TV Squad attends the Battlestar Galactica fan blowout: Part two
by Kevin Kelly, posted Jun 8th 2007 10:21AM
Okay, we're back with the second half of Wednesday night's Battlestar extravaganza, and I think I've recovered most of my memories, got the feeling back in my writing hand, and decided I wasn't Cylon. For now.
After Lucy Lawless was done loosely emceeing the event, they opened up the floor to questions from the audience. Now, keep in mind that this event was really for the fans, so I expected a lot of "Um ... in Episode 9 from last season, Starbuck clearly had her pilot's wings on upside down ... does that have special meaning?" type questions, but thankfully all of the questions were stuff we thought we'd be asking ourselves, and only one person got up and asked for a job.
Q: Is there anything that the actors hope for their characters for next season?
- Mary: "Well, I hope to stay alive ..."
- Ron: "Oooh, well that's unfortunate." *laughter*
- Jamie: "I honestly don't care what happens to Lee. It's going to be such a muscular season, since we'll be wrapping it up, I know that no matter what happens, I'll be happy with it."
- Ron went into the story about how when he worked on Roswell, he had always wanted to base an entire episode around this song. He covered this pretty in-depth on his podcast, and basically gave us a very short version of that story. He didn't use the song in Roswell, but kept it in mind and they thought it would fit perfectly for when they had to reveal four of the final five Cylons. He also went on to tell us how Simon and Garfunkel's "America" almost became the opening theme for the show as a way of "connecting the two worlds together." Thank goodness for the small things.
- Jamie admitted that this was "Just one of those TV things" that can't really be explained. Before that, he joked that it was a lot of purging and "running around in black bin liners." (Garbage bags ... you know, so you'll sweat it out? Please don't take this as advice.)
- Ron: "Star Trek was very good to me ... but I wanted to be more dangerous with the characters. To be more naturalistic and real. The Sci Fi Channel has let me do that."
- David chimed in to say: "Yes, they really love rape and torture ... killing babies." *laughter*
- Ron: "I've gotten to do the show that I wanted to do."
- Ron: "That will definitely be back, and there will be some new twists to it." Wow, I wonder what those are ... hmm.
- Mary: "I hard a hard time embracing genocide ... I didn't want to do it."
- Ron: "We needed to write an ending to the show. The story that we began in the miniseries, and that we've been telling ... that story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We've written that ending. There won't be any inside wink to the audience or anything 'Oh, there might be something more here.' It's an ending."
- David: "Well, you see ... those Star Trek residuals ... those kick in after a certain amount of episodes have aired ... " *laughter*
- Ron: "Get this man out of here!" *laughter*
- Katee: "Starbuck is literally my brother. He's courageous, fearless, and does what needs to be done."
- Jamie: "For me, it's a son trying to find his place in the world, and it's about decisions. He hasn't had the need to make any decisions in his life yet, so now he's going around making as many as he can. I made a choice not to focus on the military side, but there's an interesting story about that. I recently had the incredible luck to fly with the Blue Angels. I wish I had the chance to do that before. The unspoken awe with which these pilots treat their planes and the military is just inspiring."
- Lucy: "Would you have played it differently?"
- Jamie: "Well, after I flew with them, I sort of smugly went to sleep ... and thought I'd done a pretty good job." *laughter*
- David: "That came from the prologue document that we had provided with the script. We wanted this to be a human drama first, and a science fiction show second."
- Ron: "We actually would send out three films to directors to let them know the look we were going for. Those were Alien, Blade Runner, and Black Hawk Down. So we probably literally owe Ridley Scott a check. We wanted the show to look real and visceral like those movies do."
- Ron: "A lot of that look is due to Michael Rymer, who directed the miniseries." *thunderous applause* "I remember there was one day I was working on Carnivale, which was a chore ... at best, and a big box full of VHS tapes arrived. You guys remember VHS, right? They were the first dailies for Battlestar Galactica. The first scene I saw was one of the first things I had written, you remember that scene of Starbuck jogging around the Galactica? I literally held my breath when I watched that, and it's just one of those moments where exactly what you've written is what you're seeing and all I could think was 'Holy shit!' Then I went back to work on Carnivale." *laughter*
- Ron: "Er ... sometimes writers make these things that we call 'mistakes'. He's probably on the brothel ship. And Boxey is a male prostitute." *laughter*
- David: "You know it reminds me of the first season of Happy Days ... what happened to Chuck?" *laughter*
- Mary: *mimes smoking a joint* "Ohhhh, I don't know." This cracks Edward James Olmos up.
- Mary: "Laura's purpose will be investigated very deeply and starkly."
- Lucy: "Yes, she won't be one of those 'loose ends.'"
- Ron: "Most of the main cast members are in 'Razor', which is the two hour episode that we'll be showing in November, and will then be made available on DVD almost immediately. It's a backwards story ... it takes place somewhere before the second season and after the Cylon attack. We meet a young officer and see how he deals with serving on the Pegasus, and we also see Lee's first day commanding the Pegasus. Most of the regular cast are in it.
