Wednesday, February 28

Ragnar Wireless Episode 3 Launched

Ragnar Wireless Episode three is ready for download:

More details for episode four to come

So Say we all


Tuesday, February 27

Katee Sackhoff interview

Source: SiFi World

At the age of six, Katee started participating in dance classes as well as drama classes. She later went on to star in many of her high school's productions. Taking her acting a step further, Katee made her way to the small screen when she took on the role of a teenage mother in the Lifetime original movie Fifteen and Pregnant with Kirsten Dunst. She later followed up with the role of Mary in the USA original movie Hefner: Unauthorized. In 2000, Katee appeared as a full-fledged cast member of the Fox Family Channel series The Fearing Mind, in which she played Lenore, the daughter of horror author Bill Fearing. In 2001, Katee won the role of Jenna Danzig in the eighth movie of the Halloween series, Halloween: Resurrection. Katee also successfully landed the role of Nell Bickford on the CBS series The Education of Max Bickford, in which she played the daughter of the title character, played by Richard Dreyfuss. Winning her breaktrough role as the tough-talking Starbuck on the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries “Battlestar Galactica” (2003) wasn’t exactly easy at the start for Katee Sackhoff. Although the new incarnation of “Galactica” was met with a fair amount of skepticism when it debuted, new and old fans alike have come to embrace the show as one of the best sci-fi shows to grace the airwaves, thanks in no small part to Sackhoff, who managed to be both tough and vulnerable, bringing an extra dimension to a critical character in the thrilling space saga.

Gilles Nuytens: You have a contract for 5 years with Galactica I believe, but there are rumors about you not coming back in season 4. I assume that is false rumor?
Katee Sackhoff: I cannot answer that question due to confidentiality. All I can say is that when I read ep. 16. I was shocked to say the least.

Katee Sackhoff interviewGilles Nuytens: You had long hair during all your life but you had to cut it for the show, how did you react when you learned that you had to cut it and how was it to get it back, even if it was a wig, in the last episode of season 2?
Katee Sackhoff: I know this sounds so ridiculous... but I cried when they cut it. Grace and I were sharing a room at boot camp and I got up in the middle of the night to see if I could still put it back in these twisty bobby pin things I used to do. I barely could with so much hairspray I couldn't stand too close to flame! Lol It was great to have it back for a little while in season 2 and 3. All I will say is I will never cut it again for Battlestar...

Gilles Nuytens: Are you happy with the character developement of Starbuck so far?
Katee Sackhoff: I'm thrilled with my character. However I did feel under used in season 3. I kept getting phone calls from people asking if the producers were mad at me. Trust me at one point my mind went to that assumption.

Gilles Nuytens: Season 3 is very dark, at least from what we have seen so far, do you already know what direction the show is going to take next year?
Katee Sackhoff: I have not given Battlestar a thought for awhile. Focusing on feature work.

Gilles Nuytens: You said in another interview that you would love to play as yourself in "The Office", have you been approached about it since then?
Katee Sackhoff: No. Would still love to. I'm such a fan of the show.

Gilles Nuytens: Kara has been drawing mysterious symbols we can see in "The Eye Of Jupiter", some believe she is the choosen one or even one of the Final Five! What are your feelings about it?
Katee Sackhoff: I'd like to say I have some feelings about it. I love where the writers have taken Kara and I trust they have done what's right and most interesting for the show.

Gilles Nuytens: After 3 seasons, has the show changed your life in any way?
Katee Sackhoff: Not really. I had a guy break into my house and had to move. Does that count. That's a change for the bad though.

Gilles Nuytens: We have seen a very complicated relationship between the "anders-kara-lee-dualla" characters, is that a storyline you enjoyed doing because of all the various 'love triangles'?
Katee Sackhoff: I actually hate the triangle. I think it's ridiculous. I wish she would just be with one of them and call it a day. Haha. But then that wouldn't be dramatic now would it.

Katee Sackhoff interviewGilles Nuytens: These characters don't seem to know exactly what they want, they break up, they get back together, they fight and the next minute they kiss, is that going to be solved once for all anytime soon?
Katee Sackhoff: Again I say Ridiculous...

Gilles Nuytens: You watched a lot of Star Trek during your school years, are you still fan of the franchise?
Katee Sackhoff: I haven't watched Star trek in Years. Sorry!

Gilles Nuytens: Outside of Galactica and "White Noise 2", what have you worked on recently?
Katee Sackhoff: I am doing a movie called "Be careful what you wish for". For Lifetime channel. I have 2 or 3 big jobs I don't want to jinx and can't tell you about yet. Probably by Monday...

Gilles Nuytens: I think you are a fan of the Indiana Jones movies and you mentionned once that you would love to play in a new one, now that there are plans for a fourth movie, have you been approached at all?
Katee Sackhoff: NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Gilles Nuytens: Since that incident with Dirk Benedict, you are not really as we can say in good terms with him, have you solved the problem with him finally? If not, would you like to?
Katee Sackhoff: I have not one problem with Dirk Benedict.

Gilles Nuytens: What was the funniest situation you found yourself in during the shooting of Galactica?
Katee Sackhoff: Every sex scene is always without a doubt terribly funny.

Gilles Nuytens: With one word for each, how would you describe each of your co-stars from Galactica?
Katee Sackhoff:

Eddie- Genuine
Mary- Brilliant
Jamie- Interesting
Trisha- Irreplaceable
James- Loyal
Grace- Introspective
Michael H. - Free spirit
Aaron- Misunderstood
Tamoh- Charming
Nicki- Sweetest thing ever. (oops more than one word.)
A.J- Intelligent
Michael T- Under-rated
Callum- Most intrigueing man I've ever met. (There I go again sorry.)

Gilles Nuytens: If you were not an actress, what would you have liked to do?
Katee Sackhoff: Living in Mexico taking rich people scuba diving.

Monday, February 26

My Triumphs, My Mistakes

Source: TV Guide

Wow. This was another one of those episodes that tossed me around and made me question all of what I believed. It is amazing to me that this show can do that to me on a regular basis. Did Baltar, who I love to hate, actually have a point? It should be wrong that I feel some sympathy for that devil who pretty much sold out the human race, but when he actually changed his accent and went with that deep gravely voice from his original colony, I got chills. It really hit home for me since as a teen I spent a great deal of time trying to rid myself of a Maine accent before I went to college in the big city so that I would better fit in. Is it wrong to want options, to not have your destiny be predetermined by your birthplace? Tyrol wanting his son and other children from the poor colonies, to be more than just a deckhand or a tylium refiner seems like a perfectly natural course of events. I didn't blame Galen one bit for calling a strike after the aspiring architect Danny severely damaged his arm doing a job that he'd been drafted into.

But then Adama gave his impassioned speech and I thought that he had a good point too. "Understand me. The very survival of the ship may depend on someone getting an order that they don't want to do. And if they hesitate, if they feel the orders are sometimes optional, then this ship will perish and so will your son and the entire human race." I so thought that Cally was a goner for a minute there, same feeling I had last week, but Tyrol gave in. But I don't know that Cally will be so proud when she realizes that her husband mostly caved in order to save her life. She seems like the rabble-rouser in the family and definitely the one of them who was initially influenced by Baltar's words.

No wonder Roslin was so gung-ho to get the additional chapters from Gaius' book before they reached the masses. Again, I almost felt bad for Gaius (such a strange feeling) when Roslin began to have him stripped down to find the pages. Thanks to Six he handled it so well, "Perhaps you'll consider writing a blurb for the back cover." Again, chills. But his jail house journal caused quite a ruckus and was what brought the whole issues of classes to a boil. Zeno and his crew had been running on empty for a long time, working non-stop since the original Cylon attacks to keep the fleet going, but having someone like Baltar bring the class issue up, elevated the situation from bad to worse. "Do you honestly think that the fleet will ever be commanded by someone whose last name is not Adama?" Strong words from someone who went from farmer to president of the colonies. But it definitely seems like there is a class system among the humans, that seriously needs to be addressed before the situation gets worse. I felt for that little eleven-year-old kid who alternated between anger at the poor work conditions to almost eagerly asking Tyrol if he could be the one to turn the entire assembly line on. It is almost as if he was resigned to his fate, but yet proud of the fact that he knew how to work every machine on the fuel refinery ship.

It is a little disconcerting that the entire fleet barely has enough fuel to jump away, and mistakes, like a Viper crashing into Roslin's ship, could have been much more costly if there were an attack by the Cylons. So I get why Roslin was so adamant that people just keep on working. I thought her agreement with the reluctant union leader Tyrol was probably the best way to handle the situation all things considered, though it still seems like she got the better end of the deal, for now at least. I think it would be great to see her getting her hands dirty with the laundry. Then again, there is a party of me with a dirty mind that loved Adama's comment to her, "You're always welcome in one of my beds." Nice. I love that the writers of this show slide little things like that in there, alluding to sort of a sexual tension between the two of them, but not actually bringing it to fruition.

Another week with no cylons (aside from the Six in Baltar's head)… or at least none that we know of. The absence of them is keeping me so on edge for when they eventually return. God, I love this show.

