Saturday, May 31, 2008

Videoblog: Lucy's Breakdown

"A rare glimpse into the all-consuming madness that is Lucy Lawless on the Battlestar set."


Rekha Sharma Q&A Part 2

Friday, May 30, 2008

Promo for The Hub

Preview for The Hub written by Jane Espenson via SevorTB.

ETA: Beware promo may contain a probable foiler.

Also, here's Bear McCreay's blog entry on how the music for SQN developed.

Remember if you have questions for the writer of SQN, Michael Taylor, send them to us.

Roslin/Airlock 2008

Don't forget that the deadline to order this posh, politically-correct new Glarkware tee is tomorrow.

Or, perhaps your politics lean in another direction? We remain partially impartial here at the Sitrep.

A note for Sackhoff fans in Philly

Katee Sackhoff's appearance at Wizard World Con in Philadelphia this weekend has been moved from Saturday to Sunday.

Tipster Kaj tells us that the Con has promised to honor previously purchased one-day Saturday tickets on Sunday if you are there for Katee. The Katee Sackhoff Fans site has confirmed this as well.

OK, fun's over people.

Now get back to your regularly scheduled cable viewing.

A Robot In Every Home

Michael Logan of TV Guide reports:

This is officially the coolest frackin' sci-fi collectible ever — and it'll only set you back $7,900! Fans of Battlestar Galactica can now purchase their very own 7-foot-tall, museum-quality Cylon Centurion complete with stereo sound and a menacing red LED-scanning eye. "This is not a mass-produced item from China; they're each handmade, signed and numbered by me in my L.A. studio," says craftsman Fred Barton, who specializes in high-end replicas of famous bots (Forbidden Plant's Robby, Lost in Space's B9 and — coming soon — Star Wars' C3PO and R2-D2). "The Centurions are a rarity among collectibles because there's no original model. They're computer-generated for TV. This is the only way to see one in person."

Read a press release on the Cylon Centurion posted on the Battlestar Blog by Drewcypher.

In other news, the Sci-Fi Channel has an Emmy Awards campaign site promoting their shows, and showcasing clips from Battlestar Galactica.

And Trek Movie Report has a some promos of Sine Qua Non, and other BSG links.

Sci-Fi.Com will be streaming the first ten minutes of Sine Qua Non here:
See a 10-minute sneak peek of each week's episode of Battlestar Galactica on SCIFI.COM.

Log on every Friday to watch a special LIVE streaming-video preview of the first act of that evening's new episode before it airs on SCI FI.

Live video streams will run on SCIFI.COM at the start of every hour from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To view the stream, you must have the latest version of Windows Media installed on your computer.

While the episode sneak peek is streaming live, you will not be able to pause it, rewind it, or fast-forward through it.

Namasté, and good luck.

Fake Ending

On his blog, BSG writer and co-exec producer Mark Verheiden writes about how they crafted fake scenes in last season's finale, "Crossroads Part 2" to prevent spoilers leaking out:

The whole process of writing these alternate scenes was interesting. On the one hand, you don't really want to waste much time on something you have no intention of shooting. On the other hand, if the scene isn't at least vaguely convincing, everybody will know it's a ringer and you wind up calling MORE attention to the moment. Further, the cast and crew were going to prep the show, at least at first, off these bogus scenes, so they couldn't be wildly divergent from what we were actually planning.

In this case, we had two revelations to mask. The unveiling of four of the final five Cylons, and the back-from-the-dead reappearance of Starbuck. Now, speaking for myself here, I always assumed that people were more or less expecting Starbuck to come back at some point. But the revelation of the four new Cylons, THAT was going to be the real eye-opener.

So our first bogus scene basically fudged that revelation. Instead of the four realizing they're actually Cylons, they come to believe the Cylons brainwashed them back on New Caprica to (possibly) do bad things.

...So the bogus version closed with a completely invented moment. After the Cylons have reappeared and our pilots are getting ready for battle, Lee rushes back to his quarters to grab a flight suit only to be confronted by Tigh, who promptly conks him over the head with a whiskey bottle (!). Leaving Tigh to wonder if the Manchurian Candidate mechanism had finally been triggered, and leaving poor Lee bleeding out on the floor.

If that had been the real ending to season 3, I wonder what fan reaction would have been?

Quote of the Day

IGN: I know you're a big Battlestar fan. Was it great for you to get to work with Tahmoh Penikett?

Joss Whedon: I'm gonna go out on a limb here and tell the truth – I've had a man-crush on Tahmoh since the first episode of Battlestar.

IGN: From the moment he stayed behind on Caprica?

Whedon: I had a feeling about him. I just had a feeling about him. I know, he gave up his seat to Baltar! Not bright, but cute! But no, he just has a presence. Tim Minear watched the dailies and he said, "I can't believe you found this guy. This guy is so hard to find. A leading man that has a real soulfulness and a real unique quality" and I just felt that from Battlestar, and he brought it completely [to Dollhouse]. When I spoke to him, he was the first person to mention Never Let Me Go, the novel, just from hearing the premise of Dollhouse. The beautiful sadness of that novel so suffuses what we're trying to do, and it was so beautiful when he brought it up that I just knew this guy [was right]. And it follows my rule with Nathan [Fillion]. Hire a Canadian! They're gentlemen and they're very tall.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Caprica pilot script read-through

E!Online's Jennifer Godwin has decided to share a ton more details from the 2006 CAPRICA pilot script she apparently has in her hot little hands.

It goes without saying that you should not read this if you are spoiler-sensitive! I decided to split the difference and just read the first two paragraphs, and the last two...and am quite satisfied.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Virtuality Casts Fallon

THR has news of the first VIRTUALITY role to be cast: James D'Arcy will be playing Roger Fallon. After reading casting sides info, io9 described Fallon as "the show's most freaky character — sort of a cross between Gaius Baltar and Brother Cavil." Eeeeeeexxxxcellent.

News & Notes

Quantum Mechanix have some great new merchandise available, some awesome posters of Six and Starbuck.

Edward James Olmos, Aaron Douglas, Alessandro Julani and Rekha Sharma attended London Expo and airings and firstlady1408 have reports and photos. There's some brief video of Edward James Olmos at the con here and here.

Sczep84 also has video of a Mary McDonnell interview outside of the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Center for Media.)

YouTube user llredline has an interesting series of videos featuring Edward James Olmos lecturing at Stanford University's Cesar Chavez Commemoration 2008.

Stimcat reports that "Avan Jogia was cast in the role of Ben Stark in Caprica. Born 1992 in Vancouver, Jogia is a Canadian of Hispanic, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry. His credits include appearances in "Aliens in America" and a few telemovies."

The Ottawa Citizen reports on Galactica's quest for closure.

BuddyTV talked to Rekha Sharma about how much she enjoys being a Cylon.

Wired reports on a YouTube video:

The video -- a one-man a cappella "re-imagining" of Galactica's stirring theme song -- was made by a 19-year-old who goes by the name Hug Hurd.
If you need to cleanse your palate after that, might I suggest this excellent music vid by KDLSProJectS. Or check out this cool Razor vid by Buffyfan357 found via Tweyelite.

