Monday, April 30
Interviewed by Chris Dahlen
April 17th, 2007
The post-9/11 remake of Battlestar Galactica startled viewers who remembered the show from the fuzzy robot dog and the lunchboxes. Radically re-imagining the original '70s space opera, the new series was dark, controversial, and richly character-driven—largely thanks to Ronald D. Moore, the veteran television writer-producer who came to the show with a résumé including three Star Trek series, UPN's Roswell, and HBO's Carnivàle. His Battlestar Galactica regularly challenges and confuses its own cult audience, especially with the latest season finale, wherein [spoiler warning; the interview also has several spoilers. --ed.] four long-time characters were revealed to (probably) be robots in human form—but only after they all started singing "All Along the Watchtower"—and a lead character, Katee Sackhoff's Starbuck, abruptly came back from the dead. Moore recently spoke with The A.V. Club about the show's ambitious plotting, its political relevance, and how much he misses Star Trek.
The A.V. Club: How did you choose "All Along the Watchtower" as the song that triggered the new Cylons?
Ronald D. Moore: That's actually a song I've been interested in doing something about for a long time. It's one of Bob Dylan's really interesting pieces, and I've always been fascinated by the lyric and the imagery. When I was working at Roswell, there was a point where I was going to do an entire episode about it. And then as we got into Galactica in the first year, I was starting to think ahead about ways of saying that, you know, things that happened on Galactica were tied into our reality here on Earth in some way, in the past or the future, or some other connection. And one of the ways that I thought of making that connection explicit was at some point, to have a song we recognize playing in the background on one of their jukeboxes. It's another way of saying, "Well, why do they wear suits and ties? Why do they use many of the expressions we use in contemporary culture?"
AVC: The show has always taken place far off in an alien culture. Did you think this would be jarring for the audience?
RM: Sure, I knew it was definitely going to be a hard left turn. And that's one of the things that appealed to me about it the most—the fact that it would upset the idea of what Galactica was, and the things you thought you were comfortable knowing. Which is really what I like about the show, that it continues to push the envelope and that it never lets the audience settle into a comfortable routine.
AVC: The show has often been called "topical," and obviously from the beginning, it started in the wake of 9/11. At the same time, you've said you've avoided turning it into a specific allegory or a polemic.
AVC: At the same time, a lot of really specific references creep in—like when a character is saved by the equivalent of stem cells, or Dean Stockwell's character almost quotes Dick Cheney.
RM: Oh sure. It's a very subjective line. And we play around with that line a lot. There's definitely times when we're tempted to make a very specific connection to today's events, and sometimes we shy away from it, and sometimes we seize on it. There's no real hard-and-fast rule for when we do it and when we don't. It's a gut thing, and I just kind of feel my way through it and decide almost arbitrarily what I think works and when we've gone too far.
AVC: You've said that President Roslin is partly inspired by George W. Bush, which makes perfect sense in terms of her situation, but it's hard to see in her character.
RM: Well, you know, the role of a president in the aftermath of this apocalyptic attack seemed like it was set up in a way that it would be hard not to draw the parallel on some level. And on some level, I wanted to extend sympathy for the person in that position. To realize that even someone like Laura Roslin, when they are thrust into the presidency in these circumstances, and literally have the fate of the human race hanging on their shoulders, there's going to be a transition, there's going to be a change. They're going to look at the world through different eyes.
And certainly George W. Bush went through a similar transition. The 9/11 attack was the seminal moment in the man's life, it was the seminal moment in his presidency, and he changed. And I think you can argue about the reasons for that, and was it a good change, was it a bad change, but on a human level, the change happened. And I wanted to dramatize that with Laura Roslin too, and say that anybody in that position's going to have certain reactions to that event, and they're going to take the responsibility much more seriously than they did before the event.
AVC: When viewers call the show "topical," do you think they have a consistent interpretation of exactly what they're seeing? A show like 24 has such a clear message: "This patriotic superman is going to save America." But with Battlestar Galactica, it's a lot trickier.
RM: I don't think ours has a direct message like that, and I think people come away from the show with different things depending on what their viewpoint was going into it. For some people, the show confirms what they already believe. For others, it challenges their beliefs. I think it pisses some people off.
One of the things that surprises me the most, and that I'm really gratified about the most, is that The National Review continues to be one of our biggest fans, and continues to support the show, and has said it's one of the best shows on TV. And their political agenda is certainly not mine. But I'm really happy that they like the show, that they see things within it that appeal to them.
AVC: Were you surprised when some of the things you've done lately—say, when the heroes condoned suicide bombings—didn't provoke more backlash?
RM: We saw a fair amount of heat for it. If the show was on a broadcast network and had a much bigger audience, we probably would have taken a much bigger hit. The fact that we're on cable and we have a smaller audience, I think, went a long way toward shielding us from a major media backlash.
And also just the fact that it's science fiction. We get a pass on a lot of things because it's science fiction. The religious stuff on the show, the political stuff on the show—a lot of people just don't want to take it seriously, because it's people in spaceships and robots running around. So a lot of the mainstream media just isn't going to really take anything in the show seriously. Which gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want.
AVC: It would be hard for Rush Limbaugh to start ranting about a show with killer robots.
RM: It would be pretty funny to hear. I sort of would like to hear that broadcast some morning.
AVC: With this show, like some of the shows on HBO, you have the space to create a social-science lab and experiment with these ideas, and you have week after week to see how it turns out.
RM: Well, especially, I think, in science fiction, because you're creating the universe from ground zero, and the social and political aspects of it are what you say they are. A lot of the politics of the 12 colonies are obviously based on American politics, but also with things from other societies and cultures thrown into the mix. "Well, if the government works slightly differently in this way, or what if the tradition in the country was more like this"—all those things combine to give you this great flexibility to play around with the game of "what if." It provides a much richer and more interesting context for the character drama.
AVC: But at the end of the day, you're still more interested in the character drama?
RM: Oh, yeah, yeah. There's a part of me that's wonkish enough to really be fascinated with how the 12 colonies developed as a federal government, and what the articles of colonization were about, and what are the differences between the colonies, and what are the legal differences, etc. etc. But it's all just background. It's really about Adama, and Laura, and Starbuck, and these people, and what they do in their lives.
AVC: Lee Adama's speech in the season finale seemed to encapsulate one message about the show—this idea that we're watching a group of people who are screw-ups and who are fallible, but at the same time something in their nature still pushes them to do the right thing and stick to their values.
RM: I think that's very accurate. I look at them as people. And I think people are screw-ups, and even our greatest heroes are deeply flawed human beings. I'm interested in exposing the flaws and playing with the flaws. People make bad decisions for all the wrong reasons, and then somehow they'll do the right thing, and then somehow they'll save somebody, or they'll be compassionate. Horrible people can do wonderful things, and wonderful people can do horrible things. It's the spectrum of human emotion and reaction that interests me on the show.
