[06/11/08 - 11:10 PM]
Live at the "Battlestar Galactica" Midseason Finale Premiere
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.

7:21 p.m.: Hey kids, we're live from the "Battlestar Galactica" Midseason Finale Premiere. Yes, that sentence technically makes sense. Anywho, tonight is actually part of "The Envelope Screening Series" (click here for more info), an initiative by The L.A. Times to spotlight certain shows to Emmy voters. In addition to "Revelations," a short panel will be held featuring Ron Moore and cast members Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer. Plus, we're going to be shown a clip package featuring said ladies' performances for the attending voters.

7:25 p.m.: Ron Moore takes the stage and makes us all swear we will keep what we see tonight to ourselves. We shall honor said request - it's only two days away! All I will say is nothing beats seeing "Galactica" on the big screen.

7:31 p.m.: And so it begins...

8:18 p.m.: ...and so it ends.

8:24 p.m.: After some technical difficulties, Moore returns with the rest of our panel - Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer - and moderator Geoff Boucher of The L.A. Times. Here are some highlights:

8:26 p.m.: Katee on Starbuck's journey: "This year [has] been just an emotional rollercoaster. I mean, I'm exhausted. [Laughs.] I'm really tired - just because she's second guessing not only everyone around her but herself. She has no idea who she is. She's asking what makes you who you are. If you believe you're the same person you've always been, aren't you? She's asking all those beautiful questions that Ron wants to ask about human nature."

8:29 p.m.: Ron on the show's realistic feel: "That was actually part of the concept, part of the pitch going in to Sci Fi network and to Universal, the studio, was to say let's take a different approach to science fiction on television. Let's go in and do something that I call naturalistic science fiction... let's get rid of some of the artifices, some of the trappings that usually typify science fiction. You know, let's get rid of the space hair, let's get rid of the spandex suits, let's make phones look like phones... let's have a drama that looks like a drama that just happens to take place in a science fiction universe. And it all kind of starts with the characters. It was important to me that we portray the characters as truthfully as we could. They've gone through an incredibly traumatic experience in the pilot with the apocalypse and the destruction of billions of peoples' lives. And we just felt we were duty bound to tell the story, try to tell it as truthfully as we could and to try and make them real human beings who are flawed in many ways, who sometimes make wrong decisions for the wrong reasons for the wrong circumstances. And yet, find a way to humanize them and care about them and make them people that you wanted to let in your home week after week."

8:31 p.m.: Katee on if she uses the word "frak" off the set: "I think I like the real word... nothing works like a good f-bomb. [Laughs.]"

8:35 p.m.: Mary on working with Eddie: "It's easy. He has such presence and there's chemistry and there's commitment and there's power, soul - what more could [you] want?"

8:37 p.m.: Emmy clip time - Roslin detailing her mother's death; Starbuck getting read the riot act by Adama; and Six plotting a potential double-cross with Leoben and company.

8:42 p.m.: Mary on how she felt after reading the final episode: "I had this incredible feeling of adrenaline. [Because] I was able to understand the entire saga and I got so very excited for all of you because I think it's going to be, it starts to resonate - I went back [in my mind] and I started seeing the episodes through the lens of knowing... so I was just charged from it."

8:46 p.m.: Time for audience Q&A. Someone asks if the "final five" Cylons have model numbers and if/how the 12 tie into the colonials' mythology (i.e. is someone Gemini, is someone Taurus, etc.). Ron answers that the final five do not have model numbers, adding that "the pairing of the 12 colonies and the 12 gods and the 12 tribes and the number 12 - there's a certain repetition of the number in the mythology of the show - there's not a direct correlation between what you're asking about."

8:47 p.m.: Ron on the writers' discussion about which "Earth" they'd eventually arrive at: "We discussed a couple of different possibilities of Earth and sort of what it represented. We Xed out a few immediately. I think we were generally, I think I generally had an idea early on what Earth was going to be when we got there. And we have more or less hued to that. There weren't too many alternate scenarios."

