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This Week's Premieres in Preview
By Stephen Lackey
October 02, 2006
LOST Season 3 Promo Poster
This may very well be the biggest week in the entire fall season. Sure there are some shows on, but they all may pale in comparison to the hype behind the season premiere of LOST
. Last week ABC showed LOST: A Tale of Survival
an hour long recap of the series right up to this season's premiere. The show, as gripping as it is, can be a bit convoluted as they create unimportant subplots in the midseason drag, so these recap shows can be very helpful to catch viewers up.
If you haven't been watching the series so far, there's no way I can catch you up in this one article. I recommend picking up the first two seasons on DVD and just catching yourself up. So for those in the know let's take a look at where the series stopped last season. LOST
really kicked in towards the end of last season and this finale finally takes some major steps towards answering fan questions, but still as expected spurs many more questions that'll take us through season three. Michael (Harold Perineau) was propositioned last season by "the others" to lure some of his friends into a trap. In exchange he'd get his son back and a boat to get home in. Jack (Mathew Fox) and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) figure out that Michael is a turncoat and put together their own plan. On the way to the ambush Michael, overwhelmed by his guilt and outted by Jack, admits what he has done but the tranquilizer darts hurtling through the air like some sort of modern ninja weapon herald the fact that his revelation came too late. The prisoners are awakened just in time to see Michael and his son Walt (Malcolm David Kelly) float away on a boat. They let Hurley go sending him back to his camp with a warning for none of his cohorts to never set foot over the line between the two camps again.
Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) makes a not surprising but fairly epic return to the series on a boat he was never able to get out of eye shot of the island. Desmond has given up, not just on escaping, but on everything which helps him form a bond with Locke (Terry O'Quinn) who after finding another hatch with equipment that allowed residents of this hatch to monitor subjects left to push the button. He feels the whole thing is a big joke, and he and Desmond lock down their hatch and refuse to push the button. Here is where we get one of the biggest revelations of the episode. Desmond discovers that the last time he refused to press the button was the same day Locke's plane crashed. When Desmond tries to press the button Locke destroys the computer. A blinding flash and loud sound reveals nothing though. We'll have to see what the repercussions are with the season premiere.
Perhaps the biggest change in the entire series happens in the closing moments of the episode. Up to this point the formula of the series is to show the survivors on the island or show them in different places in flashback. In the last few minutes of the season final we see people in present day and not on the island. These people appear to be in some sort of monitoring station in an arctic climate. So, now we're into the season opener and a lot of questions have been raised. The one thing we are guaranteed is that these questions won't all get answered in this episode. I expect many of these questions will linger all the way through the season. The one thing we can hope is that JJ Abrahams (Alias, Mission Impossible III) will get back involved with the series and keep it rolling forward. We'll be watching Wednesday October 4th 9/8C on ABC.
Another huge premiere this week, Friday October 6th at 9/8C on the SCIFI Channel, is season three of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
. This series along with Eureka really broke a trend for me. That trend was that of the fact that series created in house at SCIFI Channel usually suck. Stargate doesn't count because it started on Showtime. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
has easily become the best science fiction series on television since early Star Trek. Great sci-fi isn't only lasers and spaceships; it's also social political commentary, great drama, and great characters. Now I will admit that's a tall order, but BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
has lived up to it.
Last season found the military and the new government settling into an uneasy relationship, mostly due to the mutual respect of Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) and President Roslin (Mary McDonnell). In the last season her breast cancer was actually cured by the hybrid baby of a human and Cylon. I felt like that long running story arc was rushed to an end as were many others in the season. The first half of the season, called 2.0 on DVD is really strong featuring all the things we mention above as being part of great sci-fi. The second half of the season, called 2.5, all felt rushed and a few times predictable. Roslin's cancer was healed in one episode, the two part Pegasus story was ended predictably and basically with a simple plot device to name just a few instances of disappointing story arc conclusions. Now this really frustrated me but I learned why these stories were rushed as I witnessed the final episodes and the start of a new and epic direction for the series that some will love and others will hate.
The last few episodes focused on the election of a new President. During the new elections a planet resembling the refugees' home planet is discovered and becomes a point of contention between the two candidates President Roslin and wannabe Gaius Baltar (James Callis). Roslin and Adama know that Baltar is bad for the people, even if they aren't sure why so when they feel the election swaying in his direction they actually throw it. Their attempt to take the election fails and Baltar is elected. He makes the controversial decision to settle the people on this new planet, leaving Galactica and Pegasus to simply patrol the atmosphere around the planet. At the end of the season the Cylons predictably discover where they have settled and begin bombing runs on the planet. At the same time President Baltar surrenders the planet to the Cylons. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
, the original 70's series and this new one have always basically been a remake of the old western Wagon Train. It's this "rag tag" group of people traveling across uncharted territory. In Wagon Train that territory was uncharted America, in Galactica that territory is uncharted space. So, with this latest twist the story changes as the group of people aren't traveling now. The series now feels like an invasion scenario. I'm sure they'll get back into space soon enough but it better not go easy. You can get a good clue now of what to expect by checking out the seven webisodes now online at the Galactica website. They aren't promotional material. They actually fill in the space between season two and season three. VERONICA MARS
, the surprise hit for the CW returns Tuesday October 3rd 9/8C. In this series Veronica, starting this year is a freshmen in college. In the series Veronica is the daughter of a private investigator and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She also does her own investigating and gets herself and her friends in trouble more often than not. Typically the series has a mystery of the week along with a longer story arc as a subplot running the entire season. Stories are usually based on twists that often affect the overall story arc in ways you don't expect. The first two seasons follow Veronica and her friends through high school but now that she is starting to show her age it became necessary to push her into college to try and help keep the suspension of disbelief in full effect. In any case the show has been solid the past two seasons so it's worth a look.
Other series gearing up this week include SOUTH PARK
coming back Wednesday, October 4th on Comedy Central for its 10th season and DRAWN TOGETHER
Thursday on Comedy Central. All of these new series along with those that have already started such as Heroes, Jericho, and Smallville to name a few means a very hot Tivo this fall. Check back here as we frantically try to review as many of these series as possible.