[07/30/07 - 03:55 PM]
Live at the San Diego Comic-Con: "Battlestar Galactica"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I was not here for the first half of the panel due to various press events. The following then is pulled from the transcript made after the panel.]

2:19 p.m. - Hey it's the ladies of "Battlestar Galactica" - Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer - as well as executive producers David Eick and Ron Moore.

2:24 p.m. - Audience Q&A. Someone asks what's different about doing this season now that they know it's the last. "It has a kind of kinetic energy," Mary says. "The people on the set, the crew, our relationship with the writers... is really extraordinary this year."

2:26 p.m. - Ron on when the end date for the show was first discussed: "Somewhere in the middle of the second season, David and I really started to seriously think about how we're going to [wrap the show]... Ever since there's been a lot of conversations in the writers' room about where we're going, how we're going to get there and I personally sort of thought about what was the endgame of the series... I think that at this moment we have an idea of what the shape of the end of the series is and sort of an end point on where we want to go but there's still a lot of room for [the writers] to talk and discuss and say, 'Okay, what are the individual ending we're going to give each character... what happens to Galactica itself, what happens to Adama, what happens to all the characters?'" Mary jokes that hers will be that she's the final Cylon model. "You don't know how much easier that makes it," Ron adds.

2:29 p.m. - Ron on Starbuck's "death": "We were just trying to keep it a secret. You know, just keep a secret of what's going to happen... kill her in this episode then bring her back at the end of season three. We told Katee what the plan was and we said, you know, 'Keep it to yourself. Let's not tell anybody. Let's just let it play out and let people think what they will.' The next thing I know, I'm being called by the studio at 6:00 in the morning - 'You've got to do something, all hell is breaking loose in Vancouver!'... And David and I were like, 'We're sorry, we weren't trying to trick you, we were trying to keep a secret.'"

2:31 p.m. - Wait a second... is that Lucy Lawless! Indeed it is and she's brought some news - "I'm coming back." Lucy asks Ron for how many episodes: "Two or three. We haven't shot them yet, we're still working on the storyline but we're going to unbox, debox, break the box and spring D'Anna forth for a few episodes.

2:34 p.m. - Mary is asked about how she feels about the return of her character's cancer. "A little ill, a little frightened that I was going to be killed... still am," she says. "[I think it was] gratifying that they didn't just let it disappear because it [made for better] storytelling and I was so glad that Ron continued to commit to the journey and then figure out everything else from there." Ron adds, "It was something that... when Laura was cured of cancer in the second season, I sort of always felt in the back of my mind that eventually it's going to come back... At that point in the series, I didn't want to deal with it week to week, not have Laura Rosalin in the hospital continuously without moving forward and it felt right to sort of put it on the shelf for a while, get it out of the way and tell stories knowing eventually we'd come back."

2:38 p.m. - Someone asks Ron which characters' destiny will be the most surprising. "That's a good question... for a change. [Laughs.] No. No... I'd say probably Baltar and Six will be an interesting journey to see where they end up by the end of the series. They sort of had the most interesting beginning of any of the characters. [It's] been quite a twisted tale and I think it's going to go into an interesting place by the end of it. But actually you know the more we talk about all of the characters in the writers' room, I think they're all going to go through different journeys and all end up in places you probably didn't they think'd end up in. Lee Adama is taking an interesting journey this season I think. [We're] sending his character in a bizarre, strange direction [which] is really good. Our four Cylons have their own thing to pull off, to discover on their own. And the Cylons themselves, I think the Cylon nation is going through a really interesting transition into the fourth season and they too end in places that I don't think can be anticipated." David adds, "Ultimately, I think the question we want to answer for the fans, for ourselves at the end of this season is which of the crew of the Galactica is not a Cylon."

