Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recap of STWOM

Via SevorTB.

Bear's use of Stu Philips "Exploration" theme from the original Battlestar Galactica sort of reminded me of this scene of Stu Philips playing a bit of his main title theme on a piano at a restaurant near Universal Studios:

From NotTheDJMojo

And since we're in 1979...

From SciFiAssasin

ETA: It took me a while, but I finally found on YouTube the opening titles from BSG 1978 that include the Stu Philips "Exploration Theme" that Bear used as Nomian's 3rd in Someone to Watch Over Me. And if you'd like to hear the "brothers of man..." narration in Italian, it's pretty trippy.


Islanded in a Sea of Stars:

Read Bear McCreary's extensive details about the creation of the music for Someone To Watch Over Me, part one, part two, and part three.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Open Thread: #419 Someone To Watch Over Me

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

Writers: David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Director: Michael Nankin

iF Magazine has an interview with Michael Nankin up today. There is also this interview with Katee Sackhoff, this one with Tricia Helfer, this one with Michelle Forbes, and SciFi Wire is taking fan questions for Kate Vernon until March 2. As she does every week this season Maureen Ryan will post an interview with the ep's writers, look for it sometime tomorrow morning on her site.

ETA Mo Ryan's excellent interview with David Weddle and Bradley Thompson.

Here’s to you, Kara.

As we prepare for tonight’s new episode which seems to promise more information about the mysterious state of Kara Thrace, here are a few fun links for my fellow Starbuck fans.

The LA Times has a brief interview with Katee Sackhoff at The Hero Complex blog. (Teeny spoiler warning for the 100%-Spirginal.)

I am back in my New York City life this week, after several months on the road for work reasons …and guess what I found waiting for me on a phone booth just outside my office building here?

Funny. It has probably been there this entire winter. Oh Starbuck.

Meanwhile, helmets off to fan taragel for assembling this wonderful ode, Kara Thrace’s Top 25 Defining Moments. I’ve included a few of my favorites below. A fan over at the BSG LJ Blog has updated the links to all of La Sackhoff’s scenes on NIP/TUCK to date this season; apparently next week is her final appearance on that show.

Fight ‘em till ya can’t no more. See you on the open thread.

Clip from Someone To Watch Over Me

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Galactica Second Coming

Ever wondered how Richard Hatch would have continued Battlestar Galactica? Check out the trailer for Battlestar Galactica The Second Coming, that Hatch produced on his own as a pitch to Universal Studios many years yahrens ago:

Deadlock Reviewed

The reviews are in for Deadlock, which has shaped up to be perhaps the most controversial episode of this season:

Todd VanDerWerff for The House Next Door:

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh …

Hmmmmmmmmmmm …

“Deadlock,” written by Jane Espenson and directed by Robert Young, offered up the best and worst of Battlestar Galactica. Characters changed their minds on a dime in seemingly unrealistic ways (seriously, WHAT IS UP WITH TYROL (Aaron Douglas) this half-season?). The writers pulled Baltar’s (James Callis) strings a little too obliquely to force him into YET ANOTHER crazy new persona (with only a handful of episodes? Really?). And there was a long, probably too soapy plotline that was still pretty terrific just because of the layers and layers and layers of backstory that were laid onto it. I see the fandom is largely unkind to “Deadlock,” if not outright hostile, and, yeah, this episode both feels like a waste of time with only four episodes left AND strangely rushed, as though a lot of plot had to be telescoped, since there are only four episodes left and the show has bigger questions to answer than whether Tigh (Michael Hogan) ends up with Ellen (Kate Vernon) or Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer). But, Hell’s bells, sometimes you watch a show like Battlestar for the simple pleasures, and seeing Hogan act the piss out of that monologue about the love he feels for women and then collapse weeping in Adama’s (Edward James Olmos) arms was pretty damn pleasurable, even if the episode, overall, prompted a long, long period of head-scratching.

...I’ve speculated before that the Battlestar writers are interested in their mythology, but probably not as interested as their fans are. The “road to Earth” plotline was always handled rather perfunctorily, and in this arc, the writers seem more fascinated by Tigh and Ellen’s undying love than by specifically nailing down just how, exactly, Ellen rediscovered resurrection technology back on Earth. Shows with complex mythologies often foster love-hate relationships with fans because, as interesting as everyone may find it to examine the relationships between the characters, these shows tend to have big questions at their center, which leads to the fan demand for either more questions or big revelations. I suspect a lot of the fan anger over this one will stem from how last week’s episode was ALL big revelations (delivered in one, massive infodump) and THIS episode was almost entirely character stuff. Part of the problem was that the love triangle of Tigh, Ellen and Caprica just felt a little silly when compared to the monumental questions hanging over these people.

If it seemed as though Ellen was a slightly different person when she was having her odd conversation with Cavil (Dean Stockwell) last week, “Deadlock” just shows that she can be a queen/goddess to some, but she’ll always be “herself” around Tigh. She wears her royalty just a bit uneasily, so it’s a relief to see her husband, even as she learns that he’s conceived a child with another Cylon, both a miracle to her and a bitter disappointment. For, you see, we’ve been led to believe that Cylons can only conceive when they’re in love.

This whole “in love” conceit has always been the goofiest damn thing on Galactica (and this is a show with nonsense-talking human-robot hybrids who live in tanks). It’s one of those things I suspect will be explained in the weeks to come, but it’s also the thing I least expect to have explained convincingly.

it seems entirely possible that the show is setting us up to see that BECAUSE Tigh and Ellen could never conceive, despite their, indeed, eternal love, twoo wuv is not necessarily the way Cylons conceive. Maybe it has more to do with the plans of the One True God or with Simon’s experiments or something like that. Whatever. It’s still the one thing I expect to cringe at in the finale.

...The Baltar storyline, though, was a mess. To be fair, it feels like something that’s a setup for what’s to come. Why else would Head Six return after being gone so long? But Baltar’s cult was so fascinating in the first half of the season precisely because you could never nail down whether he believed what he was feeding his followers or if he simply was doing this as a way to stay one more step ahead of things. If he wasn’t quite sure of what he was doing at first, though, with Head Six’s help, he slowly gained a confidence and a clarity that made him seem as though he was born to be a religious leader. Sadly, in the coup episodes, Baltar too easily tossed aside what he had built for his own safety, and instead of indicating that perhaps he had been overwhelmed by his intense need to survive, the show continues to suggest that he’s only in the religious thing for what it can bring HIM, and that whoever is controlling Head Six is just using him as a conduit for whatever it wants to say. Also, a peek into the civilian life of the fleet (returning to the slummier sections of things with a visit to Dogsville) just feels a little unneeded this late in the game. As a brief plot point in Season Three? Sure. But as a major new development at this point in the final run of episodes? I don’t know that it feels organic, particularly when it leads to Adama randomly giving Baltar’s cult more guns than they’ll know what to do with. The Galactica writers can be guilty at times of jerking some of the characters around to get to a point they need them to be at, and, clearly, Baltar’s going to need a militia soon enough, so Adama’s going to have to go against much of his better judgment to arm the guy. Sure, the fleet is severely depopulated, thanks to the coup, but wouldn’t that be just as much of an incentive to deputize a few of the residents of Dogsville itself? The whole thing didn’t make a lick of sense.