On a side note, while I missed seeing Baltar (James Callis) and Six (Tricia Helfer) at the NY Comic Con this weekend, I did get to speak with Jamie Bamber on the phone. He's quite delightful and gave me a little preview of what to expect the rest of the season.

Class Action


On "Battlestar Galactica," Chief Tyrol leads the pit crew in a strike after visiting Baltar, and Seelix transfers to the pilot corps

I'm of two minds about this episode. The first mind is pleased that we're back to the kind of clear-eyed, moral dilemma-based storytelling that Galactica used to do so well. The other mind is concerned that the show has, for the time being, abandoned the two over-arching story arcs: finding Earth and confronting the Cylons.

I like Chief Tyrol, always have. He's a more solid character than Helo, which is why his ''I'm caught in the center of a class struggle'' quandary works better here than in last week's episode. And it also helps that Tyrol's dilemma has two equal but opposing sides, and either can be seen as right. Do the workers on the Tylium refining ship deserve to see their lives improved from the abject misery/borderline slavery existence they're enduring? Absolutely. Do the baseline needs of the fleet — the capacity to jump to safety in the event of a Cylon attack — outweigh the desire for comfort? Damned skippy. Which side would Tyrol fall on? Kind of a no-brainer, really. Not only was he a union organizer on New Caprica, but he's a preacher's kid. His heart bleeds for the people.

My only real quarrel with BSG's newfound class awareness is that it's so newfound. It feels like an aftermarket add-on, like fancy chrome-plated rims for your car, or extra memory for your computer. If classism was the epidemic that we'd been led to believe it was in the last couple of episodes, why hasn't it ever reared its face before? It feels like something the writers cooked up recently, as part of a lead-up to Baltar's trial, and attempted to retcon it into the ongoing story. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, I know, but I just wish it didn't look so much like a piece of the puzzle.

I did, however, love Baltar this episode. From the abject humiliation of him standing alone is his cell with his pants around his ankles to his moving (or just manipulative?) description of a prepubescent boy's quest to change his appearance and by doing do, his destiny, James Callis added some welcome new complexions to Gaius Baltar. And is that book he's writing really the work of a man who wants to bare his soul to the people, or of someone who wants to sow dissent? I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw the parallels between Baltar and a certain Marquis de Sade, who also smuggled pages of a forbidden book out of a cell. They both, it seems, are drawn to the mixture of pleasure and pain.

And who doesn't dig the moments of ceremonial cool, like when Seelix finally got her transfer out of the pit crew and into the pilot corps, and the deck gang all saluted her? That stuff is meant to feel good, and it does.

But... where are the Cylons? Where is, as Joss Whedon so aptly named it, the Big Bad? After all, a chase isn't a chase unless you see both the prey and the hunter. Yes, it's dramatic to watch people you're invested in barely keep self-destruction at bay, but it's more dramatic to play that against a relentless external threat. I miss that. I fear we've seen too much of the shark. I just hope we're not revving up the speedboat and preparing to jump.

The Trial of Baltar had better deliver. I'm just saying.

What did you think? Would Adama really have shot Cally? Why haven't we seen a ton of Lee or Kara? (I know we're done with their romantic roundelay — thank the gods — but even before that they were so central to the show, and now they feel like day-players, lucky to get in a scene.) And do you think, as Baltar does, that we'll ever see the Colonial fleet led by someone other than an Adama? Would you want it to be?

Ragnar Wireless Episode 3 Details

Hello All

Many thanks to all those who tuned in to episode 2 , coming your way on episode 3 , news including some news regarding uk viewers , your thoughts on the Ragnar Wireless question of the week, episode discussion from Phantom Dennis and Goobyrastor. Later on in the podcast more season 3 spoilers of the Maelstrom episode . Plus much much more. Touching down on Thursday Morning GMT time. Please do stop by Ragnar Anchorage to check out the new forum for the podcast.

So Say We all


Battlestar Galactica 3.17 - Dirty Hands - Recap

Source: Buddy tv

‘Dirty Hands’ is an interesting and unexpected episode of Battlestar Galactica. Those who have come to know the show as a parable of the current state of conflict in the world will be surprised to find Battlestar Galactica approaching a more timeless theme here: class tyranny. You know, like how the rich kids always get into Future Business Leaders of America? That stuff. But I digress. Its an adult issue too, and thanks to some fantastic writing and even more fantastic acting, Battlestar Galactica makes it an issue worth talking about.

The backdrop for this allegory on human potential is the fleets refinery ship, where overworked laborers are beginning to show the first signs of an organized revolt. Adama’s response is to arrest the foreman and send in Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas). Big mistake on Adama’s part given Tyrol’s history with the labor union on New Caprica, but not for us viewers! I didn’t know how I’d take another Tyrol episode after he and Callie practically headlined last weeks ‘A Day in the life’. In fact, this was a much needed display of Aaron Douglas’s reign over this character.
Most fans like Tyrol for his everyman fit in the universe. He reminds us of ourselves, the cogs. His occasional elevation into loftier devices (the Sharon/Boomer part one dramatics for instance) show us that there is more going through the Chief’s noodle than Viper schematics, but he usually comes off as more the guy that everybody likes and respects at work, but will never become a manager.
Underneath the sedition on the refinery is a homespun pamphlet written by Gaius Baltar himself. “My Triumps and my mistakes”, a brochure for revolt essentially, focusing on the aristocracy that exists with the ruling class. When people in the fleet start getting the feeling they are pigeonholed based on where they come from, Baltar’s propaganda begins to fuel some big questions over just what people can do with their destinies.
Tyrol finds himself wondering if this is the case and tries to reason his way through it, including a trip to the deposed president himself. Frustrated by the inadequacy of the response from Adama and Roslin, Tyrol reinstitutes the union and puts his crew on strike, a move that rapidly gets him arrested. Adama plays hardball like nobody else, visiting Tyrol and telling him that the act is mutiny and that mutineers will be shot, starting with his wife, Callie. Tyrol calls off the strike and is surprised to be told he is going to meet with president Roslin.
He discusses a few things with Roslin, and then she addresses him as the Leader of the Labor union. Tyrol is confused, he was just locked up for striking, now she wants him in the union? She explains that part of the problem is that the laborers have no voice, they needs someone to listen to them and convey their needs, that person will be Tyrol. It’s a good scene that says, basically, what seems like oppression is often just ignorance mixed with the need to act swiftly. Without a balance, a voice for the oppressed, there can be no fix.
Aaron Douglas did a tremendous job carrying this episode and adding a layer to the Chief that will be remembered. Maybe it’s as much a testimony to the entire cast as it is Douglas, but he was clearly able to carry this show and his portrayal of the Chief had some resonance to it.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTv Senior Writer

Sunday, February 25

BSG Producer's New Bionic Woman Finally Cast

Source: Buddy TV

Michelle Ryan, who is best known for her role as Zoe Slater on the popular British series EastEnders, will be portraying Jaime Sommers, aka the Bionic Woman, on the new series which begins production this March in Vancouver.

As we previously announced, Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick will be co-producing the series, which he has said will be "a complete reconceptualization." Since it's shooting in Vancouver, presumably it won't interfere with Eick's duties on Battlestar Galactica.

Lindsay Wagner, now mostly seen on contact lens and mattress commercials, starred in the original series in the late seventies as well as a few TV movies later. In the original, the character of Jaime Sommers was a former tennis pro who nearly died in a skydiving accident and was turned into the cyborg-like Bionic Woman, who gained super-hearing and strength, and fought crime for the government along with agent Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson.)

The original was a spinoff of The Six-Million-Dollar Man; in the 2007 series, the Bionic Woman will reportedly cost $50 million to create. That's inflation for you!

This time around, Sommers will be the victim of a car accident, Oscar Goldman has morphed into Jonas Bledsoe (no word yet on casting for this part) who, after spending that $50 million, puts Sommers to work tracking down other bionic people, including Sarah Corvus, more or less an evil version of Sommers. Casting has also not yet been announced for the parts of Jae Kim, Bledsoes's assistant, or the "head of intelligence" Ruth Treadwell.

Will this series really go ahead? Five years ago The Bionic Woman was announced as a USA Network series with Jennifer Aniston, but nothing ever happened. However, with the power of Battlestar Galactica's production success behind it, it certainly seems likely this time.

-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

NYCC - Day 2. SciFi presents Battlestar Galactica

Source: Comic book resource

Bless that Sci Fi channel for dedicating a special hour-long panel entirely to everyone’s favorite space drama, “Battlestar Galactica.” Not since the glory days of “Star Trek” has a show captured the nations’ collective imagination. The newly re-imagined version of this classic series has just about dominated television. This morning the Javits Center auditorium was jam-packed with fans, but ComicBookResources was right there at the New York Comic Con to bring you a piece of that certain Cylon magic.

Before the speakers came out, there was an announcement about a new partnership between the Sci Fi channel and Virgin comics. The new venture will be called, aptly enough, “Sci Fi Virgin Comics.” Five new comic book titles will launch later this year. Look for them in September. Sci Fi Virgin is looking to carve a brand new niche in the market.

