have to wait so long. Thus we have Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0, which is the first half of the second season of the SFC show that is getting mainstream praise. Read More for a review of this DVD set.
Sci-fi?s hottest TV series returns as Battlestar Galactica 2.0 blasts onto DVD in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. As the epic second season begins, the fight to save humanity rages on ? even as civil war looms within the fleet between the followers of President Roslin and Commander Adama. Relive all the intensity and excitement aboard the Galactica with a supernova of explosive bonus features, including deleted scenes and podcasts. It?s a heart-pounding adventure you can?t afford to miss!
This 3 DVD set contains all 10 episodes from the first half of Season 2, and throws some nice goodies – an EXTENSIVE set of deleted scenes (you could probably make another episode), “podcasts”, and a preview of the second half.
This set takes us from cliffhanger to cliffhanger. Along the way, relationships strain and change, mutiny, rebellion, prophecies, revelations, torture, hope from an unhoped for source, and a gauntlet from an unexpected source.
More nods to the original series as well – Kobol showing the way to Earth, and the appearance of the Battlestar Pegasus and (this time) Admiral Cain – although the circumstances are quite a bit different.
The superb production qualities that make up the show shine through on the DVDs. Audio and video are crisp (I only wish I had the TV to take advantage). If anything, the incidental music can intrude on the speech at times.
The three discs come in individual thin plastic folders, each with a different image of the characters on the cover. All three come in a cardboard slipcover with raised lettering and reflective highlights, with Adama, Six and Boomer on the cover. This image also makes up the main menu on each disc, where the eyes on the latter two flash for an interesting effect. Otherwise the menus are static images.
The discs have a “Play All” option, and well as individual episode entries with descriptions. The bonus features of all discs are listed on each disc, but the ones that are on different discs are “greyed out”. Alas, they don’t explain this and it may be confusing.
Plot/Story: Same as before – excellent. We are still moving through a large story arc, making for a larger story. Even bits “borrowed” from the original show are new. The plot twist involving how the Cylons are getting children was probably the weakest part, but not enough to detract from the rest. 5/5
Characters/Acting: Again, consistency is the key. Commander Adama is the still the understated leader, and is even demure at first in the face of a superior officer in the form of Admiral Cain (played by Michelle Forbes – Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation). Cain may be the weak part here…she appears too young to be the superior to Adama, or at least doesn’t have the command presense to warrant it. Mary McDonnell I think turns out the best performance, but we’ll see how Tricia Helfer can handle her character in the second half. 4/5
Effects/Visuals: Spectacular battle sequences punctuate the effects here, along with location shooting that doubles for the long-abandoned Kobol and the recently-devastated Caprica. 5/5
DVD Extras/Packaging: Still no outtakes, but a LOT of deleted scenes, including an alternate opening to the first episode, “Shattered”, and additional scenes which explores how Adama and Tighe met and their interactions 20 years previously. The “podcasts” are really running commentaries by Ronald D. Moore that had previously been released on the Web, but its fun to hear from the guys who knows everything about the show. 4/5
Overall: The best action-oriented show on TV. Still hoping for some true Emmy nods next year. 5/5
Total: 4.6 out of 5. Possibly the highest score we’ve ever given.
The second half starts this Friday (Jan. 6th).