pop culture gossip community about contact archives subscribe advertise fine print bmc

« Glee Withdrawals? Welcome to the Gleeks Anonymous Group Therapy Open Thread | Pop Culture Main | Josh Duhamel Cheats On Fergie With Stripper »


Topless Bartenders But Not Much Planning in the Battlestar Galactica's "The Plan"

Rick_Worthy Ron Moore and David Eick's mystical space opera marches on in The Plan, the straight-to-DVD movie that retells the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica from the Cylon's point of view.  But what exactly is the Cylon's plan?  And does it make a lick of sense? Spoilers ahead.

Directed by Edward James Olmos and scripted by Buffy writer Jane Espenson, The Plan is an ambitious but confusing affair that plays a bit like a really long deleted scenes featurette.  Espenson and Olmos weave in scenes and footage from the series to provide context.  It's a clever move, but the attempt works against them; newcomers will still be hopelessly lost by the gaps in the tale, while dedicated fans may feel cheated by the recycling of old content.

Worst of all, it appears that the Cylons never had much of a plan. Well, maybe they did. But it was a really stupid one.  The original idea was not to kill humanity so much as it was to kill the Final Five, who had been sent to the Twelve Colonies in an amnesiac state by Cavil (Dean Stockwell), Cylon model number one, in an act of revenge for being created in humanity's image in the first place.  The Five would die and be reborn, and then they would be thankful to Cavil for the experience. Or something. Do you understand any of that? You won't, unless you watch season four, which you probably shouldn't do. 

Of course, the plan goes awry when the Final Five survive nuclear genocide (Man, what are the odds of that happening?)  So the beleagured machines come up with a new plan, which is: stumble around incompetently and not manage to kill the rest of the human race.  The Cylons of The Plan are slowly seduced by humanity in all its sweaty, pimply glory, discovering that the embodied and finite apes they're after are capable of love.  No, make that Love.  You can feel that capital L whenever a character lets the word drop.

The Plan tries to provide a rationale for the Cylon's behaviour, but in the process it domesticates them, and in so doing, domesticates Battlestar Galactica.  One of the great delights of the show's first season lay in trying to figure out the mysterious actions of the Cylons.  It seemed like they had wanted a few humans around just to screw with their heads on a regular basis.  It made them intriguing and fearful.  Most of all, it made them alien.

Now we find out that they were lost and confused, throwing whatever they could at the wall to see what stuck.  There are some fine moments to be had from that scenario, mostly from the exchanges between an increasingly bewildered Cavil and the other Cylons, but it deflates the strangeness and suspense of the series. 

The last two seasons of Battlestar Galactica imploded in a black hole of overheated exposition, soap opera nonsense and grand prophesy (or as a friend of mine succinctly put it, "plot dumb").  The Plan is at its weakest when it attempts to impose the sensibilities of those seasons on the earlier parts of the show.

The most successful scenes in The Plan have nothing to do with the Cylon's plan.  The story of Simon (Rick Worthy), a number four Cylon who marries a human woman and adopts her child, is Battlestar Galactica at its best - a close study of character under extraordinary conditions.  The postapocalypic genre, along with Westerns and other frontier tales, contains a powerful existential element: who are you after everything is stripped away? What rules do you continue to obey?

Galactica may take place on the bridge of a spaceship or the soil of strange planets, but all the best stuff is played out in cramped little rooms, where people come face-to-face with their fate.  Forget the grand schemes and the airy talk of Love - watch The Plan for what happens in bedrooms and airlocks.

Speaking of bedrooms, there is some brief nudity in the DVD version. Topless bartenders and tasteful sex scenes pepper the action.  So if you plan to watch with your family, be aware that not everyone is clothed.







« Glee Withdrawals? Welcome to the Gleeks Anonymous Group Therapy Open Thread | Pop Culture Main | Josh Duhamel Cheats On Fergie With Stripper »


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5d9653ef0120a68a4d5f970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Topless Bartenders But Not Much Planning in the Battlestar Galactica's "The Plan":



Comments




The comments to this entry are closed.

Read the Comments Policy »



« Glee Withdrawals? Welcome to the Gleeks Anonymous Group Therapy Open Thread | Main | Josh Duhamel Cheats On Fergie With Stripper »












Blog Widget by LinkWithin