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on August 2, 2010
I bought all of the Battlestar Galactica seasons separately as they first came out, including The Plan, and I highly recommend watching the entire television series through to the end. This was a fabulous show, and I think The Plan was a great addition.

While looking for the last piece of the series (see the end of the review), I came across some great deals (in terms of price), but was dismayed to see just how confusing things have become on Amazon. This review below is meant to help you wade through the mess in the marketplace, purchase the series, and enjoy it. I originally posted it for the combined Seasons 4.0 and 4.5 set, but someone kindly suggested I post it elsewhere as well. I hope you find it helpful.

DVD CONFUSION
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The show is incredible. However, the whole DVD thing has been a disaster. They released it in the worst way possible (see below), Amazon compounded the problem by lumping together reviews for DIFFERENT PRODUCTS, and the DVD manufacturers seem to be changing the contents of some products. I cannot imagine how someone who is not deeply familiar with it is supposed to purchase this wonderful show. Certainly, they would hesitate to give it as a gift! Let's hope this solves your problem.

In one sentence, I can say that here is what you want to get: Seasons 1, 2.0, 2.5, 3, 4.0, 4.5, and The Plan. I have links to them below. If you get these, then you will be sure to have it all.

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-Season One was released as (Battlestar Galactica - Season One) altogether with the pilot in one box.
-Season Two was released as Battlestar Galactica - Season 2.0 (Episodes 1-10) and Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.5 (Episodes 11-20) in two boxes. You can now purchase them together as Battlestar Galactica (2004): Seasons 2.0 & 2.5
-Season Three was released together in one box as Battlestar Galactica - Season Three.
-Season Four was released as Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.0 and Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 with the Razor episode. Those are now available together as Battlestar Galactica (2004): Season 4.0 & 4.5. Occasionally I come across things like "Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 - Limited Edition Gift Set (2009)." It seems like a lot of money for one part of the full season, but you get some dog tags with it, so if you are into collecting memorabilia, you might want to consider it.
-The Plan was released on its own as Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

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OPTIONS FOR PURCHASING THEM ALL TOGETHER: BAD TO GOOD
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-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (with COLLECTIBLE CYLON). Not recommended. I do not own this, but according to the reviews, it is packaged poorly WITHOUT AN EPISODE LIST. That seems like a horrible idea for four seasons of a tv show. Apparently, it contains the same DVDs as the ones sold separately (explained above).
-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (the one in the GRAY BOX). *Recommended*. I do not own this. Good reviews of it so far. Packaging problems were fixed. According to a comment from customer Leif Sheppard, it does include The Plan.
-Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series (with COLLECTIBLE CYLON) [BLU-RAY] or the gray box [BLU-RAY] set. *Recommended*. I do not own this. Seems to include some extras, but not significant. It also has an episode list, according to the reviews. It might be worth buying if you wanted to get everything together.

BOTTOM LINE:
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As far as I can tell from the reviews, I think there are two choices:
(1) Buy either Blu-Ray set or the Gray DVD set.
(2) Purchase everything separately (make sure to get all of the stuff mentioned above).

NOTE:
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-The "Face of the Enemy" webisodes (episodes shown only online) have not been made available for purchase in any of the sets as far as I can tell. What a shame!
-Also, if anyone sees any mistakes in this review, please tell me and I will edit it. Frustratingly, the manufacturers seem to be changing the contents of some sets, so it is possible that my information has become outdated.
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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
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Man, I wish I'd bought this disc a long time ago... I was a *huge* BSG fan, but I held back on picking up "The Plan" for over a year, based largely on misleading Amazon comments that made it seem like this was basically a cheesy clip reel of previously-seen footage that was lazily strung together to form a new narrative based on the Cylons' point of view.

I should have known better. This feature-length film is mostly comprised of new footage, with some scenes from the original series brilliantly woven in, and the BSG producers were still in their full powers when they made it. (Unlike the wobbly "Caprica" series, which also explored the Cylon AI issues, but ultimately fell apart under the weight of low ratings and an unsupportive network...)

Although the original series dealt with many of the spiritual issues confronting, dividing and uniting humans and Cylons, "The Plan" offers additional depth and a compelling new narrative arc. Indeed, its ending has a more reserved, less far-flung, far more satisfying feel than the big finale of the main BSG show. More subtle, easier to swallow given the gritty feel of what had gone before. If you are a Galactica fan on the fence about picking this one up, don't hesitate any longer: it's totally worth it. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)
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on December 16, 2009
Unfortunately for BSG fans, The Plan suffers from many of the same problems as the other BSG stand-alone movie, Razor; it's not very illuminating. The fact is both films focus on things we already knew about in the BSG-verse. In The Plan it's the holocaust of the Colonies, the fact that the Cavill's are evil, that he manipulated the Final Five, that Boomer was a sleeper agent, and that some of the skin-job Cylons had reservations about the holocaust. We learn very little new here, and the tale is told in more of a travelougue-style series of disconnected vignettes rather than a cohesive plot with a beginning, middle, and end.

