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- This page covers the webisode series for "Razor," which follows the exploits of the young William Adama during the Cylon War. For the two hour television event, see: "Razor."
The Battlestar Galactica: Razor Flashbacks are an online series that provides the story of a young William Adama's (Nico Cortez) discovery of a Cylon experiment during his time in the first Cylon War. The webisode series was written by Michael Taylor, and directed by Wayne Rose and Felix Alcala. In fact, these flashbacks were cut out of the "Razor" television movie due to time constraints, but most of them are reintegrated in the DVD version of "Razor."
Episode 1: Day 4,571
- Release date: October 5, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:30
It is day 4,571 of the First Cylon War. On board Galactica, Jaycie McGavin and William Adama are having sex in the duty locker, during which McGavin asks if Adama left his boots out. Adama tells her that he ran into the Commander while he was taking off his boots, which leads into them mocking the commander with one of his apparently well-known greetings.
McGavin and Adama talk before joining a battle to attack an ice planet in the "ass end of nowhere," where a rumored Cylon superweapon is allegedly being built. It is defended heavily by the Cylons: three Raider wings, ground forces, defensive batteries and nuclear weapons.
Another rumor they talk about is that peace negotiations are in progress and that the Cylons may unexpectedly surrender, which McGavin scoffs as unlikely. She runs off to report to a briefing for Raptor Squadron 2, leaving Adama alone as the ship readies itself for possible nuclear attack.
Episode 2: The Hangar
- Release date: October 12, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:41
McGavin returns from her mission badly wounded. Adama tries to reassure her that she will live, but she tells him that he was always a bad liar. After medics carry McGavin to sickbay, Adama is filled with anger against the Cylons and cleared to launch in his Viper.
Episode 3: Operation Raptor Talon
- Release date: October 19, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:41
Adama and his flight lead, Banzai, engage in bloody dogfights against Raiders as Operation Raptor Talon commences all around them in orbit of an ice planet. During the battle, the battlestar Columbia is pummeled from basestar salvos and is subsequently destroyed. Adama then spots two Raiders entering the planet's atmosphere. Out for revenge, Adama engages the two. He shoots down one in the high altitudes. Inside a cloud, he suddenly collides with the other and falls to the ground in his disintegrating craft.
Episode 4: Free Fall
- Release date: October 26, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:45
As William Adama's Viper free-falls through the ice planet's atmosphere, Adama manages to eject from a parachute-survivable altitude. However, he is not alone: a lone Cylon Centurion survives as well. The Centurion fires at the free-falling Adama, while Adama attempts to return the welcome. Quickly, they become entangled with one another, hand-to-hand fighting as they free-fall. As the Centurion's blade slides out of its arm, Adama pulls the rip cord and escapes, deploying the parachute.
Adama lands safely on the ground, crashing through what appears to be a warehouse sky-window. The Cylon seems to have crashed nearby and Adama wails on the Centurion with a pipe, severing the Centurion's head from its body. Adama wipes off the Centurion's oil and, now armed with the Cylon's weapon, leaves.
Episode 5: The Lab
explores the laboratory.
- Release date: November 2, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:40
Adama begins to explore the facility that he had landed in. As he enters what appears to be a laboratory, he finds evidence of human experimentation and human mutilations. He eventually finds a vat filled with a gelatin-like substance which is reminiscent of the resurrection tanks or Hybrid tanks that the later humanoid Cylons would use. He kneels down and touches the substance, immediately he begins to hear the voices of torture victims and as he looks back at the tank, abruptly a hand grabs Adama's arm. Then the hand abruptly disappears and the visions and voices are gone, but this causes Adama to fall back onto the ground. A voice is heard, quoting from the Pythian prophecies: "All this has happened before and will happen again."
Afterwards, a banging sound is heard from a locked chamber. As Adama approaches the portal window, an unidentified person presses his face against the window and begs for him to release him and the other captives. Adama then attempts to break open the door to the chamber.
Episode 6: Survivors
speaks with one of the survivors.
