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'Battlestar Galactica' - Season Four Review

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'Battlestar Galactica' - Season Four Review
In an ideal world, we should all be sat around the campfire (or in front of our PCs), toasting marshmallows and analysing the Final Cylon in all his or her glory. But thanks to the fracking writers' strike, the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica has been cut into two parts, with the latter episodes to be broadcast in 2009. So here's our look at some of the best action and intrigue to take place in the fourth season so far...

Despite an uneasy alliance between a rebellious faction of the Cylons and the Galactica fleet, there was plenty of gritty, well-executed bloodshed to lap up in the series. Most notably, Tory's stunning murder of Cally in the airlock, after she discovered the identity of the four Cylons, left a real lump in the throat.

Sympathies were also aroused by the plight of poor Felix Gaeta, who was shot by Anders during Starbuck's conflict-ridden mission to find Earth. The sight and sound of him later singing to himself in the medical bay, his leg freshly amputated, was particularly emotive and it was heartwarming to see him return to duty during the mid-season finale.

The moment when Number Six ordered her cerebrally-enhanced Centurions to open fire on Brother Cavill and his cohorts signified a shocking twist in the narrative of the show. The treacherous 'Toasters' suddenly had feelings that we could all understand, with the lobotomisation of the Raiders throwing up a very contemporary and resonant social issue. It was very much akin to the rich, ruling classes ensuring that the poor were kept penniless in order to safeguard their own status.

For the incurable romantics among us, there was plenty of intrigue to behold - with plenty of unexpected flings. The Admiral Adama-Laura Roslin hook-up was to be expected, and Tory and Baltar's sexual union was fitting given their slippery nature. But who could have seen Saul Tigh getting Number Six up the duff and Cavill smooching with Sharon. Whatever next? Start placing your bets on Doc Cottle wine, dine, 69-ing Starbuck?

Gaius Baltar's resurrection as a cult leader was most amusing, as he wormed his way into the affections (and pants) of his female followers. However, his crowning glory came not with a figure of flesh and blood, but with a Cylon Centurion on board the damaged Basestar. He tried to explain God and equality to the Toaster - who listened patiently - by using an old parable. Completely bizarre, but rather poignant given that the Centurion was blown up before he could see the light.

The verbal and physical sparring between Admiral Adama and Saul Tigh helped to compensate for the sad absence of the brilliant Katee Sackhoff from several episodes. Adama's treasured model ship was destroyed after a tussle brought about by the revelation that Tigh had been doing the dirty with the lethal Cylon captive Number Six.

Yet nothing could prepare Adama for the shock that his long-standing comrade was in fact a Cylon himself. The anguish was brilliantly conveyed by Edward James Olmos as Adama, who hit the bottle, smashed a mirror and had to be dragged to his fight by his son. Michael Hogan was superb as Tigh too, with his expressive, bulging eye neatly conveying the harrowing predicament he found himself in.

Ah yes, how could we mention recent episodes of Battlestar Galactica without broaching the shock ending that we desperately want to see resolved? The apparent discovery of Earth should have been a triumphant moment for both Capricans and the rebel Cylons, but the post-apocalyptic terrain they found totally subverted their and our expectations. The eerie silence as the camera pans across the desolate landscape before revealing a city in ruins is truly breathtaking.

The series continues to transcend the sci-fi genre and bring out real emotions, social issues and conflict. The wait to discover the final Cylon and resume the fourth season in 2009 will be agonising.

> What do you think of the season so far? Share your views

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