8:48 p.m.: Katee on her favorite aspect of Starbuck: "I like the drunk renegade because you really can do whatever you want and that's really fun. She definitely has a swagger, I kind of stand different when I play her. That's fun... I actually like the emotional side of her, when I really get challenged - which I have in this second half of this last season, I've been challenged emotionally. It's been difficult, it's been very difficult. I keep calling my loved ones and going, 'Why am I depressed? I'm not a depressed person.' And I realized it's because she's so depressing right now that she's actually [affecting me]."

8:50 p.m.: A fan asks if they can write in Roslin for this year's election. "Only if I can have Hillary as my VP," Mary quips.

8:51 p.m.: Ron says his podcasts will make their triumphant return soon, noting that he's recording two at the studio tomorrow. "There will be podcasts with scotch and smoke and all that." This prompts Katee to add, "I want to hang out at the podcasts!"

8:53 p.m.: Ron on the genesis of the final episode: "I had a general idea of where I thought the show was sort of vaguely was going to end up but I didn't think in concrete terms of really the end of the series until, I guess the first sort of random thoughts starting coming together midway through the first season as we got towards the end of the first year and I started thinking in broader terms about what was this journey?; what [is] 'all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again' - what does that mean?; who is Number Six in Baltar's head? [This makes Tricia laugh.] ... But it wasn't probably until last season where I started thinking, 'Okay, we're going to get to this point by the end of the show.'" As for writing the actual episode, Ron adds: "The first day of breaking the final episode was very frustrating. It wasn't working. I was caught up in the wrong plot in my head. I was getting annoyed with myself and my writers and life in general, my children, cats and anything else I could lay my hands to and beat... And I was in the shower where I had this epiphany... and I came back to the writers' room the next day and I wrote 'the characters stupid' up on the board and we all kind of took a step back and starting talking about what mattered to us about the show."

8:56 p.m.: Someone asks why the humans believe in many gods and the Cylons believe in one god. "That kind of grew out of the development process of revamping the original 'Galactica' and in the original 'Galactica' there were all these names from Greek and Roman [mythology]... so this nomenclature was sort of built into the structure of the old show. When I wrote the mini-series, the first draft didn't really have much religion in it, it really wasn't a strong theme. There was actually one line that Number Six said in a scene with Baltar when she says in the dialogue... 'God is love.' I thought it was a really interesting thing for a robot to say. And I didn't know what it meant and I didn't really have any context for it, it just sounded cool. [This again makes Tricia laugh.] And I got this note back actually from a network executive who's no longer there - Michael Jackson, no relation, gave me this note that said, 'That's a fascinating thing for Cylons, for robots to say. And you're already doing this thing that has allegories to terrorism and al-Qaeda and there's all these things - why don't you play that up?' And I thought, 'Oh, a network executive is telling me more religion. That's a note you don't get very often.'"

9:01 p.m.: A fan wonders if we'll ever be given a rationale as to why the Cylons are apparently Bob Dylan fans and why Baltar quotes Shakespeare in his sermons. "All will be revealed," Ron coyly responds.

9:03 p.m.: Ron confirms production is underway on "Caprica." Katee and Mary add that they've already stopped by the set where they are treated like "the parents" of the franchise.

9:05 p.m.: Mary gives a shout-out to those that have reached out to her dealing with breast cancer.

9:09 p.m.: And of course, the question plaguing the internet - what's up with all these rumors of doing three movies? Ron responds, "It is both [truth and rumor]... I don't know that there's going to be three of them. But the plans are sort of coming together, there is talk of doing another project a la 'Razor' - a sort of two-hour movie version of 'Battlestar' that aired on Sci Fi and quickly went to DVD - we're in the very early talking stages of that. But there is some truth to it and we'll just see if it pans out or not."

9:11 p.m.: That's a wrap!

  [june 2008]  


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