AVC: Going into the next season, has the network given you any general requests to alter course? Like, "We need more laughs next time"?
RM: There's been an ongoing conversation with the network since the very beginning about the tone of the show—is there enough humor on the show, is the show too dark, is it too depressing, are we giving people enough reasons to tune in the next week. That's always been a difficult conversation, I think. They've always been concerned that the show is too dark and just too depressing. And we're always saying, "No, that's what the show is. It's the circumstance, it's real, but there's still heroism within it, there's still people to root for, but they're just not your standard TV heroes." By and large we win that argument, and they let us do the show that we want.
AVC: We've seen the Cylons go from an unknown and mysterious enemy to a more concrete, well-explored society. But there's still a third force on the show, the mystic side. And that's still very abstract and mysterious. Are you going to flesh that out more? Do you have a game plan around that?
RM: We do, and the plan is as we go into the next season or so, to start bringing more of that to the fore and tying it into everything else that's been going on in the show.
AVC: It seems like a big challenge.
RM: Oh sure. It's a huge challenge. But the tease only works to a certain point. Ultimately, if you take the story all the way to the end, you do need to give the audience some answers to some of these things. Maybe not everything. There's probably some elements that we will leave mysterious even after the show is over. But I think you have to at least ground the audience in some reality for some of these things that have happened. Even if the explanation is a supernatural one, you want to give them some explanation and feel a payoff for the time and effort they've put into the show up to that point.
AVC: You were one of the first television shows to start a podcast commentary alongside the show. Do you find it strange that you've got fans who spend as much time listening to you talk on the podcast as they do watching the show on TV?
RM: I find it very odd. [Laughs.] I'm always surprised when people tell me that they listen to the podcast, because I don't really listen to podcasts. It's not really part of my consumption of media. And the idea that people are listening to it weekly as part of their viewing experience, and it enhances their viewing experience—I understand it intellectually, but emotionally and personally, it always kind of surprises me that anybody listens to the podcast.
AVC: At the same time, now you almost have to lie on the podcast, like with "Maelstrom"—at the end, after we see Starbuck die, you talk about how sad the cast and crew were to lose the actress. And then three weeks later, she came back.
RM: Well, all that was very true. I was very careful on that podcast not to directly lie about any of it. The crew had no idea that we were bringing her back when we killed her. And the cast at first was very, very upset. I actually had to calm the waters up in Vancouver at some point and call the cast and say, "Okay, here's the plan," because we hadn't told any of them. We had told Katee [Sackhoff] what the plan was, and Katee, we all agreed that we were going to keep this to ourselves, and that we were going to shoot her final scene in the finale on a separate day after principal photography had wrapped up. It was all trying to be very secret, hush-hush. We had alternate endings, fake script pages, all this kind of stuff, to preserve the secret of Starbuck coming back and the revelation of the final four Cylons.
AVC: You've said that the one-off episodes and self-contained stories are the ones you're least satisfied with. Why is that?
RM: Well, part of it is just that they don't have the richness of the other episodes. It's just not the show that we all like to do as much, and it probably shows in the final product. The more serialized episodes really continue to embroider on the characters and give you a sense of continuity of what happened to them last week and the week before and the week before that, and you're watching the characters grow and change over time. There's just a richness to that kind of storytelling that I think we all find much more satisfying.
AVC: Will you try to do fewer of those next season, or is it a requirement from the network?
RM: The network too has come to the conclusion that as much as they don't want the show to be serialized, the show is what it is at this point. I'm not getting a lot more pressure to do that any more.
AVC: You've talked about Starbuck and Ellen Tigh as female characters who are strong and "tomcat around" on their men, and the men understand that. Where did that come from?
RM: Nobody in particular, actually. [Laughs.] There's no woman I know that's really like either of those women. I think I was attracted to it because I didn't see that sort of archetype in person or in fiction very often. The attributes that men get away with as characters, you don't often see given to women.
AVC: A lot of science-fiction franchises are expanding their story via other media, like The Matrix with The Animatrix, or Buffy continuing from a movie to a TV show to a comic book. What do you think of that?
RM: I think it's great. I think that's a tremendous outlet for being able to tell stories in that universe. I'm always tempted in the back of my mind to continue to write things in the Star Trek universe, in the novels or the comics, just because I don't get to play in that universe and I don't get to hang out with those characters any more. You spend hours upon hours of your life, day after day sitting in writers' rooms, talking about these people and these situations, and it becomes very real to you. They're friends of yours, in a lot of ways. I can go see Michael Dorn or I can run into Patrick Stewart or whatever every once in a while, but I don't get to hang out with Captain Picard or Worf any more. So the idea that maybe you could capture that again a little bit, and write more and create more stories in whatever form, I think is a great thing, and certainly for Joss, it must be a tremendous boon. He must really enjoy that.
In the past week, much more information about the upcoming Battlestar Galactica TV Movie has been revealed, thanks to interviews given by executive producer Ron Moore with post-gazette.com and ew.com. Moore has confirmed that, as rumored, the movie will indeed focus on an untold story about the Battlestar Pegasus, and feature Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes), a character who died on Galactica in season two. While this story with Cain occurs before she and the Pegasus crew joined up with Galactica, the entire cast of the regular series will appear in the movie, as the Pegasus portion is portrayed via flashbacks.
Read more here
Saturday, April 28
EJO has been nominated in the following 2 catagories:
OUTSTANDING ACTOR –
TELEVISION SERIES, MINI-SERIES, OR TV MOVIE
for Battlestar Galactica – Sci Fi Channel
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR –
TELEVISION SERIES, MINI-SERIES, OR TV MOVIE
for “Walkout” – HBO
The NCLR ALMA Awards show celebrates artistic excellence through the outstanding achievements of Latinos in motion pictures, television, and music. The program promotes diverse, accurate, and proportional portrayals of Latinos in the American media to a national prime-time television viewing audience in the United States.
“The show provides an opportunity for the Latino community to celebrate excellence in the entertainment industry, while educating others about the contributions of Hispanic Americans to this country.”
The awards will be given out on June 1st. For the full list check here: Alma Awards
Friday, April 20
SOURCE: Sci Fi Magazine.
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 come after the series successful move to anew 10p.m. timeslot on Sundays. Since the move, Battlestar Galactica's audience has grown over its third-season average by 8 percent in total viewers, by double digits in female vewers, 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 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 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 newest 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.
Aaron Douglas, the star of science fiction favourite Battlestar Galactica, is taking time out of his busy schedule of fighting robots and defending the human race to visit his fans in Brisbane.
The Canadian native is best known as Chief Tyrol in Battlestar – a role which has launched him into science fiction stardom. The show won a cult following in its first incarnation in the 1970s – and the remake, in which Douglas stars, now has a massive following on the Sci-Fi Channel. Douglas has also had smaller roles in hit movies such as The Chronicles of Riddick and X-Men 2, and television shows Dark Angel and Smallville.
