I've been discovering Battlestar Galactica (not the dire 1970s Star Wars rip off but the new Sci Fi/Sky TV series) and it's riveting stuff.
I've read a couple of pieces on this series - which hasn't made it to terrestrial TV over here yet - which whetted my appetite so when I found the whole of season 1 ridiculously cheap in the HMV sale, I thought 'why not'.
The guy behind this revival cut his teeth on Star Trek - so the space sequences and battles are well done. But nothing prepares you for the politics of it. Here is mainstream US TV addressing issues of war with unseen enemies, suicide bombings, how much civil liberties can be sacrificed in the name of security, etc. One episode takes place on a prison ship where all the inmates are in cages wearing orange boiler suits. The scripts are sharp and the characters are pretty well drawn - at least they seem to be people of depth and contradiction.
Oh and everyone's religious. The humans worship a pantheon of gods, the cylons, who have now evolved 'human' characteristics, are fundamentalist monotheists. So, in the midst of battle, theological discussion ensures, people pray for deliverance, others stress that everything that happens is willed by God or the gods.
If you've not seen it, it's worth checking out.