Sunday, December 16, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Razor - DVD Review

Being the Galactica geek that I am, I had to go out and buy the DVD release of Razor last week.

For openers, the DVD has tons of footage that was not in the version that was televised on the Sci-Fi Channel. Fans of the show who frequent the web site for the series may have seen some of the webisodes featuring a young William Adama as a viper pilot in the first Cylon War. Some of that footage has been incorporated into the DVD of Razor, including this scene:

There are extra scenes that flesh out some of the characters, including the new character of Kendra Shaw. There is also a flashback scene that shows Admiral Cain as a young girl during the First Cylon War. But disappointingly, there are no hot lesbian sex scenes between Cain and Number 6, played by the stunning hottie Tricia Helfer.

In an homage to the original Battlestar Galactica from the 1970's, the original Cylon centurions and fighter craft make several appearances in Razor, and they are incorporated into the present day Galactica universe in a really interesting way.

Much of the plot of Razor hangs on Kendra Shaw, played by newcomer Stephanie Jacobsen, who appears into two story threads, one past and one present. Joining the Pegasus crew on the day of the Cylon attack, she becames Admiral Cain's surrogate in the wake of the attack, and in the present day plot thread, she becomes Lee Adama's XO on the Pegasus after having been demoted by Adama's deceased predecessor. (As an aside, for a while there it seemed as if the post of commander of the Pegasus was becoming the Battlestar Galactica equivalent of the drummer in "This Is Spinal Tap"*). To be honest, I did not find the Kendra Shaw character to be particularly likeable, but I don't think she was meant to be. More importantly though, her character is seamlessly integrated into the movie, considering that this is a character who we have never seen before even though she has always been a member of the Pegasus crew.

Most of the story that takes place on Pegasus before it finds the Galactica is a rehash of what we are told what happened in the "Pegasus" and "Resurrection Ship Part 1" episodes. Cain shoots her friend and XO in the head for refusing to obey an order. Cylon Gina is discovered and brutalized. A civilian fleet is found and a number of civilians are executed because Cain is only interested in getting parts and skilled personnel from the civilian ships. Given the number of Pegasus crew members that were killed, I find it a little odd why the Pegasus did not take on all of the civilians, as there should have been sufficient bunkspace.

In terms of its relevance towards the anticipated fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica, Razor has little to offer until near the end, when the prototype Cylon hybrid warns Kendra Shaw about Starbuck. The thing is, is the hybrid's warning about Starbuck legitimate, or is he being deliberately deceptive? Time will tell. As for how Season 4 will end, given Ronald Moore's penchant for cliffhanger shockers, my gut instinct tells me it will be something along the lines of Taylor's discovery at the end of the original "Planet of the Apes." Remember, "All of this has happened before, all of it will happen again."

Here are a couple of more cool clips from Razor to whet your appetite:

* Fans of "This Is Spinal Tap" may recall that the band's drummers kept dying, including one from spontaneous human combustion!

No comments: