Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away some rebels were being chased by some evil dude in black and his mates all in white. Just a few light years away, some robots created by man decided they didn't much like man anymore and decided to kill them all. And then when they realised that some had gotten away, went a-chasing them. Yeehaw!
That was back in the 70's with the likes of Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict. Then a few years back there was a plan to bring back and reboot Battlestar Galactica, at one time the most expensive TV series ever made, and all hell broke loose on t'net as cigar-chomping Starbuck decided to get in touch with his feminine side, although bizarrely didn't break out the frocks and high heels, rather just dressed in the same colonial warrior uniform and still went round wise cracking and punching people out.
The BSG reboot was one of the best TV series of the new millennium, despite more than a few people thinking it lost its way towards the end - I wasn't one of these. The tight storylines and arcs remind me of Babylon 5 and although I would still err on B5 being the better series, it's a tight call overall. BSG lasted for four seasons and also included the rather excellent Razor TV movie that extended the revisited story of Pegasus and Admiral Cain (who had morphed from Lloyd Bridges to Michelle Forbes).
Now after all of that comes a new film, or not really. The Plan is essentially a re-tread of the series but told mainly from the viewpoint of the Cylons. More specifically One (Dean Stockwell) who has the main role as two versions of the Cylon Preacher called Cavill and is shown to be the main instigator of the plan to rid the Universe of the human race. Action is split between New Caprica where one version of One is mingling with the resistance led by ex-sports star Anders (Michael Trucco) whilst the other One is busy scheming on the Galactica with Simon (Rick Worthy), Six (Tricia Helfer) and Boomer (Grace Park).
**NOTE**This film has not yet been shown on UK television and isn't available as a UK DVD or Blu-ray release at this point in time.
From Admiral To Director: Edward James Olmos And The Plan - short featurette on the respected actor who helms the Director's chair for this film, not the first time he's filled this role during BSG's run.
The Cylons of The Plan - a look at the Cylons involved in this story (not all of the Eight are here) and how they fit into the Plan.
The Cylon Attack - a brief look at the first main attack on the Cylons by the Resistance.
Visual Effects: The Magic Behind The Plan - 20 minute featurette, guess what this is about…
Deleted Scenes - a collation of the few scenes that didn't make it, some with VFX subtitled as the shots were dispensed with prior to editing. I would have liked to have seen the betrayal of Six and Boomer by the Centurions post-truce in the film itself but ultimately at that point what happened didn't make sense. I just loved the emotions displayed by the two Cylons during this scene.
Commentary with Edward James Olmos and Jane Espenson
Superb picture on this Blu-ray Disc. There's been a lot of complaints about the picture quality on the Blu-ray release of the four seasons, mainly to do with the deliberate graining that is part of the series look. There is a little of that here, but for the most part it's a very detailed and clear picture.
There's not a lot of space battles in this one either, although the film opens with a rather fantastic view of the attack on New Caprica, although it's all nukes rather than strafing Cylon raiders as per the original film.
It must be said that this is not an original film overall. The concept of explaining the motivations (such as they are) of the Cylons drives this film and the new scenes, but there is a lot of archive footage from season 1 & 2 seamlessly incorporated into the film that both kept down costs and kept continuity as well as providing some context to what we're seeing. I thought it was well executed and a nice addition to the canon, although there are very mixed feelings out in the ether. My view is this: we don't learn anything dramtically new but some of the things we saw in the first two seasons now have a bit more context. You can choose to view it as cleaning up script holes if you want to be really harsh but I prefer to see this as just icing on the cake.
What is clear from this film is that the mission of the Cylons was always to kill the entire human race, that hasn't changed and therefore nothing new there. The humanoid Cylons (the Eight at least, and One more specifically) felt that their human bodies were too limiting and despised the humans. As with any plan though, things go wrong. And what we see through the eyes of both Cavill's is an attempt to bring the Plan back on track, although with different results and directions. One will stay focused on the plan right to the end despite all setbacks, whilst the other is influenced in the same way as some of the other Cylons when they discover love and how it bonds them to their human counterparts.
It is a little simplistic I know, but I feel it works well as a character driven piece that follows the BSG ethos to its core. Overall what it really says is that Cylon and Human aren't so very different in the end and so the plan to annihilate them was a little flawed. A little more understanding and maybe, just maybe, they could all have gotten along without falling out.
And so say we all.