Battlestar Galactica: The Plan tells story that couldn't have been portrayed in the first few seasons. For one thing, it stars Dean Stockwell, who only joined the series midway through the second season. It turns out his character, Cavil, had a major role to play in the Cylons' plan. So, in the two hour feature, Stockwell performs scenes set before and during the first two seasons of the show. (Spoilers ahead!)
The first major reveal is that Cavil was actually the Cylon who orchestrated the attack on the 12 Colonies. There have been multiple Cavils, but the one aboard the Galactica, referred to as Cavil 1, was the Cylon in charge.
"I didn't know that Cavil 1 was the one that killed them all off in the first place," Stockwell said in an exclusive phone interview last week. "Until The Plan comes along, nobody knows that. Cavil No. 1 decides in the conversation with another Cavil, Cavil 2, he says that he has a yen to experience a nuclear holocaust. Then he does it. This is before the first episode of Battlestar. Cavil 1, because he hates humanity, nukes it all. All 12 planets. Billions and billions and billions of people he kills. The only ones that survived were the ones out on the ship, Battlestar, and on the one planet, Caprica. So he spends the rest of the whole series trying to kill them."
A brand new subplot shows a relationship Cavil had with a little boy onboard the Galactica. New scenes show a complete arc, with a shocking ending that demonstrates Cavil's lack of compassion. "I knew it would be [shocking]," Stockwell said. "I felt it befit the character, if you want to call Cavil 1 a character, who's a machine. Just tipped it off in, I hate to say it, but a delightfully dramatic way."
The Plan also shows more of Cavil's relationships with the other Cylons. Since viewers didn't meet him for a year and a half, they finally get to see what Cavil was up to before the series introduced him. For example, before the attack, Cavil meets Ellen Tigh (Kate Vernon) in a bar. They share banter of a sexually suggestive nature. The scene is also presented as a DVD extra in an extended format emphasizing even more of the Cylons' carnal side.
"I think it's pretty interesting, because they're machines," Stockwell said. "But, the way the humans built them, they built them in their own image. In those scenes, you see where the sexuality can be involved."
It turns out, Cavil was kind of a horndog. Throughout The Plan, Cavil has love scenes with other Cylon characters, like Boomer (Grace Park) and Six (Tricia Helfer). Stockwell called those scenes "wonderful," but only in a professional sense.
"They're both lovely actresses and a pleasure to be with," Stockwell said. "We both read the same script, so we both know what's coming up, what's going on and how it should be played. That's part of our craft."
The scene that should have most BSG fans excited is the airlocking of both Cavils from the Galactica. The series never showed what Cavil 1 and Cavil 2 talked about as they waited for the airlock to open. In The Plan, Stockwell got to have the conversation with himself.
"I'm on the screen doubled, and that's a technical achievement," Stockwell said. "When you're doing it on the night, and you're standing there in the set and delivering lines, you're looking at a cross of white tape on a black thing. Then after you do the one Cavil's line, everything stops, they realign the camera and I do the other Cavil's lines. The achievement was to make sure that I kept these two guys, these two machines, really, kept them different, because Cavil 2 has some sympathy for humanity, and Cavil 1 has zero, none, zilch."
Stockwell feels he truly made a movie just for Battlestar Galactica fans. Directed by Edward James Olmos, The Plan incorporates footage from the series to spring off into tangents that fill in gaps for diehards.
"I think it was created really for the fans of the show," Stockwell said. "I don't think you could assume that Ron Moore or David Eick or Edward Olmos would imagine that people would see The Plan that had not ever seen Battlestar and know anything that's going on."
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.