He spoke to brisbanetimes.com.au entertainment reporter Scott Casey this week.
SC: You entered acting later than most of your contemporaries – what led you into an acting career?
Aaron: For four years after high school I was a floor layer – I did a lot of construction work until my knees gave out. So I went and worked for a software company doing marketing, then a sports nutrition company… and quit when I was 26 or 27. After a year at acting school, I got an agent and here I am. My mom says I used to say I wanted to be an actor but I’m sure I wanted to be a lawyer…now I’d only be a TV lawyer. If I had to sit in front of a computer for 16 hours a day I’d want to shoot myself in the head!
SC: Battlestar was your big break – why do you think the show has been so successful?
Aaron: Battlestar’s popularity really starts with it’s great writing. It’s real human drama, with real human emotion, and the writers don’t pull an punches – they really tell it like it is, hold a mirror up to the world and start discussions. It’s just top to bottom an outstanding show to work. Compared to the other shite that’s on TV, you don’t have to go far to whip them.
SC: How intense is the filing of Battlestar?
Aaron: We take eight days to film each episode. When you are in scenes that are in different locations then you’ll work a lot – they go to one set and shoot all the scenes from that set, so if you’re in multiple scenes then you’ll work a whole bunch. Battlestar starts filming on May 14, so once we start we’re going we’ll shoot until March 2008, so we don’t really have time to do much else.
Tuesday, April 10
Saturday, April 7
Queer fans of Battlestar Galactica, the Sci-Fi Channel’s postapocalyptic drama chronicling the struggles of a human race to find earth after a group of machines called the Cylons destroyed their home planets, have noticed one thing missing from the series: a gay character. To the casual viewer it should seem odd that a fictional universe founded on post gender ideology like Galactica would shy away from pushing that cultural hot button—considering the show includes such progressive characters as Laura Roslin, who becomes a woman president (presumably not the first) after the attack on their home world, with no one questioning her leadership. Similarly, Galactica’s captain, Lee “Apollo” Adama, unabashedly becomes a sex object for viewers whenever he struts his six-pack in a tiny towel that always seems to malfunction when the camera is on. The show also conveys a decidedly liberal bias in often criticizing the war in Iraq and the Bush administration in general. For example, this season’s opening episode found the humans under a Cylon occupation, being forced to understand the Cylon culture’s concept of god and religion while rebelling and killing Cylon soldiers.
Whatever the reasons for not playing the gay card, allow me to speculate who among the Galactica spaceship crew may be hiding in the intergalactic closet. I’m betting it’s Lt. Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani), the tactical officer on board who has been giving Cylon collaborator Gaius Baltar the sexy eye for a long time. I’m calling it now since we're on the verge of the season finale and the show has made it clear his sub-plot is going to deal with a secret he’s harbouring.
But I’m not the first to wager on Gaeta’s sexuality. During a radio interview in Portland, Ore., Galactica lead Katee Sackhoff, who plays the masculine Starbuck, was asked which character on the show she thought was gay. Sackhoff responded, “We think it’s Gaeta.… The blooper reel from every single season has Gaeta always hitting on someone [who is] a man.”
My gaydar first went off during season 1 when a Cylon agent in disguise told the fleet that Baltar was responsible for the attack on the home world, furnishing a photograph depicting him bombing a military base. Asked to authenticate the photo, Gaeta found himself befriended by Baltar, who approached Gaeta in the restroom and whispered how much he appreciated his help in trying to clear his name. Gaeta’s response? “Thank you, doctor. You have no idea how much that means to me.”
Up until that moment, Gaeta’s admiration for Baltar—having studied genetics in college, he was a strong admirer of the doctor’s work in genetic engineering—seemed innocent. But this encounter suggested he had more of a crush on him.
Later, after the photograph appeared to be real and Baltar was convicted of treason, Gaeta comes rushing to him in his prison cell to tell him the photo was fake after all, and that he’s able to prove it by running additional tests on it. When Baltar thanks him, and asks him why he would go out of his way to help him, Gaeta responds, “I just knew you could never have anything to do with that attack.” Mm hmm.
Another moment that made me question Gaeta’s sexuality was during season 2’s presidential run between President Laura Roslin and Baltar. Roslin, who was desperate not to let Baltar win the presidency, tried to rig the election, only to be foiled when Gaeta noticed some of the ballots were invalid because Baltar’s name was misspelled. Baltar ended up winning the election, and Gaeta left colonial duty to become his right-hand man, where he carried out all of Baltar’s questionable decisions.
Most recently, in this season Gaeta was seen tossing and turning in bed after Baltar was imprisoned again for treason, and he eventually goes to visit Baltar in the middle of the night. By this point, every character on the series has realized that Baltar has been collaborating with the Cylons and offer him no sympathy. But not Gaeta—refused entry by the prison guard, he is obviously heartbroken and walks away with his head down. As the episode progresses, Baltar begins to mock Gaeta on a secret he knows about him.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Gaeta is the only character on Battlestar Galactica to lack a romantic counterpart. Sure, he’s danced and talked with some of the fleet’s girls on occasion, but these interactions were mere seconds long, and nothing in them suggested anything more than superficial interest. The only character he has formed any kind of relationship with is Baltar.
Gaeta has been a background character for much of the series and has never had a plot centred around him. Now that he is stepping into the spotlight with his secret-related sub-plot, I’m guessing much is going to be revealed about him in the coming weeks.
Maybe the secret has nothing to do with his sexuality. But if the writers blow over all these hints in favour of revealing Gaeta as a Cylon agent sent to help Baltar during his trials, I for one will be extremely disappointed. The writers have the opportunity to play the gay card in a way that isn't flashy or a cry for media attention. Battlestar Galactica is the first series on television that makes it a point to say that sex and gender aren't important. Having a gay character and not making his sexuality a big deal would be ground breaking.
Friday, April 6
'Galactica' producers teased fans in Season 3, but what they did to the cast/crew was worse.
Over the summer, Katee Sackhoff, who plays Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on "Battlestar Galactica," received a nerve-racking phone call from Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, the show's executive producers.
"David and Ron said, 'We want to start this phone call out by saying that we love you,' " Sackhoff recalled last week.
Sackhoff knew she might not like what came next. And she didn't. "They said, 'You're not really gonna die — but we're gonna blow you up.' "
At the end of the March 4 episode of "Battlestar Galactica," Starbuck, the swaggering, troubled pilot who has been one of the show's leads during its three seasons, did indeed blow up. The series' voracious fans' reactions ranged from mourning to disbelief that the producers would kill off such a popular character.