Lastly, BSG visual effects artist Mojo has a great post on his blog about the Phantom re-edits of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Mojo shows a scene from the re-edit of Attack of the Clones by editor Mike J. Nichols, that really shows you how something can be vastly improved by some judicious editing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yup, it's true.

It is really, truly, actually true: Sky One UK aired "Sine Qua Non" tonight. Three days ahead of the rest of the world.

So some of you are seeing it early, bully for you! And if you have any questions for Michael Taylor about it, please send 'em in. Me I'm planning on hiding under my spirgin rock until Friday. Sigh.

In other news, everyone is blowing off network TV...and BSG's ratings are up! Huzzah!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Envelope Screening Series

According to this post over at The Envelope, the L.A. Times has organized a public Q&A screening series with the cast and creators of Emmy-contender shows such as MAD MEN, DAMAGES, BREAKING BAD, BIG LOVE, HOUSE...and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (June 11th at 7pm). All events are at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood.

Go here for schedule and RSVP info.

On The Envelope home page, it also says:

Admittance to each event is subject to availability of seats, and is on a first come/first served basis. There are approximately 236 seats in the theater for all screenings except Battlestar Galactica, for which there are 800 seats. If a seat is available to you, you will be contacted via email. When all seats are filled, no further invitees will be admitted. Your RSVP via this form is not a guarantee that you will be admitted. No "rainchecks" will be issued for a future event if any event is full.

Heheh. Of course they need 800 for us.

Our first poll: The BSG Movies

William "Husker" Adama/RAZOR

For Sitrep’s first ever reader poll, which is now on the right-side column of the blog, we decided to ask you guys what you would like to see in these rumored BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TV movies. ETA: yes, you can vote for more than one choice.

The good old days/EPIPHANIES

Apparently, if these movies actually get made, they will cover events that happened before the Season 4 series finale events.

President and President/EPIPHANIES

After you answer the poll, feel free to embellish away in the comments here...

Because the writers think it’s cool.

Immense regret and magical goo/RAZOR

They say lightning won’t strike twice, but Sitrep’s lucky streak continues this week and we are being given a chance to interview another BATTLESTAR GALACTICA writer: Michael Taylor.


Mr. Taylor joined the BSG writing staff at the beginning of Season 3, during which he wrote “Unfinished Business,” “Taking A Break From All Your Worries,” and “Crossroads Part 1.” He went on to pen Season 4 episodes “Razor,”** “The Ties That Bind” and next week’s “Sine Qua Non.” With Ron Moore, Taylor co-wrote the pilot for a potential new Fox series VIRTUALITY, the first details of which have begun to get out via casting sides as they gear up to shoot later this summer.

Does this seem crazy to you?/THE TIES THAT BIND

This time around, we will adding Sitrep reader questions into our interview!

Please feel free to send us questions for Mr. Taylor to email bsgsitrep at yahoo dot com.

Live the life you want to live before it's over/UNFINISHED BUSINESS

We will leave the floor open for new questions from today until Monday, June 2nd at 6pm US Pacific Time, so that you can ask about “Sine Qua Non” once it has aired on May 30th.

For all his crimes, he's one of us/TAKING A BREAK FROM ALL YOUR WORRIES

* Don’t get the post title here? Well maybe you need to listen to the “Razor” DVD commentary track one more time. All the way through. ;)

** Yes, “Razor” counts as part of season four. Why do you think the episode numbering is so frakked-up this year?

Battlestar Fanatica

Remember that lovely scrapbook idea some fans came up with last winter? Well it was done and delivered to set. The folks who took all our notes, art and mementos and put it together into the final book, have posted photographs of the pages over here.

There’s a note from Terry Moore as well:

Thank you so much for this lovely, lovely gesture. This is a sad and emotional ending for all of us, and something none of us are looking forward to.

The kindness and generosity of the BSG fans has meant so much to both Ron and myself, and we will treasure it, if we are lucky enough, (and I hope we are) to be its guardian.

You guys all rock, as always.

On a personal note, I think it will be especially hard for me as I look through the book and see the entries of those I have come to know so well. I still read the boards, mainly to feel like I am still connected to all of you.

I hope to see you all on the next one.

Fondest regards,


Gods I’m a little VERKLEMPT now. That is too sweet.
*applaudes, teary eyed*

The world’s coolest Cat Lady

Tricia Helfer on The Late Late Show this past Thursday:

Once again, Pyewacket approves.

[Hat tip to TriciaIsLove]

Off The Wireless

Wired reports that there is a betting site making odds on The Final Cylon. I guess they aren’t worrying about the kittens. Sigh.

A few more tidbits from all the recent TV network upfronts announcements:

...David Eick has, as was previously rumored, taken the showrunner reigns for the NBC series THE PHILANTHROPIST coming in midseason. The series was originally being written and produced by Tom “OZ” Fontana, who wrote the pilot and several other scripts but has since departed.

...Thanks to Margie at WatchingBSG for the news that LIFE ON MARS has been added to ABC’s '08-09 schedule. The show features Stephanie “Kendra Shaw” Chaves-Jacobsen and as Margie notes, “they gave it the post-GREY’S ANATOMY time slot, which could be great for that show and for Stephanie.”

...All About Tahmoh continues to attentively follow all news on Fox’s DOLLHOUSE, the midseason series that Tahmoh Penikett is co-starring in.

...It’s probably a tad too early, but anyone interested in Ron Moore’s VIRTUALITY should keep an eye on this Fox blog, which will certainly start pumping info if the show gets a green light to go to series. For now, any of you JJ Abrams & Joss Whedon crossover fans should take a look…something is definitely a-brewing over there. I'm still trying to figure out their methodology for post tags...

Lucy Lawless will be giving a free concert in Los Angeles at the Universal City Walk on June 29th. Her fan club will no doubt be covering all the juicy lucy details.

IGN recently spoke to Tricia Helfer…also note that her film WALK ALL OVER ME is now out on DVD. Cinematical has some details, and here’s an interview with the film’s director Robert Cuffley.

The Chief’s Deck examines the newly launched web site for BLOOD A BUTCHER’S TALE starring Aaron Douglas.

Tipster Luigi just sent us a nifty Easter Egg for the the newest version of Firefox now available for download: if you type "about:robots" into the address bar, all will be revealed (screen shot).

Discussions of the religion and science in BSG continue apace.

Livejournalists and fanfic lovers take note: the novel WIT’S END, by Karen Fowler (THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB) sounds really good

Full Ep: S4 x 09 "Guess What's Coming To Dinner"

The full episode is up on Hulu and

By the way, "Mojo" has posted a new entry about BSG's digital effects, this time discussing the shots from the episode above. He's also got some footage up of a favorite shot that had to be killed for time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A year from now.

Give or take a few months.

Battlestar Galactica - How It Ends

Great teaser, huh? I guess that's something you learn when you write television! Anyhow, there will be zero spoilers here, but since Aaron Douglas went public with his reaction to Ron Moore's script for the season four ender (which viewers probably won't see until sometimes in 2009), I figure it's okay to chime in and say...

