Saturday, September 29
With the second series of Battlestar Galactica Minimates on stores shelves and the third wave due in stores later this year, we’re extremely pleased to reveal the next pint-sized BSG release! The fourth wave of space-faring Minimates will include the highly anticipated President Laura Roslin & Tom Zarek, Lieutenant Gaeta & Specialist Cally, Doc Cottle & Dr. Baltar as well as the limited Miniseries Baltar variant!
Battlestar Galactica premiered as a mini-series in 2003 to rave reviews from both critics and fans of the classic property, setting viewership records for the SciFi Channel. Leaving much of traditional science fiction behind, the new Battlestar Galactica instead focuses on character-driven conflicts and the series’ epic storytelling style as viewers follow the triumphs and hardships of both the humans aboard the Colonial Fleet and the Cylons bent on following them to Earth.
Battlestar Galactica returns to the small screen this November with the premiere of the extended telefilm Battlestar Galactica: Razor and begins its fourth season this February. Look for our first series of Battlestar Galactica action figures due in stores this fall and don’t forget to pre-order the DST-exclusive Chief Tyrol figure and Blue Dress Six Bust!
Friday, September 28
Actress Katee Sackhoff has become a hit on the cult TV circuit thanks to her role as Starbuck in the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica – a character substantially changed from the 1970s original played by Dirk Benedict. She is also a regular in the new version of Bionic Woman. Battlestar Galactica series three is available on DVD now.
Why do you spell your name like that?
I told my parents at 11 that I wanted to be famous and I didn’t want to spell my name ‘Katie’ anymore because it was boring. My real name is Katherine so my mum told me I could do anything to ‘Katie’ that I wanted. At that point, I was planning to become a famous swimmer. That didn’t work out – I got a knee injury at 15 which ended that plan.
Why did you go into acting?
I guess I always wanted to be an actor but, growing up in Oregon, I never heard of anyone becoming successful in a business like this so I didn’t have anyone to look up to as a role model. I bit the bullet and told my parents I was moving to California to be an actor when I was 18. I had a strong work ethic instilled in me but I had no idea what I was doing. It was like: ‘I’m moving to California to be famous.’ I got acting work straightaway, though, so I never had a day job.
You’re filming Bionic Woman and Battlestar Galactica at the same time. Are you worn out?
I am and I’ve got a cold. Both are filmed in Vancouver so there’s a little bit of running between the sets. They wanted to make me a regular character in Bionic Woman but you can’t be contracted to two shows at the same time. I appear in half the episodes. I’m the villain. It’s quite fun. I do a lot of scheming and a lot of trying to kill the Bionic Woman [played by Michelle Ryan].
Has Michelle become particularly ‘bionic’ since she left EastEnders?
She’s doing really well. She’s at the gym training every day. She worked her butt off to get into the physical condition that she’s in now. They won’t pay for me to go to the gym. I’ve got to do it on my own. I did weights for the first year of Battlestar but I got bored, so I just run now. They usually teach me the fight routines on the set of Bionic Woman. Because of the stuff I’ve done on Battlestar, it’s usually pretty easy to pick up.
If you took over the world, what changes would you make?
I don’t know where I’d start. I’m concerned about the environment. They don’t recycle on Bionic Woman. It drives me nuts. But on Battlestar Galactica, we have a recycling bin next to every single garbage can.
You’re doing two culty sci-fi shows – have fans sent you anything weird?
I get sent weird stuff all the time. The weirdest thing is when people follow you around because that’s an invasion of privacy. It’s not nice. You can’t do anything. If you tell them to get lost, it engages them and that’s what they want. You have to pretend they’re not there.
If you had a super power in real life, what would it be?
I’d like to hear people’s thoughts. I’m not nosy; I’d just use it for self-preservation. No one ever really knows another person’s motives.
Wasn’t Dirk Benedict upset Starbuck was re-written as a woman and you’d replaced him on Battlestar Galactica?
We did something for the Sci-Fi Channel when we met each other and we got on really well. Then I read an article where he made some negative comments. People wanted us to hate each other. I don’t hate Dirk – he was a nice man when I met him. We all have our own opinions and I don’t care if he doesn’t like me. I just joke about it now. I say I’m going to remake everything he ever did. Next I’m going to play Face in the A-Team.
Changing Starbuck’s sex upset some fans. Did that bother you?
It did but I got over it. If people still have a problem with it, it’s too bad because it’s worked really well. There’s a level of confidence that builds up as you succeed in the business. You depend less on people’s opinions and more on whether you think you did the best work possible. Once that happens, you really don’t care and when you don’t care, they love you.
Isn’t the fourth series going to be the last one?
Yes it is and I’m very excited about it. I think a lot of good is coming out of this. Any chance you get on a series to wrap it up is a great opportunity. So many TV shows get the rug pulled out from under them and they never get to know where the end is. This is a place television should turn more toward and give you a beginning, middle and end. It gives people a vested interest in watching because they know the end is coming. That’s what’s great about the last year on Battlestar. We all know it’s the end but none of us knows what’s coming.
What was your last dream about?
I had one the other night and I woke up laughing hysterically but I don’t remember what the dream was now. I wish I’d written it down. It’s never happened before.
Battlestar Galactica prez Mary McDonnell has obtained a cease-and-desist order against an obsessed female fan, the New York Post's Page Six reports. Among her assorted trespasses, the stalker — who on fan forums goes by the screen name "peakeana" — allegedly has been spied following McDonnell around when the actress visits her daughter at Brandeis University, says a classmate. The Post could not reach McDonnell for comment.
Thursday, September 27
Things I liked about "Bionic Woman":
Katee Sackhoff, who chewed up the scenery as villainous Sarah Corvus, the "original" bionic woman.
Ummm... that's pretty much it. Which is disappointing, since the show is supposed to be about Jaime Sommers.
Unfortunately, I wasn't nearly as interested in Jaime (Michelle Ryan) as I was in Sarah.
Throughout last night's premiere, I found it difficult to focus on Jaime's plight (awakening from a debilitating car crash - caused by Sarah - to discover two legs, one arm, an eye and an ear have been replaced by bionic parts). Why? Because I kept hoping Sarah would make another appearance.
I was also distracted by Ryan, who reminds me a lot of a young Linda Hamilton in the original "Terminator" movie. Which makes sense, because the show felt like "Terminator" to me (maybe it was Sarah driving that big rig right into Jaime's car).
But that's not the only classic sci-fi film "Bionic Woman" reminded me of. The scene in which Jaime is being interrogated by Bionic team member Ruth reminded me specifically of the scene in "Blade Runner" in which replicant Leon is being questioned by police. And then the showdown between Jaime and Sarah on the rooftop was totally borrowed from "The Matrix" trilogy.
Sure, all of these movies are great, and it's cool that a TV show wants to incorporate these elements. But none of that's going to matter if the storylines aren't strong and if you keep hoping that the real leading lady (which Sackhoff clearly is) will take over the show.
Heck, it is possible to build a successful show around a bloodthirsty character who's a killer. Just look at Showtime's "Dexter."
a couple hours before the premiere of Bionic Woman, she dishes on how she mercilessly stole from Tricia Helfer, her ambition to pull woodland creatures from her ass, Is Starbuck even STARBUCK in season 4, and the 5th of the Final Five is….
Also, I know you guys will hammer the hell out of the server, so if the site endures some serious slowdown, we’ve got the file mirrored over at kufo.com:
Thanks guys. Hope you dig it
Listen now! (22:34min / 16MB)
Tuesday, September 25
There are moments when “Bionic Woman” (8 p.m. Wednesday, WMAQ-Ch. 5), the disappointingly average remake of the Lindsay Wagner vehicle from the ’70s, comes to life.
They’re when Katee Sackhoff (who plays Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on “Battlestar Galactica”) is on the screen. The catch: Sackhoff isn’t playing the show’s main character.
Jaime Sommers is played by English actress Michelle Ryan, and every time she and Sackhoff are together, I wished that the producers had waited one more season to make “Bionic Woman.”
If they’d held off, Sackhoff, who finishes “Battlestar” in early 2008, could have played Sommers. But even then, she would have had to work mightily to overcome the script’s leaden dialogue and dour tone.
Sackhoff’s recurring character is Sarah Corvus, another bionic woman who went rogue. Playing her as a lady with a penchant for bright red lipstick and melodramatic rebellion, Sackhoff bites into the villainess role with glee. In her scenes, “Bionic Woman” is every bit the slightly campy, action-oriented, B-grade escapism-fest I wanted it to be.
The trouble is, despite sterling supporting players Miguel Ferrer (the head of the secret research lab where Sommers’ new limbs and other gizmos are implanted) and Mark Sheppard (a pioneer of bionic research now in prison), “Bionic Woman” just isn’t much fun.
The show’s publicity materials hype “Jaime’s journey of self-discovery and inner strength.” But it’s hard to take “Bionic’s” ambitions seriously when the script is full of lines such as, “You rehabilitate yourself!” and “Guess he must have left his IQ in the car.”
It appears that “Bionic Woman” wants to be both a compelling action show and a serious drama. In the early going, however, it’s merely pretty good in the action department. As for the drama, “Bionic Woman” (so far) mistakes solemnity and humorlessness for depth.
Also, there’s lots of rain. Lots and lots of rain. Is that also supposed to convey depth? It only conveyed to me the idea that the actors were probably freezing in those scenes.
The best news I’ve heard about the show is that Jason Katims, the head writer for “Friday Night Lights,” will be consulting on “Bionic Woman” scripts. The casting of the far from charismatic Ryan may be an unfixable mistake, but if Katims can provide these characters and these scripts with some texture and soul and even lightness, then “Bionic” may move up several places on my already overcrowded TiVo Season Pass list.
Yes, I will keep watching -- it'd be nice to see the show greatly improve, as "Heroes" did last year. And of course I don’t want to miss a moment of Sackhoff’s scenes. I’d also like to see how the stunt-casting of Isaiah Washington, who’ll be guesting on at least five episodes of “Bionic Woman,” plays out.
Katee Sackhoff as Sarah Corvus, Isaiah Washington as Antonio Pope.
Summaries of upcoming episodes from NBC's Web site can be found below.
From NBC's press Web site:
Episode 1: Pilot (Sept. 26)
SERIES PREMIERE --SECOND CHANCES - - KATEE SACKHOFF GUEST-STARS
When a devastating car accident leaves Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan) at death's door, her only hope of survival is a cutting-edge, top-secret technology performed by her boyfriend, Dr. Will Anthros (Chris Bowers), and with her new bionics come a covert life that she is not sure she is ready to lead. Meanwhile, the first bionic woman Sarah Corvus (guest star Katee Sackhoff), has her own agenda as she tracks Jaime and Will down - which leads to a showdown between the two bionic woman. Also, Will’s father, Dr. Anthony Anthros (Mark Sheppard) escapes from a maximum security prison. Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee and Lucy Hale also stars.
Show Cast: Michelle Ryan, Lucy Hale, Chris Bowers, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee, Katee Sackhoff, Christina Jastrzembska, Thomas Kretchman, Mark Sheppard
Episode 2: Paradise Lost (Oct. 3)
LOST INNOCENCE - - ISAIAH WASHINGTON GUEST-STARS
After Jaime experiences another devastating loss, she encounters a stranger who befriends her. Later, she discovers the stranger is Antonio Pope (guest star Isaiah Washington), who works for the Berkut Group and the meeting was deliberate. As Jamie struggles to balance her secret new life while trying to maintain some normalcy at home with her sister, Becca (Lucy Kate Hale), Jaime finds herself in harms way on her first mission. Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee, Mark Sheppard and Chris Bowers also star.
Episode 3: Sisterhood (Oct. 10)
GIRL FOR HIRE -- Jaime (Michelle Ryan) is tasked by the Berkut Group to watch the daughter of a Canadian defense contractor. At the same time, she must decide whether or not she is going to help Sarah Corvus (guest-star Katee Sackhoff), the first bionic woman, save herself. Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee, Mark Sheppard, Chris Bowers and Lucy Kate Hale also star.
