Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Edward James Olmos
Starring Edward James Olmos
Dean Stockwell
Michael Trucco
Grace Park
Michael Hogan
Aaron Douglas
Callum Keith Rennie
Kate Vernon
Rick Worthy
Lymari Nadal
Matthew Bennett
Rekha Sharma
Tricia Helfer
Theme music composer Bear McCreary
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) David Eick
Jane Espenson
Ronald D. Moore
Harvey Frand
Ron E. French
Editor(s) Andrew Seklir
Cinematography Stephen McNutt
Running time 112 min
Production company(s) David Eick Productions
Original channel Syfy
Original release
  • October 27, 2009 (2009-10-27)

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is a television film set in the reimagined version of the fictional Battlestar Galactica universe. It consists of newly filmed material as well as a compilation of footage from the 2004 TV series and miniseries.

The miniseries and first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica are retold with more emphasis on the Cylon perspective and their plan to wipe out the human race. The story follows two versions of Cylon known as Cavil, with one admitting they may have made a mistake, with the story being told in flashback. The "Final Five" Cylons are featured prominently.

The film premiered exclusively on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital download on October 27, 2009.[1] It premiered on January 10, 2010 on Syfy,[2] on April 2, 2010 on Sky Premiere in the United Kingdom, and on August 6, 2011 on Space in Canada.[3]

First Half[edit]

The opening scenes of The Plan occur just prior to the destruction of the Twelve Colonies in the televised miniseries, Battlestar Galactica. Humanoid Cylon John Cavil is shown leading the planning for the genocidal attack on the human race. The seven known Cylons are present in the control room of the main Cylon base. Two versions of Cavil are shown in a Resurrection Ship, with the "Final Five" Cylons in stasis in resurrection chambers. The two versions of Cavil briefly discuss their plans for "teaching a lesson" to the their creators, the Final Five. One version of Cavil announces his intention to witness the destruction of humanity on the ground. This version of Cavil travels to the planet Picon, where he encounters Ellen Tigh. Other characters from the series are also depicted: Gaius Baltar has a final meeting with Caprica Six; Samuel Anders is shown at his Pyramid team's training camp along with the team doctor, who is Number Four/Simon; and Tory Foster (Rekha Sharma) is shown driving to an airport.

The destruction of the Twelve Colonies is depicted in a series of new special effects shots, with the Cylon Hybrid narrating the destruction with oblique poetry. Almost all of the planets of the Twelve Colonies are depicted in short scenes. Ellen Tigh is severely wounded in the nuclear attack on Picon. Cavil helps her leave the planet aboard a Colonial Fleet rescue ship.

Cavil later boards the Galactica, calling himself "Brother Cavil," and takes over the Galactica's chapel. The creation of Galactica's "wall of remembrance" is depicted, where survivors posted pictures and mementos of their dead or missing loved ones. Using religious fliers which talk about a "plan", Cavil covertly gathers the seven known cylons. Cavil tells them that he intends to continue his plan to utterly destroy the human race. He also tells them that there is a sleeper agent aboard the Galactica, a Number Eight, whom he also plans to use.

Back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Sam Anders and his teammates have fled their training center for safer quarters. They spot Cylon Centurions collecting the parts of their fallen comrades. Later, Sam and his companions launch their first attack on the Cylons, losing several people in a successful attack. Sam and Jean Barolay later observe several Number Fives burying numerous dead human bodies, realize that Cylons have taken humanoid form, and resolve to attack them. They do so later, while a Cavil version supervises the Fives' work.

Back on the Galactica, the events of the first season episodes unfold from the Cylon's perspective. Brother Cavil triggers the original Cylon programming of the Number Eight known as Sharon "Boomer" Valerii. She plans a bombing of the ship's water storage facilities. As she tries to implement her plan, Boomer becomes increasingly distraught because she has fallen in love with Chief Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas).

She first attempts suicide, and later purposefully botches the assassination attempt.[4] Cavil, worried about Dr. Baltar's attempt to develop a Cylon detection machine, orders the Number Six known as Shelly Godfrey to frame Baltar for treason. Cally Henderson's assassination of Boomer is depicted as well. Cavil also orders the Number Four known as Simon to destroy the ship on which he lives with his family. Simon commits suicide rather than kill the family he has grown to love.

Meanwhile, back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, the other version of Cavil has ingratiated himself with Sam Anders. Cavil has ordered the Number Four to attempt to kill members of Sam's team, but none have died and Cavil criticizes the Four's actions.

Meanwhile, the Brother Cavil on the Galactica is bedeviled by the repeated appearance of a young boy named John (Alex Ferris) in his chapel. Their various interactions finally end when the fake priest offers the boy an apple and then stabs him to death.

Second half[edit]

Brother Cavil is brought to the brig protesting that he is not a Cylon until he sees Caprica Cavil already in the brig, at which point he stops pretending. Caprica Cavil announces that the Cylons have voted to give the humans "a reprieve" because they have decided that their attempts at genocide were an error.

Brother Cavil is in disbelief that the Cylons have decided to leave the humans alone, and continues to argue for their destruction. But Caprica Cavil asserts that Brother Cavil does not understand the nature of love. He says that the Final Five loved humanity, and that Brother Cavil is jealous of this love. Brother Cavil, he claims, does not understand that God and the Final Five will love humanity even more if the human race is extinguished.

Caprica Cavil quietly tells his other self that he knows how terrifying death can be, and offers his hand, which Brother Cavil takes. The two are ejected, and float out past the fleet.


Reviews of The Plan are scant and generally favorable.[5] Most fans and the few minor reviewers have noted that this followup movie does not do justice to the weight and mythos of the 2004 BSG reboot. However, as Peter Canavese of Groucho Reviews notes, "it's appropriate that the film should be about love" because that's why the Cylons call off the attack.

It is probably accurate when Edward James Olmos says: "When Battlestar fans see The Plan, they’re all going to have to go back and watch the entire series again."[5]


The Plan was announced August 7, 2008 by Syfy as a two-hour Battlestar Galactica "special event" directed and written by series veterans Edward James Olmos and Jane Espenson.[6] Production began September 8, 2008.[7]

Edward James Olmos was reportedly a fan of Dean Stockwell's 1948 movie The Boy With Green Hair in which Stockwell plays a war orphan, and makes reference to it with a replica of Stockwell's costume worn by a war orphan named James. Olmos allegedly wanted the boy to have green hair too, but the studio wouldn't allow it[8]


Bear McCreary returned to score The Plan. The score features a more primitive sound with ethnic instruments, similar to the score from the earlier seasons of the show, fitting with the time period the film is set in. It also features an original song "Apocalypse", which debuted at the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra's concerts at ComicCon 2009 – a melody designed as a counterpoint to a variation of the series' Gayatri mantra-Main Title (as performed during the end credits of The Plan).



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