I checked out one of the advance screenings of the Battlestar Galactica television movie “Razor” here in NYC at the UA Union Square on Monday night and am happy to report it’s really great, especially after the uneven third season that dragged down the hit show’s ratings and alienated it’s audience. Hopefully “Razor” is a sign that Season 4 will really bounce back and explain some of the loopy ideas that were introduced at the end of Season 3.
There aren’t any spoilers here… so feel free to keep reading my take on the movie, which premieres November 24th on SciFi Channel and hits DVD on December 4:
“Razor” follows the early days of the Pegasus after the Cylons attacked Caprica and offers a nifty parallel to Galactica’s own bare escape from being destroyed. Led by Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes), there’s more contrast between her leadership style and Adama’s (like we saw in Season 2) along with a stunning revelation that involves the Number Six cylon that the Pegasus captured.
The movie takes on the conflict of military decision making during wartime and also neatly offers a rationale behind Adama’s excessive choices in Season’s 1 and 2 and his conflict and then eventual compromise with the President. The most interesting aspect of this is Adama’s treatment of civilians versus Admiral Cain’s and how this affected both of their military tactics, along with the difficulty in making certain choices in a time of war. This was always BSG’s strongest aspect, I’ve felt, which has made the show more a political military drama than just a Sci Fi show with cool robots.
“Razor” also shows events that took place in between Season 3 with Lee Adama taking helm of the “Pegasus” and introduces Kendra Shaw, a character that served under Admiral Cain and who Lee chooses as his XO. She ties in the two timelines very well and a lot of the episode focuses on her point of view. Played nicely by Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen, her conflicted character shows the extreme actions a loyal soldier is forced (or forces themselves) to sometimes make.
“Razor” also offers a flashback scene with Admiral Adama as a fighter pilot during the First War (which you can see in the “Razor” (webisodes). Impressively, the film weaves in between three different timelines, while also offering an amusing nod to the old television series as well as a “prophecy” about Season 4.
It’s all really nicely done, and reminds me of the high points of the series before it got bogged down in numerous filler episodes in Season 3. Here’s hoping we see more of this next Spring with the episodes premiere.