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Good for existing fans, not necessarily essential
on 29 December 2007
This review is for the UK region 2 version.
First off the Razor episode itself. If you are an established viewer of the series the main character will be new to you, her name is Kendra Shaw; a rookie officer who starts to serve aboard the Battlestar Pegasus only moments before the devastating attack against the human race by the Cylons. A few of the other characters will be familiar to anybody who has watched season two, especially Admiral Helena Cain played by Michelle Forbes, her X.O Fisk and an enigmatic I.T. lady who we've seen many times before. Most of the time we are seeing things from Kendra's point of view, like most BSG characters (and real people) she has her flaws but is also quite likeable. A few of the events that occur under Cain's command aren't as shocking as they might have been as we've already heard about them from a not entirely reliable source, although actually seeing what DID happen is as dramatic as it needs to be.
Running alongside this plot thread is a 'present' story (although all of this episode is set before the end of season two) of Lee Adama's first mission as commander of the Pegasus, again involving Kendra, now more battle hardened after serving under Cain. This involves a few of the regular Galactica characters and includes back-story that we haven't previously heard about and the appearance of the old school Cylons from the original series. There are also flashbacks to the first war mostly centered around a certain young Viper pilot.
The episode runs to just under 1 Hour 40 minutes, I assume all this 2 Hour talk included overly frequent commercial breaks. Effects work is great as ever and if you're a fan I'd be very surprised if you didn't enjoy Razor, I certainly did. The reason I say this may not be essential is because there doesn't seem to be much that is vital to the actual series apart from one comment made towards the end, from what I understand Razor was meant to be a stand alone but I'm not sure I could recommend it to newcomers.
A couple of deleted scenes (about 3 mins).
A sneak peek at season 4, the main cast and excutive producers give soundbites without really revealing much (about 2.5 mins).
Season 4 Trailer, ooooh (about 30secs)
7 'Minisodes', flashbacks to the first war, most of which are in the feature anyway (just under 20 mins)
Not listed on the back of the DVD box but ON the disc: Informative and interesting audio commentary with Co head-honcho: Ronald D. Moore and the writer of Razor: Michael Taylor. Made specially for the DVD and not a podcast.
I am such a geek.