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PHOTOGRAPHY

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Season 4.5
DVD Review by David Blackwell
 
DETAILS:   763 minutes (four disc set), extended unaired episodes, deleted scenes, podcast commentaries, audio commentaries, featurettes, video blogs
VIDEO:  1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish
 
STUDIO:  Universl/ SyFy (Sci-Fi Channel)
RELEASE DATE:  7-28-2009
 
DISC 1-  SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION/ A DISQUIET FOLLOWS MY SOUL (broadcast and unaired extended)
DISC 2-  THE OATH/ BLOOD ON THE SCALES/ NO EXIT/ DEADLOCK
DISC 3-  SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME/ ISLANDED IN A STREAM OF STARS (broadcast and unaired extended)
DISC 4-  DAYBREAK Part 1, 2 &3 (broadcast and unaired extended)

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is one of my  favorite shows.  It is sad to be seeing the series end and Season 4.5 presents the last part of the show.   The last episodes pack as much punch as the episodes that came before it.  They explore the societal, political, and religious ramifications of the end of human civilization as they struggle to find a home (while on the run from the Cylons).   The rebel Cylons that have joined the fleet and the revelation that Earth is a radiated husk brings so much pressure to bear as President Roslin loses her faith (in herself) and mutiny erupts in the fleet.  Also the final Cylon of the Final Five is revealed and she comes back to the fleet.  

The series finale leaves me conflicted.  The first two hours are great while I have definite issues with the last thirty minutes (which the last five of that I hate).  Other than that, the rest of the episodes and material that leads up to the final moments are fantastic as usual.  The series is allegorical and dark.  Yet the characters have developed and grown since I first watched them in the mini-series and the first season.   Do I agree with the choices that Ron Moore made with the last thirty minutes of the finale?  No.  I like some of the moments and yet I was hoping for better.  I don’t why it is so hard to wrap a show sometimes.  Moore did the show on his own terms and most of it worked most effectively.  He threw red herrings and a few twists to throw the viewers.  Still I was hoping for a better ending and I would have been less conflicted over the last thirty minutes if Ron left those last five minutes out.  Those last thirty minutes could have set up some great final conflict between the remaining humans and yet it wasn’t touched on.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

All of Ron Moore's podcast commentaries are included for the last episodes of the series while Ron Moore does an audio commentary for the first extended episode.  Edward James Olmos contributes an audio commentary for the extended cut of ISLANDED IN A STREAM OF STARS while David Eick joins Moore for the commentary on the extended version of DAYBREAK.

 

Disc one has two featurettes (one being EVOLUTION OF A CUE), but the gem of the two is WHAT THE FRAK IS GOING ON BATTLESTAR GALACTICA which is a funny eight minute recap of the first three seasons.  Disc Two features a quick promotional featurette for the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA movie, THE PLAN.  Disc Three has David Eick's video blogs and a fetaurette about the end of the series (THE JOURNEY'S END- THE ARRIVAL) while Disc Four looks back at the series through several behind-the-scenes featurettes. 

 

The Disc Four featurettes are A LOOK BACK which includes SO SAY WE ALL, MANIFESTO DESTINY (the sales pitch that ended up in the miniseries script by accident and convinced several cast members to sign on), BATTLE-STYLE GALACTICA (the signature direction and cinematography of the show), MARTYR TO A CAUSE (focuses on Richard Hatch and his involvement in the series as Zarek), THE SINS OF THE FORGIVEN, and BATTELSTAR REVELATIONS.

 

Each disc has deleted scenes.  The only extended episode to have deleted scenes is DAYBREAK while the other two incorporates the cut material in an extended cut.  The only extra missing from the set are the 10 webisodes that form FACE OF THE ENEMY (they're rumored to be released on DVD alone in the future) which serve as a good prequel to the episodes on Disc Two.

 

FINALA ANALYSIS:   Despite a series finale that sucks for the last 30 minutes, the last few episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA still hold the high standard of quality the series started with.  The show will be missed.  Plenty of fantastic extras as usual.  Now all that is left is THE PLAN movie and the CAPRICA prequel series.

 

this DVD review is (c)8-20-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.   send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com   No Cylons were harmed during the writing of this review.  So Say We All!