Saturday, May 16

Full Details on Battlestar Galactica The Complete Series on Blu-Ray and DVD

TV Shows on DVD posted the the box artwork and full content of episodes and bonus material for the releases of Battlestar Galactica The Complete Series coming on Blu-Ray and DVD on July 28th, and also for Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5 on Blu-Ray and DVD.

The Blu-ray Disc version of Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Series comes on twenty "BD-50" Discs, running 4077 minutes (approx. 68 hours), in Premium Packaging described as a Limited Edition Telescoping Box Set with Collectible Cylon Figurine. 1080p high-definition widescreen video, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio, and subtitles in English, French and Spanish. $349.98 SRP. Discs 18-20 describe the content of Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.5 on Blu-ray (3 discs, $69.98 SRP), which ships on the same date.

More box artwork images and the full info can be found here.

Monday, April 20

Review: Caprica Spins Religion, Race Into Worthy Galactica Prequel


Caprica is a religious experience.

That's not to say the highly anticipated Battlestar Galactica prequel, which comes out on DVD Tuesday, is a blinding experience that will transform you forever. But the movie-length pilot makes it clear that theology will play a huge part in the series when it hits the airwaves in 2010, just as it did in Galactica.

In the "uncut and unrated" Caprica pilot, there are no nuclear explosions, no grimy spaceships, no sexy or deadly encounters with robotic Cylons.

Aside from a bloody assassination and some gratuitous topless shots, the show almost completely lacks the action and hard-edged sci-fi eye candy that helped give Galactica its gritty appeal.

Instead, Caprica delivers a broad, deliberately paced introduction to the themes that will presumably drive the show: the tension between science and religion, the dangers of religious zealotry, the racism that can simmer in a societal melting pot, the nature of humanity in a world filled with sentient machines.

(Spoiler alert: Minor plot points follow.)

None of this is new, especially to fans of the recently wrapped Galactica, but luckily producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have imported to Caprica other hallmarks of their award-winning Sci Fi Channel series as well: the lean writing, the strong acting, the exceptional soundtrack by Bear McCreary, the Cylons.

Galactica fans get their first glimpse of the shiny cybernetic creations about a third of the way through the 93-minute pilot. It's a welcome blast from the future past that boosts the show after a somewhat sluggish start.

Like one of Galactica's less-frenetic episodes, the Caprica pilot unfolds languidly, introducing the Graystone and Adama families and framing the show's central themes.

The clans' wounded patriarchs, successful Caprican roboticist Daniel Graystone (played by Eric Stoltz, The Butterfly Effect) and tough Tauron lawyer Joseph Adama (Esai Morales, Jericho) are drawn together in the wake of a terrorist attack that shatters their families.

Lots of languid cigarette-smoking follows. The two men become unlikely friends, only to eventually be pushed apart as Graystone becomes obsessed with bringing his dead teenage daughter Zoe (the perpetually wide-eyed Alessandra Toreson) back to life, or something like it.

Stoltz transforms from a shallow Caprican technoyuppie to a Frankenstein-inflected mad scientist. And Morales brings the kind of backbone needed to convincingly play the father of the boy who will eventually helm Galactica.

The adult female leads — Graystone's wife, Amanda (Paula Malcomson, Deadwood), and Clarice Willow (Polly Walker, Rome) — get less screen time, but these strong actresses will undoubtedly shine as the series continues.

Playing the part of a religious school administrator with ties to the monotheistic cult Soldiers of the One, which is seducing teens on the technologically advanced planet Caprica, Walker shows just a smidgen of the deliciously manipulative creature she played so well in Rome. Let's hope Moore and Eick give her plenty of room to turn up the heat in future episodes.

Set 58 years before the Cylons' sneak attack on humanity, the Caprica pilot does not deliver the kind of explosive action that turned Galactica into a nail-biting sensation. Instead, it is a little like the "begat"-riddled genealogical sequence that opens the New Testament: It draws much of its tension from the knowledge of what lies ahead.

The characters are richly drawn and ripe for further exploration. And the show's willingness to tackle religion, immigration, corporate espionage and racism right out of the gate indicates that Moore is framing up another thoughtful sci-fi series.

Caprica could become another sacred text for sci-fi fans yearning for brainy television.

Wired: Old-school Cylon robovoice; hacked Holoband; cameo by The X-Files' "cigarette smoking man."

Tired: Virtual nightclub looks like Saturday night in San Francisco (except for the human sacrifice).

Addendum: In the press release announcing Caprica's premiere, Sci Fi Channel makes it clear that there are two reasons for the pilot's release so long before the series will be aired.

One is to capitalize on the buzz from Galactica's series finale. The other reason: To "get viewers' feedback before production on the Caprica series begins this summer," according to Mark Stern, Sci Fi's executive vice president of original programming.

Saturday, April 11

'Battlestar' items to be auctioned of

Source: UPI

More than 900 items from the recently wrapped TV show "Battlestar Galactica" are set to hit the auction block at California's Pasadena Convention Center.

NBC Universal Television, DVD, Music and Consumer Products Group said it is teaming with Propworx for a live auction May 8-10.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit United Way.

"We were incredibly happy with the first 'Battlestar Galactica' auction in January and we know the fans will be just as thrilled with this final auction as well," Kurt Ford, senior vice president of production services at Universal Media Studios, said in a statement. "We saved key items, which were pivotal to the series, and we are pulling out all the stops to create a truly unique event that will do justice to the series."

"A lot of experienced collectors, and just plain fans, felt that the first 'Battlestar Galactica' auction was the most exciting and fun 'prop and costume' auction ever," added Propworx Chief Executive Officer Alec Peters. "We intend to make the second and final auction even bigger and better, with more of the show's stars, more fun activities at the auction preview day, and an even more impressive display of the items up for auction."

Tuesday, March 31

Battlestar Galactica Spinoff Caprica – 8 New clips Just Released

Source:Scifi Examiner

See them here. Universal just released 8 new clips from the Battlestar Galactica spinoff series Caprica. I reported earlier that the movie “The Plan” would be released on DVD on April 21, then would be the two-hour pilot for the new series Caprica. Wet your appetites with these clips.
Caprica stars Esai Morales (Admiral Adama's lawyer father) and Eric Stoltz as two fathers confronted with a life or death situation. The decisions they make will change Caprica forever and lead directly into the events that unfold in the Battlestar Galactica series pilot.

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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan - Teaser

Source: Craveonline

Providing more closure to Battlestar Galactica will be the 2-hour television event titled, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, which focuses on the Cylons. While Battlestar Galactica might have just finished its season, between Caprica and The Plan, fans of the long-running series will discover some surprising insight into the addictive story arc. The Plan premieres on television this Fall the teaser can be found on the link below

Monday, March 23

Battlestar's Ronald D. Moore talks Starbuck's fate, DVD extended cut

Source: SciFi Wire

Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore told SCI FI Wire that he was "very satisfied" with the series finale, which aired Friday night on SCI FI Channel. (Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the finale!)

Moore added that he makes no apologies for the surprising and controversial revelation about Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), who, after a "mortal death," turned out to be an "angel, demon or some other form of life" that "fulfilled her destiny" by leading the Galactica crew back to Earth.

And Moore promised that there will be some extended scenes on an eventual DVD version of the finale, including backstory that had to be cut for time.

SCI FI Wire caught up with Moore in New York last week, following the one and only preview screening of the Battlestar Galactica series finale, "Daybreak, Part 2." Following are edited excerpts from our exclusive interview.

How pleased were you with the finale and the reaction you saw from the audience that just watched it with you?

Moore: I'm very pleased with the finale. It pretty much is exactly what I wanted it to be, and I'm very satisfied with it. That's how I wanted to end Galactica. And in the room I felt happy. I felt that people weren't fidgeting, and they seemed riveted and into what they were watching. They weren't texting and checking their cell phones. There were a few tears here and there. The feeling I got from the room was that they were there and invested in the story, and I hope they found it satisfying.

Some characters lived, others died. Some characters proved heroic and others took another way out. What was the hardest decision to make creatively?

Moore: I don't know that those were tough choices. A lot of it had to do with just dealing with the characters and making sure that we focused the finale on the characters, that it didn't all just become about the plot about how to rescue Hera. That was where we started. We started these discussions in the [writers'] room about how we were going to rescue Hera and what the twists and turns would be, and we got really bogged down in that for a while. It was very frustrating.

And then I just said, at some point, "Screw that. It's really not about that. Let's just assume we'll have a good plot. We'll figure that out. What are the characters' stories?" And I said, "The first image I had was, OK, somewhere there's a man trying to chase a bird out of his house with a broom. I don't know who that is, and I don't know what it means, but that's an image. Put it up on the board." And then we just started [embellishing] on these ideas and characters and what could be the characters' stories. Then, once we cracked that, everything else kind of flowed.

Speaking of that bird, you just know the fans are going to have a field day debating the fate of Kara, who seemed to have become an angel. People will ask why, for example, if an angel saw its dead body, it would react as strongly as Kara did when she came across her corpse in the Viper. How will you explain that away to fans who didn't see it coming or might take issue with it?