- Mary: "I do a walk-on!"
- Ron: "Well, I read mostly histories and biographies ... in fact, that's usually what can be found around the writer's room. David, what do you have on your nightstand that isn't porn?"
- David: "Oh, that isn't porn? I think it's that Thomas Jefferson biography that you gave me."
- Mary: "Have you read it?"
- David: "I've gotten to page seven."
- Ron: "What ... are ... happy ... endings?" *laughter*
- David: "Well, in the original draft of the script where Lee has to shoot down the Olympic Carrier, you could actually see people's desperate faces in the windows, which made it even harder for him to deal with. We changed that ... which made it not really a happy ending, but a better one."
- Ron: "The studio actually talked to us about happy endings, like birthdays, celebrations ... they even wanted some maypole dancing. For us, it's more about the yearning, the lack of satisfaction that is so satisfying."
- Lucy: "But there will be balloons when they get to Earth." *laughter*
- Ron: "That's a fair question. It's a failure of the show that we haven't explored that more."
- Jamie: "Well, there's some in 'Razor'."
- Ron: "Wait ... that's right! There is a bit in 'Razor'." So, there's a bit of a spoiler? A hint?
- After a long silence, Jamie Bamber finally speaks: "Ah, fuck it ... Hamlet. I might as well go for broke!"
- More silence from the others.
- Jamie: "Well come on you lot! I've put my balls on the table!"
- Lucy: "And fine they are too!" *laughter*
- Katee: "Well, I'm looking forward to working with David on Bionic Woman."
- Eddie: "I am the Bionic Woman." *lots of laughter, what a cutup*
- Mary: "And I'll be a Latino in Space." *more laughter*
- Katee said, "Well, sometimes you just want Taco Bell, am I right? Let's call a spade a spade! I'm just saying!"
- Mary: "Maybe you want Taco Bell. I've never wanted Taco Bell!" Quiero that, chihuahua!
- Eddie: "Thank you." He was actually a lot more articulate than this, but he has been extremely vocal about thanking the fans for this show. It's obvious that he is very grateful to everyone that has watched and supported it.
- Mary: "You all are the most insightful, dedicated, and articulate fans. You've shown such a strong devotion to us, and I am really going to miss it a lot."
- Jamie: "There have been times that I've gone to the fansites with trepidation about what I might find there, but I've learned so much. Thank god for you guys, you help complete the creative process."
- Katee: "Thank you so much. I had no idea what I was getting into. There were times when I started, and I was getting hate mail (because it was a girl playing Starbuck) ... and then they shifted, and became supportive. This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity ... sorry David (I think she was referencing Bionic Woman, ouch). Thank you very much for accepting me without a package!" *laughter*
- David: (talking to someone offstage) "Are you teeing up the clip?
- Eddie: "You don't want to say thank you!?" *laughter*
- Ron: "There are a wide range of people who work on this show, and they don't get the same sort of recognition that we do. Some of them are here tonight ... some of the writers, the post-production team, these people work tirelessly to make this show what it is, and they deserve recognition. *sustained applause as these folks stand up*
- Ron: "As far as I'm concerned, my legacy will be the memories that I take away from working on this show. The dedication and the hard work that everyone has put into it make up my memories of working on the show. (Ron got choked up during this, and I think it's probably the first time he's had to face the end of the show, and saying goodbye. It was really touching.)
- David: "Well ... it sucks. It sucks that we're having to say goodbye to this thing ... we don't want to say goodbye. Although I do have to say that this next season is going to kick almighty ass." *cheering*
- Admiral Cain is most definitely back.
- So is her executive officer, Colonel Jack Fisk.
- A bloodied and bruised Six is hauled aboard and someone tells Cain "She's a spy. She's a Cylon, they look human now."
- There's a scene of Apollo in the Pegasus CIC saying "Load a nuclear ship to ship missile into launch tube three."
- The last line is Six saying to someone, "Sometimes ... we're almost human."
- Interesting stuff, other than that there were quick shots of regular cast members, explosions, fire, and all that jazz. I really wish I could have recorded that. I'm sure we'll see it pop up online or on SciFi.com soon.
So, that's about the size of things! After that some of us, and I'm not sure how I got so lucky, were invited to a reception with the cast and crew from the show. I spoke briefly with Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Mark Shepard (he played Romo, Baltar's lawyer), Bodie Olmos (Edward's son, and Hot Dog on the show), and Ronald D. Moore. Since they'd just been through a long Q&A process, I didn't want to bore them with more questions, so it was simple small talk.
Edward James Olmos and I talked about one of my favorite films that he's in (The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit), and Mary just talked about how grateful she's been to have been on this show and what a different experience science fiction has been for her. Jamie and I spoke about the episode '33', which he (and almost everyone else) considers to be one of the series strongest episodes. He also was a fan of the original series, which he saw as a very young boy. "Hey, there were spaceships, lasers, and robots ... what's not to love?"