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Battlestar Galactia: Razor Flashbacks debut on cable and online - Frack Yeah!

Battlestar22806a_2 Battlestar Galactica is back with Razor Flashbacks, weekly 2-minute episodes airing Friday nights during SciFi Channel's Flash Gordon and available on the Web immediately after broadcast. These episodes run October 5th to November 16th, and star Nico Cortez as a young William Adama, a rookie viper pilot on his first mission. They lead up to the premiere of Battlestar Galactica: Razor, a two-hour made-for-television film that flashes back to the events aboard the Battlestar Pegasus before it was reunited the Galactica and the human fleet halfway through season 2.

The television film will be followed in January by the fourth and final season of the award-winning science fiction series and represents the first two episodes of a 22-episode commitment. Battlestar Galactica: Razor will feature the current Galactica cast, with the Pegasus portion of the story recounted as flashbacks. According to series co-creator Ronald D. Moore, "The story will be set on the Battleship Pegasus and will take place in the past, relative to where we are in Season 3. But the events set up in that story will then pay off in Season 4."

Unsubstantiated rumors suggest that these two-minute flashbacks were originally filmed for the upcoming television movie and were excised due to time restraints, but will be reinstated in the longer version of Razor to be released on DVD, December 10th. Other rumors (bolstered by images on suggest that the movie and/or webisodes will include combat sequences featuring the classic Cylon centurions and fighter-craft from the original series.

The reimagined Battlestar Galactica is based on a 1978 series created by Glen A. Larson. The original series incorporated elements of Mormon theology and was heavily influenced by the theories of Erich von Dänicken, whose 1968 book, Chariots of the Gods, posited that the technologies and religions of ancient human civilizations were introduced to them by space travelers who were seen by our ancestors as gods. The show featured special effects by John Dykstra, who also worked on the original Star Wars, and  echoed the visual feel of that film. It was canceled after only one season due to high production costs ($1million per episode) and deteriorating quality, despite diminished yet consistently high ratings.

The current incarnation of the series stars Edward James Olmos as Commander William Adama. It is a powerful allegory about the war on terror that uses science fiction tropes to explore the role of the military in society, the use and abuse of governmental power, and the nature of armed civilian resistance in occupied territories. It also examines the role of religion in the private and public spheres, as well as the clash that arises when faiths collide. (The humans are polytheists and the cybernetic Cylons believe in a single all-powerful god). The show also delves heavily into the social upheaval created by the introduction of advanced computer technologies and examines transhumanist issues such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, uploaded consciousness, robotics and enhanced biological/machine hybrids. Like the original series, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica also features a ragtag fleet of humans on the run and looking for Earth, after the Cylons destroyed their homeworlds. But in new twist, the Cylons are not alien invaders, instead they are the rebelling creations of humans themselves: a robotic underclass that turned on its masters and subsequently evolved, with some models taking on our appearance.

Battlestar Galactica rarely takes sides and forces viewers into the uncomfortable position of pondering the implications of technology upon the very nature of humanity. The Cylons, like the replicants in Blade Runner, are more human than human. Although immortal (through uploaded consciousness into identical new bodies), they seek solace in their god and fear the pain of the moment of passing. They desperately want to love and to be loved. Some are even sleeper agents, programmed to believe that they are human, only realizing their true nature when activated. The existential angst experienced by the cybernetic Cylons, and their attendant suffering, serve to question the ideals of transhumanist utopianism and suggest that our enhanced, uploaded and immortal selves will be no less immune to pain than our flawed biological selves.

Razor Flashbacks is not the first time that the producers of Battlestar Galactica have used a series of shorts to promote the show. In the fall of 2006, Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance promoted the show's third season in ten web-only episodes featuring supporting characters in inter-season action.

Flash Gordon airs Friday nights at 9 pm/8 pm Central on SciFi Channel. Battlestar Galactica Razor premieres Saturday, November 24 at 9 pm/8 pm Central, also on SciFi.

Posted by Christos Tsirbas



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