Thursday, February 28

In the Limelight: Michelle Forbes

Source: TV Squad

Mysterious. Mesmerizing. Interesting. Dynamic. Compelling. Any and all of these words accurately describe actress Michelle Forbes. She is one of the finest actresses in television, and yet she has maintained a distinct quality that makes her as elusive a performer to come around since Garbo! Intensely private, there's not much known about the Austin, Texas native. (However, I can tell you that she collects clocks -- broken clocks. As she told me, quoting the movie Withnail and I, "Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.")

She's currently making HBO's new drama In Treatment appointment TV, drawing her loyal following to find her latest work as she did in 24, Prison Break, Homicide and Battlestar Galactica. And that doesn't even take into account the millions who first discovered this chameleon when she first burst onto the scene in Guiding Light, and then Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Through all the years, though, Michelle Forbes has continued to defy categorization, refusing to become typecast or trapped by stardom, let alone celebrity. Indeed, you could even say that she's a star in spite of herself.

Michelle Forbes was an instant sensation on Guiding Light in 1987 as Sonni Carrera Lewis. It didn't take long before the powers that be realized she was a cut above the usual neophyte daytime actor. She'd been given a character that was introduced as one thing, a brilliant Venezuelan psychiatrist, who turned out to be impersonating her twin sister, Solita -- or was she? Michelle was playing a good girl who was in fact a vixen, who had good reasons for the evil she did. This was not what 20-year-old Michelle expected to play: "When I got hired, I thought I'd get to wear pretty clothes and talk about who's sleeping with whom. [Instead] we're talking religion, sex, guilt, rejection, loyalty, greed; there are some serious issues here," she said of her role as Sonni/Solita on Guiding Light.

Still, she handled it all brilliantly, and her performance reminded viewers of Bette Davis in her prime. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy, and GL tried to sign her up for a long-term deal. In a move that would prefigure the rest of her career, Michelle left the soaps after just a couple of years. If she'd wanted to, she could have made a career out of soaps, like Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman, both of whom she played opposite, did. However, Michelle Forbes wanted something more, something different.

In 1991, after guesting on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the producers were so impressed that they created a role for her on the show and in season five, she was introduced as a feisty, Bajoran officer, Ensign Ro Laren. She was a strong character, one who challenged authority, and the fans responded to her immediately. When Paramount greenlighted a spin-off called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Forbes was offered the chance to take Ro to the space station and become that show's female lead.

Trekkers were astonished that she would turn down the role; was she crazy? No, she wasn't; she simply didn't want to commit to a seven-year contract, which is what she was asked to sign in order to take the role. In her place, Nana Visitor was signed and a new Bajoran character, Kira Nerys, was created. Reflecting on her decision not to do DS9, she told TV Zone Magazine: "There were all sorts of rumors about why I didn't take it, that I was quite arrogant about the whole thing. It wasn't that at all. It was, again, about wanting variety in my career. ...That's not to say I wasn't grateful for the opportunity; I genuinely was. However, I had to make a choice that felt right for me, which was a difficult one, especially as a young actor being offered a steady job."

That quote is 100% accurate. When I knew the actress, her during her time on the soap, she told me that she was not interested in celebrity. She loved acting and the challenge of playing different characters. All the hoopla and stardom was not her thing. A few years later, we met again and she reiterated to me that she didn't regret her choice. In fact, she was more excited that ever about her career and told me she had just finished making a movie with Brad Pitt and David Duchovny called Kalifornia. Clearly, Michelle was doing just fine plotting her own career course.

As an actress, Michelle has handled all kinds of parts. In 1994, for instance, she took to comedy when she appeared on a classic Seinfeld episode, "The Big Salad," as George's girlfriend. And she more than held her own opposite Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley in the satiric feature Swimming with Sharks.

Dramatically, the actress made notable additions to Homicide: Life on the Street, as M.E. Dr. Juliana Cox, and on the hit series 24, as presidential aide Lynne Kresge. One series that didn't make it was Wonderland, a grim, dark drama set in a mental institution in which she played Dr. Lyla Garrity. The subject matter proved too controversial for ABC.

As a professional actress, Michelle Forbes always seems to be doing interesting work. In 2004, she learned British Sign Language (in just six days!) for a role in the BBC drama, Messiah. She was a semi-regular on Prison Break in 2006, and did a memorable two-parter in Waking the Dead in 2007.

