Tuesday, July 29
After a log day of being in Hall H and Ballroom 20, things started to come to an end for the busiest day of the 'Con with the Battlestar Galactica panel. Basically, if didn't already have your arse planted in a seat in Ballroom 20 for that panel, you weren't getting to see BSG. I'm either completely dedicated to the coverage for TV Squad or a complete fanboy for the show. I submit that I'm likely both.
I'm not going to post the full, detailed report yet, as Sci Fi has told me we'll have embeddable video to show you soon (here it is on SciFI.com). Seriously, there's no way I can put to justice the funny job that Kevin Smith did as moderator -- you have to see and hear it for yourself. I will, however, submit to you the highlights for now.
In attendance: Tahmoh Penikett (he stuck around after the Dollhouse panel), Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer, James Callis, Michael Trucco, Katee Sackhoff, David Eick and Ronald D. Moore.
* Kevin Smith started things off saying that moderating the panel was his "consolation prize" for not being able to direct an episode of the show.
* We were shown a preview clip that will air soon on Sci Fi, which had clips from the remaining episodes. It looks like the crew will be on that devastated planet for a while, exploring it a bit more.
* Kevin Smith on BSG: "That show is so good it will get you pregnant."
* They wrapped the final episode three weeks ago.
* Smith said he thought when they were approaching the planet in the last episode, the people of Earth would unleash a hail of missiles at the Colonial fleet and the Galactica would start taking us all out. "Why don't you do something that cool?"
* Smith to Bamber on losing so much weight so quickly last season: "How do you lose weight that fast? Can you tell me?"
* The panelists were asked what they thought the most bad-ass moments of the show were. Smith said it was of the Galactica dropping into the atmosphere of New Caprica: "It was dope. I came." Jamie Bamber: "End of season 3, the pullback to reveal Earth." Trucco: "When I came on the show ... actually, when the ship dropped into New Caprica" Sackhoff: "When Galactica fires canons." and when she was firing guns for one episode and the armorer said 'we're completely out of ammo'." Helfer: "I got to shoot some guns (in the final episodes)." Callis: "When Adama and Tigh are together and Adama says 'are the people on this particular ship still eating paper? Tigh replies 'No. Paper shortage.' It highlighted how desperate things really were, and the two had to just laugh at the sheer atrocity of it all." -- Callis also gets to shoot guns with Tricia at the end. Moore: "When Baltar put his head on the desk, then picks it up and the caption says 'one year later.'" Eick: "When Starbuck and Six beat the crap out of each other at the end of season one."
* An attendee asked Sackhoff if she wanted to be the final Cylon. Kevin Smith looked to her and asked: "Are you the final Cylon? Come on, f*ck these dudes. You're done! Tell us! They can't fire you!" She said she did not want to be a Cylon, as she didn't want to do the double-duty of changing outfits, changing from one person to the next, so she just made Starbuck a more complex and crazy character.
There were jokes-a-plenty about who the final Cylon is (Moore did note that "it's someone we've seen before"), but other than that there wasn't any new information given. Hopefully I can get the video up for you all soon, as that itself is a real treat.
Wednesday, July 23
Jamie Bamber, who plays Lee "Apollo" Adama in SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming final 10 episodes will wrap up all the outstanding questions and mysteries. Everything.
"Yeah, yeah, everything," Bamber said in an interview at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., over the weekend. "I can't really think of a really loose thread. ... Not off the top of my head. I'm sure there are a couple, but I can't think of one."
The final new episodes of the fourth and final season kick off early next year and will pick up the story (spoiler ahead!) from the shocking midseason finale, when the survivors of the ragtag fleet arrived on a burnt-out Earth.
"Every character has been tortured to death, basically, over the five years," Bamber said. "What you can expect is a really, really good ending. You know, a real ending. And it's all gearing to that, and I think the writers really took it upon themselves to be responsible for all the strange twists and story points and surprises and to try and resolve everything in a way that makes sense. And that's a big challenge when you're sort of story-making on the fly over five years. ... They've tied everything up. So that's what you can expect, is a satisfactory, very elegant conclusion."