Episode 4: Girl for Hire (Oct. 17)
EXPIRATION DATES -- Jaime (Michelle Ryan), while on a mission to rescue an American doctor working in Paraguay, discovers the truth about her bionic lifespan. Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Will Yun Lee, Mark Sheppard, Chris Bowers and Lucy Kate Hale also star.
Monday, September 24
Battlestar Galactica finally received not only Emmy Gold, but some of the proper nominations befitting its television goodness. The question is, now that it has achieved some notoriety in Emmy circles, will Galactica finally at least be nominated for Outstanding Drama in its final season, as it has deserved since its first?
One thing that may stifle Galactica's chances at the category is the rumored plan for the Sci Fi channel to split the final season of the series into two 10 episode chapters, which would be aired during separate television periods.
Even though the move is highly unpopular amongst Battlestar fans, it addresses the fact that once BSG leaves Sci Fi, it will leave behind a void that may cause the channel to slip inexorably into gravity of its ample black hole of schlock.
While Galactica may not be pulling in the numbers that put Sci Fi into the big leagues, its accolades serve as an anchor against the pull of its less than successful – cough, Flash Gordon, cough – programming. For years, the channel has struggled to be taken seriously, and Battlestar Galactica is the first episodic show since Farscape to keep Sci Fi legitimate and vital.
True, with minis like Taken, and The Lost Room, Sci Fi has created a niche for genre fans that is unrivaled. But the saturation level of sub par programming like Mansquito, or Mega Snake, keeps the channel dismissive as a steady source of quality programming. Don't they know that brilliant independent filmmakers like Shane Curruth (Primer) are looking for work?
At this point, an Emmy nom in Outstanding Drama would be the ultimate feather in Sci Fi's cap, but by splitting Battlestar Galactica into two pieces, and continuing to invest in sub par programming, is the channel telling the Academy it doesn't take itself serious enough to reach the next level?
Nana Visitor will have a prominent guest role on the sixth episode of the new season of "Battlestar Galactica." Season 4 is expected to begin airing some time in early 2008.
Visitor is a longtime TV veteran who may be best known for her role as Kira Nerys in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
“Battlestar Galactica” executive producer Ronald D. Moore wrote for “Deep Space Nine” for several years, as did “Battlestar Galactica” supervising producers Michael Taylor, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson. (“Deep Space Nine” is by far my favorite slice of the “Trek” franchise, by the way.)
According to Moore, Visitor’s character is “another cancer patient named Emily who's being treated in sick bay.She gets Laura [Roslin’s] attention because she insists on listening to Baltar's wireless broadcasts every day, much to Laura's annoyance. The two women connect and bond over their treatment regimens, and explore the nature of mortality and questions of life after death. She's in ‘Faith,’ the sixth episode” of Season 4.
The episode was written by Seamus Kevin Fahey and was directed by Michael Nankin. And Visitor’s casting came about via her “DS9” connections.
“When David Weddle saw the script, Nana was the first person he thought of,” Thompson said in an e-mail. “He ran the idea immediately by Ron, who thought she'd be great. And she was.”
“She has some amazing scenes with Mary [McDonnell, who plays Roslin],” Thompson added.
In other “Battlestar Galactica” casting news, actress Leela Savasta will appear several episodes of Season 4. She’ll play a character called Tracey Anne, who is a member of Baltar's cult following.
As previously reported, one of the dilemmas facing the SCI-FI Channel at this time is whether or not the final season of Battlestar Galactica should be split into two ten-episode blocks. Apparently, the network is taking so long to decide because of “the money people,” as one executive put it.
A large portion of the network's programming budget is allotted for Battlestar Galactica, consequently forcing the network to consider spreading the final edition across two seasons. However, executive producer Ron Moore has been lax about this issue.
“It doesn't affect my job either way, since we're shooting it straight through,” Moore said. “It might be better to get it all done [in the same year] for the fans so they don't have to wait.”
Judging by what a source close to the project said, Moore's sentiment of airing Battlestar Galactica's final season in the same year may prove to be the best move for the network. According to the source, “when people see the ending of the 10th episode, they're gonna freak out,” and should the network decide to go ahead and split the season into two blocks, fans will be left hanging in the air yet again after a year of waiting for the series to return. Viewers have also been eager to catch the two-hour made-for-tv stand-alone movie, Razor.
The network is hoping to reach a final decision by January. One of the key factors is figuring out which new shows will be well-suited to accompany Battlestar Galactica, and how much those shows will cost.
One of the shows being considered is the Caprica spin-off series. Network executives believe the spin-off may help retain and expand the loyal Battlestar Galactica fan base, and are even considering a two-hour pilot similar to that of Razor. Should the pilot perform poorly, it will subsequently be sold as a DVD to make up for the losses. On the other hand, should the pilot do well, the network will have a new series to serve up.
At present, Moore is working on another sci-fi production, a “companion piece” to John Carpenter's 1982 film, The Thing, which is being produced by Universal.
It’s a rich television age and a demanding one. The selection is now so plentiful and fragmented and good. And deciding among hundreds of channels, on-demand options, DVR, Internet streaming and iPhones requires so much research, planning and commitment that viewers have become proprietary about their choices. Alliances are formed, and so are antipathies. Snobbery takes root. Preferences turn totemic. The mass audience splintered long ago; now viewers are divided into tribes with their own rituals and rites of passage.
....Science fiction is one thing: “Battlestar Galactica” has intellectual cachet.
“The humans are pagan polytheists and the robots are monotheists, whose divine jihad is against the humans (even though the former know that the latter created them),” Anthony Gottlieb, the author of “The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance,” explained off the top of his Blackberry from an airport baggage claim. “There’s a curious mix of high-tech and superstition and scriptural fundamentalism (which interestingly suggests that religion is ineradicable, as today’s theorists of secularism are increasingly saying).”
