New Caprica is in the hands of the Cylons, and attempts
at co-existence have given way to a state of fear and subjugation.
Can humanity thwart its oppressors? Is the quest for Earth
Season three of Battlestar Galactica begins some time
after the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. A resistance has
been formed, and terrorist attacks are being mounted against
the Cylons. Typically of the show, post-911 issues are once
more under scrutiny - in this instance the use of suicide-bombers.
When people are blowing themselves up for our heroes, how
do we, the audience, feel? It's a contentious topic, no doubt,
and here the show's producers like to play Devil's advocate.
With the struggle on New Caprica, the show begins with action
and tension in bucketloads. There is also a moment when the
Galactica makes a brief atmospheric entry that will
have you gob smacked. Indeed, the CGI space battles continue
to impress with their gritty potency, but sadly, it's not
long before the season settles into a groove of Cylon navel-gazing
and human unrest.
The new Battlestar Galactica has always been the thinking
person's sci-fi, but season three seems a little more occupied
with its metaphysical, sociological and psychological agendas
than those previously. This is to the show's detriment. Are
we watching sci-fi or a soap-opera? Sure, character, character,
character is the new black in modern television, but toss
the sci-fi fans a bone once in a while. Can we have another
space battle, please?
Still, that is not to say that season three is rubbish. Dear
no, far from it! There are some riveting moments, and cheeky
episodes where some of our heroes are made a lot less likeable.
In fact, there are so many shades of grey in many of the characters
- both Cylon and Human - that sometimes one feels a little
perplexed by proceedings.
least the season's finale is worthy, with some superb acting
from Jamie Bamber (Apollo), and the ever reliable James Callis
(Baltar). The closing moments of the last episode are bizarre
to say the least, and point the way to a possibly very intriguing
In the past, I've been full of praise for the new Battlestar
Galactica, but on this occasion, I am vexed. Familiarity
breeding contempt, or is it "difficult third album" syndrome?