Battlestar Galactica has returned, and we here at the Bureau have an advance preview review!

Some spoilers follows.

Cast

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama

Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar

Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama

Grace Park as Athena

Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh
Ted McGinley as Helo
Britney Spears as Cassiopeia
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol

Elspeth Dudgeon as Ovion Queen

Lucy Lawless as D’Anna Cylon

Premise

Several key members of the crew discover that they, too, are Cylons, and begin to uncover the true nature of recent human/Cylon history. Starbuck returns, claiming to have visited earth. Is she telling the truth—- or is she an agent for the Insectoid Ovions?

High Point

1.I worried when I realized the Ovions were going to become a part of the new Galactica”s final season. Old-time fans will remember the insectoid race as part of the cheesy ’78 series. However, Moore and company have a handle on the hive, and it’s clear they anticipated their involvement from the earliest episodes.

2.The identities of the Joker and the Thief. I did not see that coming.

Low Points

1.This series has often gone in for fannish references, but naming the final Cylon “Ben Reilly” was a step too far.

2. Tahmoh Penikett’s replacement has me a bit worried.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6 The first half of the episode represents more of the same, and at the quality we expect. Some of the effects, discussed below, are a bit derivative. The ending represents the most original twist in recent SF. For those who cannot wait until Friday, perhaps you’ve by now figured out this is a April Fool’s gag not at all made up as I had my morning coffee and typed and Eldhrin will write the real review on the weekend.

Effects: 5/6. The visuals used to create “hypertime” were stunning, if a little derivative of Space Odyssey. Did anyone else think the flashback to the Galactica in drydock looked slightly familiar as well?

Story: 6/6.

Acting: 6/6. The acting remains impressive.

Emotional Response: 5/6. I expected a shark-jump after last season’s ending, but they’re on the verge of having the identity of the additional Cylons make perfect sense, and I have no doubt this is what Moore and company intended all along, since they clearly have a plan.

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 6/6. The final, horror-movie moment wherin Starbuck turns to see a mysterious “clutching hand” pulling her leg definitely makes me want to see how the series will conclude.

In total “Said the Joker to the Thief” receives 37/42