BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - 'Islanded In A Stream Of Stars'

SCI-FI HD - 6th March 2009 - 10.00pm

Well, this was a trifle dull. I can see what the writer Michael Taylor was under orders to do and there were occasional flashes of interest here but my eyes were getting heavier and heavier as this one went on and on. And quoting Henry Beston for the title is probably a dead giveaway that this one's a bit more languid than the rest of the season so far.

That's not to say that nothing much happens. A great deal does happen but it's offered to us in a ponderous and deliberately slow way by director Eddie Olmos. He and Michael Taylor are content to move the chess pieces of the narrative in their own good time but the trouble is that this makes for very soporific viewing. And as most of us have been paying avid attention over the last few weeks we've already worked out what those chess maneouvres are. It was inevitable that after Boomer's collision with Galactica that the old girl would be ailing. Cue much angst from Adama as he tries to make a decision on whether to abandon Galactica for the Base Ship. Meanwhile, Anders has become Galactica's own 'bathing beauty' as he's plugged in like a hybrid and scarily starts to connect to all the retro-fitted Cylon goo in the ship's hull. What's the betting that he'll jump the ship right into Cavil's waiting arms? And we've got the Opera House visions back which seemed inevitable as the very key to those visions, little Hera (loved the symbolism of her docking the Galactica model next to the Base Ship model perhaps suggesting the fate of Galactica in a future battle) has been snaffled away by Boomer.

'New Command'
The real highlight of this week's episode was the snippy little tete a tete between Starbuck and Gaius. I adored the scene where Gaius is having a shave, perhaps sloughing off an old skin in preparation for the battle to come, and Starbuck, knickers round her ankles, sat on the loo, has a wee in front of him. She has a tinkle whilst discussing the afterlife and angels with him. It's a wonder he didn't slice his face open. This wonderful scene, in which she reveals, rather stupidly I thought, that she is undead and has the proof, is then extended into the funeral service for those killed in the collision, where both Cylon and human casualties are being honoured, Gaius decides to blurt out the news that, indeed, Starbuck is dead but yet lives on. No one seems greatly shocked by this news but then these poor people must be at their wits end and one more visitation from the afterlife must seem terribly inconsequential compared to what has just happened. Loved Sackhoff and Callis in these scenes which provided the story with some much needed frisson, especially that well deserved slap he gets from her at the end of the funeral. Perhaps this is what she was looking for all along. A bit of peace. She certainly looks more at ease with herself when she next visits Anders, plugs him back in after Tigh got the screaming ab-dabs at the thought that he could jump the ship, and promises that they'll both work out what the sodding music means. Scarily, he opens his eyes and declares, 'New Command'.

Boomer certainly looks worried after all that mummy bonding she's just done
Poor old Karl Agathon. The relationship with Athena is obviously suffering and the poor guy is desperate to get a rescue mission out to find Hera. Tamoh Penikett does distressed extremely well and it's gut wrenching to see Adama dismiss his appeal so brusquely. No sign of Tyrol this week. One assumes he's in the brig for clubbing a Cylon over the head last week. Meanwhile, the horribly conflicted Boomer is obviously suffering parental pangs as she has to deal with a distressed Hera. She finally delivers the child to Cavil, who has been waiting at 'The Colony' which is where we assume the Final Five originally gave the Cylons their human appearance and resurrection ability. He rather evilly rubs his hands and mentions playmates for Hera. Is he going to open her up and duplicate her, I wonder? Boomer certainly looks worried after all that mummy bonding she's just done. Finally, Adama's gone off his trolley whilst painting a wall and done a Jackson Pollock all over himself because he's realised that he must abandon Galactica before she falls apart. Cue, collapsing on the floor, having a little weep and a big glass of whisky. He promises to send her off 'in style'. I don't think that means a paint job and a cruise round the galaxy. More like a nose dive into a certain Base Ship.

You see, that all sounds exciting. But it's so leaden for the most part and merely amounted to slowly moving the pieces around ready for the 'shit your pants' end of an era, three part finale, Daybreak. Let's hope we get clear answers in the next two weeks (Part 1 next week and then the two part conclusion the week after) and a fitting send off for the whole show.

Previous reviews:

Someone To Watch Over Me
No Exit
Blood On The Scales
The Oath
A Disquiet Follows My Soul
Sometimes A Great Notion
The Hub
Sine Qua Non
Guess What's Coming To Dinner?
The Road Less Traveled
Escape Velocity
The Ties That Bind
He That Believeth In Me & Six Of One

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