However, it was her characterization at Admiral Helena Cain on Battlestar Galactica starting in 2005 (which she recently reprised in 2007's Razor episode), that's brought her tremendous acclaim. Speaking of Battlestar Galactica's Cain, a tough-minded, ruthless, militaristic hawk, she told the Chicago Tribune, "I think that there is something compelling... about her sense of duty, and her sense of getting the job done at whatever cost. There is comfort in that in difficult times, in times of war. But people like that may be misguided."

Right now, Michelle is appearing as therapist Paul's (Gabriel Byrne) wife, Kate, on HBO's In Treatment. As with so many of her characters, there's nothing simple about Kate and her complicated relationship with Paul makes for fascinating drama.

Fascinating, in fact, may be the perfect word to describe Michelle Forbes. She never fails to be a fascinating presence in whatever endeavor in which she participates. And that, although she may not like to hear it, is why she's a star. Just don't expect her to ever play the same role in the same way. That's not her style. In her own words, she states it clearly: "As an actor, you want as much variety as you can muster up. Otherwise you just keep playing the same chord over and over again."

Do Starbuck and Apollo Belong Together?

Source: Buddy TV

There aren't many shows on the air that are devoid of complicated love triangles and relationship dramas, even when those shows are set in the cold depths of space. In the third season of Battlestar Galactica, the emotional tension and romantic entanglements really ratcheted up to epic proportions. Throughout the first two seasons of the Sci Fi Channel series, it became quite obvious that Lee "Apollo" Adama and Kara "Starbuck" Thrace were madly in love with each other, even if they had trouble admitting it. Their refusal to admit to their feelings eventually led Apollo to marry Lt. Dualla (Kandyse McClure), while Starbuck got hitched to Sam Anders. This, of course, led to both of them cheating on their spouses and eventually beating each other to a bloody pulp. Where should this crazy mess of a romance go when Battlestar Galactica returns for a fourth season?

The way that Apollo (Jamie Bamber) and Starbuck acted in season 3 turned off a significant portion of the BSG fanbase. Both of them were cruel to their spouses and to each other throughout much of the season, and it took them much too long to call off their scandalous affair. On many shows, such as Smallville or Grey's Anatomy, the requisite on-again, off-again couple is painted in a soft light where they're always romantically pining for one another. It's easy for the audience to root for them to eventually get together. That's not the case on Battlestar Galactica. Starbuck and Apollo both have so many issues that it's impossible to decide if they're good for each other or if they should never interact again.

Of course, their already complicated relationship will become even more complex in season 4, thanks to Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) coming back from the dead. Is she a Cylon? Is she a ghost? Is she something else entirely? I think these questions need to be answered before there can be any further romantic involvement between her and Apollo. And let's not forget the marriage issue, which also poses a problem. It seems obvious that both Apollo and Starbuck married the wrong people, but that doesn't mean they'll do anything to rectify it anytime soon.

Though some fans are ridiculously fed up with the Starbuck/Apollo drama, I have to admit that I actually want to see them together in the end. They make each other more interesting and bring out the sort of messy, complicated feelings that great romances are made of. However, I don't want to see them together until they get their issues straightened out. That could take decades, or, at the very least, until the series finale.

Saturday, February 23

Hints and clues about Season 4

Source: Chicago Tribune

Spoiler alert: What follows in this post is only for folks who want to know not just the titles of the next 10 "Battlestar Galactica" episodes, but who also want some clues about what's coming up in Season 4 of the Sci Fi drama, which arrives April 4.

I'll post the episode titles first, then post yet another spoiler warning, so you can see the titles and then exit at that point if you wish.


Here’s what we know about “Battlestar Galactica’s” fourth and final season: There will be 10 episodes that air starting April 4. There will be 10 more episodes that will finish off the series, but it’s not known when those episodes will air. The “Battlestar” writers only recently went back to work, and production is expected to resume in March on the final set of episodes for the series.

Here are the episode titles and writers for the first 10 episodes of Season 4:

1. 1. “He That Believeth in Me” by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson
2. 2. "Six of One" by Michael Angeli
3. 3. “The Ties That Bind” by Michael Taylor
4. 4. "Escape Velocity" by Jane Espenson
5. 5. "The Road Less Travelled " by Mark Verheiden
6. 6. “Faith” by Seamus Kevin Fahey
7. 7. "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" by Michael Angeli
8. 8. "Sine Qua Non" by Michael Taylor
9. 9. "The Hub" by Jane Espenson
10. 10. "Revelations” by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle

THIS IS THE SPOILERY PART. Exit now if you want to remain unspoiled for Season 4.

