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BSG: The final frontier, but not

In television on 01/15/2009 at 11:05 pm

Battlestar Galactica returns Friday on Space: The Imagination Station for its final run of 11 new episodes, also known as Season 4.5. If you’re a fan, you already know that. If you’re curious, but think it’s too late to join the game, Space and BSG hope you’ll reconsider by watching a video that gives you all the basics, and then some. Having gone to Space’s excellent website and watched the video of The Top 10 Things You Need to Know, I hope you’ll join the BSG fan nation. And if you’re already a fan — I love this show, but don’t always catch every episode — this video manages to bring you up to speed without the tedious classroom feeling. The Top 10 Things will also be broadcast, old-school-like, at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight on Space (and Saturday at noon and 5 p.m.), right after a day-long marathon of episodes leading up to tonight’s return. (Some episodes are also online if that works better for you cubicle monkeys out there.)

(Olmos and McDonnell in BSG, c/o Space)

Here’s a basic primer that execs Ronald D. Moore and David Eick explain more elaborately in The Top 10 Things: the last human survivors of an attack by the robot Cylons are aboard the BSG, looking first to escape the Cylons, which can take the form of robot Centurions, attack-ship Raiders or humanoids living secretly among the humans. At the same time, BSG’s crews is trying to find the fabled planet Earth. In the final season, the humans have formed an alliance with a Cylon faction. The end of the first half of Season 4 (that would be Season 4.0), Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos), President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) celebrate finding Earth. But what next? And who is the fifth, final humanoid Cylon, the identity of which is being sought by both Cylons and humans?

Again, fans already know this, but you newbies won’t regret the investment — in this video and the final episodes — because the end of BSG is not really the end. After the series wraps up its run, there will be another two-hour prequel called The Plan. It takes place before the Cylon attack that put the series in motion, this time from the perspective of two Cylons. Sci-Fi Channel in the U.S. has commenced production, and estimates a June broadcast, but Space has not yet signed on. Many, many familiar faces from the series. Moore is writing. Olmos is directing.

Wait! There’s more! Caprica is a spin-off series confirmed by the Sci-Fi Channel but not yet by Space. Caprica takes place 50 years before the Cylon attack and focuses on the Adamas and the Graystones as they struggle to keep control of the 12 Colonies and the artificial-intelligence industry. Moore is producer/writer. The cast here includes Esai Morales (NYPD Blue), Eric Stoltz (Gray’s Anatomy), Paula Malcolmson (Deadwood, ER) and Polly Walker (Cane, Rome). Look for this sometime in 2010, assuming Space will deliver. Please Space!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. BSG Season 4.5 is set to launch Friday on Space at 10 p.m. ET. (repeating Sunday at 6 p.m. ET). Here is the link to The Top 10 Things You Need to Know video. Once you’re at Space’s fun site you might not be able to resist clicking around — the last episodes of Season 4.0 on the video player, the Webisodes (Hey? What’s this about a character outing himself?), more interviews with Moore, and other fun stuff.

— Denise Duguay

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