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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 July 2008
Back in 2008, with the transmission of Battlestar Galactica's fourth season delayed and its full run interrupted by a nine-month-long break due to the Writer's Strike, the Sci-Fi Channel saw fit to deliver us an extra treat, namely a TV movie delving deeper into the show's backstory.

Razor takes place at the end of the second season, shortly after the events of the episode The Captain's Hand. Lee Adama is now commander of the battlestar Pegasus, but as an outsider he finds himself not entirely trusted by his new crew. Lee decides to appoint a former favourite of Admiral Cain's, Lt. Kendra Shaw, to the position of XO, in an attempt to 'build bridges' with his new subordinates. Interestingly, the plot doesn't dwell on this idea. We know the fate of the Pegasus and Lee's command of her from other episodes and seeing him do a 'winning the respect of the crew' plotline would have been redundant. Instead we see much of the story through Kendra's eyes. Lengthy flashbacks take us back to the day of the original Cylon attack on the Colonies and we see Kendra rising through the ranks and observing Cain's gradual moral erosion as the tensions of command take hold. A present day storyline, which is little more than a subplot, sees the Pegasus crew stumble across a bunch of obsolete Cylons from the First Cylon War and have to eliminate them.

Razor straddles two stools. On the one hand, it is a balls-to-the-wall action story with huge, epic CGI battle sequences and lots of emotional intensity which is designed to appeal to newcomers as well as established fans. On the other, it features a lot of fan-pleasing asides and references to the original series. This is a somewhat odd idea (going for newbies and hardcore fans at the same time) but just about works, with the new character of Kendra providing a worthwhile 'in' to this story and universe for new viewers but at the same time allowing established fans to see stuff they've wanted to see since the series began. Kudos for the writers for managing not to make a total hash of this.

The TV movie lives or dies on the performance of actress Stephanie Chaves-Jacobson as Kendra Shaw and thankfully she delivers a competent performance. She tended to mumble a fair bit, however, which resulted in much rewinding of scenes to make out what she was saying. The actress has a great rapport with Katee Sackhoff and Michelle Forbes, and in these scenes she is extremely good. The other actors are as trusty and reliable as ever, although some have very little screen-time (Athena and Tigh get a single scene each, President Roslin three short scenes and Dr. Baltar only briefly appears thanks to an extended scene only available on the DVD).

Overall, Razor (****) is an enjoyable slice of Battlestar Galactica. Some elements misfire a bit (the "By your command," moment, although amusing, totally breaks the fourth wall) and the resolution's dependence on yet more BSG mysticism is mildly exasperating, but overall the TV movie fulfils its remit of being both entertaining and restoring faith in the show after a patchy third year. I do think Razor works better if viewed chronologically (i.e., after The Captain's Hand in Season 2) than between Season 3 and 4 as originally aired, at which point it does feel a little more redundant.

The DVD edition is extended over the TV cut by some 15 minutes and features a lengthy flashback to the First Cylon War (complete with another huge battle sequence) as well as other new scenes, plus a writer and producer's commentary.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2008
Okay people, newsflash. This film is included in the Season 4 boxset. Which was slightly galling to discover, though Amazon's price was very reasonable, but I now have two copies of this, when I only need one...

First things first. Old school cylons. They're still CGI, sadly, but the appearance of the Centurions just reminds you how great that design is. And they say by your command, which is ace. There's a fab mid-air battle between a Centurion and a young Bill Adama, which also is ace.

Okay, so what about the rest of the film. The story uses an officer who served on the Pegasus as its POV character, allowing the writers to flashback to when Admiral Cain was still alive and therefore give the excellent Michelle Forbes more work. The film gives some of the back story to how the Pegasus escaped the fate of the rest of the Battlestars and how they came to cage a No. 6 cylon. While this fills in the gaps, I think that we've already had this ground covered just fine by Season Two of the show, so it doesn't work quite as well for me, as the other parts of the film.

The other parts of the film involve a Cylon god, a hybrid from the period when Cylons were evolving from just machines to the flesh jobs that characterise the reboot series. Some of this is set at the end of the first Cylon war, when Bill Adama was still young. As I mentioned earlier, this involves some lovely action set pieces. It made me look forward to Caprica. The rest is set while Lee Adama is in charge of the Pegasus and involves a mission to rescue people kidnapped by the Cylon god. It's bonkersly sci-fi, like the episode in season 3 where Baltar is living on a base ship, and very good for it. It also features a couple of hints of where the show is going in the fourth season.

Also included are Razor webisodes.

Overall though this is as usual pretty topnotch stuff. It feels odd to take a step back when the show is currently heading for new waters, but the little additions to the mythology and the old school cylons make up for it.
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on 31 January 2014
The Best Science Fiction series ever! That's what I think. When I first heard they were re-doing the show, I couldn't wait... a minute. This series ended years ago, this is Amazon tapping me on the shoulder and saying, Hey, you forgot to rate this one al those years ago.' Well, if you don't have it yet, get it, and the rest of them. You will not be disappointed by your purchase... see, 2007... that's what... 7 years ago!
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on 13 January 2018
A thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing film. However, it peeves me that I have paid to buy this when it's available at no cost in prime as part of series 4 of battlestar galactica. This is another example of Amazon's cynical drive to extract every last drop of profit from those of us who subscribe to prime.
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on 19 October 2015
Well i'm a major geeky girl and a massive BSG fan and this fits in with the TV series perfectly, due to the time setting and flash backs it should be watched after episode 2.17 to fit correctly, i would also recommend watching Caprica, then Blood and Chrome before series one too
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on 4 February 2013
Having seen much of the original(Lorne Greene) series in which the Pegasus featured under the Command of Admiral Kane, who incidently in the original series was male. I found this a bit confusing since it seemed that the current Admiral Kane was the daughter of the previous commander and she is as much a loose cannon as he was even to the point of commiting murder of civlians to get what she wanted. the continual leep backs in time didn't help matters either. That aside there was still plenty of action against the Cylons which is what the film is all about
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on 3 July 2016
Extra icing on the cake for what is a truly great sci go series I must
Admit being pleasantly surprised
About this whole battle star series
Definitely To be reccomended
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on 13 January 2014
This is an excelent set of high qualty Sci Fi DVD's following an old 1970's story but bringing it well up to date, if you like the original 1970-80 recordings you will love this remake
This is an excelent continuation that is well worth watching
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on 17 January 2018
Love the Battlestar Galactica series
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on 26 November 2017
Brilliant
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