Sunday, December 13, 2009

Guest Review - Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Four

I'm Lisa Hurley, and I've been a fan of science fiction since I was four years old and watching Star Trek with my Dad. I went to school for Creative Writing and Literature, and spend a lot of time reading. While Battlestar Galactica was on the air I watched it almost religiously, and I think it was the best show on TV since, well, Star Trek. In an age where most shows take the easy way out and are a lot of sparkle but no substance, Battlestar Galactica gave us both, and it gave it to us with a vengeance.

SYNOPSIS:
The ‘re-imagined’ Battlestar Galactica is quite simply one of the most acclaimed series on any channel. It was voted TV Show of the Year by Time magazine, and also received a Peabody Award, an unprecedented achievement for a sci-fi show.

With its classy ensemble cast, including Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, its cutting edge special effects, superb production design and gritty, adult-oriented scripts, Battlestar Galactica is a stunning piece of television drama.

Compiled with complete access to the production of the stunning final season, this fourth official companion is packed with exclusive interviews, photos, a complete season four episode guide, plus a foreword by Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama).
The Official Companion to Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 opens with a monologue by Edward James Olmos, reading from his "Admiral's Journal." I say monologue because it soon becomes clear that this is a classic Admiral Adama speech, complete with Adama's characteristic dramatic pauses and stern emphases. His words bring me right back to the hanger bay of Battlestar Galactica, at the opening of the miniseries, to that very first speech that began me along the path to complete obsession with Battlestar Galactica.

This series had everything, from space porn (stop imagining the scenes of Kara Thrace and Lee Adama, I'm talking about the blow-your-mind battles in space with explosions kind of porn) to dramatic and gripping story lines which embraced subject matter important to real issues in our world today. The kind of fandom mania which surrounded this show hasn't been seen since the original Star Trek series hit the airwaves all those years ago. It's only fair, then, to expect a "complete" guide of the last season of this groundbreaking show to have everything as well. And it does.

This guide takes you back to each episode of the season, and even devotes a section to the 'Razor' special. When you are reading about the episode, you are getting an idea of how the writers, directors, producers and actors worked together to produce the final product that you watched on television. In some cases it's interesting to see how one person's idea or opinion changes the course of an episode all together - what was intended doesn't always come to fruition, and sometimes something even more exciting takes its place.

There are blurbs throughout the guide, called "Surveillance: Additional", which give you a little insight into the process behind some memorable moments, scenes, and character interactions. These also tend to give you a peek inside the minds of the actors, which is always exciting, especially when it's a character like Gaius Baltar or Kara Thrace (arguably two of the most insane and completely enthralling characters in the series).

Finally, the end of the guide takes a look at the individual journeys of the key characters of the series, from William Adama himself to latecomer Tory Foster. The actors tell us of their reactions to the scripts, as well as what they think of the direction the writers took their characters. However they felt, it's clear that every one of the individuals involved in Battlestar Galactica is pleased with the series, and grateful to have been a part of such an extraordinary phenomenon.



The book closes with a description of the Battlestar Galactica panel which was held at the United Nations, in order to discuss issues of international importance - the same issues that Battlestar Galactica explored during its four seasons on the air. I thought this was a great way to end the guide, as it really didn't seem like an ending at all. This show had a lot to say and gave us a lot to think about, and I think that we are going to be talking about it for a long time to come. I recommend this guide to every fan who wants to step back into the BSG universe one more time, and to every fan that wants to feel a little bit closer to the show that we love.


Thanks to Lisa for the terrific review and my son Leonard for providing encouragement.

Official Battlestar Galactica Website | Wikipedia

Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Four
by Sharon Gosling
Titan Books
Published: October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN #: 9781845769383

3 comments:

  1. Hi :)
    Thank you for the excellent thoughtful review.
    Happy Holidays,
    RKCharron

    ReplyDelete
  2. Battlestar Galactica is the best show produced for the quality of the story telling.

    Most people were unhappy by the series ending...that is only because they have not understood what it means to say that the ground crew of the Galactica are already here on earth!

    Is there more to the show than people have realized?

    You did not watch BSG Yet?

    Battlestar Galactica is the Best.

    SO SAY WE ALL ~ !!!

    http://www.HotConflict.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Best of the holidays to you too RK!

    Hotconflict - indeed so say weall!

    ReplyDelete

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