It's simply... amazing. The sort of script where, when you finish, you just fall back in your chair in a daze, then call anyone in the loop and spend hours talking about how satisfying and powerful and (pick superlative of choice)... usually I would be a little mindful of raising expectations or succumbing to excessive hyperbole, but that's not going to be a problem here. Of course, I've seen what's coming up for the rest of season four, and I think it's all mighty powerful stuff (not to mention exciting, heart-breaking, "etc."), but to know it all culminates in something so remarkable... well, the bar for great television just got notched up another level. No kidding.

If that doesn't whet your appetite, nothing will... me, I'm on pins and needles waiting to see the first dailies!

-- Mark Verheiden, on Ron Moore's BATTLESTAR finale script


Laura Roslin: #1 With A Bullet

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Doctor and Mrs. Who dish

Tonight’s live Doctor and Mrs. Who Radio Show claimed to have even more scoopy news from their inside sources this week. The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan called into the show to confirm she is hearing some of the same things from her own BATTLESTAR GALACTICA sources. The Doctor says that he has heard:

  • For reasons that were similarly voiced by a production source to SyFy Portal recently, it does seem possible that CAPRICA could get a 10-12 episode order before the pilot film actually airs. The two-hour film (considered a “back-door pilot”) will need to be shot and shown to the network before any decisions are made. IMHO, it would be interesting to see if Sci Fi Channel could have the courage of their conviction and do what many other cable networks do: greenlight the whole darned series.
  • The contracts with Ron Moore and the rest of the BSG writing/producing team have now been signed to make all three TV films after Season 4 is wrapped. If the required cast are available, the first film could go into production this summer once season 4’s finale is done shooting. However, all bets are off at the moment about cast and crew availability for these films, and the scripts cannot be created without knowing which characters are available. Nothing has been written yet. Meanwhile, if there is a SAG strike this summer, shooting might be delayed.

No official announcements about any of this have happened yet. More as it develops.

SQN preview

For those of you outside the United States, the preview scene from the next episode, "Sine Qua Non" is now on YouTube:

And here's the "What the frak happened on BSG" recap for "Guess What's Coming To Dinner" also posted to YouTube by scifistorm. has posted part two of their fan q&a with Edward James Olmos. (h/t crazyvictoria on the Live Journal Battlestar Blog.)

Musician Scott Ian of Anthrax has updated his official Battlestar Blog with his thoughts on "Guess What's Coming For Dinner". Scott also talked to his friend Aaron Douglas who had just read the final scripts of Battlestar Galactica written by Ron Moore. Aaron told Scott the finale is "Frakking awesome!!! Best stuff Ron has ever written!! It will blow your mind. I just finished reading them and I am fighting a fruitless and losing battle with my tears. It is amazing... I have to shoot now after lunch and I am teary."

Aaron is not the only member of the BSG team to have that kind of reaction, so I think it's safe to say we all have something to look forward to seeing on the air.

Also, gammaraychick let us know in a comment and on the Battlestar Blog which episodes are being submitted to the Television Academy for Emmy consideration:

Best Actor:
Edward James Olmos - Sine Qua Non

Best Actress:
Mary McDonnell - Faith

Best Supporting Actor:
Jamie Bamber - Sine Qua Non
Michael Hogan - Sine Qua Non
James Callis - He That Believeth in Me

Best Supporting Actress:
Tricia Helfer - Guess What's Coming to Dinner
Grace Park - Guess What's Coming to Dinner
Katee Sackhoff - Six of One

(Link to GoldderbyForums)

Looks like Sine Qua Non is going to be an important episode for Adama, Tigh, and Lee.


Thanks to the lovely fans pennyfeline and larsfarm77, we can peep this (sort of spoilery) Canadian ad for the next ep, "Sine Qua Non":

Wow. This Brings to mind something ep writer/producer Michael Taylor said back in November:

Interviewer: Regarding the episodes you wrote, or any other episodes this past season, what details did you see in the finished episodes that surprised and/or delighted you?

Taylor: One moment comes to mind: I was in the editing room, watching one of our talented editors assemble a rough cut of a single scene. Not a huge scene, just a relatively brief but quietly powerful scene between Adama and Tigh (you’ll see it in Episode 8, “Sine Qua Non”). What struck me is that while the dialogue was relatively simple, these two actors brought so much to it that the smallest looks and gestures carried immense weight. It made me realize anew how, after four seasons, these characters have accumulated so much history and nuance. As embodied by actors like Edward J. Olmos and Michael Hogan, they are wrenchingly human. Less characters than people I have now spent years with, and who still surprise me.

Virtuality is casting...

...and you know what that means, spoiler mavens: juicy plot details and character descriptions.

io9 has what you want.

*experiencing vicarious thrills*

Rehash: Guess What's Coming to Dinner

Guess What's Coming to Dinner - BSG - Fan Trailer from nnaylime

There have been varied of reaction to Guess What's Coming To Dinner. Maureen Ryan in The Watcher for the Chicago Tribune says:

I don’t typically have time to watch a particular episode of television more than once.

But I watched last Friday’s episode of “Battlestar Galactica” two times in a row.

...Director Wayne Rose did a very cool job of shooting inside the damaged Cylon base star. The intermittent lights that flashed all over the broken ship made for some beautiful screen pictures. And as Alan Sepinwall pointed out, the final sequence, in which Athena’s opera-house visions and present-day search for her daughter were intermingled, was a case study in terrific directing and editing.

Then there’s Gaeta’s song, which stole the show. It was beautifully sung by Alessandro Juliani, who plays the long-suffering Gaeta and, according to “Battlestar” composer Bear McCreary’s blog, has had opera training (should we ponder the possibility of “Battlestar Galactica: The Musical”?).

FlickFilosopher MaryAnn Johnson reacts to GWCTD with:
Wow. Just wow. This is the kind of episode that reminds you -- as if you needed a reminder -- why this is one of the best shows on TV, and why it’s must-viewing every week. How everyone is at crosspurposes and misunderstands everyone else even as they’re trying to find common ground: fantastic.

The Six [Natalie] talking to the Quorum has got to be one of the most thrilling scenes the show has ever come up with.

“We’ve changed but the humans haven’t,” Six [Natalie] says to the other rebels, but the rebel Cylons have changed to become more human. Does she really expect the humans to change to become more Cylon? Maybe she does...

And then who kills the Six? Athena. A Cylon. Wow.

...I love the score under this episode, toward the end, when Roslin and Baltar go to visit the hybrid on the base ship: it’s more plaintive and almost melancholy than the score usually is, the drums and the strings and the wordless vocalizing. Really beautiful.

James Poniewozik in Time's Tuned In Blog writes:
So that's what happens when you unplug one of those things and plug it back in. Hybrids, apparently, really are like computers; if you don't shut them down properly, you can't be surprised when they behave erratically on restart.

