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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Razor (Part 1)

Battlestar Galactica

"Razor" Part 1

0:00-55:04 on the extended version Blu-ray

TV episode

Written by Michael Taylor

Directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá

Original air date: November 24, 2007


Apollo is promoted to commander of the Pegasus and must work through the crew's prejudices and tackle a legacy of the Cylon past.


Read the summary of the full Razor telefilm at the Battlestar Wiki Site


Notes from the BSG chronology


The story indicates it has been about 10 months since the Cylon attack on the Colonies, but in the timeline it is more like 9 months given the previous timeline established in "Downloaded" and judging by Caprica-Valerii's pregnancy, assuming her pregnancy lasted about 9 months like a human's. Also, The Plan later establishes the beginning of "Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 1 (two episodes after this) as taking place 280 days after the fall of the Colonies, which is slightly over 9 months.


Didja Know?


Though the story is set near the end of the second season, Razor was originally broadcast as a 2-hour TV movie at the beginning of the fourth season; by telling a story set a bit in the past, it was able to set the stage for a revelation about Starbuck in the middle of Season Four. I have broken down the study on PopApostle into two ~1 hour episodes and placed them chronologically within Season Two.


This study is based on the unrated extended version of Razor that appears on the Season Four Blu-ray set. It runs an additional 14 minutes compared to the broadcast version. The extended version also contains scenes originally shown as online webisodes studied here on PopApostle as "The Lab", featuring a young Lt. William Adama making a shocking discovery on the final day of the first Cylon War, as well as a previously unseen subplot about Helena Cain and her sister as children at the end of the first Cylon War.


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 49,579, down five from the previous episode "The Captain's Hand", accounting for the deaths of Commander Garner, Buster, Shark, and the crew of Raptor 314 in that episode. However, the episode "Downloaded", which would take place after "Razor" Part 2, also shows the same population count, not accounting for several Pegasus deaths in the "Razor" two-parter (Major Shaw, a Raptor crew, and an SAR marine). This discrepancy is due to "Downloaded" being shot during Season Two, a couple of years before "Razor" and with no knowledge at the time that Razor (and the Pegasus' crew deaths within it) would be retroactively squeezed in between "The Captain's Hand" and "Downloaded". The viewer must simply pretend that the fleet was down to a population of 49,575 at the beginning of "Downloaded" (and the beginning of "Lay Down Your Burdens" Part 1 for that matter, which also has the same population as "Downloaded", no deaths having occurred in that episode).


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode




President Roslin

Admiral Adama

Major Kendra Shaw


Chief Petty Officer Laird (in flashbacks only)

Admiral Cain (in flashbacks only, deceased)

Commander Fisk (in flashbacks only, deceased)

Commander Garner (in flashbacks only, deceased)

Frank Bruno (in flashbacks only, presumed deceased)

Marta Shaw (mentioned only, deceased)

Colonel Jurgen Belzen (in flashbacks only, deceased)

Rika Belzen (mentioned only, presumed deceased)

two daughters of Jurgen and Rika Belzen (unnamed, mentioned only, presumed deceased)

Lucy Cain (in flashbacks only, deceased)

Gina Inviere (in flashbacks only)


Lt. Hoshi


Colonel Tigh


Head Six


The Hybrid (mentioned only)




Didja Notice?


Apollo is promoted to commander of the Pegasus in this episode. He assigns Starbuck as the CAG.


This episode is the first glimpse of Scorpion Fleet Shipyards, where Pegasus was docked just before the Cylon attack against the Twelve Colonies.

Scorpion Fleet Shipyards


In a flashback, as Colonel Jurgen Belzen talks with Admiral Cain about "hobbies", he has a copy of a magazine called Scorpia Paragliding. Notice that the magazine's title is printed in the font of the opening titles of the original Star Trek series.

Scorpia Paragliding


During her conversation with Colonel Belzen, Admiral Cain reveals she is from Tauron.


Colonel Belzen tries to talk Cain, who's walking on a treadmill, into taking some time off during the Pegasus refit, saying, "Once in a while, it's okay to get off the treadmill." Cain tells him she'll think about it. But notice that, as soon as Belzen leaves and the door closes behind him, she actually increases her pace on the treadmill.


