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on 10 November 2009
If you're browsing this product, chances are you've seen BSG through to its crescendo. For those that have not, I advise coming back to this after you've completed viewing. There's some spoiler-ish stuff here.

This is a great companion to the first two seasons. While not crucial in the overarching storyline, it offers a chance to step back through the early episodes with hindsight of what we now know about the identities of the Cyclons, the fate of 'Brother Cavil', and the true nature of Cylons. The production expertly weaves existing footage of the early seasons with new back stories and revealing vignettes that occurred 'off-camera'. Why did a Six risk cover by stepping forward to accuse Baltar of treason, only to disappear? How did Leoben and Doral, two of the first Cylon agents to be discovered, continue to have copies in the fleet until their demise? Why was Boomer so conflicted about her mission? And what was Brother Cavil's "plan"? All of these gaps are filled.

The real treat here is simply that it is more BSG, featuring some of the regular cast plus more screen time for the supporting players. Simon's storyline examines why the Cylons found it so hard to defeat humanity even after bringing them to their knees. The always excellent Dean Stockwell as Cavil is the main focus of the story, hiding in plain sight as he struggles to wage covert a war against the 'infection' of humanity, and against human nature tainting his Cylon subordinates in their everyday lives. And, of course, the soundtrack by BSG maestro Bear McCreary is flawless and sublime.

The Plan features very little to no extra scenes for the major crew members of Galactica, save Boomer, Anders and Tyrol. Olmos does a great job of directing but due to the story cutting between the work of many directors, it is hard to judge his individual style. The fact that it is stylistically seamless is a credit in itself. This is recommended for fans of the show, and a must-have for anyone interested in the Cylons and their motivations.
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on 17 July 2012
Well I was disapointed. It seems that more money was spent on the box than the special effects from the new footage. The older footage we have seen before was as before grainy in places but still HD. The new footage was low budget effects with obvious annoying unrealistic flaws. The story for the first hour is what you already know from watching the complete series and I could not see the point. You will have to watch to make up your own mind on that. It is a nice addition and a nice idea as I was one of the fans left feeling a little unsatisfied with the ending of the final season. This DVD was supposed to tie it all together but I will have to watch it again as for now cant see the point of it. I give it TWO and 1/2 stars out of 5.
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The Plan is a TV movie that goes right back to the Battlestar Galactica mini-series and then revisits key moments from the first two seasons through the eyes of the Cylons. Along the way, it attempts to resolve several key problems with the series, notably a few major plot holes left gaping and to give a lot more screen time and character development to Rick Worthy's character, Simon, arguably the least-developed Cylon role. In this movie we learn that there was a Simon model in the fleet after all and what he was doing, and discover that this Cylon was married with a step-daughter. This also allows the return of Edward James Olmos' real-life wife Lymari Nadal as Giana, one of the refugees from Caprica that Boomer rescued in the pilot, and a revelation about the ultimate fate of her character.

To some degree, these are small-fry questions, however, with bigger questions like how Boomer's sleeper programming worked, who the unknown person Caprica-Six was meeting on Caprica during the mini-series was and what was going on with Shelly Godfrey and her attempt to manipulate Baltar being more thoroughly explored. In some cases the answers are interesting, but in other cases not really that necessary, with fans long ago coming up with decent answers.

Overall, especially in the first half, the exercise feels like an excuse to show off some excellent CGI (and some rather ropier effects as well, including one terrible shot that makes Caprica look like it's about three miles across) but mainly to fill in some plot holes only obsessive nitpicking fans worry about. In the second half, however, a more interesting story emerges. Essentially A Tale of Two Cavils, in the second half the experiences of Galactica Cavil and Caprica Cavil are contrasted and explored in a decent manner, with Simon's situation and Anders' rise from being a sports jock to a military leader unfolding as decent subplots. These elements are tied together with some great writing and some excellent acting (especially from Dean Stockwell as Cavil, who comes across as calculating, intelligent and utterly ruthless, even moreso than he did in the series). The storylines also have a great conclusion when Caprica Cavil is rescued along with the rest of Anders' rebel group and meets up with his fellow model number in Galactica's brig and airlock where they discuss their conclusions, which are very different.