There were a lot of nicely done scenes and elements in this episode—I particularly like Roslin and Baltar together, which it now looks like we may get more of than they bargained for. And there are all manner of implications to the Cylon rebels' decision to become mortal. (Although really: making the entire resurrection process vulnerable in one central hub? Wouldn't robots understand the need for redundant systems better? Ah, well, dramatic convenience.) Not to mention the anxiety among the Four that they're about to get fingered by D'Anna.

Eric Goldman for IGN observes:
We're getting to the good stuff now. This episode of Battlestar really ramped things up, and for the first time this season, truly reminded us that the show was heading towards the end game.

Len Neighbors for Athens Exchange praises Battlestar Galactica's complex writing:
It's been compelling for the whole season, complicated and beautiful. I think what's going on is that people are unaccustomed to processing television, or media of any kind, that deals with religion on more than the bumpersticker level. We've gotten used to complicated relationships (see The Sopranos or Studio 60), complicated plots (see The Wire, and then watch it again), and complicated mysteries (see Lost, and then wonder if something is really a mystery if even the writers don't know how it ends), but television, and especially science fiction television, doesn't deal well with religion.

Sure, science fiction arcs often include religion. Usually, religion motivates a monster, or the crew encounters a strange religion, or a show deals with the conflict between science and faith. But what's happening on Battlestar Galactica is utterly different from these situations. The Colonial Fleet is in the middle of a honest-to-goodness culture war. Human civilization is teetering on the edge of oblivion, and they're arguing about polytheism.

The odd thing is that it works. It's some of the most compelling science fiction I have ever watched, and the fact that they constructed a world in which this is believable and sustainable over this many episodes floors me.... For the first time, we're stuck in the same place the characters are: picking a side to believe in as a matter of faith.

Todd VanDerWerff for The House Next Door writes:
After a string of relatively contemplative episodes, Battlestar Galactica’s seventh episode of its fourth season, “Guess What’s Coming to Dinner?,” zips along with verve, finding little time for the character moments the last few episodes have been filled with, and concluding with one of the show's better cliffhangers. Written by Michael Angeli and directed by Wayne Rose, the episode must have been manna to fans who’ve been distressed by some of the more philosophical stones the show has overturned this season, especially one that made such excellent use of the entire cast. While there are a few points where the plot takes easy shortcuts instead of doing something more complex and interesting in the interest of time, the episode is another strong one for a season that is shaping up to be one of the show’s best.

Galactica Variants reflects on GWCTD:
How can it be expressed? All one could have hoped for and more. Guess What's Coming to Dinner blew the doors off! BSG is going exactly where I'd hoped and in strange and amazing ways ... and Gaeta's Lament - unexpected, bold, strangely beautiful (in that Bronze Age sort of way) ... and portentious.

Brittany of TheTwoCents writes in her recap and review:

Okay, thank you. That was my reaction for a total of twelve hours after seeing the episode. I’m not usually one of those ‘let’s e-mail and instant message everyone on the internet’ kind of people after an episode of this show, but Friday night I was calling people I’m sure don’t even watch. It was that good.

The Battlestar Galactica Review Blog describes the events of Guess What's Coming To Dinner this way:
It’s very much like a chess game between the Humans and the Cylon Rebels, played out on several levels. And like a chess game, the true intrigue and fascination is not in the checkmate, but in the quiet and delicate movements long before the endgame. Because this season is more serialized than ever before, the nuances require careful attention.

Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly recaps the episode, as does TV Fodder, io9, along with Cinemablend, Den of Geek, and Buddy TV.

BSG co-exec producer and writer Mark Verheiden answered readers questions about the episode, Guess What's Coming To Dinner at ComicMix.

Mark's fellow co-exec producer and writer, Jane Espenson commented on her screen writing blog about Michael Angeli's script:
So did you see last night's new episode of Battlestar? This one, called Guess What's Coming to Dinner? was written by the amazing Michael Angeli, and I think it's one of the strongest episodes ever. Suspense, chills and singing!

In celebration, I'm going to use a line from his draft to demonstrate one of my favorite writing techniques. Check this out:

Athena, frantic, wild-horse eyes, bolts down another part of the corridor, no sign of...


I've talked about this before, and this is a great example. And I'm not even talking about the stunning description of Athena's "wild-horse eyes".

See what he did structurally? By creating a sentence that bridges over the change in formatting (" sign of Hera"), he's making the inherently choppy structure of a script read more like prose, like a short story. This reader-friendly technique can be part of making your spec script feel enjoyable, not just as a description of a good potential filmed product, but in itself. Angeli's scripts are always literary objects in their own right and if the Battlestar scripts are ever published, I encourage you to devour them.

On her blog, Jane also details how she wrote the scene in Escape Velocity where Chief Tyrol becomes emotionally unhinged with Adama at Joe's bar.

She recently got back from Vancouver where they were filming an upcoming BSG episode she wrote, and has some other great tips and observations for screenwriters here.

Her Vancouver adventures also took an interesting turn... to find out how she ended up back in L.A. with a FedEx package of Ringo Starr's clothes, and how she dropped them off at his residence, you'll want to check this out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Galactica and Crystal Skulls

Some recent Sci-Fi Channel items posted to YouTube by SevorTB.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Preview clip: Sine Qua Non

A clip from the next new episode, "Sine Qua Non," is up on Hulu...note this ep airs on May 30.

Please do not put any spoilers for upcoming eps in the comments here, thank you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Moore Speaks

Wired has posted this interview with Ron Moore -- as well as the much longer full transcript version here. Some choice bits below.


Wired: What's the deal with Caprica? What's the schedule now?

Moore: It's busy. Caprica is going. We're in pre-production. We have a director. They're starting to cast right now.

Wired: Are you going to show-run?

Moore: Well, it's just a pilot for now. There's no order for a series, so there's nothing to show-run. There's just a pilot to produce, and I'm one of the producers. The script has been written for two years, so there's not a lot of heavy lifting on the page.

...Virtuality is a pilot that's been ordered by Fox Broadcasting and that Mike Taylor and I wrote. Were prepping that as we speak as well. We don't know where it's going to shoot, but it'll probably start shooting in July. And that's a two-hour, and well see when and if they order it to series.

On avoiding geekdom by accident
Wired: So, you described yourself as a fan of the original Star Trek series. Were you a geek as a kid? Is this the stuff that you did for fun?

Moore: I grew up in an interesting environment. I grew up in a small town called Chowchilla, California, which was about 4,500 people, and the way I grew up was in a town that was small enough where I could be a member of the marching band and the quarterback of the football team. I could love Star Trek and still be accepted as one of the jocks. I could really live in both worlds because everybody kind of did. It was just small enough.

I grew up with a big interest in a lot of nerdy stuff, but it didn't marginalize me in my peer group, and I was involved in a lot of other things, too. So it was sort of surprising to me when I left that environment and went into the big outside world, and people were like, marching band is like the geekiest of the geek, and I'm like, Well, really, because it wasn't in my town. And, you know, You're a Star Trek fan? Oh my god, You're such a nerd. I'm like, Well, but I was the quarterback!

Wired: You should have led with that.

Wired: There's a lot of religion on the show. Are you religious?

