Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

Blu-ray

DVD

One of my favorite things about my undergraduate studies was taking my core requirement courses. Usually these are dry classes that you take only because you have to. In the university I was attending they had a different approach. Each week classes for literature, history and philosophy were combined into a single class that frequently lasted the entire morning. We would sit there discussing a selected topic from the vantage point of all three disciplines. What was learned went far beyond the subject matter; it gave us an appreciation to consider things from as many perspectives as possible. Typically a movie or television series is told from the viewpoint of one side. Often it would be interesting to turn your perspective around to see things from the opposite side; turning the chessboard around to view it through your opponent’s eyes. Roger D. Moore, the brilliant creator of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica’. For four seasons this series not only reinvented a Sci-Fi classic turning it around from a campy cult classic to one of the best series aired it also helped to redefine television science fiction tackling contemporary social issue within the frame work of an engaging, dramatic story. RDM, as fans affectionately refer to Mr. Moore must have had an experience similar to mine in college. He has released what is to be the capstone of the Battle Star Galactica saga with the direct to video ‘the Plan’. At the beginning of each episode the open describes the animosity between the human race and their mechanical creation; the Cylons. It mentions that the Cylons have a plan. Now that plan has been described in full thanks to this movie. This is not just draining the last drop of milk from a dying network cash cow. ‘The Plan’ is an imaginative installment to the series that fills in many of the unanswered questions asked by diehard fans.

With the exception of a few episodes the story lines of the series were related through the eyes of the humans. ‘The Plan’ rewinds the clock and shows many of the most pivotal incidents through the vantage point of the Cylons. This concept is then expanded to offer a view behind enemy lines showing previously withheld conflict and motivations of the humanoid Cylons. This series was the perfect candidate for this sort of treatment. Through its run after each episode my friends and I would have a teleconference to discuss the smallest details of the previous episode in great detail. This was possible and more importantly fun because the writing for the series was so incredibly layered that much was intentionally left up to the audience. This is the rare opportunity to get the other side of the equation.

Much of the new information is revealed through the character of Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell), Cylon model number one of twelve. It is revealed that he was one of the major architects of the plan to exterminate the human race. Much of this reinforces the role Cavil held in the series during the Cylon civil war thread. It also revealed a lot about the internal politics of the human Cylons. For example the Aaron Doral model (Matthew Bennett ) sided against the Cavils most because of the dismissive and demeaning attitude the Cavils demonstrated towards the Leobens such as forcing them on body cleanup duty on Caprica instead of relegating it to the mechanicals. In rebellion against their human creators the Cylons drew colder to them in temperament and foibles. Other mysteries such as the activation of the sleeper agent number eight, Boomer (Grace Park) preciously not show was Cavil activating the Cylon memories by bringing a figurine of an elephant into view. As soon as it was put away the 8 reverted immediately to Sharon. This movie does show how many of the key humanoid Cylons survived the attack on the colonies winding up in the fleet of survivors. The points of view explored include the most prominent of the main human Cylons as well the now infamous ‘final five’. It was extremely interesting to see familiar shots from favorite episodes in a much different voice and focus. The movie is available in both regular DVD and Blu-ray but once again the only real way to go is high definition. In the recent release of the entire series in Blu-ray RDM explains that all of the series was originally filmed in high def even though in most markets only the last seasons were aired in that format. In this case it translates to seamless integration of the new material with elements of the original. It does look like some shots of scenes may have been alternate camera angle made for the original broadcast. The same holds true for the lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1audio. It is simply amazing to experience. Between that and the flawless 1080p video this is an entirely new way to revisit the series. If you are a fan of the series this is an absolute must have. The special features include BD live content so if your play has a connection to the internet a whole new world is opened up including inactive streaming content about the characters.

bulletFrom Admiral to Director: Edward James Olmos & The Plan
bulletThe Cylons of The Plan
bulletThe Cylon Attack
bulletVisual Effects: The Magic Behind "The Plan"
bulletFeature Commentary with Director/Star Edward James Olmos and Executive Producer/Writer Jane Espenson
bulletBD Live - Battlestar Galactica Trivia

Posted 11/15/09

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