Those in the latter category turned out to be right: Three episodes later, in the season finale's last moments, Starbuck reappeared, flying alongside her friend Apollo (Jamie Bamber). She said she had been to Earth — the search for Earth is the show's overarching story — and would lead everyone there.
In a spoiler-centric world, where the plots of television series leak throughout the Internet, the so-called death of Starbuck was a big secret to keep in the months-long lag time between shooting "Battlestar Galactica" and its broadcast. Adding on that she wasn't actually dead, along with the surprising circumstances of her return, made it even more difficult. After all, the Sci Fi Channel show isn't so much watched by its moderately sized but fervent audience as it is dissected.
So the other part of that summer phone call was the hatching of an ornate scheme that would keep even the most curious and snooping viewers surprised, even if they did guess that Sackhoff was not actually gone from the show. Eick said: "This was by far the most difficult and complex secret to keep. It was no small feat."
At first, the producers wanted to deceive the whole "Battlestar Galactica" production, including the cast, into thinking that Sackhoff was really leaving. "They said, 'We're not telling anyone,' " she recounted. " 'We're not telling the entire crew. The entire cast. Some of the writers aren't even going to know.' I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me!' "
The cast found out Starbuck was "dying" while production was underway last year when they received the outline of the episode in which she blew up. "Everyone flipped out," Sackhoff said.
The animated Sackhoff found it difficult to lie to her fellow actors about what was going on. (Deceit doesn't seem to be her forte, generally speaking: In the first minute of this interview, Sackhoff admitted that she was hung over, because, she said, "I don't want you to think I'm stupid. I'd rather you think I'm, you know, a drunk.")
Eick soon realized that this part of the plan simply wouldn't work among the close group of friends in the "Battlestar Galactica" cast. "It wasn't fair to her," he said. "She was going to have to lie to literally everybody in the cast: 'Yeah, yeah, I know, it's awfully sad. I'm gonna miss you guys!' It got ridiculous at a certain point. She was a trooper; I think she would have done anything we asked her to. But she's not inhuman!"
So the cast was told that Sackhoff and Starbuck were there to stay, but anyone else deemed a potential leak was kept in the dark. Including Sackhoff's own father. "My dad has a big mouth, and I knew he would get on his e-mail list and tell everyone," she said.
As Season 3 progressed, Eick and Moore teased the press and fans with bits of information about how it would build toward a climax. In interviews, they said that Starbuck would have a big episode in early March; that after that episode, an actor would be gone from the opening credits; and that by the end of the season, it would be discovered that a major character was an undercover Cylon, the robotic race that looks human but appears to be set on annihilating mankind.
Those three plot points were all true — Sackhoff was removed from the credits after Starbuck's "death," and in fact four Cylons were revealed in the finale — but turned out not to be related. On the dozens of sites devoted to "Battlestar Galactica," fans mushed them together anyway, turning them into "foilers" rather than spoilers, as Eick and Moore hoped.
"My goal was to mislead the audience into thinking Kara Thrace was a Cylon," Eick said. Being a Cylon, after all, would mean that there were many copies of her, and therefore Sackhoff could come back as a different version of Starbuck.
"For the fans really paying close attention — reading the message boards, consuming all the details — I think they were adequately misled," Eick said. "They thought they knew the answer; they were wrong, and that's ultimately what they want — to be surprised."
Other details also worked in favor of the surprise. One seemingly unpluggable source of leaks of character deaths is casting news — actors do want to continue working, after all. After she finished shooting her episodes, Sackhoff had a long hiatus from the Vancouver set and looked for other jobs in Los Angeles. "I was taking meetings for things and trying to tell people that they could hire me without really lying to them," she said.
The fact the Sackhoff was auditioning for new roles spread throughout the "Battlestar Galactica" community. Then Eick cast her in his NBC pilot, a remake of "The Bionic Woman." "I was excited to cast Katee as the guest lead in the pilot," he said. "Because if nothing else, when it hit the press, people said, 'Damn, she really is dead!' "
Meanwhile, Sackhoff — after suffering through guilt-inducing goodbye cake from the unknowing crew at the show's wrap party and Champagne after her "final" episode — had to stop giving interviews because, she said, she was "so bad at the lying." There was speculation that she was written out because she got pregnant, that she had been fired because she was difficult, and that she had quit because she was ... difficult.
"Everyone thought it was because of me," Sackhoff said. "It turned into, 'Katee Sackhoff, the angry actress, pulling a Duchovny.' Which is what we call trying to get the show out of Vancouver." (David Duchovny publicly prevailed upon "The X-Files" to move its production from Vancouver to Los Angeles after five seasons.)
"That was the most frustrating part," she said. "People like working with me! But you can't defend yourself, because a guilty person defends themselves."
Season 4 of "Battlestar Galactica" begins filming in the middle of May, and Sackhoff will be there playing Starbuck. And what will happen, exactly, when the show returns next year? "I wish I knew," she said. "I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you I'm not a Cylon. I don't know that anymore.
"Because now I know that they're so good at lying!"
Thursday, April 5
Encyclopedia Galactica is the first on-line encyclopedia devoted exclusively to the Re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. It is part of the "HangarDeck5 network"
Much of Encyclopedia Galactica is still currently under construction, with an estimated completion time of circa late May, 2007.
Encyclopedia Galactica is an "on-line encyclopedia" and not really a "wiki", philosophically: EG is not a group project or a "community": it is a complete on-line guide to everything relating to the Battlestar Galactica series created by Ronald D. Moore, which is written entirely by one man, identifying himself only by the letter "V". V is "the guy that runs Encyclopedia Galactica", though some of you may know him by his old screename "The Merovingian"; a disgruntled Star Trek fan who after the decline and fall of Star Trek, hails the BSG writing team (which includes many former DS9 writers) as the saviors of the Science Fiction TV series.
Encyclopedia Galactica will, when completed, be the most accurate guide to the Re-imagined BSG universe known to man: as the saying goes, "the trouble with V is that he knows us better than we do ourselves" :)
Please drop by the main page for Encyclopedia Galactica: http://encyclopediagalactica.prometheusund...title=Main_Page
There are some who would say that trying to single-handedly write an entire exhaustive guide to the Re-imagined BSG is just a lost cause. Well, the following video sums up V's current emotional state *word for word*: Click Here
Meanwhile, read through EG as it develops (mostly the episodes guides at this point, though end-of-year college finals will slow V down somewhat in April), and be sure to check out the rather exhaustive Cast and Crew Q&A that V wrote up (it's an open question as to whether anyone will actually drop by, but V figured "if you build it, they will come") ----->For starters, it does explain...in shocking detail....what the "Continuity errors in "Hero" were that RDM did not seem to understand during the Season Finale's "RDM Answers 20 questions" session on Scifi.com
So please stop by, and around late May there will be another "EG is totally finished, and contains the sum total knowledge of all things about the series" party.
