Encyclopedia "Galactica" 

What you need to know about the return of "Battlestar"

"Battlestar" is back

Good news for BattlestarGalacticafans: the SciFi Channel's critically acclaimed space opera has been unofficially picked up for a fourth season. Even better news: when the show returns from its mid-season hiatus on Sunday, January 21, it'll also jump from its where-good-shows-go-to-die timeslot of Fridays at 9 p.m. to Sundays at 10 p.m. Poor scheduling has been blamed for the show's decreasing ratings, and who knows, maybe you've slacked off on watching, too. But don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know to be ready for the Season 3.5 premiere.

The fleet is still on the hunt for the legendary lost colony of Earth, despite a brief layover on Cylon-occupied New Caprica. Suffering from food shortages, they brave a dangerous star cluster to get to the "Algae Planet," an arid wasteland brimming with edible plant goo. Admiral Adama sends a squad down to collect the algae, but while scrounging for the single-celled foodstuffs, team member Chief Tyrol stumbles upon an ancient temple containing the Eye of Jupiter, a relic pointing the way to Earth.

On cue, the Cylons show up and demand access to the Eye as well. They're after Earth now, too; earlier in the season, the Cylons strangely and without warning decided to colonize the forgotten planet, like some bratty younger sibling who wipes out your entire species and tries to steal your shoes. Rather than let Cylons get the relic, though, Adama threatens to nuke the entire planet, temple and all.

Complicating matters is the fact that Adama's son, Lee, and fan-favorite Starbuck are down on the ground, trying to find the Eye before the Cylons do (in between cheating on their respective spouses with each other, of course). But Centurions shoot down Starbuck's plane, and Lee must choose between carrying out his orders and rescuing a possibly already-dead Starbuck.

And what will happen to slimy Gaius Baltar, the cowardly ex-president who's been literally sleeping with the Cylons for the entire season? Convinced he's one of the Final Five unknown models, Baltar has hightailed it to the Algae Planet with D'anna, an increasingly batty Three Cylon obsessed with resurrection. Will they find the Eye first?

You can find out when BattlestarGalactica returns at its new day and time on Sunday, January 21, 10 p.m. So say we all.

More by Lara Crigger

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