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DVD Shopping Bag: Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Blu-ray

The full breadth of the Cylon plan

By Robert T. Trate     October 27, 2009


Battlestar Galactica: The Plan now on Blu-ray and DVD
© Universal Pictures

 

“The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan…” That plan is finally revealed in full detail today in Battlestar Galactica: The Plan on DVD and Blu-ray. The breadth and scope of what the Cylons had laid out for the destruction of their creators can finally be witnessed. Why this wasn’t released first on the SyFy channel is a complete mystery. Apparently wrestling, new incarnations of Stargate and SyFy Channel original movies take precedence over one of the best series to ever air on that channel. For whatever the reason Battlestar Galactica: The Plan may disappoint some of the fans. It is a large collection of clips from the first half of the series. The cut off is close to when they find New Caprica. It works in a lot of respects because we already know the history of the human survivors. What we don’t know is what the Cylons were doing behind their backs. Sure there were glimpses, discussions and arguments but never the full extent of the Cylon plan. Until now.
 
Possible Spoilers! Be Warned!
 
Dean Stockwell chews up a lot of screen time in his dual roles as Brother Cavil. One Cavil is on Galactica the other is with the resistance on occupied Caprica. Here these two Cylons of like mind go through a tumultuous journey of discovery. Cavil on Galactica is out to obliterate the survivors, “No one was supposed to make it… there is no peace while they live!”, he screams. He is quick to organize all the Cylon agents that have survived in the colonial fleet into a force that will break and destroy the humans. Brother Cavil on occupied Caprica goes on a soul searching quest to understand how and why one of their parents (we will come to know them as the final five) remained behind.  
 
Everything is broken down into days and moments of significance. One Brother Cavil on Caprica seeks out Ellen Tigh (Kate Vernon) before the bombs fall. He looks after her and ensures her safety. This moment and many more set up revelations as to how and why certain characters didn’t come into play right away on the series. This is fun but here between Ellen and Brother Cavil we see an utter disappointment. Cavil is disappointed that one of his parents hasn’t learned anything while they were walking amongst the humans. He could save her easily but instead watches her go through hell in the hopes that she’ll come out a better person. This isn’t the plan though. It is only one facet in this rich story involving the evolution of a species.
 
The Brother Cavils dominate most of the screen time but director Edward James Olmos and screenwriter Jane Espenson take one of the lesser seen Cylons and spin his story in a different direction. Simon (Rick Worthy), a number four or the doctor Cylon, settles down with a family. Here Simon falls in love, gets married and adopts a daughter while dodging Brother Cavil. He finds something he never had before and thus it unlocks his humanity. Rick Worthy, who only appeared in seven episodes of the series, outshines many of the series regulars. Worthy is so good in fact that one wishes there would have been more of Simon in the series.
 
There are revelations abound as both Cavils spin webs of deceit and push their Cylon pawns into play. A lot of the irony is not lost of the characters as Boomer (Grace Park) who destroys the water supply is then the one that discovers more water for the fleet. This scene is brilliant as we learn how slimy Brother Cavil can be as he hooks up with a slutty Number Six (Tricia Helfer). 
 
Several scenes in The Plan could have been further elaborated upon. Leoben’s (Callum Keith Rennie) obsession with Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) is toyed with but cut short. A lot of ground is covered here but no insight is given into what happens on New Caprica and the struggle for power. The Brother Cavil model knowing the final five’s identities puts a lot of things into perspective. His obsession with Anders and Ellen is witnessed but little is said or done with Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan), Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) or Tory (Rekha Sharma). This easily could have played out into something much bigger and since the series regulars were reduced to almost stock footage, why not?
 
As epilogues go for a series of this magnitude any fan will appreciate Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. It is an incredible look into all those dark moments we weren’t allowed to witness. It does, at times, ruin the magic of the Cylons. Originally we thought these machines were programmed to do everything in a brilliant calculated plan. The irony is that these machines were just as fallible as their creators, thus truly making them perfect reflections of their creators.
 
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Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
karas1 10/27/2009 2:25:43 AM

It's obvious why this new BSG movie isn't being shown on Syfy first.  They want everybody to go out and fork over their money for the DVD rather than watching it on TV for free.  In a few months when all the hardcore fans already own copies,they will show it on Syfy in order to tempt more people to buy their product.  They will show the movie and advertise the DVD, telling us how much extra material it contains and how many scenes are included that were trimmed on the broadcast version because they were too racy.

Kara S

themovielord 10/27/2009 8:45:29 AM

I totally agree... I only wish this was in reverse... it was allways more appealing the other way around... plus it also says to me that they don't have any faith in their product...

soylentcola 10/27/2009 12:40:20 PM

They did the same thing with Caprica.

gauleyboy420 10/27/2009 2:58:13 PM

I liked it, its a good supplement to BSG. Doesn't really answer any questions for me, but fun to see the ol' gang again.

 

co-ed shower scenes

hanso 10/27/2009 5:44:18 PM

It is a money grab but why would they do it differently?  If they released the episode first people wouldn't buy it and they would just dvr it for future watching.

I can't wait to see it, waiting on Netflix to ship it.  Glad you liked it Gauley.

lracors 10/28/2009 6:46:23 AM

I was overall disappointed in the final product of "The Plan" there wasn't really enough exposition on "The Plan" i get the jest of what happened but not really the full why. A debate over the merits of the plan between all the cylons would have been great to see. On the other hand, It was nice to see how some of the events of the series were explained and the minds (briefly) behind some of the cylon's. I agree too little Leoben, i wanted to see much more of that explored, we get too small a taste of one of the keys to the series. The story-line with the Galactica Simon was good. I know you cannot get everything crammed into one film but more focus should have been on where the origination of the plan came from (we know it was Cavil) but more pre-back story into the how and why, the boxing of the original "final five" how they were picked up originally and the deal they made with the original cylons, the development of the eight... all that was sadly missing and what i really wanted to see, the genesis of "The Plan".

1 

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