The following was V's (The Merovingian, Merv's) alternate choice for Encyclopedia Galactica's front page logo, which reluctantly he decided not to use, however, in his own words it "sums up the ethos of Encyclopedia Galactica *exactly*:
"Merv's in his encyclopedia, all's right with the world"
Wednesday, April 4
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t yet watched the “BSG” Season Three finale, stop reading here, for the love of gods!
Have you lost sleep or sanity (or countless work-hours gathered around the water cooler) trying to process all the series-rocking revelations in last Sunday’s “Battlestar Galactica” season finale? Blame Mark Verheiden. As the writer responsible for the episode, titled “Crossroads: Part Two,” he set Gaius Baltar free, revealed four more secret Cylons, brought Starbuck back to life—and showed us Earth.
Wizard went to action stations with the veteran TV and comics scribe and “Battlestar” co-executive producer to look back on Season Three, look forward to Season Four and learn whether Cylons—and Starbuck—can really be trusted…
WIZARD: How did you land the writing chores for the season finale? Is that a real plum gig, or a real hard gig?
VERHEIDEN: Well, [executive producers] Ron Moore and David Eick make the decision of who writes which episodes. Some of it is rotation-based: “Who’s up?” Obviously, when you’re on the last episode, you get to be here longer. So there is that aspect, but I was flattered to be asked to do it and I had a great time doing it. I can’t really tell you exactly why [they asked me], but it’s nice to be trusted with it. By the way, I think that any of the writers could’ve handled it. It’s a great staff here. But it was great that I had a chance to do it.
You had a lot of balls to juggle in that final episode: Baltar’s trial, Laura’s cancer, Adama’s relationship with both Laura and Apollo, Starbuck’s return, the shot of Earth, the opera house dream sequences, the appearance of the Cylon fleet, the revelation of four out of the final five Cylons.…How do you even go about weaving all those threads together?
VERHEIDEN: When you’re here through the entire process, you’ve been following the strain of these stories all along. We all have ideas where we’re going with each one of those stories anyway. It just becomes an issue of sitting down and trying to order them up and figuring out a way to bring some of them to fruition or a close, and which ones do we want to continue into the next season. That’s really a process that comes out of working with Ron and David and in the writers’ room with the rest of the writers; we call that breaking the story. For every episode we do the same thing: We sit down and we look at the balls that are in the air, the stories that we want to tell, and then we break it down on note cards and put it up on a board and say, “This is how we think it should go.”
The interesting thing with “Crossroads” parts one and two is that ultimately, in the editing process, material from what was in part two ended up in part one and stuff in part one ended up in part two. It’s a little bit of a mix-and-match process. Even at that stage, we’re rethinking and configuring what we want to put in the show. Again, with so many balls in the air, I think that even after the fact—when you’re editing, obviously—you’re thinking, “Well, where do we want to present these? Where do we want to cut a story off and pick up the next story?” There are decisions like that, and it’s really just part of the process of figuring out the story. That’s how you do it. You do have a lot of things in the air, and that frankly makes it more fun.
Really? I was wondering if you went into it sighing, wondering how you’re going to pull it off.
VERHEIDEN: We do that with every episode. [Laughs] But it’s not so much a sigh of defeat, but more like, “Wow. A lot of challenges here.” It’s really great, though. One of the wonderful things about this show is the fact that there are so many places that we can turn. We have such a large cast, and each of them has their own idiosyncratic issues that they have to deal with. We have the Cylons. We have science-fiction conceits. We have interpersonal conceits. There are just a lot of ways stories can go. So rather than that being challenging—well, it’s challenging, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity because you’ve just got so many choices that you can make. You’re not locked into any one thing that you sort of need to do or tell. That’s great.
One of the big reveals for this episode was the identity of four new Cylons: Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol, Anders and Tory. Around my office, at least, we had a lot of people who couldn’t possibly wrap their heads around people like Tigh and the Chief being Cylons. I know that Ron Moore has said in interviews that they are, but I want to get as many people on the record as possible. So, are these four Cylons? Pinky swear?
VERHEIDEN: [Laughs] They are Cylons. No, this will not be a “Dallas” dream episode where you wake up and go, “We’re not Cylons!” Without getting into any kind of spoiler territory, we will be exploring what that means as we go into Season Four, but they are Cylons. So, harbor no hopes that it’s some kind of dream or nightmare. When we do something like this, first of all, it’s not without considerable thought and planning, and second of all, we don’t do it so that we can pull the rug out from under the audience and say, “We were kidding.” Not with this one anyway.
I’ve seen fans of the show comment that because of the leadership role these characters played in the New Caprican insurgency, it essentially makes that conflict a Cylon civil war, even if these characters weren’t consciously aware of that. Is that one of the long-term planning points that you’re referring to?
VERHEIDEN: Well, I think that what happened on New Caprica will certainly be an issue that we have to think about as we go along. Basically, they are Cylons and we’re going to approach that. I really don’t want to give anything up about what we’re doing next season… [Pause] …that… [Another pause] well, what can I say? I’m trying to think what would be interesting here. [Yet another pause] Well, I think that I’ve said it. We will be exploring what it means to have these guys being Cylons for sure. Oh yeah, I was going to say… [Super-long pause] Well, no. I will end there. [Laughs]
Clearly, they’re a breed apart. For example, we’ve seen a younger Tigh in flashback sequences, so it seems unlikely that there are thousands of regular, aged Colonel Tighs walking around on some base ship somewhere. Are those different rules for these guys something that will be coming up in Season Four?
VERHEIDEN: All stuff that we’ll be exploring. We do know who they are. So in terms of, like, if we’re just winging it and backpedaling as we go? No. We know who they are, and that is going to be a big part of what we get at in Season Four.
Switching gears for a moment, I loved Apollo’s courtroom speech in Gaius Baltar’s trial. It showed that he’s such a noble, likable character even when he’s doing something that you don’t agree with, and it also tied in all these events from the past where characters from the Galactica have committed horrible crimes of treason and been forgiven. How did that speech, and its references to those plot points from all three seasons and the miniseries, come about?
VERHEIDEN: That was a culmination of something that Ron Moore really wanted to do. The entire idea of the trial of Baltar was to explore the concept of guilt or innocence within the fleet, and also to suggest that this is a fleet that only had an ad hoc justice system. We’ve never really seen the justice system in the fleet, and I think internally we always assume that the captains of each ship always dealt with whatever issues came up on a summary basis. So we were interested in just trying to explore how you create justice in this world.
The second question, which is the one that Lee attacks in his speech, is “What is justice?” What does that mean in this particular world, where we’ve basically been reduced to 38,000 people and vengeance and attempts to get retribution for things in the past might not be as valid as they would, say, in a different circumstance. It was also fascinating, I think, that Baltar was the elected president of the 12 colonies and found himself in an untenable position. Lee’s speech was an attempt to address the practical realities of the situation that they found themselves in, and pull us out a little bit from us screaming for blood. That’s where the impulse for that came from. And again, one of the great things about working on a show that has such a rich background as “Battlestar” is that you’re able to pull from a lot of events that happened in past shows to demonstrate how the fleet’s justice system or sense of justice has been tested or not tested, or how forgiveness has been the rule of the day.
