Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Still Time to Get Onboard Brilliant Sci-Fi Series

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Still Time to Get Onboard Brilliant Sci-Fi Series

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT SOERGEL

'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA' 10 P.M. FRIDAY ON SCI-FI

Although generally being in favor of killer robots, I am not the kind of person who watches Battlestar Galactica. Or so I thought.

I'd successfully ignored the original incarnation of Battlestar in the '70s, too blissfully busy being young and irresponsible to bother with Lorne Greene in outer space.

Oh, I was vaguely aware of the new version: I'd seen the raves in Entertainment Weekly and elsewhere. But come on: The SciFi Channel? Isn't that where you get giant crocodiles, killer asteroids and the Baldwin brother whose name I always forget?

Then a friend I trust insisted I give it a shot. So I did, renting the three-hour miniseries that started it all in 2003. I popped it in the DVD player, figuring I'd watch an hour or so. If nothing else, the robotic femme fatale was reputed to be seriously sexy.

She was. She is. But there was much more to it than that. Within minutes, I was happy to find out that I am exactly the kind of person who watches Battlestar Galactica. Within hours, I gave over my entire Netflix queue to it - and have been furiously catching up since.

It is, quite simply, brilliant, taking place in a galaxy of ethical conundrums, tangled personal histories, political machinations and spiritual confusion and questing. With killer robots.

Its propulsive and complex storytelling is matched by, at best, just a handful of theatrical movies a year. It doesn't hem and haw: Things actually happen in Battlestar Galactica, and these things have consequences that carry over into the show's dense history.

Planets are destroyed, people you like die, major characters aren't who you think they are, heroes are flawed, villains are sometimes not so villainous. It's profoundly downbeat and incredibly exciting, thoroughly grown-up but quite capable of reaching the kid in you. Killer robots will do that.

The second half of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica kicks off at 10 p.m. Friday on Sci Fi. Jumping in at this point is a daunting prospect, but it can and should be done, if that's what it takes to get you watching.

Here's how to catch up: Sci Fi is airing a half-hour Galactica primer (8 a. …

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