Battlestar Galactica: Razor Felix Alcala

Battlestar Galactica: Razor Felix Alcala

Ostensibly created for the DVD market, Battlestar Galactica: Razor is a stand-alone two-hour movie that bridges seasons three and four of this cult TV show. But in content, it hearkens back to a story arc in the middle of season two - the discovery of the Battlestar Pegasus, which survived the initial cylon attack and took a run-and-gun war-like approach that contrasts nicely with Galactica’s civilian-oriented "run for our lives” tack. (It’s good timing for DVD-only Battlestar watchers, since season three won’t arrive until spring.) Told in a series of interlocking flashbacks, Razor primarily concerns Pegasus officer Kendra Shaw on the day of the initial cylon attack, the untold story of her promotion to second-in-command under Lee Adama later in the Pegasus saga, and for a brief segment, back to Commander Bill Adama’s first missions in the original cylon war. This flashback structure seems a little odd for Battlestar fans looking for forward progress on season three’s finale revelations, but it serves a couple of purposes for producers. It fleshes out one of the more fascinating periods in Galactica lore, it features the return of fabulous meanie Michelle Forbes as militant Admiral Cain, and they make the most of their chance to revive original cylon designs from the show’s late ’70s version. What it doesn’t do is stand on its own - the show’s mythology is so dense, and the events featured here so tied in to knowledge of Pegasus, of various characters, and of their history with the cylons, that to see it outside that continuity would be fairly frustrating. Already broadcast on television, then rushed to stores a mere two days later, the Razor DVD offers up about ten more minutes in an extended cut, and then teases fans anxious for the show’s April ’08 return. There are a couple of season four teases, cast members reveal their favourite episodes (usually the ones in which their character gets the most dramatic work), and exec producer Ronald D. Moore and writer Michael Taylor chat amiably on a commentary. If you are a fan of the show and have dismissed Razor as a not-relevant side-trip, be warned that there is one crucial revelation in it that points to the show’s fourth and final season, and the wild ride it’s going to be. Plus: deleted scenes, "The Look of Battlestar Galactica.” (Universal)