Even in the darkest times, 'Battlestar Galactica' is out of this world
A baby screams as his mother is taken by armed men in the middle of the night. A prisoner, one eye gouged out, huddles in a dank corner of a bare cell.
Men and women clad in gray, ragged clothing, their faces tight with anxiety, mill around the entrance to a prison, hoping for news of a loved one, while in a ramshackle rebel outpost, a man who thinks he has nothing to live for straps on a vest full of explosives.
These aren’t scenes from the evening news. They’re images from the season premiere of “Battlestar Galactica” (8 p.m. Friday, Sci Fi), which, in its third season, provides a unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
In the opening episodes, which by turns evoke Vichy France, Vietnam and Iraq, the Cylons (human-looking machines who attempted to wipe out the human race at the start of the series) debate tactics regarding control of the ragged, rebellious population of New Caprica - the 50,000 or so people who are the remnants of the human race - while the humans consider plots of their own.
And from Newsweek:
Oct. 4, 2006 - It’s a regular affectation of television critics to declare this or that show—“Lost,” “The Wire,” “House”—the “best show on television.” I am not a television critic, nor can I claim to have watched nearly enough TV to back up such a blanket assertion. But let me just say that “Battlestar Galactica,” which starts its third season this week on the Sci Fi Channel (premiering Friday night at 10 p.m. ET), is indisputably, hands-down and without question, the best show on television.
About a year ago, I tried to pitch NEWSWEEK’s arts editor on a “BSG” story. He said something along the lines of “Get out of my office, nerd,” which neatly sums up the challenge of getting other people to watch it. The title unfortunately evokes its predecessor, a 1978 "Star Wars" clone that presented humanity fleeing through space, pursued by robots with the same blinking red LEDs that was later adopted by the talking car in “Knight Rider."