But enough with this foreplay, it’s time for the main event!

The moderator for this panel was none-other than comic-obsessed director, Kevin Smith. There was thunderous applause as he took the stand. When the hall quieted down, Kevin broke the ice:

“So uh, I don’t have anything to do with the show officially… which might be the reason it’s so good.” Upon glancing throught the crowd, he noticed a fan in a Stormtrooper costume. “Um, aren’t you a ‘Star Wars’ guy? Wrong room dude!” That’s pretty much how the entire event went down. It made for a really fun hour that just flew by.

“We’re here to talk about a show that you guys like as much as me. First I would like to introduce the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Sci Fi Channel, Adam Stotsky.”

When Adam came on stage, there was good bit of clapping, but the roof was nearly blown off as the next guest were announced:

“Next we’ll bring out the 2 cats you’re here to see!” said Smith, “He’s the guy you love to hate and she’s the Cylon you want to frak, give it up for James Callis (President Gaius Baltar) and Tricia Helfer (Number Six).”

Once the crowd calmed down, Kevin kicked off the show.

“So as is wont to any comic panel when there’s some people you really want to ask questions, they make you watch a fucking clip first. So let’s do that.”

The screen filled with an exclusive clip that the guys from Sci Fi cobbled together. It chronicled the past seasons of BSG in a short 2-minute clip. When it ended, Kevin turned to the panel:

“Which leads me to the question that’s on everybody who’s into Battlestar Galactica’s mind… Adam, how does someone get into Marketing?” P> After cracking up the crowd, Smith turned his sights on the series’ smoldering villainess, Tricia Helfer.

“So how did you get involved with this?”

Helfer described her previous television acting, including CSI, and how excited she was to be a part of BSG. “After I read the script I was immediately drawn to it,” she said.

Kevin asked what Edward James Olmos is like in real life.

Tricia: “He’s very passionate.”

Kevin: “Which is another way of saying he’s an asshole?”

The crowd lost it once again and Kevin questioned James about his part on the show.

After describing how interested he is in the program, he laughed about his friends not being able to take him seriously:

“When I was telling people in London that I was going to play Gaius Baltar, they said ‘do they realize how grossly miscast you’ve been?’” The crowd cheered for Callis, showing their obvious approval of his casting.

Kevin then asked if he was worried about being typecast as a science fiction guy for the rest of his life.

Callis admitted he had reservations, at first. He had to consider the consequences of joining the BSG cast. But he quickly added: “Then I saw Tricia and I was convinced!”

Laughter and whistling explodes from the crowd.

“And I’m sure Tricia felt the same way!” Kevin quipped. Helfer was quick to make a humorous half-agreement.

Back to the business at hand, Smith asked how James felt knowing that there was a guy on the original series who had played the same part:

James explained that he wanted to stray as far from the first interpretation of Gaius as possible.

“I did not want to be that guy in the toga typing on a computer!”

In the original version, Callis felt that Baltar had very little reason to turn on humanity. Basically, he seems to sell out his entire race because the Cylons said: “Well, we’ll give you a bathrobe!” In the re-imagined series, Number Six plays both his nemesis and his foil. She gives Gaius a realistic reason to turn traitor.

Speaking of Number Six, Ms. Helfer explained how she approaches her complex role:

Apparently, Number Six started off much colder at first. Over time, Tricia has adapted her to become the Cylon that fans know and love. The fact that Number Six is a robot in human flesh means that she had to use some ingenuity to interpret her roll. Tricia explained that the way Six acts is important “because she’s the only one that you know is a Cylon.”

“It wasn’t necessarily going off the script,” she clarified, “it was more about ‘How does she move?’ and ‘How does she sit?’”

James described how tricky filming could get during the many scenes when he is the only one who can see Tricia’s character.

“It didn’t quite work,” Callis said, “because Tricia has to sort of fly around my head.”

“Which is really quite difficult!” Tricia added with a laugh.

“It’s very difficult because you’re not allowed to interact with the other actors,” he added.

Next, Kevin questioned Tricia about how she feels to have her character constantly killed and resurrected in different forms:

“I love the multiple clones, because it’s much more interesting,” Helfer said. Part of her challenge stems from these wild changes. “You don’t really know anything about the character, but you worry about being repetitive.” she said, “You need to make them similar but different.”

"Battlestar Galactica" gets so much praise in critics’ circles, but what is the atmosphere among the rest of the industry?

James declared, “I am stunned by how many people don’t watch our show!”

To further prove this, he told us about how a woman from Disney once argued with him that his show was canceled:

James: “No, that’s ‘Stargate’!”

Woman: “Same show!”

James: “No, it’s really not!”

Right on cue, the crowd unanimously agreed.

Smith finally turned to Adam, the much ignored marketing man, and interviewed him about the original time slot for the show.

“You picked Friday night, which was a brilliant move,” Kevin said, “because let’s face it, people that watch this show don’t get laid anyway.”

The crowd reluctantly agreed, but agree they did! Adam mentioned something about trying to tap into a different market, but it was pretty clear that Smith had hit the nail right on the head.

When questioned about the possibility of a new "BSG" movie, Adam immediately confirmed: “We are doing a Direct-to-DVD movie.” It will supposedly delve into some side stories that haven’t been given enough time during the central plot of the show.

Kevin then quickly turned back to James Callis: “Are they going to get to your trial this year?”

With a grin the answer came back plain and simple: “Yes.”

“’Serenity’ had it!” screamed a lone voice from the crowd. Then we all congratulated ourselves for watching “Firefly” for a few moments.

“What? Oh fine, 'Serenity' had it.” James rolled his eyes while we laughed.

“You never fuck with a Browncoat,” joked Smith.

Then Tricia dropped the bomb: “I can one-up you all… I used to date Captain Mal!”

Predictably, the crowd went absolutely insane at this comment. She’s married now, to a man who is not a space cowboy.

Kevin asked James, “What about you, you getting’ laid off of this?”

“Once or twice,” Callis responded.

“His lovely wife is in the audience,” Helfer pointed out. Some women in the crowd groaned. Finally, Smith announced it was time to let the crowd ask some questions:

Right off the bat, some guy starts spoiling plot details and asking about specific stuff that’s coming up later in the season. The crowd practically jumped down his throat. “Dude, we’re not all that geeky!” someone yelled. James Callis answered: “We’ve had to remain pretty tight lipped about this.” The fan sat down in quiet shame.

“I heard there’s possibly going to be a spin-off to the show.”

Adam confirmed that this was indeed true. Everyone is very excited about this new entry into the BSG universe.

“I have great faith in Gaius Baltar and can see him as a possible savior to all humanity. Do you?”

James joked: “Yeah, I think you need help.” But after this quick ribbing, he discussed that while "BSG" can seem pretty dark, fans shouldn’t forget that under the surface, it’s a show about hope.

“It would be wonderful if Gaius could redeem himself,” Callis added, “but I doubt it.”

Adam retorted with: “You’re speaking about the most dangerous night of television.” Then he assured the irate viewer that they do, in fact repeat the show, he must just be missing it. If he would refer to the schedule on the Sci Fi website, he would see the error of his ways.

Kevin: “Fuckin’ pwned, bitch!” After Smith blew the dust off that ancient Internet joke, the crowd practically tore itself in half with giggles.

In closing, Smith turned to the panel:

“ I just want to thank you guys for coming out. I love this fucking show.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

It's a Battlestar Galactica Scoopapalooza!

Source: TV Guide

By now, you've heard the fraktacular news that Sci Fi has ordered a fourth season of Battlestar Galactica. Well, what you may not have heard is that producers have already lined up a big-name guest star for said fourth season that's so freakin' fraktabulus that Toasters everywhere are already Strudeling on themselves in anticipation. The high-profile casting is one of several scoopy tidbits that executive producer David Eick spilled to me in this exclusive interview.

Ausiello: Clear something up for me: Will the fourth season consist of 13 or 22 episodes?
David Eick: At this point, I'm so confused about what I can say and what I can't say, I don't even know what to tell you. I would just ask [Sci Fi] that question, because it seems like there are so many moving parts to the answer to that question. [A Sci Fi rep says the exact number of episodes is still "under negotiation."]

Ausiello: Were you on pins and needles waiting for the pickup?
Eick: I was not on pins and needles. I don't know if I'd say it was a foregone conclusion, but I was not on pins and needles because the network has always used as much time as they had to weigh the decision very carefully, not just in terms of whether they wanted it, but in terms of how to make sure we maintain the quality both economically and from a marketing standpoint. And those are big questions. It's a basic cable show that costs a great deal of money to produce. So those aren't slam-dunk answers. I'm actually glad we took the time to figure it out, 'cause what you don't want is for someone to come tell you, "OK, you're renewed. But the bad news is, we don't have the money to make your show." Or, "We don't have the money to market your show." Or, "You have to make the show differently." And, fortunately, because they took that time, we're gonna continue making the show just as we have, and I believe the marketing support will also be as strong.

