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4.7 out of 5 stars
Battlestar Galactica: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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90 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2005
The Season 1 box set INCLUDES the Mini-series. Do not select Amazon's 'Great Buy' option to get them both or you'll end up with two copies of the mini-series.
There was a UK release of Season 1 without the Miniseries (also sold in North America by Best Buy only) which is why a separate mini-series only disk exists. You do not need to buy it though with the North American Season 1 Box set.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2005
This is said elsewhere, but cannot be said often enough. Amazon is encouraging buyers to separately purchase both the season one set and the miniseries. The season one set includes the miniseries. You do NOT need to buy both -- unless you want TWO copies of the miniseries!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2006
After reading all the positive reviews about this series I decided to take a gamble and buy this set. Boy am I glad I didn't miss this series!
The series is really a space drama revolving around the relationships between characters. It does not get dull at any point, and manages to strike a great balance between action and dialogues. You'll see a bit more character interaction than full-out action sequences but trust me...this series is not dry at all. It's also not cliche like I find many sci-fi series are. Plot twists and complications galore, including a major surprise at the end which actually startled me. You'll also see that many characters are not entirely good or bad, but rather struggling to survive. It's interesting to see a sci-fi that's not afraid to have many shades of grey characters instead of the forumulaic "good guys vs. bad guys" war story.
The series also avoids the many trappings of a sci-fi series ie: it does not rely too much on unknown technology and plot devices to further itself. Sure there are space fighters and such, but the weapons used are a little more believable. Nukes are still around and in use, rather than theoretical weapons that many other series use. The rifles and handguns are also not entirely the stuff of fairy tales, they represent what could believably be in use decades from now. Battlestar Galactica offers a vision of the future which still manages to echo current technology. The realistic touch to the sci-fi genre is much appreciated.
Speaking of realism the special effects in this series are top notch. You'll see recycled sequences such as fighters being launched and landing, but the computer effects are extremely good. The Cylons look good and the actors react well to their presence, the result of great directing.
I really felt I got my money's worth with this set. You get the 3 hour pilot episode aka "Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries" plus all the episodes from the regular season. There are also some great featurettes on how they came up with the look of the show and character changes from the original series from the 70's. All in all you get about 8 hours of special features.
The only downside I've experienced is introducing friends to the series. All your ranting about how good it is gets stalled when you have to explain that your friend must take a chance on a 3 hour episode to get into the story!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2005
Since I seriously had no interest in the original series, I watched the first movie with some trepidation. Although it was a bit bumpy with the actors only beginning to flesh out their characters and environment, I found the whole story very well rounded and pulled together for us in a very appealing and addictive way. Rewatching the initial movie I find I do skip over parts that dragged on a bit but I do rewatch it; something I do very little of.
By the end of the first episode, I was hooked. Wow. The pace and content in the episodes continues to grow and twist you and pull you in unexpected ways and down paths I find compelling and intriguing. The Season 1 cliff hanger has to be one of the most incredible cliff hangers I have ever seen. Definitely in the top five I have every watched. ***SPOILER WARNING*** The fact that it is left to the last five minutes was stunningly well done. I was sitting jaw on the floor repeating a familiar phrase of two words.
Even if you are not a sci-fi fan, I would suggest watching this. The sci-fi is merely a fancy wrapping. The real show is the people, the interpersonal relationships, the hardships and the human nature. The characters are developing nicely and I would be greatly disappointed if they ended the series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Having grown up on the old Battlestar Galactica and similar science fiction, I wasn't sure how I would react to this new series.
In this series, with a few nods to the original ideas, there are still humans on twelve planets who have an advanced civilisation, but an aging military fleet. They've been at peace for twenty years, since the Cylons (here the humans' own creation) departed, having never signed a formal peace treaty. There is no peace conference here - rather, the aging battlestar Galactica is about to be decommissioned, when an unexpected attack by dramatically more advanced Cylons takes place, incorporating not only direct military strikes but also computer internet/network hijacking, facilitated by the mentally unbalanced but ingenious Dr. Baltar. Adama takes the Galactica to a safe location while the rest of the colonies fall quickly to the Cylons; various ships in the interstellar routes survive, including one with a cabinet minister elevated to the presidency due to the emergency, Laura Roslin. The ragtag fleet assembles at a forgotten supply depot, and does a sort of light-speed jump to safety after fighting (and essentially losing) against a new Cylon death star.
There are small nods to the old series - on the Galactica preparing for decommissioning, a museum has been set up, which has models of old Cylon death stars (these are models from the original series). The specifications for Cylons show the old metallic storm-trooper, but we are also informed that no one has seen a Cylon in twenty years (they've outgrown their shiny metal armour). In one scene, the museum chatter about the history of the Galactica mentions a Commander Hatch as its first commander, an obvious nod to Richard Hatch, the star of the original series.
The character of Laura Roslin is new, and the figure of Adama is a very different one from the original. Perhaps the most shocking change is that Starbuck here, while still a cigar-chomping, swaggering, swearing, card-playing rogue of an ace pilot, is also a woman.
The pilot shows people to be very human - whereas in the original series, they were almost playing archetypes of hero, villain, father-figure, etc., in this new show the roles are nowhere as distinct. The characters have flaws, and not Persian-carpet flaws, but real, honest-to-goodness problems and personality quirks. Adama is adamant about keeping the Galactica safe but also in engaging the enemy; his clashes with the authority of Laura Roslin, a president essentially without a nation, promises to be an interesting one. Apollo is still the solid captain of the fighter squad, and Starbuck and Boomer his able lieutenants, but there are secrets lurking here, too. And then there is Dr. Baltar, in whom the line between genius and insanity is constantly being redrawn.
The fleet is assembled, and heading off toward Earth. Here, however, Earth is not the ancient migratory memory of Adama as in the original series as much as it a mythical invention to give people hope in the fleet - this could set up a very different character to their run from the Cylons. Also, the fact that the Cylons are ultimately the creation of the humans, and now look like the humans, will factor heavily into a revised story line.
The storylines across the different episodes lead from a desperate attempt to outrun the Cylons into a growing community with its own culture similar to but distinct from that they left behind. The deepening mystery about the Cylons continues enigmatically, and the quest for Earth eventually takes a dramatic turn as the fleet discovers the ancient home world of Kobol. This was the perfect set-up for a new season; the 1970s series never really had the chance, but the characters here will continue to develop across several more seasons.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 11, 2011
One of my favorite television series of all time along with 'The Wire'
and 'Breaking Bad'.

