And so it begins….
Tonight, the long awaited final chapter in the “Battlestar Galactica” saga debuts on SciFi. Fans have been waiting months and years to find out what will happen in the final hours of Ron Moore’s epic series.
Jamie Bamber, who plays Lee “Apollo” Adama on the hit series spoke to our sister site, TV Guide On-Line about what fans can expect in the final installments…
TVGuide.com: With Battlestar coming to a close, what’s been the response of fans to you on the streets of London? Are they begging you for information on who the last Cylon is?
Jamie Bamber: Yeah, they are. And they’re normally quite surprised that I’m English and walking around the streets of London. I haven’t done anything in this country [in TV and film] for ages. Anything that they’ve seen of me on the screen here of mine has been Battlestar. And most of them came to me fresh from that and never seen me in anything before, so they’re like, “What are you doing here? Oh, you talk like I do!” They’re all shocked. I [also] get feedback from [fans] from all over the world and London’s no exception.
TVGuide.com: What do you think people are craving to see at the end of Battlestar?
Bamber: I think sci-fi fans in particular are almost legal in their obsession with story points. They want to know the reveal of the final Cylon, they want to know how the final five relate to the rest of the Cylons; I think they want to know what the story was on Earth. … They want to know if the prophecies of Pithia really are meaningless. They want to know all these real questions that have been raised inevitably over five years of hectic, break-neck flight across space. … I think the broader audience wants the relationships to play out and get resolved. For the characters who we’ve sort of loved to be tortured alongside to finally find a place of rest. And maybe, to borrow a title, find a “quantum of solace.”
TVGuide.com: Was the end of the show satisfying to you, and was it emotional?
Bamber: Yeah, it really was. The way that scripts are delivered, people read them at different times, and I think I was one of the last people to read [the finale] — just because I was working all day. Other cast members had had time to read it, and I looked up at Aaron Douglas wandering around with his iPod in his ears and tears in his eyes holding the script. Different people were falling down [crying] as it were and you think, “What’s up with everyone? Oh they’re reading the final thing.” So, I sat down and read it and the same thing happened to me, you know, you tear up. It was an extraordinary piece of work on the page. … And, [it] was so character driven. It was like a piece of music, with repetitive themes and suddenly the whole five seasons of these individual’s journeys was kind of all present on the same time onscreen. You felt the entirety of their experience. And that’s really the climax of the show; it was about who the final Cylon is … and we’ve already found Earth. All those things happen and then you’re left with actually what the story’s really been about. Which is: what is it to be human in a big old universe which is empty and cold and scary? What life is about and what consciousness is about? They’re left at the end with these big questions on their mind. And, wondering what they should do with themselves having reached a place of finality. It was really profound.
TVGuide.com: I have goose bumps!
Bamber: I did as well when I read it. … All I can say is we, the actors, were in the same boat [as fans]. We had waited five years for the final script and when it finally came, unbelievably, it lived up to and surpassed all expectations, which is an extraordinary thing to say. Ron Moore is so talented, he’s got a good heart and he’s a really sensitive human being. He’s not one of these bravado Hollywood writers that’s all about whiz-bangs, twists and likes to torture the audience. He does do all that, but he does it from a place of love, and at heart his writing is not very tricky. It’s really soulful, and I think that’s what’s most impressive — he could’ve pulled out all the pyrotechnics in the world, … but he didn’t go that way.
TVGuide.com: Was there anyone you were dying to work with over the past five years and finally got to share some screen time with them?
Bamber: I thank my lucky stars almost every time I walk on set because every actor you look at is someone you want to work with; every character has rattled into everyone else on the show, at least for a bit. My climax has very much to do with the characters that are dear to me. My climax is about Adama (Edward James Olmos) and Kara (Katee Sackhoff)… Those are the actors I enjoyed working with most and it was fitting that it ended that way.
TVGuide.com: As you look back on the show, can you share one of you favorite memories from set?
Bamber: My favorite memory was actually the very last scene that you’ve all seen [from last season’s finale] — there was a big tracking shot on a beach that was us on a husk of a planet that had been completely scorched and burnt. That was the last day of shooting before the writers’ strike took effect and we had no more scripts to shoot. And we were in, what could have been a very dark and bleak place, thinking “That is the end of the show.” And, if the strike had gone on for another month or to, I think it might well have been the last frame of Battlestar Galactica shot. So what it actually meant was that every cast member was there on that beach all day long, and there wasn’t a great deal to shoot. We sort of hung out and a few bottles of celebratory grain and juice were cracked open and we sort of had a party on the beach. We even all got to — there was a second unit going — and we all got to direct a little frame or sequence of the show. There’s a bit of what I shot in there and of bit of what Michael Trucco (Anders) shot … we all took the camera for a bit and became directors. It was a really fun day, and then we all went out for a meal and got very drunk. And, at the end of it, I got on a plane and took my flight suit with me — I guess what I was doing was holding the show hostage, until we came back. Because, if they wanted my flight suit they had to return to shoot [next season].