Ausiello: In light of the renewal, is it safe to assume that the BSG movie is a go?
Eick: Its green light was predicated on this fourth season order, so that means we're making it. They're calling it a "bonus episode." It'll come between the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4.

Ausiello: Which is the bigger episode, the one airing Mar. 4 or the season finale on Mar. 25?
Eick: I would say it's two sides of the same coin. What happens in the Mar. 4 episode will greatly influence and inform what happens in the cliff-hanger. The last four episodes all kind of tie together as a piece. But I would say that Episode 16 and Episode 19 are the two tentpoles, and are really the most shocking and revelatory.

Ausiello: And what about 17 and 18?
Eick: That's where we continue the story line [surrounding] Baltar's trial — establishing who is going to defend him and who is going to prosecute him, what the nature of the case will involve, how the judging works. We're trying to piece together some judiciary system amidst what are basically 12 disparate colonial points of view with different sets of laws, and that in and of itself presents a lot of problems. I can tell you that Adama's gonna find himself in what he believes at first will be a greatly advantageous position when it comes to the prosecution of Baltar. And we'll later realize he may've wished he hadn't.

Ausiello: Can you confirm that a major character will be revealed as a Cylon before the end of the season
Eick: Yes. And I wouldn't limit it to just that revelation; there are other revelations as well. But that's certainly one of them.

Ausiello: What are the others?
Eick: Well, I can't tell you 'cause then they wouldn't be revelations.

Ausiello: And what about the other four Cylons?
Eick: [Answer appears in tomorrow's Ask Ausiello. Sorry, a guy's gotta cross-promote where he can.]

Ausiello: Will there be any movement in the Starbuck/Apollo romance in this last batch of episodes?
Eick: I would say the events of Episodes 16 and 19 will greatly impact the nature of their romance.

Ausiello: Sci Fi is teasing a major death on the show; rumor has it that it's Starbuck. I know you can't confirm that, but can you tell me that a series regular won't be returning for the fourth season?
Eick: It's fair to say that there will definitely be changes to the cast in Season 4.

Ausiello: Are you viewing the fourth season as a possible wrap-up to the series?
Eick: I'm not sure about that yet. That's always a possibility, but no more or less than it was a possibility at the end of Season 3.

Ausiello: What's the status of the BSG spin-off, Caprica?
Eick: We're due to hear back from the network in March about whether they plan to go forward with that as a filmed pilot. We're very hopeful that this pickup will give us some wind at Caprica's back.

Ausiello: What's your gut telling you?
Eick: I would say it's pretty positive, because of the support for Battlestar, but also because it represents a pretty strident departure from the kind of show Battlestar is. Not that Sci Fi doesn't like the kind of show that Battlestar is, but I think if you're going to do a spin-off, you can do Xena or Stargate Atlantis, which are sort of variations on the same theme as their predecessors', or you can say, "OK, you had M*A*S*H, and then you had Trapper John, MD. Or you had Mary Tyler Moore and then Lou Grant. So I think this is more in the spirit of taking a portion of the mythos, the backstory of Battlestar Galactica, and then advancing it in a completely new direction with a different style and tone and just an overall different kind of show than Battlestar Galactica.

Ausiello: OK, last question: As you know, the BSG movie wasn't the only thing that hinged on that fourth season order. I'm refering, of course, to my guest appearance.
Eick: Someone just reminded me of that.

Ausiello: It's probably a little premature, but have you and Ron Moore been batting around ideas for my character?
Eick: Yes. We definitely talked a great deal about how that character's untimely demise would be one of the more exciting aspects of your journey.

Wednesday, February 21

Olmos There

Source: Cult times

Edward James Olmos, aka Admiral William Adama, tells us how the search for Earth is coming along

Ever since Commander William ‘Bill’ Adama took charge of the Battlestar Galactica and the remaining survivors of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, it has been one ethical dilemma and deadly crisis after another. However, his leadership almost unexpectedly ended when Cylon sleeper agent Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii shot him point blank, an event that has continued to shape the ‘Old Man’ even into Season Three.

“That was unbelievable, tragic, and a very humbling experience,” says Edward James Olmos about the assassination attempt on his character. “It made Adama much more sensitive. I think Tony Soprano is going through it right now. A near-death experience definitely changes your perspective. By the end of the season he was a completely different person towards Roslin and towards everyone. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t make decisive decisions. It was very difficult for him because he was too emotional. That is where we last left him off, with the whole decimation of the Human existence, with the capturing of more than 40,000 people. I think we’re a little more than 10,000 people up in Space right now.”

It is true that circumstances look more dire than ever. Somehow the Galactica had managed to weather all tragedies and elude the Cylons, but that all changed when the ‘toasters’ stormed New Caprica in the Season Two finale, Lay Down Your Burdens. Shortly after that shocking scene, the series jumped ahead a year, and sitting in his trailer on the Vancouver set, Olmos notes, “The third year is already starting to be much better than last year. It is amazing. I talked to Ron [Moore, executive producer] yesterday and told him, ‘It is monumental what you guys are doing. If you can hold onto it, really understand it for what it is, you will do really well.’

Olmos has been vocal about how Battlestar Galactica has handled such heavy topics as abortion or rape, and the Humans’ predicament on New Caprica has given the writers even more ammunition. “Their ability to really get into the Human people on the issues they are dealing with like abortion is uncanny,” agrees Olmos. “God, wait until you see what happens. Suicide bombers and the whole understanding of the reversal of comparison and self-awareness of the Humans and Cylons. It really confuses you. You start to see how complex it is and there is no really easy answer. It is like what the United States has done to Iraq. Everybody was afraid of Iraq, which is exactly what the Cylons were; they were afraid of the Human species because the Human species was so deadly and unpredictable that they were not the chosen ones. The Cylons are the chosen ones. Reality is what these guys are talking about. That is what makes this show so advanced. I’ve seen a lot of shows try to use the latest news article, the latest headline, but not like this. They delve so much into the psyche that the Peabody ended up giving its award to the show this year. That is the most prestigious award that someone can receive in the usage of television, even higher than the Emmy. It is an intellectual contribution to the usage of cinema. I’m very proud to be on the show but overwhelmed by the kind of writing and the kind of show this has become. It is fantastic.”
by Bryan Cairns

Ragnar Wireless Episode 2 Launches

Ragnar Wireless Episode Two is now available for download. This week we have more reaction about the series 4th season renewal , episode disection of the day in the life episode , spoilers and much much more.

Podcast Download

See you next week

Tuesday, February 20

BSG Earns 4 Saturn Nods

Source: Saturn Awards

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror films has announced the nominations for the 33rd Annual Saturn Awards. Leading the pack is Bryan Singer’s homage to the superhero mythos “Superman Returns” with 10 nominations. Garnering 6 nominations each, are “X-Men: The Last Stand” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which received its nod in the restored category of Best International Film. Following closely behind are an eclectic mix: “Casino Royale,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” and “Stranger Than Fiction,” receiving 5 nominations each.

Warner Bros. Pictures flexed its muscles and led all film studios with a total of 21 nominations. Also with strong showings were Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox with 15 and 13 nominations, respectively. Buena Vista plundered 11 nominations and MGM had a new license to kill with 8, followed closely by Picturehouse with 6 nominations and Lionsgate and Universal with 5 nominations each.

In the television categories, “Lost” continued to find nominations, receiving a total of 6. NBC’s newcomer “Heroes” burst onto the scene, earning 5 nominations, followed closely by Sci Fi’s “Battlestar Galactica” and Showtime’s “Dexter,” each garnering 4 nominations, while TNT’s “The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines” discovered 3 nominations.

A Special Recognition Award will be presented to the imaginative children’s book “Alien Xmas” written by Stephen Chiodo & Jim Strain, and published by Baby Tattoo Books.

This year marks the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films’ 35th Anniversary. The non-profit organization was founded in 1972 by film historian, Dr. Donald A. Reed. The Academy is currently headed by Robert Holguin, who serves as President of the Academy.

The winners will be announced at this year’s 33rd Annual Saturn Awards which takes place on Thursday, May 10, 2007 in Universal City. Hosting the event will be actor Greg Grunberg and comedian Jeffrey Ross. Grunberg is one of the stars of the highly popular NBC Universal television series, “Heroes” (and is nominated for his work on the show). Jeffrey Ross is one of the leading stand-up comedians whose brand of humor shines in roasts. Special Award recipients will be announced shortly.

Bear's blog - A day in the Life

Source: Bear's Blog

This was a tricky episode. It centers on Adama as he remembers (and "speaks with") his ex-wife, Carolanne, on their anniversary. This plot makes way for Tyrol and Cally's life-threatening situation in an airlock. The challenge was to integrate the stories together, since they are related: Adama's guilt about his own family is magnified when he sees the loyalty and love between Cally and Tyrol.