Tim Goodman for the San Francisco Chronicle:
With 4 episodes left, I think anyone hoping for ALL the answers ought to take a long walk right now. Not happening. And that's OK. But during this episode I kept thinking, "For all the shots we have of Adama squinting at the Cyclon Goo that's holding his ship together, I think you could have closed a few loopholes. Even with exposition. I don't care."

Which brings us to the future, or to next week's Starbuck-centric episode (yes...thank you...) and the fact that she heard someone playing piano in the bar and that particular Billy Joel might hold some wisdom for her (not liking that on paper at all...4 eps left and you've got a piano player being a key character?). But wait - before looking ahead shouldn't we at least shrug and say that if the series wasn't ending so rapidly, there's no way Adama gives Baltar weapons? That happened too fast and too easy.

Cultural Learnings:
What fascinated me about “Deadlock” is that instead of focusing on these types of questions, it removes us from the show itself and places us into the minds of the writers, as they move the characters around like they’re playing checkers on a chess board (Yes, that was a “The Wire” burn). While it was understandable early in the show’s run to have blatant transition episodes like this one, where people start taking on new roles and where old trajectories are shifted into new directions, both this episode and “No Exit” are so blatantly the result of setup that one can’t fully engross themselves in this world. We are coming to the point in the show’s run where the audience is more engrossed in the fate of these characters than ever, and I find myself consistently being drawn out of that element of the series in favour of pondering just how blithely they are willing to state the obvious, linger on that which needs not lingering, and delve into the absolute wrong kind of opera at this late stage of the game.

I am aware, by the way, that my cynicism is growing for Battlestar at an alarming rate, and I really wish it wasn’t. For me, it’s been a period of escalation: it started with “Blood on the Scales,” which I felt moved too quickly, and then continued into “No Exit,” an episode that felt like too much exposition with not enough to show for it. The problem with “Deadlock” is that it only plays into my earlier concerns, rushing various storylines and entirely squandering the breadth of content that “No Exit” made available to it.

I equate it to playing checkers on a chess board, because “Deadlock” essentially takes an incredibly complex situation (made even more complex last week) and turns it into a series of simple jumps, diagonal movements where everyone follows the same rules and where things which before required a great deal of concentration now just require a few convenient leaps of logic. The funny thing is that, for all of the simplification that needed to happen in order to make the episode work, it doesn’t actually go anywhere: the pieces barely get halfway across the board by episode’s end, and to compromise the narrative integrity of the series for this seems extremely misguided.

...There are some interesting things in this storyline, including yet another viewpoint into the people of the fleet, something that I usually quite like to be honest with you. And ever since the end of the Mutiny, the show has been missing a face of the people, someone who can give us a better sense of what is happening on the ground level. This episode, on that front, attempted to do two things: to indicate the ship becoming “blended” was beginning to create tension, and that there was a need for an intervention from Adama and Roslin in order to fix this. And yet, in a roundabout piece of logic that I don’t quite understand, this ends up with Baltar returning to his harem and getting them armed with high-powered military weapons, becoming a sort of state-sponsored aide organization with giant guns.

And Adama’s decision to agree to arm his harem doesn’t make a lick of sense: sure, Baltar would argue that the non-military people have a better chance of getting the food out to the people as long as they’re protected, but I don’t think that positioning Baltar as the last human who is able to be amongst the people is really all that logical. It feels, to be honest, like Baltar is being forced into a role of prominence for the sake of the storyline as opposed to what would actually happen in this scenario: they have no reason to trust Baltar, and considering that Baltar started the episode without an honest bone in his body I’m finding it hard to buy it all.

...It just seems that, if these kinds of issues were going to pop up, that there were other ways to deal with them. None of this felt particularly novel or well-thought out, just as “No Exit” seemed like a hodgepodge of different ideas thrown together.

There were moments in the episode that fit better: Tigh and Adama sitting together, drunk, discussing the dependence they have on the Cylons and the effect on the ship. That’s the kind of scene that works because it plays into the legacy of their relationship, but the rest of the episode the only real content we got on the Cylon cartiledge of sorts was numerous almost identical shots of Adama staring at the construction and then staring some more. Those were moments that felt entirely unnecessary, moments that didn’t seem necessary.

“Deadlock” just didn’t do anything for me: the acting was pretty darn good all along, especially from Michael Hogan, Kate Vernon and Tricia Helfer, who did elevate this beyond the level of a daytime soap opera. But I think were to a point where this show can’t just be about good acting, and where an episode can’t quite indulge itself as this one does. There were some sharp little comic moments here (Roslin realizing that she’s never called Caprica by a name, Hot Dog remarking that space is filled with dead women from their past), but they never amounted to an episode that (like “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”) that was about establishing a mood, or preparing characters. Instead, it was about rushing characters into new roles, and about spending too much time setting up a Cylon storyline through base human emotions, a philosophical discussion that was played out last week and felt cheapened here by this particular portrayal.

Richard Vine for The Guardian:
This was probably the soapiest episode all season, but sometimes it's good to see how the characters are reacting to everything that's been thrown at them. In keeping with BSG's ability to take on any genre of TV and push it to the absolute limits, soap conventions are blasted throughout. Not only do we get someone coming back from the dead, it's a wife who finds out that her grieving ex has shacked up with one of the "children" for whom he never knew he was responsible AND that he's got her pregnant after years (well, centuries) of them not being able to conceive. Then, to top it all off with Ellen pushing Caprica to miscarry was devastating, yet another one of those moments you feel like they're dashing off in the mad race to get everything out of the way before the last episode...

Adama, meanwhile, appears to be so thrown off by the Cylon goop being plastered all over the Galactica that he hasn't had time to think through what it means to dish out a load of semi-automatics to the Sisters of Baltar. Maybe they lost so many marines in the mutiny that they really do need to get some kind of civilian police force in operation. What else could he do - draft in some Centurions?

Battlestar Galactica Review Blog:
Considering how much of the episode was actually focused on Ellen and her whirlwind tendency to disrupt everything, I haven’t said very much about it. That’s because Ellen has always annoyed the hell out of me, and I’m not convinced that her character logic adds up. Part of the problem is that the episode felt like it was edited using a blender. I can only assume that this is one of those episodes that had to be butchered to get it down to time. The producers made it clear at one point that many of the final episodes would need to run long or be cut dramatically, and based on the haphazard storytelling at play here, this would seem like a prime example.

