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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

"We didn’t want to be loved. We wanted to be treated fairly."

Greatness is subjective and as much as I feel Battlestar Galactica: The Plan was great, I am finding it hard to find the right way to praise it. So I’ll start with everything I disliked.

First off, a few words of caution: if you haven’t seen the series through the finale I wouldn’t watch this, yet. You will be lost from the first minute. Second, this wasn’t an entirely original movie: in a way this was a very long flashback, including scenes lifted directly from season one. Additionally there wasn’t a really tight narrative since it jumped forward in time fairly frequently. Yet it was powerful, compelling, and answered a lot of questions.

In essence, this was the story of two brothers and the divergent paths they took. I have to give a lot of praise to Dean Stockwell, because this was his movie. He was like a Machiavellian presence that tied everything together. One of the things driven home for me was the very ironic truth that there was no plan, just insanity masked in petulance and desire. I could go into detail about the level of complexity in this movie, retelling in fan-service detail the missing elements of many of the major events of season one, or rather the role the Cylons played in the beginning of Galactica’s fate. I remember the discovery of Brother Cavil as a Cylon as a footnote, because at the time he was just another Cylon discovered by our heroes. But that moment was so important to the entire series that I am almost dumbfounded at the change in perspective.

For me this was a wonderful appendix to the series. In a lot of ways it was like Razor, in that it broadened the story by adding depth to an already deep narrative. However, it didn’t add anything too substantial that it could go unseen, even though it finally gave the Cylons a much needed back-story. As a standalone movie this wasn’t that exciting, but when added to the whole it is a welcome extension to a show I already miss.

Additionally there were some things that I would like to point out but they contain some spoilers.

Spoiler Space

The role of differences was played up in this, as each of the models was shown as having multiple sides. We got a lot of Boomer and the beginning of her relationship with Cavil, as well as how he turned her on and off during the episode “Water”. But what I found fascinating was the portrayal of a dumb Six. She was the one who tried to frame Baltar for collaboration with the Cylons in season one, but in the background she was very naive and an almost tragic character.

Brother Cavil had two models that were the primary focuses throughout this movie. One was on Galactica which took the primary focus, the other on Caprica. The movie started with the two of them talking casually about the greatness of their plan, the genocide of an entire species. And in the end they were talking about the mess they had gotten themselves into. But the sad moment came when that same spark of uniqueness came out in the model that was on Caprica. He finally saw the error of their choices, and felt that they needed to change their views on humanity.


- There was a brief sex scene between a new character that was introduced once the story caught up with Galactica, and a Simon (number 4) it was a very interesting scene in the context of this Simon’s story arc.

- One of the fives, I can’t remember his name, was forced into the suicide bombing by Cavil.

- Leoben and his obsession with Starbuck was explained and the interrogation scene now takes on a whole new level of depth.

- Tyrol’s dream was finally explained, and it made complete sense.

- Boomer was redeemed, finally.

- Each of the Cylons had a major part in this, but what was the most interesting was the human frailty they all showed.

- The movie ended on Cavil’s speech about being a machine as he was being blown out of an air-lock.

- We saw Ellen’s survival of the destruction of the colonies, as well as what happened to all of the final five.

- We got a lot of back-story for Sam, and what he went through before meeting Kara.

- It was really nice getting to see all the characters back to their season one selves; it was like reliving the innocence of youth.

End Spoilers

I would add some quotes but they would all be spoilers at this point. So I will finish with this. I truly loved this movie. Whether it was like a really good extended episode, or just because it was excellent, I can’t be sure. I was also surprised by the level of adult content in the DVD version. This has never been a child-friendly show, but the DVD was R-Rated with a couple of gratuitous nude scenes and a brief sex scene.

Three and a half out of four baseships.

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. Have a few mixed feelings about this one. Dean Stockwell was fantastic and the scenes depicting the attack on the colonies were amazing but I found everything that followed to be a letdown with the exception of Simon’s story. Nice to see Rick Worthy get some decent screen time for a once.

    At the end of the day all The Plan really did was remind me just how much I miss Battlestar Galactica.

  2. Well for the final time, a comment on a BSG episode :(

    I loved this instalment because it finally helped me click as to why the Cylons behaved like they did at the end of season 2. It was interesting to see the effect that living among the humans had on all the Cylons (except Galactica Cavil). Simon's story was my favourite for sure but I thought all the Cylons were fleshed out quite well (bar Doral).

    I liked Sam's story too, and it helped clear up how he went from sports star to freedom fighter quite nicely.

    Overall - excellent, and I'm glad they revisited the story from the Cylons side. Shame they didn't do a plan pt 2 for seasons 3 & 4.

  3. Nice review. And I agree with you. It was really interesting to revisit the entire series from a different perspective, and get the Cylon backstory.

    The Plan was simple: kill *all* of the humans. But the more the seven models interacted with humans on Galactica and on Caprica, the harder it was for Cavil to push or manipulate them. They all began finding the humanity in themselves. (Well, except for Doral, who really didn't get too much to do in this one.)

    We finally got a lot about Simon, who had the smallest role of any Cylon in the series. We saw Sam become a resistance fighter. We saw how Boomer's existence as a sleeper was managed, and why she was so conflicted. But it was really all Cavil. Or all of the two important Cavils. It was Dean Stockwell's movie.

    I think my favorite scene was Cavil and the dark-haired Six on Galactica getting drunk and talking about the catastrophic failures of the Cylons to wipe out the humans.

    Definitely worth watching.


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