This week is for sci-fi fans, beginning with Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5, the final episodes of the great series.
Unlike some landmark shows that exited with a shrug, Battlestar's endgame unfolded in an exciting and provocative manner. Yes, there were a few hiccups, and show junkies will argue about meaning. But the series was always about more than spaceships and robots; it was about the human experiment.
The reimagined series focuses on the last remaining members of a civilization, fleeing across space, searching for a home, after their planet is wiped out by Cylons, a cybernetic civilization created by humans. The refugees squabble among themselves, exhibiting greed and all sorts of human failings as they look to reform their society. At the same time, some of the Cylons have evolved to become humanlike and have blended in among members of the fleet.
Battlestar throughout its years raised questions of faith, religion, democracy, prisoner torture and coexistence with a fair degree of intelligence without grinding any particular axes. What made the series so watchable was that you could read so much into it and see so many parallels with today without being led to a particular conclusion. In fact, earlier this year, Battlestar even inspired the United Nations to have a panel discussion about how the show portrayed human rights abuses, terrorism and religious conflict.
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 retails for $49.98 or $69.98 on Blu-ray. Other sci-fi offerings include the miniseries Torchwood: Children of Earth, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, Dollhouse: Season One, the British TV series Life on Mars: Series 1; the second season of the 1996 time-travel series Early Edition, and the Blu-Ray debuts of the film 12 Monkeys and the second season of the British series Torchwood.