The show recently wrapped production on the last episode. Bamber said that he was shocked when he got the final script. "[I was] blown away," he said. "It's the best thing I've ever read for TV. Yeah. I mean, I hope it translates, and it comes across, and it's not just us, because we're so involved. But I had tears in my eyes, and the thing is, [series creator] Ron [Moore] wrote it on his own, without really any collaboration, and it's sublime."
Bamber added: "And it's all character. Like, it really comes down to character in the end, rather than, I just said plot and it's all plot, but the plot is the characters."
Monday, July 21
Source: LA Times
On Sunday afternoon, a zombiefied press corps at the Beverly Hilton perked up slightly for Sci Fi Channel's "Caprica" panel.
"Caprica" is the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel, and it takes place 51 years before "Battlestar's" action begins. Its story revolves around two rival families, the Graystones and the Adamas. Esai Morales plays Joseph Adama -- "Battlestar" fans will already know that Joseph is the father of Edward James Olmos' Admiral William Adama. Polly Walker and Eric Stoltz will also star in the prequel.
During the panel, "Battlestar" overlord Ronald D. Moore said that the terrestrial "Caprica" will have a "completely different tone, a completely different mood” from its progenitor. And indeed, one critic pointed out that the "Caprica" art direction resembles "Mad Men." Executive producer Remi Aubuchon agreed with that description, saying "“there is a bit of a retro feel" to the show's look.
When viewers will actually see "Caprica" is still an open question. Mark Stern, Sci Fi's executive vice president of original programming, said that the two-hour backdoor pilot will either air as a stand-alone movie or will serve as the pilot episode for the series. Stern also didn't know -- or wouldn't say -- whether it would air before, during or after the final 10 episodes of "Battlestar Galactica" begin running in January.
-- Kate Aurthur
On Sunday, after the TCA panel on one of his new shows, “Caprica,” I talked to “Battlestar Galactica” executive producer Ron Moore. We talked a bit about “Virtuality,” his mid-season pilot for Fox, about “Caprica,” which is a “Battlestar” prequel movie that could become a series.
We also discussed a proposed “Battlestar” TV movie, which, Moore said, won’t air until after the series finale. (At left are Paula Malcolmson and Eric Stolz as Amanda and Daniel Greystone in "Caprica.")
First up, here are all the newsy things from the interview with Moore (and also from a short interview with Sci Fi president Dave Howe). This bullet list is followed by a transcript of my talk with Moore. Unless otherwise noted, what’s in this list came from Moore.
* The proposed “Battlestar Galactica” TV movie would take place during the time frame of previous seasons, but it would air after the series finale.
* Howe said the final episodes of “Battlestar” will begin airing in January.
* The final set of episodes will be at least 11 hours long, and the series finale will occupy three of those hours. However, there’s a chance that the series finale could expand even more.
* The “Battlestar” series finale will definitely expand on DVD. Regardless of the length of the finale that airs on Sci Fi next year, an even longer cut will be released on DVD.
* Howe said that if “Caprica” gets a full series order, it will air in 2009. If “Caprica,” which was written by Moore and Remi Aubuchon, does not get a series order and airs as a standalone 2-hour movie, it could air this fall.
* Regarding when the network would decide whether to pick “Caprica” as a full series, Howe said the decision would come in September. He and his team are considering two other pilots as well, “Revolution” and “Warehouse 13.” Executives will get a cut of “Caprica” in early August, then decide in September whether it will become a series.
* Howe said if “Caprica” does get a series order, it will not be something that is designed to end after 13 episodes. It’ll be a regular series that could potentially go on for years, not a limited-run series.
* Fun fact: Howe doesn’t know who "Battlestar Galactica's" final Cylon is. “Actually, no,” he said when I asked him if he knew. "I don’t want to know, because if I know, then I’ll blab it out to somebody like you.”