2:41 p.m. - Ron and David on what exactly "Razor" is: "[It's] essentially two extended episodes that we shot and [now we're] working on the cut and the visual effects and all that... It does not resolve the season cliffhanger. We felt that was night the right place to resolve the season cliffhanger. The season cliffhanger will be resolves in the first episode of season four in January '08. 'Razor' essentially is, takes place chronologically during the second... it jumps all over the place in time, it's kind of hard to talk about. Essentially you're going to see pieces of the first Cylon war, you will see the Pegasus again, you will see Pegasus under attack [from] the original Cylon attack on the colonies, you'll [parallel scenes to the episodes] 'Pegasus' and 'Resurrection Ship,' there's a new character named Kendra Shaw that's introduced there, you'll see Lee Adama's first mission as commander of Pegasus, and it essentially sets up certain things that will happen [in] the fourth season as well." Adding, "We're going to see for the first time in this vintage of the series the original Cylon centurions and the original Cylon raiders."

2:48 p.m. - Ron on the bittersweetness of any show ending: "As a writer, once the show ends, you never get the chance again to sit in a room with other writers and really get involved in these characters lives and think about them all the time. You have a relationship with these people that you never get to have again. You never get to sit around and talk about - Adama and who the man is... what demons drive Starbuck, who is [Six] really, what's she all about? - you never get to have those relationships and this really intimate one-to-one thing on the page and just moving letters around and deciding where you want them... I [even still] miss 'The Next Generation' characters."

2:52 p.m. - Katee jokes (or does she?) that she plans drive home on the film day of producton in her helmet flight suit. "But she will be stopped as the border," Mary quips. "That's alright though, I'll be with you - I'm the president."

2:55 p.m. - Someone complements Tricia's spread in Playboy. Interestingly enough - it's a woman.

2:57 p.m. - Katee on the differences between her and Starbuck: "I think that over the years of playing her I'm become more of the same person. Like Mary said, I've learned a lot from her and how I should speak up and say what's on my mind. That's not something that I ever did before. She's really tough. I'm not really that tough. I'm kind of a wimp so we're different in that aspect. The vulnerability of Starbuck is what's me." Mary (on the same question): "[I've learned that] everyone once in a while, you can be completely right and not give a damn what it means to others."

3:02 p.m. - Mary on why a "film actress" like her is doing television: "I've never seen a role like Laura Roslin on the big screen ever!"

3:03 p.m. - A fan wonders if we'll get some more Starbuck/Bill Adama scenes in season four. "You'll be very happy," Ron says. "The one thing you won't be saying after seeing the premiere to season four is 'I wish there were more Adama/Kara scenes.'"

3:04 p.m. - Ron on seeing name come up on the Emmy list for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series (which will see him going against three "Sopranos" episodes and a "Lost" episode): "One of these is not like the other."

3:05 p.m. - A fan asks if the show will tie up all its various plotlines and not "piss us off a lot of fans" like "Alias" did. "No," Ron deadpans.

3:06 p.m. - Someone asks who exactly wrote the "there are 12 Cylon" models note in the mini-series. "The intention of the note when we wrote it was that Baltar did it," Ron reveals. "And the scene that immediately follows or proceeds... had Baltar and Six walks through the corridor and the idea was that they were having a conversation in which [he] said, 'I'm not on anybody's side.' And you were supposed to see that he was actually trying to help by giving Adama the information. But the way it turned out... in the cut that aired [was more ambiguous]. It's been sort of a dangling plot thread on some level but in my mind it was something Baltar was trying to tell Adama in the only way he could and I don't know that we're ever going to actually pick that threat up again. But you never know. It's one of those things that sits on the writers' board where [we] go, 'Oh yeah, we never quite got to that.' But that was the intention."

3:08 p.m. - Ron on the significance of the title "Razor": "It comes from a line of dialogue in the show that refers to... it's kind of hard to explain, there's a complicated backstory. The 'razor' has sort of a specific backstory within the episode itself that explains where the term comes from. I can tell you that the idea of it actually comes from a line in the movie 'Patton.' There's a line in 'Patton' where George C. Scott shows up early to take command of the [front] in North Africa and he walks around the base he's taking over and the soldiers all [disheveled] and Patton at some point says he's going to turn these guys into razors [into killing machines]."

3:11 p.m. - More clipage! It's the "Razor" trailer.

3:15 p.m. - Whew! That's it for day three, only one more to go!

  [july 2007]  


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