Ultimately, this episode suffered from two fatal flaws. The focus on Ellen Tigh and her chaotic, destructive personality is off-putting and frustrating, especially when there is so little time left for resolution. But more importantly, the episode just felt like it was crammed into an hour when it needed much more time to tell its story organically.

Alan Sepinwall:
Whatever the grand plan is, the episode's love triangle was beautifully sold by Michael Hogan (and his amazing acting eye), Tricia Helfer and Kate Vernon. People commented last week how different the post-resurrection Ellen seemed from the drunken trollop we remembered from episodes like "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down." But this episode makes clear that Cavil didn't invent entirely new personalities for his "parents" when he imprisoned them in new bodies. The real version of Ellen is smarter than the one we knew, and maybe more regal, but she's still just as frakked-up, just as trapped in the ring of fire with Saul as she ever was. And it was alternately hilarious and terrifying to see her shift from playing all-knowing mother to the Cylons to being consumed with her old jealousies at the thought of her husband knocking up one of her children.

...No, I had no problem with the A-story being a bit less mindblowing than the last few weeks have been. My problem with "Deadlock" comes entirely with Baltar returning to the harem and then somehow talking Adama into arming up his little Manson family.

...The problem is that he's now slipped into so many bogus roles that it's impossible to take the character seriously anymore, in any way. It feels like the writers ran out of ideas for Baltar around the end of the New Caprica arc. They were able to stall for a while by putting him on trial (and vamped in between by trying to establish him as an underground political hero), but the cult was only interesting to me so long as I believed that Baltar believed. Once it became clear that he was just screwing around (in more ways than one), then Baltar is just a comic relief character. As played by James Callis, he's wickedly funny comic relief, but he feels superfluous to the main action, and I can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth -- even in moments where he's supposed to be sincere.

Galactica Variants:
This episode is one of the worst, for sure Woman King is worse, but it may be the second worst. This reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica is dying a very undignified death right before our eyes.

Mike Murphy, Press Democrat:
Now here's an interesting tidbit. Apparently a fairly important plot element was cut from last week's "Battlestar Galactica," a development that would have added a whole lot to the confusing and disappointing episode. Writer Jane Espenson mentions it in this interview, and so have online commenters on Television Without Pity.

The whole deal with Baltar and his cult giving out food and getting guns confused me. It lacked context. Turns out, in the episode's original cut, all was explained. But that cut was 11 minutes long, so it had to be trimmed for TV. Here's what I've been able to cobble together of what ended up on the editing room floor:

In the wake of three years of war and a failed mutiny, there are no longer enough Marines on Galactica to maintain order. Sensing a riot over food distribution, the outnumbered Marines retreat from Dogtown and the Sons of Ares swoop in with their guns and take over the abandoned food supply. But the Baltar-less cult manages to secure a stash of food, effectively letting them be self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, Adama and Roslin debate the merits of bringing Cylon centurions on board to provide security and patrol civilian areas. (Wow, huuuuge plot point there.) Adama's staunchly against it, even though his ship is slowly becoming assimilated with the Cylons.

...Effectively, the question for Adama is, allow a criminal gang to control the food supply, or allow Baltar's crazy cultists to control it. And Baltar's group, now armed to the teeth, would also serve as a civilian security force, which Adama figures is better than using centurions. In the end, the Baltar's militia is the lesser of two evils.

That would have been nice to know. Instead, we got repetitive scenes of Adama looking pained as he examined Galactica's structural failures. And that ridiculous "he loves you more" scene with Caprica Six losing her Cy-baby. For the life of me, I don't know why they'd cut such a critical plot development. With so few episodes left, each scene should be moving the series forward, showing the fleet's increasingly desperate situation. I expect a lot from this show because it's consistently delivered at a high level. This was no time to drop the ball.

Buddy TV:
In a far less interesting and much more absurd storyline, Gaius Baltar returns to his former followers hoping that his harem of women will bow before his feet. He’s a bit ticked off that they don’t all fall in line because they feel like he betrayed them, so a lady named Paula has taken up his role as leader. Baltar is desperate to regain his status as a prophet.

Baltar decides the best way is to give food to starving kids so he looks like a great humanitarian. It backfires when mercenaries show up and steal the food. Baltar hides behind his female posse and I’m starting to feel sad. This season was going so strong, and now they’re wasting our time with this wacky, pointless Baltar storyline. BSG has had absolutely no idea what to do with Gaius ever since the trial ended.

Baltar finally goes to Adama and asks him for guns by playing on his weakness, saying that he and his religious harlots are the last chance for humanity unless Adama wants to integrate the fleet with the Cylons. It makes no sense, but Adama’s ship is dying, he’s replacing it with Cylon goop, and his best friend, now a Cylon, is having a baby with another Cylon, so he’s more susceptible to Baltar’s trickery.

Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times:
Apparently, poor judgment carries over when a Cylon is regenerated, and even after thousands of years, Ellen Tigh is still annoying on "Battlestar Galactica."

...Speaking of Adama, he's having a hard time reconciling with the fact that his ship is falling apart and that he needs Cylon technology to fix it up. Touring the ship's bowels surrounded by groups of Cylon workers (hmmm, Cylons as day laborers. What could go wrong with that?!), the realization has hit him. And apparently made him a bit soft in the heart AND head when it comes to Baltar.

Crazy Gaius Baltar, who is back to seeing a subliminal Six in his head, returns to his flock of female followers only to find that they've gotten along fine without him. Well, we can't have that! In an altruistic move, he convinces them to hand out their food supply to those in need. They have guns for protection, but the Sons of Ares have more for raiding. Like a kid who is picked on and decides to bring a knife to school, Gaius runs to Adama for help ... and bigger guns. Somehow, Adama is convinced that arming civilians against other civilians is a good thing. We'll see how that works out.

Via the Battlestar Blog, irenadubrovna writes:
Instead of tying up the plethora of plot points that have been left dangling like Cavil's jowls, the last episode consisted of women at each other's throats (over this stud), and miscarriages (hardware malfunctions?). The entire series is coming to a close next month, and the last episode concluded with a Cylon giving birth to a stillborn raider while her figurative parents held each other at the side of her hospital bed. Meanwhile, the Commander of the ship is meandering about, watching Cylons spackle goo-murals onto the interior walls of his ship.

...It is blatantly apparent that the "final five" were literally plucked out of a hat. Even the actors were not entirely pleased by this method of selection, and I believe that it speaks volumes when even the stars of any successful show speak out publicly about the choices that have been made for their character. I feel strung along... It's far too easy to throw in a head chip here and a mutiny there, without putting any real thought behind it. Hence the need for unanticipated pregnancies and oh-so-convenient aneurysm epiphanies.

