ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Dec. 8-9, 2003
SURVIVORS REMAINING: Billions
PLOT SUMMARY: The Cylons — robots who rebelled against their creators and declared war 40 years ago — have broken their 20-year-old peace with humans. As two old warhorses, Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) and his Battlestar Galactica, are preparing for forced retirement, the Cylon siren Number Six (Tricia Helfer) explains to her scientist lover (James Callis’ Dr. Gaius Baltar) that she used him to infiltrate the defense system that protects the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, and plant the seed for an imminent attack. And without warning, humanity is reduced to 50,000-some-odd souls, running for their lives, led by Adama and newly appointed President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell).
CRITIQUE: This four-hour two-parter had a lot to establish and, as a result, can feel a wee bit bloated at times. But for the sheer number of things it did right — including the Hitchcockian reveal of Sharon ”Boomer” Valerii (Grace Park, pictured bottom) as a Cylon — it scores a win. When Six reached down and snapped a baby’s neck (pictured top), we knew that the gloves were off, and TV science fiction wouldn’t be the same again.