Picks and Pans Review: Battlestar Galactica

updated 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

Sci Fi Channel (Mon.-Tues., Dec. 8-9, 9 p.m. ET)

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Women rule in this intriguing two-part reinvention of the late-'70s series. Hotshot pilot Starbuck is now female (a cigar-smoking Katee Sack-hoff), as is fellow flier Boomer (Grace Park). The human colonies of space have a woman chief executive in Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell, from Dances with Wolves), who rises from Secretary of Education to the top job after the President and senior cabinet officials are killed in an attack by the robot Cylons. And the Cylons' most potent nonnuclear weapon is a blonde bombshell (Tricia Helfer) who looks oh-so-seductively human.

The Galactica's Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos), old-fashioned yet not inflexible, assumes overall leadership of the human military and learns that the new President has more sense and guts than he'd anticipated. It's a working relationship with growth potential, and potential is what we must settle for. At the end it becomes frustratingly clear that this production is a four-hour pilot for a possible series, and viewers hoping for plot resolution in the here and now are left hanging in the blue yonder.


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