Moore: I was raised Catholic, and I'm a recovering Catholic now. I became interested in various Eastern religions, and now I've sort of settled into somewhat of an agnosticism and sort of a general interest in the subject. I think in the show I felt it was a part that was really noticeably missing from the Star Trek universe. Gene Roddenberry felt very strongly that by the 23rd and 24th centuries that all the major religions had vanished and it was all regarded as superstition. That was his view of the future. I just never quite bought that. I thought, that's part of who we are, it's part of what it is to be human, to seek to answer the questions of: Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more? What happens after you die? It didn't seem like that was going to go away.

So I sort of felt its absence in the Star Trek universe, and then felt like that was something I would really portray in Galactica. And then as the Cylons became human-looking, when we decided that they would look like us, it just raised a whole host of issues that went in this direction: How they thought of themselves, why they wanted to kill humanity, that they saw themselves as humanity's children but felt they could never really come into their own until they had killed their parents. Already You're dealing with these metaphysical and physical arenas.

And then there was that moment in the miniseries where I just saw on the page that had Number Six say "God is love" to Baltar and one network executive just seized on it and said that's a great thing, I'm just shocked, you should play more of that. I just took the chance and went with it — decided that that was going to be a big part of the show, and the show just lent itself to it.

On watching TV
Wired: What do you watch for pleasure?

Moore: I watch a lot of Seinfeld. I'm trying to think of what I have TiVo'd. I watch The Colbert Report, a lot of news programming. Charlie Rose. I got into Breaking Bad. That is a really challenging, interesting show. I watch Robot Chicken, which I think is one of the best comedy shows in the last 10 years.

Wired: It's safe to say they love you, too.

Moore: I was very surprised. I didn't even know my guys were doing that episode last season. I just was watching my Robot Chicken, and all of a sudden all my actors showed up. I called them up, I was like, what the fuck? No one told me! What's this, you guys?

I used to really like The Boondocks. That was very daring.

On his blogging and podcasting and so forth
Wired: You've been committed to those other forms...Webisodes, the blog, the podcasts. What's the importance of those?

Moore: Now I think they're almost expected. Now they're part of what it is to do a television show, especially in this genre. This genres fans are very connected to their computers, to all these multiple platforms, and they look for it. They're there to be served, so why wouldn't you serve them? We're planning webisodes for this season. My podcasting will continue, albeit depending on how quick I am about it, it'll happen. The blog is more — I don't know what to do about the blog. I go back to the blog. I created my own blog. I do it in bursts, and then I fall away from it. I find myself without a lot to say sometimes, and that's a fatal flaw in the blogosphere evidently. You're supposed to say something whether it's of value or not.

Wired: The fatal flaw is that people do it anyway.

Moore: Yeah, I just don't have a lot to say. I don't have a topic for a blog, so I don't write one till I think of something or the mood hits me. But I think it's great that these things are all out there and available, and certainly any project I do from now on will take advantage of these platforms.

On directing for the first time
Moore: It was tremendous. It was an amazing experience. I approached it with a fair degree of fear, like, wow, I've never done this, do I know what I'm doing? Will I look like an idiot? And I just tried it. But I have a cast and a crew that made it easy for me, and I enjoyed it, and I directed something that I'd written. It was a thing I'd never done, which is, you write a script and you play the movie in your head as you write it. At least I do. And one of the first things you have to lose in this business is that movie, because it's never going to be that way. You write the scene and envision them coming in camera left and sit down on this line, and then you watch the dailies and they come in camera right and stand through the whole thing. You just have to let go of that. You're handing your script over to other people who interpret it and realize it, and when you're directing, you can realize that. You can make the film I'm trying to make in my head. And yet you're still free to play around with it and the actors bring stuff and change stuff, and there are still surprises. But you can actually create what it is you're trying to achieve. That was great. I really enjoyed it, it didn't freak me out. I was calm. I made my days. I saved money.

I liked it. I liked being the guy who had to answer all the questions. I liked people coming up constantly and asking, should it be this or should it be that? It's that. Should we go here or there? Go there. Why are we doing this? This is why were doing this. What does this line mean? This is what the line means. Do you need coverage on this guy? No, I don't need coverage. I liked that. It was energizing and fun.

My son came with me. He's 9, and he sat on the set next to me for, like, four days and I couldn't pry him off that set. He sat there with his headphones and just lived in it, loved it, and I could kind of see the show through his eyes, and it was precious.


Thanks to those of you who made it to the Paley Center panel tonight here in New York. A good time was had by all.

After the event, the Whedonesquers and I went out for some drinks and some laughs. Seemed only fitting.

The Song

Posted to YouTube by mmmdelishus via the Battlestar Blog.

Casting News

Polly Walker in ROME

Some more CAPRICA casting news today: Polly Walker, who played Atia in HBO's ROME, has joined the cast to play Sister Clarice Willow. The Hollywood Reporter describes the character as "the gracious, eloquent and duplicitous high priestess and headmistress of the Athena Academy, a private religious school." What a wonderful choice.

THR also reports that Katee Sackhoff has signed on to appear in four episodes of FX's NIP/TUCK in its sixth season. She will play Dr. Theodora "Teddy" Lowe, "a new doctor who challenges Sean (Dylan Walsh)."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two Unrelated Things

For everyone out there wondering why "Guess What's Coming To Dinner" is not on Hulu yet: looks like Hulu has posted a schedule. It reads:

"Guess What's Coming for Dinner Part 1"
Airs 5/16/08 - Available on Hulu 5/25/08

"Guess What's Coming for Dinner Part 2"
Airs 5/30/08 - Available on Hulu 6/7/08

"Sine Qua Non"
Airs 6/6/08 - Available on Hulu 6/14/08

"The Hub"
Airs 6/13/08 - Available on Hulu 6/21/08

These titles and air dates are not all correct (take a look at for the accurate list), but you get the idea. Lag time, bbs. Lag time. One assumes the lag is the same for SciFi Rewind.

Although I am neither gamer nor lesbian, the BSG-lovin' grrls of Lesbian Geek in Australia asked me for an interview (was it something I said?)...and I obliged. They have also recently posted about BSG crossing over with both THE X FILES and THE L WORD.

[Photo via Salon]

Bamber and Callis direct Season 4 webisodes

We fans paying close attention have known about the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season 4 webisodes for a few months now. Mo Ryan confirmed this week that this new set of webisodes will bridge the 4.0 and 4.5 episodes. No airdates for the webisodes or 4.5 has yet been announced.

Now comes news from Jamie Bamber that he and James Callis will be directing the webisodes, which begin shooting in the next month.

While speaking on the live internet radio show TV Talk with Shaun OMac this past Friday, Bamber mentioned that he and Callis are each directing 5 of the 10 web shorts. He also covers his feelings on the "pressure-cooker environment" on the battlestar, Lee in season 4, performing with Mary McDonnell this year, that infamous Towel Scene, what is going on with TV drama right now, and a film he's hoping to do called MINEVILLE. (Bamber's interview starts 18 minutes into the program.)

Huge shoutout to asta77 at Bamber News for the tip.

