Battlestar GalacticaWhen she first boards the Battlestar Pegasus to begin her tour of duty, Lt. Kendra Shaw’s biggest worry is not incurring the legendary wrath of Admiral Cain. Her priorities change drastically when a massive Cylon attack leaves the ship heavily damaged: the armistice has been broken, and every Colonial world is being nuked into oblivion. With her computer network offline for a major refit, Pegasus is the only Colonial ship able to escape the carnage at the Scorpion shipyards. Cain orders Lt. Shaw to perform an uncalculated jump to random coordinates, because the incoming Cylon nukes mean that anywhere will soon be safer than Colonial space.

So far as they know, the crew of Pegasus are the last surviving members of the human race, aboard the sole surviving spacecraft. As they take stock and begin to repair the damage, Admiral Cain announces to her crew that they have a new mission: to take revenge on the Cylons. An early battle sees Pegasus critically outnumbered and outmaneuvered, and when her first officer refuses to act on her orders to keep up the hopeless fight, Cain shoots him through the head on the flight deck and orders the terrified Colonel Fisk to take his place or suffer the same fate. A Colonial networking expert with whom Cain had a relationship during the refit is revealed by Lt. Shaw to be a Cylon in human form; Cain orders her men to interrogate the woman, named Gina, with any means of coercion or degradation that they see fit.

When a small fleet of civilian ships is discovered, Cain orders her crew to board the ships and strip them of key supplies, equipment and capable personnel…and orders the rest left to die. Lt. Shaw and Colonel Fisk carry out those orders, and Cain shows her appreciation by promotion Shaw to captain. But Shaw can’t forget that her new rank pips have been paid for in the blood of others.

Ten months later, a meeting with another Colonial fleet led by Battlestar Galactica changes the crew of the Pegasus forever; in short order, Cain is killed (by her escaped former lover) and is replaced by Fisk (who is then murdered himself), and command then falls to Pegasus’ chief engineer, Garner, who perishes in a successful attempt to save the ship and her crew. Admiral Adama gives command of the troubled battlestar to his son, Lee “Apollo” Adama. When he reviews the records of the surviving senior officers of Pegasus, Apollo chooses Shaw to be his executive officer, hoping that the appointment will meet with the trust and approval of the rest of the ship’s crew. Their first major mission is a seemingly simple search-and-rescue assignment, to locate a mission raptor and its crew.

What they find instead, however, chills Admiral Adama: an outdated Cylon fleet, dating back to the first Cylon War. When Adama last encountered this kind of Cylon in the closing days of that war, he bore witness to grisly experiments that may have been the first steps in the creation of biological Cylons and their mysterious, ship-controlling Hybrids. Fearing that the missing raptor crew may be subjected to the same horrors by a group of outcast Cylons who think that first war still rages on, Adama transfers his flag to the Pegasus to personally oversee the risky rescue mission. Apollo assigns Shaw to come up with a daring rescue plan, and she’s surprised when her death-defying mission proposal is approved. But in her attempt to carry out her own orders, Shaw can’t decide if she should complete her mission or atone for her sins at last.

written by Michael Taylor
directed by Felix Alcala
music by Bear McCreary

Cast: Edward James Olmos (Commander Adama), Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), Katie Sackhoff (Lt. Starbuck), Jamie Bamber (Captain Apollo), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Grace Park (Lt. Boomer)

Guest Cast: Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh), Aaron Douglas (CPO Tyrol), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo), Michael Trucco (Anders), Alessandro Juliani (Lt. Gaeta), Kandyse McClure (Dualla), Michelle Forbes (Admiral Cain), Graham Beckel (Colonel Fisk), Stephanie Jacobsen (Capt. Kendra Shaw), Nico Cortez (young William “Husker” Adama), Matthew Bennett (Doral), Steve Bacic (Colonel Belzen), Brad Dryborough (Hoshi), Eileen Pedde (Sgt. Mathias), Fulvio Cecere (Lt. Alastair Thorne), Vincent Gale (Peter Laird), Campbell Lane (Hybrid), Kyra Scott (young Helena Cain), Chandra Berg (little Lucy Cain), Peter Flemming (Helena’s Father), Shaker Paleja (Medic Hudson), Andrew Dunbar (Marine DaSilva), Jacob Blair (Squad Leader Banzai), Peter Bryant (Frank Bruno), Chris Bradford (Ops Officer), Tyson Stanley (young Marine), Trevor Roberts (Scylla Protestor #1), Cameron MacLeod (Scylla Protestor #2), Ingrid Tesch (Mother), Joey Pierce (Marine Riggs), Matt Drake (Son #1), Dustin Eriksen (Son #2), Stefan Arngrim (Male Captive), John Hainsworth (Man in Cage #1), Victor Ayala (Man in Cage #2), Deni Dolory (Woman in Cage), Emily Hirst (Child in Cage), Ben Cotton (Terrified Man), Stefanie Von Pfetten (Showboat), Alyssa Minniss (Flower Girl)

Notes: The “ancient” Cylons, and their ships, are strikingly similar to the Cylons and Cylon Raiders from the original Battlestar Galactica, complete with primitive synthesized voices. (The original series Cylons and their ships had already been hinted at in the pilot miniseries’ museum displays, as well as a seldom-glimpsed painting in Adama’s office aboard Galactica.) With the phrase “all of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again” once again coming to the fore, an interesting interpretation could be that the Cylon-Human conflict is a generational cycle that is loosely repeating itself, possibly meaning that the original Battlestar Galactica and the new series may be different epochs on the same timeline. (It should be pointed out that the above is, however, pure speculation.) The “present day” portions of Razor take place soon after the second season episode The Captain’s Hand. More of young Adama’s exploits during the first Cylon War were shown in a series of “mini-episodes” of “Razor flashbacks” aired during commercial breaks in the Sci-Fi Channel series Flash Gordon.

LogBook entry by Earl Green