Mr. Gottlieb likes the philosophical puzzles (“Some of the robots think they are human, and some of the humans fear they may be robots”) as well as the way the show switches sympathies back and forth from democracy to dictatorship. He really had only one objection. “There’s lots of romance, though this bores me,” he typed. “Less kissing, more killing is a frequent internal refrain of mine.”
This summer “Mad Men,” rippled across my world in ever-widening circles of connoisseurship. We were entranced by the amber-colored look at the early 1960s, when men drank martinis at lunch, and housewives smoked at P.T.A. meetings, and the battle between the sexes had barely begun. Michael Hainey, the deputy editor of GQ, is enamored of the way the series captures the finer details in a lost moment of American overconfidence. “It’s a period piece that’s about right now,” Mr. Hainey explained. He also loves the show’s look and feel, which he described as “ ‘The Apartment’ meets ‘The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.’ ”
...Before the Internet, iPhones and flash drives, people jousted over who was into the Pixies when they were still a garage band or who could most lengthily argue the merits of Oasis versus Blur. Now, for all but hardcore rock aficionados, one-upmanship is more likely to center around a television series — like metaphysical clues buried in “Lost,” whether the current “Battlestar Galactica” is an affront to the 1978 original (some bloggers sneeringly refer to the current incarnation as Gino, short for “Galactica in name only” ) or who discovered “Flight of the Conchords” when it was a comedy team performing in concerts, not an HBO series.
Television used to be dismissed by elitists as the idiot box, a sea of mediocrity that drowns thought and intelligent debate. Now people who ignore its pools and eddies of excellence do so at their own peril. They are missing out on the main topic of conversation at their own table.
Click the link to see the full article
In honor of the debut this week of Bionic Woman on NBC, Cort and Fatboy will be having Katee Sackhoff as a guest on their KUFO radio show from Katee's home town of Portland, Oregon on Wednesday evening at 7pm to Midnight, pacific time. You can hear the show live via the stream on KUFO's website, or download the podcast after the show is over on cortandfatboy.com
Saturday, September 22
Official Press Release
Runnemede, NJ - DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT has announced that the upcoming Battlestar Galactica: Zarek Trade Paperback collection will contain a foreword written by Richard Hatch, the actor who plays Tom Zarek on the newly re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, as well as hot shot viper pilot, Apollo, on the original series.
Collecting the complete four-issue Battlestar mini-series event (issues #1 - #4) written by Brandon Jerwa with art by Adriano Batista, the New Battlestar Galactica: Zarek collection is available in a Mass Market Edition with a stunning photo cover, and as a Previews Exclusive Edition with a cover by Adriano Batista! Additional bonus material includes a complete cover gallery, behind-the-scenes bonus material and more!
Revealing content from Zarek's own novel "The Revolution Within," the Battlestar Galctica: Zarek series tells the untold origin of Tom Zarek and the Sagittaron colony. This four-issue series shows Tom's beginnings as he grows up in a loving home amidst a slave state and alongside a Cylon work force- all in the shadow of the First Cylon War. It's through these humble, and tragic, beginnings that he becomes the man we see in Battlestar Galactica today, and this is where fans will learn all about him!
About writing the forward, Richard Hatch exclaimed, "It was certainly my pleasure to write the foreword for Dynamite's Zarek collection. The dedication of Battlestar fans has always been outstanding and an absolute testament to the show's powerful themes and strong philosophies. Tom Zarek is an intriguing and philosophical character and it's been amazing for me to play such and influential part of Battlestar history."
Dynamite stated, "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell Tom Zarek's beginnings, and to have Richard Hatch-Tom Zarek himself, and Apollo from the original series!- take time and write the foreword is just awesome! Richard is a great person, devoted to his fans, his work and the characters that he portrays. His foreword is incredibly genuine and motivating as he recounts his work on Battlestar and how the show impacted his life and so many others."
NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: ZAREK - DIRECT MARKET PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE COVER (APR073576) Features a cover by Adriano Batista!
NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: ZAREK - MASS MARKET COVER (APR073575) Features a stunning photo cover!
Written by Brandon Jerwa in his most poignant and powerful work to date, illustrated by Adriano Batista and featuring stunning and cinematic covers by both Batista and Stjepan Sejic, Tom Zarek: The Revolution Within is a must - read. Also features a complete cover gallery and bonus material!
Gotta love those wily scribes at Battlestar Galactica. The fourth and final (sniff!) season of the acclaimed Sci Fi series doesn't yet have a set air date—a rep says look for it early next year (more on that in a bit)—so for an appetizer, the show's cooked up Razor, a two-hour flashback episode airing Nov. 24. (An extended-cut DVD hits shelves Dec. 4.)
The story is ostensibly about the first mission of the (now-lost) Battlestar Pegasus under the command of Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber), which falls roughly in the latter half of the second season. It's told, though, through the eyes of new character Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen). ''Lee promotes [her] to be his [second-in-command],'' explains show-runner Ronald D. Moore, ''and you wonder, who is this woman?'' That question, says Moore, allows the show to explore ''a lot of things that we've talked about or alluded to but never actually seen. You start flashing all the way back to before the Cylon attack on the colonies, to who she was, how she came to the Pegasus, what happened to them, and what was their story before they met up with Galactica.''
Read more here
Sci Fi Channel has corrected an error that die hard fans of Battlestar Galactica pointed out in the DVD art for the upcoming movie. Here's the deal: the TV movie is a stand-alone episode that documents what happened to the Battlestar Pegasus after the Cylon war broke out. Sci Fi held a contest for fans to choose the DVD art for the upcoming movie, called Razor. But the seal on the front of the winning DVD art has an error. It had the number "75," which is Galactica's number, rather than Pegasus' number "62." Fans pressed to have the seal changed and it will be correct when the DVD comes out on December 4th.
In other BSG news, the Caprica series may not be dead afterall. According to this report, Sci Fi execs have renewed interest in the BSG spin-off. They've finally realized that a spin-off might keep the passionate BSG crowd coming back to the Sci Fi Channel. They're reportedly waiting to see how ratings go for Razor before giving the Caprica pilot a greenlight.