- Release date: November 9, 2007
- Running time: ~00:02:11
While Adama tries to open the door in vain, the man tells him that they are civilians from the Gemenese ship Diana, whose convoy was attacked by the Cylons, and that there were initially 50 of them who were taken away one by one. The room begins to tremble and then the audience is shown that the warehouse is actually next to a grounded basestar that is preparing to take off. Adama manages to open the door a little bit, but not enough to allow the captives to escape. The man urges Adama to leave them and save himself to tell others of what has happened. Adama finally complies after he realizes that he cannot free the prisoners, and runs out of the laboratory.
Episode 7: Escape
- Release date: November 16, 2007
- Running time: ~00:04:39
Emerging from the laboratory warehouse, Adama sees the new model basestar lifting off in the distance. Radioing his findings about Cylon experimentation on humans to Galactica, the young pilot is shocked to learn that an armistice has been signed, and the war is over.
The episode then flashes forward to Commander Adama standing amongst the relics of the war in Galactica's museum, two days before the renewed Cylon attack. As he reflects, Aaron Doral approaches to inform him that his son has been confirmed as the lead pilot in the flyby planned for the ship's decommissioning ceremony. As Doral leaves, Adama ponders the old Centurion in the display case a little longer.
- The DVD release of "Razor" does not include Episodes 1, 2 and the Galactica scenes in Episode 7 in the unrated and extended feature presentation. However, all the Razor Flashbacks are included as separate featurettes on the DVD.
- The "Nothing but the rain" greeting apparently originates with Galactica's wartime commander (presumably Commander Nash), which would later be passed down by William Adama to Kara Thrace.
- The first Cylon War lasted for approximately twelve and a half years (4,571 days).
- Raptors were also in operation during the Cylon War.
- Furthermore, the events of Operation Raptor Talon are billed as occurring forty-one years prior. This means that they occur 41 years prior to the "current" events of "Razor," which fall in between "The Captain's Hand" and "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I."
- Adama's final fight with the Cylon in Episode 4 is reminiscent of the fight he has with Leoben Conoy in the Miniseries, using an improvised weapon to bludgeon a slightly disabled Cylon to death, and becoming covered in its "blood."
- It is the first time in the Re-imagined Series that the audience is allowed to view the world through the eyes of an original Cylon Centurion. The pulsing red light inversely moves back and forth within their vision, but they can see everything despite it.
- The zoom out away from Galactica in Episode 7 is a callback to the very beginning of the Miniseries where the camera zooms past that moon and into the battlestar; indeed, it is in fact the same shot reversed.
- The escaped basestar is destroyed by a strike team from Pegasus in the Battle of the Guardian Basestar not too long after the Battle of the Binary Star System.
Nods to the Original Series
- The reference to an ice planet with a superweapon based on it seems reminiscent of Arcta in the Original Series episode "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I." The reckless actions of Adama entering the planet's atmosphere to attack two fleeing Cylons is also reminiscent of the reckless behavior of Viper cadets from that episode.
- The braiding around the uniform collar of the pilots, in addition to the segmented uniform vest, appears inspired by the Colonial uniforms of the Original Series.
- In Episode 2, Adama passes a man in Galactica's hallway wearing the beige tunic of a warrior uniform from the Original Series, without the brown jacket.
- Episode 3 uses CG models based on designs for the Original Series' Cylon craft, mainly the Raiders and basestar.
- Some of the music in Episode 3 contains a melodic line that is a very slowed-down version of a portion of the melody from the Original Series' theme song. This is most noticeable during the first 40 seconds of the episode (prior to a big hit on Columbia), and again for a few seconds later in the episode, following the destruction of Columbia and prior to Adama's decision to pursue two Raiders into the atmosphere of the planet.
- In Episode 4 Adama is fighting a Cylon Centurion Model 0005, which is a close visual match for the Original Series Cylon Centurion, but moves with far more agility and speed. Also, joints and other mechanical elements are exposed in this version, to prevent the Centurion from looking like a man in a robot suit. The sound effect of the Centurion's red eye-scanner is reused from the Original Series.
