Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Edward James Olmos

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Edward James Olmos
This second DVD movie related to the Battlestar Galactica series is by no means a stand-alone offering ― viewers who haven't completed that four-year journey should shy away from The Plan, and from this review, since spoilers are a hazard. Taking inspiration from the show's opening tease ― that the Cylons attack humanity with a plan for its demise ― here we revisit the events of the show's first season, from the first strike on the 12 colonies by space nukes, up until near the end of the first year, but from the Cylon point of view. Plans hatched by Cylon Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) were the lynchpin to the invasion; the film details its not-quite-successful implementation, the machinations of "Fleet" Cavil versus the personal transformation undergone by "Caprica" Cavil, embedded with Anders (Michael Trucco) and his merry band of Pyramid ballers back on a human world. Over the course of its feature length, several key series moments are revisited in new ways: Boomer (Grace Park) reporting back to Cylon HQ while still unaware of her own nature, or the fate of the Six (Tricia Helfer) who attempted to discredit Balthar (James Callis) for his role in the holocaust. Most of the time is spent on Cavil's scheming and also on Anders' journey through the woods with his resistance fighters, including a Simon Cylon (Rick Worthy). My inner geek fan boy was thrilled at this new information and the perspective brought by deeper context but as a film, The Plan is a haphazard series of well-connected deleted scenes. Olmos mentions in several slight DVD features that this will make you want to re-watch the series anew, and it does, but it's a bad thing when you're not engaged by the work itself, only by the greater work that inspired it. Features are short and perfunctory until a longer one on visual effects starts to reveal cracks in the plan of the filmmakers themselves. The movie continued to be rewritten, reworked and new scenes added long after principal photography finished ― revealed in the context of how quickly the visual effects department had to work ― to the point where the FX technicians were given instructions like "space battle" and left to their own devices. They were thrilled to have such free rein, but it's telling how little narrative focus was actually there. Plus: deleted scenes, commentary by Olmos and writer Jane Espenson, more. (Universal)