Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Morning Fanboy: Young Bill Adama Mano a Vintage Toaster

Wow, that was cool. I’ll admit that after the first two BSG Razor flashbacks webisodes I thought we were in for a talkie, like the Resistance webisodes before season 3. Nothing wrong with that, I thought Resistance was a pioneering effort in supplementary web content, an effort acknowledging what I assumed were limitations of “really small screen” video, and capitalizing on them with a gritty low tech, limited perspective. My only misgiving re: webeps 1+2 of the Razor flashbacks was that the nature of the talkiness suggested the story was going for some sort of “Young Bill Adama in Love” type arc, cribbing notes from the romance subplots of Starship Troopers. Yes, we all know Admiral Adama’s a love machine, and was probably one back in the day too, at least I’m sure there are several volumes of text out there in fanfic land riffing off “Unfinished Business,” “A Day in the Life,” and every single look he’s shared with Rosalyn; but from what I hear there’s enough buzz around romance and sexual tension in Razor already.

Needless to say, webep 3 showed me they were going for something a bit more ambitious this time around: a whole battle set piece with not only the vintage Vipers BSG fans are used to, but vintage vipers facing off against vintage Cylon Raiders and Basestars. Frak yeah! I even dug the music during the battle sequence, which I think in some parts might have been riffing off the 70s score.

I’m sure at some point the continuity wonks will be trying to figure out what led the Cylons to switch from the “blue pulses of light” munitions used in the ep (and the 70s show) to the more conventional projectile weapons seen in the SciFi Channel show; and I think there was a slight flub on the sound design accompanying the destruction of the Battlestar Columbia (I think they were going for something like the radio traffic heard from that doomed B-17 that got cut in half in Memphis Bell amped up a 1000, but the performance struck me more like outtakes from crowd noise to Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Ceiling video). That said, it still was a kick-ass sequence, even if we’ve seen the decapitated Viper plummeting cliffhanger before (besides, I like the idea that Adama’s been through everything Starbuck’s been through, without pouting).

Now yeah, given the nature and velocity of the collision that put them in freefall, Adama and his Cylon adversary trading shots as they plummet, then literally coming to grips with each other before Adama pulls his ripcord is ridiculously implausible. Still, it did give some legs to the “legend” of Adama as larger than life warrior. Plus you can in this sequence a rebooting of the whole over the top skydiving combat trope that’s gone stale since somewhere between the opening of Moonraker (where it was probably best done) and the finale to Half Past Dead (please). Young Bill Adama’s calling out Bond and Bourne here, maybe Indy Jr. too if Shia wants to get out from behind all those transforming robots protecting him.

I’ll be standing in line Nov. 12 hoping to see how these clips lead in to the full on Razor. If I can’t get in, anyone out there with cable mind a greasy sandwich stopping by a couple of weeks later to hang out and completely ignore you while I stare at your tv?

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