Here's bit more on a few of those upcoming episodes listed above:

* Michael Taylor said in an interview last fall that in “The Ties That Bind,” “we say goodbye to another longtime character, though who that is and the manner of his or her departure should come as a surprise.”
* Regarding “Sine Qua Non,” Taylor said the episode “features the return of another favorite character, who’s undergone something of a crisis since we last touched base with him… or her.”
* As for “Faith,” here’s what Ron Moore told me about the episode a few months back. In Season 4, Laura Roslin’s cancer returns. Nana Visitor (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) plays “another cancer patient named Emily who's being treated in sick bay,” Moore said. “She gets Laura’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.”

A few general notes about the season:

* Taylor also said that Sharon “Boomer” Valerii is back in a big way this season.
* Romo Lampkin (the charismatic lawyer played by Mark Sheppard) will return some time in Season 4, though the timing of that reappearance is not known at this point.
* In addition to the character that will pass away in "The Ties That Bind," at least one other "Battlestar" character will die during Season 4. “It’s interesting, there have been a couple cast members where we’ve had to say, ‘Your character isn’t going to make it,’” Moore said in an interview last summer. “But because it’s this year, as opposed to last year, it’s different. They kind of went, [in an upbeat tone], ‘Oh, I kind of wish I was going to make it to the end – but I’m in the last [season]!’”

# In a conference call with reporters last year, Moore and fellow executive producer David Eick talked about the search for Earth and how that will factor into Season 4: " At the end of Season 3, we showed you a glimpse of Earth," Moore said. "You actually saw it and I think you will see more of it. We will get to a place that we’re going to call Earth, by the end of the series. You’ll get to see it."
# Season 4 will also deal with the challenges faced by the four characters who've found out that they're Cylons. "Essentially you’re going to see an extension of that initial moment [in the Season 3 finale], where they try to figure out, what does this mean to them," Moore said. "If they’re Cylons, when did that begin and what are their true backstories? What are they meant to do? Are they dangerous to each other, are they dangerous to the ship, can they trust any of the people around them, should they keep this secret only among themselves?"
# Lucy Lawless said last summer that her character would be back for two of three episodes around the middle of the season. Her character, D'Anna, will be unboxed by those who are interested in what she may know “It’s a pivot point for the season,” Ron Moore said at a Comic-Con press event last summer.

# Sci Fi has confirmed that Leela Savasta has a recurring role as Tracey Anne, one of Baltar’s followers. The Web site says that actor Ryan McDonell will appear as Lt. Eamonn “Gonzo” Pike in several episodes, and that Marilyn Norry will appear as a character called Reza Hebrides, but that has not been confirmed by the network.
# A couple more tidbits that surfaced at Comic-Con: The revelation that the final Cylon would be revealed late in Season 4, and the idea that Hera, Sharon "Athena" Valerii and Helo's child, would have a special fate.
# Finally Mark Verheiden offered this on his blog: “Season four … is a roller coaster/gut-punch from start to finish, with some of the rawest emotional moments yet, from characters you may not expect. Plus space battles!” Yesssss.

Thursday, February 14

Galactica writers are back

Source: Chud

Impeccable sources tell me that Battlestar Galactica's fourth season, put on hold for three months by the just-ended writer's strike, will not be truncated. The SciFi Channel has told Ron Moore that they want to complete the entire 22 episode season four order! The network will be giving Ron Moore, David Eick and their embarrassingly good writing staff a lot of hours to wrap up the show's story without rushing or trimming.

When the show shut down three months ago, there were some worries as to whether it would start up again. Battlestar is expensive, and other expensive shows that weren't burning up the ratings found themselves axed during the strike. Getting BSG a 22 episode fourth season order was seen as nothing short of miraculous at the time, so people wondered if SciFi wouldn't just 'cut their losses' (in their shortsighted eyes) and end the season at the 12 or so episodes in the can, maybe giving Moore et al the chance to finish everything up in a TV movie.