* Fun fact 2: Moore has watched way too much of the syndicated series “Cheaters.”
Continue To Read the article here
LOCATION: Space, the final frontier
THE SKINNY: David Howe, President of SCI FI Channel revealed today that the rest of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA's final season will debut January 2009.
Big announcement and we can't wait.
Other news revealed:
SCI FI will be expanding their successful Saturday Night original movies to include Sunday night, adding 12 additional movies to their slate of 24 from Saturday.
"We will air a massive 36 original movies in 2009," says Howe.
Two new reality series are also on tap - ESTATE OF PANIC where "contestants battle their worst fears in a haunted house" and CASH OR CAPTURE which is essentially "a real life video game come to life with a sci fi twist."
Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming also added that they've greenlit a series called SOUL EVIDENCE starring Allison Debuois who was the real-life inspiration for MEDIUM. In the reality series, she will lead a team of investigators to solve cold case murders. RELIC QUEST where producer/director Bruce Burgess searches for the greatest relics in history from around the globe. And ESCAPE, where three contestants are locked in a room where there is no exit in a reality-take on the cult hit horror movie CUBE.
Other big news is SCI FI is reteaming with Bryan Singer after THE TRIANGLE to produce a brand-new, action-adventure mini-series based on an original idea by Singer. It will be written by famed sci-fi writer Richard C. Matheson.
Another new scripted series is WHAT IF? about a comet which triggers the second ice age.
There are three back-dour pilots as well including the CAPRICA prequel, WAREHOUSE 13 about FBI agents promoted to a facility holding the most sacred supernatural objects of all time and REVOLUTION which Howe describes as "THE PATRIOT in space" following a U.S. Colony "fighting a hostile colony in space."
The biggest news on CAPRICA, Stern reveals that even though it's a backdoor pilot, it may not air as a movie first.
"We’ll take liberty of [looking at the series] over the next two weeks and then decide it whether to hold it and make it part of a full blown series or air it first as a two-hour movie," says Stern.
What that means -- if the show is good, they see a viable option, expect an announcement of ordering it as a series, before it gets a chance to air as a TV movie.
Sunday, July 20
GRACE PARK appears in "The Cleaner," starring Benjamin Bratt, a new series that airs on A&E on Tuesdays. She is fresh off "Battlestar Galactica," in which she played Sharon Valerii/Sharon Agathon/Cylon No. 8. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
One second you're on a squeaky-clean Canadian soap, the next moment you're in high heels and panties in a Maxim shoot.
I wasn't like 18, where it was sending off sparks and it was taboo, you know how the American public likes to do that. The show's publicist one day called and said, "Would you be interested in doing Maxim?" And I said, "Do I get the cover?" And she said no. And I said, "Hell yeah!" So she broke it down and I was really happy with it. And that helped me get "Cleaner." Not that I was dressing like that -- but it put a different image in people's heads.
When we know you as someone in an armor bodysuit, it does change the perspective on you.
Just look at media, and how they like to do headlines. You want to catch people's attention. Eh, I dunno! It happened to work. Some people will go further than others.
Are there points where you've sat down with your professionals and said, "OK, what do I do? How do I get to where I want to be?"
Not really! At that point I only had one, if you want to say "people," I only had an agent. I didn't have anyone in L.A. -- I had an agent in Vancouver. And meanwhile I know people in the States collect a dozen people. Talking to my castmates, they say, "Oh, my financial manager, publicist, manager, agent" -- there are so many. . . . I think I actually follow my gut a little bit more. If there was a Jim Carrey movie? For sure I'd want to be in it. We have our lists. I just haven't hit too many of those.
And your husband is very much not in the industry.
He's not. When he was young he wanted to be a director. He's got enough of an appreciation for it. But the extent is he took one acting class and maybe film in university. He was a restaurateur and now he's a real estate developer.