At 10:39 on the Blu-ray, we see a civilian technician aboard Pegasus during its refit at the shipyards wearing Integral Systems Engineering coveralls. Gina Inviere is also seen to work for this company.


Shaw states that Gina's last name of Inviere is Gemonese for "resurrection". As we know, Gina is a Cylon and Cylons are able to resurrect after their deaths. In the real world, înviere is Romanian for resurrection.


Cain accuses Shaw of using her mother's connections to leap ahead to more prestigious postings in her military career, hence her assignment to Pegasus. Ironically, Commander Adama speculated to President Roslin that Cain herself used her own connections to get her promotion to admiral "Pegasus" Part 1.


Razor features "modern day" Cylon Raiders that have a "head" that looks like the current Cylon Centurion instead of the old-style head seen on the Raiders in previous episodes of this series. Beyond the "Razor" two-parter, the Raiders seen for the rest of Season Two and all of Season Three have the original head, the new head style not seen until the opening of Season Four. This presents a bit of an "anachronism" if you will within Razor. It might be argued that the baseship encountered here had a wing of prototype Raiders and after their success here it took time to produce more, finally appearing in general usage aboard all baseships by the time of Season Four.
Cylon Raider head, V1 Cylon Raider head, V2
Cylon Raider head, version 1 Cylon Raider head, version 2


    The rifles seen being loaded by Colonial Marines during a practice drill on Pegasus are Beretta CX4 Storms.

    At the end of the blindfolded rifle assembly drill, the young recruit called Riggs removes his blindfold from his head. But then he is alternately seen with the blindfold both off or around his neck instead throughout the scene.


This episode reveals that Admiral Cain was involved in a romantic relationship with Gina Inviere before discovering she was a Cylon. This brings new meaning to the torture to which Cain later subjects Gina and to Gina's murder of Cain in "Resurrection Ship" Part 2.


At 29:16 on the Blu-ray, an M1911A1 pistol is seen in Admiral Cain's gun case behind Colonel Fisk. A few seconds later, a Luger P08 pistol is seen in the case behind Colonel Belzen.


On Viper patrol, Starbuck suggests that Showboat sing a song and Showboat asks, "How about '99 Bottles of Ambrosia'?" This is, of course, in reference to the popular drinking song in the U.S. and Canada "99 Bottles of Beer" based on the British song "Ten Green Bottles".


When old-style Cylon Raiders suddenly appear on Pegasus' scopes during Starbuck and Showboat's patrol, Lt. Hoshi reports in CIC that the bogeys are "unknown configuration". But since they are identical, or nearly so, to the Cylon Raiders of the first Cylon War, shouldn't the configuration be known to a ship's computers?


A Cylon communications relay station is seen at 38:45 on the Blu-ray.

Cylon relay station 


A Colonial industrial vehicle of some kind is seen in the Pegasus hangar bay at 39:32 on the Blu-ray. Another view of this type of vehicle (plus a forklift type vehicle) is seen at 59:04 on the Blu-ray (in "Razor" Part 2).
Colonial hangar vehicle hangar vehicles


    When an old-style Cylon Centurion is found in the crashed Raider aboard the Pegasus, Colonel Tigh remarks it's been a long time since he's seen one of these outside a museum. Of course, in the expanded timeline of licensed stories, antebellum Centurions were seen (with a similar mission) by the fleet just months earlier in the Returners storyline of the comic books published by Dynamite Entertainment.

    Caprica-Valerii refers to the Centurions in the current story as Guardians, almost legendary among the Cylons for guarding the Hybrid, the prototype of the humanoid Cylons.


From 44:36-54:48 on the Blu-ray, the flashback story of a young Lt. William Adama discovering a Cylon laboratory full of captured humans is an abbreviated incorporation of the webisodes studied here on PopApostle as "The Lab".


Memorable Dialog

regret having you along.mp3

don't hold back just because I've got a pulse.mp3
your daddy just gave you a battlestar.mp3
Cain's legacy.mp3
kicking some Cylon ass.mp3
we're all just human.mp3

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