Speaking of which, I cannot believe that the episode in which we find out the meaning behind everything- the who the what the where the why and the when- was an episode filled to the brim with exposition characters. Showing us? Awesome. Telling us? BORING. Why would I want to dedicate an hour of my life to sitting and watching two characters I am completely indifferent to, discuss history? The writers might as well have typed up the script and let it scroll on a star-speckled background for the hour time-slot.

The last episode that actually managed to retain my interest was the mutiny episode, you know, when Starbuck was running around shooting people IN THE FACE. Which is what Starbuck does best (please, less bedside waxing poetic and more shooting people IN THE FACE). However, that episode, in which Caprica Six and the other Cylons on-board Galactica were locked in the brig (Helo is presumably still comatose), roughed up, and threatened to be raped, was followed up with an episode that included a tender moment between Caprica and "Daddy", cuddling at "home" in bed like little snugglemuffins, cooing over her ickle tummy wummy bump.

Okay, except where was Daddy when men with big guns were running amok threatening to play hide the bun in the toaster. Am I seriously supposed to give a "frak" about the relationship between these two people or their unborn child if even Tigh himself could seemingly care less?

We, as viewers, were forced to witness the trauma of a woman going through a miscarriage for no apparent reason at all, and have had no time- or any inclination whatsoever- to get emotionally invested in the plot in the first place. There is no time for love triangles or pregnancies...

...From Roslin to Cain, Six and Three to Starbuck, there have been countless examples of strong, driven women over the course of this series, and it saddens me to see that all falling to pieces now, in the final hour. Sure, if you have been waiting for Adama and Roslin to "hook up" after four years, I can see why you'd find yourself looking forward to Friday night, but I really abhor the fact that Roslin is no longer President- that she merely handed over the title that she fought for tooth and nail. All that she fights on behalf of now is a man, and that, to me, is not even remotely inspiring. Starbuck? When she isn't kissing Lee or fawning over Sam, she's had her moments, but those have unfortunately been few and far between. Dualla? Blew her brains out, after deciding that she'd like to spend the last hour of her life with her ex-husband, and Six? Six who?

I suppose this is only inevitable when Ellen Tigh is the brains behind any operation.

Kelly West, Cinemablend:
Oh, boy are things getting awkward on Galactica these days. Not only is the ship going through her very own identity crisis as she undergoes a Cylon-goop makeover, but half the main cast is having some kind of battleship version of Days of Our Lives drama, complete with crazed returned-from-the-dead wives, pregnant mistresses, returned old flames and a full-on bromance the likes this ship has never seen.

For serious, was Ellen Tigh not like one of those crazy soap opera ladies when she went to visit Caprica Six? And speaking of Sixes, can we get some new hairstyles and a wardrobe change or two on these girls? Were they just too lazy to get Helfer to change her outfit between takes because I had a hard time figuring out which Six was which. I couldn’t tell the difference between the Six who was all about leaving the fleet and Caprica. Same hair, same black outfit and lots of shots of her from the chest up, not allowing us to see the baby bump to confirm which Six we were looking at. A random Six or a significant Six? I’ve never really had a problem with that before but they usually make the other Sixes stand out. Even the one painting the goop on the side of the ship had the same hair.

Brad Templeton of the Battlestar Galactica Analysis Blog raises excellent points and posits good questions about Deadlock.

Other reviews and recaps from Nar Williams, Entertainment Weekly, Sam J. Miller's 25 Word Review, The BSG Cast, TV Squad, io9, TV Guide, Remote Access, and North By North Western.

First look: CAPRICA DVD box

The TV Addict posted this DVD art for the CAPRICA TV movie, hitting the street on April 21. They also have a few new promo photos.

Apollo Bear

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has just begun a new campaign to stop the use of black bear fur for Queens Guard caps... and Jamie Bamber is their spokesmodel.

ETA: see a video of Jamie discussing the issue here.

The campaign is timed with the premiere of LAW & ORDER UK, which just began airing over the pond in England. Eagle-eyed fangirls over at BamberNews have noticed that the season one DVD (UK version) is already available for pre-order at Amazon UK, with an announced release date of June 15.

Jolly good show Bamber!

Bear & Raya

Composer Bear McCreary reports on his blog, that at his recent 30th birthday celebration, he and frequent BSG vocal soloist Raya Yarbrough announced that they are getting married. Congratulations to them both!

In this video, Bear is presented with an awesome painting which makes for the perfect 30th birthday gift:

Look closely, and you'll see what it's based on.

Read the full story from Bear on his blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On The Auction Block

The Second BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Props & Costumes Auction has been announced on the Propworx website this week:

The second Battlestar Galactica Live Auction will be held May 8-10th at the Pasadena Convention Center. The second and last of the two live auctions will be bigger and better than the last. This time the event will be held in the new Convention Hall “B”, a state of the art convention facility with even more room than before. Preview Day will be Thursday, May 7th from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Highlights of the auction will be:

1) 975 lots of props, costumes & set pieces. Last auction had 800 lots, so we have more Galactica goodies for you to bid on. 325 lots a day will be auctioned off, which is 75 less than we auctioned off each day in the first auction. So while we have a lot more items, we will have a slower, more leisurely pace.

2) The Hero Viper Mk II and the Blackbird will both be up for auction and on display! Come and get your picture taken next to these Galactica legends!

3) Wayne Rose, Battlestar Galactica Director and Production Manager, who is the “UnKnown Soldier” in the famous Galactica photo, will be at the auction, signing copies of this piece of the Galactica legend.

4) Preview Day will once again have special guests who will be annouced shortly!

Great news about copies of "The Unknown Soldier" print being made available for sale. I've heard some rumors this winter about the possibility that Adama's First Cylon War painting may also be reproduced for sale to fans.

Meanwhile, below are a few choice goodies that went live on the weekly eBay Auction this past week and run till this Friday…

Space promo for #419 Someone To Watch Over Me

Space Canada's latest promo spot. HT BSG Blog.

Looks like Weddle/Thompson/Nankin's final BSG episode is going to do something those guys all do very well: Starbuck. Lots and lots of Starbuck...

For you spoilerish types, over here are some promo photos of Starbuck from the episode. And here are slightly more spoilery ones for another part of the ep.

For you toaster lovers out there, this busy fan put together a nifty collection of BSG cylon photography from the entire series.

RDM's podcast

Ron Moore's illuminating podcast for episdoe 418 DEADLOCK is now online.

It's definitely worth a listen, plus Ron during the podcast explains what happened to Racetrack, Skulls, Selix, Narcho and all the other mutineers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movie? Really?

IGN Movies and the Hollywood Reporter are reporting that Universal Pictures is planning "Battlestar Galactica" as a feature film with original series creator Glen A. Larson being lined up to script and produce it.

