Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bringing Back The Dead

Ben Rawson-Jones, Cult Editor of Digital Spy reviews season 4.0:

The apparent discovery of Earth should have been a triumphant moment for both Capricans and the rebel Cylons, but the post-apocalyptic terrain they found totally subverted their and our expectations. The eerie silence as the camera pans across the desolate landscape before revealing a city in ruins is truly breathtaking.

The series continues to transcend the sci-fi genre and bring out real emotions, social issues and conflict. The wait to discover the final Cylon and resume the fourth season in 2009 will be agonising.

io9 reports on how Billy (Paul Campbell) almost came back from the dead in The Hub, but when Campbell wasn't available Jane Espenson did a search and replace on the script and gave all of his lines to Elosha. As Jane told Ron during their podcast commentary for the episode:
In a hallmark of what I consider really fine writing, I just did a global search and replace on the name. I did not change the lines. The only thing I did... I added 'Cue the celestial trumpets.' That one phrase that Elosha has was all I did to change it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We have a winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Galactica Sitrep/Adama For President shirt give away. (See below.)

But, we now have a winner.

Congratulations to Brooke in Kansas.

The shirt will be on it's way to you first thing Monday morning.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I wish everyone could win. We'll try to do this again, and perhaps we can roll over the current entries or something. We'll keep you posted.

Anyone Want a Tee Shirt?

Greg Dewar of the awesome site, Adama for President.Org has provided the Sitrep with an Adama '08 tee-shirt for us to give away to one of our lucky readers.

I have the shirt right here, wrapped in a nice package. The tees are printed so they don't fade as long as you wash them in cold water and avoid drying them at high heat (or just hang drying them).

Greg sent me another one of the shirts to keep myself. It's really cool. It's made of excellent quality 100% cotton (a Hanes tagless tee shirt).

The shirt we're giving away is brand new, size large, and looks just like it does in the photo above. (I'll ship it anywhere in North America, and will consider global shipping as well.)

All you have to do is send an email to BSGSitrep (at) yahoo (dot) com with "Free Adama Shirt" in the subject line, and include your name and shipping address. I'll try to get it shipped to you in time for Colonial Day.

You know how a radio station gives away concert tickets to the 95th caller? Well, that's how were kind of doing it this time.

The shirt goes to the 12th emailer! (In honor of the 12 colonies.)

Meanwhile visit Adama for President and check out their other patriotic products that celebrate colonial democracy.

Good luck, and good hunting.

UPDATE: We have a winner. Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more contests in the future.

Caprica & TV Movie News

The Dr. and Mrs. Who Blogtalk Radio show recently reported that the pilot for Caprica finished filming in Vancouver, but there's no indication yet when they will start production on the 13 episode first season. The radio program also revealed that shooting on one Battlestar Galactica TV movie is a go, but that it remains an open question if the second or third films will get made. It all depends.

Further, the Sitrep has learned that while Caprica hasn't been green-lit for a 13 episode run yet, the show order could come within days.

Additionally, our sources indicate that in fact the first telemovie will focus mainly on three characters (think Cylons) and offers are on the table for those actors currently. Additional co-stars will depend on various actors availability. (As we've reported many are joining other series that are likely to be in production when the BSG film is being shot.) It's expected that Edward James Olmos will appear in the film, since he's also slated to direct it. SyFy Portal recently noted that David Weddle and Bradley Thompson were expected to write the film, however circumstances could change, especially if the current talks between SAG and the AMPTP over the new actors contract were to break down:

If a movie does come into being, the first one will be penned by Weddle and Thompson, who also [wrote] the mid-season premiere [Sometimes A Great Notion] that airs in early 2009.

"It would go back into history to tell part of the story that has never been told," Weddle said [of the telemovie]. "We have very definite ideas of what that story would be. I think it will be very cool and fans will really like it. It won't add any new chapters, but it will enrich their sense of depth and texture."

Walking Around Earth

Matt and Nat of the BSGCast went on location to earth to shoot their reaction to Revelations.

Here's the original ending of Revelations again:


This is a picture of Nicki Clyne's water purifier. Does it have a plan? Nicki also recently appeared on Canada's Hypaspace.

BSG has brought the idea of eating algae into the mainstream. (Uh... kinda.) Anyway, now there's now real talk of using algae as a jet fuel.

Variety and Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog note the absense of Battlestar Galactica from the Emmy short list.

Buddy TV reports on the various pilots and TV series that have signed various BSG cast members.

TV with MeeVee's Conspiracy Corner elaborates on one of the wilder BSG theories. (No spoilers. Just a theory.)

Youngestof6 posted this convention footage of Nathan Fillion, of Joss Whedon's "Firefly," and "Serenity," where he's asked about rumors that he dated Tricia Helfer, 'Number Six' of "Battlestar Galactica."

Tricia actually talked about this at cons before including on a panel that was moderated by Kevin Smith.

