"The Cylons were created by man," announces the opening crawl. "They were created to make life easier on the twelve colonies. They were also created because it's 2003 now, and these days you just can't have bad guys without motives that are directly attributable to the hubris of the good guys." From there we fade up on a small space tug rotating along on its Y-axis to dock with a larger space station. Uh huh. Once secured, the SS Stanley Kubrip disgorges an elderly white guy whose pasty-white skin tone, wispy gray comb-over, and unfortunate tendency towards uniform selections involving mock turtlenecks and shiny epaulets have all combined to earn him the obvious nickname of "Grand Moff Snarkin." Snarkin soon finds himself in a giant metal room that contains nothing but a desk and a ridiculously over-complicated lighting scheme that's so ineffective that I actually started to wonder if Ron Moore might have poached some of the lighting crew from Oz while he was hanging out on the HBO lot last year. Snarkin slowly settles down behind the desk, and sets up an oh-so-cute collection of family photographs to make his giant metal box feel a little homier. And also because the little boy in the one picture is actually Boxey, even though we won't meet the kid for another hour and a half and we'll have completely forgotten this scene by then.
In any event, the crawl continues: "And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared. The Cylons left for another world to call their own. A remote space station was built where Cylon and Human [and Centauri and Narn, presumably] could meet and maintain diplomatic relations. Every year the Colonials send an officer. The Cylons send no one." Snarkin, meanwhile, has taken a moment to review a folder labeled "Cylon specs," affording us all a nice little laugh at the quaint, pre-CGI "space-toaster" look of the old-school bad guys. What I'm wondering here, however, is why he's got eight-by-ten glossies of his entire family tree hanging everywhere if this is supposed to be a diplomatic station. You don't see Kofi Annan putting up pictures of his grandkids in the Security Council chamber, now do you?
Suddenly, the doors to the room slide open, and two new-model Cylons step inside. They've still got the flashing red eye, and the new, retractable claws are kind of cool, but all in all they still sort of have an unfortunate metal-plated Jar-Jar feel to them. On the other hand, we never actually see them again, so I guess it's not that big of a deal. And then, just to prove that this is not your father's (or your older brother's, or even your misspent youth's) Battlestar Galactica, a sexy blonde lady strides in behind them, and the Foley team goes nuts dubbing in the clanging of her stiletto heels on the metal floor. This, of course, is Number Six, only we don't know that yet. For now you can just assume that somebody cloned Natasha Henstridge from Species and put her in a red velour mini-skirt. Six stands directly above Snarkin, and then slowly leans down to sniff him a few times. You know, because inappropriate sniffing as foreplay is one of those bizarre little incestuous activities that seems to show up in every show I recap. "Are you alive?" she asks, apropos of absolutely nothing. A clearly discombobulated Snarkin has to think for almost a full minute before he can summon the wherewithal to whisper, "Yes." Oy. Worst. Ambassador. Ever. How the hell did this guy get promoted to Grand Moff, anyway? Number Six challenges him to prove that he is, in fact, alive, and then does the job herself by planting a big wet kiss right on his lips. Hmm. Most people prefer to just hold up a mirror, but I kind of like her way better. The Grand Moff gets a little tongue-y here, incidentally. If that's the sort of thing you're interested in knowing.
We then cut outside to see that a massive Cylon Basestar, which -- unlike the Colonial Battlestars -- actually resembles a star, is dwarfing the tiny space station. Or maybe the ship design here is actually just a subliminal advertisement for the new X-Men 2 DVD, thrown in as some sort of synergistic sci-fi solid for the parent company. A single missile flies out of the Basestar, striking the very tip of the station and setting off a chain reaction of explosions. "It has begun," whispers Number Six, and then she straddles the Grand Moff and starts kissing him again as the room goes up in flames around them. You know, because nothing says 2003 quite like a sexy suicide bomber.