Coming Soon.Net:

The film will be based on the original series from 1978-79 rather than the recent reboot from the SCI FI Channel. In the series, humanity lived on twelve colony worlds in a far distant star system. They fought a thousand-year war with the Cylons, warrior robots created by a reptilian race which expired long ago--presumably destroyed by their own creations. Having never been commanded to cease fire, these warrior robots continuously waged war against the colonials. Mankind was defeated in a sneak attack on their homeworlds conceived by these robotic servants, now referred to as Cylons, and carried out with the help of Count Baltar (John Colicos). Protected by the last surviving warship, a "battlestar" called Galactica, the survivors fled in any ship that could fly. The Commander of the Galactica, Adama (Lorne Greene), led this "rag-tag fugitive fleet" of 220 ships in search of a new home on a legendary planet called Earth. The series co-starred Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict.

The Movie God at Geeks of Doom sums it up perfectly:
The foundation of both shows is that civilization was decimated by the machine race known as the Cylons and the survivors’ fight to find a new home called Earth while led by Commander Adama. The big difference is the high amounts of sex, politics, and pure human emotion that the current show delivers, which bring a certain realism to this fictional future; while the 1978 show has that hardcore ’70s cheese factor we’ve seen many times before.

Naturally, there are many fans of the old show who hate all the thinking that goes into the Ronald D. Moore version, so they’re all about this announcement. Personally, I think it’s the worst idea ever picked out of a hat on “Brainstorm Tuesdays.”

In all honesty, while the current show is about to end, it is still here, and it will always be there to watch over and over again long after the finale. There’s also the new prequel show called Caprica, which is on the way and already tying in to the current show’s mythology. Because of these facts, Universal can go right ahead and make their Battlestar Galactica and attempt to do something brilliant with it. But… if they do ultimately decide to make it, the real question becomes: how stupid an idea is this really?

For a studio to seriously ponder trying to create a movie based on a property that has already been taken and ingeniously constructed into one of the best shows ever created — well, that’s just absurd to think about. I can’t wrap my head around it. Add the fact that the current show is still running and as popular as ever, hell, you may just incite a fanboy riot, Universal.

Curiously enough, I’m not so much of a fan of the show where this news angers me. I love the show very much and all, but I’m writing this not to yell and shake my funny hat, but out of sheer, solid confusion at the simple notion of it all.

If a movie could ever fail without even being started, this right here is it, folks. Sad.

Glen Larson controls the movie rights to Battlestar Galactica, and he's tried to make a big screen version several times before. There was also an attempt at a BSG continuation series by Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto that fell apart for various reasons, which finally led to Sci-Fi and Universal to turn to Ron Moore and David Eick to develop BSG.

So, I guess it's true: This has all happened before. And it will happen again. And again.

Chief Speaks

Via the LiveJournal Battlestar Blog, and The Chief's Deck, Aaron Douglas himself comments on the latest BSG episode, Deadlock:

In many ways I agree with all of you. I am still totally convinced that Tyrol would leave but I do have my own reasons why he would...

Tyrols judgement is clouded and we can see that by the fact that he ignores the pleas of Anders to stay with the ship.

All will be revealed, have patience my young apprentices....

Jane Espenson is one of the finest writers I have ever met. She was not just a writer of singular episodes but she is a true force in the breaking of stories, the shaping of each script, the development of characters and is always makes herself available for questions and discussions. Let's not forget that it was Jane who wrote the incredible episode where Adama busts the Chief down to private, one of my favorite scenes of the entire show.

Last nights episode was more of the 'information' ep like the last one. The remaining few eps will really inform this episode.

Have patience....


Read the entirety of Aaron's comments here.

ETA: Check out this funny story from Wil Wheaton involving Aaron Douglas and Gil Gerard. (Also check out Wil's spoiler free comments from an advance screening of Watchmen he attended.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Bunch of good interviews floating around today...

  • Mo Ryan talks to Jane Espenson about "Deadlock" (with a few supplementary questions from Alan Sepinwall)...and to Tahmoh Penikett about BSG and his new show DOLLHOUSE.
  • Thanks to Morjana for finding these Space/Circuit interviews with Michael Hogan and Jamie Bamber.  (And thanks to Space for letting us lousy Americans get your stream this time!)
  • Much to our collective luck, Bear McCreary continues to interview cast & crew for his season 4.5 blogging -- this week he talks with Michael Hogan

And congrats to Aaron Douglas, who has a new CTV show THE BRIDGE which has just been picked up for American broadcast on CBS...

Awesome Videos

New David Eick Video Blog:

A helpful recap of Deadlock via SevorTB:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Interview with the Cylon

BSG composer Bear McCreary continues his conversations with Cylons, this time with Michael Hogan.

Bear also teases next week's episode, in which music plays a big part.

Someone To Watch Over Me Promo

Promo for the next ep from SevorTB.

Open Thread: #418 Deadlock

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

Writer: Jane Espenson
Director: Bob Young

Read Mo Ryan's post-show interview with ep writer/producer Jane Espenson (which also includes some questions from Alan Sepinwall).

News about the BSG Blu-Ray set

We just got a very cool tip from reader Jack... he has a friend on the inside telling him Universal is releasing BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE COMPLETE SERIES on Blu-Ray July 28, 2009. They are also preparing a Season 4.0/4.5/CAPRICA Pilot triple pack DVD to be released after the 4.5 finale.

Great news...hope it's true! If anyone hears anything more, let us know.

ETA: I just had most of the above confirmed by another good source. Digital Bits has also done. Whee.

TGIBSGF kids, vacation is over. See you on the Open Thread.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Video from Canada

SevorTB provides the Canadian promo for Deadlock.

By the way, The Battlestar Wiki has a good run down of the full BSG historical timeline, now incorporating what we've learned about the 13th colony and the final 5.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Three Hours for Daybreak

As we've noted before, the finale of Battlestar Galactica, "Daybreak" will run the length of 3 episodes, as confirmed by Cinemablend and TV Squad, part one will air on March 13th, with the final 2 hours airing together on March 20th.

Someday this war's gonna end...

--Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore.

The Existentialism of No Exit Reviews

The House Next Door:

No Exit,” written by Ryan Mottesheard and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton, both newcomers to the BSG writing and directing game, is ALL infodump. It’s like one, long episode of those two characters sitting around and talking about why things are the way they are. Surprisingly enough, it works much, much better than this sort of thing has any right to work.