Videos you should ask for

Due to popular demand, G4 Network has posted two more videos from the "Music of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA" concerts in LA last month, this time full videos of entire songs. BSG composer Bear McCreary also notes on his blog that all the video from the concert - including the hilarious "documentary" film screened at the shows -- are candidates for inclusion as extras on upcoming BSG DVD sets:

We are in the process of putting together a video of the complete concert and the documentary we premiered. Fear not. You will all get a chance to see this thing. I don’t know how yet… maybe I can convince Universal to include it on the Season 4 DVD, maybe we’ll release it online, maybe I’ll burn DVDs myself and leave them at bus-stops. But, it will get out there, I promise!

In all seriousness, though… some enthusiastic noise from the fan community will really help get this concert footage on the Season 4 DVD. So, if you want to see this, help out by drumming up some support online.

Sounds like something worth writing to NBC Universal's TV on DVD department about...doesn't it?

Meanwhile, for whatever reason, apparently fandom still has not stepped up to give enough pre-orders for production of this cool FedCon DVD set to commence. Come on now, fans of Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, Michelle Forbes, Nicki Clyne and Leah Cairns...send in those pre-orders! They are pretty close but not there yet.

Maybe this will encourage you to take the plunge: the DVD producers have now got a site up (bilingual English/German) with clips of their high-quality interview footage from the con.

All you need to do is send a pre-order email, committing to pay a measly $30/20 Euros for 6 hours of footage! And remember to mention if you want NTSC or PAL DVD format.

[Can I get that BSG lounging robe that James Callis is wearing above, at the same shop where Lucy Lawless found her BSG "Frak Me" hotpants? Are these on the NBCU online store yet?]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gaeta’s Lament

Bear McCreary has an in depth essay on his blog about the song "Gaeta's Lament" written for Guess What's Coming To Dinner:

This episode is a special one for me, because it represents the first time I’d been brought onboard at the script level. The scoring process is generally the last step in the journey of completing an episode. I’m accustomed to writing music for a finished story. Here, I had the unique opportunity to help shape the musical identity before production even began. Writer Michael Angeli, director Wayne Rose and actor Alessandro Juliani and I all worked closely together to bring this song to the screen.

...Michael [Angeli] sent me his lyrics and I set out shaping them into a song. The lyrics were poignant and melancholy, but with an odd sense of hope, setting an ambiguous emotional tone that suits our show’s music very well. To create the melody for the Lament, I started with a melody conceived for Gaeta in Season 1, an idea that ultimately never developed fully. However, in this context, it fit perfectly.

I shaped Angeli’s lyrics into a simple Verse / Pre-Chorus / Chorus structure. The line “To have her, please, just one day wake” really struck me. So, I set it as the Chorus, making it the most powerful and emotional moment in the song.

Read the entire post at Bear's blog for really informative quotes from Michael Angeli, and Alessandro Juliani about their collaboration.

Bear reports that he's currently in Vancouver on set:
Guess What’s Coming to Dinner was a wonderful experience for me, but it would not be the last time the writers asked me for music at the script stage. In fact, I’ve been working with writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle for two months on their final script for the series (the fourth to last episode of them all). This episode will integrate music directly into the story in incredibly daring ways.

And the timing of tonight’s episode is ironic. Guess What’s Coming to Dinner, the first episode to feature music recorded on the set, happens to premiere at the same time as I’m actually on the set myself, supervising new on-set Galactica music. I’m literally sitting on the hangar deck set in Vancouver right now, as I write this blog from my laptop!

I’m here for two weeks helping out with Weddle and Thompson’s new, unusually musical episode. I am observing on-set instrumental performances and even composing original music each night, churning out sheet music pages for the next day’s shoot. And they are allowing the show’s score to evolve in an unprecedented manner. Frak, this upcoming episode may perhaps redefine the role that music can play in narrative.

Something else to look forward to, probably in 2009...

Sine Qua Non

SevorTB posted the promo for Sine Qua Non airing in two weeks, written by Michael Taylor and directed by Rod Hardy:

Here's TV Squad's review of tonight's ep, "Guess What's Coming To Dinner" written by Michael Angeli and directed by Wayne Rose.


Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune tracked down her sources to get confirmation of what internet radio show, The Doctor and Mrs. Who, reported last night about the possibility of three Battlestar Galactica DVD movies being made. According to Maureen Ryan's sources:

Executives are now doing number-crunching for these proposed films, and any deals for these movies are far from done. However, it would make sense to make more “Battlestar” TV movies while the show’s creative team and actors are still all in one place, as it were.

According to one source at the network, the talk about the films is just idle chatter “at this point.” But several other sources close to the show says there is good reason for “cautious optimism” about one to three future “Battlestar” films, which would get made this summer, if they get the green light.

“Nothing’s etched in stone yet,” one source said – creative decisions haven’t been fully fleshed out and the casts have not been locked in.

Maureen also reports that there will be a set of webisodes to bridge the gap between the airing of the first half of season four, and the last half of the season.

The current batch of episodes will finish up in early June. Production is underway on the last 10 episode of the show and the final scenes for the series finale will be shot in June. Production could get under way on the TV movies as early as July, and one source says the films could get the green light in the next two weeks or so.

At this point, it’s not known when those last 10 episodes of "Battlestar" will air. Informed sources say that a decision on that won’t get made until mid-summer, so my guess is that Sci Fi won’t run the final 10 episodes until 2009.

Read Maureen's full report for more details.

Videoblog...Q&A...and something odd

The next videoblog has been posted ("One More Photo Op")...

Also Part 2 of Michael Hogan's fan Q&A...

Meanwhile, an eagle-eyed fan has noticed something about the Last Supper photo. Could be nothing. You never know with these people...they seem to be pretty darned crafty. But is the photo going to begin to change? Do we REALLY need to go over it again with a magnifying glass?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wicked cool rumors

On tonight's live stream, The Doctor and Mrs. Who net radio show reported rumors from their anonymous BATTLESTAR GALACTICA production sources that:

- CAPRICA will likely get greenlit to go to series before the pilot is broadcast.

- There will be three-count'em-three BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TV Movies produced after the series wraps. These films will go straight to DVD like RAZOR last year. Many of the current cast are willing to appear in them.

Exciting news if any of it turns out to be true...

Bamber call-in tomorrow night

An announcement from Shaun OMac's internet radio show:

Jamie Bamber is scheduled to be on TV Talk this coming Friday May 16.

An accomplished actor to say the least as well as a husband and father, it is an honor to have him on the radio show..We hope to while yes talk to him about Battlestar, also we want to hear what his future plans are?

The program airs at 6pm, and I believe you can call in live to ask questions.

Dollhouse Trailer

The first trailer and promotional photos for DOLLHOUSE, co-starring Tahmoh Penikett, have surfaced today following the Fox 2008-2009 upfronts presentation.

Note: Dollverse has a big high-res version streaming here.

A second clip of Penikett with co-star Eliza Dushku can be seen here at Seat 42. E!Online has plenty of updates on this show - including a scoop directly from Joss Whedon that the 7-episode order has apparently been upped to 13 episodes. Whedon also mentioned hoping he can hire Jane Espenson for the writing staff after BATTLESTAR GALACTICA wraps.