Moore: I don't know that I will. We made a conscious decision to say, "We're going to leave this opaque." You can certainly say that she's an angel or a demon or some other form of life. We know from the show that she died a mortal death, she was brought back to life in some way, and then she fulfilled a certain destiny and guided them all to Earth. What does that mean? And who is she really? It was a conscious creative decision to say, "This is as much as we're going to tell you, and she's connected to some greater truth." The more we try to answer what that greater truth is, the less interesting it becomes, and we just decided to leave it more of a mystery. I am sure that there will be a cadre of people who are angry that they never got a more definitive answer, but we just decided not to do that.

How much fun did you have with your cameo appearance?

Moore: It was actually a lot of fun. I was wearing a Jimi Hendrix shirt that you can't see. For rights issues and all of that, you couldn't see Jimi, but that's actually a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt that I'm wearing. I got a big kick out of that.

What got cut? What had to go to keep the running time at two hours and 11 minutes?

Moore: Well, there was a series of flashbacks that had to do with Boomer [Grace Park] and Helo [Tahmoh Penikett] and Tyrol [Aaron Douglas] back on Galactica when she was a rookie pilot. It was the first time she kissed Tyrol, the beginnings of that relationship, the beginning of Helo having his longing for her, and sort of establishing where that triangle was way back in the beginning. We cut that, just for time. It will be on the extended DVD version.

What else will be on that extended DVD?

Moore: Longer versions of the same scenes. There's another scene where, after Tyrol says, "We have to hook Anders into CIC," we're in Adama's [Edward James Olmos] quarters, and he's adamently opposed to it. It's a really hot, angry scene between him and Tyrol and Starbuck. Eventually he decides to do it. That was a great scene that was hard to cut, but we finally cut it. I don't remember what else. Oh, there are more scenes, flashbacks in the strip club, sort of fleshing out the Tigh [Michael Hogan] and Ellen [Kate Vernon] story a little bit more, things like that.

Saturday, March 21

Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak, Part 2 (series finale)

Source: TV Squad

"Frakkity, frak. Don't talk back." (Apologies to Lieber and Stoller)

After four years of some of the best and most adult sci-fi in the history of television, Battlestar Galactica draws to a close with a bang and then a whimper, with an overall satisfying ending that was as morally complex as any episode in the series.

Ron Moore was pretty good about wrapping up a good chunk of the remaining questions and storylines. But there are a plethora that weren't answered.

To begin, what circumstances allowed for Kara's resurrection? What is her background that she knew so much about the original Earth? How did Hera know the things she knew? If "All Along the Watchtower" wouldn't be written for 150,000 years, how did the Cylons hear it? After that disappearing act at the end, was Kara even human? If not, what was she? An angel? Why did Cavil kill himself when he lost resurrection? Surely he knew that he wouldn't get resurrected. Perhaps they're saving all those questions for "The Plan".

This episode was nothing short of a symphony and wrapped up the major themes of the show, about individuals and faith and faith-in-conflict. The denouement seemed a little long, but since we've been with these characters for four years, it was nice to give each a send-off that was longer than a minute.

Things that happened that were predictable based on the foreshadowing of the previous years:

* The Baltar/Caprica Six reunion
* The death of Tory at Tyrol's hand
* The death of Roslin
* Athena's execution of Boomer
* Boomer's repentance
* The survival of Hera and the human race
* The discovery of the second Earth
* Roslin smoking. Now we know how she got cancer

And then there were the things that surprised me:

* They discovered the Earth that is eventually us (150,000 years later)
* The human/Cylon hybrid and the Galactica crew became the missing link
* Helo's survival (I thought he died during the attack on the Cylon colony)
* Baltar and Six suddenly seeing each other's visions

Stuff I really enjoyed:

* The cameo of Ron Moore at the end reading a magazine
* The quick riff of the old Battlestar Galactica 1970's theme as the fleet flew into the sun
* The old-style Cylons in battle
* Adama's quick attempt to explain what the Final Five were doing with transmitting the resurrection data (which I took as a riff on Ron Moore's old bosses at the Star Trek franchise who excelled at technobabble).

Things that touched me:

* Mary McDonnell's performance and Roslin's quiet passing
* The last scene between Lee and Kara
* Baltar's willingness to finally do something for the greater good (although it could be argued he was doing it to win Six's affection)
* Sam Anders' noble death

Based on the ending, if I had to describe this series as a whole, it would be an attempt to bring a concept like God (or Gods, or some sort of divine presence) into a rational and reasoned world. Granted, Galactica had spaceships and robots, but it never had aliens or technology that seemed impossible (it is possible to fold space and "jump". Black holes fold space like that). Hell, they were using bullets when other sci-fi series use lasers or phasers or plasma rifles or whatever.

In an age where too much television tries to spoon-feed morality and lessons to us, Battlestar Galactica takes it above all that by trying to get viewers to think. While that sort of television rarely has high initial ratings, it's the sort of thing that can live forever in re-runs as people watch it again to determine its lessons.

Forgive me if I missed anything. It was a pretty dense episode and as of this writing I've only watched it once. I'm sure I would find additional themes upon a second viewing (which I plan to do for the whole series as soon as the last DVD set is released). If anybody remembers any interesting tidbits, please share. Kudos to Ron Moore and company for a job well done and a fantastic series.

So say we all.

Watched The Finale? Still Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Source: Discover

Earlier this week in New York, Battlestar Galactica’s co-creators David Eick and Ron Moore, along with cast members Mary McDonnell (President Roslin) and Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama), sat down with the press for a Q&A session following a screening of the last episode. We were just as brimming with questions as you are about the finale, and here are some of the answers we got. Needless to say, what follows below the jump contains MASSIVE SPOILERS if you haven’t already seen tonight’s show, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

What exactly was Kara, and were people chasing down a rabbit hole when they assumed her father was Daniel, the missing 8th model cylon?

Ron Moore: Daniel is definitely a rabbit hole. It was an unintentional rabbit hole, to be honest. I was kind of surprised when I started picking up [that] speculation online.

For those of you who don’t know, there was a deep part of the cylon backstory that had to do with one of the cylons that was created by the final five [called Daniel. Daniel] was later sort of aborted by Cavill… it was always intended just to be sort of an interesting bit of backstory about Cavill and his jealously. A Cain and Abel sort of allegory. Then people really started grabbing on to it and seizing on it as some major part of the mythology. In couple of interviews and in the last podcast I tried to go out of my way to say “look, don’t spend too much time and energy on this particular theory,” because it was never intended to be that major a piece of the mythology.

David Eick: It’s like Boxey in that way!

Moore: Kara is what you want her to be. It’s easy to put the label on her of “angel” or “messenger of God” or something like that. Kara Thrace died and was resurrected and came back and took the people to their final end. That was her role, her destiny in the show… We debated back and forth in the writers’ room about giving it more clarity and saying definitively what she is. We decided that the more you try to put a name on it, the less interesting it became, and we just decided this was the most interesting way for her to go out, with her just disappearing and [leave people wondering exactly what she was].

We see Galactica jump away from the Colony. Are we to assume there are a lot of pissed off Cavills out there still, or were they destroyed?

Moore: The final [cut] came out a little less clear on that than I intended…. It was scripted and the idea was that when Racetrack hits the nukes—the nukes come in and smack into the colony—it takes the colony out of the stream that was swirling around the singularity and [the colony] fell in and was destroyed. I think as we went through the [editing process], when we kept cutting frames and doing this and that, one of the things that became less apparent was that the colony was doomed. The intention was that everyone who was aboard the colony would perish.

Click the link above to see the rest of the interview

Battlestar Galactica Series Finale Redux

Source: E Online

Battlestar Galactica, a visually grim and philosophically dark series for the duration of its run, had no obligation to end with twittering birds, romantic curlicues and happy, healing Helo. It was a gift, then, that it ended on such a triumphal, thoughtful note, and for that gift plus the entirety of four epic years with this great story, we offer a sincere and hearty thank you to the creators, cast crew.

But enough niceties. Let's get cracking into what went down in the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, and more importantly, what series creator Ronald D. Moore has to say about it...

Look Homeward: So, at last, Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) goes to her hard-earned rest. She found Earth, yo! For the record though, that man teaching her piano (and therefore giving her the FTL-drive coordinates to our new home) was not Daniel. According to Ronald D. Moore at the BSG finale event last week, "Daniel's definitely a rabbit hole," that fans fell down, and not the key to Kara's everlasting mystery. Instead, says RDM, "Kara is what you want her to be. It's easy to put the label on her of angel or messenger of God. Kara Thrace died, was resurrected, and came back and took the people to their final end. That was destiny in the show."

The Vixen and the Geek: Well, after four years of sex, lies and hallucinations, we've learned that both Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar were haunted by each other, but what they were haunted by remains unclear. According to RDM, "We never tried to name exactly what we called the Head-Baltar and Head-Six throughout the show internally, and we never really looked at them as angels or demons because they would periodically say evil things and good things, and they tended to save people and tended to damn people. There was sense that they worked in service of something else—you could say a higher power or you could say another power—that was guiding and helping, sometimes obstructing, sometimes tempting the mortal people in the show. The idea at the very end was whatever they are in service of continues and is eternal and is always around. And they too are still around, and they too are still here with us, with all of us who are the children of Hera, and in one way, shape, or form they continue to walk among us and watch, and at some point they may or may not intercede at a key moment. That was the concept behind the last images." And if you ask us, those last images were quite magnificent. Also magificent? Caprica's declaration that she'd always wanted to be proud of Baltar, the revelation of their genuine love and affection for one another, Baltar's speech to Cavil about a leap of faith, and Baltar weeping in Caprica's arms about...farming. Were you happy with that coupling finally coming to be? Post in the comments.

Mountain Men: Were you happy with the lonely fates of the Chief and Lee Adama? The Chief is apparently off to be a great Scot, and Lee wandered the world...Was that the right ending for those two?

Heart: It's hard to call Helo and Athena a fairy-tale couple when there was that time that Athena was punitively raped for being a Cylon, and then that other time when Helo frakked Athena's "evil twin" Boomer, but still...Gotta love where those two started and that they ended up together, bickering adorably. Not to mention the fact that their cutest-kid-in-the-fleet moppet Hera turned out to be mitochondrial Eve.

Did the Agathon family ending make you happiest or were you more delighted by Adama posthumously making Roslin his wife?

Were you satisfied or disappointed with the series finale of Battlestar Galactica? Post in the comments!

Friday, March 20

Somebody Stop Today, I Want to Get Off, From Ron

Sci Forum

Somebody Stop Today, I Want to Get Off, From Ron

I don't want this day to happen.

I want it to be rescheduled, rethought, removed and recalled.

Tomorrow the story will be over, my tale having been told, and never again will there be the sweet anticipation of waiting for the next episode to be shown to fans and friends. The thought of it makes my heart ache even as swells with pride.

All I know is that today there is a show called Battlestar Galactica and tomorrow there was.

There will be joy in that too, I'm sure, touching the thread of memory and feeling it resonate all the way back to soundstages, locations, cutting rooms, writers' rooms, and sound bays where I lived for all these years and being comforted by the knowledge that a part of me will never truly leave those places. There will be reunions and retrospectives, special editions and extended cuts, interviews and seminars. Solace can be found.

We'd called the last season Senior Year and here, today, as I prepare to present the final episode to an audience of friends, colleagues, and family, I find myself feeling the same way I did on Graduation day at Chowchilla Union High, all those years ago. The mosaic of faces I'd grown accustomed to seeing day after day would regroup for one last event, one last celebration of our lives together and what we'd done, and then it would be gone but for the transcendent threads of memory waiting to resonant down through the years. I didn't want that day to happen either and fervently wished for it to be rescheduled, rethought, removed and recalled.

Somehow I get the feeling that today's wish will not be granted either. So this day, like that one, will wax and wane and all I can do is ride the wave and let it carry me where it will.

Thank you, all of you for coming here through the years. The shippers and the haters, and everyone in between; you've watched and you've posted and you've been a touchstone for my experience with the audience ever since that night back in 2003 when we first declared that the Cylons were created by Man and things were going to be different. It's been a genuine pleasure to surf your thoughts, rants, questions, snarks, complaints, praise, and humor as you watched our story play out and rest assured I will be here again tomorrow poring through the posts, laughing, cursing, sometimes just shrugging at what you take away from this crazy show.

It's been an honor to be your storyteller.

Ronald D. Moore
About to be former Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica Ends Tonight

Source: Buddy TV

After a miniseries, four seasons, three webisodes sweries and a TV movie, Battlestar Galactica comes to an end tonight. The critically-acclaimed Sci Fi Channel series airs its series finale tonight at 9pm in a special two hour and 11 minute installment (so make sure you program your DVRs accordingly).

Though Battlestar Galactica gained a cult following with its original 1970s creation, Ronald D. Moore’s modern reimagining has redefined science fiction for our time. It’s not a show about aliens and photo torpedoes. It’s about humanity’s struggle to survive when a massive Cylon attack destroys the majority of the human population.

In the recent Battlestar Galactica retrospective that first aired Monday, Moore said that in the middle of writing the series finale, he realized what the show was really about. He walked into the writers’ room and wrote, “It’s about the characters, stupid” on the white board.

The series finale will hopefully deliver on that level and provide closure for fans who have followed the adventures of Admiral William Adama, President Laura Roslin, and the rest of the fleet. The finale promises one final mission for the Galactica as the crew goes after Hera and has one last confrontation with the Cylons.

Thursday, March 19

Galactica Station's Review of "Daybreak Part 1"


by bopone

This is perhaps the most difficult review of a BSG episode I have been called upon to write here at GS/RA for 2 main reasons. But we must plunge ahead anyway; I give the episode 8 out of 10.

Firstly and most basic, DAYBREAK, PART I is by no means a stand alone episode, it is the first third of a three hour season and series finale. Thus elements that don't make sense in the first hour may (and hopefully will) make sense in the final analysis.

Secondly and more emotionally, DB,PtI, represents the beginning of the end of the six and half year journey with BSG that we all began in May, 2003. Six and half years of watching every detail, discussion with other fans about everything from major plotlines to details of Colonial uniforms. One doesn't put this effort much into a show without building up a major emotional investment. I'm going to miss these times, no doubt about it.

Regardless of these problems, I have put together what thoughts I could about this important segment of BSG. Lets see what I came up with.

A major element of controversy in the episode are the opening flashbacks--all to life on pre-attack Caprica. We see then Cmdr. Adama in a meeting not wanting to do something (my presumption from the dialogue is to go on a job interview). We see Roslin pre-Government days, with her family and being informed of their deaths, and her beginning her arc into the Adar Administration. We see Lee and Kara in their first meeting, in Kara's Delphi City apartment, where apparantly she cooks! Who knew? And most importantly we see Caprica Six and Baltar in their first meeting and how Caprica Six gains Baltar's confidence--through Baltar's difficult father.

How useful these flashbacks are to the final show I have difficulty in saying. I suspect that they help set the mood for ending of the show by showing us where the major characters were at the beginning of their arcs, thus preparing us for how the characters will end up.

The major portion of the show was first the preparations for abandoning the Galactica (and who among us doesn't find this as heart rending as the death of any other major character?) and then the change of course when Adama decides to attempt rescue of Hera. Adama is able to decide this in part because Racetrack and Skulls (released from the pokey) find Cavil's Colony (which to my eye bears a striking resemblence to a Babylon 5 Shadow Ship).

Adama organizes his strike mission on a strickly volunteer basis and while no known major character refuses to go (except Baltar who can't bring himself to), you do see large numbers of crew of the old girl decide to not go, thus avoiding the groupthink that so many shows seem to fall prey to. Adama also pulls Doc. Cottle aside and asks him to stay with the RTF as he's too valuable to risk, which Cottle does.

2 interesting character scenes are in this sequence--one between Lee Adama and Baltar and the other between Helo and the Chief in the brig. Baltar shows some growth of character in his scene where Lee is pretty much brushing him off and asks Baltar when he had ever done anything that wasn't advancing the case of Gaius Baltar. Baltar looks at Lee and answers honestly that if Baltar were Lee, he wouldn't trust Gaius Baltar either and leaves. Rarely has Baltar shown such self awareness.

The scene between Helo and Chief Tyrol is also quite interesting. The Chief denounces all 8s as mindless machines ("blow-up dolls") who will betray you in a nano-second. Helo, by the way, is being quite civil and even sympathetic to Tyrol, given that Tyrol had a hand in abetting Hera's kidnapping. But I find the Chief's motivation here to be 2 level--by saying all 8s are mindless machines, he is venting his self-loathing at Boomer, because it must tear himself up to have been used by her yet again. On a deeper level, though, by lumping Athena in with the 8s, Tyrol may also be assuaging his guilt by saying that Athena is also a machine and thus cannot really be hurt by what Tyrol did.

Now on to the final 2 hours of our favorite show. It has been a long journey and I'm glad to have had all of you along with me.

Saturday, March 14

'Galactica' creator confident in finale

Source: UPI

TV screenwriter and producer Ron Moore, who created the reboot of "Battlestar Galactica," says the U.S. TV series' finale should satisfy its fans.

Moore said while fan expectations for the multi-part ending that begins Friday are high, he and his fellow "Galactica" creators are confident they have nailed the finale for the Sci Fi Channel series, The Hollywood Reporter said.

"They have a lot of different expectations for what they think it's going to be, and a lot of opinions about how it should be," Moore said of the show's fans. "All of us who worked on the finale feel good about it, that this is the ending of the story we wanted to make."

"Galactica," based on the 1970s TV series of the same name, began in 2003 with a mini-series event before becoming a weekly cable TV series.

The series follows the remnants of the human race as they attempt to find a new home while being pursued by deadly robots and humanoids.

Moore told the Reporter the only time the "Galactica" characters will likely be seen on-screen together post-finale is in the upcoming TV movie "The Plan."

Friday, March 13

Battlestar Galactica - 5 Skeptical Solutions for the Finale

Source: Discovermagazine

One of the best things about the final season of BSG has been that much of the annoying mysticism of previous seasons has now been explained by science. I’ll admit it was convoluted TV show science, but at least it wasn’t people seeing ghosts or having divine inspirations.

The Chief being mysteriously pulled toward the Temple of Five? Turns out he was one of the aforementioned five and had been there before (my apologies if that’s a spoiler for you, but really, catch up already).

BSG is best when it revolves around people and politics, as opposed to the god(s) and the lost tribes of whoever. Desperate people, dirty spaceships and ragtag resistance movements? Gripping and relevant TV. President Roslin’s visions and imaginary shamans? Not so much.

When I saw Galactica’s hull break open and the Six shoot into space, I was reminded of BSG science adviser Kevin Grazier explaining what happens when you fall out of a spaceship. We’re hoping for a post from Kevin on the potential explanations for artificial gravity, but we appreciate that the show has a solid science adviser and appears to listen to him occasionally (no aliens, no time travel, real constellations).

With all that in mind here are non-supernatural solutions for my five favorite Battlestar mysteries (note that these are suggestions not spoilers):

1) The Opera House - Roslin and Baltar are both part Cylon. If everything happening now has happened before, then it makes sense that human-Cylon hybrids happened before. Roslin and Baltar can project because they are descendants of the ancient human-Cylon combo.

2) Kara Thrace - An old school Cylon who resurrected after arriving on the irradiated Cylon “Earth.” She’s the “harbinger of Death” because her return means the end of resurrection and the return of natural reproduction for the Cylons.

3) Earth - Earth as we know it exists apart from the nuked Cylon Earth that the refugees landed on, thereby giving the refugees a final destination.

4) The Defeat of Cavil & Co. - One last rousing space battle for the old man and crew, with an assist from Sam Anders as the hybrid controller of Galactica. It’s going to be awesome.

5) All Along the Watchtower - Bob Dylan is the creator of the ancestral cylons.

Monday, March 9

Galactica Station's Review of "Islanded in a Stream of Stars"

Boomergirl signs off on her last BSG review for Galactica Station, "Islanded in a Stream of Stars."

"For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in a stream of stars—pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across the eternal seas of space and time.”

- Henry Beston
The Outermost House

Never underestimate the powers of this series’ creators to generate a big black hole of despair. We start with the already weakened Galactica now further damaged by the enormous breach that Boomer put in its hull when she made the FTL jump too close to the ship; we have the hole that Boomer left in the lives of Athena and Helo when she stole their daughter, and we have the punctured hopes of the Cylons when they lost their one chance for the future. Starbuck is still struggling to come to terms with who or what she is, and cannot turn to the comatose Anders for any support. Laura Roslin, thankfully, is alive, but it seems that her cancer has taken a turn for the worse, and it’s clear from the scenes in the opera house that the dying leader is coming closer to learning a truth that we might not want to know.

And that’s just the beginning. In the words of Admiral Adama: “I’ve had it up to here with destiny, prophecy. With God. Or the Gods. Look where it’s left us. The ass end of nowhere.”

I can certainly sympathize with him. After all he’s been through, he’s no nearer to leading the fleet to safe haven than he was four years ago, and what’s worse, he’s soon about to lose both of his beloved women. He knows this with his mind, but he isn’t near close to accepting this with his heart. It’s no wonder that when the Final Five sans Chief (who mysteriously or perhaps purposefully did not appear at all in this episode), and Starbuck appeal to Adama to send out a search party for the Cylons’ secret Colony to recover the kidnapped Hera, he has no energy to spare any interest or enthusiasm in the mission.

But time and disaster wait for no man. As Adama tries to avoid confronting the inevitable, part of the Galactica’s hull weakens further, ripping apart and throwing several human and Cylon workers out into the void of space and severely injuring several others. In a short scene that will hopefully help define future human-Cylon relations in the fleet, a Six who had moments before been arguing with a human deck employee, now sacrifices herself to save his life.

Still, before we allow ourselves any hopes for a rose-strewn future, the scene shifts to the new congress of ships’ captains who have convened to discuss the future of the fleet’s protection. Lee outlines a very unpopular contingency plan to have the military move to the Cylon base ship, which will then become the sole protection of the fleet, albeit, under the command of Adama, and complemented with Galactica’s Vipers, Raptors and pilots. Even through their protests, though, the captains understand that this future is inevitable, and soon fall like a pack of vultures on divvying up the remains of the battlestar. One captain puts in dibs for the CO2 scrubbers, and another wants the FTL drives. A horrified Lee would no sooner consider cannibalizing the Galactica than he would his own father, and like the Old Man, tells them all to forget any such plans.

The slow breakdown of Galactica, this island in the stream of stars, is the main background story in this episode, but several other story lines are also moving toward their resolution:

Boomer has Hera and is heading toward the secret Cylon Colony. It’s clear that Hera knows that this Eight is not her mother, and it’s also clear that Boomer is resentful of the fact that she never got a chance to have a child like Hera. Just as she once threatened to snap infant Hera’s neck, now Boomer aims a tranquilizer needle toward Hera’s arm in an effort to still the irritating cries of the child for her real mother. But there must be something in Hera’s sobs or in her eyes that stays Boomer’s hand. Instead of drugging Hera, she decides on another course of action, taking Hera into the Cylon projection of her dream home on Picon that she wanted to share with Chief. There’s something very heartbreaking about the fact that Boomer did truly love Chief, but is so broken that she ultimately chose to betray him.

Ellen tells Adama of the Cylons’ secret Colony, and he agrees to send out a Raptor for a reconnaissance mission to rescue Hera, but Ellen is not contented with this. Alone in their quarters (is it now their quarters again?) with Tigh, she tries to convince Tigh that the one hope for the future of the Cylon nation is heading into Cavil’s grasp and more needs to be done, but Tigh has had enough of the Cylon nation. He made his choice back in the nebula to be Saul Tigh, Colonial military officer. While Liam’s presence might have persuaded Tigh to embrace his Cylon nature had the child survived, his death seems to have reminded Tigh that the only constants he can be sure of are the Galactica and his position on this ship. Cylons be damned. “You wanna know who my people are, lady?” he bellows to Ellen. “The ones on this ship! The ones I fought with and bled with! The Old Man. This crew. They’re my family. The only one I’ve known and the only one I care to!”

Meanwhile, Starbuck surprises Gaius Baltar in the bathroom while he’s shaving and she’s—ahem…on the throne. She first asks him if he believes all the bilge he spews out about angels, but then comes to the point. She pulls out the dog tags she took off her dead body on Earth and asks Baltar to run some tests on them, to help her answer the question of just what she is. She then goes to see Sam, who has been plugged into a tank like the hybrids on the Cylon base stars. The Cylons had wanted to jumpstart him like a car by hooking him into the neural net, but he continues to lie comatose within the tank. Tearfully, Starbuck confesses to him that in the end, she has come to realize that human or Cylon doesn’t matter. That he was her Sam and that she wants to remember him that way. She pulls out her sidearm, but before she is able to fire the shot, Sam comes online, grabbing her arm and spewing his own version of the hybrids’ insane-speak. “You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end. End of line.”

The harbinger of death seems also be coming for someone else in this episode. Laura Roslin lies in sickbay as Adama reads to her. But Roslin’s not the one who needs to be comforted. Sharing a secret toke with the Admiral, she talks to him about what his love and companionship have meant to her, and how being with him has made her feel she is at home for the first time in her life. And then she gently tries to prepare him to accept the inevitable. She is dying and so is the Galactica. He has to be able to face the loss of both his women. I must confess here, that I’ve always been a big Adama/Roslin shipper and I find the subtle evolution of their love to have been something beautiful, without mindless, frenetic passion, but rather with an elegance, and maturity and true sense of belonging and mutual understanding that is rarely ever seen on the screen, big or small.

The devastation that Boomer left in her wake has left its mark big time on Helo and Athena. Athena is so distraught over the loss of her daughter and over Helo’s role in the tragedy that it seems their once legendary love might have been destroyed. She can’t even look him in the eye to tell him she hates him. Desperate to find a way to redeem himself in Athena’s eyes as well as to recover his beloved child, a disheveled Helo goes to the Admiral, losing his composure as he begs to be given a Raptor to search for his daughter. Adama is sympathetic; after all, he lost a child once, too. But he knows that what Helo is proposing is as fruitless as grabbing at straws. The recon mission returned with the report that Cavil had moved the Cylon Colony, and there is no way they could possibly find Hera. The Admiral tells Helo to let it go. But for once, Helo the perfect soldier is submerged under Helo the hysterical, distraught father. Angrily, Helo tells Adama that the Admiral is the one who can’t let go. Adama is pouring all his resources into saving a dying ship, instead of taking every opportunity to save a still-living little girl.

After snapping at Helo to pull himself together, Adama heads to the funeral services planned for the people—both human and Cylon—who were killed in the blast when the damaged section of Galactica’s hull snapped. However much individuals might resist the integration of the peoples, this multifaith, multiracial and multicultural service moves the fleet ever and ever closer to a true reconciliation of the races that may become their one true hope for the future.

And yet, the powers that be still manage to snatch the hope away from us. Just as the service ends, Baltar announces that there are true angels among us, that he has investigated the dog tags that Kara Thrace gave him, that he now has conclusive evidence that she is a person who has crossed over to the other side and is now an angel among us. Starbuck silences his rant with a slap, but you really have to wonder if she wanted him to announce this news to the fleet all along. Baltar’s announcement has finally freed Starbuck to accept that Kara Thrace died and she is a reborn version of herself.

By now, Boomer has reached the Colony. She carries Hera off the Raptor and into Cavil’s arms. A panicked Hera, who once cried for her mother, now cries for Boomer. As Cavil takes her away, his assurances that she will soon have many playmates sounds anything but reassuring. And Boomer, with tears in her eyes, seems to know this. Has she realized only too late the wrongness of her choice born out of anger and desire for revenge?

Adama returns to his quarters after the funeral, through what must seem like miles of endless repairs and finally confronts the truth in a cathartic breakdown. He will lose the Galactica just as he will lose Roslin. He tells Tigh to abandon repairs. The move to the base star will commence. Galactica has served them too well, and they must send her off in style. Talk about a buddy couch scene over a glass of beer, the one in which both Adama and Tigh accept the fact that their life on Galactica has come to an end is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen.

Final thoughts: Very, very powerful performances from several cast members. Edward James Olmos, and Mary McDonnell are always stellar performers, but Grace Park and Tricia Helfer have done amazing jobs in the past couple of episodes portraying such separate and distinct versions of their models. Tahmoh Penikett does some of his best work as the grieving Helo, and Michael Trucco as the hybrid {“There’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza. End of line.”) really gave me the chills. With so many questions burning in my mind, I find myself impatient for some resolution of at least some story lines. To still be treading water this late in the story arc of the show is frustrating, but combined with the great acting, I’d give this an 8/10.

Oh, and thanks to JustLooking from the Ragnar Anchorage for the heads up on the Henry Beston quote.

Sunday, March 8

'Battlestar Galactica': Frustration boiling over and a ship's decline

Source: LATimes

In this episode directed by Edward James Olmos, Adm. William Adama, the rock of "Battlestar Galactica," and other characters are seemingly on the brink of life or death, or at least involved with life or death situations, that tear at them.

A hull breach starts most of the trouble. On a ship that has seen many wars and hundreds of FTL jumps even before the current residents moved in, Galactica is not what it used to be, illustrated by a deadly rip in the ship's hull that kills 61 members, Cylon and human, aboard. Adama may have been trying to save the ship at all costs, even using Cylon technology, but that may not be enough.

The accident interrupted a discussion about whether to mount another rescue attempt for Hera, seeing how she's the key to human-Cylon relations. Boomer is actually taking good care of Hera on the base star, bonding with the little girl despite knowing that she will have to give her up to Cavil to do god-knows-what with her.

Boomer's conflicting notions about giving her up (after kidnapping her) are a total "too bad." We don't exactly know what Cavil will do, but sympathy for Boomer is out of the question. Hopefully, it spurs her to act against her human-hating Cylon brethren and rescue Hera, but she should never be welcomed with open arms.

Open arms is not what the Quorum of 12 is giving Lee Adama or the military. Squabbling for individual resources for their people, it seems that the political group may cause trouble in the future. A small side note, but will have implications fleet-wide soon.

Another Cylon undergoing a transformation is Sam Anders. So, he's a hybrid. That explains ... wait no, no, it doesn't explain anything. Plugging him in to the ship might've been a good idea, and could help him heal faster/better, but nothing that he does will (to me) make much of a difference until and unless he comes out of his comatose state and says what Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is!

And poor Starbuck. She turns to the one guy who could provide some answers, but at what cost do you go to Gaius Baltar? The cost is having Baltar proclaim that you are an angel, because that's the only way he can rationalize that a living human woman can have the same DNA as a dead one. And do it in an extremely public forum like at the funeral for the fallen victims of the hull breach. Good slap she gave him, but it should've been a fist.

As for Admiral Adama, no one can understand what he's gone through with the Galactica, and his tears and paint flailing obviously also have something to do with Laura Roslin's recent hospital stay as well. But, taking the counsel of Laura and engineers and using his own eyes, Adama decides to scuttle the ship. Tigh disagrees, then sees the truth of the matter as they plan the exodus.

That's all well and good, but, and I will continue to say this, the episode didn't go a long way toward answering the lingering questions many will want answered soon. And could we just not get into the whole Col. Tigh the baby maker tangent? He was the father of an Eight, and according to Ellen, is the father of many more ''children.'' Just going to leave that alone.

Saturday, March 7

Galactica Station's Review of "Someone to Watch Over Me."

Marine Captain Kickass sits down to bring you this week’s review for “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Let me be frank with you: I was absolutely hypnotized by this episode. The music throughout the episode sounded like something bubbling under the surface, something barely perceptible that culminated in a rich finale at the end.

The episode opens with the piano player trying to compose a piece of music. As he plays, we watch Kara being jolted awake by the alarms. She has been haunted by the memory of her own dead body, but despite seeing and thinking about it everyday, Kara still makes herself get up every day and wearily goes through the motions of her daily life. We see the details of the weariness in her voice, thoughts and actions. Through it all, the music is a beautiful symbol of something unfinished and incomplete, which directly parallels Kara’s thoughts and fears. These are scenes that could have been shot with any of the key characters, but having them shot with Kara was especially poignant given her history. The Kara we started with was not the Kara we saw in this episode. Season 1’s Kara Thrace was a loud, unpredictable, viper queen who largely did not care what others thought of her or anything else. She did her missions in the way that worked for her.

But the Kara in “Someone to Watch Over Me” is a different Kara. She’s been beaten up, held against her will, blown up, found and buried her own body, and she questions her own existence. Now, she has no hope of Earth and the possibility of never having her husband back, whom she has realized she still loves deeply. But, as different as these trials made her, Kara was never one to lie down and die. So the misery of earth, crush of finding her own body, hauntings, and Anders coma aside, Kara struggles on, fulfilling her duties, stuck in her place, incomplete like the music played by the piano player. I also appreciated how they used her address to the pilots to convey that the fleet has suffered heavy losses in soldiers because of the mutiny, that they have been running steadily out of supplies, and that they have been looking for a habitable planet continuously since finding Earth. On top of that the Galactica is falling apart! Things look bleak indeed.

Anders’ situation is unchanging and Kara is advised by Cottle to move on, and that she would be the first to know if there was any change. Although Cottle spoke about Anders, his statement is almost prophetic and foreshadows later events in the episode. Kara is able to move on in another way and she does recognize the change in herself.

Depressed about her husband’s state, Kara goes to the bar to drink away her troubles and is annoyed by the piano player playing the same song. He tells her that he is composing and that music adds a bit of beauty and art to an otherwise despairing existence. In her usual manner, Kara scoffs at him to learn to play. The piano player begins to play a beautiful tune.

The music shifts slightly to a dreamy piece as Tyrol works on the ship, watching an eight. He remembers a time when he was in love and together with Boomer. Then he remembers rejecting her and admitting to his real feelings for her only following Cally’s death. Unable to bear it, he goes to visit Boomer in the brig. They finally confess the truth to one another - neither of them has been able to stop thinking about the other. Knowing Boomer’s days are numbered, they touch through the jail bars. The moment they touch, Boomer projects them to her fantasy home, a home she and Tyrol had once dreamt of building on Picon. Tyrol is startled and disturbed by the idea of projection, breaks the link, and quickly leaves the brig. Tyrol has been struggling with being a cylon and his reaction is consistent with his struggles.

Kara arrives at the Agathon’s quarters responding to a request by Helo. She takes a minute to speak to Hera, who is drawing busily. Helo motions Kara to a drawer and shows her that he collected all of her belongings after her death. Kara picks up a tape, presumably one recorded by her late father. She doesn’t wish to keep anything else. Hera hands her a picture, and Kara gladly accepts it before leaving. Although Helo is far from my favorite character, I am glad that he was the one who painstakingly sought out Kara’s belongings. Despite his faults, Helo has usually been there for Kara. He was reunited with her on Caprica where he first glimpsed the painting of the mandala in Kara’s old apartment, he reminded her of the mandala during “Rapture,” and he was willing to give her a chance and help her find earth when she returned from the dead. It’s entirely fitting and great continuity for Helo to have kept Kara’s items in memory of their friendship and even more fitting that he returned her father’s recording to her. He seemed a bit dejected when she refused her other belongings but Kara took the one thing that resonated to her…and once again her past and her father began to fill her mind.

Kara returns to the bar to watch the piano player play again. This time she is softer and kinder. She tells him that his music sounds like chasing after a car, and the piano player affirms that he was trying to convey loss. Kara clearly is thinking of someone she could never catch up to.

Tyrol is with the other final fivers pleading Boomer’s fate. They are all resigned to the death of Boomer, but Tyrol refuses to accept it. He never actually let go of his love for Boomer. He visits Boomer’s cell again. They talk about how they had planned the house together and Tyrol asks Boomer to project him there again. For one fleeting moment, Tyrol and Boomer are together in their dreams, in their big house. Tyrol relishes it and is amazed and silenced by their dream daughter. Again the music is paramount; a new, slow, hopeful version of Boomer’s theme plays in the background of the projection. We all have dreams, but neither Tyrol nor Boomer lived any of theirs.

Meanwhile, Kara is still with the piano player. She recognizes a piece he is trying to play and he reveals that the composer is his inspiration and that he is surprised at how much Kara knows about music. Kara finally opens up ad confides that her father used to play and she had loved playing next to him. She wanted to make him proud and tried very hard to do so. She remembered one song in particular that made her happy. At this point we know that she is going to have to remember and play a particular song, but will it be what we think?

In the next segment, Kara wakes abruptly from a dream. She dreamed that her present self was in an empty room walking toward her childhood self playing at the piano. As she reached to touch her childhood self, the childhood self suddenly turned around revealing the face of her own corpse. Now, I’m no Freudian-influenced dream analyst or anything, but I’m betting the dream and the scene was strategically placed to give Starbuck a clue that her past, her father, and her present search for self are all linked somehow. Starbuck, understandably distressed, goes straight to the piano player. She feels adrift, lost, and without a purpose – as was shown in the beginning of the episode. The piano player makes an interesting comment – that “sometimes lost is where you need to be. Sometimes you are going in the right direction but don’t know it.” Anyone for a big slice o’ Starbuck’s destiny? I think the allusion’s clear.

Kara and the piano player try to play a tune. He tells her that it “sucks” and in typical impulsive-Starbuck fashion, she questions him about the groove on his finger. When he explains that he left his wife and child because his wife pushed him to quit music and get a better job to support the family, Kara becomes angry. She piles blame on him and asks him if he never thought of what his absence would do to his child. He looks at her knowingly as she quiets down. It is obvious that she is transferring her own feelings of her father to the piano player. Throughout the episode there are undercurrents between the piano player and Kara leaving us wondering as to his real purpose and how that purpose fits with Kara’s past, but this moment brings it all to the forefront: Who is he? Is he real? Is he baiting her? Why? “ Paired with information from “No Exit” and Kara’s past, I have an idea of who the piano player (as I’m sure many of you do) is but I’ll not spoil it for the rest of you. The piano player says that Kara’s father gave her something – he taught her how to play the piano. He convinces and encourages her to try to play her favorite song. Kara tears up as she raps on the keyboard and remembers sitting at the piano as a child.

We cut back to Tyrol pleading Roslin for Boomer’s life. Roslin warns Tyrol not to fall into Boomer’s trap again. Rejected and upset, Tyrol leaves the President in a flurry of fury. He sees the worker eight again, and suddenly has an idea. He picks up a wrench and the lights go out. The eight is shown to be in the jail in Boomer’s place when the power returns. Tyrol, unable to face the possibility of Boomer’s death, broke her out and planned for her to take a Raptor in the guise of Athena.

Boomer, dressed as the worker eight, moves through the ship. She waylays Athena in the bathroom. Athena recognizes her instantly, but before she can react, Athena brutally beats her bloody, ties her up, gags her, and throws her in the closet, taking her gear. Helo then walks in wanting a good frak with his wife before letting her carry on with her mission. Boomer briefly tries to resist him, but they end up on the floor as Athena watches through the gaps in the closet door while loosing consciousness. Boomer then picks Hera up from the daycare and puts her in a metal box that Tyrol helps her load, never suspecting her plans. They share a last kiss and heartfelt goodbye.

I want to take a little time to discuss Boomer. Boomer has a special place in BSG TNS history. She was the original eight placed as a sleeper agent within the fleet. She built relationships with others, and then, despite her efforts, was forced to betray the ones she had come to love. Afterwards she was stuck in a bitter cycle of disappointment, while Athena found the life with Helo that Boomer wanted with Tyrol. Athena had acceptance, rank, love, and even a little girl who was lauded as special by the Cylon race. It was as if Athena had stolen Boomer’s life and dreams, and never looked back.

Boomer, on the other hand was never accepted. Instead, she ended up the deciding factor in the Cylon civil war and was used by Cavil for his own purposes. In a sense, although what Boomer did to Athena was terrible, maybe it was Boomer’s personal justice. Athena stole her life and dreams and was rewarded for it. In return, Boomer finally beat her to a bloody pulp, had sex with her husband as Athena watched barely conscious, and stole her daughter. I wanted a little bit of happiness for Boomer, but she’s the classic tragic character. It’s too late for her and she never really had a chance. She was programmed for a purpose, and in some ways, she’s still carrying it out.

I did feel some sympathy for Chief Tyrol, although his treatment of the worker eight was deplorable. Tyrol has also had the cards stuck against him for some time now. He fought for the fleet and in the resistance, but discovered he was a cylon, lost his wife, his child, and was duped by Boomer. In some ways, Tyrol and Boomer aren’t that different. They are two tragic, lost souls who can’t find their way anymore. Tyrol takes yet another hit in this episode as he watches Athena and Helo rage over the loss of Hera – his actions cost them their child and Tyrol feels the brunt of it.

And we come back to Kara for a final, beautiful scene with the piano player. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this one scene. Kara, slowly with the encouragement of the piano man, begins to play the first notes of the song that comforted her as a child. They realize that part of it is missing, and as the piano player reaches up to write notes, Kara remembers Hera’s earlier drawing. She places the drawing on top of the existing notes and they reveal the song – surprise, surprise, - it’s "All Along the Watchtower – the trigger of the Final Five. And the buildup to the song is amazing. You can almost feel Kara’s uncertainty and concentration as she taps the first keys, you can see the awareness and awakening in the final five members present (and Tigh’s eye nearly popped out of his head again; Hogan is so expressive with that eye!), and the tension in the air as Boomer loads a box – presumably with Hera inside – into the Raptor. And although the idea of Hera’s drawing might have been a bit hard to swallow, it cemented the thought that Hera and Kara are intertwined somehow. The music is completed and Kara plays it to the hilt . The Final Fivers are flabbergasted. Just as the music is completed, Kara appears to find a little bit of peace, and the piano player is gone. Who was he? Was he in her head? Why? Just a perfectly crafted, beautiful scene.

Overall, I was very impressed with how the Kara/Boomer/Hera subplots were integrated and matched with the musical atmosphere of the show. I rate “Someone to Watch Over Me” a 9.7 out of 10. Bring on the next one!

Saturday, February 28

Director Michael Nankin Fights The Future With 'BATTLESTAR GALACTICA' and 'SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES'

Source: IFmagazine

The helmer reveals his favorite episode, slight spoilers and how he will miss BSG

Michael Nankin, who has directed eight episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, including this year’s midseason premiere “Sometimes a Great Notion,” along with the TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES episode “Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today,” teases, “I know everything you want to know.”

iF MAGAZINE: Great! What can you tell us?


iF: Figures.

NANKIN: You don’t want to know. It’s so much more fun to discover it in the show.

iF: Do you have favorite BATTLESTAR episodes?

NANKIN: My favorite episode that’s aired was called ‘Maelstrom.’ It’s the one where Starbuck dies and we find out later she didn’t really die. It was such an intense emotional exploration of this character between me and Katee Sackhoff, I just pushed her to places that were painful, personal places that she was very willing to go there. As far as an actor/director relationship, it was really, really rewarding, a lot of hard work. So I’ve got a soft spot for that episode. And all the work that we did was all there on the screen.

iF: What were you trying to get out of the actors for the midseason premiere?

NANKIN: Well, as you know, the last images we saw in BATTLESTAR [before the midseason break] is that they’ve made it to Earth and it’s a nuclear charred wasteland. So the season premiere picks up from that same moment and deals with the emotional fallout. Thirty-some-odd thousand people trying to get to Earth, and they get there, and their hearts’ desire, the Christmas tree, is a nightmare. I have a soft spot for sad drama. I love tragedies, not tragedies that just are depressing, but tragedies that are ennobling, ultimately, and cathartic. Which is what the midseason opener is. If everybody is going to be sitting around moping, it’s going to be boring. So you have to accept that that’s where they are and then transcend it in some way, find the median, find the humor, find the life in it. What worked to our advantage was that this episode was shot during the writers’ strike. During all the prep of the episode, we didn’t know whether we were actually going to shoot it or not, and right before we shot, the writers went on strike, the producers left town and we got the green light to go produce the episode. Nobody knew at that time whether we were shooting the last episode of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA or not. Because we knew that if the strike went six months, we would never come back. It wouldn’t make financial sense [for the studio to bring it back]. So the fact that what we were shooting could possibly be our last hurrah – everyone’s game came up. Everyone wanted to do the best work of their lives and so it was all these great actors working at their highest level.

iF: Do you feel there are thematic or practical similarities between BATTLESTAR and SARAH CONNOR?

NANKIN: They both have hot girl robots [laughs]. Well, obviously, when you have humanoid robots who exist on the cusp of humanity, you deal with issues of, what is humanity? Can they be human? Are we as human as they are? And what does it mean to be human? Is it experience, is it actually being flesh and blood, what is it? So those questions are the meat of both of those shows.

iF: Is it easier to direct BATTLESTAR because you don’t have the touchstones of contemporary culture, or is it easier to direct TERMINATOR because you do?

NANKIN: I find BATTLESTAR easy to direct, mostly because BATTLESTAR is written with the budget that they have in mind, so that the stories that you get, the scripts that you get, fit comfortably with the production resources, whereas SARAH CONNOR is always trying to be a feature and so it’s butting up against the limits of its production resources. We have the template of the TERMINATOR features, which have these gigantic set pieces. How can you do that in episodic? And yet we try.

iF: Does it help that Summer Glau, who plays the Terminator Cameron, is so handy with the action?

NANKIN: Oh, she’s amazing. I mean, the other thing that both shows have in common are these incredible casts. The episode that I did of SARAH CONNOR [“Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today”], I had very little with Summer Glau, and no action with her, really. All the action was Cromartie the Terminator [Garrett Dillahunt] and Thomas Dekker and Levin Rambin. It was fun. I liked the Rashomon storytelling, where we saw [different perspectives on the same events]. Every time we’d go back to a scene we’d already seen, I tried to shoot it in a shorthand. Once you got the idea of, ‘Oh, this is from [a previous scene],’ you might have more knowledge of a scene in a different light. As soon as you got that, I wanted to be out of it. I only wanted to revisit this very quickly.

iF: What are you working on now?

NANKIN: I’m writing a pilot for Fox I’m going to direct a CSI episode.

iF: Are you excited about working with Laurence Fishburne?

NANKIN: Are you kidding? Yes. He produced and starred in one of my favorite movies of all time, ALWAYS OUTNUMBERED. It’s this beautiful HBO film based on the Walter Mosley book. I can’t wait to tell him how much I loved it.

iF: Do you feel like you’re going to miss BATTLESTAR and are you going to be on CAPRICA?

NANKIN: I’m going to miss BATTLESTAR desperately. And I hope to be on CAPRICA in some incarnation or another. BATTLESTAR has changed the way I do everything. It’s changed the way I write, because now my writing has to be much better than it ever was, because I’ve had the example of that show, and it’s changed the way I direct, because I had such freedom on the set, unprecedented freedom, where I was able to grow as a director. So I’m twice the filmmaker I was when I started on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

Friday, February 27

Starbuck speaks! Katee Sackhoff on the final days of 'Battlestar Galactica'

Source: Latimesblogs

The three-hour series finale of "Battlestar Galactica" starts March 13th and concludes on the 20th, and don't think wild-child pilot Starbuck isn't already locked and loaded. Actress Katee Sackhoff talks to Hero Complex contributor Michelle Castillo about sleeping on machine guns and the rumors that Starbuck might still be a Cylon: "There’s always someone out there that thinks that she is."

When the directors held an open casting call for the role of Lt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace for the re-imagined "Battlestar Galactica" series, they were looking for a mid-30s actress with a tough military demeanor to portray the role. However, it was 21-year-old Sackhoff, with her high-heels and persistence, who won the coveted part.

"Everyone scoffed at the idea of Starbuck in high heels," Sackhoff said, looking back on the role that won her a 2006 Saturn Award. “That’s was who she was in my mind. That’s me: No one is going to tell me to take my high heels off, and I carried that throughout her attitude. Maybe not the high heels, per se, but Starbuck’s attitude was there from the very beginning with me.”

Five years later, with the final episode of the critically acclaimed series mere weeks away, Sackhoff has become one of the show's most popular characters. And with new wrinkles and revelations every week, the saga of besieged humanity and its struggles with a race of sentient machine-people called Cylons has given Sackhoff and other cast members the daily duty of deflecting fan questions.

“After five years, it’s got easy to pretend I don’t hear them, but I’ve even got my doctor calling me pretending he has to talk to me,” said Sackhoff, who turns 29 in April. “Instead, he’s going, ‘So about last night’s episode... .’”

Don’t expect Sackhoff to spoil the final episode; she’s remained firmly mum on the ending. Similar to Starbuck, the actress has her own tough, go-getter attitude, nurtured through her upbringing in Portland, Ore., where she spent her youth playing hard in the mud with her brother. She moved to Los Angeles right after high school graduation, and all those old days of playful combat in the sludge prepared her for an intense shoot for the final episode, which she likened to “Apocalypse Now.”

“There’s a picture of me at 3:30 in the morning, asleep on set, with a machine gun under my head, and that is how the end of the series went,” Sackhoff said. “Everyone was exhausted, and there’s probably a lot of safety issues that should have been brought up. But, hey, it’s alright when you’re firing a machine gun at 3 o’clock in the morning, I mean that’s not dangerous at all.”

The final episode, which has been turned into a three-hour event, is billed as a wrap-up that answers all the questions. But one fan of the show -- Sackhoff herself -- believes that "Battlestar" could have stretched out into at least one more season. She predicts that the ending is going to leave some people yearning for more.

Then there's the matter of the forbidden C-word: Cylon. Starbuck's destiny has been portrayed as a harbinger or key catalyst of some sort in the struggle between man and machine -- but is she herself "a toaster," as Starbuck used to call Cylons? Sackhoff has said time and time again that Starbuck is not Cylon, but she also says that the series finale might leave that matter open for some debate.

“I’m just going to go ahead and let them believe what they want because there’s nothing I could say that’s going to convince anyone otherwise,” Sackhoff said. “And, the funny thing is, I can honestly say that at the very end of it, people are still going to think it. There’s always someone out there that thinks that she is.”

(Here's a photo of Sackhoff on the Vancouver set of "Battlestar" during one of the final episodes. She's greeting students on a field trip who just happened to cross paths with the television crew. To see more exclusive photos from the set, go here.)

She says there is definite closure for her character, however, though whether it is ill-fated or a happy ending, she won’t say. For Sackhoff, who has been a fan of the Starbuck role ever since she read the script for the miniseries, Starbuck’s evolved throughout the series. Spending most of her early 20s working on the show, Sackhoff’s grown alongside the fighter pilot, who’s changed from a person who was willing to give her life because she didn’t value it to someone who values each and every day as a gift. And then there's her volatile relationship with husband Samuel T. Anders, the character played by Michael Trucco.

“I think what’s interesting is it’s kind of been Kara from the beginning,” Sackhoff said. “It might not have been what she is, but she never really knew who she was. Where we find her now is, she doesn’t know what’s real in her life, but she realizes what she knows is real: How she feels and how much she loved Sam. What we see happen between Kara and Sam the last episode is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it puts her selfishness and her lack of commitment in relationships to rest. I think in the end she becomes a beautiful partner.”

While fans might find the hardest part saying goodbye to Starbuck, she admits that leaving the relationships that she’s formed with the cast and crew on the show will be the hardest part for her.

“We didn’t have one bad apple in the show, from the crew to the cast,” Sackhoff said. “If we did, they disappeared quietly into the night, and nobody remembers them. They really, really paid attention to people’s personalities, not when they were casting, but when we were working. I think that it shows.”

Thursday, February 26

Galactica Station's Review of "Deadlock"

Boomergirl returns to the reviewer's chair, and has praise and qualms with "Deadlock."

Fifth Cylon Ellen Tigh returned to Galactica in full boozy, bitchy, manipulative mode this week. After “No Exit”, when she was so calm, collected and mature in the face of John/Cavil’s puerile rants, there had been some hope that the horrible Ellen of seasons past was the product of Cavil’s petty programming machinations, but clearly, there’s just something in Saul that brings out the worst in Ellen no matter which life she’s in. And with last week’s heavy set up for Ellen’s return to the fleet, it was no surprise that there would be some kind of showdown in store for us when she and Boomer stepped off the Raptor onto the Galactica to Hotdog’s shocked, “How many dead chicks are out there?”

The cerebral part of us knows that nothing good could come of a love triangle between Tigh, Ellen and Caprica Six, but the newly reborn Ellen seemed so diametrically opposed to the old scheming Ellen we loved to hate, that it seemed as if the writers were tantalizing us with this unlikely what-if scenario of a reasonable conclusion to the messy ménage a trios.

All questions about how the showdown would play out are wiped away when Ellen and Tigh end up on the conference room table almost within moments of her arrival in a queasy scene intercut with Caprica Six’s sudden abdominal pains as she eats alone in Tigh’s quarters. I was a bit surprised that Ellen so quickly suspected Tigh of ‘infidelity’—if it can be called that when a man believes his wife is dead—as between the two of them, Tigh had never showed any inclinations toward waywardness; it was always Ellen who made a fool of him. Tigh’s explanation that he always thought of her doesn’t help matters. “Please do not tell me that I was your mental porn!” Ellen snaps. “That’s just sad!”

Soon afterward, as the Cylons—Ellen, Tigh, Tory, Chief, a Six and an Eight—gather around Anders’ bed, to the tune of Cottle’s grumpy, “Just don’t anybody unplug anything!” (I just love Cottle’s cigar chomping bedside charm, don’t you?) the you-know-what begins to hit the fan. First is the bombshell that the Cylons within the fleet want to abscond now that the Final Five are reunited (even with Sam in his current precarious state). Initially opposed to this plan, Ellen says that Hera is the future, only to have the unwelcome news thrust upon her that not only was her husband frakking their ‘child’ Caprica Six, but that Six is pregnant with Tigh’s son. The ensuing scene is a space-opera update of the petty, bickering family argument at Thanksgiving dinner with the comatose Sam as the turkey. Finally, Chief breaks through the arguments with, “Can we talk about the offer and deal with the baby later?” Reverting to their usual Cylon system of majority rules governance, Six and Eight say that there should be a vote and it will be binding: either they all leave or they all stay. Anders had made it clear he wanted to stay as does Tigh, and its no surprise that Tory wants to leave, but the shocker was Chief so readily expressing his desire to go. Was it just me scratching my head or did Galen Tyrol gladly accept resuming the post of Galactica’s deck chief just one episode ago?

Adama and Roslin both view the return of Ellen Tigh with some justified apprehension, but they deal with the issue in vastly different ways. Restored to some sense of equilibrium since the mutiny, Roslin finds Caprica Six to get a read on the situation now that Ellen has returned. Too bad for any viewers hoping to learn Caprica’s real name; when Roslin abashedly realizes she never knew Caprica’s handle, Caprica shoots back, “You’ve probably called me some names.” Roslin seizes on the fact that Caprica had been attacked not long ago when she had gone done to Dogsville to get some food, and takes the opportunity to apologize on behalf of the fleet, before seguewaying the conversation into the discussion of their shared dreams and the importance of Caprica’s baby.

Adama, however, is sinking deeper into the booze and the antidepressant pills. In between scenes of him shuffling mopily through the ship’s corridors as teams of Sixes and Eights paste Cylon goo into Galactica’s cracks, he has a sloshy exchange in his quarters with Tigh, in which he asks Tigh if there have been any new revelations since the meeting, and whether or not Tigh was truly ‘born’. “Great-grandpa was a power sander,” Tigh says. Did I mention that I absolutely LOVED Tigh in this episode? And this wasn’t even his finest moment.

Meanwhile, Gaius Baltar has returned to his cultish flock only to discover that in his absence, the militant Paulla Schaffer has taken over shepherding duties. A much more sour saint than Baltar, she leads by fear mongering, insisting the flock had been abandoned by Baltar and that they need to arm themselves, hoard food and safeguard themselves against marauders. Ever the wily survivalist, Baltar realizes he has to do the opposite of whatever Paulla’s doing, and when he goes with his flock into Dogsville—the lawless shantytown that exists deep in Galactica’s underbelly—and sees the starving, pitiful group assembled there, including a peaky looking little boy also named Gaius, he proposes to use his flock’s stored food to feed the huddled masses, cannily asking the protesting Paulla if she would feel better eating when children were going hungry.

The food is rounded up and distributed to the people of Dogsville, and Baltar seems to be having a gay old time rubbing Paulla’s skeptical face in it all until the Sons of Ares come and wrest the food away with their cache of bigger guns and badder attitudes.

As an aside, I found myself having a hard time summoning up any interest in this story line. Disturbing as it is to watch a broken, post-mutiny Adama peering hopelessly at the Cylonization of his beloved Galactica, I can at least feel for the Old Man; whereas I cannot conjure any sympathy or understanding for Baltar. He has reinvented himself so many times in order to save his own skin that it is almost impossible to conceive of any sincerity in anything he does. Is there truly a deeper meaning in his desire to help others? Does he really mean it when he tells Head Six (yes! She’s back!) that it felt good to help people? Is there any furtherance of the plot line to come from the struggle taking place in the bowels of the Galactica?

More on that later. Back to the brewing catfight when Ellen saunters into Tigh’s quarters with all the assurance of a woman returning to her own home, which to her credit, it was in all those long months before New Caprica. Certainly, she deserves some sympathy in seeing her place usurped by a younger, prettier model, who’s also pregnant with her husband’s child. Worse, if the Cylon ideology is correct of believing that conception only occurs when love is involved, here is in-your-face proof that her husband loves someone else. But what ensues when she confronts a visibly shaken Caprica Six is the essence of pettiness, jealousy and nastiness. With a studied chirpiness, Ellen chatters on about how her relationship with Saul had always been very volatile: “I step off the Raptor and boom! We’re making love and less than a day later, I’m screaming at him! We were always, always, always like that. But I wanted to assure you…. Oh…he didn’t tell you about the sex? And here I was, trying to be good.” Meowrr!

Caprica is rattled by Ellen’s malice, but she still holds her own. She tries to keep to the high road, suggesting that more than love was needed for Ellen and Saul to have a baby, trying to assure Ellen that Tigh really loved her, but Ellen plants her barbs with skill, first telling Caprica that she and Saul had discussed using the name Liam if they’d ever had a son, and then silkily purring, “You win. The man loves you. In fact, I’d say there isn’t much he loves more.”

And Ellen is not nearly through with Caprica. When the Cylons reconvene, Ellen announces her decision. She votes to leave. This makes the vote three to two. Saul is horrified by the notion and refuses to leave. The Cylons remind him of majority rule, which Saul waves away. He understands clearly that Ellen’s decision has nothing to do with majority rules or the good of the Cylon nation. He tries to convince them that this is the wrong road to take, but finally loses his temper and snarls at them to all leave. And with a triumphantly bitter smile, Ellen turns to Caprica: “Do you see, little girl? There is something in the universe that he loves far more than you or me, and that’s Bill Adama and the ship and the uniform…Everything else takes second place. I knew I did, but I always wondered if a baby would. Guess I know now.”

Whether it’s this information, this sudden questioning of Tigh’s love, or the attack in Dogsville the day before that is the blame, perhaps we’ll never know, but Caprica suddenly develops severe abdominal pains again and is rushed into sickbay where a startled Cottle announces that the child is in trouble. Panicked and desperate, Six begs the doctor to cut her open, to save her baby even if it means she will die. Ellen has an apparent change of heart, realizing that her cruelty and pettiness may have cost this baby his life. Appearing stricken and remorseful, she promises Caprica that she’ll take the other Cylons and leave in peace, urging Tigh to declare his love for Caprica, to reassure her. He tries, but breaks out in frustration. “This is nonsense. She knows it! I don’t need to say it. I shouldn’t need to say it to anyone. Isn’t enough that I feel it? I feel it! For her, for you, for Liam! I shouldn’t need to spout the words. I feel it less with words. Just let me gods damn feel it and I’ll fill the frakking room!”

In the hands of a lesser actor, those lines could have become maudlin, even comical, but in Michael Hogan’s hands, Saul Tigh has never had a finer moment. I know I’m not the only one who smelled an Emmy with that scene.

And then suddenly the baby monitor goes dead. A grief stricken Caprica Six sobs as Cottle ushers everyone else out of the room.

Back to Baltar and his flock of nutty cultists. Again needing a way to salvage the situation, and with Head Six’s prodding, Baltar proposes to find a way to get bigger and better guns to fight back. He goes to Adama with his proposal. Initially, the disgusted Admiral refuses to listen, saying, “I’m going to the head, do something a little more constructive…a project I’ve been working on”, but somehow, Baltar grasps on the fact that Adama is very disturbed by the Cylonization of the ship and uses this to convince Adama that helping him arm the starving and hopeless civilians will be the ‘last human solution’ for his ship. Sadly, the Admiral seems to be beaten down enough by the events of the past few months. He relents and gives Baltar’s crew a cache of weapons. Gleefully, Baltar tells Paulla, “See? You give. You give and you will receive.” Paulla’s tight little smile as she loads her gun is enough to send shivers down the spine.

Not long afterward, Tigh goes to see Adama, tearful over having lost his son, Liam, short for William, and the best friends share a poignant, beautiful moment, that seemed to me more to be the crux of hope for human-Cylon relations than any other storyline in the show.

But just as it seems that all hope has faded for everyone, the scene cuts into the sick bay where the monitors behind Sam Anders show a sudden spurt of brain activity. Do we dare to dream?

And lastly, Adama and Roslin walk past the Galactica memorial stunned to realize that the Cylons who have joined the fleet since the Alliance have put up their own memorial wall to commemorate their lost comrades. Integration, at last. “It’s already happened, hasn’t it?” Adama asks.

Overall, the episode was a bit uneven. Perhaps I had expected more since the explosive episodes of the past few weeks, but the pacing was off: in some places riveting and in others yawn-inducing, interspersed with some of the best dialogue zingers in a long time, and sadly, a few plot holes I couldn’t quite believe. How did Boomer find the Galactica? Why would Chief be so ready to leave? And why bother introducing a Cylon love child if you make the viewer question the love? As a mid-season, mid-series episode, this would have been fine. This late in the series with so many plot lines to tie up before the end, though, it feels like more needs to be told in this space. Hopefully, the pace will pick up with the remaining episodes. Tigh’s acting in this was superb, and pulled the episode to an 8/10 rating.