Tim Goodman:
Who knew that a bullet in the brain could release so much info. Nice, Sam. I had all but written him off as irrelevant and publicly wished that "BSG" had taken a more realistic twist by having him go down hard as a casualty of war - random shot to the head/neck, no big speeches, just death. It's what happens. Let the others tell the story. Well, now I'm glad that didn't happen. It would have been stark and cool and unexpected, but having Sammy Boy flap his gums so much about what he remembered from way back was a lot of fun. To wit: The Final Five all punched the clock together. Just like "The Office," only not. Tyrol and Tory, sitting in a tree...OK, that was childish. But those two? Really? Hmmmm. I loved how Tyrol - now officially back to "Chief" thanks to Adama - kind of chuckled at the thought and Tory looked like she threw up in her mouth. The heretofore mysterious 7th Cylon is named Daniel (in the Lion's Den?) and as Ellen squares off with her "son" Cavil (oh, yeah, that too) we learn Daniel was a sensitive boy and evil Cavil basically neutered the line. He's a bastard, that 1. Boxing up and killing off and yelling and - hey, don't talk to your mother like that!

Alan Sepinwall:
Now, there's almost no point in analyzing "No Exit" as an episode of drama. There are dramatic moments in it (Sam's seizure, Boomer helping Ellen escape), but it's largely an info-dump -- or, as Mo Ryan put it, a download directly into each viewers' brain -- so that we can stop asking many of our questions(*) and start pondering the philosophical and practical implications of all this knowledge.

Other reviews and recaps from: Onion A.V. Club, Entertainment Weekly, L.A. Times, Show Patrol, io9, North By Northwestern, Buddy TV, TV Squad, Hitfix, Matt & Nat's BSG Cast, IGN, Mike Murphy of the Press Democrat, Richard Vine in The Guardian, Cinemablend, John Keegan for MediaBlvd, Jim Connelly recaps No Exit, with a flowchart, Kelly West for Cinemablend wonders about Number Seven, Daniel. In The Huffington Post, Mike Ragogna laments the looming end of BSG, and Sam J. Miller has a 25 word review of No Exit.

Geek Sugar has a No Exit quiz.

ATROPOS.EXE lays out the backstory of No Exit.

No Exit and Dollhouse were hits on iTunes.

Edited to add: Televisionary gets to the bottom of the BSG-Sartre connection.

Situation Report

A ton of interviews and news items....

Richard Huff of The Daily News spoke to Kate Vernon. Rick Bentley of McClatchy Newspapers talked to Vernon and Ron Moore.

Tahmoh Penikett has been doing lots of press to promote BSG's final eps, and the debut of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. He talked to Timeout Chicago, Zap2It, and the Boston Herald.

Kat Angus of Canwest News Service interviewed Katee Sackhoff about the end of BSG and the beginning of Lost and Found. (And Starbuck makes a top ten list.)

Jamie Bamber reflects on the end of BSG and promotional photos of his work on Law And Order: London are online via pu5h1n6_da15135 of the BSG LJ blog.

Aaron Douglas spoke to io9 about the final 5 cylons, and the the endgame for the series. (No spoilers.)

Kandyse McClure talked to MediaBlvd Magazine about her end on Battlestar Galactica, and her new work on Children of the Corn, and other projects.

Galactica TV has recent interviews with Grace Park, Jane Espenson, Nicki Clyne and Micheal Tayles.

Dean Stockwell is scheduled to appear at the upcoming Leap Back Quantum Leap Convention in Los Angeles, California, March 27-29, 2009 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Quantum Leap.

Other news and notes: Kevin Smith mentioned BSG at a talk at Ohio State University... Battlestar Galactica leads in shout-outs on other TV shows (like The Office.) ...Dvice's Steampunk Cylon contest continues... Viper cars, and bento boxes...

Upcoming comic books continue the story of BSG and Cylon history, in Ghosts and Cylon War.

Paley Fest Info.

The PaleyFest unveiled their lineup for this years events:

The Paley Center for Media will present the twenty-sixth annual William S. Paley Television Festival (PaleyFest09) from April 10 to 23, 2009, at the historic Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood with a special closing night presentation at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on April 24. This year's Festival will feature three PaleyFest "firsts"—the first festival event to honor new media property, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog; the first public PaleyFest event held at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, the special closing night presentation celebrating Swingtown; and the first to premiere the last three unseen episodes of Pushing Daisies.

Battlestar Galactica/Caprica
Evening Sponsor: Microsoft Zune
Monday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: David Eick (Executive Producer), Ronald D. Moore (Executive Producer). Additional panelists to be announced.

Scenes from Deadlock

Video from SevorTB and Michael Ausiello Entertainment Weekly.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Mo Ryan has posted BSG writers Ryan Mottesheard's and Jane Espenson's, answers to readers questions about No Exit.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No Exit (Hulu)

No Exit on Hulu:

No Exit recap:

The intro from No Exit:

Cylon Intrigue

The new David Eick video blog explores the nature of Cylons and the real development of Posthumans is pondered.

From Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tricia Helfer:

Promo for Deadlock

Preview of the next episode, Deadlock:

Via SevorTB.

Bear McCreary interviews the final five Cylons, part one, of two part interview series with the actors, Aaron Douglas, Michael Trucco, and Rekha Sharma. Next week Bear will post his interview with Michael Hogan and Kate Vernon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Open Thread: #417 No Exit

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

Episode 417: No Exit
Written by Ryan Mottesheard
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Mo Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reports:

After the episode airs tonight, I will post my thoughts on "No Exit." I'll also post some of the burning questions that I was left with after the episode ended.

But here's where you come in -- I'd like to hear your burning questions too.

Ryan Mottesheard, a writer for "Battlestar Galactica," and Jane Espenson, a co-executive producer on the Sci Fi show, have kindly agreed to answer our questions about "No Exit." I will post that interview Sunday evening.

Here's how it will work. Once my "No Exit" post is up, you may leave your questions in the comment area on that post. It would help if you put your questions in the first part of your comment, preceded by the word "QUESTION" in all caps.

You may also email your questions to me at my Tribune email address, Please put the words "Battlestar question" in the subject line, if you would be so kind.

So, after you watch No Exit, head over to The Watcher to leave your questions there.

Photos via dryope

Mark Verheiden on Writing

On his blog, BSG co-exec producer Mark Verheiden reveals some insights into the process of writing for Battlestar Galactica:

There's been some discussion in the ether about how shows evolve, occasionally punctuated with the criticism that the writers and producers are "making it up as they go." That meme strikes me as bizarre. Of course we make it up as we go, that's what writing is all about. In the case of BSG we always had a destination in mind, but there was plenty of room for inspiration and mid-course correction, based on a myriad of factors.

A small case in point occurred during the breaking and writing of the episodes "Oath" and "Blood On The Scales." While writing the script for "The Oath", it struck me that it might be interesting/dramatic if one of our main characters suffered a dramatic set-back in the course of the mutiny. The moment wasn't in the outline, but as I was writing I considered adding a beat where Col. Tigh was shot and badly wounded during the scene when he and Adama confront the Marines escorting them to the brig.