It is really cool. That's his demeanor as well -- he could be a highly stressed individual and he's not. He's like, "You've got to go to these events and get all dressed up in heels" -- and I'm like, "Buddy, no. I hear you and that's cool, but no." I don't want to spend thousands of dollars to walk down a red carpet. . . . It'd just be too fake for me. I'm not that heels and lipstick girl.
How spiritual are you?
I think I've grown more spiritual in the last few years. A lot of people seem to be either open to it or carving their own spirituality lately or taking a big mix of whatever's out there. And I don't think I'm necessarily doing that. But I'm certainly open to like, our creator, and it's cool 'cause there's different names for him. But going to the source -- straight to God. I sort of have the direct line to him. And it's certainly fun. I've met people who really, really believe. They're like, "How can you not believe the Bible? That's God's love letter!" And I'm like, "Well I just talk to him!"
You would think we were, on the coasts, a nation of hedonist atheists. You know, all those godless gays and Jews in Hollywood.
There's a lot of Jewish people in L.A. and I didn't know that! I was like, "Jewfro? What's a Jewfro?" And half the people were laughing. I was like, "What are you guys in on?" What's matzo ball soup? What's actually in it? Everybody just knows, right? I was like, "Is it meat? Is it flour?" I just had my first a few months ago.
What can I ask you about "Battlestar" that's sneaky enough to give something away? Is there a child actor on the set?
Yeah, there is! We did have a child actor on set -- who keeps getting changed out! The thing is, we never did the twins thing. Getting half-Asian is already difficult enough. . . . I honestly feel we should have a little fund or something -- the first girl was just too young, she didn't understand what's going on. We should just fund her college, she can find us one day! But yes! There is a little girl on set. How long she's going to be there? Couldn't tell you that. I will tell you we find out the identity of the final Cylon. . . . There's one episode where everything is explained and I had to read it three times. . . . Then we had to sit down -- like, how does this guy know anything? And where was this thing orbiting? And who died? We don't want to lay it out in the script so much, because if you laid it out that way, it'd be dead boring. There's a spider on my wall I'm going to nab right now! He's a fast one -- I don't want to kill it, I'm just going to grab it. Eek! He's on the ground. I had to kill it. I'm sorry.
Thursday, July 17
Six Emmy nominations for Battlestar Galactica this year! Congratulations to everyone for the much deserved recognition, but I have to add a special "hoorah" for Mr. Michael An-jelly for a job well done.
Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Battlestar Galactica • Six Of One
Written By Michael Angeli
Outstanding Cinematography For A One-Hour Series
Battlestar Galactica • Razor
Stephen McNutt, Director of Photography
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series
Battlestar Galactica • He That Believeth In Me
Julius Ramsay, Editor
Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series
Battlestar Galactica • He That Believeth In Me
Gary Hutzel, Visual Effects Supervisor
Michael Gibson, Visual Effects Producer
David Takemura, Visual Effects Coordinator
Doug Drexler, CGI Supervisor
Kyle Toucher, CG Artist
Sean Jackson, CG Artist
Pierre Drolet, CG Modeler
Aurore de Blois, Senior Compositor
Derek Ledbetter, Compositor
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One-Hour)
Battlestar Galactica • Razor
Rick Bal, Production Mixer
Michael Olman, C.A.S., Supervising Re-Recording Mixer
Kenneth Kobett, C.A.S., Supervising Re-Recording Mixer
Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs
Battlestar Galactica - Razor Featurette #4
Ronald D. Moore, Executive Producer
David Eick, Executive Producer
Harvey Frand, Supervising Producer
Tuesday, July 15
Since the "Battlestar Galactica" cast is scattering to the winds, we decided to talk to one of the most controversial figures of this past season, Tory Foster the Cylon, aka Rekha Sharma. We did a quick, or not so quick, Q&A about the season and the show a few weeks ago.
