Saturday, August 30

A brave, new world of ratings and `Battlestar Galactica'

Source: Dailybreeze

Need proof the television ratings system is dead, a victim of the TiVo, DVR, the ubiquitous satellite dish and schizophrenic viewing habits? Take a look at what's happening with "Battlestar Galactica."

If the traditional ratings system is used to measure its success, well, the series is scraping bottom like a viper throwing sparks on a hot landing.

Yet the show's producers are moving forward with two post-"Galactica" projects that would never have seen the light of a cathode tube had ratings been the only factor in the decisions.
Jamie Bamber, the British actor who plays Lee "Apollo" Adama in the series, has a much better way to gauge ratings. Turns out, as the ratings plummet, the show's popularity continues to skyrocket as it reaches the end of its five-year run early in 2009.

"When the numbers were high I would get stopped in the street maybe once a week," Bamber said. "Now that the viewing figures are lower on the TV, everywhere I go someone will come up to me and say what a huge fan they are. That just tells me that people watch the show in a more modern way and that it has reached its sort of critical mass."

"Galactica" wrapped shooting in July and the final 10 episodes will begin airing in January. But the franchise won't stop there.

Producers recently announced end-of-the-summer production of a two-hour stand-alone "Galactica" prequel that will air in 2009 after the series finale. And they've also shot a pilot
for a new series called "Caprica," which has yet to be picked up by the network but seems destined to air. These things never used to happen. There never would've been a "Rhoda" had "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" tanked. "Fish" would've been fried had it not been for the popularity of "Barney Miller."

"Galactica's" numbers - to put it politely - have begun to stink. The latest Nielsen ratings seem to indicate the show's viewers are as hard to find as the fleet's mythical destination of Earth. The series averaged 2.8 million viewers an episode during Season 1. During the most recent run of 10 episodes, the show averaged 2.2 million viewers, a slight dip overall but up from Seasons 2 and 3. The series lost some of that steam by the midseason finale, falling to just 1.8 million viewers.
Co-executive producer Michael Angeli thinks the numbers are irrelevant, however. He believes most "Galactica" fans have atypical viewing habits and take advantage of new technology to watch the show whenever they want.

"I think we were one of the first ones," Angeli said. "TiVo had just sort of taken off. This was four or five seasons ago, and because we were on Friday nights most people, most fans don't watch it (on first run). They TiVo it and watch it a zillion times."

Others rent or buy the DVDs after the season is over and watch in long marathons. To take advantage of this group, producers will be releasing the two-hour movie on DVD shortly after it appears on SciFi.

The movie is a prequel that gives some insight into the machinations of the cylons before they unleashed the nuclear holocaust that wiped out all but 50,000 human inhabitants of the 12 colonies. "Galactica" star Edward James Olmos will direct and Dean Stockwell (Cylon No. 1), Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol) and Michael Trucco (Sam Anders) - all "skinjobs," cylons who appear to be human - will participate.

While the movie is a lock to air, the fate of "Caprica" remains to be decided. The pilot has been shot and screened, and there's a trailer up on YouTube. Angeli is helping with early scripts in case the series is picked up and said the show is an almost complete departure from "Galactica."
"In fact, I don't think we ever go into space," he said.

"Caprica" takes place 51 years before the events of "Galactica." It stars Esai Morales and Eric Stoltz as the heads of rival families who clash over the creation of artificial intelligence, which will eventually lead to the cylons.

Like "Galactica," which took on war, terrorism, torture, religion and questions of morality, the storyline in "Caprica" will have many things to say about our society.
"It's really about big business, the machinations and the subterfuge that go on inside of it when you have something that is groundbreaking and could change the nature of life and the future," Angeli said. "In this case, they're developing artificial intelligence."

Executive producer Ronald D. Moore described the show to reporters at the Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills. While he was talking about the fictional colony Caprica, he could just as easily have been talking about today's America.

"It's about a vibrant society. It's really at the height of its power and the height of its decadence at the same time," Moore said. "So it's really a thriving, vibrant culture that's going to come apart as we watch, but it's sort of the roller coaster. It's thrilling at the top when you see how far down you've got to go."

Friday, August 29

Olmos promises brutal 'Galactica' finale

Source: Digitalspy

Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos has promised a "brutal" end to the series when it concludes next year.
TV Addict reports that Olmos, who plays Admiral Adama, told the audience at FanExpo 2008 in Toronto that the ending was "emotionally heartbreaking".
"I’m telling you this for a reason," Olmos added. "Because I don’t want you guys to think you’re going to go through this without getting yourself really twisted.It’s brutal what happens to us. Not many of us make it."