Like 'The Wire' this is a complex, Dickensian study of human nature,
not afraid of asking big questions, and meticulously plotted like a
great novel, so that each episode is a chapter in a much larger whole.

Just as 'The Wire' used the overly familiar cliché' world of the cop
show to jump off from and shatter our preconceptions, and 'Battlestar
Galactica' uses the sci-fi series, and the idea of human versus robot
wars the same way.

This is thinking person's sci fi, in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke,
or Isaac Asimov. It's about why we are how we are, what it means to be
a human being, morality under constant pressure in times of war,
fathers and sons, impossible loves, metaphors for modern and recent
politics and real world situations.

My wife, far from a sci-fi fan was hooked after 3 episodes, and we tore
through 5 years of shows in just a few days. It's that addicting.

The acting is all at least quite good, and some cast members are
remarkable, creating characters full of depth, complexity and
contradiction. The writing is terrific, allowing the characters to
change and grow, but always in ways that make sense, creating seemingly
inexplicable conundrums, only to find surprising, sometimes shocking -
but ultimately logical and satisfying - ways to explain where they've
taken us. The special effects are generally very impressive for TV,
even if they're not really why you watch this show.

It also has some of the most tense episodes of television I've ever
seen, and some of the season enders left me completely wrung out and
blown away. I was sad to get to the last episode, just as one is sad to
finish a great book.

I haven't bought it in other forms, so I can't compare, but generally
the blu-ray set (the non-Cylon box) is quite complete, and well packaged.
However, I have read accounts that quality control was a bit of a problem
and I didn't escape the bugs. On a couple of my discs there was
a slight 'pulse' to the image at times. At first I thought perhaps
it was a strange, but intentional, lighting effect, but looking at it carefully
it seemed more a reproduction problem.

This isn't just the intentionally added grain, a look I don't love, but accept
as an artistic decision.

Since then, I've read similar comments from others, so I'm not crazy
(or at least not in this case!). So, if you do order this, you might want
to make sure it's returnable, and try to do a quick quality check the best
you can. Of course, if the problem is intermittent, and mostly in the later
discs, as was in my case, by the time I saw it it was way too late
to ask for an exchange.

None-the-less, for me, the quality of the content way over-rode the
occasional image problems (and I'm a perfectionist - my wife
never noticed the pulsing until I pointed it out.).

As far as getting the individual seasons on blu-ray, it looks as though
you can do better buying the box set, although prices fluctuate
quickly here on Amazon and elsewhere, so I'd advise you do the math
and figure out the most reasonable way to own the complete set.

Also, Amazon UK currently has a complete region free blu-ray box
set for about $100 with shipping. It seems to have all the same extras
as the US box set. Well worth considering as long as the price holds up.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 11, 2011
One of my favorite television series of all time along with 'The Wire'
and 'Breaking Bad'.

Like 'The Wire' this is a complex, Dickensian study of human nature,
not afraid of asking big questions, and meticulously plotted like a
great novel, so that each episode is a chapter in a much larger whole.

Just as 'The Wire' used the overly familiar cliché' world of the cop
show to jump off from and shatter our preconceptions, and 'Battlestar
Galactica' uses the sci-fi series, and the idea of human versus robot
wars the same way.

This is thinking person's sci fi, in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke,
or Isaac Asimov. It's about why we are how we are, what it means to be
a human being, morality under constant pressure in times of war,
fathers and sons, impossible loves, metaphors for modern and recent
politics and real world situations.

My wife, far from a sci-fi fan was hooked after 3 episodes, and we tore
through 5 years of shows in just a few days. It's that addicting.

