My Take on Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

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A review: Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

BattlestarGalactica_ThePlanIf you’re a fan, you remember that the opening of Battlestar Galactica’s first and second seasons always ended with: “AND THEY HAVE A PLAN”. ‘They’ were the Cylons and ‘The Plan’ wasn’t necessarily apparent beyond ‘Frakking kill all the humans’. Which, if you’re a cybernetic lifeform bent on destroying your creators, isn’t such a bad plan, really.

I forget when that but of text went away, I’m sorry, I do. I don’t know if it was the third or fourth season, but it did go away. I DO remember thinking at the time, “Huh. What happened to ‘they have a plan’?” Never did find out cuz the show had it’s finale and the plan was never revealed.

Somewhere, sometime, I remember reading or listening to an interview or something wherein Ronald Moore said that the whole thing had been forced on them by the suits at the channel formerly known as ‘SciFi’. Some suit thought that the Cylons needed a plan and that we had to be told each week that there was a plan so it would make sense to us (Probably the same person who told Kevin Sorbo, “You know – you’re right. Thinking is hard. Scripts should be less about thinking and more about boobs. People like boobs.”. First chance he got, Moore pulled that line from the opening credits.

Still, it was one of those things that was left hanging and the fans wondered, “But – what about The Plan?”

Tuesday, there was an attempt at explaining it to us.

It failed.

The Plan is a feature length flick with old and new shots cobbled together to try and form a coherent story, I think it falls short of it’s ambitious intentions. You have new scenes blended with old shots from the show and they do that very cleverly despite actors having aged – I give them credit for that, but having watched the whole thing – I still have no idea what the hell it’s supposed to be about.

Some spoilers abound from this point on so, fair warning!

Returning are several characters – mostly the ‘skin job’ Cylons including Caprica, Boomer, Leoben, Cavil and the rest. We relive the destruction of the colonies and the retreat of the human fleet through the eyes of the human Cylons. If there is any focus in the movie, I would say that it’s on Cavil, who has copies that move through the film and see things from different points of view. One version is with Anderson and the rebels on Caprica, another on Picon with Ellen Tigh, then on a ship with her and I think he then moves to Galactica where he tries to ‘run’ the others within the fleet and finish the destruction of the colonies.

It’s hard to find the point and the plot here, but I think they were trying to show how the two Cavil’s journey brings them to the same basic conclusions about the Final Five and their love of the human race and how, through their separate journey’s, they find that truth in completely different ways and take away from it different assumptions and plans for the future. But I feel it’s poorly executed.

While the blending of old and new is clever, it’s also confusing at times and feels forced at others.

There is that fantastic scene from the first season when Boomer wakes up in her flight suit, covered in water, dripping all over the floor. She has no idea how she got there and is freaking out. We know that she’s a Cylon – we saw her copy in the final moment of the mini-series, but she has no clue that she’s a sleeper. It’s creepy and intense – a wonderful moment.

In The Plan, they reveal that Cavil ‘woke her up’ to talk to her, to give her an assignment and then he keeps waking her up to talk some more from time to time. I feel that this took away from the original moment. I didn’t want to know that – I think it was a better moment on its own with a little mystery left to it. Sometimes, it’s better not to explain everything.

Sadly, the things we want explained aren’t, which just makes it worse.

Leoben is obsessed with Starbuck – we already knew this. Did we need to see the moment he became obsessed? Probably not. It felt like they jammed that piece in so they could show some Starbuck footage because she wasn’t really in the movie and they knew she had to be in it somehow. Same with Apollo – let’s show him helping people off a shuttle – why? No reason! It had nothing to do with anything! Just an excuse to show him and somehow make it seem more legitimate.

…as you can tell, not my favorite movie.

Overall, the movie felt like a miss-mash of disjointed moments. I think the only thing I truly loved about it was the music/soundtrack. I don’t think it answered any questions.

Sadly, I think that when you base a movie on something that was forced on you by someone in a suit, and summarily tossed the moment you thought you could get away with tossing it, that movie is going to suck.

And that’s what happened with The Plan, a poor epilogue to an otherwise outstanding television show.

~P