Today in TV History: Lucy Lawless Put the 'Battlestar Galactica' Fleet on Notice – Decider

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Of all the great things about television, the greatest is that it’s on every single day. TV history is being made, day in and day out, in ways big and small. In an effort to better appreciate this history, we’re taking a look back, every day, at one particular TV milestone. 
IMPORTANT DATE IN TV HISTORY: September 9, 2005
PROGRAM ORIGINALLY AIRED ON THIS DATE: Battlestar Galactica, “Final Cut” (Season 2, Episode 8) [Watch on Amazon Instant Video]
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: The second season of the Battlestar Galactica remake was one of the better stretches of TV of this so-called Golden Era. It’s also, in the last several years, become one of the more underrated. Because of polarized opinion over the series finale, Battlestar Galactica has experienced something of a fast fade among TV taste-makers. But while it was airing, it was one of the early shows that helped expand what we thought basic cable channels were capable of, in terms of quality TV.
Season 2 of BSG was also when the show was still fairly early into its secret-Cylon intrigue. We only knew of a handful of Cylon models — sexy/dangerous Number 6, the Leoben model, the Boomer model, a couple others — and the idea was that they could look like anyone in the fleet. We were still another couple years away from the bugnuts episode where four heretofore loyal fleet members were revealed as … but that’s for another Today in TV History.
For the most part, “Final Cut” felt like a one-off, if a particularly good one. Lucy Lawless played tabloid-TV producer D’Anna Biers, who took her camera crew through Galactica filming a warts-and-all exposé of the regime that was directing the fleet. It was something of a gimmick, but the format of the episode, much of it presented in shaky-cam documentary style, allowed for some especially candid, or funny, or tonally off-kilter moments that made the episode feel like something special. Anybody who’s enjoyed a gif of Lee Adama nearly dropping his towel in the midst of an interview could argue that the episode was something special.
But then came the final moments, after the audience had been lulled into a false sense of security by the light tone of the episode. No one was prepared for an episode like this to end with a bombshell revelation: D’Anna Biers is Cylon Number Three. It was Lucy Lawless’ most spectacular and unexpected moment of television ever. …Okay, well, second to this:

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[You can watch “Final Cut” on Amazon Instant Video]
Joe Reid (@joereid) is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. You can find him leaving flowers for Mrs. Landingham at the corner of 18th and Potomac.
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