The series falters a little with the third episode, though it still surpasses anything Enterprise has shown us.

“Bastille Day”

Cast and Crew:

Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Kandyse Mclure as Dualla
Nicki Clyne as Cally
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Connor Widdows as Boxey
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarak

Writer: Toni Graphia

Director: Alan Kroeker

Plot:

A rebellion breaks out on a prison ship when the fleet tries to convince convicts to volunteer for a dangerous mission.

High Points:

1. Lt. “Starbuck” Thrace addressing the pilots. Starbuck and Boomer remain the most interesting characters, though they are not entirely likeable. I also like the idea of Boxey as Viper mascot, even if the pilots are clearly not a consistently good influence.

2. While I found the ending pat, it creates the potential for some great future episodes.

Low Point:

The writing, and the theme of choices, seemed a little too obvious, and the conclusion, a little too pat. It would’ve been the expected ending on a certain other space-based tv franchise; I’ve come to expect more from Galactica.

I also had a few questions about the set-up. Given the level of technology evident, would salt water present such a problem? With so many people available, wouldn’t they just move on to other volunteers if the prisoners refused? And, even with the prisoner’s surprise advantage, shouldn’t it be more difficult to seize control of a prison ship?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The premise was fairly well-handled, but it’s hardly original.

Effects: 5/6 This ep featured fewer effects than the first two, but they looked good. The pack of rats looked too much like CGI.

Story: 4/6 .

Acting: 5/6 Richard Hatch did a fine job, and I liked the (relatively) understated madness of the disturbed prisoner.

Emotional Response: 4/6. I’ve already addressed Starbuck and Boomer. Lee has many positive qualities, but I’m not sold on the character.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Bastille Day” receives 30/42

Additional Comments and Cheap Shots:

1. I don’t really buy Zarak’s plot. Given the circumstances, I doubt he’d attract that much sympathy after the marines opened fire. However, I buy that a desperate person might attempt such a plot.

2. I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but did it strike anyone else that the first time we see any measurable Black presence in this series is during a prison episode?

3. The Classical gods are mentioned as gods in this ep, providing more hints about Galactica’s mythology and theology.

4. Standing up for the law and the constitution is loyalty? I’m pretty sure a message like that runs afoul of the Homeland Security Act.

5. Cylon-occupied Caprica bears a striking resemblance to Vancouver.