We've never gotten a good look at Carolanne before (her only previous appearance was in an Act of Contrition funeral flashback, sobbing behind a veil... it wasn't even the same actress), but I wanted it to seem like her spirit had always been present, on the back of Adama's mind. If I wrote a brand new theme from scratch, it would feel jarring and awkward, as if this were some random character being forced into the story. Instead, I incorporated Richard Gibbs' theme from the 2003 miniseries:

This simple theme (essentially a mixolydian scale) has been heard once or twice on the new series, but it never really fit in with the dark aesthetic of the show. However, it's longing and warm tone fit this episode perfectly. It would also be distantly familiar to all the fans, and help unite Carolanne with the series. This was music we haven't heard for several years, being used as Adama thinks back about a woman he hasn't seen for years.

I also used a very simple musical device to create the impression that Carolanne is more present in Adama's mind than the cameras can convey. I created a transitional motive with claves and wood sticks, an accelerating and then decelerating pattern that was used to introduce her flashbacks:

(A quick contemporary music lesson: This technique is called "Feathered Beaming." It's used to imply changes in speed, without being rhythmically precise. I also used this rhythmic effect in "Fragged" as well as the film "Rest Stop.")

Once this unique sound and rhythmic pattern had been established for Carolanne, I could then use it in scenes where we don't actually see her face, to imply that Adama is still thinking about her. For example, we hear it echoing in the distance as Adama watches Cally and Tyrol embrace in the airlock.

Essentially, the entire score to A Day in the Life was built from Gibbs' 2003 miniseries theme and the Tyrol / Cally Love Theme (click here for musical details), with the "Carolanne" claves rhythm providing transitions and accents.

Next week's episode, Dirty Hands, has a fun original theme featuring dobro and electric bass. And I just today finished composing the last cue for Maelstrom. That episode is going to blow you guys away!

So Say We All,


Monday, February 19

TV Recap: Battlestar Galactica - A Day In The Life

Source: TV Blend

To paraphrase Voltaire, the enemy of the great isn’t mediocrity; the enemy of the great is good enough. Living each day, and going through the monotony can be the greatest detriment to your job, relationships, or life. This week on ‘Battlestar Galactica’ we see how potentially devastating such a mindset can become. As the fleet goes through the same routine for 40 plus days, things are bound to slip. The episode also takes place on the anniversary of Admiral Adama’s wedding to his ex-wife Carol Ann. Even as things enter a deep rut, we see for a brief moment that Lee is truly stepping up as his father’s son.

Chief, bored with the banality of duty, simply wants to spend time with his wife. The life they had dreamed of, and the family they wanted to have is just not working out the way the Tyrol family planned. Of course, anyone should be able to tell them that sometimes that’s the way life goes. In the moment, you’re not analyzing your actions. So, when Chief orders Callie to join him in the repair of Hanger Bay 12 there’s really no need to question the call.

While in the Hanger Bay, the airlock doors close. This signals that a pressure leak has occurred, which in turn means the men who did the patch job on the hull got lazy. As the couple struggle for life, Adama and a team come up with a daring rescue plan. Because of the damage to the ship, the manual override for the doors is not responding. The only way to get them out before they die is through the front door. A Raptor is sent out to wait with open arms. The hatch is blown open, and Chief and Callie are sent out the airlock. Instead of the desolation of space, they are caught by the Raptor. Chief is the first to begin recovery, and when he takes Nicky over to see his mom in the hyperbaric chamber he promises his wife that they will find a balance and raise Nicky together.

For most of the day Adama is preoccupied with thoughts of his ex-wife. The woman we meet throughout the episode is a part of his imagination, and the Admiral’s thoughts are of the loving kind. We don’t get a true sense of who this woman was, but we do glean a bit about how she affected Adama. When Lee tells his father that after Adama abandoned them things were not great, the Carol Ann in the great Commander’s memory shifts. Apollo lets us in on her other side, that she was a heavy drinker and prone to wild mood swings. As much as he loved his wife, the chaos she brought was intolerable to him. I enjoyed watching as Adama reminisced about they’re time together, even as he realized that it wasn’t all good. It really brought forth the relationship that is beginning to develop between Adama and Roslyn.

If Carol Ann was uncontrolled, then Roslyn is her polar opposite. At the end of the episode as the two leaders sit and talk about their fondest memories of New Caprica there’s a real connection between them. But it’s when Roslyn acknowledges that at the moment they have duties to perform where I think Adama consciously begins to realize that this woman is not the mess his ex-wife was. The President of the Colonies knows when and where duty takes precedence over personal matters, and that’s something Adama can respect and understand. It’ll be interesting now that they’ve begun this journey to see where it takes them, if anywhere. The pressing needs of the fleet may keep them apart for the foreseeable future. Then again, Roslyn does want to have that cabin.

Throughout the show’s run we’ve seen examples of great leadership from both these characters. The requirement of putting aside their personal lives can weigh heavily on any leader. We see, this week, that Adama takes at least one day of the year to reflect on his own life. Even though there isn’t the time right now to do what you want, there’s hope that at some point there will be. When Admiral Adama sends his son the law books that belonged to grandpa Adama he includes a note that says, “For that day when we all have the time.” It’s a touching moment where we see in Lee’s face the truth of his father’s love. Most of us try and strike a balance in our lives, for people like Roslyn and Adama the scales will always be tipped. Yet, there’s always a mystery novel to get them through or the promise of one day letting themselves enjoy a day together at a cabin, and all that entails.

This week’s episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was a nice personal one. Not much really happened, but we did get to enjoy some familial moments. Unfortunately, I did feel the whole thing came across as a bit wishy-washy. Hey, I thought the episode was good but I can’t help but remember some older episodes where such a storyline was handled a little more expertly. Seriously, I’d like the show get back to the space chase. It’s the episodes that blend the sci-fi with the real world problems which work the best.

In terms of moments, for me the best was Lee’s speech to the pilots. He berates them for counting the days since Cylons were last seen (not counting Six and Athena of course). “One is the only number you should be thinking of,” he tells them. It was a small thing, but in the face of the boredom that’s come over the fleet seeing Major Adama’s comprehension of the disaster that may occur tomorrow and stopping it today was great. As Admiral Adama said, Lee is really coming into his own.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you ready for the chase to get back under way? Do you think that someone should draw a glaring eye on Col. Tigh’s flesh colored eye patch?

Sunday, February 18


Source: Tachyon TV

Featuring the vocal stylings of Cylon Dion

The producers of Battlestar Galactica have seized upon the recent renewal for a fourth series by announcing their most ambitious and surprising project yet - BSG: The Musical. Provisionally opening on Broadway in June 2008, the all-singing, all-dancing spectacular hopes to follow in the footsteps of such unlikely spin-off musical successes as The Producers, Spamalot and Stargate on Ice: The Sequel. Musical director Ron Moore is tight-lipped, but Tachyon TV can confirm that the show will be a condensed version of the television narrative, and that existing pop songs will be adapted lyrically for the show. The following tunes are already in the can:

* 'My Heart Will Go On (As Long As I'm in Range of A Resurrection Ship)'
* 'Tigh Your Motherfracker Down'
* 'Les Miserable Frackers'
* 'The Hills of Caprica Are Alive with the Sound of Nuclear Explosions'
* 'Helo, Is It Me You're Looking For...?'
* 'I Lost My Heart To A Colonial Trooper'
* 'Viper at the Gates of Dawn'
* 'Billy, Don't Be A Hero'

In addition to these break-out pop-hits Adama will growl his way through 'Wanderin' Battlestar' ("I'm in command, of a wanderin' Battlestar/ I'm in sole command of a wanderin' Battlestar/ Cylons try to shoot me, think I'm gonna crack/ I've never seen a Base Star that didn't look better lookin' back...").

Adama will also sing a heartfelt love song to President Roslin ('Tell Laura I Love Her') and Colonel Tigh will serenade his dead wife Ellen with 'Don't It Make My Brown Eye Blue'. Meanwhile, Baltar is set to croon a medley of tracks - 'You Were Always In My Mind'. 'I Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and 'Lady in Red' - to Number 6, while 'Boom-Bang-a-Boomer' is set to bring the house down when when Sharon shoots Adama at point blank range.

Moore has confirmed that the musical has lost none of the parent show's edge: "We are warning patrons that the first 16 rows may be covered in entrails".

2007 Calvin Awards: Best TV Show

Source: BoxofficeProphets

In the Battlestar Galactica's second and third seasons, with the Humans still on the run from the Cylons, we watched them deal with the discovery of another Battlestar crew, more infiltrations from Cylon spies, the discovery of a potential new home, and one of the biggest and more daring reboots of a TV series we've ever seen.

Show runner Ron Moore was also unafraid to tackle the big questions, turning the show into a sometimes maddening ethical debate. And the slippery, morally ambiguous character of Gaius Baltar continued to show us why James Callis is one of the best actors on TV. This is what great sci-fi is meant to be and the reason Battlestar Galactica is our choice for Best TV Show.

Sliding in just behind it is NBC's The Office, which moves up one slot from last year. The adaptation of the brilliant BBC series really came into its own this year, with Steve Carell's boss from hell role as Michael Scott becoming the breakout comedy character of television. His cartoonish antics have made the show "Must See Through Fingers" TV, as we cringe in anticipation of his next incredibly insensitive or just plain buffoonish remark. The strength of the show remains the ensemble, though, filling it to the brim with "blink and you'll miss it" hilarity. Additionally, the Jim/Pam romance expanded to the Jim/Pam/Karen love triangle, providing the show with a realistic heart seldom seen elsewhere on TV.