I watched video from the New York Comic-Con, Was that your first experience with the kind of fervor that surrounds the show?
And what was your reaction to that?
It was pretty mind-boggling. I had done one convention before that, which was in London. It was to a really small group of people and none of my stuff had really aired yet -- the crowd just knew about the end of the third season -- so people were pretty chill around me. They were like, 'Wow, you're cool.' But this time I got so many strong reactions from people.
Strong good, strong bad ... ?
A bit of both. ... The convention I did in London was very small and intimate. I found in a way that the energy was really contagious. I felt that there was a lot of real positivity in the room. Everybody just loves the show and so it was really fun and exciting in that way. But then there's the weirdness of people sort of freaking out over you and you're like 'Hey, I'm just a chick,' you know?
I've done a bunch of TV and smaller roles in film. I do come from theater. I didn't spend a lot of time there cause once I started in television I just kind of stayed there. I'm actually dying to do a play now -- I'll probably do one this year. I feel like what we do as actors prepares you for the work, but it doesn't prepare you for having your mug on television and being in front of gazillions of people. ... I never did a theater as big as the crowd we had at [the New York] Comic-Con. I never had an audience that big.
Do you think you'll go to the San Diego Comic-Con?
Yeah, if someone invites me. I'm curious -- I've heard how insane it is ... It was pretty cool going down on the floor and seeing all of the booths where people were [at the New York convention]. Well, first of all there's this show, and then there's all of the creativity that has sort of spawned off of the show. I guess I never really thought of it before quite in that way. I've always thought of all the dolls and paraphernalia as sort of like, 'Oh that's the marketing and that's exploitation of something that's happening.'
But this time, because I could see that there were people attached to those creative ideas, I actually had a newfound respect for that kind of thing. I was like 'Hey, you love the show and then you got inspired to then design these action figures.' And that's kind of cool.
There aren't a whole lot of sci-fi actresses out there that are Indian, or even minority in general. Has that ever come up?
One of the questions from the fans [at the New York Comic Con] was do you ever think about the fact that this is a sci-fi genre. Michael Hogan answered first saying no, he just thinks of it as a drama. ... I had to pipe up and say, 'Yeah, I do think about that because when was the last time you saw ... I mean, how many Indian women are out there on television.' [A reporter] brought up that I may very well be the first Indian actor in space.
How did you feel after you found out that 1) you were a Cylon, and 2) you were going to kill Cally?
I loved the whole question of who's Cylon and who's human, and does that then afford us the right to kill the other species, and just the whole concept of war. ... In an egotistical point of view, you're like 'Oh everybody's gonna hate me!' ... But you have to put that aside and go 'OK, this is the world. This is war. This is survival. We're running from death and have been running from death for years.' I can't imagine what that would do to your mind.
Tory is the only one of the new Cylons who seemingly embraced her newfound status. Why do you think that is, and how would you describe the character's mind-set now?
I think Tory's willingness to embrace her Cylon nature began with the use of her intelligence. She knew she had better find out what she was ... and then I think she was shocked and delighted by all the sensations she discovered. I think when you deny a part of yourself for so long and rediscover it, there is a release of feeling and a deeper awareness, a newfound energy. Tory is in a place now, that awkward place of evolution, where you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. The truth of her feels right and good, and yet everyone around her would KILL her if they knew who she really was! And because of this she has made choices that aren't sound. She is both internally liberated and externally oppressed. What a conundrum.
Do you have any idea what you're going to do between now and the series' return? What would you like to be doing, ideally?
Well, there is some talk about a prequel going around ... so who knows? Hopefully it won't conflict with the play I'm planning to do in the fall. We'll see what else comes around the bend. I'm pretty open to whatever ... but, honestly, all I'm thinking about right now is finding a place to dig my feet in the sand and lay around for a while.
Do you believe in life on other planets, and if you do, do you think they've contacted us? How would they?
