Monday, January 09, 2006

Review: Resurrection Ship 1

From Cinescape:

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: Resurrection Ship Part 1
Back With a Vengeance

Reviewed Format: TV Show

Network: Sci-Fi Channel
Original Airdate: 6 January 2006
Cast: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park
Creator: Glen A. Larson
Developer: Ronald D. Moore
Writers: story by Anne Cofell Saunders; teleplay by Michael Rymer
Director: Michael Rymer

Hot on the heels of executive producer David Eick who scripted last year's "Home", director Michael Rymer sets pen to paper to deliver the teleplay for "Resurrection Ship, Part 1." Rymer's no stranger to screenwriting having penned his directorial debut, ANGEL BABY, but BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is not an easy show to script and this episode is certainly no run-of-the-mill installment. Luckily, Rymer is up to the task and his direction compliments his script exquisitely.

According to executive producer Ronald Moore's podcast, this episode originally comprised the first two acts of a single teleplay which was subsequently expanded to two episodes when it ran drastically over time. Overruns are no stranger to the series as anyone with the DVD releases is well aware after watching hours of deleted scenes. Whereas the immediately preceding episode, "Pegasus" will be featured in extended form on the next DVD set, "Resurrection Ship" got its respite early and hits the air in two hour long segments--and, boy does it need the breathing room. There's so much going on here that viewers need several seats to sit on the edge of. Between the near rape of Boomer, the imminent execution of Helo and Tyrol, and the rapidly rising tensions between Adama and Caine, the episode's packed like a powder keg in a burning storage shed.
In a standout episode like this one, its hard to put one's finger on the most amazing moments, but Adama's apology to Sharon, a singular notion to be sure, is so eloquently rendered that the audience cannot help but warm slightly with the old man's words. Olmos brings such honesty to the role that his every word carries a momentum with which it imbues the audience. Even when we know he's wrong on an intellectual level, we want to go with him because he makes us believe he's right. The same can be said for Mary McDonnell's President Roslin. When the two share the screen, we're often treated to fireworks, but their tacit agreement on the only course of action in this episode calls to mind those room-silencing moments from BABYLON 5 when Londo Molarri and G'Kar occasionally saw eye to eye.
Speaking of reversals, Starbuck's promotion over Apollo offers an interesting change of perspective as the two compatriots find themselves on opposite sides of command with their loyalties twisted in interesting ways. Another pair of strange bedfellows, Helo and Tyrol, find themselves debating the merits of their respective affections for Boomer in the aftermath of their dual death sentences. Finally, the incredulity of Helo's devotion is questioned and the lieutenant is unable to offer a satisfactory account of something as impossible to quantify as love. Another bottle sharing scene between first mates gives Michael Hogan's Colonel Tigh yet another terrifying account of Admiral Caine's atrocities and this time, no wartime rationale can excuse the cruelty of her actions. On the subject of Admiral Caine, Michelle Forbes will doubtless find herself shunned on public streets for the power of her performance--she puts every insane Starfleet captain in the history of television to shame with her portrayal of someone so violently certain that her way is the only way…and that last scene will kill you…or him…or her…we'll see.

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