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The realm of science fiction came into a golden age with the advent of George Lucas's Star Wars way back in 1977. What was once perceived as a low return, niche market for ‘brains' or ‘men that still lived with their mothers' then became the thing to make, and subsequently everyone in Hollywood â"wanted one of those!" Shortly thereafter, Glen A. Larson brought the Space Opera to the small screen with Lorne Green headlining Battlestar Galactica. The series sank faster than a keg at a frat party, and, like most one season wonders, the story should end there... but it doesn't.

Just as another well-known, short-lived science fiction series, Battlestar Galactica had itself a rather passionate and vocal fan base, and in the following decades many attempts were made to return it to the small screen, big screen, any frickin' screen at all, to satisfy the demand. There was an even shorter-lived and much crappier television series in 1980 titled Galactica 1980 (imaginative stuff!). Then a series of failed attempts from many including Larson, and in recent times none other than Bryan Singer. But it was former Star Trek writer Ronald D. Moore that finally allowed the now infamous Battlestar to once again flee from the Cylons in search for Earth.

What followed from the 2003 miniseries and the subsequent three seasons (thus far) is one of the finest dramatic television series ever conceived. Forget the sci-fi tag this show can go head-to-head with any lauded dramatic show on air or off for quality writing, gut-wrenching drama, and a talented and committed cast who keep their fans enthralled consistently every week. At the end of the third season a request was made to Moore to deliver a stand alone TV movie in the same world, and Battlestar Galactica: Razor is the result.

The story primarily follows the character of Kendra Shaw, (Stephanie Chaves-Jacobson) an officer on the Battlestar Pegasus, through her various periods under different commanders. The first of which is the militant and ruthless Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes.) The effects of events under the command of Cain haunt Kendra throughout the film, and ultimately lead her to a catharsis that saves the day... but at great cost.

As much as the writers have gone to great lengths to have this film's storyline stand apart from the series, you can't really gain a solid grasp on this world without having seen the series first. As a result this story plays more as a solid movie-length treat for regular viewers that fill in a lot of blanks on ancillary matters, gives copious nods to the original 70's incarnation, and a small tease for the upcoming fourth season. As a stand alone film it doesn't work as a good entry point into this remarkable story. There are many (in fact most) characters from the series throughout the film, and without having seen the show you won't know why they're there for the most part. A rich history has unfolded in the series, and the film merely touches on many periods of time throughout only enough to make sense to the informed. What isn't lost in this film is the same complex, character-driven story, back-dropped by thrilling action. The exploration of moral ambiguity (that has become one of the series' most compelling elements) continues to be explored in Razor. The writers' knack of delivering characters to follow that don't ask the audience to agree with them, but show enough to understand why they do what they do, continues.

The actors are nothing less than spectacular, real, and make it impossible to turn away. Hard questions are always raised by the Galactica characters and their actions, but you never come away seeing them anything less than human this is a rare and precious accomplishment in any genre.

The direction follows the documentary style realism of the television show, with it's minimally lit sets and jumpy camera moves that keep you locked within the gritty world instead of floating above it smoothly and safely. When the characters sweat, you sweat with them; when crap blows up, the camera feels it. This aesthetic totally sells the creator's intention to ground this fantastical story in some form of reality.

Battlestar Galactica is now being heralded as one of the finest science fiction shows in history. Razor, if taken as part of that series, only adds more welcome layers to the already unprecedented quality it has proven is possible not just for sci-fi, but for any television drama.


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.78:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; director's commentary; "minisodes"..

* Commentary - with Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore and Writer Michael Taylor
* Featurettes
o The Look of Battlestar Galactica
o My Favorite Episode So Far
* Deleted Scenes - 2 scenes that didn't make the final cut.
* Sneak Peek: at Season 4
* Trailer - takes a look at Season 4
* Minisodes (x7):

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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