Internally, we thought one of the more interesting moments pointing out that [President] Laura [Roslin] had pardoned everyone, so we’re not quite sure why that pardon didn’t manifest itself all the way to Baltar. How come he got excluded from that when we forgave everyone else who may have actually done more heinous crimes than him? Of course, the horrible thing is that Baltar, in fact, is at least complicit in the genocide of the whole civilization, if you go back that far, but that’s kind of one that we can’t really prove. I’m sure that he would have a very facile argument as to why he wasn’t to blame. “It wasn’t me!”
Continue reading at Wizard Universe
Tuesday, April 3
The 'Battlestar Galactica' series has really rejuvenated television SF over the last few years. Its leaning towards realism rather than outlandish costumes and story-lines has garnered it a lot of praise from all across the media. Portraying the flight of the remaining humans following the android Cylons' attack on their worlds, the series is hard-hitting, character orientated and frequently fascinating.
Of course, any SF TV series or film that is successful is quickly used to promote media tie-ins and over the last year or so, the first few tie-in books have started to come out for 'Battlestar Galactica'.
This particular tie-in 'The Cylons' Secret' is actually a prequel rather than one set at the time of the TV show. Set some twenty years before the show, William Adama is younger, second-in-command on the Battlestar Galactica to which he will eventually command.
His ship receives a distress call from the edge of known space with only one word 'Cylons'. They investigate to find a base on a little-known planet long thought abandoned. The presence of Cylons on the planet is complex and potentially highly dangerous.
Craig Shaw Gardner is a decent enough writer and the story is diverting if not stellar. The characters are recognisable although it did grate quite a lot that one of the other characters of the show, Tom Zarek, is present in the book as a young man and interacts with many of the crew.
This kind of intermingling of main characters before they've met in the actual main story-line is exactly where the 'Star Wars' prequel films ruined the franchise. Doing this asks the reader or viewer to put aside so much suspension of disbelief that the story-line itself is drastically weakened. I struggled to get over this obvious attempt to place familiar characters in the book.
Having said that, the story is decent and the writing good enough to make it a diverting read. It's nothing compared to the tie-ins I consider the best - the Timothy Zahn, Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allstone 'Star Wars' sequels, which handle the juggling act far better than any of the other tie-ins I've seen.
It's not a great book but if you have nothing else to read it will entertain you. I just wish marketing directors (or George Lucas) would spend less time mandating familiar characters at the cost of the actual story being told. You've created memorable characters once for one story-line. Surely it's not that much of a stretch to do it a second time and come up with a much better end product?
Tomas L. Martin
When I heard that Javier Grillo-Marxuach (from TV's "Lost") would be penning "Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Apocalypse," I was immediately stoked. This is a guy who not only made the Super-Skrull cool in a miniseries last year, but told such an epic tale you wished the character had always been written that way.
I wondered what he would do with a tale centered on the original "Battlestar" crew.
The answer is quite a bit. Grillo-Marxuach not only tells a great story, it's one that transcends the trappings of its characters and premise to present them in a way you - if you are a fan - wish they always had been.
So we get crackling dialogoue, particularly between Apollo and Starbuck - with just the right amount of humor and trash talk - and we also get some dynamic derring-do from these two franchise pillars.
Toss in Cylons attacking Cylons, a mystery, a truly menacing villain, the possibility of the crew having found a way to the Lost Colony of Earth - and the teensy, weensy challenge they have in getting there - and a cliffhanger and you have another epic unfolding in these first 22 pages of the 4-issue limited series.
It doesn't hurt that the art by Carlos Rafael is gorgeous, either.
In short, Dynamite has knocked yet another one out of the park. If they keep this up, by the end of the year they will challenge Ryan Howard in that regard.
Helfer as Supergirl?
According to JoBlo.Com, current "Battlestar Galactica" superbabe Tricia Helfer could be getting ready to . . . uh, bust out as "Supergirl" on the silver screen.
The Web site states that "Warner Brothers has already commissioned a script for the younger, blonder and breastier" cousin of Superman, and that Helfer was on the list of possibilities to wear the famed curve-hugging blue bodysock.
Of course, Helfer is 33 and Supergirl is only 17 in the comics, but the explanation for that has never made sense anyway. Supposedly, she is actually older than Superman - but hasn't aged as fast because she spent a majority of her life in orbit?
Odds are, at a time when studios are altering the race and gender of iconic characters for the silver screen, Warner Brothers won't hesitate to change Supergirl's age if it means landing someone like Helfer for the role with an eye toward sending fanboys (and their box-office numbers) into orbit.
Without a firm release date yet announced, some details of the Battlestar Galactica season three DVD set have begun to emerge. Amongst the usual deleted scenes, actor and creator commentary, and documentaries, Battlestar Galactica fans can look forward to an expanded and spliced version of the popular Battlestar Galactica webisodes that led up to the beginning of Galactica's third season and successfully set the tone of what was to come. The real question is, will there be a second season of webisodes to precede Battlestar Galactica's fourth season which seems so many light-years away.
Battlestar Galactica - The resistance featured mostly new characters involved in the formation of the human resistance movement on New Caprica. While many of the classic characters did appear, most of the heavy hitters were noticeably absent. Not that this had much of an impact on the endeavor, which really came to symbolize how to do this sort of thing 'right'.
Apparently there was enough action held back to expand the webisodes into what nearly resembles a full episode. Being shuffled into the play list as episode zero. Whether or not there will be a new series for season four remains to be seen.
Where season two left us a year in the future, there was ample wiggle space to create a small group of new characters and have them flourish through their own adventures. Season three left off with klaxons blaring as a massive Cylon fleet prepared to have the fleet for breakfast. This hardly seems like the sort of situation where you could bridge the seasons in a story sense. Of course, they could keeps us all occupied with some good old fashioned dog fights.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Monday, April 2
THE BEYOND THE RED LINE TEAM IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THE BEYOND THE RED LINE DEMO, AVAILABLE NOW!
SPOILER WARNING: The following readme and the game itself contain spoilers for Battlestar Galactica Season 2. If you have not seen the series as far as the the episode "Scar", you might want to avoid playing for the time being.
We thought we were saved. A week after the Nuclear Holocaust our rag-tag fleet of civilian ships, led by the captain of the Scylla, wandered aimlessly through space. We were overcrowded, under-armed, low on fuel and nearly out of food. Our handful of battered Vipers were only minor nuisance to the daily Raider attacks and after a week, when the Base ship appeared, most of us were resigned to our fate.
