What is the viewing order of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica?

  • I have watched a few random episodes of BSG here and there and really enjoyed it, but now I want to do it right. I want to go back to the start, and watch it all the way through.

    I understand there is the main series, but have also heard of a mini-series, and movies etc. It makes me quite confused, and I have no idea of where to start and in what order I should watch. Can someone please clear this up for me, and give me a list of the entire viewing order?

  • I've pulled this from a few forum posts and wikis

    • Mini-Series (2 parts)
      • ...
    • Season 1 (13 eps)
      • ...
    • Season 2 (20 eps)
      • ...
      • 2.17 the Captain's Hand
      • Razor (movie)
      • Razor Flashbacks (7 part web series)
      • 2.18 Downloaded
      • ...
    • The Resistance (10 part web series)
      • ...
    • Season 3 (20 eps)
      • ...
    • Season 4 (19 eps)
      • ...
      • 4.11 Sometimes a Great Nation
      • The Face of the Enemy (10 part web series)
      • 4.12 A Disquiet Follows My Soul
      • ...
      • 4.15 No Exit
      • The Plan (movie) *
      • 4.16 DeadLock
      • ...
      • 4.19 Daybreak (end of series)

    (*) The Plan is technically a flash back of season 1&2 from the cylon POV (that was released after the end of the series) but many have suggested that due to it also explaining details about the final 5 it's best to watch it before or after "4.15 No Exit" which first exposes the history of the 5. My personal view is it works best after.

    Alan! That's a great breakdown of where to start. Thanks.

    Great answer! And thanks for putting the web series' in there too, I would not have known about those.

    100% correct. Good job. (As for "The Plan", think of it as most definitely *after* the series in production and narrative order, but presented in flashback format. As opposed to being "part of" Seasons 1/2.)

    I would not watch Razor in that location. I would watch it in air order, so after Season 3. It's not crucial to the plot to do so (except for a little Kara Thrace foreshadowing), but that's how its intended. And it doesn't exactly strain the imagination to watch it as a flashback. Interesting idea to move The Plan, though; I quite like that.

    Just a warning, *The Plan* hints pretty blatantly whom the last of the original five Cylons is. At episode 15 of season 4 you will not know who this is. Whether or not that is a spoiler will be at your own discretion but taking this viewing order in advice I probably would not recommend *The Plan* until much later in season 4 or entirely after it.

    Actually, in 4.11 Sometimes a Great Notion it is revealed who the 5th original Cylon is, according to the Wikipedia entry for that character.

    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Re:The Plan, it works perfectly following S4E15 because that is the episode where we get a lot of discussion between Cavil and the resurrected Ellen, and lots of discussion and exposition about the past. E15 is very much focused on explaining the past, especially Cavi'sl and Ellen's and the Final Five's past, and it is great to follow that up with The Plan which focuses a lot on Cavil, his plans, and the Final Five. You can't watch The Plan before E15 as it would spoil too much, and watching it after E16 would break the intellectual and emotional flow of the narrative.

    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Re: Razor. It works WONDERFULLY just after S2E17. That's right after Lee gets command of the Pegasus, and the events in Razor on one of his first missions in charge of the Pegasus. Also, Razor focuses a lot on the crew and history of the Pegasus, and it is much better to watch that in S2 while the events of Pegasus are still fresh in the mind. Watching Razor between S3 and S4 feels incredibly disjointed, and the Starbuck parts at the end of Razor feel excessively "on the nose" coming right before S4. Have you actually tried doing a complete viewing with Razor in S2?

    @Jared Very wrong. The end of S4E11 reveals the identity of the last of the Final Five. Additionally, S4E15, which you would watch right before The Plan, is almost entirely devoted to backstory and exposition regarding the last of the Final Five. Nothing is spoiled by watching The Plan after S4E15. It works perfectly there.

    @AlanBarber Your list is great and I agree with every part, but I find the elipses kind of confusing. See my version here: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/196540/105977

    @Daniel Yes, I have, and I stand by my comment! The nostalgia factor can't be underestimated and the episode -- despite its place in the chronology -- was produced to be watched after S3. It's a set up for the themes of S4. Of course if you want to watch it in chronological show order then you can

    @LightnessRacesinOrbit I disagree that "it was produced to be watched after S3". BSG had a very rough outline of a story, but most of it was "made up as we go". Razor is effectively a giant retcon going into S4 and it definitely *feels* like one. There is no setup or transition following S3 that sets up an extended flashback to S2, nor is there any transition at the end of Razor that brings us back to S4. Watching it in production order is choppy and jarring, as I already said, and is a rather amateurish giant red flag saying "hey remember Starbuck has a destiny?"

    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Puting Razor in its chronological order feels much more believable and organic. *Fore*shadowing works best it it comes be*fore*, and it's nice to have a series of subtle foreshadowings that come before Starbuck's death and return. At most I could agree that it would be nice to splice in a "reminder" of the events of Razor into one of the pre-episode recaps of S4, but Razor itself should be watched in S2.

    @Daniel We'll have to agree to disagree. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the show in its original order!

    @LightnessRacesinOrbit I enjoyed it in its original production order. I enjoyed it *more* in chronological order. I just take issue with your assertion that it's "meant" to be watched in production order. I'd only buy that if they had planned from the beginning to produce Razor between S3 and S4, instead of the far more likely scenario where they said, "hm, we should go back and add some retroactive foreshadowing to strengthen the Starbuck's destiny plot that we just now fleshed out for S4."

    I would actually add on to that list: watch Caprica first (yes I know it was cancelled, but it gives a good perspective for the earlier days and how some of the BSG characters became who they were), then watch Blood and Chrome, then continue with the above-mentioned list.

    @Missouri Anyone who watches Caprica and/or Blood and Chrome first might not even make it to BSG because the quality in storytelling for both of those productions is so, so far below the main run of BSG. The BSG miniseries is already a 3-hour slog for many people (the miniseries is good, but not great, and a little bit slow), and now you want to put an entire season and another movie of mediocre-quality story before they get to the real meat? I highly disagree with this. Watch BSG first, and then if you need more, watch Caprica and/or Blood and Chrome - but I really don't recommend either.

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