Thursday, January 18, 2007

Battlestar Galactica—Season 3.5 Preview FanBoyWonder Style

Nobody asked us but as we here at FanBoyWonder eagerly await the start of Battlestar Galactica Season 3.5now at a new day and time, Sunday at 10 p.m. E.S.T. on Sci-Fi Channel, check local listings—we thought we would note our wish list of things we’d like to see in the coming new episodes.

This past Monday as Sci-Fi aired the all-day BSG marathon repeating the 11 episodes of Season 3.0, we were reminded just how good this season has been so far. There were more hits than misses and the show is stronger than ever creatively speaking.

Recap: When we last left the crew in December, Galactica was in a standoff with four Cylon basetars—all in orbit of the “Algae Planet,” home of the Eye of Jupiter. If the legends can be believed it’s not only a road map to Earth but it’s also the key—or so Cylon D’Anna (Lucy Lawless) believes--to discovering the identity of the final five humanoid Cylons models.

As the Cylons sent ships to the planet, Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) had deployed Galactica’s nuclear missile arsenal and seemed prepared to make good on his threat to nuke the planet--with Apollo (Jamie Bamber), Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) and numerous other crew members down below--rather than allow the Cylons to get possession of the Eye. Oh yeah, the planet’s sun is on the verge of going supernova and exploding. Not bad as cliffhangers go.

Even as a fourth season of BSG is either all but officially confirmed and announced or hanging by a thread—depending on who you believe—viewers should expect “major changes” to the status quo of Galactica in the coming weeks after the second half of Season 3 kicks off Sunday.

BSG writers/producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have hinted that a major character will be killed off and given recent press reports that primary cast member Katie Sackhoff has expressed her desire to leave the show, all signs would seem to point to the demise of Starbuck.

Yet don’t bet all of your cubits on that one. But we should note that ALL of the cast member’s contracts are up for renewal so it would seem that anyone is fair game. It would not be unheard of for the producers to do some sort of media head fake by holding Starbuck out as a red hearing.

Frankly we live in fear that either Edward James Olmos and/or Mary McDonnell will declare they have had enough of outer space (and Vancouver, British Columbia) and go home—as Oscar-caliber heavyweight actors, they are both on Galactica because they WANT to be.

This is where we begin to realize that Galactica is not going to have a long seven-season run like (most) of the Star Trek spin-offs—the cast and the writers will stay on Galactica only for as long as there are good stories to tell--so from here on in, look at each episode as a gift, it’s only a matter of time before the plug is pulled.

With that said, we’re not sure what to make of the speculation that Starbuck will buy the farm. To be honest, given how completely toxic and unsympathetic Starbuck has behaved through much of Season 3, Kara Thrace’s death may end up being a mercy killing—for character and viewers alike.

In no particular order, here are some things we’d like to see on upcoming episodes of Battlestar Galactica:

--President Laura Roslin vs. The Cylon Number Six—These two characters, played respectively by Mary McDonnell and Tricia Helfer, are the only two of the entire ensemble who have not engaged in a scene together--EVER. (Baltar’s Imaginary Six has shared scenes with Roslin but everyone except the mad scientist is oblivious to her presence.)

Helfer does her job as the show’s eye candy but it’s actually been a pleasant surprise to discover that the sexpot can act. The nuance that she brings to the many versions of the same character mold—from Caprica Six to Baltar’s Imaginary Six to Season 2’s Gina—is subtle but credible.

Much of Six’s mojo comes from her precision use of her sex appeal but (we would expect) her primary weapon would be useless against Roslin. We think a gloves-come-off clash between these two strong-willed characters is long overdue.

--Athena Confronting Roslin—During the Eye of Jupiter cliffhanger, Cylon Boomer revealed to Athena that Hera, the human/Cylon hybrid child, was actually alive, and that Laura Roslin was responsible for faking the child’s death and keeping Hera with her.

At the time, Roslin knew that her course of action was morally wrong but she also felt it was the right thing to do for the security of the fleet (and the remainder of the human race). How Roslin acknowledges her actions when called to account by the child’s parents has the makings to be among the best moments of the series.

--The Return of Imaginary Baltar—During the Season 2 episode “Downloaded,” viewers received the clever shock when Caprica Six awoke from a resurrection pod to see the face of Gaius Baltar (James Callis) and for a long second, we all thought that another Cylon had been revealed until Six and the viewers realized that only she could see and hear her former lover. Sound familiar?

Watching Six being the one nagged and manipulated by someone in her head made what had become an old chestnut fresh and new, while it also reveled something new about both the Six and Baltar characters.

Yet despite ample subsequent episodes with Caprica Six, we have yet to see her confer with her own imaginary friend. There must be a reason why Baltar and Six are plagued by their own fantasy phantoms.

Imaginary Six has told Baltar a couple of times now that she is an Angel of God sent to protect and guide him. So what does that make Imaginary Baltar? The writer’s simply CAN’T leave this loose end open.

--Cylon Doral Front and Center—In this summer’s pre-Season 3 Webisodes, we saw just how good of an actor and just how insidious the character is when Doral (Matthew Bennett) played on Jammer’s (Dominic Zamprogna’s) fear and doubt to recruit him as a New Caprica Police collaborator.

While a slight man physically, Bennett can radiate menace with just a simple look. So far Doral has taken a back seat to bigger name Cylon guest stars Lucy Lawless (D’Anna) and Dean Stockwell (Brother Cavill) but when they leave, Bennett is more than capable of picking up the slack as Galactica’s main bad guy.

Bonus: Since Doral really hasn’t been used too much, developing him at this advanced point in the series will help to keep it fresh.


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