As fans of "Battlestar Galactica" eagerly await the debut of the critically acclaimed show's fourth season, all should be made aware of "Battlestar Galactica: Origins," an outstanding new series from Dynamite.

The goal of "Origins" is simple to state yet hard to execute: Put a spotlight on each member of a rich, complex collection of characters and show how they got that way.

The first character the series delves into is arguably the most fascinating character on the series and the most difficult to get right - Gaius Baltar. However, Dynamite gets the "architect of humanity's downfall" exactly right.

Writer Kevin Fahey really gets under the hood and shows us what makes Baltar tick.

We see Baltar as a man who long hoped to transcend his humble beginnings on a farm on Aerelon. A student with perfect grades who easily balanced his pursuit in both medical courses and computer programming, readers are treated to early signs of the arrogance and contempt for authority Baltar still possesses.

The series also shines a light on Baltar's relationships and how he was never truly close to anyone and how his desire to rise above his circumstances conflicted with acknowledging the needs of his family. These produce some heart-rending scenes.

Perhaps most entertaining is Baltar's seemingly insatiable appetite for women, which would eventually lead him into the arms of a stunning blonde - unknown to him to be the Cylon, Number Six - who would eventually betray all of humanity yet feel the burden for betraying him. Their unique relationship is presented well in these pages, as when he presents her with the gift of a familiar-to-all-"Galactica"-fans, stunning red dress.

Sackhoff on Starbuck

Another blond bombshell from "Galactica," Katee Sackhoff, disclosed in this week's Entertainment Weekly that she auditioned for the role of Starbuck even though producers were looking for an actress in her 30s to play the character.

"I said, 'Oh, that's cute. But it's my part. I promise you.' "

That confidence extended to when she showed up for the audition in jeans and high heels, which the producers told her to take off (the high heels, not the jeans) in order to look more like the tough character they envisioned.

"I said, 'No! This is who I am! I will not be taking off my high heels.' "

Sackhoff admits that despite her boundless confidence and enthusiasm, the low ratings for "Galactica" are a "bummer" and part of the reason she accepted a role on the short-lived "Bionic Woman" series, which made her realize she should appreciate the richness and complexity of Starbuck.

"She was soooo much crazier than what ended up on the air," says Sackhoff of her bionic badass character. "She kept being pulled back."

Downey: Old iron is best

Back to the subject of origins, Robert Downey Jr. recently told Wizard magazine that while the contemporary, iconic red-and-gold suit looks waay cool in the trailers for "Iron Man," it is not his favorite. He states the almost clunky-looking black-and-white Mark I suit, the first armor designed by Tony Stark, means more to him, especially because it meant the producers of the film were respecting the character's history and fans.

"Even though the suit looks very rudimentary, the fans, when we were at [San Diego] Comic Con, responded to how true we had stayed to the transition between the '60s and '90s," says Downey. "It was such a relief to us." *

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