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"Battlestar Galactica: Season 3" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

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Synopsis

The beginning of the third season of this award-winning show finds the Cylons firmly in control of the recently established human colony on New Caprica.  However, a resistance group led by Chief Tyrol,  Sam Anders, and Colonel Tigh is doing all it can to keep the Cylons distracted while the colony awaits a rescue attempt from Admiral Adama and the remains of the Colonial fleet.  After daringly retrieving the survivors from New Caprica, the fleet continues on its search for Earth. However, there is much resentment directed towards those who collaborated with the Cylons during their captivity and the people of the fleet must decide how they will deal with the collaborators.   This all comes to a head when ex-President Gaius Baltar is returned to the fleet and a public trial ensues.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2008, Color, Not Rated , 15 Hrs 53 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC1
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff
  • Directed by: Various
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence:  Yes
  • Sex: Suggestive
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

I’ll go out on a limb and state that this is probably one of the greatest television shows of all time and one of the few shows that I made sure to watch every week.  Having said that, Season 1 and 2 were a bit more entertaining.   Not that season 3 is bad by any means, but some of the episodes (particularly in the second half of the season) did feel a bit like “fluff” to me and didn’t really add much to the plot line.  However, the first half of the season was very strong, with some excellent moral dilemmas for the humans and Cylons alike.  The closing episodes showcasing Gaius Baltar’s trial were extremely well done and help set up the final season of the show.  As with the first two seasons, the acting is generally excellent and production values remain high.  Despite not being quite as good as the preceding seasons, I still highly recommend watching season 3.  Even if you are not a science fiction fan, you might find the cleverly integrated themes of religion, morality, and politics hard to pass up.

Technical

When this show originally aired on the Sci-Fi network, I was forced to watch in standard definition.  While I later saw a few episodes re-broadcast in high-def, there is no doubt that the Blu-ray releases are far superior.  While the look of Battlestar Galactica is highly stylized (Ron Moore gives a brief intro on this when you start the show), the Blu-rays give you a much better look at what the producers and cinematographers intended.   Picture quality varies from razor-sharp in outdoor scenes or close-ups to grainy and rough-looking in many of the shots aboard Galactica.  Colors vary throughout the shows as well.  Sometimes they are muted and dull while other times they are slightly oversaturated.  This is all intentional and helps set the tone for many of the episodes.   Overall, the level of detail is excellent.  For example, check out some of the close-ups of James Olmos’s face.   You can see every little (and not so little) line and defect in his skin.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fantastic for a television series.  Dialogue remains clean and clear throughout every episode.  Bass is very deep when called for and there is good use of the surround fields.  The dynamic range is wide, which makes for some very exciting moments and also works well with the haunting score.

Extras

This set is packed with extras.  There is an extended (25 minutes longer) version of “Unfinished Business,” lots of deleted scenes, Ronald Moore’s complete series of Podcasts, audio commentaries, “The Resistance” webisodes, David Eick’s video blogs, “The Oracle” and “Battlestar Blips” U-Control content, and some BD-Live enabled trivia and card games.