Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Plan Sucks

I finally watched Battlestar Galactica's "The Plan" a few nights ago, an I gotta tell ya', I really wanted to like it. I really really did. I'm a huge BSG fan(atic) and have loved studying the craft of storytelling at the virtual feet of Ronald D. Moore.

But this Plan sucked.

Oh where to begin? Ok, first, it had holes, and most unfortunately in this case, the holes had names. Where was the President for frak's sake? Not a single scene. Granted, this was about the cylons not the colonists but c'mon...a story where one of the chief antagonists (from the cylon perspective) never even makes an appearance? And where was the 3, Diana? A brief blip of her from a previous episode and that's it? Guys, if you couldn't get all the key players on the stage, why'd you put on the play?

Plus, the story was, at best, lackluster. A retrospective, maybe. Hardly up to the standards I've come to expect from Ron.

Now, here's the Plan I would have loved to have seen:

Start at the arrival of the final five, during the first cylon war. Show how they arrived, how the cylons received them, how they brokered the deal with the cylons to stop the war, how the cylons went on to become human(esque?). Show us the genesis of the dynamic between Cavil and his creators (especially Ellen), how the Plan first emerged in Cavil's mind. And for God's sake, show us Daniel!...and the dynamic between him and Cavil that led to Daniel's demise. Show us how the other cylon models were made to know nothing of the final 5, how Cavil got away with all that. Show us how, when and where Cavil placed the final 5 on Caprica (or other worlds) and why he chose the locations he did. Show us how Cavil convinced the rest to commit genocide.

And once the genocide was decided, do NOT tell us that the Plan was to wipe out the entire human race. It's MUCH more interesting to hear that the cylon's intention was to keep a portion of humanity alive, under control, as test subjects. The cylons couldn't procreate, remember? They needed humans to figure out how to fix that. So they wanted some humans to survive...it's just that they didn't expect Galactica to survive. So they were trying to destroy the Galactica, so they could collect the rest of the humans and use them as they pleased. (That would also explain, by the way, why there were survivors on Caprica that the cylons didn't seem overly concerned with wiping out.)

And while you're at it, please, oh please, tell us why the episode "33" happened the way it did. For frak's sake, why 33 minutes? What took 33 minutes? It's crazymaking.

I did appreciate some of the other story holes you filled in. Like with the Simons, and the Leobens. But the 5s (poor Aaron Doral) was underserved in a big way. I think it was a mistake to make him a "dunce." These were the most advanced machines ever conceived. Making one an idiot served only to make them all seem trite. You could've and should've crafted a story for the 5 that explained his actions from a place of brilliance rather than stupidity.

BSG, as a series, is brilliant. Honestly, the most brilliant television show I've ever seen. That's what makes The Plan so much more of a disappointment.

Rant complete. End of line.

1 comment:

Michelle Brown said...

I am really, REALLY glad you saw this before I did and felt the need to rant. I'd wondered if Universal might have been trying to milk SyFy's cash cow just a little too long, especially since it was released straight to DVD. Now I know. Pity, that. Especially since it was written by a seasoned BSG writer and Ron Moore did executive produce.

FWIW: You offer quite a full bodied rant. Please keep them coming.