Battlestar Galactica Had A Good Reason For Ending Things After Season 4

Endings are hard, especially when it comes to serialized TV shows. Not only do the writers have to tie up loose ends, they also have to consider how characters have grown over the course of a series and where the ending will leave them when all's said and done. Factor in the waxing and waning of TV ratings, and a series can be cut down before it even has the chance to reach a proper ending. With all that in mind, Ron Moore is one of the few creators who was able to end a series on his own terms, with "Battlestar Galactica". 

Moore brought "Battlestar Galactica" to an end with the three-part episode "Daybreak," which finally saw the Galactica and its crew arriving on Earth and ending their battle with the Cylons. "Daybreak" has inspired some mixed reactions in the years following its release; I personally loved the revelation that the "Earth" the Galactica crew found turned out to be our Earth, but I'm a little iffy on the theological elements. But whatever one thinks of the finale, at least it's the ending that Moore intended.

Curtain call

In a post-mortem interview with Mo Ryan, Moore said that he knew season 4 of "Galactica" would be the last one. He didn't want the series to feel like it was dragging its feet, and compared it to a three-act play — with season 4 serving as the "final act:"

"We kind of made the decision that the fourth season would be the last season at the end of the third season ... Part of the motivation to make it the final season was that we didn't want to get to the place that we felt like the ship was keeling over and had a problem. We also instinctively felt the show has reached the third act by the time it got to the end of that third season."

This sentiment was echoed by stars Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, who played Admiral William Adama and President Laura Roslin, respectively. Olmos brought up a meeting that the cast had in his trailer when "Galactica" first began, in which Moore discussed how the series would have a beginning, middle and end. In a similar meeting during the production of season 4, he brought up how the cast essentially was reaching the end of a marathon. McDonnell also used the play metaphor, saying that it was easier to let go knowing that the end was in sight.

All good things...

For whatever faults it may have, "Daybreak" is indeed a finale in every sense of the word. Both the humans and the Cylons achieve their goals: the humans finally make it to Earth, while Baltar and Number Six settle down as farmers. Adama finally builds the cabin he had always talked about with Roslin — but sadly has to bury her as she succumbed to her cancer. To borrow from Olmos' marathon metaphor, the series crossed the finish line, and did so on its own terms.

Though Moore's take on "Battlestar Galactica" has reached its end, NBCUniversal is looking to reignite the franchise with a film written by Simon Kinberg and a new television series for Peacock with "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail serving as showrunner. Moore even revealed that Esmail's show will take place in the universe of his series, which brings a famous "Galactica" quote to mind: "This has all happened before, and it will all happen again." If that isn't a metaphor for how reboot-happy Hollywood's gotten I don't know what is!