Third place goes to another NBC show, Friday Night Lights. Based on the 2004 movie, which was in turn based on a 1990 book, Friday Night Lights follows the lives of the Dillon Panthers, a West Texas high school football team. Much more than a simple high school and sports series, it gets into the heart of a dead-end town. Are they obsessed with football because there's nothing else in the town, or is there nothing in the town because they're so obsessed? It's not an easy answer. It's raw human drama and features some of the most real, recognizable characters on TV today. This show may not be long for this world, so catch it while you can.

Fourth place is taken up by My Name is Earl, yet another show from NBC. Earl Hickey, played by Jason Lee, continued on his quest to make up for all his past wrong doings, exploring the wide world of karma on his way to become a better man. Few sitcoms are as inventive as Earl, which this year flashed back to Y2K, deported one of its main characters to Mexico, and sent another one to jail as a part of a wildly misguided revenge-inspired theft. Something akin to a live-action version of the Simpsons, My Name is Earl is a brilliant but heartfelt satire of American life with more laugh-out-loud moments than just about anything on TV.

The first pay cable series on our list comes in at fifth. Entourage's third season saw Vinny Chase rise to superstardom with the record breaking Aquaman movie (Hey, it's fiction. Anything can happen), then quickly throw it all away by refusing to sign on for a sequel. His turbulent rise and fall through Hollywood, along with his crew of childhood friends made for some of the best "inside baseball" of the year, and who doesn't enjoy Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold?

Veronica Mars slipped a bit in our rankings to sixth spot after being our runner-up last year. The brilliant first season proved a tough act to follow, and the conclusion to the second season provided a bitter split among BOP staffers as to its satisfaction. The third season sent Veronica to college and continued her on-again/off-again/on-again (...well, you get the picture) romance with Logan Echolls, once her bitter enemy. A gripping mid-season finale proved that Rob Thomas's show still had the right stuff and gave us hope for the lone CW show that made our list.

The third member of NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup to make our list is Scrubs (and we're warming up to 30 Rock). There hasn't been this powerful a comedy lineup since Jell-O Pudding Pops were popular. While the antics of the doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital remain outlandish and JD's fantasy sequences as wild as ever, Scrubs has matured as a series, along with its characters, and is capable at times of delivering a punch to the stomach, something uncommon for a show that has featured a song about poo.

Eighth spot goes to The Wire, a newcomer to this list. One of the most critically acclaimed shows that almost no one watches, it's the HBO series that gets lost in the hype surrounding The Sopranos, Rome, Entourage, well, you name it. Even Arli$$ got more press than The Wire. A gritty crime drama set in Baltimore, from the makers of Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire gets down and dirty into the world of drugs and inner-city crime. It's style stresses realism to sometimes devastating effect. Those who do watch the show almost invariably end up calling it the best thing on TV.

Last year's number one show on our list, Deadwood, slips to ninth spot this year. After the positively brilliant and at-times Shakespearian heights of its second season, it was bound to have a bit of a letdown. However, the adventures in rough and tumble 19th century South Dakota, with the operatic profanity of Al Swearengen and crew, still made for fantastic viewing.

Rounding out our list of ten is Aaron Sorkin's return to TV, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and NBC's fifth show to make our list. Going behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-esque variety show, Studio 60 brought Sorkin's sparkling dialogue into the world of sketch comedy. At times a frustrating show, it has nevertheless reached incredible heights during its brief run so far.

Some of the shows that just missed the cut here include the superpowered Heroes, the medical drama Gray's Anatomy, the serial killer drama Dexter, the increasingly frustrating Lost, and Doctor Who, a staple of sci-fi.
Top 10
Show Total Points
1 Battlestar Galactica 53
2 The Office 50
3 Friday Night Lights 43
4 My Name is Earl 38
5 Entourage 37
6 Veronica Mars 36
7 Scrubs 34
8 The Wire 33
9 Deadwood 30
10 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 27

Tuesday, February 13

Battlestar Officially Renewed For Season 4


SCI FI Channel announced that it has renewed its Peabody-winning original series Battlestar Galactica, ordering 13 new episodes. Production will resume this summer in Vancouver, Canada, with an eye toward a January 2008 premiere.

The decision comes after the series' successful move to a new 10 p.m. timeslot on Sundays. Since moving, Battlestar Galactica's audience has grown over its third-season average by 8 percent in total viewers, by double digits in female viewers, by 19 percent in the show's target demographic of adults aged 18-49 and by 14 percent in adults 25-54. The Jan. 28 episode, "Taking a Break From All Your Worries," delivered 2.5 million total viewers and 1.6 million adults 18-49, the largest audience for any episode since the season-two premiere.

"We're thrilled to bring Battlestar back for another season," Mark Stern, SCI FI's executive vice president of programming, said in a statement. "This series has delivered on every level, from the writing to the acting to the production values. SCI FI is proud to be the home of the best show on television."

The series is from NBC Universal Television Studio and is executive-produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. Its cast is led by Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park. Battlestar recently returned with the second half of its third original season, immediately following SCI FI's newest original series, The Dresden Files.

"While we never had any doubt that SCI FI would get behind a fourth season of Battlestar, it's thrilling to finally make it official, and for Ron and I to continue using this great genre to investigate the darker corners of society, politics and humanity," executive producer David Eick said in a statement.

Monday, February 12

Living the 'Galactica' Dream

Source: Sarah Kuhn, Back Stage West

"Battlestar Galactica," the Sci Fi Channel's gritty reimagining of the 1970s classic, is known for sinking its teeth into big, soul-altering issues ... life, death, religion, war ... and exploring the darkest corners of the human heart. The show somehow manages to rip our guts out each and every week, and yet none of it would work if it weren't anchored by two of the most deliciously complex performances currently gracing the small screen.

As Admiral William Adama and President Laura Roslin, Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell are the series' tent-poles, leading humanity's dwindling band of survivors in the quest for Earth. Both actors were, of course, well-known before their turns on "Galactica," which is currently in its third season. Olmos' credits range from his scene-stealing, Emmy-winning role on "Miami Vice" to films such as "Blade Runner" and "Stand and Deliver," for which he received an Oscar nomination. As a director, he recently helmed the critically acclaimed HBO movie "Walkout." McDonnell, meanwhile, has been nominated for two Academy Awards: for her breakout role in 1990's "Dances With Wolves" and for her searing, prickly performance as a wheelchair-bound soap star in John Sayles' "Passion Fish." Her wide array of credits ranges from "Independence Day" and "Donnie Darko" to an Emmy-nominated recurring turn on "ER."

Recently the duo chatted with us about chemistry, close-ups and leaving the intense world of "Galactica" behind at the end of the day.

Back Stage West: Were either of you familiar with the original "Battlestar Galactica" when you heard about the new series?

Mary McDonnell: I was not familiar with it; I was only familiar by name, because it was airing during a time when I lived in New York without a television. I was doing plays at night, and I never saw it. Certainly I was familiar with the cult of it.

Edward James Olmos: I was in the same (boat). I was doing theater. I was doing "Zoot Suit," and I did it for three straight years. We were onstage six nights a week, only off on Mondays, and I don't think it was on on Mondays. (Laughs)

McDonnell: I've still never seen an episode. I've decided not to look, because my character didn't exist in the last one. I felt it would really be more beneficial to my character and her perception to have every single one of these ideas new to her. I didn't want to have any ideas of Adama and Starbuck (characters featured in both series), because (Roslin) didn't have any connection to them at all. They sent (the first script) to me, and they told me that Eddie was reading it. I heard about it at Sardi's at lunch, that they had sent me it, and it just made me giggle. I didn't put myself together with it at all.

Olmos: I didn't either.

McDonnell: But I always read an offer. And I read it that night, and I went, "Oh, dear. I have to do this." I found it so compelling. And I eventually found out Ed was agreeing to do it, so that made a huge difference to me.

Olmos: I was the same, basically. There was a story that drew me in, especially with the mindset that one has after 9/11. You had a whole different perspective on the end of the world, that whole philosophy. What Ron Moore ("Galactica" executive producer) did before you read the piece, he put three pages at the beginning. It was like a mission statement, kind of. It told you a little bit about how it was going to be shot. The script was very powerful. It was completely different. It was very much in the realm of "Blade Runner," rather than in the realm of the kind of "Star Wars," "Star Trek" opera that I was used to seeing in the genre, that had really permeated the genre since the early '70s. So when I talked to Ron and David (Eick, executive producer), we talked about "Blade Runner," and I said, "There was a door that was opened there that nobody ever walked in. Everybody walked through the door of 'Star Wars,' but nobody walked through the door of 'Blade Runner.'" I said, "If you really want to do that, then I'm game to join up, but I'm going to be very honest: The first four-eyed creature I see, I'll faint. I will faint on camera, and I will be off the show." I just didn't want to go that route. I didn't want to act against those kind of situations; I didn't have the time to do that. So we went into this with a 9/11 perspective and mindset with a very strong understanding of "Blade Runner."

