Jamie Bamber looks at the beginning of the end of Battlestar Galactica

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

When last seen in "Revelations," the midseason finale of Battlestar Galactica's fourth and final year, Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber) was as crestfallen as everyone else to discover that the Earth they'd long sought to find appeared to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

On Jan. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, with the episode "Sometimes a Great Notion," the SCI FI Channel's award-winning SF series will pick up where "Revelations" left off.

Bamber finished work on Battlestar Galactica several months ago and has already moved on. In fact, the British actor has been busy filming an upcoming U.K. version of the American series Law & Order. In an exclusive interview, Bamber reflected on Apollo's evolution and how the character's experiences have dovetailed with those of the audience. The followed are edited excerpts of the interview.

You've played Lee Adama since the miniseries. Who was he when we first met him, and who is he now, as we near the end of the show?

Bamber: At the beginning, he was a lost boy whose family life had scarred him, and he was bitter and angry and in search of an outlet and a meaning for his own life. And there's also the perceived responsibility of his brother's death. He hadn't really sorted out his family situation yet.

And by the end?

Bamber: And by the end, he is an individual, a man who has experienced a great deal, who knows himself and knows those around him. Through this endless chase of being persecuted and followed by the Cylons, humans have sort of shared Lee's journey, and they've been forced to examine themselves through this creation and desperate flight from this scary "other." And by the end they have come to some sort of understanding that the other is just a part of themselves, and that they're responsible for their own journey.

Lee has experienced that journey quintessentially.

Bamber: He has tried on every hat that he could possibly try on. He has rebelled against everyone around him, and loved them, too. He's gotten to a place of acceptance, that people will make mistakes, that people will disappoint and that people will surprise. He's a much more settled, ironically, maybe happy individual at the end than he was before this whole cataclysm started.

That's meant to be true for the audience as well, right?

Bamber: I think that's kind of the idea for them, too, just to go through all this chaos, fear, paranoia, angst, guilt, retribution and come out through the other side, as the Greek tragedies tried to do, with a feeling of resignation and pathos and wisdom. And I think that's what happens, certainly to Lee, and hopefully that's the feeling the audience will be left with at the end, too.