Thursday, September 20
The Sci Fi Channel is wrestling with a pair of key decisions for its acclaimed “Battlestar Galactica” series: whether to break the highly anticipated final chapter into two 10-episode seasons, and deciding whether to greenlight a two-hour pilot for the long-gestating “Caprica” spinoff.
Sci Fi executives attending the NBC Universal pre-Emmy party at Spago in Beverly Hills Saturday said the decision whether to split the final season was an ongoing discussion, but at least one network programmer was firmly against the idea.
As is often the case with the lavishly produced series, the issue is “the money people,” as one executive put it. Since “Battlestar” eats a considerable portion of the Sci Fi programming budget, the network might be forced to spread the resulting product across two seasons.
Showrunner Ron Moore shrugged off the issue. “It doesn’t affect my job either way, since we’re shooting it straight through,” he says. “It might be better to get it all done [in the same year] for the fans so they don’t have to wait.”
Ideally, the programming department prefers to stick to its original game plan to wrap up the series in the first half of next year. HBO broke up the final season of “The Sopranos” across two years – which makes more sense for a popular series on a premium network that’s seeking to retain subscribers – but still managed to antagonize fans and lost some viewership.
With “Battlestar” fans already waiting about a year for the return of the series -- not counting the two-hour “Razor” stand-alone movie coming this fall -- returning with only 10 episodes could spark a revolt.
Moore’s storyline also could make fans demand rapid closure, one person close to the project says, since “when people see the ending of the 10th episode, they’re gonna freak out.”
The final decision might not come until January. A key factor is what new shows are in the pipeline that could be paired with “Galactica” – and how much those shows will cost.
One such title is the oft-discussed “Caprica” spinoff series. Most recently presumed a dead project, Sci Fi executives seem to have renewed enthusiasm for the idea, especially with the looming prospect of losing Moore following the conclusion of “Battlestar.” Moore has about four projects in development at NBC and a flurry of theatrical deals (more on that in a moment), and the network wants to find a way to keep the talented showrunner in-house.
Plus, executives say “Caprica” has the potential to retain and expand the passionate “Battlestar” audience. The tone is lighter and more of a character-driven drama than an action series. The network is considering ordering a two-hour pilot that could serve as a stand-alone event – just like the miniseries that launched Moore’s “Battlestar” remake. The movie would be accompanied by a consecutive DVD release.
Especially if the similarly conceived stand-alone “Razor” performs strongly, the thinking seems to be that a two-hour “Caprica” pilot could justify its expense. Worst-case scenario: The pilot is aired and sold as a DVD, recouping some costs. If the pilot is strong, then the network has a new series.
Either way, by the time “Battlestar” returns next year, Sci Fi Channel will have launched its high-definition simulcast channel, allowing viewers to finally see the show in HD during its premiere run.
As for Moore’s other anticipated sci-fi project, he says he just turned in his script for Universal's motion picture update of John Carpenter’s 1982 version of “The Thing.”
“I’m happy with it,” Moore says, and described the script as “a companion piece” rather than a remake of the Carpenter version. “That film doesn’t need to be remade,” he says. Moore’s script includes segments set long before the modern discovery of the shape-shifting alien in the Arctic, including an encounter with the Inuit natives.
Moore was Emmy-nominated for writing in a drama series, but he wasn’t very optimistic about winning. Up against the “Sopranos” finale, Moore wrestled with whether to write a speech.
“I’m very prepared to hear David Chase’s name float across the auditorium,” he said.
Wednesday, September 19
Galactica freaks: by now you've probably heard that the Sci-Fi Channel is considering splitting the final season of Battlestar Galactica into two parts, which isn't unusual for television or the show itself. What is a bit perturbing is the rumor that the back end of the season won't air until 2009.
However, there is a new sentiment around Hollywood that breaking a season into two parts--whether it is a few months or a year--is a death sentence. Apparently the execs at the Sci-Fi Channel are still trying to figure out which direction to take.
According to TVWeek.com, the suits are still discussing their options with Battlestar, and at least one exec is "firmly against the idea" of splitting the series into two 10-episode halves.
"It doesn't affect my job either way since we're shooting it straight through," creator Ronald Moore told TVWeek. "It might be better to get it all done [in the same year] for the fans so they don't have to wait." And if Moore's sentiments are correct and the show is split, Sci-Fi might have a riot on its hands. "When people see the ending of the 10th episode, they're going to freak out," he said.
TVWeek says the final decision to split or not to split may not be made until January, a few months after the premiere of the two-hour Battlestar telefilm, Razor. Budget is a big factor in the decision, and Battlestar uses a larger portion of Sci-Fi's cash than others.
However, there may be life after Battlestar runs its course. The rumored spinoff Caprica (named after the home planet of some members of the Galactica crew) was once thought to be dead, but is now back in the thoughts of the network.
The idea is simple: retain some of the Battlestar audience by launching a two-hour telefilm, and if it does well, turn it into a series. Sound familiar? It's the same way Sci-Fi handled Battlestar Galactica.
So say we all!
Monday, September 17
Galactica 1980 lands on DVD for the first time ever! With all ten thrilling episodes on two discs, see what happens when the original Battlestar Galactica crew finally makes the long-anticipated descent to Earth. With time running out and the Cylons closing in on their trail, Commander Adama and the Galactica must work harder than ever before to help Earth create the technology necessary for battle. Along for the action-packed fight are such stellar guest stars as Dirk Benedict, Brion James, Dennis Haysbert and more! It's an epic adventure unlike any other, and an absolute must-have for any Battlestar Galactica collection!
Details can be found here:
Sunday, September 16
Hopefully the error in the logo graphic will be corrected prior to release and have the appropriate number assigned to the correct Battlestar.
Amazon have it available on Preorder for $19.99 and will be released 4th December 2007.
