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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Battlestar Galactica Battlestar Galactica Season 4a has now reached a reasonably satisfying and suspenseful conclusion, which leaves most of the mysteries unresolved, and the final Cylon unrevealed (though the field has been narrowed down quite a bit). A final season, 4b, is reportedly planned, at some unannounced future date.

I'm tired of complaining about starships with curly telephone cords, clunky walkie talkies, and reel to reel tape recorders. I did not enjoy this season of Battlestar as much as I did some of the earlier seasons, especially season 3, which everyone seems to agree was the best. Like Lost, Battlestar has set up mysteries which cannot, by their very nature, be explained. And yet, I keep hoping that Ronald D. Moore will pull not just a rabbit but a solid gold rabbit out of his top hat. That's what I hope, but what I fear is that Ron Moore has no more idea where this is going than I have, and will try to fake it.

Here are a few of the problems he needs to solve. First, I have no hope that he will ever explain why a chemical kills only Cylons in Season One and is forgotten in later seasons. Second, why were the "final five" created and how did they wind up aboard Galactica? Third, how did Starbuck travel to Earth and return with a brand new starfighter? Fourth, who gave the humans directions to Earth, and why didn't that person (or god, as the case may be) do it sooner? Fifth, why did the Cylons not want to know who the Final Five were? The Centurions seem to know. Six, if the Gods of Kobol are a myth, how did they make all those predictions come true? Seventh, if the One True God is a myth, how did He make all those predictions come true? And eighth, and most important, how did the Cylons learn a Bob Dylan song?

There are a number of good, suspenseful moments in Season 4a. The acting, scripts, and space battles are still effective. But my favorite moment of the season is when Boltar stops in a corridor to have a nice chat with a Centurion.

Copyright © 2008 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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