But then, appearing like a savior from the Gods themselves, a lone battlestar pounded through the Cylons’ defenses. We cheered the arrival of Battlestar Pegasus; her crew had saved us. Or so we thought...
Scylla was first. We watched from the observation deck of the charter liner Requiem, as the Raptors docked with it. We caught a brief burst of wireless comms from Scylla, frantic and distorted, but the message was clear: get away. It was too late; when Pegasus' Raptors found Requiem a few minutes later, they brought nothing that gave us reason to praise the Gods. Mechanics arrived to claim Requiem's vital systems, and Colonial Marines--with guns drawn--claimed warm bodies. Death at the mechanical hands of the Cylons would have been better.
1.1 ABOUT THE DEMO
Drafted and pressed into service, your only hope of survival is to fall in line and train to join the ranks of the elite Viper pilots of Battlestar Pegasus. Get a taste of the action that awaits you in the upcoming main campaign with intense single- and multiplayer missions. Will you become one of Pegasus’ elite, or will you give your life in the vast, cold battleground of deep space?
• Powered by the revamped Freespace 2 engine
• Entirely stand-alone, Freespace 2 not required
• Accurately detailed high-resolution ship models
• High quality, originally engineered audio
• Authentic, original in-game soundtrack, in addition to pieces by Bear McCreary and Richard Gibbs
• Original characters and voice acting
• A three mission single player campaign depicting never-before-seen events, interwoven with and true to the series’ storyline
• Head online and go head-to-head with your friends—and foes—in intense multiplayer missions including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and others
• Exciting Viper combat with authentic weaponry and flight controls
1.2 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Minimum Recommended Specifications:
Computer: 100% DirectX 8.1 compatible computer
Operating System: Windows® 98SE/ME/2000/XP
CPU: Pentium® 1 GHz or AMD Athlon 800 MHz processor
Memory: 512 MB RAM
Graphics Card: 64 MB NVIDIA® GeForce 3, ATI Radeon Hardware T&L card or other OpenGL compatible video card
Sound Card: Windows® 98/2000/XP-compatible sound card
Input Device: Windows® compatible mouse and keyboard
DirectX®: DirectX® version 8.1 or higher
OpenAL: OpenAL is a cross-platform 3D audio API appropriate for use with gaming applications and many other types of audio applications.
Installation: 600 MB free HD space
Recommended System Specs:
Computer: 100% DirectX 8.1 compatible computer
Operating System: Windows® 98SE/ME/2000/XP
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ or equivalent Pentium® processor
Memory: 1gb MB RAM
Graphics Card: 256 MB NVIDIA® GerForce 6, equivalent ATI Hardware T&L card or other OpenGL compatible video card
Sound Card: Windows® 98/2000/XP-compatible sound card
Input Device: Windows® compatible joystick
DirectX®: DirectX® version 8.1 or higher
OpenAL: OpenAL is a cross-platform 3D audio API appropriate for use with gaming applications and many other types of audio applications.
Installation: 600 MB free HD space
Operating System: Mac OS 10.4
CPU: 933MHz minimum CPU, 1.2Ghz recommended, PPC or Intel
Memory: 512 MB RAM minimum, 1 GB recommended
Graphics Card: GeForce 3 or better, Radeon 9200 or better
Input Device: Mouse and keyboard
Installation: 650 MB free HD space
Operating System: Linux x86 compatible
CPU: Pentium® 1 GHz or AMD Athlon 800 MHz processor
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 1 GB recommended
Graphics Card: 64 MB NVIDIA® GeForce 3 or ATI Radeon with closed source drivers, Mesa 6 or better with S3TC extension available for open source drivers
Input Device: Mouse and keyboard
Installation: 650 MB free HD space
1.3 KNOWN ISSUES
• When playing the game with a dual-core processor, you may experience poor framerates in graphic intensive missions. Setting the processor affinity to only one core (in Task Manager) can help this issue.
• Some game files are very large in size. During the unpacking process the installer may stop responding. This may last several minutes (up to ten minutes in some instances), and is normal.
• Faulty audio playback may occur if audio is set to anything other than software acceleration.
To install the Beyond the Red Line Demo, simply run the BtRLDemoInstaller that you downloaded. Follow the steps, and select the folder you want to install to. At the end of the installation, there will be important post-installation notes that need to be followed. If you don't follow these instructions, it is unlikely that the Beyond the Red Line Demo will work.
1.7 MULTIPLAYER (Credit to MatthewPapa for the basis for steps 2-5)
So, you'd like to see how you measure up against the rest of the world? To get multiplayer working:
1. Make sure your installation is up-to-date. Make sure you are connected to the Internet, then run BtRLDemoUpdater.jar or BtRLDemoUpdater.exe in the root installation folder. It's got the same layout as the installer, so you should have no problems with it.
2. Register a multiplayer account here. Be sure to write down/remember your multiplayer account information.
3. If you want to host multi games, you'll need to forward port 7808 to the machine you're playing on. If you don't know how to do this, you can look up your router on portforward.com.
4. Start up the BtRL Demo, and click the Multi tab on the choose pilot screen and create a new pilot. Give the pilot the same name as the account you made in step 2.
5. From the main menu, select Options, then click Multi at the top left. Make sure that the settings are:
- TCP is selected, IPX is deselected.
- You don't need to do anything with the IP box unless you're playing a Lan game.
- Make sure /MULTIDATA is turned off.
- Make sure PXO is turned on, and enter the account and password from step 2 into the appropriate fields. You can leave Squadron blank, it doesn't do anything.
- Object Update should always be on Low, unless you're hosting, in which case it should be on High. We can not stress this enough! Most of the lag problems you experience will be due to someone not having the correct Object Update settings. During testing, we played ten-player dogfights with little to no lag. When one person switched to Medium Object Updates, the game was almost unplayable. Make sure that when you stop hosting, you switch back to Low Object Updates. Having Object Updates set to Low will not make the game any less beautiful.
- Transfer Missions should be set to /MISSIONS, not /MULTIDATA.
- Flush Cache should be set to Never.
6. Hit Briefing, and you'll connect to the Multi Server and will be able to start playing.
Click the Game Warden link to visit the site and download the game.
Battlestar Galactica fans will have to wait at least nine months to catch up on the happenings of the season three finale. But luckily, Battlestar Galactica producers have some form of relief in mind. SciFi and Ron Moore have announced that the Battlestar Galactica movie is moving ahead with plans to air sometime in mid fall.
Ron Moore confirmed to IGN that the top secret Battlestar Galactica movie is leaping forward. Essentially the movie is a flash back to the days prior to Battlestar Pegasus joining the fleet. It will center around Commander Cain and crew's survival following the holocaust.