The acting is all at least quite good, and some cast members are
remarkable, creating characters full of depth, complexity and
contradiction. The writing is terrific, allowing the characters to
change and grow, but always in ways that make sense, creating seemingly
inexplicable conundrums, only to find surprising, sometimes shocking -
but ultimately logical and satisfying - ways to explain where they've
taken us. The special effects are generally very impressive for TV,
even if they're not really why you watch this show.

It also has some of the most tense episodes of television I've ever
seen, and some of the season enders left me completely wrung out and
blown away. I was sad to get to the last episode, just as one is sad to
finish a great book.

Note, as others have said, this season 1 set includes the mini-series
so you do NOT need to get that separately.

As far as getting the individual seasons, it looks as though
you can perhaps do better buying the box set, although prices fluctuate
quickly here on Amazon and elsewhere, so I'd advise you do the math
and figure out the most reasonable way to own the complete set.

Also, Amazon UK currently has a complete region free blu-ray box
set for about $100 with shipping. It seems to have all the same extras
as the US box set. Well worth considering as long as the price holds up.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 28, 2007
This is a sci-fi drama that has not been equalled in my experience; other series do come close, but for different reasons. Most sci-fi isn't made to appeal to a mass audience and compete head on with prime-time television; if it is, it often fails to do so and ends up being relegated to time slot where it dies a slow death, if it's lucky. I watched a little of the old Galactica as a kid and the old series does not compare to the re-imagined one. The new series combines drama, impressive special effects, superb writing and complex characters to deliver an addictive product that leaves people craving more. I struggled to watch the show in the beginning since I just can't commit to a regularly scheduled show due to other responsibilities. One day I rented the mini-series, season one and season 2.0, then ended up doing nothing but watch Battlestar Galactica for an entire weekend. The only reason I've held off on picking up 2.5 is because I know I will do nothing but watch the show until I've worked through each episode. It's that addictive - so addictive that I almost neglect my beautiful wife and children just to see what happens next.

If you like sci-fi, don't hesitate just get your hands on this show somehow; please don't pirate it, because I want them to keep making the series, or at least spin-off movies for as long as possible!! You won't regret watching this show - it has something for everyone; love stories, the triumph of the human spirit, sci-fi, battles (yes - space battles!), high tech stuff, great characters, politics, intrigue, etc. What more can we ask for in our world of "reality" television?
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on December 12, 2005
Not having cable TV service, I was waiting in anticipation for this release. I was definitely not disappointed. Having only seen the miniseries that introduced this 'rethinking' of the old classic Galactica, I had high expectations. Ron Moore, et all, have managed to maintain the high standard that they set for themselves, through this entire first season.
This isn't the Galactica that you may remember from when you were a kid. The new Battlestar Galactica is definitely not for kids! This one isn't a space-fantasy like the original, it's a gritty, realistic, hard-SF nightmare. The themes of terrorism, religious differences, political intrigue, paranoia, and 'witchhunts', are obviously thinly-veiled synonyms for today's socio-political climate. It's well-written, well-acted (fantastic cast, all around!), and very intelligently put forth. The character development is much deeper than I have seen possibly in any tv series (of any genre). There are none of the cheezy sci-fi character stereotypes here (and none of the 'legal-drama' stereotypes either, thankfully).
The production values on this series are unmatched! Some seriously good Lightwave artists doing some of the most amazing FX scenes I've watched since Babylon-5. The ships actually manuever like real spaceships would (and a Viper really does burn-up if it tries to re-enter an atmosphere, just like I always thought it would). The jiggly handicam camera work sometimes gets a bit hard to watch, but I'll admit, it does add to the realism.
As others have said, the miniseries pilot is included in this collection. Don't bother to purchase it seperately! I have yet to check out the 'extras' that are included (not too big on that stuff, myself). I definitely feel I got more than my money's worth, purchasing this box set. `Can't wait for the Season 2 set to come out!!
Long live Galactica!
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on October 2, 2005
This show is about humanity's desperate struggle to avoid extinction after the robots they created turn on them.
In my opinion, this was the best new series of last season, even better than Lost. It was overlooked by many only because it was on an obscure cable channel. However, the staff of TV Without Pity, a prominent website for critique and analysis of TV shows, recently named it the best drama of 2004-2005, along with one other show (Deadwood).
Scifi usually leaves me cold but I love Battlestar Galactica. BG has a lot of emotion and personal drama. The relationships are refreshing, well-developed, and interesting. They give a wonderful emotional underpinning to all the events that unfold.
This series is a little bit Alias (intrigue and moles, suspense, strong female characters, importance of family and love, overarching plot), a little bit West Wing (the politics), Star Wars (dogfights in space), and in the beginning of the second season even Band of Brothers.
There are almost as many female characters as male on this show, they have a variety of roles, and none of them are pushovers. The two that stand out most are President Roslin who is strong and decisive but also warm and compassionate; and Starbuck who is the best pilot in the fleet.
Anyone looking for a show with a lot of action, suspense, and emotion supported by excellent writing and acting should check out Battlestar Galactica.
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