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Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part II

ARTICLE INDEX

"Battlestar Galactica: Season One" (HD DVD)

movie-battlestar-galactica.jpgSynopsis

 

When a surprise Cylon attack scatters the remnants of humanity throughout the galaxy, it's up to steely President Laura Roslin and battle-hardened Commander William Adama to unite the desperate survivors and seek mankind's only chance for a future, a mythical planet called Earth.

Specifications

  • Universal
    2004, Color, Unrated, 755 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • English DD+ 5.1
  • Starring Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Easily one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in the last few years. I reviewed this series on DVD back when it was first released and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was overjoyed when Universal announced its release on HD, and the fact that they were starting from Season One despite having the second season available. Any fan of sci-fi would be remiss if they didn’t check this one out. Can’t wait to see further installments down the line.

Technical

I gave this a pretty low score for video. The problem is, this show was never meant to look real good. It is grainy, a bit washed out, and lacks fine detail. It has always looked this way. With more shows appearing in HD, people going in unprepared might be in for a shock if they were used to the more polished HD shows on the market. Depth of image is still quite good though, and detail isn’t too bad. Fine object detail is a bit veiled though and contrast wavers. Color is on the bleaker side and appears a bit washed out at times. Grain is heavy throughout and will probably be the biggest complaint from most viewers, but fans of the TV series know this is the intentional look by the creators.

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I was surprised that Universal opted for the lossless audio but glad to see it. The sound design of this show is good and takes advantage of the 5.1 soundstage, but don’t expect the full blown quality of a sci-fi film. There is some nice dynamic range, and bass is there when it needs to be. Definition could be a bit tighter though. Surrounds are used nicely to add to the atmosphere and kick in a bit more when the action picks up. Dialogue sounds slightly compressed in presence at times, and the front soundstage isn’t quite as open as some of the better soundtracks out there.

Extras

Universal pretty much set the bar for extras for a TV release with Heroes and continues that trend here. They took full advantage of the potential of the format with their U-Control options, Picture-in-Picture, and even web enabled content. You get interviews, commentary, character files, production features, set design, and an interactive guide to the ships and locales. Outside of that are deleted scenes, tons of production features, and feature commentaries for each episode. An outstanding supplemental package.