Thursday, August 30, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Razor Preview

That faint noise you hear off in the distance is the early buzz of brand new Battlestar Galactica that’s off in the horizon but getting slowly closer.

BSG fans—such as FanBoyWonder—have spent lo these many months chewing on the implications of the four new Cylons who revealed to be some of the most trusted members of the crew, as well as the “resurrection” of Starbuck (Katie Sackhoff) at the end of the Season 3 finale in late March.

Look for those questions to remain unresolved until the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica picks up in January 2008.

However, the buzz you are just now starting to hear is Team Battlestar’s creative way to maintain the mystery of the Season 3 cliffhanger through the remainder of this year while at the same time giving fans and potential new viewers a bonus, stand-alone BSG mega-movie episode in the form of Battlestar Galactica: Razor.

Look for BSG: Razor to first air on the Sci-Fi Channel on Saturday, Nov. 24, as a 2-hour tele-movie, with the unrated, extended edition DVD to go on sale on Dec. 4—just in time for the holidays.

Here’s the upshot from Sci-Fi and Universal Studios Home Entertainment: Battlestar Galactica: Razor takes you on an edge-of-your-seat adventure with an epic untold story of Lieutenant Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen) and the other Battlestar, Pegasus. Battlestar Galactica: Razor tells the story of Lee Adama's (Jamie Bamber) first mission as commander of the Battlestar Pegasus and reveals the story of how Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) served her ship during the original Cylon attack on the Colonies.

During the summer, we had occasion to view the DVDs of BSG Season 2.5, which included an extended cut of the Pegasus episode—scenes that needed to be cut to bring this originally near-90 minute episode down to one-hour for broadcast.

Extended Pegasus plus Resurrection Ship Parts 1 & 2 left us really wanting to know more about Admiral Cain and about the Pegasus crew before they encountered Galactica.

Razor promises to fulfill that wish and then some. In addition to telling “The Other Story of Survival” of how Pegasus endured and survived the original Cylon sneak-attack on the colonies, the movie purports to show us more of Lee Adama’s first days of command.

Better yet, we reportedly get to see a glimpse of a young William Adama (Edward James Olmos) and the original Cylon war, complete with the Cylon Centurions from the original BSG. Frakin-A!

While we accepted the inevitability of her death, we still found it unfortunate when Admiral Cain was murdered (so soon) at the end of Resurrection Ship P. 2 by a version of the Cylon Number Six named Gina (Tricia Helfer).

Michelle Forbes gave a fascinating portrayal of Admiral Cain as the hard-charging character who butts heads with Adama almost from the start because she always seemed to be technically correct but unbending to a fault—as well as untrustworthy and utterly ruthless.

Pegasus represents the path not taken by Galactica—as the crew, starting with Cain, who did so many horribly wrong things for seemingly the right reasons.

It’s quite hard to find sympathy for a character who we learn poached off fleeing civilians then abandoned and in some cases executed uncooperative civilians in the early days of the Cylon holocaust, as well as someone who ordered the “interrogation” (read: ritualized torture and rape) of the Cylon Gina. Yet, despite all this, Forbes made us feel for Cain.

MINOR SPOILER, MAJOR DIFFERNECE: We’ve learned that it will be revealed that Cain and Gina were in fact lovers before Gina’s Cylon origin was discovered.

With this revelation, it dramatically changes our view of Cain and her treatment of the Cylon prisoner. Was she a heartless military leader or a betrayed and scorned lover or both when Cain ordered the torture of someone who was (literally) a sleeper enemy agent??

BSG Razor, promises to be more than just a flashback as it lays the ground for the new season with the retroactive-introduction of a new character—Kendra Shaw. The word we’ve heard (taken with a grain of salt) is that Kendra was a politically connected officer who was posted on Pegasus for what was supposed to be a ticket-punching cruise—until the Cylons came and Kendra is forced to (and may indeed fail) to cowboy up.

It’s apparent from the preview clips we’ve seen that Kendra held in contempt by Starbuck. Speaking of Starbuck, thanks to Razor and the wonders of the flashback story, we’ll be able to see the Kara Thrace we all knew and loved, before her head got so fraked up by the Cylon Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie) on New Caprica and before her “death.”

In advance of Razor, Sci-Fi will reportedly roll a series of webisodes several weeks before the Nov. 24 airdate, much like what they did last year with Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance to fill in some of the gaps between Seasons 2 and 3. We look forward to that.

Finally, in the ultimate in viewer participation, Sci-Fi is giving fans the chance to vote on their favorite DVD packaging of the Battlestar Galactica: Razor Unrated Extended Edition, which scheduled for a Dec. 4 release.

The website will display a selection of three choices for fans (see the picture above) to cast their votes between now and continuing to 12 AM midnight Pacific Standard Time on September 7. The final selection will be posted on the site on September 14.

Choose wisely. So say we all!


Anonymous jeff mac said...

So say we all!

Dear sweet jebus, do I ever love this series. I can not WAIT for this "prequel" or "side-quel" or whatever.

I think the original miniseries was probably the best TV sci-fi of all time.

What do you hear about the spin-off series, FanBoyWonder? The one that supposedly takes place long before all of the events of the main series?

6:18 AM, August 31, 2007  
Blogger FBW said...

Word is that Ron Moore and David Eick have long since banged out the scripted for a pilot for a BSG prequel called "Caprica" which would take place some 50 years before the Cylon attacks on the colonies.

I seem to remember hearing that it would be a family based drama centering around the Adama family with Joseph Adama, father of William (the future Admiral Adama, Edward James Olmos) the head of household.

It would also fill in some of the blanks as to the creation of the Cylons and run up to the first Cylon war.

Word has it that Sci-Fi has passed on Caprica but it could be made as a one-shot TV movie.

My take is that with BSG headed for its last season and we assume there will be a definitive ending to the series; my feeling is that there will be no more appetite for the BSG universe...especially a prequel.

Also, don't ever expect this BSG series to make it to the big screen--original BSG creator Kenneth Johnson holds the movie rights and he is reportedly none too pleased at the "re-imagining" of his creation by Ron Moore so he is quite unlikely to give his seal of approval for a movie.

Can't blame Johnson really--it must be a tough pill to swallow that someone took your basic idea and “re-imagined” it (i.e. vastly improved upon the concept) and it’s lauded to the point where your (the original series) is derided as a joke.

8:32 AM, August 31, 2007  
Blogger FBW said...

CORRECTION: FanBoyWonder is on vacation today...and so is our brain...I made an error in my comments...

Glen A. Larson NOT Kenneth Johnson created to original Battlestar Galactica in 1978.....sorry about that.--FBW

9:21 AM, August 31, 2007  
Anonymous John Micek said...

Dude ... a Medill "F" for not remembering Glenn A. Larson.
Otherwise, outstanding post. This has really got me juiced for the prequel/sidequel, as well as the upcoming "webisodes."
Gotta love this show ... an oasis of intelligence in a desert of drab.

12:24 PM, August 31, 2007  
Blogger FBW said...

Thanks for the comments Jeff and John. Always a good thing to butter up your blog host with “outstanding post.”

I know it’s preaching to the choir but I really do think that the re-imagined BSG is among THE very best shows on television but it’s the name—“Battlestar Galactica” that’s a decidedly mixed blessing.

Emmy has never looked fondly on Sci-Fi unfortunately but if this show were set not in Space in a galaxy far far away but on ….say an aircraft carrier…U.S.S. Galactica…in the middle of the Indian Ocean in post-nuclear war World War III, it would have earned a boat load of nominations and West Wing-like respect.

6:42 AM, September 01, 2007  

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