Review: Battlestar Galactica 5×1

Drowning in misery

In the US: Fridays, 10/9c, SciFi
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, Sky One. Starts 19th January

It’s back! At last. Quibbles over whether this is the beginning of the fifth season or the continuation of the fourth season aside, it’s back and it’s bleaker and even more impressive than ever.

God bless Battlestar Galactica.

 As you may recall (if not, here’s where I gassed on about last season’s finale), I was slightly disappointed by season four of BSG. Crushed under the weight of its own mythology, straying away from the characters and the darkness that has so exemplified the writing of BSG, the show had dropped from must-see to must-I-see?

Fortunately, as predicted, the discovery of Earth has livened everything up. I won’t spoil it for UK viewers, but there are many revelations in the first episode as well as shocks that signal the writers are back on form. Whatever the question, the writers have picked the worst, most depressing answer possible for humans and cylons alike. Nothing seems the same after this episode, and the sheer misery and depression of the Galactica‘s crew is palpable.

At least, I hope the writers are back on form. This was the final script finished before the writers’ strike last year, so there’s the possibility they all got a bit rusty during their recess. Certainly, without the oversight of Ronald D Moore, there are a few rough edges to the episode, with Edward James Olmos of all people giving a duff performance as he descends into utter despondency.

With most of the questions posed of the previous few seasons answered, we now have a whole host of new questions to deal with. But they seem clearer and simpler to deal with than the previous set, as though the end is in sight and we’ve only a few more things to work out.

I’m hoping things are going to be great this season and judging by this first episode, it’s well on course. Where they actually go from here, though, now that the Earth has been found is anyone’s guess. Wherever it is, I’m guessing there won’t be a happy ending there. Thank God.

Here’s a YouTube trailer for the next episode:


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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