Monday, January 17, 2005

Battlestar Galactica: Colonial Day

Politics returned to the forefront of Galactica in this superb ep that sees representatives of the 12 colonies meeting to debate the future of 50,000 people left. The main plot surrounds the return of political prisoner/terrorist Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch). Selected as Sagitarrians representative, he eyes a chance to dislodge the "illegitimate" President Roslin.

This is one of the best scripted episodes yet, with some fantastic chess moves between Zarek and Roslin. The politics of BSG may sound boring, but it's actually the strongest part of the story, mainly because the lines between good, bad, morality and equality are so messed up. When you hear Zarek speak he makes sense, which makes it harder to dislike him.

This episode is also surprising for pushing a deep undercurrent of racism to the fore that had so far only fleetingly been mentioned. The fact that the Sagitarrians were viewed more as the worker colony, and as such, less equal was one of the sharpest ideas Ron Moore has thrown into the plot. With people from all 12 colonies meeting for the first time, the old prejudices resurface and, in one scene in particular, show up a very unlikely character for his strong dislike of the Sagitarrian people.

This episode twists and turns and offers yet more intrigue as the election of a Vice President takes place. The fact that the whole event is covered by a newly formed civilian TV and radio network (headed by the only 3 journalists left alive) is another sublime move that allows for some lighter moments amongst all the politics.

Colonial Day: 9/10

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