The show will premiere midseason on Monday nights just before 24.

Michelle Forbes and the Oceanic 6

Michelle Forbes (Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica) appears in the 2 part/3 hour season finale of Lost, starting tonight. Here is a short clip of one of her scenes via DarkUFO and Carlost.

Ticket Giveaway #2: Paley Center Panel

Hey New York City or Tri-State Area Sitrep readers:

I am giving away another 5 tickets to the TV Fansite panel at the Paley Center for Media, happening this coming Monday night in New York City.

All the panel details are here; come see a bunch of us fansite writers in person.

This just in from the Paley folks: the panel will be moderated by Alan Sepinwall, and will include a performance by the LOST recap band "Previously on LOST," for added fan-atical goodness.

This time we are giving away the tickets to randomly-selected folks who email me by 11pm Saturday evening (EDT)...send me your name and your favorite scene or dialogue line so far this season, to proggrrl at gmail dot com. Winners will be notified Sunday morning.

Angeli Also Rises

The Sitrep was lucky enough to conduct an email interview this week with Michael Angeli, Co-Executive Producer and Writer on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Before joining BSG, Angeli wrote for publications such as Movieline, Details, Esquire, and Playboy. Angeli went on to write for television, working as an Executive Story Editor on “Now and Again” and as Producer on “Cover Me,” and wrote for “Dark Angel.” He has also crafted scripts for “Monk,” “Touching Evil” and “Medium.” BSG scripts by Angeli include “Six Degrees of Separation,” “A Measure of Salvation,” “The Woman King,” and “The Son Also Rises.” This year he has penned “Six of One,” “Guess What’s Coming To Dinner,” and later this season, “Blood On The Scales.”

Angeli’s episode “Guess What’s Coming To Dinner” airs tomorrow night.

Logan Gawain: How did you come to write “Six Degrees of Separation” during the first season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA?

Michael Angeli: David Eick and I have known each other since we worked together on the show, “Cover Me,” for USA. Both of us loved Pro Football and the film, “Drugstore Cowboy.” I knew Ron through Rene Echeveria and Ira Behr, who’s a true Godfather to a bunch of us. In Malcom Gladwell-speak, Ira’s a connector. If you’re jake with Ira, you’re gonna get some mad respect.

LG: What led to you joining BSG in the 3rd season as a co-exec producer?

MA: Eick thinks big, he’s a terrific character and a long-suffering friend. Ron was this wildly talented, mysterioso figure I kept crossing paths with. While I was at “Touching Evil,” he wrote an episode for us. I remember when he came in. Most of the other writers were like, “Who the frak is this guy, with the Road Warrior hair and the James Dean vibe?” So I broke his story with him (which seemed ridiculous to me because from a professional standpoint, I knew who he was and he sure as hell didn’t need a lot of help). We spent about four hours on the outline. He went off and wrote a script that pretty much ended up being the shooting draft.

LG: What is like working in the BSG writers’ room, and collaborating on stories with such a large group of creative minds?

MA: I know you’ve heard this ad nauseam, but it’s an extraordinary room. No egos, no fears, no strict regimen. And no division of labor or area of expertise nonsense, either. It’s like a little renaissance in there – everyone knows something about everything. And it’s a rockin’ room. Taylor’s hysterical. Verheiden’s made a habit of pulling a great idea or a solution out of his ass five minutes before we we’re about to give up for the day. Weddle and Thompson couldn’t be more different from each other and yet, they’ve been together for like, 50 years. Jane’s a fantastic dancer. And when Ron starts pacing in the middle of a story arc, forget it, we have lift-off. It’s like John Belushi cranking out that rally speech in Animal House -- there’s no turning back.

The few times we’ve gotten mad at each other, in my opinion had more to do with not wanting to be mad at each other than the issue itself -- I mean, it sounds ridiculous but it’s true. We’ve been blessed with great chemistry and sadly, that doesn’t happen often in the land of the serial killers, where a series can be dead before it’s aired. I was on “Dark Angel” with Ira Behr, Rene Echeveria, Rob Doherty, Moira Kirland, Jose Molina, and Chip Johannesen. That was the last time I had nearly as much fun hanging with a group of writers.

LG: Once the group has worked out the outline of an episode, and it falls to you to write the script, how long does it normally take you? Do have a particular time of day where you focus on writing and do you listen to music while working?

MA: Time-wise, we’re all pretty much bound by the shooting schedule and production, which is like a Grizzly Bear with a tapeworm – it’s always hungry and needs to be fed scripts. Creatively, there’s no optimal time of day for me but I can’t write without music. Period. Gotta have it.

Gaius gets it from all sides/A MEASURE OF SALVATION

LG: In “A Measure of Salvation” was it fun to torture Gaius? Was there a lot of back and forth with the network over how the torture/beach sex fantasy scene would work?

MA: Well, it was fun to watch. And the concept of using some wonderful sexual daydream to not only nullify the sensation of excruciating pain but to convert your torturer seemed potentially rewarding to me. Tricia, James, and Lucy really sold it, too. And because the network understood the intent of the scene (it wasn’t gratuitous), they had no major issues.

LG: My favorite scene in “The Woman King” was when Helo punches Tigh, and Tigh does his insane laugh seeming to enjoy getting smacked around. What were the origins of that scene?

MA: Originally, the show was supposed to open in the teaser with Helo cold-cocking Tigh and we’re supposed to wonder what the frak caused Helo to snap so completely; what compelled him to act so out of character. That event occurs in the present. Then Act One begins two days earlier and by the half-hour break we’ve caught up to the present – that’s how the script was written. Ron was in favor of the time-trifling device but Michael Rymer wanted to play the story as it unfolded without the time switches.

Oozing with grief/THE SON ALSO RISES

ProgGrrl: “The Son Also Rises” is one of my favorite eps from last season - it is oozing with grief over Starbuck's death, which I can tell you fandom was most certainly experiencing that week. Romo Lampkin is introduced, and the groundwork is laid for Baltar's trial. All the actors were just incredible here, and this episode also has one of my absolute favorite scenes from last season: where Lampkin interrogates the Six, with Lee, Roslin, Adama and Tory watching (the "pen scene"). Did it all turn out the way you hoped? What were some of the challenges with that episode, and what were some of your favorite moments to script, or to see realized?

MA: I was thoroughly pleased with the episode. But it was a tough show to, er, shepherd through. Eddie Olmos absolutely HATED the cat, which immediately became a problem because a cat scene was scheduled for our 1st day of shooting. Eddie comes up to me and says, “Mikie, you wrote a beautiful script. Why fuck it up with a cat? Get rid of the damn cat.” Bob Young, the director and a very patient man is ready to drown the cat. But to me, the cat’s crucial so I ask Eddie to just let us do a couple of takes with Jerry (the cat’s real name) and if it doesn’t work, we’ll fire the cat. I go to the cat wrangler – who’s heard everything – and he’s like, “No worries. Jerry will hit his marks.” I look in Jerry’s kennel and he’s cowering in the back of it, like he’s heard everything. In the scene, the cat’s supposed to leap on Laura’s desk. First take, the cat jumps too far and sails off the desk. Eddie’s shaking his head. But on the second take, Jerry lands right in front of Laura – and the cat stays in the picture.

