Now that the writers’ strike has come to an end, we’re slowly learning when all of our favorite shows will return to the airwaves. However, one thing that remains a mystery is how television shows that have had delayed and shortened seasons will be released on DVD. Shows such as Nip/Tuck and Friday Night Lights are releasing their latest seasons on DVD with only the pre-strike episodes included, despite the fact that both initially had episodes ordered beyond what was completed. Now, despite the fact that season 4 of Battlestar Galactica doesn’t begin on the Sci Fi Channel until April 4, we’re already getting word on how the DVD release will be handled. Saying that fans won’t be pleased may be an understatement.
The crew of Battlestar Galactica was able to complete 11 episodes of season 4 before the strike shut down production. The Sci Fi Channel is planning to air these episodes beginning in April. Production on the remaining nine installments of the season will kick off in March, but the network hasn’t announced when they’ll be airing the final batch of episodes. The most likely case is that they’ll air in late 2008 or early 2009, forcing fans to wait months for the latter half of the season.
How does this schedule affect the DVD release? Well, it seems like Universal Home Entertainment wants to release season 4 the same way they released season 2 — split in half, with each half of the season costing as much as a full DVD set. The Season 4.0 DVD set of Battlestar Galactica will be released late this year, in time to help kick off the second half of the season. The Season 4.5 DVD set will then be released after all the episodes air, probably sometime in 2009. Both sets will cost you $45 to $60 for about 10 episodes each.
This is an extremely annoying move that I had hoped would only be the case with the second season DVDs. The season 3 DVD set, which hits stores on March 18, has all 20 episodes for the price of a regular season set. Fans can expect to pay double for the final year of the show, much as they did for season 2. It’s up to you to decide if the end of Battlestar Galactica worth your hard earned cash.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of the Sci Fi Channel)