Sometimes on BSG you could just give this sort of thing a try, but blasting a character like Tigh had ramifications for other episodes (obviously), so I checked in with Ron Moore before actually doing it. He understood the impulse to up the tension and to create even more stakes for Adama, but he felt Tigh had been through so much (eyeball gouged out, poisoned own wife, discovered he was a Cylon) that shooting him would have been overkill. But the idea of having one of the final five seriously wounded? That idea stuck...

And so poor Samuel T. Anders wound up being "shot in the cabeza" (as the scene was described in the writer's room) in "Blood On The Scales." And that plot development... well, now we're getting into spoilers for episodes that haven't aired yet.

Read Mark's full post on how stories evolved on BSG.

Mark also notes that the film that he wrote, MY NAME IS BRUCE is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, so check it out.

Clip from No Exit + Helfer Info.

h/t SevorTB.

Also of note: Tricia Helfer is scheduled to appear on Friday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Friday the 13th at 12:05 a.m. on ABC. (Thanks for the tip, jenforthewin.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hello I am departing for Hawaii today for a week vacation, just wanted to pop over and say that I probably won't be seeing the show right away tomorrow. (::gasp::) And I probably won't be here for all the chatting on the open thread. Logan will handle it.

Below are a few things I just had to share on my way out of the continent.

A very special, unofficial SciFi Grrl-Powered Friday Block starts tomorrow -- an ethereal 6-week period (from now through the end of BSG's airdates, sigh) that includes the following shows back-to-back every Friday night:

8:00 p.m. - TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Fox), featuring BSG expats Toni Graphia, Stephanie Jacobsen, and BSG fanboy Josh Friedman (showrunner). Their spines don't glow, but this show has got some pretty tremendous femmebots.

9:00 p.m. - DOLLHOUSE (Fox), featuring BSG expats Jane Espenson, Tahmoh Penikett, and Mark Sheppard (who apparently will appear as soon as the second episode), and BSG fanboy Joss Whedon (co-creator). Programmable ladies? We know our programmable ladies over here at Sitrep.

10:00 p.m. - BSG. If you still haven't had your fill of women with guns, emo lawmen, ethically-challenged scientists, badassery, living on the edge of armageddon, and robot powerplays by the time our show has ended at 11 tonight...well...I really don't know what to do for you.

Frak I dreaming this?

The schedulebot has what seems to be the final schedule for the season finale on March 20th. Apparently the rest of BSG's air dates are happening just as fans had hoped, with no breaks from now to the end:

Feb 13
417: No Exit
[Also note SciFi is running a marathon of all season 4.0 eps beginning at 8am tomorrow morning.]

Feb 20
418: Deadlock

Feb 27
419: Someone to Watch Over Me

March 6
420: Islanded In A Stream Of Stars

March 13
421: Daybreak Part 1

March 20
422: Daybreak Parts 2 & 3

Enjoy the ride.

TVWeek: What shows on TV do you have to watch?
Joss Whedon: “Battlestar Galactica” is back on, so, you know, life is worth living again.

Salon: Along with "Buffy" expat Eliza Dushku, you have "Battlestar Galactica" star Tahmoh Penikett in "Dollhouse." Are you a Galactica obsessive? 
Joss Whedon: Um, I think obsessive is too light a word. I absolutely adore it. It's my favorite show ever. Come on, it's "The West Wing" with space battles. It covers all of my needs. I watch their storytelling and go, "Oh, so that's how it's done. Fuck."


What if BSG had been a '80's sitcom:

By Erin Murray of the Picture Review.

And Adalla001 of BSG Pilots provides an homage to Gaius Baltar:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blood. Scales. Reviews.

For Time James Poniewozik writes:

Who Felix Gaeta is, and what this two-part story showed him to be, speaks to some of the things that make BSG so great. The show could have made him Zarek's craven toady or a slimy power-grabber, but we see—even while sharing Adama's revulsion for him—that he's finally a principled man too.

He may be morally weak (as we saw on New Caprica as well), he may be misguided, and he may be out of hiss depth, but he carries out his coup out of a genuine feeling that the fleet has gone wrong. And unlike his co-conspirator, it's important to him to do it in (as he sees it) the right way, getting justice rather than just grabbing power. Thus he insists on a trial, and thus he recoils when he realizes what Zarek has done to the Quorum.

And yet, rather than take the expected easy way out—having Gaeta see the error of his ways and turn on Zarek, redeeming himself at last—he sticks to his guns. He would rather fail than do things Zarek's way (he would probably have succeeded if he had done things Zarek's way), but that doesn't mean he stops believing in his original goal. Instead, he goes down, faces the firing squad and—in a final moment worthy of Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities—looks down at his leg and experiences one last second feeling whole and painless before he dies.

Richard Vine writing for The Guardian reviews The Oath and Blood on the Scales:
There's a definite sense that without the promise of Earth, there's little left to hold them together, that the same gnawing sense of the impossible bleakness and blankness of space that pushed Dualla over the edge has left them without anything but fear and hate to hold on to...

...Kelly's line about the Battlestar being "a helluva ship once" is beautifully affecting, suggesting that for many in the mutiny, it's simply that the journey has gone too far for them, that they can't understand who to back now that there's a Cylon ship bang in the middle of the colonial fleet.

Even minor characters like Kelly get to have convincing emotional journeys on BSG. He was third in command of the ship, tried to blow up Baltar and Romo Lampkin during Baltar's trial and here spends the episode wrestling with his conscience after the political bloodbath, eventually turning on the turncoats and backing up Lee and the gang.

Instead of a final meal, Gaeta gets a last smoke with Baltar. After all this time faking religious insight, he's now assumed, however inadvertently, some of the aura of a priest hearing a last confession – with Gaeta's "please, no religion" line only serving to drive home the irony, and how far these two have come together. Gaeta's reflections on his life is both proud and sad, the last words from a man who can see how far he came – and how far he didn't. "I discovered science and thought I was really, really good at it, until I met you …" The broken, half-smile on Zarek's face as he nods to Gaeta before Adama turns his firing squad on them is the perfect epitaph for their half-arsed coup, but for once, it's Baltar who offers the show's most moving line: "I know who you are Felix. I know who you are."

How does Edward James Olmos get his voice so low? It's like he speaks through a THX sub-woofer. When he throws down his Admiral's pins and growls at Gaeta, "Admiral? Admiral? You're the Admiral now, so you call up Roslin and make her laugh…" you can feel the whole ship rumble. He's just as terrifying when he doesn't speak, staring out the mutineers, daring them to maintain their ill-thought out position.

Alan Sepinwall:
There's a part of me that watches an episode like "Blood on the Scales" -- which managed to be even more moving and shocking and bad-ass than last week's "The Oath," which I didn't think was possible -- and recognizes that so much of what makes it brilliant is only possible because the show is coming to an end and the writers can throw caution to the wind. But there's a part of me that watches an episode like this and despairs at the thought of a TV universe without "Battlestar Galactica," because... well, you almost don't need me to tell you why this one was brilliant, do you?