Thursday, September 13
Source: Scify Portal
There seems to be a lot of couples in SciFi Channel's now Emmy-winning "Battlestar Galactica," whether it be Saul Tigh and Ellen, Lee and Dualla, maybe even Will Adama and Laura. It's almost a shipper's paradise.
As expected, however, few relationships found in drama last long, and "Battlestar Galactica" is no different. However, one breakup coming up in the fourth season is one that probably no one had seen coming.
"Say good-bye to the Six in Baltar's head," a source told SyFy Portal's Michael Hinman. "As much as we like Baltar having this controlling figure literally in his head, we couldn't keep it up forever."
James Callis' character of Baltar has been visited by a mental version of Tricia Helfer's Six since the 2003 miniseries. And the third season episode "Downloaded" showed that he isn't the only one. The resurrected Caprica Six has a mental visitor of her own -- Gaius Baltar. Which, of course, has prompted a lot of questions from fans.
But Baltar won't be alone for long.
"We all know that [Baltar] can't follow the 'plan' by himself, so he will get another visitor," the source said. "He'll be paid a visit by his own likeness that had been helping [Caprica] Six. It should really make things interesting in the last season as everyone tries to figure out who the final Cylon is."
Who are these personas? The source won't say, but there has been a lot of speculation that they are all tied into the Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie) that Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) saw in her "death" episode, "Maelstrom."
Of course, none of this has been confirmed by SciFi Channel or anyone else -- and is subject to change before the actual episodes air, so treat it was you would any rumor.
"Battlestar Galactica" returns in November with the telemovie "Razor," and then will begin its fourth and final season in early 2008.
Sunday, September 9
BSG won an Emmy tonight for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series, for EXODUS PART 2.
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FOR A SERIES
"Battlestar Galactica: Exodus, Part 2," Sci Fi Channel, R+D TV in association with NBC Universal Television Studio; Gary Hutzel, Visual Effects Supervisor; Michael Gibson, Senior VFX Coordinator; Doug Drexler, CG Supervisor; Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz, CGI Sequence Designer; Jeremy Hoey, Lead Matte Painter; Tom Archer, Lead Compositor; Andrew Karr, CGI Supervisor; Alec McClymont, Lead CGI Artist/ Animator; Brenda Campbell, Lead Compositor
The Primetime Emmys air on September 16th. BSG is nominated for Writing (OCCUPATION/PRECIPICE) and Directing (EXODUS PART 2).
Tuesday, September 4
Jamie Bamber is the English-American actor currently starring as Major Lee "Apollo" Adama in the SciFi Channel's Battlestar Galactica. He's worked steadily as an actor in TV, film and radio in Europe and the US. His notable roles have included Lt. Archie Kennedy in A&E's Horatio Hornblower adventures and Lt. Jack Foley in HBO's Band of Brothers.
Daily Dragon: Welcome to Dragon*Con. Science fiction is used to question the flaws of humanity but through a lens that provides accessibility to people who might not otherwise read or watch stories about race equality, gender equality, religion, or politics. One of Battlestar Galactica's greatest strengths is its fearless comment on all of these aspects of our society. Which aspects resonated most with you?
JB: At its core, [Battlestar Galactica] is a show about civilizations fouling their own beds and chewing up the planets they live on by overextending themselves by developing in ways that are questionable and that lead to their own destruction and the very destructive nature of humanity. Like all life, if put in a Petri dish, we will breed and expand and slowly kill ourselves with our own excretions after a while. And that's exactly what we're doing as a human race on this planet right now; we are pretty well guaranteeing our own destruction, and Battlestar Galactica takes that premise a step further and examines what happens after that.
I think it's a mirror that we hold up to the world. All those things you mentioned-- political situations around the world, wars we fight, enemies we create with our own blinded policies, our own prejudices, I think, the people we deem to be enemies, people we think are less than human--all these things are apparent with my character, with all of the characters have to deal with, each and every one of them. It's a fascinating show. It's bleak, but I believe it holds a truthful mirror up to the situations we face now. We as a human race all are head of this plan; we realize how desperately wrong it's been going for at least the last thirty or forty years.
DD: The downside of science fiction is that it's often categorized as a "marginal" genre. Battlestar Galactica is by far one of the best, if not the best show on television and yet doesn't have the ratings of a more mainstream series like The Sopranos. Do you find it frustrating that some people might not watch the show simply because of the label "science fiction"?
JB: Yes, of course I do. I really believe in the show. I believe in the stories we're telling. I believe that they're great characters, and it's great entertainment, too. So yeah, it's frustrating that we do have that stigma attached to us. The fact that we can call it a genre says it all, really; it's not just people, as a drama, as a series; it has to be characters. I think that's a problem that science fiction has that it will always marginalize itself by calling itself SF. It's unfortunate that we're on the SCIFI channel; we can't even get away from it. We couldn't brand the show as anything else because of the network we're on.
I also think that we're a grown-up show that demands something from the audience. And audiences, by and large, don't want to be demanded anything of. They want escapist entertainment, and that's why movies like Syriana don't do as well as movies like Spiderman 3.
That's the truth. If you're going to make grown-up shows that challenge people, then only a few people are actually going to be appalled.
Sad but true.
DD: Did you find it particularly satisfying this year when the show received Emmy nominations for director and writer, as well as nominations for the more technical sound editing and special effects?
JB: Yeah, I was thrilled that Ron Moore got the credit he deserved [for writing "Occupation/Precipice"]. That was the important one for me. So yeah, absolutely.
DD: Did you read science fiction growing up? Do you have a favorite or remember a book that influenced you?
JB: I loved George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, those amazing writers. 1984 in particular and Brave New World.
They're not books that really fit in the SF genre, they're sort of ... something else. That's the thing about the SF genre--it's always somehow a detriment; sort of condescending to be called SF for some reason.
The books that I read that are SF: I don't really realize they're SF when I pick them up. I realize it after finishing them. But I don't follow the genre.
DD: What are you reading now?
JB: I just finished reading a book called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. It's about American imperialism, sort of corporate imperialism, and the way we manipulate other economies in the name of aid. It's about selfish predatory empires, not only in America but every major civilization.
