Since the end of the mini series the Cylons have been chasing the remainder of humanity throughout space. Every thirty three minutes the Cylons find the colonial fleet, and a new game of cat and mouse begins. Over five days in and people are starting to get tired.
For an opening episode of the first season, it is impressive that everything is so spot on. Within the fleet there is a palpable tension, which is magnified by the simple fact that everyone is exhausted. You are pulled through the emotions as you watch the crew of the Galactica deal with the impossible.
This is one of my favourite episodes of science fiction simply because they try and do so much in this first episode, and all of it works. The pseudo linking of the Baltar storyline to what happens to the Olympic Carrier, gives this another dimension. Is god really dictating everyone’s actions, or is Six a con woman?
The only stand alone aspect of the episode is the Helo bits on Caprica. Originally, the fate of Helo wasn’t going to be resolved in the series. For now, they are playing the long game with this storyline, and it does two things. Firstly, it reaffirms that Boomer is a Cylon (joking aside), and it starts the seeds of what the Cylons are doing on Caprica.
Everything else is linked into the story of the Olympic Carrier. In fact, the Olympic Carrier story is so short, that it is all about the build up and the setup of everything else within this series.
All of the little character bits are well done. Dee at the wall of pictures, and then the foreshadowing of her mistake, by having the earlier paperwork mix up. Kara getting peeved off with Apollo, and every interaction between Adama and Tigh. If everyone doesn’t hate the XO then he indeed isn’t doing his job properly.
The end of thirty three is all about hope. Not just that they have for now escaped from the Cylons, but also the hope that humanity will continue with the birth if a boy on the Rising Sun. Of course, this is tempered slightly by brooding Six in her earlier conversation with Baltar.
It would be impossible for any series to keep to the heights of this first episode. My problems with the Battlestar Galactica remake are well documented, and they all come down to one thing disappointment. However, this is without question one of the best television episodes of all time.