Battlestar Galactica's two-hour telepic Razor will hit the airwaves on November 24th. Have you been doing your homework? Here's a handy Razor guide so you can feel fully briefed and prepared as it unspools on your viewing device of choice.
Razor Flashbacks: The Sci Fi Channel has been airing original "flashbacks" in a desperate bid to get people to watch Flash Gordon. Er, we mean a thinly veiled marketing ploy to see what you'll get if you buy the DVD. Frak, actually we mean in an effort to bring the fans a little backstory about the First Cylon War. These short episodes can be seen on the Sci Fi website, and will also be part of the longer Razor which goes on sale December 4th. So what do these six clips tell us?
Day 4,571: Young rookie "Husker" Adama gets some action in his rack, and we find out that the familiar "What do you hear? Nothing but the rain" exchange came from his own commander. He fears that with rumors of a Cylon surrender on the horizon, he won't get to see any action in this war. Movie watching veterans know that's usually when the roof caves in.
The Hangar: Husker's wish comes true as he prepares to launch out on his first combat mission. However, he spies his girlfriend on the floor of the flight deck, having just returned from her own patrol with half of her face blown off. He growls out "Let's do this" while waiting in the launch tube.
Operation Raptor Talon: One of the best battle scenes ever on BSG, webisode or not. Husker and his wingman shoot down several old school (yep, they look just like the ones from the old TV show) Cylon Raiders before witnessing the destruction of the Battlestar Columbia. An angry Husker chases two Raiders into the atmosphere of a nearby planet, which results in a catastrophic collision and his Viper plummets to the surface.
Free Fall: In a bit of a ridiculous scene, Husker bails out and goes toe-to-toe with a Cylon (old school too!) in mid-air while they both free fall. Remember the scene in Moonraker where Roger Moore's James Bond and Jaws fight in mid-air? You get the picture. Adama and his toaster-buddy crash through the ceiling of a building on the planet's surface and Adama goes medieval on the Cylon's ass (well, his face really) with an iron rod and "kills" it. Then he realizes he's in some sort of a Saw-like torture chamber and grabs the Cylon's gun.
The Lab: With gruesome Cylon/Human body parts hanging all over the place like a perverted flesh fair, Adama tries to figure out what he's stumbled into. He sticks his arm into some murky water in what looks like a Cylon birthing chamber, and of course something grabs him from underneath. A creepy looking man floats to the surface and looks at Adama before vanishing. Was he really there? A disembodied voice tells Adama "All of this has happened before, and will happen again.
Survivors: Adama struggles to free a group of humans from Gemenon locked inside the Cylon laboratory, but only succeeds in opening the door a few inches. As the room starts to come apart around him, they urge him to save himself and to remember them. He flees the collapsing laboratory, leaving the humans trapped behind.
Escape: Stumbling out of what turns out to be a Cylon ship, Adama watches as it takes off into the atmosphere with the humans still aboard. He tries to call in support, only to hear that the war is over: the Cylons have surrendered. Cut to an older Commander Adama on the flight deck of the Galactica, two days before the decommissioning ceremony. He surveys the museum-ready ship and reflects, standing in front of an old-school Cylon encased in lucite, not knowing that he's about to revisit the past in a big way.
While these clips show us some cool scenes from the First Cylon War, they unfortunately show very little. Plus, isn't it a little coincidental that Adama just happens to be the one who discovered the first hybrid Cylon/Human and didn't see fit to mention it until now? But, there are a lot of coincidences in the BSG universe, so we'll take it in stride.
One thing to note: all of these flashbacks take place 41 years in the past, which means that Adama has to be about 60 years old or so by now, which sounds about right. Kudos to Nico Cortez, who plays a fairly convincing (and relatively smooth-cheeked) young Adama. He even gets the raspy voice right.