Saturday, September 30, 2006

Battlestar Galactica The Resistance--Parts 7 & 8

The upshot: Jammer is summoned/arrested to a mysterious private meeting with the Cylon Aaron Doral. Doral talks to Jammer about the Temple attack and makes him an offer—to help him “stop the bloodshed.”

These two webisodes were by far the best to date and in the end will likely be considered the best of the whole 10-part series. This is where some of the slower paced episodes and the build up have paid off.

In Part 7, the viewer sees little more than Jammer waiting nervously in an empty room. The anticipation and tension is palpable and the viewer almost feels as if they are also all alone in that room. There is a decided increase in the anxiety level when the Cylon Doral enters the room and Part 7 ends.

The production limitations that previous webisodes have had to work around and overcome here become strengths. As the conversation picks up in Part 8, it’s just two characters alone in a room with close up, expression shots and pure acting.

What the viewer is watching is nothing less than the seduction of Jammer by the Cylon Doral. Unlike Starbuck’s interrogation of the Cylon Leobon in Season 1’s “Flesh and Bone,” Doral’s torture is far more insidious, skillful and potentially more effective.

Doral assaults Jammer with words—words laced with equal measure of truth, guilt and fear. Watching Doral masterfully manipulate Jammer, it would be so much easier for Jammer to endure a punch than the words designed to play on his festering doubts.

“Individuals like you and I have to be brave enough to show that there’s another way,” Doral tells Jammer ever so reasonably. Doral needs his help, not to betray his friends but to save their lives. One can see just how the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

These two webisodes are the most we’ve seen of the Cylon Doral since the BSG miniseries—and that was when he was playing a yet-as-unidentified sleeper agent, the Galactica’s public relations feeb (having dealt with many PR feebs in FanBoyWonder’s day job, we can testify that he excelled at the role.)

So but for the brief scenes of Doral on Cylon-occupied New Caprica during Season 1 and some of Season 2, we really are getting to know this character for the first time here. We like what we’ve seen so far.

During the Season 2 finale as he accepted President Baltar’s surrender, we saw that this was one cool customer and he was quite good at being bad.

Matthew Bennett, the actor who plays Doral is by no means physically imposing, yet through sheer force of will, he can very adeptly radiate fear and menace.

So far during BSG’s run, Cylons Number 6 and Sharon (Tricia Helfer and Grace Park) have gotten the lion’s share of attention, while newly introduced Cylons D’Anna Biers (Lucy Lawless) and Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) will command some serious attention during at least the start of Season 3 as they are “name” actors.

Yet we hope and suspect that Doral is a character who will endure as he is one mean little fracker.

Next week: The Resistance wraps up just in time for the start of Season 3 on Friday, Oct. 6


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