Whilst that thematic structure works well, the 'unrated' version of the DVD/Blu-Ray makes rather gratuitous use of its freedom to depict sex and nudity, most notably a rather incongruous Galactica crash-zoom on a nude pilot in the locker room. I suppose if you are going to include nudity, doing so for both sexes is fair, but none of it adds anything to the plot and looks completely out of keeping with the rest of the series.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (***½) is the series' swansong and on that note is altogether stronger than the actual series finale itself. However, whilst the movie eventually gets it together and has a solid second half, the first half is all over the place, story and effects-wise, and takes probably too long to cut to the chase. Still, an interesting addition to the series. It is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States. A UK release has not yet been confirmed (although a region-free UK import of the Blu-Ray is available). An edited version of the movie will air on SyFy in the United States and Sky One in the UK some time in 2010.
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on 9 May 2012
This Feature (I do not know what else to call it as it was originally released for DVD and only later shown on television) is an interesting supplement to the 2003-8 series Battlestar Galactica. However, this is not the best thing they have ever done, so 3 or 4 stars should be the obvious rating. I give it 4. I am surprised at the extremes of 5 star and 1 or 2 ratings by many other reviewers. Perhaps some people expected too much or expected something else.

Anyone not already familiar with the wonderful 2003-8 series Battlestar Galactica should not start here but with the Mini-Series, which comes before Season 1.

This one off Feature 'The Plan' after the Final Season. To avoid very slight anti-climax take a break between watching the Final Season and watching this, but do watch it.

Particularly Good Things in this are:

-Canadian actress Tricia Helfer's performance as various versions of the tall, dyed blonde Cylon No 6. Having been a model before she was an actress and (I am told!) having appeared undressed in Playboy or some such magazine, she may never be taken as seriously as she deserves for her work as an actress throughout the modern Battlestar Galactica

- The scene at the end between Dean Stockwell and himself playng two different Cylon No 1s (Cavills) in which, despite being technically identical machines, they have through their experiences reached different views of whether their original Plan to destroy humanity was right.

(That is why this feature is called 'The Plan'; it is not as some reviewers here expected a detaied account of how the Cylons formed and executed their Plan. One of them eventually almost apologises to the humans and clumsily tries to make peace; the other is to the end unremittingly determined to exterminate the humans and any Cylons who stand in his way - except one gesture right at the end seems to show that even he may be capable of a slight softening)

- The special effects especially in the portrayal of the attack on the colonies.

- Bear McCreary's music, developed from what he wrote for the previous series

- Respect for the original series without monotonously copying it e.g. the way that the introduction "The Cylons were created by man..." that appeared at the beginning of every episode of the main series as text on the screen is here instead spoken one line each by the voices of various Cylon models

- New footage of other familar characters like Ellen Tighe, Chief Engineer Tyrol, Sharon/Boomer/ Cylon No 8 and greater attention to the black male Cylon Simon than he received previously

- Filming this in 2009 they managed to make the characters and backgrounds look so closely like how they were 4 or 5 years before that new and old footage fit seamlessly within the same scene

- Two sequences [within scenes 13 & 14 on the DVD] with Tricia Helfer in her black underwear...

- A good number of bonus features including deleted scenes without the intended special effects. It increased my respect for the actors to see how they had to play scenes as though e.g. there was a Cylon army marching up the road towards them with guns blazing, when at time of filming there was nothing there.

Relative Downsides are:

- This is what in television is called a "clip show" i.e. the plot involves looking back on events previously shown, thus saving the television company money by allowing them to reuse some footage from previously broadcast shows rather than shoot all new.

Some people dislike this. However, if the original footage was good, there is a new way to understand it, and cutting the cost of production is necessary for it to be economic to make the show at all, then we should not complain too much.

- While many major and minor characters from the original series do recur in The Plan, they could not fit in every character to whom you may like. Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck and James Callis as Gaius Baltar both sadly only appear in the reused clips from previous series. President Laura Roslin is not seen at all, nor New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless's Cylon character. There is little or nothing of Jamie Bamber as Captain Apollo or Tahmoh Peniket as Helo.

- While 'The Plan' explains some things from the previous series, in two hours it cannot explain everything. We still do not know any more about e.g. where or how the Cylons lived between the two Cylon/ Human wars, what happened on the 'Olympic Carrier' in Season 1; whether either the Cylon or the Human view of "one true God" or "the Gods" is right; the nature of the guiding figures that only Dr Baltar & Cylon 6 could see that looked like each other; nor Starbuck's destiny that in the Final Season will lead to her apparently surviving her own death.
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on 25 April 2011
I really don't know why this has had some negative reviews. It is a great movie and most definitely fills in some of the lacunae of the series. People have complained that it contains clips from the series, but these are both entirely appropriate to this movie and so well integrated that it's hard to see the joins - and there really isn't that much repeat material. For me a quote from Eddy Olmos (who directed the movie) in one of the special features says it all. He notes that once you watched The Plan you'll want to rewatch the series and will get new nuances from it that you didn't see before. he's so right. The "Plan" isn't any kind of earth shattering secret that we haven't already worked out - but that's not the point of the movie. Instead it explains why the Cylons changed in the way they did and adds some extra dimensions to them that weren't revealed in the series. I thoroughly recommend this DVD.
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on 24 January 2014
I am a massive fan of the modern vision of Battlestar Galactica but as a production The Plan is terribly mediocre. It has no rhythm and no great sense of emotional investment. It just feels a bit off. This is due to the fact that almost half of the movie consists of scenes and moments taken from the main series that are interspliced with the newly shot footage for this particular movie. You most certainly have to have had already seen the main series in its entirety, as watching this as a standalone piece simply wouldn't make any sense, thus this production is solely for die hard and experienced fans of Battlestar Galactica.

Granted it does add a certain amount of closure to these experienced viewers as the story frequently covers specific moments in the TV series and explains them from an entirely different perspective against that of the perspective seen from the main TV series, that different perspective being from the Cylons on-board the Galactica during the first few months after the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Hence a few questions asked by the viewer when watching through the main TV series are finally answered here in The Plan, and I daresay that that is all that this movie is here for; to answer those questions and to provide a slight amount of closure.

Conclusion. If you are passionate fan of the epic modern vision that is Battlestar Galactica then you might want to purchase this for reasons explained above and because it's simply nice to have just for that sake of completion. My personal fanboyism put-aside however; the production itself is just unfortunately rather mediocre, but it's worth a fiver if you're just a fan, otherwise don't bother with it.
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on 1 December 2009
I watched this expecting a cheap cash in and I was surprised at how good it actually was. As said in other reviews, if you've not seen the full series then leave this until you have as there are spoilers and you'd spend most of your time wondering what all the unhinged nonsense was talking about.

If you're a fan of the show, from the action scenes to the character and plot building episodes, then this will be welcomed to your collection.

Being a bit of a nerd I loved this, and the ending, I thought was fantastic.

In my opinion, if you're a true fan you'll love this and should definitely buy it.
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on 6 March 2014
Anyone expecting some deeper meaning to the Cylons plan is going to be deeply disappointed by this release. Appended to almost every episode of the 4 season series of BSG was the message that the Cylons [have] "a plan". If you were expecting this to be more than genocide of mankind you won't find it on this disk. The way the message about their plan kept being repeated I expected some kind of deeper explanation, some more profound insight than what had gone before but I was completely wrong. What you get here is the opening of the war against the humans and eventually the beginnings on a Cylon civil war as some of them then realise that man is not their enemy. The more this film explores events of the first two seasons of BSG the more you begin to think that beyond the first two seasons of BSG no one really knew how to continue the story or indeed how to end it. Cavil almost glibly explaining that the effective extinction of humankind was an "error" strikes me as a basic plot device to get the writers out of a situation where there wasn't much farther the story could go; humans or Cylons could not triumph but not both.

The film is well made and some of the new scenes showing the massing of the Cylon fleet and its attack on the colonies helps flesh things out a bit but ultimately you aren't left with any more explanation than when you started. Ultimately like the last season of BSG, it's finale, The Plan tends to reveal more plot holes than those it's meant to fill.
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on 9 November 2009
I think the other reviewers have hit the nail on the head with their comments, so I can only agree with what's already been said. The film is a bit of a mixed bag. If you're a hardcore Battlestar fan or a completist (like myself) I'd give it a 4 out of 5, simply for the fact that it got made and that it provides a fresh perspective on practically all of the events from the entire Battlestar timeline. If you're not in those categories, I'd say a 3 out of 5 is fair. As already highlighted, the story is not as tight, captivating or fast-flowing as it could be. The performances are great though, particularly Dean Stockwell. Some of the CGI is great to see, particularly the original attack on the colonies, which really shows the superior force of the Cylons at that moment for the first time. To my taste though, there was rather too much footage recycled from the main series (strangely some of it seems higher quality than that found in the Blu-ray boxset of the entire series, perhaps it was re-rendered or re-mastered for this to match into more recent filming?). Of course the repetition/recycling is somewhat necessary to the plot they've chosen for The Plan. I can't say more without spoilers, but I'd recommend a rental if you're sitting on the fence. It's definitely not an essential purchase. The Blu-ray itself has the same high quality audio and faithful (for which read sometimes sharp, sometimes deliberately noisy and/or over-saturated) visuals as the Blu-ray complete boxset. No particular surprises or changes there. There's also some interesting extras and a new quiz via BD-Live.
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on 1 December 2009
if your a battlestar fan this is great
the atmosphere and everything else is in keeping with the rest
it gives some insight into the struggle from the cylons point of view
my only real complaint is that it doesnt go far enough
it takes us up to the point of the truce
i could stand to watch the rest
i dont know what film the negative reviewers were watching but if they wanted more action whats the point
theres no point in showing all the battles again as weve seen them already.
it is a shame this is not to be included in any of the boxsets.
i cant wait till the caprica series next year
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