Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Blu-ray Review)21 Oct, 2009 By: John Latchem
$26.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray
Stars Dean Stockwell, Michael Trucco, Rick Worthy, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Callum Keith Rennie, Michael Hogan, Edward James Olmos, Aaron Douglas, Lymari Nadal.
Throughout the first couple of seasons, the opening narration of “Battlestar Galactica” episodes would inform viewers of the nature of the Cylons. They were robots created to serve man on colony worlds far off in space. The Cylons eventually rebelled against their human masters, and even took on a humanoid appearance, and all the while they had a plan to deal with mankind once and for all. Whatever their plan was, viewers never learned it, and the thread became one of the bigger unsolved questions by show’s end.
The Plan seeks to fill in that gap of knowledge and fill in other plot holes from the show. At first, The Plan seems much more mundane than expected, given the wide swath of questions that could have been answered. The movie answers questions viewers didn’t know they had, and in some cases might not have wanted to have. But these are minor concerns compared to the power of the story, and The Plan ultimately serves its purpose as a satisfying swan song to the “Galactica” saga.
The Plan is the story of John Cavil, the Cylon who became the main villain of the series. Expertly written by Jane Espenson, The Plan explores Cavil’s motivations for leading the holocaust against humanity. At its core, the film deals with the complicated relationship between parents and their children.
The plot overlaps the time frame of the first two seasons of the series. Two Cavils, played by the incomparable Dean Stockwell, plot to destroy humanity, but are forced to live among them when not all are killed in the attacks. Their divergent experiences shape their outlook and inform on many of the show’s ongoing subplots. This is a tale of revenge, acceptance and the power of love, concluding with a despicable atrocity that is perhaps the most evil act ever depicted on the show.
Also typical of “Galactica,” the film gives a major role to a background character who was in the original miniseries for about a minute (perhaps not so much of a surprise considering the actress who plays her is also the wife of director Edward James Olmos).
Extras consist of a good commentary that delves into the themes of the movie, some deleted scenes and four making-of featurettes that focus on the joys of reuniting the cast and crew for the final chapter of “Galactica.”
The film is not rated but easily would earn an ‘R’ rating due to a steamy sex scene and frontal nudity of both men and women.
The story is presented as a linear narrative, which director (and series star) Olmos claims in his commentary is set up for non-viewers of the show to follow along. But this seems like an exercise in futility.
Blending old footage with new material, the story of The Plan weaves around so many well-known events from the show that without the greater context non-fans will probably find themselves lost very quickly. I’d recommend watching the show first, then checking out The Plan, then watching the show again.