Battlestar Galactica viewing order
November 21, 2013 6:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm watching the 2003 Battlestar Galactica series for the first time, and loving it! I've come across this post, which purports to be the ultimate BSG viewing order guide. I've just finished season 2, episode 17, The Captain's Hand, and this guide now recommends I watch Razor, a TV movie that was the start of season 4, before watching the next episode of season 2. It also recommends that I mute two bits of dialog near the end of Razor to prevent any spoilers for season 3, which I'm fine with doing. BSG fans of Metafilter - what do you think? Is watching Razor now the best idea for continuity of the story? Will I spoil anything for myself by doing so?
posted by srrh to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've seen the whole series at least two times, and I personally see no reason not to watch it in broadcast order. Muting dialogue seems like a silly step to me; will you go back and re-watch those scenes? I think the "complaints" in the blog post you linked are overstated. It's fine just to watch straight through.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:21 AM on November 21, 2013 [6 favorites]

I'm with Admiral Haddock. Make your life easy. Just watch it in broadcast order and enjoy the hell out of it. I know I did. It's on Netflix Streaming, which makes watching it a snap.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 6:24 AM on November 21, 2013

Broadcast order.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:26 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I watched as aired when airing (meaning at least a week to months between episodes/specials) and I don't remember feeling like the pegasus was "ancient history" or anything like that. If anything I felt like it was nice to revisit that "era" of the show.

If you are watching now it will probably only be a few days between you seeing Pegasus on the show and you watching Razor so that feeling of it being ancient history is especially unfounded.

At this point I can't even remember what the spoiler was at the end of Razor but I do remember being like, "ooooooooooh shit." so yeah watch that AFTER season 3.
posted by magnetsphere at 6:27 AM on November 21, 2013

Yeah, BSG isn't one of those shows where the broadcast order screwed up the continuity (cf. Firefly) so that justification is entirely that guy's personal preference.
posted by griphus at 6:28 AM on November 21, 2013

Watch everything in Broadcast Order. The only thing you should take from the link is when to watch the webisodes.
Razor should be watched at the beginning of Season 4, and The Plan should be watched after you're all done with the whole series (regardless of how you feel about the ending).

And if you are watching on DVDs, make sure to watch the Extended versions of episodes instead of their broadcast versions.

If you are watching Razor on DVD, also watch the Razor "webisodes" before the movie, although some of them are repeated as flashbacks in the DVD cut of the film.

And then, despite it being kind of crappy, watch the whole run of Caprica.
In my opinion, it actually helps complement a certain aspect of The Plan (but going into further discussion would be a spoiler).

And then watch Blood and Chrome to make you feel better because it is the space combat prequel you really wanted.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:29 AM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Honestly, I can't remember Razor being all that important.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: So basically it is as simple as:

Pilot Miniseries Movie
Season 1
Season 2 (with Extended version of episode "Pegasus")
The Resistance Webisodes
Season 3 (with Extended version of "Unfinished Business")
Razor Webisodes
Season 4 up through "Sometimes a Great Notion" (which is the first episode on the "Season 4.5" discs if you have them in that format)
The Face Of the Enemy Webisodes
the rest of Season 4 (with Extended version of "A Disquiet Follows My Soul", and the combined version of the last 3 episodes as a single "movie")
The Plan
Blood and Chrome
posted by jozxyqk at 6:37 AM on November 21, 2013 [5 favorites]

(Sorry I am a little bit obsessive)

Also, no matter how tough it is, make your way through the entirety of the middle of Season 3. After the amazing arc in the beginning of Season 3, it gets into dull network-mandated "character pieces" for awhile, but then picks up again at the end.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:44 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, consider stopping at the end of Season 3. 'Cause Season 4 isn't that great and the finale is tirea marathon rider who takes a short cut at the last minute and thinks they're a winner.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're taking suggestions of that vein, I'd suggest you watch Season 4 up until you get to a point where you can say to yourself "that's a good -- if not entirely satisfying -- open ending to this series" and quit there and then. That is what I did and I hold none of the ire toward S4 that most of my friends that watched it all the way through do.
posted by griphus at 7:06 AM on November 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

I am definitely in the camp of "watch the ending and make your own decision".

It is certainly controversial in the fanbase, and I was warned in advance that I might be angry, but I actually liked it.
posted by jozxyqk at 7:27 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Razor was well-placed where it was broadcast. Finish out Season may as well learn what all the fuss was about. (Also, there's a point in the second half of S4 where a character thoughtfuly explains a bunch of stuff you may have been left wondering about.)
posted by psoas at 7:30 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sounds like the consensus is in! I'll watch in broadcast order, and insert the various webisodes where they go & spin-off series at the end. Thanks Mefi! :)
posted by srrh at 7:37 AM on November 21, 2013

I'd watch broadcast order and not Razor at all. Which is what I did because I found it so crappy I couldn't get through it.
posted by phearlez at 7:47 AM on November 21, 2013

Yeah. Razor was just not good. Bleh.

Caprica had several really cool ideas (not to mention hooray Eric Stoltz finally in a lead on a tv show for a whole season of something), but due to the heaviness of the religious aspect (while I realize it was probably important to how the Cylons sorta turn out in BSG), and whatser face, the lead actress, also put it in the bleh neighborhood.
posted by bitterkitten at 7:53 AM on November 21, 2013

Razor is kind of dumb. I would just skip it. If you still love the show at the end (sadly, doubtful), watch it then.

(Note: I am so much of a BSG fan that I carry an Adama trading card in my wallet. Still, it really sucked by the end.)
posted by latkes at 10:59 AM on November 21, 2013

As long as we're telling you what to do with your viewing habits, based on our personal tastes: I loved BSG, and I loved it until the end. Thought Razor was all right. Didn't watch it until I'd seen the entire series, but that wasn't a big deal.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:29 AM on November 21, 2013

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