Sure, I believe there's other forms of intelligence in the universe. I've seen and heard some pretty convincing UFO stuff. Besides, if we're the most intelligent things in the universe ... well, that's just depressing. (Ha !)
What do you do to relax?
Shortly [after killing Cally] we had a great party at my house! I think having a good social life, and people you love and leading a balanced life is really essential when you're doing something like that. To a degree, you have to let yourself go there, but you need something to pull you back.
Opinions on ...
Is "Deadwood" still being made? I love Paula Malcolmson and Ian McShane. ... What I've really been enjoying lately is "Flight of the Conchords" and umm ... "Family Guy." I think Seth McFarlane is brilliant and I think "Family Guy" should get an Emmy for sure.
SAG studio trouble
I think this whole business of the Internet is tricky and I know plenty of people who continue to download things illegally and don't have any intention of stopping. I like to buy DVD box sets, myself.
Post "Battlestar" plans
I'm hoping to do a play and hoping to book a theater for fall. I am working on a series, just playing a guest-starring role. But, I don't know what else is happening in the world of my television and film career. But I know that Ron Moore's new project, "Virtuality," is being cast right now for the pilot. And I'm really excited about that idea, though I don't know if he wants anyone from the "Battlestar" cast.
-- Jevon Phillips
Saturday, July 12
When I first heard that the Sci Fi Channel had ordered a two-hour TV movie spin-off of Battlestar Galactica, I felt a mixture of excitement and confusion. Though I think BSG is one of the best shows on television and an example of science fiction at its most intelligent, it's also not a big ratings winner for the network. The show has struggled to find viewers since its first season, so what would compel the network to produce a spin-off?
Thanks to TV Guide I now have my answer. The spin-off, entitled Caprica, will be set in the Battlestar Galactica universe, but it's going to have a completely different style that's closer to AMC's Mad Men than your typical space opera. Will BSG fans embrace a new show that focuses more on character drama than sci-fi action?
Caprica is set 50 years prior to the events seen in Battlestar Galactica, and will focus on the creation of the first Cylons. Executive producer/writer/co-creator Remi Aubuchon told TV Guide, "Caprica is a sweeping, highly emotional relationship drama — a Rich Man, Poor Man set in a science-fiction environment. The look is nostalgic, almost 1950s, with the men in hats, ties and stylish suits. It's not about hardware and space battles."
As Kristin at E!Online reported, the series stars Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone, a computer genius and inventor whose daughter Zoe is killed due to her boyfriend's religious fanaticism. Before she dies, Zoe inputs her DNA and elements of her personality into a machine, which her father later transfers into a robotic body. The robot, known as Zoe-R, is the first Cylon ever created. In addition, Esai Morales plays Joseph Adama, grandfather to William Adama (Edward James Olmos). When Joseph's family is killed in the same suicide bombing that took Zoe's life, the two men bond together to replicate their children in cyborg form.
The plot of Caprica sounds like a spooky, timely setup for a science fiction story, and if it's done as well as Battlestar Galactica the lack of space battles shouldn't be a problem. The true strength of BSG has always been the human relationships at its core, not the action or the special effects. If the two-hour Caprica movie is a ratings success, the Sci Fi Channel will likely pick it up as an ongoing series.
In addition to the cast members mentioned above, Caprica also stars Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) as Graystone's wife, and Polly Walker (Rome) as a religious zealot who secretly teaches monotheism. The TV movie still doesn't have an air date, though it'll likely hit the airwaves in 2009.
Battlestar Galactica actress Grace Park has confirmed that plans are underway for a series of television movies.
Filming has already wrapped on the fourth and final season of the re-imagined show, but Park, who played Cylon Number 8, told the Los Angeles Times: "I just heard about the first Battlestar movie being greenlit. A TV movie, but still... it's supposed to start in August."
However, Park revealed that "nobody's manager or agent has been called", despite next month's proposed start date.
A TV movie entitled Razor aired last year, bridging the gap between the third and fourth season of the acclaimed show.