Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If someone were to walk up to me and claim that the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was the best TV series in the history of television, I don’t know if I could muster up enough data to argue with this imaginary person. I haven’t watched a lot of episodic television in the past few years but I watched this. Every single episode. And when it ran its last and final episode I wasn’t even sad because the show had run its course and ended appropriately before it had a chance to ‘Jump the Shark’ as it were. This brings to the stand-alone BSG movie, directed by Commander William Adama himself, Edward James Olmos… ‘The Plan’. This film purports to tell the story of the destruction of the colonies and the efforts to stamp out the few remaining humans through the eyes of the Cylons. The question we have, as we sit down to watch this film, would be is this a worthy end to this high quality TV show?

Why did the Cylons try to wipe out the human race? The answer to this isn’t all that complex. They hate humans. Particularly the mastermind of the Cylon plan to eliminate these ‘cockroaches of the universe’ Brother Cavil played with dripping menace by Dean Stockwell. This film focuses the bulk of its attention on Brother Cavil’s character on Galactica after the destruction on the colonies and his passionate attempts to finish the job that they started. Brother Cavil’s problems with completing his plan is that his fellow Cylons don’t seem to have same zeal or passion that he possesses, with some of his colleagues becoming ‘infected’ with human like qualities.

For instance we learn why Boomer (Grace Park) had so much difficulty in carrying out her Cylon duties with her machine and human sides failing to peacefully co-exist. There’s a separate storyline featuring the Cylon character of Simon (Rick Worthy) who was rarely used in the series, but here receives an expanded storyline as he struggles with a human wife (Lymari Nadal) and adopted daughter, both of whom he is sick in love with, and his required duties in eliminating the human menace.

On Caprica we see how the resistance was born, a resistance led by the character of Sam (Michael Trucco) later revealed to be one of the hidden Cylons during the series, and the film delves into how Caprica’s copy of Brother Carvil eventually came to some conclusions which had him rethinking the whole purpose of ‘The Plan’. It also explained something that I always thought was odd in the show in why did Caprica’s version of brother Carvil show up on Galactica fully aware that oneof  his copies was already there.

That’s what this stand-alone movie does. It answers some question, fills in some blanks, gives screen time to some characters who didn’t get much screen time during the series but as far as this alleged ‘Plan’ that I thought we were going to privy to, after failing to rid the universe of the humans on their first try the Cylon’s really didn’t have much of a ‘plan’ at all. The real question though would be is ‘The Plan’ a good movie? Well, not really. At least as a stand-alone movie. I would think that if you haven’t seen the series or only watched the series on occasion in passing then this, as a movie by itself, is almost worthless. If you’re walking around in Best Buy and observe that this DVD or Blu-Ray cover looks cool… I wouldn’t recommend that you pick this up, unless you pick up the entire series first for a couple hundred bucks.

A lot of information is ‘assumed’ in this movie and if you don’t possess this assumed information then you will be hard pressed trying to figure out what the relevance of what a lot of this information is, and it covers a lot of ground in not a lot of time. This leads to another issue with this movie as a stand-alone being that there’s not a lot of action to it. There’s the opening destruction of the colonies which was pretty damn cool, truth be told, and there were a few shootouts on Caprica, but for the most part this movie was dialog heavy. Now this dialog was well written and this dialog was well acted but if you haven’t seen the show then I would think these dialog heavy sequences will do nothing but put you to sleep.

If you’re a fan of the show then chances are you’ve seen this already or at least are planning on seeing it, and if you are a fan then it is definitely worth seeing. But honestly there have been better episodes of BSG than this movie and the movie doesn’t really illuminate anything that fans of the show weren’t already aware of at least on some level. ‘The Plan’ really could’ve used a ‘Who Shot J.R.’ payoff moment or some sort of reveal or surprise to distance itself from the episodic shows which would justify its place as a stand-alone movie, but we don’t get this so don’t go looking for it.

Yeah, I liked ‘The Plan’ well enough but basically because I loved the show. I think this movie would’ve been better served as showing up initially on the Sci-Fi channel as simply a TV movie addendum to the show with a DVD release down the road as opposed to vice-versa because then the expectations wouldn’t have been so high. Recommended required viewing for the fans, but really not recommended too much for anyone else.

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