But, really, I could pick out so many moments from this hour as illustrative of the show's greatness.

What about Baltar's confession to his latest Six conquest that he always runs away, and that maybe he's tired of it? I'm a little disappointed to get confirmation that Baltar was faking it the entire time with the cult, but James Callis sold me on Gaius' reversion to form, and then on his attempt to break his familiar pattern.

What about Tigh and Adama's bromantic moment after Lee and Saul saved Bill from the firing squad? Bill and Saul's exchange -- "They told me you were dead." "For a while, I was." -- is the sort of thing you might hear from reunited lovers at the end of some '50s melodrama, but Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan made it entirely about the respect, trust, and, yes, love that these two comrades-in-arms share.

What about the image of Adama leading an ever-gathering army of supporters through the decks of the ship, until they overran Gaeta's people in the CIC like a swarm? No speeches necessary at that point; the image of the crowd, and the resolve on Olmos' face, was all that was needed to generate still more goose bumps.

And what about virtually every Gaeta moment throughout the hour, but particularly his final coffee with Baltar? As others have said, Gaeta was the perfect man to lead this failed coup, because of where he'd been when the miniseries began, and all the betrayals that we'd seen him suffer, and Alessandro Juliani did a masterful job of making you understand, if not agree with, Felix's point of view, even as he freed Zarek, enabled the Pegasus goons to arrest and terrorize Helo's family, ordered the death of both Adama and Roslin, etc. And how frakking brilliant was he in that coffee scene? Michael Angeli, who wrote this episode, told Mo Ryan that he hoped that scene would briefly fool people into thinking that Felix would get a pass for it all. I was never fooled, and, in fact, the scene worked much better for how obvious Juliani made it that Felix knew he was going to die soon, and how at peace he was with it.

Tim Goodman for the San Francisco Chronicle:
With six episodes left, things are tight alright. But here's what I like about "Blood On the Scales." There was resolution. The deepening evil of Zarek (the craving for absolute power) pushed him to wanton murder and created even more friction with the treacherous Gaeta, whose mutiny-leading gets ever-more complicated as events fray. And they did fray, thanks in large part to Lee, Starbuck and - best of all - Tyrol. I know there's lots to ponder over when considering exactly how bad Gaeta is (was there good there? Is being conflicted in the face of being evil an admirable trait that changes the opinions of others? If you do what you believe in, does that make you worthy of reconsideration, a reduction in the harsh judgment, even if what you believed to be right was actually wrong?) but I think the Tyrol storyline was more nuanced. Here's a guy SERIOUSLY conflicted, who doesn't truly know who or what he is, where his motivation and loyalties rest. But he reacts in this episode based on the pre-Cylon knowledge. He acts to help friends. To save the ship. And I love his minor ode to the good times aboard the good ship Galactica that ultimately saves his ass and allows him to stop the jump, buying time to save Adama and Tigh and even Roslin. That's hard to undervalue.

Todd VanDerWerff The House Next Door:
...As this episode went on, it managed to accumulate a certain power and a certain horror all its own. Despite the predictability of the moment, Adama marching through the ship and gathering supporters at every turn, only to overwhelm the CIC with his new army was a surprisingly poignant moment, trading in all of the goodwill we have for the old man and the folks who stayed steadfast at his side, including Tigh (Michael Hogan) and his son, Lee (Jamie Bamber). The Adama/Lee relationship has often felt more strained that it probably should be, as if the producers have always felt that Olmos’ and Bamber’s easygoing chemistry needed some fairly rote father issues tossed into the mix, but seeing the two reunited in episodes like this one and “The Oath” still packs a somewhat primal power.

The best work of the episode, on both the part of the actor and the writers, goes to Gaeta, though, who is given a somewhat predictable arc of having regrets but manages to make it somehow eerily redemptive—a redemption arc for a character who didn’t really need one, arrived at through having the character carry out very grave sins. Juliani plays Gaeta’s growing guilty conscience mostly silent, framed in tight close-ups by Rose, who seems to trust the actor’s face (Juliani doesn’t let him down, for the most part). Gaeta’s been waiting for a redemption for quite some time now, and he’s been acting out in some very interesting ways to get there, from leaving secrets to the New Caprica resistance to stabbing Baltar in the neck to perjuring himself to make sure Baltar would be executed (didn’t work), and that most of his attempts to win that redemption have come through doing very bad things is one of the show’s more sly commentaries on the natures of sacrifice and heroism.

Gaeta’s attempt to win redemption through the mutiny are unfounded, he suddenly realizes, but he tries to keep up the pretenses, tossing together a sham trial for Adama and trying to spare more bloodshed before his actions finally catch up with him. The resigned look on Gaeta’s face as Adama returns to seize control of the ship says it all, even as he realizes it will mean his end. The final two scenes, featuring Gaeta discussing his long-ago dreams of being an architect (fond of restaurants shaped like food) and then facing down a firing squad, suddenly realizing that the pain in his missing leg has disappeared (a bit writerly as a psychological device, but it worked so well here that I’ll allow it), an instant before he dies, were both intensely moving, and that’s saying something for a character who was a little ill-defined in the build-up to this arc. The best kind of character development on TV is that which throws seemingly disconnected actions by a character in the past into a new kind of relief, and these moments clarified much of Gaeta’s arc in Seasons Three and Four.

Brad Trechak for TV Squad:
Despite knowing how Gaeta and Zarek's treachery was going to end, it was still interesting to see how it got there. You could see control slowly slipping through the fingers of the two men. Zarek was an ignorant, arrogant nutjob with only a tenuous grasp of reality, but Gaeta struck me more as a good officer who went through some bad times but at his core was still decent and honorable (and kudos to Alessandro Juliani for pulling that off convincingly. Another winner of my own personal Emmys). When Baltar met with him, it took me a moment to realize that it was for his last rites. I also liked how his itching stopped the moment before he and Zarek were executed, as if his conscience were cleared.

Jevon Phillips in the L.A. Times writes:
The insurgency, and Gaeta's misguided attempt at justice, was a great way to reignite the fires that were a bit dormant at the cores of a lot of the characters. Roslin's leadership, Adama's toughness, Baltar's instability, Tigh's loyalty, Zarek's shiftiness, Tyrol's resourcefulness and Lee's soldiering and devotion to his dad were all qualities that caused us to follow this show unflinchingly.

Other recaps and reviews from Kelly West for Cinema Blend, Adam B. Vary in Entertainment Weekly, Jim Connelly for Screen Junkies, 411Mania, Sam J. Miller's 25 Word Review, Zap2It, Science Fiction Stuff, a recap quiz from Geek Sugar,, Hitfix, i09 and Buddy TV.