I bought all of the seasons separately as they first came out, and I highly recommend watching the entire television series through to the end. The five stars are for the series, NOT for the atrocious marketing.
While looking for the last piece of the series (see the end of the review), I came across some great deals (in terms of price), but was dismayed to see just how confusing things have become on Amazon. This review below is meant to help you wade through the mess in the marketplace, purchase the series, and enjoy it. I originally posted it for the combined Seasons 4.0 and 4.5 set, but someone kindly suggested I post it elsewhere as well. I hope you find it helpful.
The show is incredible. However, the whole DVD thing has been a disaster. They released it in the worst way possible (see below), Amazon compounded the problem by lumping together reviews for DIFFERENT PRODUCTS, and the DVD manufacturers seem to be changing the contents of some products. I cannot imagine how someone who is not deeply familiar with it is supposed to purchase this wonderful show. Certainly, they would hesitate to give it as a gift! Let’s hope this solves your problem.
In one sentence, I can say that here is what you want to get: Seasons 1, 2.0, 2.5, 3, 4.0, 4.5, and The Plan. I have links to them below. If you get these, then you will be sure to have it all.
-Season One was released as (Battlestar Galactica – Season One) altogether with the pilot in one box.
-Season Two was released as Battlestar Galactica – Season 2.0 (Episodes 1-10) and Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 (Episodes 11-20) in two boxes. You can now purchase them together as Battlestar Galactica (2004): Seasons 2.0 & 2.5
-Season Three was released together in one box as Battlestar Galactica – Season Three.
-Season Four was released as Battlestar Galactica – Season 4.0 and Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 with the Razor episode. Those are now available together as Battlestar Galactica (2004): Season 4.0 & 4.5. Occasionally I come across things like “Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 – Limited Edition Gift Set (2009).” It seems like a lot of money for one part of the full season, but you get some dog tags with it, so if you are into collecting memorabilia, you might want to consider it.
-The Plan was released on its own as Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
OPTIONS FOR PURCHASING THEM ALL TOGETHER: BAD TO GOOD
-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (with COLLECTIBLE CYLON). Not recommended. I do not own this, but according to the reviews, it is packaged poorly WITHOUT AN EPISODE LIST. That seems like a horrible idea for four seasons of a tv show. Apparently, it contains the same DVDs as the ones sold separately (explained above).
-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (the one in the GRAY BOX). Recommended. I do not own this. Good reviews of it so far. Packaging problems were fixed.
-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (with COLLECTIBLE CYLON) [BLU-RAY] or the gray box [BLU-RAY] set. Recommended. I do not own this. Seems to include some extras, but not significant. It also has an episode list, according to the reviews. It might be worth buying if you wanted to get everything together.
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The complete series box set is a *big* box, not something that will fit easily on a shelf. The box is quite sturdy, with each season’s discs packaged in their own sleeve (four in all). These sleeves are cardboard with flip up covers; inside, the discs are nested in a folded cardboard separator.
Some have claimed that this set would include the movie “Caprica”, but it is *not* included. The 25 DVDs in this set are the same DVDs available in the 6 season sets (1, 2.0, 2.5, 3, 4.0, 4.5).
The series was produced in HD, which means a wide-screen presentation; however, it was deliberately shot with a grainy look to give it a ‘gritty’ film quality.
Why get this collection instead of the six season sets? You get a neat Cylon Centurion figurine (and it’s good sized!), but no booklet, a huge box, and inferior internal packaging. I bought the series this way mainly because it was (slightly) cheaper than purchasing the six season sets individually; nevertheless, I’m experiencing a bit of buyer’s remorse.
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BLU-RAY BOXED SET.
Seasons 1-4 deserve anywhere from 5 to 4 stars depending on the season. The extras deserve 4 stars while the packaging deserves 2 for the bigger box 1 for the cardboard sleeves.
Edit: FYI, this includes the mini-series in addition to ALL the seasons of “BG”, “Razor” is included but “Caprica” and “Face of the Enemy” webisodes are not.
During its four season run “Battlestar Galatica” produced some of the best episodes for ANY television series whether it be a mainstream drama or science fiction. While some fans of the series were disappointed with the conclusion quite a bit was hinted at in previous episodes and it doesn’t detract from the quality of the previous ones. The image quality varies from exceptionally good to fair but the show retains the “look” the producers wanted; some shots are meant to be not only extremely grainy but also a bit soft so you’ll forgive the studio and makers for going with their artistic vision. Either way the image looks terrific but don’t expect this to look like a smooth high def show designed to look slick. Detail is sharper regardless of the “look” of the show.
Audio sounds terrific throughout with an active 5.1 lossless soundtrack that highlights the level of detail that went into preparing the show.
The extras for seasons one through three are more or less the same as on the original DVDs the only new extra (aside from the new extras for season four which I’ll address in a minute)to this set is the BD-Live “Battlestar Galatica Card Game”. So far there isn’t anything else on BD-Live (as of the release date) available but I’d also note that the season one Blu-ray and DVD as part of this boxed set includes the deleted scenes from the first season something missing if I recall correctly from the DVD (I sold mine to upgrade to the Blu-ray so can’t look at it).
It appears as if most of the extras are exactly like like the previous sets with one exception the deleted scenes for the first season. I’m going to focus on the extras for the fourth season because most of the special features are ported over from the previous DVD boxed sets. We get extended episodes for “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”, “Islands in a Stream of Stars” and “Daybreak” as well as 13 commentary tracks, David Eick’s Video Diaries and deleted scenes for the fourth season set.There’s also pip’s that allow you to watch behind-the-scenes stuff while watching the show as well as an explanation of some of the jargon used by the characters on the show.
The packaging is a bit more problematic. While the big box is sturdy enough and looks extremely nice, the smaller boxes that hold each season set holds the discs in cardboard sleeves. It will increase the chance that these could get scratched and I am disappointed that Universal didn’t design this set for a more traditional DVD or Blu-ray holder. The good news is that each season comes in its own compact box and they will stand up with other Blu-ray and DVDs on the shelf. I personally think it is nicer in concept than execution and wish it was designed similar to the UK boxed set coming in September but that’s me.
Let’s not forget the toy Cylon that’s on the top of the cardboard boxed set it looks kind of cool but I haven’t opened it to examine yet.
In conclusion there’s good and bad with this set with the good outweighing the bad. “BG” receives a handsome looking Blu-ray transfer with great sound and some terrific extras. A terrific series where Gaius Balter redeems himself and Cavil proves to be everything we believed him to be from the first introduction of his character.