Title: Battlestar Galactica – Season 2 and 3
Directed by: Various
Written by: Various
As you might have noticed, I seldom watch movies, not because I dislike it per se, but rather because it takes up too much high-quality time I usually have better uses for. Needless to say, TV series are even rarer than films, which is the reason why I waited around three years before continuing watching Battlestar Galactica, even though I really liked the first season.
I have watched season two and three over a long period of time, so reviewing them together makes a lot more sense than breaking them up. I also think the contents are quite similar in nature which means that most of what I want to say about one of the seasons also applies to the other.
In my first review, I said that there are three main reasons for liking Battlestar Galactica: plot, presentation and characters. Today, I have a somewhat different opinion. The overall plot is adequate, but it’s not a factor that makes the series stand out. The presentation (as in directing, props, effects, etc.) is very good, but doesn’t feel like anything special after watching a couple of seasons (this is probably a bit unfair since I think most other similar series are inferior in this regard).
So, if these points are no longer relevant, how come that I still like the series? Mostly because of the third reason I brought up in the original review: the characters. I don’t simply mean that they are well-made and expertly enacted, but they are well-integrated into the plot and each other, which creates something which feels very real and interesting. I’m especially fond of the second in command, Colonel Tigh, who turns out to be a lot more complex than he seemed at first glance in season 1. Starbuck remains a favourite, but others are catching up.
(Spoiler warning issued for this paragraph!) Regarding the plot, things start getting really interesting at once as Tigh assumes command of the Galactica and as he crumbles underneath the pressure of responsibility. Later, when the Pegasus arrives, the situation is further complicated, but I think this part could have been made a lot more scary than it turned out to be. There are too many obvious answers what’s right and wrong; more grey scales and moral dilemmas would have been easy to create.
(Spoiler warning issued for this paragraph!) With the settlement of New Caprica, a well-deserved break from life in the fleet gives the series a new impetus. I was growing quite bored withe monster-of-the-week episode and this changed things to the better. Still, I would like to have had more coherence between the episodes, because some of them just feel completely useless, advancing neither character, story or any of the major themes.
To sum things up, some of the things I initially liked with the series are still there, but they are no longer as prominent as they once were, perhaps because I’ve grown used to them. Other things remain as strong as before and keeps on developing. I’m not sure how the plot will turn out in the end, but it has still a potential to be great. I give the second and third season four snails, which is promising for the fourth and last episode, but is still a downgrade from the first.
Update: Why are the posters to all the seasons so extremely bad? I don’t know if gender roles were an intentional focus of the creators of the series, but I think Battlestar Galactica features more strong and interesting female characters than a couple of other science fiction series put together. So, why make these horrific posters?