At July’s San Diego Comic Convention, Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama) had this to say when discussing the much anticipated third season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: “Man, it’s brutal. I can honestly tell you the first two years cannot prepare you for what happens in the third. Not even close. The third season is dark… the darkest we’ve ever gotten”.
Having just viewed the first five episodes of season three, this TV addict can’t help but think the actor may have been understating the case just a tad: The third season of BSG is intense, terrifying and might — were we talking about any other show — be difficult for viewers to watch. But let’s not forget that we’re talking about the series so cool as to have single-handedly made science fiction hot again by taking a tired genre and infusing it with a combination of excitement and relevance that reminds us just how powerful the genre can be.
By creating characters and spinning storylines which not only intrigue but generate controversy, discussion and debate, creator Ronald D. Moore takes viewers to a world which is light years from our own… and yet oddly familiar. As with the best of science fiction, he has created scenarios which seem entirely within the realm of possibility.
As with what has come before, season three continues the BSG tradition of tackling controversial subjects head on. Over the course of the first five episodes, our intrepid heroes are forced to deal with suicide bombings, an invading, occupational force, a corrupt government… sound familiar? And it is that very “ripped-from-the-headlines” feel which gives the new episodes their relevance, not to mention their dark tone. It’s no coincidence that viewers will be reminded of (and made to think about) the war in Iraq. More importantly, they may find themselves seeing issues in new and completely unexpected ways. This is television which both engages and challenges the viewer, showing us what the medium is capable of when creative minds are given free reign.
One thing’s certain: As the third season progresses, our Battlestar-bound pals may find themselves reflecting fondly on the relatively peaceful days when all they had to do was remain one step ahead of the Cylons.