“The Plan” Will Only Be Of Interest To Hard Core Battlestar Galactica Fans

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We kept hearing through out the years that Battlestar Galactica was on that the Cylons had a plan. The television movie of The Plan was released on DVD and Blu-Ray yesterday. The Plan includes many scenes from the series and largely feels like a clip show but in one way it reminded me of the original series. Remember when the original Cylons always missed and nothing went right for them after the original attack? The Plan was much like this.

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The Plan centers around Dean Stockwell’s character, John Cavil (Number One), and to a lesser extent around Tricia Helfer’s character, Number Six.  It begins and ends with the Cavil who was on Galactica and the one who had been on Caprica being thrown out the air lock after being discovered to by Cylons. Caprica-Cavil is questioning whether killing off the humans was a good idea while Galactica-Cavil is revealed in flashbacks to be obsessed with finishing off the remaining humans.

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The original plan was to kill all humans in the attack. The movie shows the events of the first two seasons from the perspective of the Cylons. For the most part we are seeing things we already saw but some details are filled in. For example, we found that when Caprica-Six told Baltar she had a meeting just before the destruction of Caprica her meeting was with Cavil.  While most might see the near extermination of all humans as a success, Cavil had expected all to be killed and his plan was now to finish the job.

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Another aspect of his original plan was to have the final five killed after living among the humans with Cavil expecting them to learn their lesson and realize how horrible humanity is after they are resurrected. Instead they both remained alive and they continued to like the flawed humans.

teal

During the first two seasons there were a number of attacks on the fleet. Seeing them from the Cylon perspective does provide some additional, but hardly essential, information. Cavil chastised a Five for being easily recognizable with all models looking virtually the same. The Five responded by arguing, “His jacket was burgundy. This is teal.” Cavil gave him something new to wear–a suicide vest, leading to a scene seen on the television show.

prostitute six

There were multiple attempts to kill of the survivors but, like with the Cylons of the original series, their attempts inevitably failed. The main reason for the failure, however, is one which the original Cylons would not be affected by. In scene later in the movie, another version of Six taunts Cavil for the failures and argues that this was because of love. Caprica Six loved Baltar and her attempt to discredit him failed. Boomer failed to kill Adama because of her love for him. Leoban failed to kill Starbuck because of his obsession for her. Simon, or Number Four, was involved in a plot to destroy a ship which was new to the movie. It failed because of his love for his human family.

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The movie would only be of interest to hard core fans of the show. Many of the events would be totally incomprehensible without having seen them during the regular series. As a stand alone movie it is a failure, lacking a coherent story line of its own. It is a partial success as a clip show, but this year Joss Whedon raised the bar for clip shows with Epitaph One.  Whedon’s clip episode of Dollhouse, also only available so far on DVD, went beyond the original series and gave it additional meaning. The Plan just fills in a few minor gaps. So much more could have been done to expand upon what occurred in the series.

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Just as with the release of the pilot of Caprica on DVD, The Plan contains scenes which cannot appear on television. The scenes with Tricia Helfer playing a prostitute version of Number Six unfortunately are tame enough to air. Early in the movie, after meeting Caprica-Six, Cavil is next seen with Ellen Tigh in a topless bar, where even the bar tender is shown topless. When fleeing after Number Six tried to discredit Baltar there is a totally pointless scene in which they cut through a shower. Even as a scene of gratitude nudity, it did not hold up to the shower scene in Starship Troopers.

Fans of the show will want to see the movie but those who have not watched the entire series would be better off watching the series first. While I was anxious to see this as soon as available as opposed to waiting until it airs, in retrospect there was nothing I couldn’t have waited for. I have not yet checked out any of the special features of the DVD. I did view portions of the Blu Ray version on both 720 and 1080 resolutions and there was a noticeable improvement with the full HD in some scenes, giving an advantage of watching the on Blu Ray as opposed to waiting until it is broadcast.

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