The end begins.

Title: Daybreak, Part One

Cast and Crew

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael D. Rymer

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Grace Park as Athena/Boomer/Number 8
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Dean Stockwell as Cavil
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol
Tahmoh Penikett as Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
Alexandra Thomas as Hera
Tobias Mehler as Zak Adama
Michael Trucco as Samuel Anders

Premise

The show juxtaposes the past, before the Cylon attack, with the present, before Galactica’s end. The past sequences show us key events in the life of several major characters. The present shows us their reaction to the dismantling of the Galactica, and the dangerous final mission which Admiral Adama proposes.

High Point

Many moments credibly depict the response of the characters to their situation. Consider, for instance, the conversation between the Admiral and one of his men regarding the dismantling of the ship. It’s a small moment, but I believed in it, and in the character’s concerns.

Low Points

Cavil’s actions and comments are in character, and Dean Stockwell keeps things in check, but push this characterization a little further and we have cackling cartoon supervillainy, someone a little too close to, say, the Baltar of the original series. This Galactica usually manages with greater subtlety.1

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. I don’t think Galactica has mined its past in quite this way before. The idea of showing us the past as we see the conclusion isn’t new, but I think it has merit. Likewise, the dangerous final mission of the dying ship seems a predictable twist, but sets up for a riveting story.

Effects: 6/6.

Story: 4 or 5/6. More than ever, I feel I cannot fairly evaluate the story. We not only have a story-arc heavy series, but a multi-part episode.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 4/6. This will likely be stronger in total, once the final part has played, if the conclusion lives up to the series’ best episodes.

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 5/6. The show has always used recognizable real-world reference points to build the series’ world, and I accept such things as nineteenth-century-style Euro-American military uniforms, champagne, Classical gods (which may even make internal sense, given this universe’s backstory), suits with ties, and so forth. Caprica, however, seems a little too familiar and contemporary. Surely the technology evident on the ship would have a greater impact on the society?

In total “Daybreak,” Part One receives 33 or 34/42

Notes

1. Another former child star goes over the edge?