Saturday, August 23

Looking forward to Battlestar Galactica season 4.5


I admit it. When I first heard that they were remaking Battlestar Galactica I was non-plussed to say the least, and definitely aligned with the sceptics.
How wrong I was.
If you haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica yet stop reading now and go start; seriously, you are not only missing out on some truly brilliant entertainment, but you are also going to be pretty annoyed as this is going to contain spoilers.
Amongst all the announcements, previews and sneak peaks at last month’s San Diego comic-con there was one panel that stood out above the rest and which many dedicated fans queued throughout the night to be a part of. Hosted by Kevin Smith the BSG cast and crew sat down to talk about season 4.5, the final 10 episodes that will conclude the hit sci-fi series after the writers’ strike stopped production for what seems like an eternity. So let's look at what fans can expect when the final episodes land in 2009.
So they’ve found Earth, what next?The midseason cliff-hanger ended with the uneasy coalition of the human fleet and renegade Cylons finding Earth, but not the utopian planet they had imagined during their long voyage but a scorched land spotted with ruins. It’s a harsh landscape and according to producer David Eick the first couple of episodes will focus on the crew having to deal with terrible living conditions and the emotional turmoil of wanting to leave the place they have dreamt of for so long.
Who will be the fifth?Whilst four of the final five have been revealed, the fifth Cylon in the fleet is still unknown and you can expect that much of the show’s final episodes will focus on the ‘Are they, aren’t they?’ suspicion that has served the series so well to date.
So who’s our money on? Starbuck was an early runner with her as yet unexplained return from the dead and bizarre relationship with the Cylon model two. But with Katee Sackhoff telling panel-goers that her character ‘finds peace’ in the series’ finale you have to wonder if our favourite cigar chomping female pilot will die and sadly I’m starting to think she might.
Other candidates could include Dr Baltar and even President Roslin herself; but one character who is sure to be in the mix judging by the 4.5 preview is the old man of the fleet Admiral Adama. The comic-con trailer showed glimpses of this with clips of Roslin asking the Admiral directly if he was a Cylon before the scene cut to a Galactica airlock where Adama facing the camera and with a white cloth tied round his eyes looked set for execution, but whether it’s a Cylon or a human carrying out the sentence we just don’t know. My tip for the fifth Cylon (and it’s worth me pointing out here I’ve been wrong about every other model) is Apollo who spent a lot of screen time in the early part of season 4 climbing the greasy political pole and elevating himself to a position where his revelation will have the most impact, he was also a noticeable absentee from the mission to rescue Diana, the Cylon model who has seen the faces of all of the final five.
Will they blow shit up?Battlestar Galactica must be praised for the quality of its writing and for me a lot of the enjoyment is in the show’s use of its fantastical setting to explore complex real-life issues. From religion / theology to political leanings and even an incredibly brave empathetic portrayal of suicide bombers, BSG has never been afraid to make you work for your entertainment and it is this complex mix of dramatic action and intellectual posturing that gave the show its edge. But unfortunately the early episodes of season 4, whilst heavy on the intellectual themes of the show were light on action and failed to match the drama and spectacle of previous seasons.
So will the season and indeed the show’s finale see a return to action? Well with James Callis (Dr Gaius Baltar) describing one of the show’s final battles as epic; saying that it felt like Apocalypse Now and Tricia Helfer (Number Six) admitting she got to shoot some of the biggest guns the show has ever seen, it certainly looks that way.
So if the promise of groundbreaking revelations, tragic deaths and battles on an epic scale has got you as pant-wettingly excited as me, then the only bad news is that you are going to have to wait at least another five months before you can get your grubby little hands on it. Bah.

David Eick on New Galactica TV Movie and Caprica

Newsarama posted a new interview with Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick. Here are few excerpts.

