The hit science fiction space opera, Battlestar Galactica, has finally returned for its third season. For the two or three people not in the know, this is the "re-imagined" remake that uses the old show's starting premise to forge an excellent, original, non-campy plotline. It only took a few episodes for me to decide that it had exceeded Babylon 5.
(potential spoilers after the fold)
Anyway, they clearly have not lost their momentum. This première was excellent. It takes place a few months after the occupation of New Caprica by the Cylons in the season finale, and we are immediately thrust into the pattern of life forced on the human population, a futile cycle of repression and mollification symbolized by Starbuck's bizarre luxury imprisonment by Leoben, the Cylon she helped torture and kill so many apisodes ago---whom she now regularly kills again, and who is regularly resurrected to torment her further with his sick obsession for her. What goes around comes around, only worse.
The parallels with the occupation of Iraq in this nascent story arc are clearly deliberate, but the show is clever enough to avoid doing something as transparent and crass as direct Bush-bashing. It instead seems to focus itself against the deception known as liberal interventionism. The Cylons have switched from the genocidal programme that occupied the past two seasons to a new programme instigated by the new, liberal leadership of Baltar's original Six and Tyrol's Sharon, who helped each other achieve a great moral epiphany in the last few episodes of the previous season. This new programme involves "finding a new way to live together."
Unfortunately for them, they are going to have to learn a hard lesson. It appears that one cannot simply impose this desire on a subject population. And no matter the good intentions, one cannot do so without risking one's own corruption. We see the growth of hypocrisy among the Cylons, who were until now pure of that particular sin. And we see them sow the dragon's teeth among the humans. And it all unfolds quite logically, I must say. Thumbs up to this season première.