A gift for those who geeked especially hard on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, the two-hour addendum The Plan (out now on DVD, due for broadcast next year) illuminates what exactly those tricky skinjobs were thinking throughout the seasons. In doing so, it effectively answers one of the series’ slightly nagging questions: Why didn’t the Cylons hidden among the few pockets of surviving humans simply finish the job they started at the beginning of the series, and wipe them out? The Plan reveals that each basically had second thoughts after the nuclear attack that wiped out the Colonies—second thoughts which form a base for its solid dramatic tension.
But first, a lot of shit blows up. Blending footage from the original series with loads of new special effects, director/star Edward James Olmos has a glorious time destroying the Colonies, dropping nukes on each, then showing how various groups of survivors made it. The movie focuses largely on Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) who’s alive in a pair of bodies—one on Galactica itself, and one on Caprica, being protected by Sam Anders and his merry band of Pyramid players/resistance fighters. Space Cavil is cast as the true evil: the only one of the skinjobs who knows the truth about the final five Cylons, and the only one really hellbent on finishing the job. Early on, he gleefully says, “Let’s get this genocide started.”
But his team can’t get the job done: The various Six models (played by Tricia Helfer) want to broker a peace; the Four model on Galactica (Rick Worthy) has fallen in love with a human; Boomer (Grace Park) fails to assassinate Admiral Adama (Olmos) not because she’s a lousy shot, but because she has pangs of conscience. Sure, it’s probably a little easy to reverse-engineer all these situations when the conclusion has already played out, but The Plan does so with the kind of seamless attention to detail that should keep the diehards satisfied. For those not intimately familiar with the series, it’s a terrible place to begin, but for anyone looking for a reason to watch the whole thing again, it should offer some nice “Aha!” moments, since it meshes like a gear with many of the show’s best episodes, especially “Lay Down Your Burdens.”
Key features: Director commentary with Olmos, a few deleted scenes, and interviews with the actors who play Cylons.