The movie is, in Moore's words, really a couple fo extra episodes for season four, so expect some information revealed in the movie to have some level of relevancy when season for kicks in. The movie, which does not have a title yet, will debut sometime in the fall, about 3-4 months ahead of season four.
If you think this means you won't be seeing your Galactica favorites, think again. Some of the movie takes place before the holocaust and Moore has stated that all of the original Galactica characters will be making an appearance to some degree in the film.
As for the prequel project Caprica, this has once again slipped into that abyss known as 'development hell' for SciFi channel. While not completely scrapped, there are no moves being made in a positive direction at this point. SciFi is moving ahead with several new series, and a controversial mini-series remake of The Wizard of Oz, all will be part of the channels fall and winter lineup.
- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Sunday, April 1
n love with the Sci Fi series ‘Battlestar Galactica’ is the character development. Actually, character development is the reason I fell for ‘BSG.’ The plot also had something to do with it, of course but it is the characters that really drew me into the show. You see, I’m not a sci-fi person. I’ve mentioned that in the past but it needs to be said. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy but I don’t consider myself all that into the genre. The only reason I started watching ‘Battlestar’ is to see what all the hype was about. After quickly becoming a ‘BSG’ addict, I noticed something interesting; the show is full of great female characters.
Some of the best characters in ‘Battlestar Galactica’ are women. Among the humans and the cylons, the women play fairly significant roles in the series. What makes the women in the show so great is the balance of strengths and weaknesses among each of them. Whether human or cylon, each of the female characters have something to offer the show.
Here are my thoughts on the main female characters of ‘Battlestar Galactica’:
Kara “Starbuck” Thrace – A lot of people complained when they learned that Starbuck would be portrayed by a woman in the re-imagined version of the series. In the original series, Starbuck was a man. Having not seen the original series, I wouldn’t be able to compare the two characters but I can say with complete confidence that Starbuck in this version of the series is one fantastic female character. She’s far from perfect. The abuse she received as a child has left her physically and emotionally scarred. She has a tendency to hurt the people she loves the most which can make her difficult to like at times but mistakes aside, she means well. The writers really frakked with our heads this season in the episode titled “Maelstrom,” which ended with Kara’s death. They brought her back to us in the final moments of the season finale, though. It should be very interesting to find out where she went and what all of this has to do with her “special destiny.”
Laura Roslin – I just love the realness of Roslin. She went from being Secretary of Education to President during the miniseries and it’s been quite enjoyable to watch her character develop both as a woman and as president of what remains of the human race. Roslin’s character has many layers. In addition to being responsible for the human race, she is also the potential love interest of Admiral Adama as well as a breast cancer survivor. Though her cancer serves as the device which makes her the “dying leader” that is foretold in the scriptures, it also makes her very real as a woman. She nearly died from the cancer but a miracle cure was found in the nick of time. Since then she was in remission until the last couple of episodes of the third season in which we learned that the cancer had unfortunately returned. I have no doubt that whether or not she’s able to beat the disease once again, she’ll remain strong and dignified. It is her strength and grace that makes her such an admirable female character.
Six – There are many different versions of Six in the show. As a cylon, she has a number of duplicates. The two Sixes we’ve seen the most are Baltar-Six (the one that only Baltar can see, hear and feel) and Caprica-Six (the one responsible for getting defense intel from Baltar and who has been romantically involved with him from the beginning). While Baltar-Six is sort of an all knowing, mysterious character, Caprica Six is much more intriguing to me. Despite being a cylon, she’s actually very human. From the beginning she has always seemed fairly curious about the human race. Wanting to understand our species seems to have drawn her much closer to her own human nature. It is hard to say what her motives are at this point because while she definitely plays for the Team Cylon, she also has loyalty towards Gaius Baltar as well as baby Hera. The show centers on the human side of the story but I really enjoy learning more about this character. She has proven to be much more than just the eye-candy in the show.
Sharon – Athena and Boomer – I’m fascinated by Athena and Boomer. At the beginning of the series, Boomer was a good-guy and Athena was the enemy. The tables have turned since then. After Boomer came to grips with being a cylon, her loyalties have switched. Meanwhile, Athena turned traitor to her own kind for the sake of her child and the man she loves. Athena has proven many times that she is pro-Human. It hasn’t been an easy role to play but that’s what makes it all the more enjoyable for us. We haven’t gotten to see all that much of Boomer since she resurrected. It seemed that at first, she was resistant to accepting that she was a cylon but since then, she’s adjusted. Now she seems angry, understandably so. Baltar-Six once said Sharon’s model was weak but I have to disagree. Based on Athena and Boomer, I’d say model-8 of the cylon race is actually pretty strong.
Anastasia Dualla – I can’t always get a good read on Dee. Or maybe its just that I don’t understand what the writers are trying to get out of her character. I’m going to come out and say it and I know there are going to be people out there who disagree with me but I don’t think I really like Dualla. She strikes me as someone who doesn’t really know what she wants. I think she jumped into the relationship with Billy without really thinking about it. Granted it happened during a time when everyone really just needed someone to be there for them but nevertheless, I thought she was kind of careless with him. She strung him along and then broke it off once she was able to get something going with Lee.
She pursued a relationship with Lee despite the fact that she knew he was hung up on Kara. She put up with him pining over Kara and with his cheating. It wasn’t until Lee defied his father that she called it quits which leads me to believe it’s really the Old Man that she loves. I believe a large part of her attraction to Lee had to do with him being Adama’s son, whether she realized it or not. The second he stepped out of his father’s shadow, she left him. Granted, I could be reading the situation all wrong and perhaps my distaste for this character comes from the fact that most of what we know about her is based on her romantic relationships.
Cally Tyrol – Even before she started spouting Baltar-rhetoric, Cally annoyed me. I think part of the reason I dislike her characters is because I feel sorry for her. I get the sneaking suspicion that Chief (her husband) isn’t really in love with her. This is not to say that he doesn’t love her and its not as though I didn’t see their relationship coming but perhaps its because we didn’t get to see their official “getting together” moment that’s kept me from really appreciating their relationship. It just seems very one-sided. Cally has always seemed to be in love with Chief yet he doesn’t seem to have the passion for her that he did with Boomer. I have to wonder if the writers intended it to be this way or if we were just supposed to accept that the real build-up to their relationship happened during that unseen year during the New Caprica days. There’s never been a Callie-centered episode so most of what we know of her is based on her work and her relationship with Chief.
Tory Foster – Prior to the season finale of season 3, I doubt I’d even mention Tory’s character. Finding out that she was one of the final five Cylons was definitely a shock. Based on what we’ve seen of Tory, prior to learning she was a Cylon is that she is the type of woman willing to do what needs to be done. She helped conspire to steal the presidential election and was a key player in organizing the resistance on New Caprica. Her loyalty is to the president proving that in some cases, behind a strong woman is another strong woman. I’m sure we’ll be getting to see a lot more of her in the fourth season.