Thankfully that didn't happen, and there's more good news: the entire writing staff is back. They gathered this week to rewatch the completed season four episodes to get back up to speed, and now that the strike is completely and officially over, they'll be revisiting the outlines of future episodes and break those stories. There are still some details that will need to be ironed out - actor's deals may need to be renegotiated to get them secured past when their season four contracts end, for example - but the sets in Vancouver were never struck and the behind the camera types are raring to go and finish their epic story. I've heard that the show is firing on all cylinders in the season four episodes filmed to date, and I hope that three months away has given everybody new energy and perspectives to match the first half of the season.

The one mystery that remains is how SciFi will air the final season. Currently the feeling is that they'll split it in half and we'll only get ten or eleven episodes now, with the rest following as late as 2009. Here's to hoping that they wise up and give us the complete story in a more reasonable time frame.

Saturday, February 9


Source: The Watcher

The fourth and final season of "Battlestar Galactica," as many fans probably already know, will debut April 4. Sci Fi has also set the air dates for two specials that will air before Season 4 begins.

The refresher special, "Battlestar Galactica: Revisited," will air 9 p.m. Central time March 28. "Battlestar Galactica: The Phenomenon" will air the same night at 9:30 p.m. Central.

Ten episodes of "Battlestar's" last season will air through early June. Ten more episodes will air later in 2008 or in 2009. Nine episodes from that last batch of stories have not been shot yet, due to the writers strike.

Sci Fi's Friday press release follows.

Sci Fi's press release:


SCI FI’s Emmy and Peabody-Winning Series Returns March 28
With Two Back-To-Back Half-Hour Specials

New York,NY – February 8, 2008 – The wait is finally over for Battlestar Galactica fans. SCI FI’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series returns for its fourth original season on Friday, March 28 @ 10pm ET/PT with two back-to-back half-hour specials. The first new episode will premiere the following week, Friday, April 4 @ 10pm ET/PT.

Battlestar Galactica: Revisited (10pm) will serve up the essential information on the series’ past three seasons, providing the uninitiated with an introduction to the characters, relationships and spine-tingling drama that have captured the imagination of audiences around the world. Galactica’s executive producers, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick serve as guides, providing insights and revelations about the critically-acclaimed series.

Battlestar Galactica: The Phenomenon (10:30pm) is a celebrity-studded celebration of the show’s impact on pop culture. Interviewees, including Seth Green, country music’s Top Male Vocalist of 2007 Brad Paisley, and Talk Soup’s Joel McHale, and others, wax poetic about why Battlestar Galactica is one of the best frakkin’ shows on television.

As season 4 opens, the last remnants of humanity continue their search for a new home, the thin line that separates them from the rapidly evolving Cylons is being redrawn. Galactica’s crew, rocked by Starbuck’s sudden and mysterious return from the dead – and her claims that she has been to Earth and can lead them there – attempts to make sense of the inexplicable. Meanwhile, four members of the fleet are still reeling from the revelation that they are Cylons and have been all along.

Battlestar Galactica is the gripping saga of humanity's last remnants and their struggle to find a new home while fleeing from their deadly Cylon enemies. Redefining the space opera with its gritty realism, Galactica’s intensity, issues-driven topicality, and command performances have garnered it numerous awards, including an Emmy and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The show was recognized by the American Film Institute (AFI) as one of the most outstanding programs of the year two years running. The series is from Universal Media Studios and is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. The outstanding ensemble cast is led by Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park.

Wednesday, February 6

Leah Cairns - official site

Source: Leah Cairns Site

Welcome fans of Leah Cairns! Finally, after being "under construction" for quite some time, Leah Cairns now has her own website. So, what's on this website?

In our "news" section we'll keep you updated with the latest news, convention appearances and interviews published around the globe (please send in anything we don't have up yet!). The "biography" was partly written by Leah herself and we will add some new details as time passes. For the "gallery" Leah provided a large amount of personal photos which I'm sure you'll all enjoy. We hope to add more screencaps of the different films/series Leah starred in (and hope you'll help us with that as well!). In the "gallery" we also plan to start a special section for fanart, so do send in your best material and we'll add a selection. Finally in the "podcast" section we'll offer the chance to get your question answered by Leah Cairns in person. For starters there's also a personal welcome message from Leah for all the fans, so do check that out!

If you go to the "contact" page you'll find all information you need to contact us or Leah Cairns' agent for professional inquiries. Any feedback on the website is also greatly appreciated. I hope you'll all like the website and to hear from you soon. Enjoy!