Battlestar Galactica (often abbreviated as BSG or Battlestar) is a military science fiction serial drama television series and part of the Battlestar Galacticafranchise. The show was created by David Eick and Ronald D. Moore as a re-imagining of the Battlestar Galactica television series from 1978 created by Glen A. Larson. The series first aired as a three-hour miniseries (comprising four broadcast hours) in December, 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel, and ran for four seasons thereafter, ending its run on March 20, 2009.
The series featured Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, and garnered a wide range of critical acclaim, including a Peabody Award and the Television Critics Association's Program of the Year Award, as well as Emmy nominations for its writing and directing.
The story arc of Battlestar Galactica is set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, where a civilization of humans live on a series of planets known as theTwelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies had been at war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons.
With the unwitting help of a human named Gaius Baltar, the Cylons launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations. Approximately 50,000 humans survive, most of whom were aboard civilian ships that avoided destruction. Of all the Colonial Fleet, the eponymous Battlestar Galactica appears to be the only military capital ship that survived the attack. Under the leadership of Colonial Fleet officer Commander William "Bill" Adama (Olmos) and President Laura Roslin(McDonnell), the Galactica and its crew take up the task of leading the small fugitive fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth.
The series was a ratings success for Sci-Fi, and was particularly popular in Europe and North America. Battlestar Galactica has received nationwide critical acclaim from the American media and has been honored with numerous awards and award nominations in its four-season run. It was the second most watched cable show of 2009, and spawned the spin off TV series Caprica, which aired for one season beginning in January 2010.
Over the course of the show's four seasons, the war between the Colonials and the Cylons takes many twists and turns. Despite the animosity on both sides, the Cylons and humans slowly turn away from their hatred of each other.
Part of this is due to a growing schism within the humanoid Cylons, led by the disgruntled Cylon "Number One" named John Cavil. Cavil's obsession with hiding the true genesis of the humanoid Cylons (the "Significant Eight" created by the "Final Five," who themselves are humanoid Cylons from Earth, who had their memories erased by Cavil) leads to a civil war among the Cylons, with a faction of the robot race forming an alliance with the humans. Other plotlines involve the mysterious destiny of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, who is the subject of a prophecy involving her as the "Harbinger of Death" who will "lead humanity to its end," as well as the redemption of Gaius Baltar through the Cylons' monotheistic religion, after he becomes a pariah within the fleet (after being forced to collaborate with the Cylons).
In the final episodes, a resurrected Kara Thrace leads the surviving humans and Cylons to a new planet, which is revealed to be Earth, with the first colonists landing in Africa. Adama names their new home planet "Earth," as a tribute to the "real" Earth of legend, which had been originally sought by the survivors. The original Earth was revealed to have been a different planet, one which had become an uninhabitable wasteland by a nuclear war waged by its Cylon creations thousands of years before.
The new Earth is found to be inhabited by early humans, who are genetically compatible with the humans from the Galactica and the rest of the fleet, but who possess only the most rudimentary civilization. Human beings had apparently naturally evolved on Earth and Kobol, the original home world of the humans who settled the Twelve Colonies. The surviving humans and humanoid Cylons decide to live on the new planet, and discard all technology, destroying the fleet by flying it into the Sun. Kara Thrace, apparently an "angel" since her purportedly fatal crash on the "Earth" of legend, disappears. The surviving Cylon Centurions are given possession of the remaining Cylon Basestar, and proceed to jump away from Earth, never to be heard from again.
The series finale concludes with an epilogue set 150,000 years later in contemporary Times Square of New York City, as two "angels" in the form of Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar, who while observing primitive robots in use in modern day New York muse on the origin and fate of humankind, and on whether or not the cycle of violence between human and machine will repeat itself once more. It is revealed that humans on Earth are in some small part descended from the half-human, half-Cylon girl named Hera Agathon, who lived out her life in Africa 150,000 years earlier, ultimately becoming Mitochondrial Eve