NRAMA: Are you planning a sequel to the Battlestar Galactica direct to DVD movie Razor since it proved extremely successful?
Eick: I believe there was a piece in the L.A. Times announcing it so it is official. It is going to take place from the perspective of the Cylons and explore a story the fans will be familiar with.
NRAMA: At one point, it didn't seem like the Battlestar Galactica spin off Caprica was going to go into production. What was the turning point?
Eick: In a small way, I do think the writers' strike was a help only because there were fewer pilots being written so the network might have had fewer options at their disposal. That being said, I know they had kept Caprica alive and kicking even prior to that. That may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
NRAMA: How tough was it finding the perfect cast for this series?
Eick: It was difficult but our casting director was prepared. It went much faster than I expected. When Eric Stoltz became available, Polly Walker landed in our lap, and Esai Morales came in to audition, we were continually surprised by our good fortune. Eric, who plays Daniel, is an established computers science and robotics expert who you might think of as a Bill Gates-type character and a family man.
NRAMA: Now that you are in post production, how pleased are you with Caprica?
Eick: It looks great. I am very excited. Everyone seems to be cool with it. There's been no indication of it being picked up as a series yet but we are hoping.
The full interview is here.

Galactica's Final Season Won't All Be On TV

Source: I09

When Battlestar Galactica makes its long-awaited comeback next year, it won't just be our television screens that it's returning to. In a recent interview, executive producer David Eick revealed that fans can expect more The Resistance-style minisodes, as well.
Talking to Newsarama, Eick admitted that webisodes are definitely part of the plan for Battlestar's final season:
Yes, we are doing webisodes but when they are premiering I am not positive. Like the webisodes we have done before, they will continue on the story threads that don’t make the cut. I don’t want to give too much away but they are going to follow the same paradigm as we’ve done before.
That paradigm would presumably be The Resistance, the 2006 online-only 10-part lead-in to Galactica's third season, and the Razor "flashbacks" that trailed last year's one-off movie. Does this mean that you'll only get the full story behind why this has all happened before and will all happen again if we tune in online?

Saturday, August 16

Battlestar Galactica Season 4 (R2) in October

Source: DVDTimes

Universal Playback have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Battlestar Galactica Season 4 on 6th October 2008 priced at £34.99. While technically Season 4 of the re-imagined sci-fi series has been split into two parts for broadcast (with the second batch of episodes yet to air) the first part consisting of 10 episodes is being released here on UK DVD as Season 4.
The 10 episodes are spread across four-discs presented in anamorphic widescreen with English DD5.1 Surround and English DD2.0 Stereo audio, and English SDH subtitles. Extras include the feature length Razor, deleted scenes and a sneak peek into the final season. Total running time of the extras is listed as 3hrs 4mins approx.

Thursday, August 7

Cylons Will Scramble in Battlestar Special

Source: Wired

The Cylons had a plan, but they blew it when they failed to completely exterminate the human race with their sneak attack.

That's the gist of a just-announced two-hour Battlestar Galactica "special event," which will air in 2009 after the series' hotly anticipated final episodes.

The story will be set prior to the Cylon nuke attack that kicked off the re-imagined series, and will focus on Cylon Number One (aka the supercreepy Cavil, played by Dean Stockwell), resistance leader Sam Anders (Michael Trucco) and Chief Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas).

Those cast members have been confirmed, with more announcements due soon, according to the Sci Fi Channel press release.

Series star Edward James Olmos (who plays Adm. William Adama, pictured center) will direct the two-hour Galactica special, which will focus on the struggles of sleeper Cylons and human survivors on the Galactica and the rest of the ragtag fleet after the devastating Cylon blitz.

Galactica co-executive producer Jane Espenson will pen the script for the special, which is scheduled to begin shooting in Vancouver, British Columbia, at summer's end. Like 2007's Razor extended episode, the as-yet-unnamed movie-length special will be released quickly on DVD after it is aired. The final 10 Galactica episodes (some of them supersized) will air in 2009.

Wednesday, August 6

Battlestar Galactica: Super-Frakkin'-Sized Episodes

Source: TVGuide confirmed with Sci Fi today that Battlestar Galactica's final season beginning in 2009 will air "extra-long" or extended episodes.
Executive producer Dave Eick told the audience at this year's Comic-Con that the final episodes have become so critical to the series arc that they couldn't possibly wrap them up in toaster-sized hour-long installments.

Does this mean we'll get multiple two-hour episodes — more than the 10 remaining planned — from Sci Fi? Eick didn't reveal the exact method of lengthening the episodes, but that should keep us fans frakkin' happy during the long hiatus.

Monday, August 4

Ron Moore Lecture

Writer Ron Moore discusses the religious aspects of BSG before screening "Flesh and Bone" for students. Posted on YouTube by KnightChair. Source: Galactica sitrep