Some of the revelations are far from jaw-dropping; Caprica Six secretly met Cavill after manipulating Baltar on Caprica; all of the "Final Five" had hints that "this has happened before"; the Doral cylons aren't very bright; and ultimately we just don't give a damn about Sam Anders and his pyramid team, the Caprica Bucs. The only truly new information we get is that one of the Simon's was in love with his human wife and adopted child, that love changes things for the cylons, and a small bit about Caprica Six and Boomer really trying for a truce with the human race. Unfortunately this sub-plot was almost entirely left out of The Plan, and can only be seen via the "Deleted Scenes" Bonus Features.

In the end none of this (not even the nude scenes, which don't feature any of the series stars naked, sorry) really adds much to the cannon of BSG, nor does it make up for the lack of an ending that Ron Moore gave us just six months ago in the series finale. Ultimately we are still left wanting more, more answers, more mind-frakking twists and turns like the series gave us. The Plan mostly fails to deliver on any of this. If we are ever to venture into BSG-land again, Ron Moore, please don't give us your tired left-overs, give us what we got hooked on, or just don't make the effort.
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on February 14, 2010
As I watched this "sequel" that was supposed to explain THE PLAN, I couldn't help but feel I was watching something of a "recap" reel. Though I know there was new footage, new revelations, such as they were, I also know they used a whole lot of previous or enhanced footage.

What this film did do was flesh out some areas of question, but not in as satisfying a way as one would have liked.

Spoiler Alert: Do not proceed if you don't want to know...

It seems to me that the PLAN kind of evolved as they went along, that they didn't really have as clear a Plan as was implied. I mean, yes, they wanted to exterminate humanity. Failing that, they sought them out to finish the job - but came to an epiphany through their "planted" agents, this being that humanity still had much to teach the Cylons. The evidence is in the repeated phrase, "This has happened before", or however it was specifically said. The point is that embedded deep within their pysche, if the Cylons can have that, as it appears they can, and during the series we learn how that came to be, they knew something about the cyclical nature of the "ride" they were on. History was repeating itself, and they knew it. How many cycles they had experienced was yet unknown, if that ever could be known. The challenge became - the Plan became - how to break the cycle. But we learned that during the series.

Well, now, if you're a die hard fan of the show, you will find it necessary to own this. I mean, I'm glad I bought it and watched it. It was like having one more visit with old friends, if you will, in a similar way we watched the "sequel" material of Babylon 5, because we wanted to return to that universe and visit again for a while. So in that sense, it was satisfying. I just wish there were more done to justify the release.

The extras were actually rather enjoyable, but not particularly informative.
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on October 29, 2009
Well, I watched "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" last night and I have to say it wasn't the best BSG I've ever seen but its not without its good points either. It seems to be stitched together bits of new material along with some older stuff (some we've seen before and some we haven't). Cavil is the main character of this piece and rather than actually focusing on the Cylon's plan for humanity's destruction it really seems to be reiterating the one fatal flaw within the plan: the concept of 'love'. Cavil is thwarted all along the way simply because he cannot comprehend the ideas of love, friendship and fidelity. He seems to be lacking these qualities that all the other 'skin jobs' seem to possess to some degree and his struggle to understand it is sometimes funny, sad and down right scary at times. If the script hadn't been so choppy (which is surprising since it is written by Jane Espenson who has done some otherwise excellent work on this show as well as "Buffy The Vampire Slayer") this could have been a fine addition to the BSG saga. I strongly suspect that the Scy Fy Channel or whoever didn't want to foot the bill for a feature film with an all new story and consequently forced Espenson and Edward James Olmos (the director) to put something together based largely on previously existing material. If that's the case then I still have to award kudos to those two for creating something at least half way interesting.

Bottom Line: If you are new to "Battlestar Galactica" DO NOT start here; instead get the Season One box set and begin the epic journey of this fabulous sci-fi series there. If you are already a die hard BSG fan I think you will find some very rewarding material here as long as you keep your expectations low.

P.S. The Blu Ray image looks wonderful and I had no complaints in that department. I haven't had time to check out the extras yet but there are the usual commentaries from director and script writer, deleted scenes and a few featurettes.
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on July 18, 2016
BSG is one of the more beautiful series ever written. It is always in retrospect that we see the error of our ways. I disagreed with the decision to end the series, though I understood it. But the series was concluded in such a rushed manner that a great injustice was done to the pace, space and focus of the show's brilliant writing. This standalone film is a good way to recapture the essence series for those who've been away from it for awhile.
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on November 16, 2009
The Plan goes back to the very beginning of the (mini) series, and explores the circumstances with the human-like Cylons preparing and executing the massive attack on the Twelve colonies, and then continuing with the "mopping up" afterwards in the Rag-tag Fleet and with the Survivors on Caprica. It is almost all done from the perspective of the 12 or so Cylons, as they carry out their duties and discuss their assignments. It carries the "feel" of about 2 hours of "Deleted Scenes", in mostly chronological order. Most of the scenes are very short, but reveal crucial details on who knew and did what and when, and the scenes are full of what would be "spoilers" if they were included in the original series release. One would need to be very well-studied as a BSG aficionado in the entire series to really catch all the subtle points.