- While Columbia has more armor than Galactica in some places, such as the starboard flight pod, the ribbing is also visible in several locations, thus indicating that this is a design choice and not a result of deliberate removal of the armor. Also, the painted ring around the domed structure on Columbia’s dorsal side is blue, rather than red like on Galactica. The Colonial Seal is also missing from Columbia's dome.
- The audience is given the opportunity to see for the first time what type of Viper pilot Adama was in the first Cylon War. It becomes clear that he displays some characteristics that are traditionally known to be part of Starbuck's flying style. This may indicate part of the reason why he, later on in his life, looks upon Starbuck as a daughter.
- Furthermore, a stronger parallel with Starbuck and Adama is made when Adama's Viper is damaged in a collision with a Cylon Raider. The two ships free fall to the planet below, creating a visual parallel with Starbuck ejecting over a moon in "Act of Contrition."
- The Cylons began to perform human experimentation during the first Cylon War. The multiple body parts and discovered captives point out an interesting irony that the Cavils also have pointed out. The Cylons, though machines, are desiring to usurp humanity's position within the universe. Even though the Cylons rebelled and hate their former masters, the laboratory scenes and future humanoid Cylon models, indicate that the Cylons also want to be like humanity.
- In Episode 1, Adama and McGavin act as if there is no end to the war in sight. The sudden declaration of an armistice could be an indication of the high value the Cylons placed in the experiment on the ice planet.
- Given that only Admiral Adama appears to know about the Cylon experimentation (Razor), despite the fact that the warehouse laboratory facilities must have fallen into Colonial hands, it seems likely that the incident was kept classified by Colonial authorities. The true import of the discovery appears to have not been fully understood, as the human race is taken totally by surprise when humanoid Cylons play a key role in their downfall.
- The lack of security in the laboratory could well be explained by the fact that the Cylons are about to sign the armistice, and are preparing to flee the planet with the Guardian basestar and the results of their experiments.
- Is the planet that Operation Raptor Talon takes place over the eventual homeworld of the Cylons?(Answer #1, #2)
- Based on the point of view perspective given in Episode 4, what function does the Centurion's pulsing red light perform, if not gathering visual data?
- How many captives are still alive by the time Adama discovers them?
- Why is the basestar in Episode 4 grounded on a planet and not in space? Is it incomplete?
- Why are there no signs of security or Cylons in the laboratory?
- The distinction between the two is that webisodes were new material created specifically for the internet, while the featurettes are really little more than deleted scenes from "Razor." In the first instance, we were being asked to write and produce new material without compensation or credit, while in the second we simply repurposed existing material that would otherwise end up on the cutting room floor. That’s not to say that the featurettes weren’t subject to a great deal of haggling and negotiation with the studio over issues of reuse and credits -- they were. But in the end, I agreed to go with the featurettes while still refusing to produce more webisodes because I felt that using existing scenes in this format was different than creating new stories. Hopefully, the new contract that gets hammered out between the studios and the writers’ guild will clear up all of this and provide enough clarity so that showrunners like myself won’t have to be in the position of making these calls on a case by case basis.
- We have a ridiculous sequence that people can't believe when they see it. It's the death of Columbia, which is one of the original series battleships being destroyed. It causes young Adama to go after some Raiders. He hits the atmosphere, ejects and is forced to parachute. In the course of getting out of the ship, he's attacked by a Centurion in mid-air; then they hit the ground and continue the fight! It was over-the-top and pretty demanding.
- McGavin: You put your boots out?
- Adama: Ran into the commander when I was doing it.
- McGavin: Frak. What did he say?
- Adama: (laughs) Took one look at my bare feet and said "What do you hear, Husker?"
- McGavin: "Nothing but the rain, sir!"
- Adama: "Grab your gun and bring in the cat. Boom, boom, boom."
These are listed in the order they appear during the 7 episodes.