Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection (with Caprica) (Australian Import) (Blu-ray Review)
DirectorVarious, created by Glen A. Larson, reboot developed by Ronald D. Moore
Release Date(s)1978-2012 (May 28, 2021)
Studio(s)Glen A. Larson Productions, Universal Pictures, Sci-Fi Channel, Universal Cable Productions, NBCUniversal Television (Random Space Media)
- Film/Program Grade: A
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: B
- Overall Grade: A
[Editor’s Note: This is an ALL REGION Blu-ray release imported from Australia. It will work on all US Blu-ray players and it’s currently available to order from Amazon US here.]
All right... anyone who’s read The Bits for any length of time probably already knows that I’m a massive fan of the recent Battlestar Galactica. Like many others my age, I saw the original Glen A. Larson film and TV series as a kid in the 1970s and enjoyed it at the time, but it was essentially a campy attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Star Wars—one that collapsed under its own weight after a single season. After spawning a short-lived TV spin-off (Galactica 1980), it quickly faded into broadcast obscurity (and fond childhood memory), seeming unlikely to return. So imagine my surprise when the Sci-Fi Channel rebooted the show with a new cast in the early 2000s, under the guidance of producers Ronald D. Moore (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and David Eick (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), and it actually turned out to be good. Hell, it was better than good. For all of its four seasons, the new Battlestar Galactica was one of the best dramatic series on TV period, widely hailed as such by Time, Rolling Stone, and many other critics, and even garnering a Peabody Award for its storytelling excellence. (That it failed to win even an Emmy nomination for Best Dramatic Series tells you more about the biases of the TV Academy against genre programming than the quality of the show itself.) This reboot also generated a series of tie-in films (Razor, The Plan, Blood & Chrome), as well as its own short-lived spin-off called Caprica. And to this very day, the franchise remains in a constant state of reboot “will they or won’t they,” with interest in doing so high at NBCUniversal.
The entire Battlestar Galactica franchise to date has been released on Blu-ray Disc in recent years, and you can read our in-depth reviews of the various Region A editions via these links here at The Digital Bits: Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection (this box set includes the 1979 feature film, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, and Galactica 1980), Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (this box set includes the Sci-Fi Channel reboot series, Battlestar Galactica: Razor, and various online Minisodes and Webisodes), Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, and Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. But you might notice something peculiar if you’ve read those reviews: Caprica is nowhere to be found. That’s because Caprica: The Complete Series has only been released on Blu-ray in international markets and always on Region B-locked discs with PAL speed-up issues... at least until now.
For the first time ever, the Australian distributor Random Space Media has released Caprica: The Complete Series on ALL-REGION Blu-ray and at the correct frame rate! And you can now find it in their new 36-disc Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection import Blu-ray box set.
As far as I can tell, the program content and special features found in Random Space Media’s Blu-ray set are identical to their US counterparts. So be sure to refer to the reviews linked previously for the details on those. But for those who may be wondering about import possibilities to various regions around the globe, the AV options are as follows...
Video: 1.85:1; Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin Spanish 2.0 DTS; Subtitles: Japanese, English, French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish, Portuguese, Latin Spanish, Czech, Danisk, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Tiurkish, and Simplified Chinese
ORIGINAL TV SERIES & GALACTICA 1980:
Video: 1.33:1; Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Castellian Spanish, Latin Spanish, French, and Italian 2.0 DTS; Subtitles: Japanese, English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Latin Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Finnish, and Swedish
REBOOT TV SERIES (PLUS RAZOR, THE PLAN, BLOOD & CHROME):
Video: 1.78:1; Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA; Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, and French
With all that out of the way, let’s talk about what you’re really interested in here...
CAPRICA: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Random Space Media’s Australian Blu-ray release of Caprica is a 4-disc set. It includes the following episodes and extras:
- Pilot: Part 1
- Pilot: Part 2
- Reins of Waterfall
- There Is Another Sky
- Know Thy Enemy
- The Imperfections of Memory
- Ghosts in the Machine
- End of Line
- Things We Lock Away
- False Labor
- The Dirteaters
- The Heavens Will Rise
- Here Be Dragons
- Caprica Dynasty (SD – 13:39)
- The Look of Caprica (SD – 4:55)
- Creating a World (SD – 6:23)
- Re-Caprica (SD – 4:45)
- Deleted Scenes (HD – 62:13 in all)
- Video Blogs (HD & SD – 65:56)
The video for all of these episodes is 1.78:1 widescreen, with audio in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio format and optional English SDH subtitles only. The picture and sound quality is right on par with that of the reboot Battlestar Galactica episodes on Blu-ray.
As you can see, the special features for Caprica are all on Disc Four of the set. These represent most—but not all—of the extras that were included on Universal’s original DVD release of the series back in 2009 and 2010.
So what’s missing? For Caprica, the DVD audio commentaries are not included (16 of them in all). And while you do get a substantial amount of Deleted Scenes and Video Blogs (edited together into hour-long videos), a few of each seem to be missing as well. So you may wish to keep your original DVD discs just to retain those items.
As for the rest of Random Space Media’s Blu-ray set, the 10-part Face of the Enemy webisode series is also missing from the reboot series discs, just as they were on the US Blu-ray release (the only place you can currently find them is on the Japanese BD re-issue of Battlestar Galactica: Season Four—available here). Also, it should be noted that the original Battlestar Galactica Blu-rays are the 1.33:1 presentations as originally broadcast on ABC TV in the US (the reframed 1.78:1 presentations are not included and also not missed).
The packaging for Random Space Media’s set is no-frills: You get a simple cardboard box (with a lid on top) that holds a set of 8 Amaray cases containing the set’s Blu-ray Discs. Here’s what it looks like...
But who cares about the packaging! If you’re interested in this set, you’ve either never purchased any of these shows on Blu-ray before or you’re really just interested in getting your hands on Caprica. Here’s the thing to keep in mind: If you purchased all of these series on Blu-ray separately, the cost would add up to much more than the $149 SRP that the Random Space Media set is currently selling for on Amazon. And again, you wouldn’t get Caprica. So with a bit of perspective, this set is actually a pretty good deal. For those of you who have purchased these series before, the calculation is a little bit more complicated. Nevertheless, I should stress again that this is currently the only place you can purchase Caprica on Blu-ray compatible with Region A and with no PAL speed-up.
Altogether, there’s a huge amount of entertainment packed into this box set. The rebooted Battlestar Galactica is one of the finest science fiction TV series ever made—quite possibly the finest—right up there with your favorite incarnation of Star Trek and The Expanse. Hats off to the folks at Random Space Media down under for doing what Universal can’t seem to be bothered to do: Adding Caprica on Blu-ray to that experience. This set is highly recommended for fans.
- Bill Hunt
(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)