Razor/Official Statements

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This is a subpage of the "Razor" article, listing official statements to the episode.

Official Statements

Actually, early references to talking Centurions were cut from early versions of the script, only to be resurrected by one of our VFX guys, Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz, who ended up giving them very similar dialogue to what I once had. We all mulled the issue and then concluded: What the [heck]; how can we revisit that era and not hear one of the signature lines? And yes, we’re a serious show, but sometimes it’s also not so terrible to acknowledge that this is a show, with a debt to another show, no matter how thoroughly we’ve tried to re-imagine it.[1]
There’s only so many characters and storylines that we could explore in a movie of even nearly two hours, and frankly this was Cain’s and Kendra’s story. As far as the character of the torturer, Lt. Thorne, goes, I think it was scary enough to introduce him and imagine what poor Gina Inviere had in store. [1]
  • Taylor discusses the narrative of the story:
The script itself is somewhat less flashbacky, telling the story in a more chronological, linear way. Ultimately, we found it more effective to ground the story by relating it through a more present-day frame in which our regular characters, including Lee and Kara, are more front-and-center. But whether intended in the same way or not, what I like about both "Unfinished Business" and "Razor" is the way they fracture time, and show how the past affects and informs the present. I suppose that’s probably one of the themes that interests me most as a writer.[1]
I think part of the point about Cain’s and Gina’s relationship is that the fact that they had a same-sex relationship was no big deal. I think we started from the idea of wanting to explore whether Cain’s anger and revulsion at Gina, so evident in her first appearance in Season Two’s “Pegasus,” had a personal component. And the idea that Cain had had an intimate relationship with Gina quickly came to mind. It made Gina’s betrayal that much more devastating for her.
That being said, we did not want to make much about the idea of Cain being “gay,” if indeed she is gay, or if indeed Colonial society makes much of the distinction between hetero- and homosexual preferences. I tend to think that in this respect, at least, they’re a bit more enlightened than we are. That being said, we honestly have not done much exploring of the sexual orientations of other characters so far in Season 4. If it were to serve a dramatic purpose—as it does in "Razor" —other than to underscore that homosexuality is as much a part of the Battlestar world as it is of ours, we may well. We still have a season of scripts to write, so who knows: Look out, “The L Word,” we’re coming for your Nielsen ratings.[1]
  • Taylor discusses how this story originated:
A number of ideas were tossed around, but they all centered on using the movie as an opportunity to revisit the series’ past. I believe an early notion of mine may even have touched on a Terminator-like time-travel scenario that put some of our characters back on Caprica before the attack, but with foreknowledge of what was about to happen. I remember pitching the idea that [William] Adama would have to convince Cain to trust him and then join forces to try to stop the attack.
All the writers were on a conference call with the show’s creators and executive producers, Ron Moore and David Eick, and I recall David in particular perking up at the mention of Cain and Pegasus. It quickly became clear that our story would center around Cain’s ship and its own, very different journey in the aftermath of the Cylon attacks, and with that idea firmly in place the time travel and other kooky stuff quickly fell by the wayside and we began constructing a much more realistic story where our characters’ choices in the face of calamity, rather than through time-travel-enabled hindsight, became the key. But then that’s what Battlestar has always been about: the pressure of making genuine choices in real, and often horrific situations.[1]
It was a massive betrayal. This woman is rarely vulnerable with anyone. She doesn’t allow herself that. For her to have taken that step [and become Gina’s lover] and been so ultimately betrayed, it did her head in, it did her heart in.
She became very misguided at that time. I feel the actions that she took in that misguided place still were along the lines of what she felt she needed to do. And there’s nothing that she did that some world leader has not done.
It’s very painful, what she did to Gina. There was such a deep sadness, but [for her] duty overrides that sadness, otherwise things don’t get done. There’s a lot of sorrow [in Cain]. It was not a punishment as much of a means to an end. [2]
  • Forbes on the questions raised in the series:
These heightened situations [in Battlestar Galactica bring up] these heightened questions we have to ask. As [Adama] says in a speech [earlier in the series], ‘Are we worthy of survival? Who are we? Who have we become? Have we just become animals and it’s survival at any cost?’ These are important questions to raise.
I love the fact that they ask these questions but never in a preachy manner. These are painful questions to ask. It’s so relevant it gives me goosebumps sometimes.
This and The Wire are just the two best written TV shows out there. You can’t just tune in and tune out. It’s not mindless entertainment. Occasionally with The Wire too I also feel like I need a notebook next to me [laughs]. They’re just fantastic stories with such complexity.
It’s a very exciting time to be part of television. I feel so fortunate that I’ve been involved in some pretty interesting, odd shows. There are many more cropping up out there.
[As for Battlestar Galactica] I’ve never guested on a show and walked away a bigger fan. I was so thrilled to see everyone again, I am so fond of this company. They’re lovely people and the crew is fantastic. And this is not just an actor blowing smoke [laughs].[2]
  • Gary Hutzel discusses the special effects of the tele-film:
Honestly, if we had gone with an outside house, we would have only been able to do a third of Razor at most. We were able to really accommodate this show and do over 184 effects. Over 120 of them are full CGI, 30 to 50 layer comps. It was very heavy, complex stuff. If we did not have an in-house op and went to do this show, it would have literally cut the show in half and then cut it down from there because of the expectations. In this case, we beefed up scenes and added shots and even a whole new sequence. We went from being down half the show to actually increasing a number of shots.[3]
In meeting together and talking about what we'd like to do for Razor, we all agreed that it's basically our chance to do a Galactica movie. We have a feature quality cast and writing standards, but no opportunity to do one for financial reasons. Consequently, we approached it as a completely separate project. As it turns out, it was very much like doing a new pilot. We had to create many, many new models and work out new details for the sequences. Specifically, we had the original series Centurions and original series ships that had to be created. Normally that type of development is only done on a pilot. But these were all new ideas, with new ships and an entire new fleet for the Pegasus, and a huge fleet of shipyards. It was a huge undertaking for us... like a feature.[3]
So we discussed what we wanted to do and we developed a huge sequence that was all done in previs, including the Raiders jumping in and then sending the virus to the docks. In the lore of the story from the miniseries, at that time, they took them by surprise by sending the virus to cut them off. So we had them coming in, the power going off, cruising over the docks and finally attacking. Eventually, the chain reaction on a ship next to Pegasus begins to detonate so we came up with this very elaborate sequence that we presented to [exec producer] Ron Moore. What ended up happening in this case was there wasn't enough live action to support what we'd done, but it still allowed us to run free and develop it from beginning to end. We trimmed it back until it felt like a good flow and it completely revitalized that sequence. It worked really well. It's a complex sequence with Raiders and lots and lots of pyro. Now because of our budget, we couldn't shoot pyro so we combined some original pyro elements from the miniseries with full CGI pyro which worked very, very well.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ryan, Maureen (16 November 2007). Answers to your 'Razor' questions and clues about 'Battlestar Galactica's' final season (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 16 November 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named watcher-forbes
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bennett, Tara DiLullo (26 November 2007). Raising the VFX Bar In-House on Battlestar Galactica: Razor (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 30 November 2007.
  4. Bennett, Tara DiLullo (26 November 2007). Raising the VFX Bar In-House on Battlestar Galactica: Razor (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 30 November 2007.