Battlestar's Bamber speaks

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When the new Battlestar Galactica premiered in 2003, many scoffers were silenced.

Gone were the Egyptian helmets and bad hairdos of the 1970s, replaced with slick special effects and intense storylines. Everything about the show had been reinvented, and the new Battlestar quickly became a critically acclaimed smash hit for the Sci Fi Network.

Series star Jamie Bamber, who plays Lee "Appollo" Adama--son of Commander Adama--spoke with TV.com about the upcoming third season.

"I believe more in this season than any other," he says. "It starts off dealing with something we haven't dealt with before--how civilization would start off on a new planet, [where] there is an occupier."

The actor says the storyline parallels conflicts from history, and of today.

"There are references to the Vichy Front, the French resistance movement of the second world war, and there is resonance with what's going on today," he waxed. "I was reminded of the show when I recently watched a film called Paradise Now, about young men in Palestine. There are people who feel oppressed, and feel they have to resort to the direst of responses to attain a goal."

He promised it won't be all thinly veiled political commentary this season--there will also be action.

"There's a lot to get your teeth into this season. We get to see a lot more of the Cylons. We go inside the Cylon base ship, and onto the Cylon world," he offered. "We also deal with the fallout from this failed planetary occupation, and with those who collaborated with the Cylons. Most markedly with Baltar, who was in the pocket of the Cylons."

Bamber says one of the things he enjoys about the show is that it "functions on so many different levels--the interpersonal, the philosophical, the action stuff, the religious stuff. It's always advanced with every story."

The actor says he wasn't afriad to step into the shoes of Apollo, a character that had been brought to life in the '70s.

"I wasn't daunted by parallels with the original Battlestar," he assured. "I felt it was a different show for a more sophisticated audience. I think viewers in general are more sophisticated now, as is TV."

Bamber knows that when he appears at comic book conventions, he'll cause a stir. Fans looking to spot Bamber on the street should look for someone trying to blend in.

"You're asking for trouble if you go to conventions!" he laughed. "I consciously pull my hat down if I go into a place like Blockbuster."

Battlestar Galactica returns to Sci Fi October 6 at 9 p.m.