If you're thinking of the Battlestar Galactica of our childhoods, think again. This new series is on a different level. The basic story is pretty much the same: we follow the journey of the last surviving humans from the Twelve Colonies after their nuclear annihilation by the Cylons. The survivors are led by President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) in a ragtag fleet of ships, with the Battlestar Galactica at the lead. The humans are pursued by the Cylons who are intent on wiping out the remnants of the human race, while they travel across the galaxies looking for the fabled Thirteenth colony, which is none other than Earth. This is pretty much as sci-fi as it gets. In between the occasional space battle, the issues tackled by the show are very earthly indeed: birth rights, justice, friendship, religion, prejudice, genocide, love triangles, father/son relationships, suicide bombing, and the nature of humanity.
Battlestar Galactica is smartly written and wonderfully acted. There are no actors in stupid alien makeup, no fancy laser guns, no mumbo-jumbo sci-fi lingo. This isn't a show for hard core sci-fi enthusiasts. It's a show for those who are looking for food for thought as opposed to light entertainment. It's dark and compelling. It's the kind of show where you can watch each episode two or three times and still spot things - references, nuances, the odd meaningful look - that you'd missed first time round, which will shed light to something that happens five episodes later.
For me, Battlestar Galactica is the best TV show there is at the moment. Simple as that.
Watch it on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM on Sky One. http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/