Monday, March 24

Battlestar Galactica Panel


"It's not a space-based action-adventure show. It's based on a planet, it's very character-oriented." Last week's Battlestar Galactica press conference in New York City - featuring series creator and producer Ron Moore, producer David Eick and cast members Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Aaron Douglas, Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos, Grace Park and Katee Sackhoff - brought with it the announcement that Moore's prequel series Caprica has been picked up for a pilot by Sci-Fi Channel. This news comes at a particularly welcome time for forlorn fans who will soon lament the departure of Battlestar, which begins its final season on April 4.

"Caprica is set 50 years before Battlestar Galactica, so in the mythos of the show it's before the first Cylon War and it's before the Cylons were created," Moore explained. "The series is about the creation of the Cylons. It's about the politics... surrounding this notion of the creation of the first artificial life form."

Continuing, Moore delved a bit deeper into what fans can expect from the pilot and, hopefully, the series. "It's not a space-based action-adventure show. It's based on a planet, it's very character-oriented... it's a whole different corner of the Galactica universe. Caprica's pilot will most likely film this spring/summer for a potential fall airing. If picked up, the series would not begin until at least the middle of 2009.

Questions concerning Battlestar's coming fourth season were met with the usual broad, non-specific responses, but a few bits of new information emerged nonetheless. Olmos, who plays Admiral William Adama on the show, will definitely be directing at least one episode, as will Moore himself. The producers also opened up a bit on their experience with the now-finished writers' strike, which stopped production on the fourth season after the filming of the 11th episode (out of 20).

"The writers had worked out what the arc in the back half [of the fourth season] was already," Moore said. "I think [the strike] actually benefited the show in some ways in that... we started to think about things that we could change, things we could make better. And when the strike was over... we wrote the second half of the season all over again."

Asked about the apparent resurrection of her Starbuck character at the end of the previous season, Sackhoff remains as mystified as the fans. "We're on episode 14 [of season four]," she said, going on to claim that she still has no clue how she came back or why, a statement which brought raised eyebrows from Moore and nothing else.

So what can fans expects from the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica then? It will be presented in two parts, with the second half set to film this summer for a probable fall airing. While the cast themselves remain in the dark as to how the series will close, Moore and Eick insist that the story is served and that the most pressing loose ends are tied up.

Which isn't to say that all will be well for the human race when the end credits roll on episode 20. "It's devastating," said Olmos of the fourth season, "don't watch this program; it's not an easy ride." Easy ride or not, expect fans to ignore Olmos' advice and tune in for the start of Battlestar Galactica's final journey on April 4.

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