01/04/2010. Contributed by Tomas L Martin
CD pub: La-La Land Records LLLCD 1125. 1 CD 19 tracks 68:39 minutes. Price: $12.99 (US), £ 18.49 (UK).
check out websites: www.lalalandrecords.com, www.scifi.com/battlestar and www.bearmccreary.com
In addition to the opening mini-series and four or five series (depending on how you count the strike interrupted final season) of the smash hit Science Fiction television show 'Battlestar Galactica', there were two feature-length film spin-offs. The first, 'Razor', was premiered between season 3 and 4, flashing back to events during season two. The second, 'The Plan', premiered after the end of the main series and features the plot of the entire sequence, told from the enemy Cylon point of view rather than that of the humans.
'Razor' was a fun couple of hours, fuelled by the extra development money provided by Universal as part of a stand-alone DVD release. It featured more action scenes than a typical episode, with a cataclysmic conflict at the end not previously shown in the series. The episode saw the return of popular baddie Admiral Cain of the 'Pegasus' and a new character, Kendra Shaw, acting as Lee Adama's XO as he took control of the 'Pegasus after Cain's death. The flashback to the second season period added depth and realism to the show before the fourth season began.
'The Plan' took on a broader remit, aiming to explain much of the behaviour and motivation of the Cylons during their attack on the twelve colonies and their pursuit of the survivors. In particular, we see more of the Cylon characters who weren't 'undercover' as humans during the series, such as Brother Cavil, Leoben and Doral. Antagonist leader Cavil's role as the Cylon least sympathetic to peace with the humans is expanded dramatically and this reflects well on the depth of the show as a whole looking back.
Of course, new 'Battlestar Galactica' material wouldn't be complete without a shiny new soundtrack CD by series supremo Bear McCreary, who has done an impeccable job creating an audio mood for the show, as well as recent forays into 'Sarah Connor: The Terminator Chronicles' and the BSG spin-off 'Caprica'.
The CD mixes the order of tracks from both 'The Plan' and 'Razor' to make for a better listening experience. It begins and ends with the great theme tune to 'The Plan', a track called 'Apocalypse' with heavy, oppressive fuzzy guitar riffs and an extended version of the vocals from the main series opening theme. These are sung in a lilting style reminiscent of middle-eastern singing, to match the flute winding its way across the guitars. There are four versions of this track on the CD, the first the standard theme, two variations in the middle of the soundtrack and a bonus live version of the theme at the end with a cracking guitar solo.
This is a heavier, more crescendo-filled album to some of the others, owing to the eerie nature of 'The Plan' and the combat filled action scenes of the end of 'Razor'. It lacks the Irish bagpipe heroic themes of much of the other disks and this helps contribute to a darker, raw power feel to the soundtrack. Aside from the 'Apocalypse'. stand out tracks 'Husker In Combat', 'Cavil Kills And Cavil Spares' and 'Mayhem On The Colonies' are memorable additions to the music libraries of McCreary fans.
Bear McCreary is rapidly establishing himself as one of the finest new soundtrack composers out there and this CD cements his legacy. The entire 'Battlestar' soundtrack collection - all 7 disks of it by now - stands as a supremely consistent backdrop to a stunning SF series. It'll be interesting to see how his more classical accompaniment to new series 'Caprica' progresses as the events of the prequel grow darker and closer to that of the main series. Definitely worth picking up this gem.
Tomas L. Martin
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