I loved the first scene with Romo and Baltar. The last scene with Romo and Lee kicked it. But my favorite was the Caprica Six/Romo scene. Some really gorgeous acting from Mark and Trish.

Six with Romo Lampkin, pen thief/THE SON ALSO RISES

LG: Ron has said that he always tells the writers to surprise him. When he got your script he said he was surprised by your making Romo a kleptomaniac, and that he loved the idea. How did that idea come about? It certainly reveals so much about Romo's character.

MA: Way back when we decided to put Baltar on trial and have him found innocent, I kept thinking to myself, whoa, how the hell are we going to swing that? Whoever represented him would have to frakking steal the verdict – and off it went…

Mark Sheppard as Romo/THE SON ALSO RISES

LG: What was your reaction to Mark Sheppard being cast as Romo? He's so perfect in the part. What has he been able to bring to the table?

MA: Not long after I finished the production draft of “The Son Also Rises,” David Eick called and told me about this actor and how great he was and did I see “In The Name of The Father?” Ron and David thought this guy, Mark Sheppard, would be great for Romo Lampkin. I didn’t remember him from “In The Name of The Father” but they sent me his picture and at least he looked right, so I was like, sure. I had no idea Mark would be as good as he was. At the table read, he knocked me into another time zone. He’s a great actor who should be working more. And, like Katee and Trish, he’s got the savant thing going with chunks of dialogue. I can’t remember who’s buried in Grant’s tomb – Sheppard does a page of dialogue on the first take. And he brings energy, too. It’s like having a great actor and The Stanford Band on the set. He pumps everyone up. And I hope we’ll be friends for a long time. He’s got a heart the size of a base ship.

Gaius squared/SIX OF ONE

PG: My first peek at Gaius/Head Gaius talking together, in some “Six of One” footage that leaked onto the internet before broadcast, was such a delight. You and James Callis must have had some fun with that. You've said you've been interested in exploring Gaius talking to Head Gaius for some time...was it a challenge to push for it in the show?

MA: Yeah, Gaius-squared was a tough sell. When I first brought it up it was like Dennis Hopper’s line in Apocalypse Now, “The heads, the heads, you’re just looking at the heads.” The consensus was that we already had too many “head” characters (apart from Ron, I think Jane was the only one who got really jazzed with the idea of Head Gaius) but Ron, um, put his on the chopping block and let Gaius-squared stay -- for a while, anyway.

LG: The most intense Roslin/Adama scene of the series, could be called the "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf" scene in Adama's quarters as he drinks and they argue bitterly about Starbuck, and all their emotions rise up as they tear each other down, ending with Adama telling Roslin that her death would be “as meaningless as everyone else's."

MA: Ron and I talked at length about this scene. The idea was to portray them as two people who at this point, have been through hell and back, who know each other extremely well – they’re frakking adults, right? -- and have enough trust in each other to dispense with the small talk and the long way around the truth. Ron asked me to really push the whole Adama-believes-in-miracles idea instead of being how Laura always knew him, as “Admiral Atheist” and it was such a great remark I ripped it off and put it in the script. It’s probably the best line in the show.

Mary and Eddie rehearsed at full-tilt. That’s how into it they seemed to be.

PG: So…the strip triad card game: your idea? I know several Racetrack fans who may hug you if they ever meet you.

MA: You probably know more fans who want to keelhaul me as a sexist ass face. But, yeah, that was my idea. As far as Bodie Olmos (Hot Dog) taking off his pants, that was purely his…

LG: Do you have any thoughts about the WGA strike and how those 100 days played out for you?

MA: The Strike pretty much blew chunks for all of us and if I may be so bold, it hurt us even more because we loved working on our show. Lots of things got fixed around my home. I built fences, replaced gutters, walked the dogs and folded a lot of clothes…

PG: TV producers and showrunners have all sorts of opinions about how the internet has further encouraged/empowered film and TV fans, and how much "TPTB" ought to engage with it. With BSG we have Mr. Moore, a self-professed Trek nerd turned TV writer turned showrunner, who regularly keeps his fandom fed and interacts often (as does his wife). On the other end of the spectrum is Mr. Eick, preferring to keep his distance (or so he claims). Where does the BSG writers room fall in this spectrum - are BSG blogs ever being read on a computer in your office? Are you guys ever reading the forum on Friday nights after the broadcast?

MA: Yeah, some of the writers are huge lurkers (is that the right word?). And of course, as you already know, both Jane Espenson and Mark Verheiden have their own blogs and network quite a bit through them, so it seems. But we don't read any blogs in the room; everyone slinks off to the privacy of their offices and evidently checks in on your site and Television without piety, er, pity, whatever. I know that Bradley Thompson probably learns about through osmosis, since his girlfriend is big in the BSG/BLOG/internet community. Also, for the sake of spoilers, accuracy, etc. I believe our writer's assistant, David Reed monitors the various websites regularly.

PG: Ron Moore has been incredibly outspoken about his enthusiasm for new media and online distribution of, well, just about anything having to do with BSG. How do you feel about working on a show that has a pretty tech-savvy, early-adopter type fan base? Does it make any difference from where you sit?

MA: From what I can see, it seems as though sites such as yours do serve as a kind of unofficial P.R. entity and to be able to mobilize our fan base for BSG-related events, i.e., Comic Con, Bear McCreary's concerts, and various charity events is an asset, as is the pure exposure generated for the show. But shows such as "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "30 Rock," and "The Sopranos" have/had considerable Internet-based followings consisting of, I'd venture to say, people who aren't tech-savvy. I think it all has more to do with the steady migration of fans to these various platforms -- which possess their own advantages, in terms of advertising, timely information, etc. Great TV shows have always had their fans. The difference now is they can be heard from almost instantaneously, they can communicate with each other much easier and faster, and the flow of information about their shows (i.e., stars, episodes, reviews, events, etc) is time-relevant and continuous.

LG: What can you tell us about your next episode up, "Guess What's Coming to Dinner"? In non-spoiler terms, what can we look forward to in this episode?

MA: A new, er, female pilot and a honker of a revelation somewhere around the end of Act One.

LG: Do you have more episodes of BSG to work on this season, and what can you hint at, without spoiling the fun?

MA: We finished shooting Ep. 16, “Blood on the Scales,” a few weeks ago. The show’s kind of incident-oriented, so I can’t really say much, sorry.

PG: You've had all sorts of experiences during your journey from celebrity journalism to scripted dramatic series TV…have you ever considered a Hunter S. Thompson-style autobiography?

MA: I've been asked a number of times and been offered sick money for it, but now's not the right time....

LG: Overall, what's been the best aspect of working on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, what will you miss from working on the series?

MA: Ron Moore and Ron Moore.

We profoundly thank Michael Angeli for taking the time to share with us and our readers so many great insights into his work and all the collaborative effort that goes into making BSG the best written show on television.