Incidentally, there are also some "real" Deleted Scenes at the end, without the "VFX" Video (CGI) Effects, but which do seem to fill in some odd "holes" in the running dialog. The parallel story lines as presented do flip back and forth between settings, and make references to "known" timeline events on Galactica, and on post-apocalypse Caprica, and elsewhere. A Time Stamp (xx days after the attack on the colonies) frequently provides points of reference at the beginning of some scenes. And there are a number of previously unexplored relationships presented between and among the various Cylon models.

Notably absent is the President, D'Anna, and any reference to Razor or Pegasus. One of the surprises is that the Cylons, including the Final Five, always seem to recognize each other in some way in passing, even if they are not always sure why. One disappointment is no added clarifications of Starbuck's status.

Some have argued that The Plan is a simple money-grab, using stock footage (etc.) to trick BSG fans into thinking it is a new "episode" or something. It should rather be thought of and treated as crucial scenes and spoiler segments that were withheld, but are a significant part of the Canon. I would argue that, when taken in context with the rest of the material, it fills in some otherwise unexpected and unexplained gaps in the main BSG storyline. It starts to clarify how the Humans and Cylons started to adapt and come to terms with their respective circumstances. Interestingly it only seemed to cover about the first 2 or so "regular" seasons; one wonders if there is to be a second Plan - Part 2 - that covers Seasons 3 and 4...
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"Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" is sort of a recap and "behind the scenes" look at the Cylon thinking that went into the war against the humans. This straight to DVD movie uses a lot of footage from the series, but new scenes were added to expanded the plot with elements we learned later. A lot of new CG effects were also added, including showing more of the damage the first wave attacks caused to the colonies and the cities. There are a few scenes including nudity and sex, but it mostly is in good taste and used in the story telling.

The extras on the DVD include a few deleted scenes, a look at the special effects, additional insights into the Cylons, and a commentary option. Don't watch the extras without watching the movie first because there are a lot of spoilers.

Recommended for Battlestar Galactica fans, but only after watching all of the rest of the seasons.

CFH
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on October 29, 2009
I feel really bad giving it a three star (even though two stars did cross my mind). I have seen every second of BSG footage from every season, web episode, interviews, deleted scenes and such. This movie really did nothing to add to the series. I think the ending was very appropriate and this almost tarnishes it. Most of the actors did not come back, it was a lot of flashbacks. It did explain a thing or two, but nothing that was truly critical to the series. Why not answer the question of What Kara was rather than Why Sharon was all wet? What about head Baltar and Head Six? There were just so many left open questions I'd rather have answered if they were going to bother. It's a good watch, and it does make me want to re-watch all the series - only to remind myself why I liked it to begin with.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2011
I give a lot of credit to the BSG franchise.

The series is one of the biggest, best science fiction series ever to be produced.

The acting was outstanding. The direction was fantastic, and the story-line was (generally) engaging.

All that said, the Plan was more than a bit of a let-down.

If you are a hard-core BSG fan then you are going to be disappointed by the lack of consistency and lack of follow-through with the Plan. If you never watched the series, or, if you only watched pieces then you are going to be confused and disappointed.

There really wasn't a plan at all. The Plan did not explain the "why" of the fertility clinics on New Caprica.

The fan base realized that the series evolved as time went on, and the fan base had a significant impact on the plot direction and importance of various characters. In the pod casts, the production crew explained how some of the critical characters were actually designed originally to be side characters.

Bravo to the writers and producers for using the fan feedback.

But, sometimes less is more. When Lucas tried to explain the origins of the Force as sub-cellular additions, it ruined the concept for many faithful fans.

The same is true about the Cylons' plan. The Plan tried to explain something that should either have been revealed to the audience around the beginning of Season Two (if a plan really existed at that point), or it should have remained a mystery.

The reality is that there really was not a plan. The plot evolved based on an intricate dance between the producers, the writers, and the fan base. That is Good Thing(tm). Trying to do a redaction at the end of the series to make the inconsistences appear to be planned is a Bad Thing(tm).

The Plan tried to say that the entire Cylon "skin job" world was falling apart from the first episode based on their huge moral qualms. The ambiguity seems to have been inserted post facto.

The new footage with the old characters had them showing prophetic insights that simply were not there in the series.

Also Cylon John was everywhere in the Plan, and that just did not make any sense. In the series, Cylon Sharon had seemed genuinely confused about what she was doing leading to interesting "nature vs nuture" questions. In the Plan, she is getting direction from Cylon John. There was never any real confusion.

For those that watched the whole series, the Plan feels like the discussions that the fan base used to have about Star Trek, the original series, or the original 1980s vintage Star Wars movies. If the fanboys had been able to do a Star Trek movie, it would have felt like the Plan.

Is it worth watching?

I would have to say 50/50 if you are a hard-core fan, and absolutely not if you were either a casual viewer or non-viewer of the series.

In service,

Rich
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