<i>Battlestar Galactica</i> targets Xbox Live

[UPDATE] TV special recapping Peabody-winning Sci-Fi channel series will become first frakkin' full-length show available on Microsoft's online service.


When it debuted in 2003, the new Battlestar Galactica was greeted with skepticism. After all, it was a remake of a 1970-'80s series with a strong cult following produced by the Sci-Fi Channel, a cable network then infamous for its low-budget TV movies of the week.

Galactica stars Grace Park, James Callis, and Tricia Helfer.
Galactica stars Grace Park, James Callis, and Tricia Helfer.

Surprisingly, Battlestar Galactica proved the naysayers wrong. Its innovative plotlines, which were created by ex-Star Trek: The Next Generation writer Ronald D. Moore, won it critical acclaim and solid ratings. The series has also garnered a major following for its unusually gritty atmosphere. Instead of the clean-cut, sober officers of the Star Trek shows, Galactica's crew is an unkempt, hard-drinking lot whose demoralized dialogue is peppered with the fictional expletive "frak."

In 2004, the show was picked up as a full-time series. It ended its most recent season, its second, in March with one of the more shocking cliff-hangers in sci-fi television history. Such boldness helped the show win one of this year's Peabody Awards, the prestigious honor for excellence in broadcasting, which it shared with CNN, NBC Nightly News, and South Park, among others.

The third season of Battlestar Galactica is premiering in October, and the Sci-Fi channel is pulling out all the stops to promote it. It has put together a television special, titled Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far, summing up the key events of the Battlestar Galactica miniseries and its first two seasons. The special will air on all the cable stations owned by Sci-Fi parent NBC Universal, which includes Bravo and USA, as well as the West Coast affiliates of the NBC broadcast TV network.

NBC Universal will also be targeting gamers with its PR offensive by releasing The Story So Far on Xbox Live Marketplace in its entirety. Though both seasons of Battlestar Galactica are already available on iTunes, the special will be the "first long-form program ever to be offered" on Xbox Live.

[UPDATE] NBC Universal reps told GameSpot that the Battlestar Galactica episode would be free of charge and available in mid-September. The rep was unclear as to the size of the download.

Unfortunately, the Xbox Live announcement had no information on the rumored Battlestar Galactica role-playing game which Moore mentioned when he spoke at the 2006 Game Developers Conference.

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