Friday, November 23, 2007

Sepinwall on TV: A doomed ship, and what caused its downfall

Today's column previews tomorrow night's premiere of "Battlestar Galactica: Razor."
The TV-movie "Battlestar Galactica: Razor" opens with a montage of events that took place aboard Pegasus, another military ship that turned up in the middle of "Galactica" season two and was destroyed at the start of season three. We see, in rapid succession, the murders of two commanding officers and the battlefield death of a third.

All are events we've seen before in the course of the series, but packed this close together, they suggest a cursed ship - that the crew of Pegasus and, especially, its leaders, were damned by actions they took long before we met them.

"Razor," which is bridging the long scheduling gap between seasons three and four (debuting sometime next year), shows exactly what the men and women of Pegasus did to deserve their fates. The problem is, we already know most of it, and so what's at times a gripping yarn and compelling morality tale eventually crumbles under the weight of the audience's knowledge.
To read the full thing, click here. Given the holiday weekend, I don't know that I'll have a chance to do a separate "Razor" blog post with spoiler commentary, so if you want to discuss it after it airs, feel free to comment here.


Jon88 said...

Completists may want to wait for the DVD, which is a longer version of the story.

AndyW said...

I think you're a little too tough on "Razor," although I didn't follow season 2 as closely as you did. The movie's tenor is so grim and the Pegasus so clearly doomed that the audience's foreknowledge isn't that big a deal. It's a morality play - and I think it's both a good introduction to what makes BSG great and grim and an excellent time-waster while we wait for season 4.

Also, you didn't mention the small reveal at the end of "Razor" which may cause fans to re-think what's going to happen in season 4. BSG fans should watch just for that.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Andy, I get what you're saying, and I did really enjoy large swaths of "Razor," particularly the action stuff. I just feel like we already saw this morality play during "Pegasus" and "Resurrection Ship" parts 1 & 2. There were a few details that made me view the story in a new light (particularly the stuff about Gina, which I'll go into more detail tomorrow night, either here or in a separate post), but I wish there had been a way to do a Pegasus story that wasn't 97% rehash of what had been explained before.

velvetcannibal said...

I loved it. I found the whole movie worked for me after the first 10 minutes or so, probably due to the Oedipal nature of storytelling. Knowing what was going to happen only made it more horrible. There is no hope. It's all been foretold. The Gina/Cain backstory added a whole new dimension and made me want to rewatch those episodes. Her speech to Shaw about personal sacrifice and showing the enemy how far you'd go was completely chilling.

I'm sold. Also, "HARBINGER OF DEATH."

Alan Sepinwall said...

I actually wound up doing a separate post about the film, so people can comment on it there.