This third season has been truly the best television I've ever been involved with in my life, to date. I can't even compare it to anything I've ever done. The closest thing is "American Family," actually. "Miami Vice" doesn't even compare. It's a whole different intent; there's no way of comparing the drama of "Miami Vice" and the drama that we're trying here. This is closer to, say, "West Wing" or "ER" or "NYPD Blue," where the human drama is so intense that you're just sucked into the story. This one, it's even more poignant than that because the stakes are so much higher. I've never seen a show like this in my life, ever.

I love the chemistry between your characters, not just romantically, but as colleagues and friends. Is that something that happened naturally between the two of you?

Olmos: I think that the chemistry is natural, of course. You're supposed to be professional enough and have the technique to induce any kind of feeling that needs to be worked on. But you better have some kind of a feeling for the person you're working with because inevitably it's going to come out in your performance.

McDonnell: Good or bad.

Olmos: Good or bad, it comes out, and you can feel it. In this case, I was very, very grateful that they got Mary and that Mary allowed herself to do this kind of program. We both went outside of ourselves to do it. I mean, her (and I coming) together under the banner of "Battlestar Galactica" makes no sense at all. You don't associate Mary McDonnell or Edward James Olmos with "Battlestar Galactica." The chemistry that I felt being involved with Mary and then watching her work, it was beautiful. It was so easy to get real with this whole scene and just lock into what I do, the kind of work that I like to do and I find myself most effective in, and that's a real strong sincerity and a commitment that's 100 percent. It happened in "Miami Vice"; that was a crazy cop show, and they allowed me to create this character. And here they did the same thing, they gave me artistic control of the character, so that's been pretty nice. And Mary has total control of her (character), too.

McDonnell: Well, I take control. (Laughs) I think one of the things I enjoy about this chemistry is that Ed is powerful enough for me. But given the character I had to play, there had to be somebody opposite me who allowed me to be interested in them on every level in order to have this relationship and these power plays that go on. So I'm really deeply grateful that it's Ed, because he's a powerhouse. I would not be able to maximize this situation if I wasn't playing opposite someone that powerful. For me, it's been a real gift.

Do either of you have a favorite scene from the series so far?

McDonnell: I have arcs that are favorites. I don't really have favorite scenes. Except, in terms of scenes with Ed, I do have a favorite scene, and that was the last scene we had together at the end of last season (in which Roslin confesses to rigging the presidential election). We sat there, the two of us, with everything that had happened up until that point, in the room. I could feel the whole two years leading to that moment, sitting there in the room. I just felt the reality of the series in that scene. So I'm particularly tickled by that. To me, they're all so interesting a lot of the time, but when the story, the big story, somehow plunks itself into the chemistry of the scene and this whole thing starts to vibe, that's when I get very excited.

Olmos: I would agree. I've had some extraordinary scenes, real human, dramatic scenes that I've never experienced before in any show. Scenes with Mary have always been very rewarding, very fulfilling in all respects. I don't care if it's just me coming in and asking her for something; it's always very interesting, what happens. Because we bring along everything. As seasoned artists, you bring in all that you've learned and everything you're experiencing right at the moment. The (scenes) that I think have been most difficult for me have been a couple of major deaths that have happened. There's some very tragic, tragic things happening (on the show), you just can't get around it. I think one of the strongest emotional experiences I've had has been with Katee Sackhoff (who plays Starbuck), when she decided to tell me that she had actually put my son Zak into the pilot's seat without him being really ready for that, that she's responsible for his death, and I just couldn't take it. I lost it. I came within inches of literally tearing her apart myself from anger. And you see it. She didn't expect that. She expected something more fatherly than that kind of a knee-jerk reaction. It was very difficult to do.

Who didn't expect it ... Katee or Starbuck?

Olmos: Starbuck. Well, Katee didn't either, because we only did it once. In scenes like that, we shoot all of our close-ups first, and that's sometimes opposite of how most people like to work, but I don't see us being able to do this for 10 takes or 20 takes. I just don't know anybody that wants to go there that many times.

This show explores such dark territory. How do you leave that behind at the end of the day ... or do you?

McDonnell: Well, sometimes these people are easy to leave behind because they are so intense and the situation is so awful. So by the time you jump in the car, you're so happy to be free. And quite often, he and I are dashing to the airport, so within an hour, we're on a plane on phones, doing our home lives, being back as parents. Fortunately we're both parents, and we're lucky that we are. We both have beautiful, beautiful families that are very much alive and well in Los Angeles (the show shoots in Vancouver, B.C.) and very much need us. It would be awful to be playing these people without that. I get back into my family life so fast, and I don't think about (Roslin) again unless I have to read a script while I'm at home. The first year, though, I have to say, she permeated my dreams. The apocalyptic nature of the situation got into my dreams. I had a very hard time. I went to therapy a little bit and just did a little bit of work on it to figure out how to let her get stronger while I got further away from her. It's easier now, for me.

Olmos: It's never easy (for me), because once you've opened that emotion, you've opened up a can of worms. You went there. It's in the now; you've done it. As much as you want to say, "It's an act," really, the whole reason for doing this is to be in the now. Moment to moment, it's all there and you're really there. I've found this year extremely hard to leave behind. I'm on the verge of emotional breakdown. I'll be watching my daughter or I'll be watching my sons or whatever, I'll be talking to somebody, I'll be watching a film, (and) boom, my emotions just come pouring; I just can't keep them down. Because I'm so in need of that to do the work that we're doing that I can't just turn it off and then walk away from it and then have to regroup to have to get back into that feeling. So I stay there. Not that I stay thinking about it, but emotionally I'm as vulnerable right now as I am when I'm working. It's not easy, because you're constantly emotionally taken aback by these feelings. I can't walk away from it anymore, so I don't try.

McDonnell: You know, I think it's very interesting to listen to you. Because your emotional reality is so appropriate to your character and mine to mine. It's so wonderful to watch actors do their things.

Saturday, February 10

BSG Season 4 Given the Unofficial Go Ahead

Source: Koenigrules

Season 4 is now apparently a go, with 13 episodes (for now, as actors' contracts had to be picked up shortly) to air in January 2008. This includes a 2-hour TV movie which will air before Season 4. This will be transmitted at some point in September!

Thursday, February 8

Heavy-Duty VFX Management for Battlestar Galactica

Source: Film and Video

Sci-Fi Channel’s hit space opera Battlestar Galactica isn’t your ordinary VFX show. The big effects sequences are carefully integrated with the story, and the stylistic mandate is jumpy, handheld camera that imparts a sense of immediacy.

"That's been Battlestar's motif from the very beginning — that very kinetic, almost battlefield camerawork, with the whip pans and the snap zooms," says Jeremy Hoey, co-founder of Vancouver's Atmosphere Visual Effects, which handles duties on the show along with the production's in-house FX department. "It really brought a new energy to TV visual effects. Sci-fi visual effects had gotten stuck in a sort of rut of long, sweeping camera shots of spaceships flying just overhead, that kind of stuff. Battlestar, from the miniseries, set a new tone. The camerawork is largely responsible for that."

Along with matte painter Hoey, Atmosphere's other principals and co-founders are Andrew Karr, who supervises 3D, Atmosphere's largest department, and Tom Archer, who supervises compositing. Using Lightwave for 3D animation and Digital Fusion for compositing, the crew takes its cues from the show’s VFX supervisor, Gary Hutzel, who specifies the look for each shot and provides detailed animatics illustrating the gist of every scene. For a Season 3 two-parter, “Exodus,” which aired October 13 and 20, Atmosphere handled scenes that included a space battle sequence taking place on an unprecedented scale. Atmosphere executed the sequence in Lightwave.

The animatics given to Atmosphere specified the basic camerawork and layout of each shot, even including some particle work. "But, obviously, their animatics didn't have all of the missiles and all of the explosions," Karr says. "Our shots have hundreds of raiders flying around, attacking the Pegasus, that were not in the animatics at all, and each individual raider was keyframe-animated. Some of the backgrounds could have been done using particles, but the foreground stuff was all hand-animated. So a lot of work had to be done, and those all had to get approval from the production."

The key to getting the work done on a TV schedule was keeping the compositing and CG teams working in tandem, Karr explains. "Compositing would jump ahead and work in some of their practical explosions," he says. "Then the shots would go back to CG, where we'd work on the lighting and try to enhance some of the composites. The CG department would put in some missiles and CG explosions, and comp would get those and enhance them with practical elements. It's about going back and forth, using multiple layers. We'd have as many as seven or eight CG artists and several compositing artists tackling different elements of a single shot."

Organizing the work requires foresight, because the CG department will be making decisions about what layers need to be rendered first based on whether the compositing department will be using them to start working on its own elements. "It's not just the time to composite and actually set up the renders," notes Jeremy Hoey. "The rendering time itself is extraordinary. We have almost 200 CPUs of render nodes, and they were going 24/7 for weeks just rendering layers for this one episode. It's hundreds of gigabytes of data. And that adds another factor of uncertainty, because if there are any problems with a render, that brings the entire process to a grinding halt. Suddenly everyone has to stop and wait for the render farm to chew through re-rendering those frames. Careful management of all the layers becomes really critical, especially as we get toward the end of our deadlines."

