The starship Galactica is to be decommissioned, and its Commander is set to retire. It's been 40 years since anyone has heard from the Cylons - a race of robots created by humans which rebelled, intent on the destruction of mankind - when the attack comes. The Colonial fleet is decimated in a matter of hours, and the 12 colonies are virtually wiped out. The Galactica flees with the new President of the colonies on board. They gather refugees, and struggle to grasp the situation they're in; they could be the last survivors of the human race. Their only hope is Earth, a rumored 13th colony told in legends.
Season 2.5, as they call it, contains the remaining 10 episodes from the second season, as well as an extended episode of "Pegasus," the finale for the first half of season 2.
Disc 1 (3:09:52)
Pegasus - Extended (58:48)
Resurrection Ship, Part 1 (43:39)
Resurrection Ship, Part 2 (43:41)
Disc 2 (2:55:50)
Black Market (43:41)
The Captain's Hand (43:44)
Disc 3 (2:34:44)
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1 (43:40)
Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2 (1:07:48)
I'd have to say these episodes contain a bit more noise than previous releases, but I think it's done on purpose. I noticed some noise in a few scenes that feature CGI, so they likely applied the noise in editing. The HD cameras the production uses provide us with a very nice anamorphic widescreen picture (1.78:1). I love the shifting color pallettes for the various locations; Caprica is orange, and blown out, and the ship is dark, and blue. The HD cameras also provide a decent amount of detail in the shadows, which is good for some of the dim scenes on the ship. There's a chapter placed after the opening of each episode, and each disc contains a "play all" option.
I love the audio for sci-fi shows, and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are the best way to show the sounds off. From the deep rumble of the ships, to the dogfights, the Battlestar Galactica series sounds great. I thought the rear speaker use was great, especially during battles. This set includes an English 5.1 track, and English/Spanish subtitles.
Deleted Scenes (42:33)
There are deleted scenes for most of the episodes in the second half of season 2:
Resurrection Ship, Part 1 (2:13)
Black Market (10:04)
The Captain's Hand (6:59)
Lay Down Your Burdens, Parts 1 & 2 (9:43)
Ronald D. Moore and David Eick provide commentary on the extended version of "Pegasus." I broke this away from the PodCasts because the production value of this is very different, and it wasn't created for the broadcast of the episode (since it wasn't broadcast).
Ronald D. Moore recorded more PodCasts for the second half of season 2. These were recorded for the broadcast of the episodes, and have been ported over to the DVDs. Ron is occasionally joined by others including writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson on "Scar," Terry Dresbach (his wife) on "Law Down Your Burdens, Part 1" and David Eick on "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2."
David Eick's Videoblogs (27:49)
David Eick brings some of his videoblog clips to DVD. There are more clips on the SciFi.com website.
Episode 205, Day 2 (4:03)
Episode 207, Day 4 (3:58)
Episode 210, Day 2 - On the Set of the "New" Pegasus (4:34)
The "Magic" of Battlestar Galactica (3:16)
Never Let the Inmates Run the Asylum (3:38)
Scenes from the Videoblog Floor (2:38)
Sex, Lies and a Videoblog (5:42)
R&D Logos (2:28)
These are funny logos that appear at the end of the episodes. This is probably one of my favorite special features on the set.
Sneak Peeks (5:50)
Trailers for other Universal titles.
This is one of my favorite sci-fi shows of all time. There have been shows about the human race being in peril before, but this is the first show when I actually feel the emotion. These people are running for their lives, fearing a Cylon attack may come at any time, and watching as their numbers drop. There are few happy times on this show, and I think that's why I enjoy it. I get sick of watching happy endings all the time; that's what Hollywood is built on.
Ron Moore mentions the raw podcasts a number of times (it seems people were complaining on the boards about background noise), but I like it. This illustrates that commentaries can be done with hardly any cost, and they can still work. Why not sit someone down in front of a DVD player and record them talking? Why do the studios have to spend thousands of dollars to rent a studio, pay a technician and an editor just to capture a few people talking about an episode. Ron Moore proves they don't; they can do it cheaply and achieve the same thing. Sure, it sounds raw, but I'd rather have 5 of these podcast commentaries than one commentary recorded in a studio. I hope we hear more of these raw tracks on sets that wouldn't have them otherwise.
I'm trying so hard not to talk about the series because I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't seen the episodes yet. I'll end this review by saying I love this show, and I can't wait to watch season 3!