"The Final Frontier"

I read this article in the Wall Street Journal today, and apparently it's only available at wsj.com to subscribers. I'd like to thank this blogger for the following transcription. Warning - Major season 3 spoilers of Empre Strikes Back proportions:

March 21, 2008; Page W2

‘Battlestar Galactica” is set in deep space, but it may be headed to Earth in its fourth and final season. The science-fiction drama about humans who struggle to find a new home while fleeing their robotic enemies known as Cylons, has won critical acclaim and a cult audience. Next week, Sci Fi runs a wrap-up of the last three seasons called “Battlestar Galactica: Revealed.” New shows begin airing April 4 at 10 p.m. EDT.

The fourth season opens as the fractious band of humans continue to search for their new home, thinking they know the way to the fabled planet Earth. The crew of the Galactica is rocked by the sudden and mysterious return from the dead of Starbuck, a hotheaded fighter pilot who claims that she has been to Earth. Meanwhile, four members of the fleet are in shock after learning that they actually have been Cylons all along.

Much of the new season concerns the search for Earth, says Ronald D. Moore, an executive producer, who helped create the current version of the show (it’s based on the 1978 ABC series). But a larger issue throughout the season is one of trust, as the Galactica crew realizes that traitorous Cylons once more walk among them, and that Starbuck herself may not be what she seems. “The questions of ‘Do they trust her?’ ‘How far can they believe what she says?’ develop into a storyline,” Mr. Moore says.

Like some of the best science fiction, “Battlestar Galactica” addresses contemporary situations. Over its first three seasons, the show has explored the consequences of a prolonged war, the morality of torture, and the perils of religious intolerance. All of these weighty issues have been accompanied by such audience-pleasing touches as romantic trysts, space battles and human-looking robots who seem ready for Maxim magazine cover shoots.

The three-month-long writer’s strike prevented the producers from filming the second half of the season, Mr. Moore says, but that proved to be a blessing. “It gave us a chance to re-evaluate where we were,” he says. “We tore some of the stories apart and put them back together. You never get the chance to do that when you’re in the thick of it.” The first of the final nine episodes begins shooting next week. Those remaining episodes are likely to air in the fall or early in 2009, Mr. Moore says.

Sci Fi has also given the go-ahead to a “Battlestar” prequel called “Caprica,” set 50 years before the time of the current series. The ratings and DVD success of last November’s two-hour “Battlestar Galactica: Razor,” led the network to green-light the pilot, which will film this spring and probably air in late autumn. But viewers shouldn’t expect another version of “Battlestar Galactica.” “It’s a very different flavor,” says Mr. Moore. “Sort of like a sci-fi ‘Dallas.’ “

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