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PHOTOGRAPHY

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Season One

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 756 minutes (mini-series and 13 episodes on five discs), deleted scenes, featurettes, nine episode audio commentaries, mini-series commentary

STUDIO: Universal/ SCI-FI

RELEASE DATE: 9-20-2005

DISC 1-  mini-series

DISC 2-  33, WATER, BASTILLE DAY, ACT OF CONTRITION

DISC 3-  YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN, LTIMUS, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, FLESH AND BONE

DISC 4-  TIGH ME UP, TIGH ME DOWN/ THE HAND OF GOD/ COLONIAL DAY/ KOBOL'S LAST GLEAMING part 1

DISC 5-  KOBOL'S LAST GLEAMING Part 2, deleted scenes, featurettes, and more

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was an interesting re-imagining in the mini-series, but season one of the new show just was 100 times better making it one of the best drama shows on TV.   The show has long reaching cosequences.   If a character is hurt, they're not instantly healed by the next episode.   A variety of different type of episodes are also tried and a character from the mini even makes a return.   The cliffhanger for season one leaves one breathless.   The writers also aren't afraid to shake things up and do the tough things (like the toture of a Cylon in FLESH AND BONE or Appolo being given a tough order at the end of 33).

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The transfer isn't bad.  It is probably due to the fact the series was shot using High Definition video cameras.  image detail is great.   A little grain does show, but part of that is probably due to the way they shot the series.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, Spanish

The 5.1 is mostly atmospheric, but the dialogue is crystal clear.

SPECIAL FEATURES: This season set has load of extras, but many of the extras from the mini-series disc don't make this season one set.

The audio commentary for the mini-series is on the first disc and nine episode audio commentaries appear over the following four discs (four are all new while the commentaries for the last five episodes of season one are Ron Mooore's podcasts that were originally presented at SciFi.com).   The four totally new episode commentaries are for 33 (Roland D. Moore, David Eick, and Michael Rymer), BASTILLE DAY (Moore, Eick), ACTS OF CONTRITION (Moore, eick), and YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN (Moore).

Almost fifty minutes of delted scenes from season one are on disc five (almost ten minutes from WATER and 13 minutes from KOBOL'S LAST GLEAMING Part 1) that include some lost character moments and the Boxey scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor.  However the twenty minutes of deleted scenes from the mini-series aren't included in the season one release (you have to have the original mini-series disc to see those).   The SCI-FI LOWDOWN special on the series is included, but the LOWDOWN special on the mini-series isn't (you have to own the original mini-series disc for that.   A four minute slideshow featurette comparing sketchs and art to the final production design is interesting, but I rather it had the option to look at each still at one's own leisure.

Disc five has an hour of featurettes:

FROM MINISERIES TO SERIES-  How they approached making the series look like a documentary, the use of hi-def cameras, and the tone of the series.

CHANGE IS GOOD- NOW THEY'RE BABES-  The gender switches they did to Starbuck and Boomer including talk about the Cylon babe Number Six (Tricia Helfer).

THE CYLON CENTURION-  all about the virtual cylons they created for this reimagining of BSG and how they create them in CGI to fit the scenes (and how the Cylons walk).

FUTURE/PAST TECHNOLOGY-   Production design and the retro high tech look of the Galactica and the props they use on the show (which are things and guns they find before addinga Galactica twist to it).

THE DOCTOR (IS OUT OF HIS MIND)-  focuses on the new Gaius Baltar and how the actor plays him.

PRODUCTION-   a look at how they do things on the series (how they use hi-def cameras, the stunts, the costumes, and more).

VISUAL EFFECTS-  making the visual effects fit in with the action and characters of the show

EPILOGUE-  the cast say they're having a blast making the series.

MENUS/PACKAGE DESIGN: Menus are bland, but I love the use of the theme song from the new series. Universal does get major bonus points for including each disc in their own case. They should do more TV on DVD releases like this instead of their usual DVD case format for TV shows.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Season One is a top notch effort from Universal despite a couple of extras from the mini-series disc not on this release.   The season two release will also be special (probably will include some or all of Ron Moore's Podcast commentaries in addition to the longer cut of PEGASUS (Part 1)).

this DVD Review is (c)9-28-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and news/updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia