Tuesday, April 29, 2008
GalacticaBS recently posted the final part of their 3-part interview with Terry Moore, wife of Ron Moore. In this section she discusses Joss Whedon, her past in costume design, and a peek at what the Moores' lives will be like after BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ends:
Galactica BS: You've worked with Joss Whedon and you're married to Ron Moore, both television writers. From a creative standpoint, what can you tell us about these guys, what they're like and how they work?
Terry Moore: … Both Ron and Joss are really gifted writers. Reading their scripts is always a pleasure. Their scripts just stand out. They have very unique and singular voices. You can always tell a script either have written. They kind of sparkle.
… Buffy was a very, very, smart show.
BSG, is a very, very smart show. Like I always say, and continually am challenged by, is that it doesn't matter if it a show about gangsters, vampires, doctors, or Cylons, as long as it challenges us, asks more of us than just passive viewing. Both Ron and Joss use their "genre" pieces as catalysts to explore ideas. Their shows are never just about vampires or Cylons. I think that is what has inspired such a response from their viewers.
Joss and Ron forged a nice friendship during the strike. Two formidable voices in the industry.
GBS: Battlestar Galactica is ending soon. Have you given much thought to "life after BSG" and the existing discussion forums you've followed, or future communities built around Ron's next projects?
TM: Hmmm. I haven't. Too weird. Ron and I got married not too long after the miniseries. BSG has always been a part of us. Mary acted as wedding coordinator for our wedding party's walk down the aisle. The actors, the crew, they are part of the fabric of our life. I can't imagine life without them, so I guess we will just have to see what it's like when we get there.
I don't think either of us is dealing with it. He gets really emotional about the end. I wish I could say that I was looking forward to some rest, but BSG has been very, very good to Ron Moore, and instead of one all encompassing project, there are about 6 on the horizon. Makes me tired just think about it. I can only hope that they are all on the west coast of North America. At least some of the family will stay intact for Caprica.
…Ron and I have worked on adding a message board to his blog. I am on the fence about whether or not to move forward with it.
Still deciding what to do. Life keeps getting bigger and bigger. Ron's cup is runnething all over the place, he is turning down offers that would make you cry, but there are only so many hours in a day. It's beyond crazy. So I am not sure how many straws we can handle right now.
We’ll see. My idealistic self would like to get a board going...
The entire 3-part interview is now posted here.
Um. Excuse me for a moment…
*goes into fangirl coma*
Monday, April 28, 2008
Two of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season 4 podcasts are now up on SciFi.com, for "Six of One" and "The Ties That Bind."
As Ron Moore mentioned last week on his blog, Sci Fi Channel is apparently having some technical difficulties with the podcast server, but hopefully we will get the rest of them soon.
More today from Matt Roush and his readers, as fandom spins on its worry-axis...
Question: This is in response to someone who wrote about the large number of sci-fi shows with impressive pedigrees coming to Fox in the next year or two. You pointed out that the expectations will be very high because of the attachment of names like J.J. Abrams, Ron Moore and Joss Whedon. I certainly think this is a problem, particularly since I'm not sure that these producers will live up to expectations. You've remarked before on a phenomenon that I've noticed, too: TV is much better at making new stars than it is at repackaging old ones. Actors who have starred in hit shows and have then gone on to do a show of equal or greater success are few and far between. But I've noticed that the track record for superstar producers hasn't been that great either in the last 15 years or so. Once upon a time, it seemed there were producers (Donald Bellisario, Steven J. Cannell, Aaron Spelling) who had a lock on creating successful shows. But now a lot of the superstars seem like one- or two-hit wonders. Whedon had Buffy and Angel, but when he moved beyond that universe with Firefly, it never really caught on with wider audiences. J.J. Abrams had Alias, and played a role in the creation of Lost, but his role on the latter now is essentially nothing, and he's had other small-screen flops like Six Degrees. Ron Moore had success with Deep Space Nine and has created the remarkable Battlestar Galactica, but let's not forget that he is also responsible for Bionic Woman. I wonder if it's too much to expect lighting to strike twice or three times for these guys. The most successful serial producers now are probably Dick Wolf and Jerry Bruckheimer, who are essentially cloning a successful format to other shows. Producers like Abrams, Moore and Whedon seem unsatisfied with that approach. They want to take new creative tacks, and sometimes, perhaps often, that doesn't work. — Jeff
Matt Roush: Interesting topic, and while I won't refute the specifics of your arguments (except to say that Firefly was only a failure because of Fox's short-sightedness, not because of anything on-screen), I will just remind everyone that TV is a brutal business and the failure rate is spectacularly high, especially for those who try not to repeat themselves. (Those who keep making the same show over and over again, with minor variations, are to me contributing to the death of TV.) These guys you're talking about are also, for the most part, producing in genres that traditionally are the riskiest. We're lucky that they keep trying, and in Joss's case, that he's deciding to return to the medium again. But it's also true that every so often (Six Degrees, Bionic Woman), one of their shows even actually deserves to fail. But unlike so much of the industry, I'm not of the mind that you judge a talent only by what they've done lately as long as they pick themselves back up and keep trying something new. The fact that the media now force them to operate under a microscope of relentless scrutiny makes the process harder, I'm sure, but when a miracle like Lost or Battlestar Galactica or Buffy comes along, isn't it worth it?
Very thoughtful discussion -- despite the fact that Ron Moore had nothing to do with BIONIC WOMAN. That was David Eick people! [Hat tip to Whedonesque]
Here is the full embed of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA S4x06 "Escape Velocity" which is up on Hulu and SciFi Rewind. FYI for any Hulu n00bs: on the full episode embed, you can click the Hulu screen to open vid in a separate window, where you can switch to full screen mode. But that won't work to watch the shorter clips below.
And now, for some of my favorite clips.
I had been looking forward to the Six/Tigh scenes that, based on all the pre-season advertising, were coming soon. Funny – until now, I never realized how much I miss Ellen. Six, clever as ever, subtly lets Tigh know right away that she understands what is going on...
When they are finally alone together, with the cameras off, things get even more interesting...
Poor Cally. It came as a complete - albeit kind of welcome - shock that this show would ever bring up Tyrol and Boomer again. And we thought he was over her! Or is this just the booze and pain talking? Any way you slice it, Tyrol's rawness here is intense…with a well-done moment of hallucination tucked in to boot (see Jane Espenson’s new blog entry for more on that).
This was another great ep for we members of the Callis/Baltar cult. There were plenty of fraktastic moments: Tory playing with him under the front credits...desecrating the temple and casting out the old gods...Roslin visiting him in the brig...his interaction with Lee and being "lifted by his faith" by HeadSix in the hallways of the ship...but for this clip reel, only the best will do: God loves us as we are. Perfect.
Baltar forgives his sins, the cylons' sins, humanity's sins, with one lovely speech. The scientist, who became the traitor, who became the politician, who became the puppet dictator...is now the messiah?
Pulling out for the bigger picture on this episode, I really enjoyed the parallels set up between Tory/Baltar discussing sin, guilt and perfection, with the Tigh/Six discussions of pain allowing cylons to gain the clarity needed to feel guilt/sin. One could interpret the religious parallels here in several ways -- not all of them particularly flattering to religion.
This certainly felt like one of those low-key eps that makes a lot more sense after some of the bigger season arcs unravel. You will watch it again on DVD a year from now and think, "OMG THIS EP WAS SO GOOD? Why didn't I see it back then?" I've had, erm, a lot of experiences like that with serialized shows.
Since I missed running clips last week of S4x05, "The Ties That Bind," due to being at NY Comic Con, I've added them here.
RIP, Callandra Henderson Tyrol. This was such a great scene, Nicki Clyne. You will be missed.
Pretty much every woman on the show was giving me the creeps during this episode - even Roslin. Much of what gave Roslin her more sinister perspective was suggested by Zarek in this conversation with Lee as he prepares to join the Quorum.
The first Demetrius scene reminded me and a few friends of Moby Dick, Mutiny on the Bounty, etc. Starbuck continues to be disturbingly portrayed as a sinister mystery. I especially like that shot from Anders' perspective looking upwards...at Captain Bligh?
This scene gave me the chills, both its framing and content:
Several fan friends have mentioned the similarity between this Starbuck and the Buffy who has been unwillingly yanked out of heaven and returned to earth in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER season 6. An interesting and fitting comparison.
I’ve seen a lot of mixed and/or frustrated discussion and reviews of these two eps – not surprising since both are short on action and long on set-up/ground-laying. Character details and plot setup, without ships-n-splosions, can make the natives restless. Even BSG composer Bear McCreary felt the need to mention this in last week’s blog entry. This week brings a Mark Verheiden-penned episode that looks to be heavy on the Demetrius…and Leoben. *rubs hands together*
Meanwhile, as io9 points out, fandom speculation is moving along full throttle...and Verheiden has answered fan questions about last Friday's ep.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The next videoblog is up on SciFi Rewind and Hulu. Mild spoilers for next week that even I don't care about seeing. *g*
Part 1 of Rekha Sharma's fan Q&A is up on SciFi.com.
Also, last night I attended a fun Paley Center NY screening of last month's Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion event, and castmember Emma Caufield gave a huge shoutout to BSG on stage. She was up there with Joss Whedon and Seth Green (among many others), so there were a lot of BSG lovers in the room...including Jane Espenson in the audience. Here's Emma talking about the show outside the Paley Center that day (2:20 in):
Last weekend while at NY Comic Con, I sat in on a hilarious ROBOT CHICKEN panel with Seth Green and Matt Seinrich. My comments and video are over here; Green mentioned that Ron Moore and Joss Whedon will both make an appearance on their season 4 opener...which unfortunately will not air till early 2009.
While each episode is exciting on its own, the first quarter of Season 4 is essentially laying the groundwork for bigger events down the line. As a result, Escape Velocity is a bit of an odd episode. So much of it is setting up future storylines that the episode itself is paced slower and more deliberately than most.
Friday, April 25, 2008
For the past few weeks, SciFi.com has been giving viewers an early look at that week's episode, online. The first and second episodes were shown only at noon Eastern, while the third (last week) was shown every hour throughout the morning and afternoon. In all cases, you couldn't rewind or pause the feed, and there are short commercials throughout. This was fantastic for fans eager to see the episode early -- until today, that is.
Sci Fi's website promised a noon "preview" of tonight's episode, which to most meant would be the same, full-episode preview we've been seeing this season. Instead, viewers got the shaft after about 20 minutes of the episode airing, including ending the viewing with a commercial.
The SciFi.com forums are obviously abuzz with pissed-off fans, some saying they won't bother to tune in tonight, just to show their anger toward Sci Fi. I'm definitely disappointed at the virtual blue-balls Sci Fi gave us with this episode, but I'll be damned if I'm not tuning in tonight. I just hope that, in the future, viewers will get a little more warning instead of planning full lunch breaks around this.
Back to work everyone...And please note the banner posted now on Sci Fi's site regarding next Friday (click for larger):
..."PREVIEW"...consider yourself warned.
I don't see any evidence today on skiffy's site that the new ep, ESCAPE VELOCITY, will stream all day like last week. So one should assume it is only showing at noon.
ETA: confirmation that I missed earlier - it's definitely streaming only at noon.
Here's the stream page link.
Meanwhile, thanks to All About Tahmoh, I found this new incredibly primitive yet informative blog that seems to be tracking all the Fox scifi shows in development or production for next season - including Ron Moore's VIRTUALITY and Joss Whedon's DOLLHOUSE featuring Tahmoh Penikett.
Ron Moore reports Sci-Fi.Com has been having some kind of technical issue, that has prevented them from uploading his podcasts. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon.
Now we’re dealing with server issues at SciFi.com.
What can I tell you?
The good news is there will be a bunch of podcasts waiting for you when they resolve the tech problems, the bad news is, I have no idea when that will be.
I’ll do this week’s and just keep chugging along and hope you guys can catch up eventually.
Thanks for being patient.
Mark Verheiden previews Friday's episode, Escape Velocity:
Things heat up for Baltar and his newfound acolytes, and Tyrol deals with the aftermath of last week's dark turn. Directed by Admiral Adama himself, and written by ace BSG scribe-er person Jane Espenson!
Anthrax's Scott Ian updated his BSG blog with his thoughts on The Ties That Bind:
The fact that they have no problems with killing off regulars and making other characters suffer intensely is one of the main reasons why I love this show. It's so heavy. When an episode like 4.3 ends it really bothers me. It stays with me for days. That shot of Cally's frozen bloated face was haunting. No heroic death for our little mechanic. Alone except for the uncaring stare of a Cylon holding HER baby and aware that she's got seconds before the vacuum takes her. Brutal.
Scott also emailed some questions to his friend Aaron Douglas and Aaron teased what's coming up for our Chief:
"It only gets worse my friend.
What we think Cally knew and didn't know is explored over the next few eps with the Chief making little discoveries along the way.
The final four Cylons are different from each other in the same way that humans are different from one another. We all have tendencies that manifest in various situations.
The next couple of episodes contain a large arc for Tyrol.
Cally's death and some other things really come to a head.
They were a really tough shoot."
Cally Henderson Tyrol herself, Nicki Clyne has updated her blog writing about the shocking turn of events for her character:
In a very real sense, i did experience a death - of a part of my life that was very special to me. and in some ways i feel fortunate to have experienced it as such a literal transition off the show, opposed to one day simply being finished. the actual shooting of my final episode was very moving for me. i explored parts of myself i hadn't before on film and was able to draw very real parallels between how i was feeling about leaving the show and what Cally was going through in her loss (pill popping and suicide aside, of course.) tribute to michael nankin, the director of 'the ties that bind,' who generously invested so much of his artistic talent and theatrical vision, and worked with me closely in making Cally's swan song a struggle to remember. i feel very proud of the work we did and to have had the privilege of collaborating in a way that is rather unusual in tv land. i think what i found the most moving though, was the support and sensitivity of the people surrounding me. from Eddie and Mary giving me gifts and cards, to the whole crew sharing their condolences, to the professionalism and dedication of everyone to making quality television. i don't know that i had such an appreciation of what we share on Battlestar before that experience, and i am grateful for it.
And speaking of Cally's sad farewell, the Frakking Toasters comic I think captures the moment.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
TV Guide talks to Michael Trucco about his car accident last year.
Starlog talks to Tahmoh Penikett about the show.
Richard Prince photographs our space grrls on bikes for Interview Magazine. In bikinis. No talking necessary.
Michael Ausiello of TV Guide revealed a few plot points of the CAPRICA prequel film in his reader Q&A this week (see halfway down) ...while The TV Addict seems to have his hands on the entire script, and wants to share a bit more.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
We've all become obsessed with the Battlestar Galactica Last Supper image. Here at the Galactica Sitrep we've even made it our header banner.
N. E. Lilly of Space Westerns, the e-zine of the space western sub-genre, recently contacted us with news that he had discovered something interesting about the Last Supper photo.
Intrigued, I agreed to look at his find.
I was even more intrigued at that point, because if what he found is accurate, it's quite stunning, and visually arresting, and may provide a key to understanding clues in the image.
Lilly then asked me to collaborate with him on an article for his site on the possible meaning of this photographic decoding.
So, that's what we've done, and you can read all about it on the Space Westerns site.
But, since I believe the image may foreshadow future events in the series, and in Lilly's view, provide clear clues as to who could be the final Cylon, I think you should consider the article as containing SPOILERS.
However, as I say in the article, there could be many interpretations of meaning in the photograph.
So, visit Space Westerns to check it out. And I want to thank N.E. Lilly for asking us to participate and collaborate on this project.
At the bottom of his latest blog post, Bear McCreary has invited fans to send him audio and video from the "Music of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA" concerts...you folks who've been sending me A/V materials should definitely share with him. Apparently he's going to post some on his site.
Meanwhile, a fan named Avery has given me permission to extract from the footage she shot at the concert, the below bits of the very silly "documentary" screened at the shows. Sorry about the burn-in, I'm still learning the ropes of Quick Time Pro (ping me if you know how to fix that).
NOTE: If you have the bandwidth, I highly recommend you surf over to the youtube page and switch to High Quality stream using this menu at lower right corner:
Monday, April 21, 2008
Are the Cylons and the Galactica fleet getting closer to Earth?
Many eagle-eyed observers noted the above image taken from the ep, "The Ties That Bind" that shows the constellation Orion in the background when the Cylon base ships arrive to... continue their discussions with each other (if you will.)
An analysis on the Battlestar Wiki page notes:
# The constellation Orion appears in this episode. It is clearly visible in the background of the basestars shortly before Cavil's ships begin to attack, and may be visible when Cally looks out the window in the launch tube shortly before she is confronted by Foster. This would indicate that both fleets are relatively close to Earth. However, for them to see Orion in the same two-dimensional configuration as from Earth, they would have to be within a few light years of Sol and in a relatively narrow corridor between it and Orion.
# Given that, astrographers should now notice that their observations and the rough map found on Kobol in the Tomb of Athena are beginning to match. On Kobol, the crew realized that Earth lies in a straight line from the Twelve Colonies to the Lagoon nebula, and that the constellations they see in the planetarium appear like that when viewed from Earth.
LiveJournal user Shaun dukeblack, who says, "I'm no longer an astronomer... I switched to theoretical physics." at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, wrote a detailed examination of the sighting of Orion on the BSG blog:
Perspective is very important. Many of the stars in Orion are very far away from us. However, Bellatrix (the top right or 'shoulder' star) is not so far from Earth in comparison to the others of Orion. The further from Earth one travels, the more the closest stars will seem to move. The effect of perspective is that nearer stars will appear to converge to a 'vanishing point' much more quickly than the more distant stars. In effect, this means Bellatrix migrates 'downwards' (in the image) towards the stars of Orion's belt much more quickly than any of the other 'apex' stars (Betelgeuse, Rigel and Saiph). Because the stars of Orion are not all an identical distance from Earth, as one travels away from the constellation, the shape will both shrink in size AND become distorted.
Another point to note is that in order for these stars to retain the coherence as the familiar Orion, one would need to be approaching Earth in such a direction as to keep the stars in their correct places. From this, drawing an imaginary line through Earth towards Orion and looking back along it will give us an indication of the direction from which the fleets are approaching the Solar System.
Keeping all these points in mind, and the assumption this is a deliberate inclusion in the show to indicate the fleets' proximity to Earth, I have formed the following conclusions:
* The Colonial and Cylon fleets must be within 20 light years of the Solar System. Beyond that, the shape of Orion (particularly due to the troublesome Bellatrix) becomes too distorted to match what is shown in the episode.
* The Colonial and Cyclon fleets are travelling towards the Solar System from the direction of the constellation of Ophiuchus! For those of you in the know, Ophiuchus is the thirteenth sign of the Zodiac. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here is its Wikipedia entry.
* Sol MUST be somewhere around the region of the lower half of Orion. Oddly enough, on the scene where the Cylon Basestars jump in to shot, before the camera pans up, the left half of that background star field must contain Earth.
David Weddle is a Nebula Award‑nominated screen‑writer who has worked Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Battlestar Galactica. He is also well-known for his biography of director Sam Peckinpah.
ComicMix has their weekly Q&A with BSG co-exec producer Mark Verheiden talking about The Ties That Bind.
ScreenGeeks radio talked to Nana Visitor from Deep Space Nine, who appears in BSG this season as a cancer patient in the episode, "Faith". (h/t Mark Verheiden.)
And composer Bear McCreary updated his blog with musical details about The Ties That Bind, as well as sharing his experience with the recent BSG concerts at the Roxy last week.
Anyone who reads Sitrep regularly knows how I feel about "new media" and television and science fiction.
So it will not surprise any of you if I wax rhapsodic right now about this piece in the new issue of Fast Company, talking with Hollywood's 1337 geeks and their ideas on the future of television. As someone who has watched with great pleasure and fear the changes in the music business since the rise of the consumer internet, it all seems exciting. My personal toe-dips into the possibilities of transmedia storytelling have been immensely positive and inspiring.
As a sidenote: Ron Moore, Tim Kring, Damon Lindelof and other showrunners lounging around in back rooms, drinking
scotch bourbon, making plans and talking about how Joss Whedon Is Their Master Now? It's Nerdvana, I tell you...and for trufans, really good news. [HT Whedonesque]
Below are the first two bits of my video of the NY Comic Con Cylon party...and here are three / four / five / six. Enjoy. There are massive spoilers for last week's ep, but otherwise you are OK to view this, my spirgin brethren.
ETA: Sci Fi has just posted the entire panel here. Funny enough, the quality isn't much better than mine. At least they used a tripod. ;)
Speaking of fun videos, fan Joshua sent us this gorgeous HD footage from Bear McCreary's concert last week. And a fan named Avery posted this lovely high quality vid as well - including some bits of the very funny cast video that screened at the concerts (see about halfway through).
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I'm still working on the video, which I will post soon -- but here is a downloadable MP3 of today's entire Comic Con panel with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA cast Michael Hogan, Rekha Sharma, and Michael Trucco, along with SciFi Channel's Mark Stern. David Howe of the SciFi Channel introduces moderator Marc Bernardin from Entertainment Weekly. Bernardin, a long time trufan of this show, is a terrific mod and asked great questions.
For the spirgins: the panel was blissfully (and surprisingly) spoiler-free, except for discussion of this past week's episode. I have to say we have one heck of a spoiler-sensitive fandom right here, as was clear from the crowd reactions during the panel.
Pop Candy and IGN have both posted panel reports, and Wired spoke to Stern after he left the stage this afternoon.
Full episode embed:
I'm off to NYCC now, and I definitely will need to rewatch this ep since the sound at the con screening last night was terrible. I missed a lot of the Quorum and basestar discussions. But wow, great ep.
Alan Sepinwall and TV Squad provide their take on The Ties That Bind. (I'll put together my own thoughts on the powerful episode later on, but for now, feel free to share your views in the comments here. Tomorrow we'll post the Hulu embed once it's online.)
Edward James Olmos did a Sci-Fi Q&A.
Here's the promo for Escape Velocity posted by SevorTB:
Friday, April 18, 2008
Battlestar Galactica exec producer David Eick is expanding his role in the NBC universe, inking a two-year overall deal with the Peacock’s studio arm. While Eick has spent most of his career at either NBC or predecessor Universal working as a producer or exec, this seven-figure pact reps the first time he’s signed an overall for his work as a scribe. Deal kicks in June 1.Here is a recent Pop Candy interview with David Eick.
Even as he continues to work as a nonwriting producer shepherding various projects -- including the long-in-the-works BSG prequel Caprica for Sci Fi Channel -- Eick has begun penning projects by himself and with partners.
"My focus now is probably going to be a little less about casting a wide net and a little more on focusing on one, two or maybe three projects a year, maybe writing one myself," Eick said.
This morning Matt Roush at TV Guide answered some reader questions about BSG's Emmy chances, and genre fandom's fears about the Fox network:
Question: Do you think that, in a season so utterly frakked up by the writer's strike, the Emmy voters might finally change channels over to Sci Fi and watch Battlestar Galactica? Of course, the season is only two episodes deep at this point, and one would have to be living in a fantasy land to think the voters would actually bring due celebration to this show, but these two episodes have been as good as anything the cast and crew have done so far. I'm particularly struck by "Six of One" and the performances of Katee Sackhoff and the irreplaceable Mary McConnell. Do you think the continuity of shows like BSG take away their chances at major awards? I've seen every episode, which qualifies me to recognize how fantastic these two actors (and the rest of the cast) have been so far, but it also puts me at the advantage of having four years of context to draw from that the voters likely would not. The awards-show success of series like 24, Lost and to a much lesser extent The Shield, make me think there is hope that dramas that use complex continuous story arcs have hope for that kind of recognition, yet I still can't see it happening. Please tell me I'm wrong. — Adam S.As mentioned earlier this week, I too am excited to hear about all these Fox genre shows...not to mention the news that, despite no renewal announcement, the head of Fox Entertainment himself has stated that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is already being allowed to hire staff for its next season. Sweet. ETA: the show is renewed! *pumps fist in air*
Matt Roush: You're not wrong, but it's not an altogether hopeless battle for attention. Battlestar Galactica not only has the disadvantage of a dense and mystifying mythology, but its title and genre also work against it getting serious consideration among the more mainstream dramas. And yet it did get writing and direction nominations a year ago, which is pretty significant. Keep in mind that while Lost won for best drama for its first season and The Shield also broke through in its first season with a win for Michael Chiklis and writing and directing nominations, it gets tougher for these shows to be recognized the longer they stay on the air and their storylines become more challenging for the non-hooked to follow and appreciate. Lost and some of its stars still get recognition, but it hasn't been nominated for best drama since its first-year win. (24 is in a somewhat different situation since it starts somewhat from scratch each season with a new adventure, albeit with baggage from past years.) But you're right in one respect. Anyone watching the emotional workout Katee Sackhoff went through last week in particular would have to think she'd be Emmy bait if she were doing this work on HBO or on a more accessible franchise drama. As if I've often said, if you look to the Emmys for validation, you're going to be cruelly disappointed.
Question: I am rather excited for J.J. Abrams' Fringe and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse this fall on Fox, but now I read that Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore is developing Virtuality, a back-door pilot for Fox based on an idea from Lloyd Braun, one of the instigators of Lost. I'm amazed at the pedigree of talent Fox is attracting right now from the sci-fi genre. Abrams, Whedon and Moore must be among the most prestigious names in modern science-fiction television. I remember you writing a while back that Fox seems to be looking for a sci-fi/fantasy hit to fill the void The X-Files left. Might this be an example of throwing various things at the wall and seeing what sticks? Hopefully, the least this forebodes is a solid night of sci-fi on network television in the near future. — Brendan B.
Matt Roush: It all sounds very tempting, doesn't it? We just have to hope Fox stands behind these shows — if they live up to their potential — and gives them time and decent time periods to grow. Fox's recent track record isn't very promising in that regard, but the new regime (including Kevin Reilly, who gave NBC Heroes before he was dumped) obviously is pouring a lot of money into the fantasy genre in hopes of landing a winner or two or three. Everyone just needs to remember that it took a while for The X-Files to catch on. The scary part here is that expectations will be very high for these shows, not just at the network but in media and online coverage, precisely because of the creators' pedigrees. They may not be allowed to grow on us slowly, the way The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even the new Battlestar did.
Meanwhile, a tidbit on one of my other pet topics: Hulu may be spiffy, but there is still hope for a new NBC/iTunes deal. Cross your fingers. Again.
Well well well. Wasn’t I a gleeful little fangrrl yesterday when I heard the news – Sci Fi Channel just announced the final guests for New York Comic Con: Michael Hogan, Michael Trucco, and Rekha Sharma. That’s right folks: 3 out of 4 of The Final Four…and I believe that this is Mr. Hogan’s first con appearance, is it not? Needless to say I am very pleased and looking forward to it. For those of you bumming that Tahmoh Penikett won’t make it, be made happy knowing it’s because of his DOLLHOUSE work. I hope that helps. *\o/* (That, and the Amy Acker news, adds to my happy today.)
I’m also hoping to catch a bunch of other events, which I’ve cataloged over on my LJ if anyone is interested...for example: has anyone else noticed that Bill Plympton, Seth Green, Milo Ventimiglia, and the entire cast of HELLBOY are supposed to attend? Seems like I will be living in the IGN Theater for most of the weekend. If you hear about any other cool panels or booths related to film and TV, do let me know.
I’ll be twittering all weekend on my mobile – see the sidebar here to follow me – so give me a shout and let’s find each other, fellow Con-goers! Also keep your eyes out for the beloved Whitney “PopCandy” Matheson, who is on her way up from DC as we speak.
Those of you in the New York area might also be interested in a panel about TV fansites that I am participating in on May 19th, at the Paley Center. I just heard a rumor that there might be some showrunners attending this thing…probably not OUR showrunners, methinks, but hey, who knows. [OT: Did you Joss Whedon fans out there also hear about this event happening next Friday at Paley NY? I’ll see you there.]
For those of you not in New York, you can still get some questions in for Michael Trucco and Rekha Sharma over on these two skiffy forum threads. But hurry – deadline is 5pm Eastern US time today.
And because it was such a great interview, let me pimp one more time Trucco’s 20-minute chat with Slice of SciFi this week. A fun listen for you Trucco fans.
See you at the Javits Center...
Battlestar Galactica, has started its fourth and final season this week in the United Kingdom on Sky One and so there are a number of UK related articles and commentaries on the 4th series.
In The Scotsman, Andrea Mullaney writes a comprehensive and unique critique:
...a poetic portrait of a clash between belief and a changing world.
Which is, in fact, pretty much the theme of Battlestar Galactica, the dark, intense science fiction drama where they're more likely to debate terrorism and free will than have an exciting spaceship battle (though you do get those sometimes). Returning for what the makers have declared its final series, the show has a plethora of dazzlingly confusing plotlines to tie up, not least explaining just what, if any, is the difference between its increasingly converging humans and Cylon robots.
The key to BSG is that it's a post-apocalypse show, the characters' entire world having been destroyed right at the beginning. In lesser sci-fi shows, they'd have got over that by now, but here the survivors have basically gone crazy, stewing in an endless cauldron of paranoia, anger and grief.
In The Guardian Charlie Brooker wrote "Battlestar Galactica is presposterous, glum and strangely as compelling as ever. Hooray." After gamely trying to explain the complexity of BSG he notes:
In other words: if you haven't watched the show before but fancy tuning in this week, don't bother. It'll make less sense than a wool piano. Go back to the start on DVD first. It's well worth it, although you'll have to adjust your filter in order to overlook some glaring drawbacks: half the cast look like underwear models, there's a lot of gung-ho Top Gun bullshit, and it often takes itself so insanely seriously you start wishing someone would bend over and blow off in a Cylon's face or something just to lighten the mood.
Regular viewers, meanwhile, will be pleased to know that as season four opens, it's business as usual, ie moody and complicated. All your favourite characters are present and correct. The deeply conflicted Colonel Tigh stands on the deck hammily swiveling his one good eye around like a tortoise impersonating a pirate, while pineapple-faced Admiral Adama stands alongside emanating one gruff, depressive sigh after another. And my favourite character - sweaty, panicking, Withnail-look-and-sound-alike Dr Gaius Baltar - is still getting space-pussy thrown at him by the bucketload for no apparent reason: now a reluctant guru, he's been whisked off and hidden away in a sort of Temple Of Quim, full of lithe young women worshipping his every pube.
(Yes. By UK standards the above is a highly positive review.)
Also in The Guardian, Sam Wollaston watched BSG for the first time, starting with season 4's opener, He That Believeth In Me, and the results were... interesting:
There is plenty of interesting interpersonal stuff going on - it's not only intergalactic issues. I can see that the characters are more complex than in most science fiction. It is more visceral; more relevant, too. There's religion and morality in there, and all sorts of parallels with what's going on in our own world (which may or may not be the same place as Earth, the lost Thirteenth Colony - see, I'm getting this). There's sweat, and sickness, even a bedroom scene. No kitchen, though, no food, or baths.
Maybe there have been, and will be. I do realise that after one episode I'm not really qualified to judge. And that I don't understand half the complexities. (That, incidentally is another problem: it's so bloody complicated. Why is sci-fi like that - a competition for boys to see who's best at working out what the hell is going on?)
My inbuilt aversion to anything that happens away from my own planet makes me narrow-minded, I know. Racist, even. But I'm still not convinced. I'm not getting the smell. And by smell, what I really mean is humanity. This obviously makes me a girl, but I'm OK with that.
I'm sure people have emailed him by now to let him know, that yes, there are bathrooms, and food on the Galactica. But, starting to watch BSG with the start of the 4th season is tantamount to starting to read Lord of the Rings with The Return of the King, maybe somewhere around the late middle of the book.
The Tabloid The Daily Mirror, is typically useless with this deep insight: "Why on the ship does it always sound like somebody is rolling an oil drum down the corridor?" Yet it was their "Pick of the Day".
Dominic Maxwell in The Times on the other hand, compares and contrasts Battlestar Galactica with their nation's most beloved science fiction series, Doctor Who:
The greatest science-fiction show on television is back - and there isn't a Tardis or a sonic screwdriver in sight....
It's back! The best science-fiction TV series ever created is at last returning for its long awaited fourth series. And so, by a curious coincidence, is Doctor Who.
Yes, Battlestar Galactica really is that mighty.
But not only is the new show better than the original, it's also stronger drama than pretty much anything out there, give or take a Sopranos or a Wire. It's brilliantly written, perfectly played, and credits its audience with plenty of intelligence.
Maxwell goes on to explain the differences between Who and BSG:
Meanwhile, Doctor Who has grown cocky. Confidence has turned to glibness, as the Doctor cheerily saves himself with a smart comment and a spizz of his sonic screwdriver. Can it ever again be the best science-fiction series around? Not on Battlestar Galactica's watch - here's why.
....In the ensemble BSG, there's always the danger that one of our heroes might die at any moment. The President (Mary McDonnell) has cancer; Admiral Adama (Edward James Olmos) gets shot at close range by one of his own crew, and several second bananas lose their lives as the show progresses.
IT'S REALLY FILMED IN SPACE
It isn't? Well it certainly looks like it is. Respect to the special effects on the new Doctor Who, but BSG looks out of this world.
IT PLAYS A LONG GAME
You can't really watch BSG out of sequence, as each season has a shape. In last season's Doctor Who, on the other hand, the Master conquered the Earth in two episodes.
BREADTH OF REFERENCE
Doctor Who is the story of a superman hero. BSG is the story of a human society, and looks at the competing priorities of government and military, leader and worker, duty and desire. It also features sexy people in fetching outfits. In short, it's got the lot.
Coming back to America...
Maureen Ryan focuses on great women on TV with Plastic surgery? No thanks. Here are a few women whose faces I love:
Mary McDonnell is a strikingly handsome woman whose "Battlestar Galactica" character, President Laura Roslin, is forceful, sexy, afraid, bold and compassionate, sometimes all at once. And so what if she doesn't look like she's 25? She shouldn't. Roslin's been through hell. If she looked like someone who has not lived a full, rich and sometimes scary life, that would be a lie.
Also, here's Mo's latest bits and pieces on Battlestar Galactica, including a few (spoilery) photos from tonight's ep, The Ties That Bind written by Michael Taylor, and next week's ep, Escape Velocity.
Scott Ian of Anthrax updated his Battlestar Galactica episode reaction blog, with his thoughts on Six of One.
Meshel73 on the Battlestar Blog links to a series of Space (Canada) podcast interviews with:
April 4: Richard Hatch, Katee Sackhoff, Alessandro Julianni, Grace Park and Ron Moore.
March 29: David Eick, Grace Park.
March 22: Edward James Olmos.
March 15: Tricia Helfer, Michael Rymer.
March 8: James Callis.
March 1: Jamie Bamber.
Each podcast is about 30 minutes long. I've edited them down to just the BSG interviews. Most of them are only a couple minutes each. You can downloaded the edited versions at the following link.
Also on the Live Journal Battlestar Blog Meshel73 discovered a casting call for what could be quite an interesting character -- from the description, which is most certainly a SPOILER.
Check out this humorous BSG comic.
Grant Gould found this neat vid on YouTube from SciFi Assassin showing the BSG's opening titles done in the style of BSG 1979, using Bear McCreary's version of Stu Philips Galactica theme:
"Battlestar Galactica" showrunner Ronald D. Moore is making a major move to the bigscreen, signing with United Artists to create and write a sci-fi trilogy.
UA's keeping details of the project under wraps...
Tom Cruise and producing partner Wagner revived the UA label in 2006 and have released "Lions for Lambs," with WWII thriller "Valkyrie" set to open in February...
Wagner noted that she and Cruise worked with Moore on "Mission Impossible II," and added, "Over the last decade Ron has emerged as the foremost sci-fi, fantasy creator, writer in the industry and working with him to bring his creative talents to the big screen is a great partnership for our studio."
UA President of Production Don Granger brought the project into the studio.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wizard World Philadelphia con has just announced Katee Sackhoff as their special guest this year. The con is May 30-June 1.
Here's a bit more information and an interview they posted on their site with the announcement.
[fanart by amok-koma]
From Sci-Fi Dot Com:
THIS FRIDAY ONLY: You'll have eight chances to see this week's episode early. Starting at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time), we'll show live streams of "Ties That Bind" at the top of the hour, every hour. The last showing will start at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Log on to SCIFI.COM every Friday at Noon (Eastern Time) to watch a special LIVE stream of that evening's new episode before it airs on SCI FI.
You must log on to SCIFI.COM at noon on Friday to see the video stream, which will begin automatically at 12:00 sharp. To view the stream, you must have the latest version of Windows Media installed on your computer.
While the episode is streaming live, you will not be able to pause it, rewind it, or fast-forward through it. If you come in late, you'll miss out!
BSG co-exec producer Mark Verheiden's answers to questions about episode 2, Six of One are online at Comic Mix.
Mark also has updated his blog about how "it always seems like that one bit that is your absolute favorite moment in a script (or, in his case, a first cut) is inevitably the one that you have to drop, sooner or later."
Verheiden also wrote about wrapping up shooting on the last BSG ep that he wrote:
I stole my BSG producer's chair seat back (with my name and the BSG logo) after the last "cut!" and that, in terms of my scripts for the show, is that.
Of course, there's still lots to do, i.e., seven more episodes to hone and shoot, and to be honest this was a great one to go out on, writing-wise. I am precluded from offering even the vaguest hints re: the show's content, but I don't think anyone will be shocked if I suggested the show's journey takes us down paths that would have been unthinkable even a season ago. I mean, could you imagine an episode pivoting on whether it'll be angel food or an ice-cream cake for the big surprise birthday party? Me either, and of course that's not what the episode's about at all...
Meanwhile, THIS week on Battlestar Galactica (Friday at 10:00 PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!), trouble brews among the newly minted Cylons. I will continue to answer a few viewer questions after each new episode over at comicmix.com, so keep your eyes peeled...
LiveJournal blogger Irulan-Amy provides this detailed report on the Tuesday night show.
Kandsye McClure was there to host the evening and introduce the band. She was beyond gorgeous and adorable. She was so sweet, and she seemed genuinely happy to be there. She joked around with the audience and answered that she was the final cylon when someone asked. And she wore a really great dress!....Kandyse McClure said they call Edward James Olmos "Papi;" that just made my heart smile
Amy also noted the set list, and included a few YouTube clips from the Sunday show uploaded by hiryu87:
A Distant Sadness with Raya Yarbrough
The Adamas theme
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Fandom has been buzzing all over the internets about the great time they had at Bear McCreary's Music Of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA concert this past Sunday in Los Angeles. The show was hosted by James Callis, and in addition to BSG score composer McCreary conducting a huge band onstage, there was apparently a very funny short film (shot on the BSG set) screened.
Experiences, photos, and even video snippets are showing up on the skiffy forum here and here…on the battlestar blog…as well as a few other places. Above is a wonderful clip of the band performing “All Along The Watchtower” and below are a few more.
James Callis introduces the show...
Callis singing “Spooky,” which apparently is an original song he composed? Can someone confirm this?
The crowd chants in typical BSG-fan fashion…LOL...Thanks to Isaac for sending this in.
This attendee cut a bunch of short clips together from the show, and wrote a long concert description in the “info” sidebar. ETA: here is a clip reel with mediocre audio quality but showing a good sample of the many pieces performed at the show; here's another vid with excellent audio of a single piece.
Now if fandom can just get its greedy paws on this funny video they screened of all the BSG cast and crew gently mocking Bear, all will be right. Mr. McCreary: if you are out there, somewhere…do you have a youtube account? :D
You folks going to tonight’s second show are in for a treat!
Congrats to Bear and all the musicians involved.
[Thanks to all the fan photographers and vidders including Isaac, Janna23, Mexichick, Scarbuck, CallisRocks; click photos above to view larger]
An off topic PS: in honor of the occasion I feel the need to post a few Oingo Boingo videos…one, two, three, four. Yes, I am THAT OLD. *g*
at Serenity Complete; photos by Bamberrific]
Much to the thrill of the Frakheads and Browncoats at this past weekend’s Serenity Complete con in London, it turned out that a huge number of SERENITY and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA castmembers managed to attend. BSG cast included the previously announced Nicki Clyne and Mark Sheppard – but also Michelle Forbes, Kandyse McClure, Leah Cairns…and Jamie Bamber, who had cancelled the previous week, but managed to get to London from Vancouver afterall.
Reports are starting to trickle in -- what fun to see Firefly/Serenity and BSG actors hobnobbing at one con together, tee hee! We’ll have more fannews later this week, as happy attendees settle back at home…at least those who aren’t on their way to Germany for the FedCon, with many BSG guests still confirmed despite production being in full swing. A first taste are these comments and photos posted on the skiffy forum by happy Bamber fans (squee begins on page 1073, and there are photos and more at 1074, 1078 and onwards).
Over at the Starfury site, the next UK BSG con announced is Battlestar Starfury coming this December, guests TBD.
In other con news this week…
A fan has posted some photos of Grace Park from the Grand Slam con 2 weeks ago in Burbank. Creation often posts video snippets from their events, we’ll see if anything turns up.
Aaron Douglas had to cancel his appearance at the Pittsburgh Comicon due to the BSG shooting schedule.
Mark Sheppard will be appearing later this year at Australia’s Supernova in June, and Mark will be at Baltimore’s Shore Leave in July with Leah Cairns.
Michael Trucco has announced on his official fan forum that he is coming to the New York Comic Con. No confirmation yet from NYCC itself – let’s hope Michael will attend the Saturday noon event along with Grace Park and Tahmoh Penikett. (Thanks to cujoy for the tip.)
Also, on this Slice of SciFi podcast, Trucco is interviewed and mentions he may be working with JumpCon this summer to attend their Boston, Chicago, and Stamford events. JumpCon is the same company that secured several dates for Eddie Olmos and Mary McDonnell to appear together *joy*… Trucco’s terrific, detailed interview begins 36 minutes into the podcast. (Thanks to xenite99 for this tip!)
A few additional tidbits about Ron Moore’s new project with Michael Taylor, VIRTUALITY… It looks like the pilot may be shot this summer, with the hopes of launching February 2009. IGN points out some more details:
There will also be an online component to the series, involving streaming episodes that feature the same cast and essentially serve as a reality series "show within a show." The reality series, in the world of Virtuality is partly what funds the journey. How this will come to fruition remains to be seen, as online components to network series have failed to come to be in the past.
In addition to the involvement of Moore as executive producer, fellow Battlestar Galactica alum Michael Taylor will also be on board as producer. Adding to the mix is the possible inclusion of Martin Campbell, director of Casino Royale, to direct the pilot episode. Virtuality is being geared up for a possible launch in February of 2009. No cast has been attached yet, but it won't be too surprising to see some of the Battlestar cast make an appearance in this new venture.
Let's hope there is indeed room for some BSG cast on this show.
With Fox prepping pilots and/or series with three of SF&F TV’s biggest names (Whedon, Abrams, Moore), and new film or TV genre fare being announced almost daily, it seems that Reel Fanatic’s question is quite valid: are we in a golden age of Sci-Fi and Fantasy?
Monday, April 14, 2008
This weekend Cinema Blend sussed out some more details via trade paper news, about the backdoor pilot Ron Moore is working on with BSG writer Michael Taylor:
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox was shopping around for a writer for a back-door pilot called Virtuality. The premise of the series would focus on a crew of astronauts on a decade-long journey through space. In order to help them pass the time, NASA installed “advanced virtual-reality modules” which would allow the crew members to basically live in a make-believe world and mentally travel wherever they want. Everything goes according to plan until a “bug” is found in the system and things get pretty messed up.
Fox approached a number of writers about the project and were happy with what Ronald D. Moore was able to come up with. Moore...put a script together with fellow BSG writer-producer, Michael Taylor.
The Reporter didn’t say just how involved Moore would be with the project or the series (assuming the back-door pilot does go to series).
This is one of many film and TV projects RDM apparently has in the hopper this year, and there is no word yet which one will turn out to be his primary post-BSG project.
Points to Fox for now having shows in the works with RDM, Joss Whedon, and JJ Abrams, all at the same time. Pretty darned impressive.
The first parts of the fandom Q&A with Michael Hogan and James Callis have been posted online.
Below are the Hulu embeds. The vids are also here and here on SciFi Pulse.
It's a great time to be a Michael Hogan fan, since SciFi has added him to their BSG publicity juggernaut for the final season.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Here's the entire episode "Six Of One" (S4x04) on Hulu.
And below are clips of some of my favorite parts...
Kara's got a good point here, despite her beyond-the-pale behavior.
Oh, wow. What Gaius Baltar fan would not chuckle with glee to watch James Callis make the most of this golden opportunity -- not to mention the fascinating music metaphor Gaius uses here, and the sixth sense he and his NotGaius seem to have about Tory. 50 kinds of fantastic.
And like Alan Sepinwall asked - are we going to next get a scene where NotGaius and NotSix talk to each other in someone's head? That WOULD be nifty.
A collective sigh was heard across the internet when this scene came on: Strip Triad with Racetrack and HotDog?
Toasting absent friends... *tears up* Meanwhile, Adama reconsiders Aurora. C'mon Bill, do the right thing!
Like Marc Bernadin says, Adama IS a mean drunk. But he also has a good point here. An amazing, devastating scene. Roslin and Adama are both so hardcore, and this debate makes their disagreements over Baltar's trial seem like hopscotch on the playground.
There were so many fantastic scenes this week, it was hard to cut it down to just these five. I loved the Centurion revolt, and Lee's goodbye scene with Kara as well (especially bittersweet now that it appears these two will be separated for quite some time). The hybrid's speech about 8 minutes into the episode continues to haunt me - it means SOMETHING. Bear McCreary chose two of my favorite scenes to discuss in detail on his blog, which is a good read as always, if you enjoy juicy details on scoring the show.
McCreary also mentions that there are just a few more tickets to his BATTLESTAR GALACTICA concert next Tuesday (tonight's show has been sold out for some time). According to Katee Sackhoff in her Cort & Fatboy interview last week, concert host James Callis will be singing! I hope one of you out there will attend and let us know how it went!