DD: From the beginning, Lee and Bill Adama have had a strained relationship as father and son. As the series has moved forward, this relationship has evolved organically, with the two growing closer at times and further apart at others. Have you used aspects of your own life, both as a son and more recently now as a father of three daughters, to add depth to the Lee/Bill relationship? Has the Lee/Bill relationship ever caused you to evaluate your own idea of what it means to be a father?
JB: Of course. The Lee/Adama relationship is a really painful one. The joy has been filtered down with so much mud over the years, and so much calamity, that the connection of father-son is lost. Occasionally you get a glimpse of what would have been possible between them. Having kids makes you think about the relationship with your own parents.
I liken the relationship to a Prince Hal/King Henry IV relationship [from Shakespeare's Henry IV], which is a role that I've played. There's a lot to that, too. It's about a son being overshadowed by a very powerful father and seeking his own direction in life, comparing, countering, questioning. It's about growing up.
I don't care how old you are, you're still growing up. We're all growing up, so that's good.
DD: Battlestar Galactica has had some quality directors: Michael Rymer, Robert Young, Edward James Olmos, who's directed two episodes, and Félix Alcalá, who's up for an Emmy for his direction of "Exodus Pt. 2" and directed the upcoming "Razor" set to air in November. What, most notably, have you learned from them?
JB: I've learned a lot from some of them, and nothing from others, I'll be honest. It's a range. Michael Rymer is a dear friend and I've learned an awful lot from Michael about the whole package, about story telling and characters. Eddie is an actor, first and foremost, so working with him is like playing around with a friend. It's lovely to have a friend at the helm who's really there for you, looking out for you. I love working with Eddie. Michael Nankin is, I think, one of our best directors and who doesn't get mentioned enough. And Bob Young. Those would be my favorite ones.
DD: One of the hallmarks of the series is the handheld camera work, producing a documentary-style feel to the production. How does it affect your job as an actor to have the camera operators right in the middle of the action?
JB: The handheld stuff, it's not obtrusive; it's quite the opposite. It just means that you always have to be on your game. There's very little occasions on the show that you're actually off-camera, doing off-camera lines, because the cameras are moving around. So the scenes have a life that's 360 degrees. So there's no down time on Galactica. Very rarely do you get over-the-shoulder set up where you're doing a close-up. There are always some cameras, there's always something going on, and it keeps the show alive. And it means when improvisation happens, when things that aren't scripted happen, they get caught and you can use them.
DD: Does it feel a little more like theatre, it that sense?
JB: It's more like a rehearsal room. It's not like a finished, polished product; it's like a rehearsal room.
DD: The visual effects are another character of the show. If you look back to the miniseries and remember what it was like to sit in a Viper cockpit, delivering your lines in front of a green screen and having to imagine what it was all going to look like, what was your reaction to the full-out battle with Galactica's firing solution sparring with the base ships surrounded by all the small ships fighting one another when you viewed the finished product for the first time?
JB: Like any kid would react who saw himself in Star Wars, having been a fan of it for a while. It was amazing to see what Gary Hudson had managed to do with those flights. Actually, there's a scene where a whole bunch of light Vipers are wiped out because the Cylons interrupt their computer systems. They just sit there, and the way they bounce into each other, the way their jet propulsion is all venting in space, I just thought it looked incredible because I hadn't seen that before. It was just a blast, and I was in the middle of it.
DD: Bear McCreary's music adds another layer of depth to the production, from the driving percussion used for the battle scenes to the Gaelic anthem sound of "Wander My Friends" [from "Hand of God"] to the classical tension of "Passacaglia" [from "Kobol's Last Gleaming," part 1]. And I, for one, was humming, "All Along the Watchtower" for a week after the season three finale aired. Do you have a favorite?
JB: Yeah, "Passacaglia," that played at the end of season one, a sort of Philip Glass motif. That one would be my favorite. Bear's done a great job. Richard Gibbs, as well, who did the miniseries who really came up with the [sound] and Bear's just run with the ball. They can't use contemporary music; they can't use all the catches that most TV shows rely on that ping at your heart strings. They have to come up with new stuff, which doesn't sound like our world, and they did an amazing job.
DD: Katee Sackhoff was originally going to be here at Dragon*Con, so I must ask one Starbuck-related question. Apollo has done everything from beating the crap out of Starbuck to shouting out his love for her, sometimes in the same episode. What's the most fun to shoot?
JB: The combination of the two. And we do it every time; kiss-punch, punch-kiss. It's a crazy relationship, and we've ridden it for three seasons now. And we're in the fourth, and Lord knows where it's gonna go. I'm sort of grateful that the show's wrapping up in the fourth. These relationships are kind of reiterative and I don't want to do them to death, literally. They're all very painful. I think she's beaten the hell out of me more than I've had the chance to beat the hell out of her, to be honest.
DD: Maybe you'll get even in season four.
JB: I doubt it.
DD: At the beginning of season three, you wore a "fat suit" to illustrate Lee's becoming, to quote the Admiral, "soft and weak." How did you react the first time you saw yourself in the makeup? Did it make the performance easier or harder?
JB: Oh, easier; I loved it. It's great, seriously, to change. As an actor, you're constantly trying to change yourself into something else to create something that's different. When you get to that within a character's life span and approach his physicality, which is an indicator of a mental state or something else that's going on, it's a tremendous opportunity. I changed his walk; I changed the way he talks; I was working on everything and it was great. I loved it. It was hard work, but I was thrilled with the results. I really enjoyed it.
DD: Your on-screen roles have seen a steady line of promotion in rank, from lowly midshipman, to fourth and second lieutenants, to captain at the beginning of Battlestar Galactica. In the second season, you were promoted to major, then commander, and with the loss of the Pegasus, you're once more Major Adama. Did it hurt to lose the Pegasus and your first real command?
JB: It was sad, you know. I loved the leader, the commander stories. It was the culmination of that father/son arc where son becomes father and gets to that moment where you realize...