Atmosphere uses Muster, a render manager from Virtual Vertex, to take frame-specific control of its renders. The system allows precise adjustments to be made, depending on how busy the overall render farm is. "We have to be very creative, sometimes, in what we render and in what order," Karr says. "Muster is actually new software for us. We were using a different render manager last season, but Muster works quite well. It has its issues because of the size and the amount of material going through, but we wouldn't have been able to get through the show if it was flaky."

All of the renders are at HD resolutions — which means, Hoey notes with a little laugh, some of the old shortcuts no longer apply. "Blur, add lens flare — you could really abuse the shot in NTSC," he recalls. "You can't get away with that kind of fudging in HD."

"You'll have some fella at home watching this in HD on a 60-inch television, and it has to hold up," agrees Karr. "HD is very clear, and every little detail shows up."

And HD isn't even the upper limit for an HD show. "It's not uncommon that sometimes if we're working in HD we'll render in double-HD resolution," notes Tom Archer. "If we have very fine detail of antennas or other very small things, and we find that we're getting buzzing in those details, we'll just double the HD resolution to solve that problem. The sky's the limt, as long as you've got the rendering power."

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Battlestar Galactica Cylon Minimates

Source: SciFi Weekly

The Cylons that rebelled again humanity have evolved again-and this time they've gotten smaller

The Twelve Colonies of Man, populated by human settlers from Kobol, created a robotic servant called the Cylon to serve and protect them. Cylons, tall, metallic soldiers, eventually rebelled against their human masters and evolved.

In the newly revived version of the 1978 TV series Battlestar Galactica, the Cylons evolved into human form, indistinguishable from humans, with 12 different models that were designed to blend into Colonial society as sleepers or moles, some even unaware of their origin and mission. But despite this evolution into human form, the Cylons still keep their metallic forebears around and use them in the same way humans once did. (You'd think they'd learn.)

Diamond Select has created a series of Minimates, small, blocky action figures based on these new metallic Cylons from the 2003 revival series.

The figures measure 2.5 inches in height, stubby representations of the tall, thin Terminator-like robots. Each comes packed in a small window box, with a sticker on the back indicating which model is enclosed: Downloaded Cylon, Cylon Centurion, Cylon Cannon Centurion, Battle Damaged Cylon or "Valley of Darkness" Cylon. The five figures are essentially the same deformed Cylon figures with variations in parts and paint.

Each Minimate has ball-jointed shoulders and hips with rotating hip/torso joints and hinged knees and elbows. The feet rotate on pins. The heads snap onto a cylinder and would rotate if not restricted by the chest armor. The heads can pop off, though, for some rotation if necessary.

Diamond Select sells these in sets of a dozen (four Centurions, three Cannon Centurions, two Battle Damaged Cylons, two "Vally of Darkness" Cylons and one Downloaded Cylon). A box set containing each of the five is available as an exclusive to Suncoast Video.

The future is toast

The figures are basically the same, though they do have different parts and paint. The main, most notable difference is the hands, which in the Cannon Centurion and the Battle Damaged Centurion have been replaced by three-pronged cannon weapons, as often seen in the series. The other three figures have hands composed of three long, spiky fingers and a thumb.

The other major difference is in the paint. Four of the figures are painted essentially identically, in dull gray, but with differing details. The fifth, the Downloaded Cylon, is painted in shiny silver to represent a new, untarnished body. This is meant to reflect the unique ability of Cylons to download their personalities and experiences into new bodies after dying.

"Valley of Darkness" Cylon (named after the episode) has a blood-red handprint on his chest and other bloodstains on his head and hands.

Battle Damaged Cylon, contrary to his promotional prototype pictures, does not have multiple bullet marks, but does have a more subtle dark paint to indicate battle scoring. This effect is a bit too subtle, though probably more accurate than the original plan, which appears to show bloody bullet holes.

The Cylon Centurion and the Cannon Centurion have no battle damage and differ only in their hands.

Some of the parts can be removed and interchanged if desired. Most of the joints are either on simple pins or ball joints that aren't sealed in any way.

Fans of Battlestar Galactica (and they are many) will enjoy getting their hands on these mini "toasters."

I have to say that generally the Minimate concept baffles me somewhat. Originating almost as Lego figures, they have evolved to have more free-moving joints, but these days there is barely a licensed science fiction character that doesn't have a Minimate version. —Sean

Monday, February 5

February (and beyond) Preview SPOILERS!

Source: Buddy TV

Battlestar Galactica returns next week for a string of seven episodes that will lead the series to its march 25th finale. Still no word on whether or not Battlestar Galactica will be renewed for a fourth season, but savvy industry watchers note that the series is quite close to being eligible for a lucrative syndication package, yet another good reason to believe we'll be seeing more Battlestar Galactica next year. Read on for a preview of what to expect as sweeps month heads to a close.

February 11th - The Woman, King

Note the conspicuous comma. In this episode of Battlestar Galactica King is indeed a woman whose last name is King. This is a Helo-Centric episode where Mrs. King approaches Helo with concerns that a Dr. Roberts (played by vet Bruce Davison) is killing Saggitarians. Things become a bit more complicated when Helo finds out it is Roberts who is treating Hera.

February 18th - A Day in the Life

Chief and Calley get trapped on the wrong end of an airlock resulting in some dire circumstances. Flashback sequences provide some insight into Admiral Adam's relationship with his wife Caroline. Looks like a mostly dramatic outing for Battlestar Galactica this week.

February 25th - Dirty Hands

Shades of new Caprica as Chief finds himself embroiled in a labor dispute. Not knowing which direction to turn, he seeks the counsel of deposed president Baltar who, himself, is pondering his past actions. Seelix makes a return in this episode and looks to be pining for chief whose wife is still in grave shape.

This ends what is known for sure, Battlestar Galactica produers promise huge surprises and twists on the level of the New Caprica leap from season two starting with the first episode of March, Maelstrom, which debuts March 4th. The Battlestar Galactica producers, and stars, have done everything they can do to convince us that Starbuck dies in this episode. Could it be they are just not going to resist the extremely efficient spoiler network that has evolved on the internet, or do they have a major curve ball in store for us when the ides of March roll in?

One thing that is revealed through scan Battlestar Galactica promo pics for Maelstrom is the appearance of Kara's Eye of Jupiter fascination. It is safe to assume that learning the nature of her destiny is going to have some pretty heavy implications for Galacticas ace.

After Maelstrom is 'The Son Also Rises' which sees Apollo taking a drastic career shift in an attempt to escape his fathers shadow. The young Adama positions himself to reform the legal system, starting with ensuring a fair trial for Gaius Baltar. This is the beginning of a three part Battlestar Galactica which ends with Crossroads part one and two. Amongst other things, we know that the Baltar story indeed gets tied up over these three episode one way or another, and that we will learn a little more about who comprises the final five. No guess at all on what the major 'game changer' is that Battlestar Galactia producers are pushing out ther unless, of course, you consider my nagging suspicion that they find Earth.

Jon Lachonis - Buddytv Features Writer

Ragnar Wireless Launches February 15th

Ragnar Wireless the Galactica Station and Ragnar Anchorage podcast will launch on 15th February. The Podcast will bring you latest news, magazine watch, episode discussion,spoilers and much much more. So stay tuned to the site and the forum for updates in the meantime have a listen to the trailer:

First up for the podcast is episode discussion from the Woman King Episode and spoilers from the day in the life episode. Episode reviewers this week will be from mod team Starbuckrocks , Lollywit and Cowgirl. If you want to get involved please contact us on

Sunday, February 4

More on the BSG DVD Movie

Source: Buddy TV

Producers are still considering a two-hour Battlestar Galactica DVD film, to be released directly to video. Series producers Ron Moore and David Eick now say that the film, if greenlit, would be in the form of a "bonus episode" that will bring back a popular character. Although the script has not yet been written (or so they say) the plotline of the DVD will reportedly not interrupt the continuity of the current storyline nor will it resolve the expected third season cliffhanger; it will, however, probably use the existing sets.

Since the season premiere last fall, Battlestar Galactica's ratings have continued to slip. Will the move to Sunday nights in the middle of its third season be enough to save it? Well, yes; Sci-Fi Channel publicist Lana Kim says that although officially BSG has not officially been picked up for a fourth season, there is no chance that it will be cancelled. SciFi vice president Dave Howe also says he would be "shocked" if BSG were not picked up for another season.

The announced spinoff, Caprica, has also not been picked up officially yet; some speculate that the DVD may somehow introduce a backstory for the previously announced spinoff mythology, although Moore and Eick seem to be vaguely indicating that this is not the case. SciFi's Howe says that Caprica's fate will be decided in February along with other shows currently in development.

If the Battlestar Galactica DVD movie does go forward, filming will take place during the series hiatus in March, prior to the June start of fourth-season shooting. The movie will likely also air on SciFi at some point.