DD: Where he saves the dad, for a change?
JB: Yeah, but also just to realize that it's sustaining. The day you first become a dad, and you think about your own dad, what that felt like when he first became a dad. You realize that you've become the journey that you've been on.
DD: And when you experience those teenage years when you think your dad's a jerk and then all of a sudden you're the dad.
JB: You think, the cycle of life, it's a tragic thing that we don't have the knowledge we do at the beginning that we do at the end. That was all good stuff.
The promotions and the demotions, and I've been through a few demotions on the show as well. It's kind of crazy. I guess I'd better do a series about an admiral who ends up a midshipman; he goes backwards. He just gets bombed down every single time. That would be interesting. [laughs]
DD: One of the most memorable lines of the series is Adama's speech during the decommissioning ceremony in the miniseries. Adama says, "Sooner or later the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore." With this season being the last, and Ron Moore and David Eick stating that Battlestar Galactica will have a proper ending (i.e. no spin-off movies, etc.), how will your life be different when you walk away from this project that you've been a part of for four-plus years? Which co-stars will you miss the most?
JB: Oh, the people: the crew, the cast, the writers. I know I will see the individuals again, but it will be this sense of being part of a team and a family, and you'll know that your lives are different. We'll see each other in a social context in another way. I have no doubt that I will be friends with Ron, David, Eddie, Mary, James Callis, and everyone from the show. But we just won't have that together, which is sad, that that will go.
DD: After Adama's speech, Colonel Tigh's response is, "You are one surprising son-of-a-bitch." This element of surprise has caught me as a viewer on more than one occasion and is a powerhouse component of the series. Do you read each new script in a perpetual state of shock?
JB: When they're good, yeah. When the scripts are not so good, it's a perpetual state of yawn, and it does happen. We go through some repetitive beats on the show, and I guess you have to do that to really define characters as types. But yeah, when the writers are at their best and when the acting is at its best, it's always surprising. That's the time when the show is doing the right thing. There is nothing safe or comfortable in the post-apocalyptic world that Galactica is capering through. It's a very good thing to have read.
DD: The writing for Battlestar Galactica is spectacular, in my opinion, as tight and engaging as television series like Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing, and Joss Whedon's Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Do you think you've been a bit spoiled by the brilliance -- that perhaps you might find it harder to work with similar quality material in another endeavor in your future?
JB: Definitely. I've been spoiled; there's no doubt about that. I see it already. I pick up scripts all the time I've [been] a guest star on TV shows, and nothing comes close to the experience I've had on Galactica. Short of working with Aaron Sorkin, I don't really expect to have any of them top it. I'm a big fan of Aaron Sorkin, and if I get to work with him, I can probably [stop].
DD: In your interview at MegaCon in February 2007 with Joel Cooke, you stated your aspirations to move into writing and producing. Once Battlestar Galactica wraps, will that be one of your immediate goals?
JB: Yeah, absolutely. I've learned so much from watching these writers and producers work. I don't think I'm being too arrogant by thinking that they're not so different from me. I would like to follow in their footsteps and try and come up with the kinds of stories; I'd like to develop material, [and] I'd like to explore every creative avenue that this industry affords. Tell stories to challenge people. I think that's the most important thing for me is to challenge people, to make them think about the world in which we live and the people that we are. And if I can do through story telling.... There's so many other ways of doing it. You can do it in politics, you can do it in journalism, you can do it in painting; you can do it by opening a restaurant and making a point about the world. The career that I'm in, being an actor, telling stories, I would love to explore that from every angle, explore my own abilities
DD: Are you jotting down notes now, for your writing, when you have the opportunity?
JB: Yeah, all the time. I'm reading to write and writing to read.
DD: This is your first Dragon*Con. How do you feel about the atmosphere?
JB: It's amazing; it's huge. [He looks up at the lobby atrium of the Marriott.] I was blown away by the size of these towers. It's like a city, and there's three of them. It feels like I'm in Caprica, actually, with these lifts flying down, the elevator is kind of a capsule on the outside of the inside of the building. It's kind of futuristic in itself. And the people are great. It's been amazing.
DD: Thank you very much for graciously giving of your time with us today, and we hope you enjoy the rest of the convention.
JB: Thank you very much. I'm glad we got to do this.
Rumors are spreading fast and furious that Sci Fi Channel maybe looking to get the most out of Battlestar Galactica's final season. Several of Galactica's actors were on hand this past weekend for the annual Dragoncon convention. At the panel, the actors lamented over Sci Fi's inability to properly handle authentic hit programming, punctuating the point by revealing that the Sci Fi channel plans to cut the final season of Battlestar Galactica into two ten episode seasons, one to air in 2008, and the other in 2009.
At present there is no official confirmation that this was the case, and some fans in attendance that I spoke with earlier said the whole roast on Sci Fi and the splitting of the season thing was a joke. One attendee I spoke with, however, was completely convinced otherwise.
“There was a huge reaction from the audience. There is no way they would have allowed the fans to leave that bummed out if it wasn't true.” Fan Ron Estes told me this afternoon. “Really, it is wishful thinking to assume otherwise.”
Around the net, the news is not being met with much enthusiasm. Fans are already enduring a tremendous hiatus between seasons, splitting the final season in two will likely result in an enormously vocal fan backlash.
If the reports are true, Sci Fi will air the first 10 episodes in February 2008, then put the show on ice until February 2009, when the final 10 episodes of Battlestar Galactica would air.
This would not be the first time that Battlestar Galactica Actors have been the ones to break major news concerning the production. Before the final season deal was in ink, actors Edward James Olmos and Katee Sackhoff both told reporters that the next season would be the last. This was at first denied, but confirmed a few weeks later.
Monday, September 3
With 'Heroes: Season One' now out in stores, our TV on DVD attention has swung towards the upcoming 'Battlestar Galactica: Season One' release this December. To say we're anxiously awaiting this set would be a severe understatement. Now, it takes a big release to earn a news mention for cover art, and I think you'll agree 'Battlestar Galactica: Season One' fits the mold.