Oh, Canada

BSG co-exec producer/writer Mark Verheiden chronicled on his blog his thoughts about Battlestar Galactica wrapping up, as they sail into history.

I guess all this quasi-philosophical musing comes to mind on the eve of the Battlestar Galactica wrap party, and realizing just how special this experience has been. As writers, we were challenged to do our best work, in an environment that allowed incredible creative freedom to deal with emotional, political and theological themes. Plus robots, spaceships and shoot-outs. The old axiom "you don't know what you have until you lose it" may be true for some, but I've been doing this long enough to know what a rare and wonderful gift this has been. And I'll always be grateful to Ron Moore, David Eick, the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel and NBC/Universal, the incredible cast and crew, and especially my fellow writers, for making this a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Friday, June 27, 2008

So, what are you doing this weekend?

From Fun with Jaydi:

Sat. June 28th, 8pm
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City at City Walk

Attention, Battlestar and Xena fans:

Lucy Lawless (pictured) will be SINGING at Universal City Walk. For FREE. This performance on the stage outside the movie theater is one you won't want to miss!

The Emmys are frakked (again)

AICN reported that Battlestar Galactica didn't make the list of ten finalists for Best Drama. So, what did make the list of ten finalists?

Boston Legal
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
Mad Men
The Tudors
The Wire

Mostly shows well regarded by critics, by and large. I've seen House maybe a dozen or so times, and Hugh Laurie is great. I saw Dexter a few times and liked it a bit. I watch Boston Legal when I'm looking for wry topical humor. Plus any Shatnerologist has to watch Denny Crane from time to time. But, if I were voting off of this list, I'd be torn between Lost and Mad Men. I'd probably vote for Lost. But, Mad Men is going to win. Unless all the voters are on drugs, in which case Grey's Anatomy wins.

While I was reading AICN I noticed that Harry Knowles reports that he had a visit with J.J. Abrams and was shown a few roughly cut scenes from Star Trek. It sounds promising.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

EJO Speaks Out

Edward James Olmos signed an ad run by SAG regarding on going contract talks between SAG and the AMPTP. Variety reports that SAG feels that the present offer is inferior to what the majors have offered to AFTRA.

For its part, SAG placed an ad in today's edition of Daily Variety with the names of about 70 supporters of the negotiators. Signers include Josh Brolin, Louis Gossett Jr., Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Amy Madigan, Viggo Mortensen, Jack Nicholson, Nick Nolte, Edward James Olmos, Sandra Oh, Rob Schneider, Harry Dean Stanton, Ben Stiller, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Rainn Wilson.

Here's the text of the ad:
Dear SAG members,

Support your negotiating team! We continue to bargain with the AMPTP daily. Our goal is to reach a fair contract for television programs and motion pictures and improve your wages and working conditions.

You can show your support by signing on to the solidarity statement below by emailing with your name and SAG membership number (NOT your social security number!).

Once we receive your email, we’ll add your name to the growing list of Screen Actor Guild members who have pledged to stand together in support of these critical negotiations.

Please visit for daily updates.

Screen Actors Guild continues to bargain for a fair contract. And we are not finished. We believe that there are issues that are at the heart of every actor’s career that remain unresolved by AFTRA.

• Significant increases: Minimums, schedule and money breaks, pension and health contributions, increases for background actors, stunt performers, mileage reimbursements and major role premiums.
• Residuals for all new media.
• NO non-union new media productions.
• Protections from Product Integration abuses.
• Reasonable Residual increase payments for DVDs.
• Preserve Force Majeure protections

We believe AFTRA should go back to the bargaining table, with SAG, and fight for a better contract.

Our Screen Actors Guild negotiating team is working 24/7 to get a fair contract for 120,000 SAG members.


Patricia Arquette
Rosanna Arquette
Ed Asner
Scott Bakula
Anita Barone
Bonnie Bartlett
Justine Bateman
David Berman
Susan Blakely
Eric Bogosian
Joe Bologna
Tom Bower
Josh Brolin
Keith Carradine
Dixie Carter
Seymour Cassel
Dave Clennon
George Coe
Bill Daniels
Laura Dern
Michael Dorn
Anne Dudek
Frances Fisher
Joely Fisher
Kate Flannery
Jorja Fox

Willie Garson
Matthew Glave
Elliott Gould
Paul Guilfoyle
Louis Gossett Jr.
Ed Harris
John Heard
Marg Helgenberger
David Huddleston
Holly Hunter
Anne Jeffrys
Anne-Marie Johnson
Lainie Kazan
Heather Paige Kent
Diane Ladd
Beth Littleford
Ron Livingston
Tony Lo Bianco
Kent McCord
Amy Madigan
David Marciano
Debi Mazar
Viggo Mortensen
Matt Mulhern
Jack Nicholson
Nick Nolte

Edward James Olmos
Leland Orser
William Petersen
Emily Procter
Lily Rains
Anne Ramsay
Jeremy Ratchford
Alan Rosenberg
Alan Ruck
Rob Schneider
Martin Sheen
Nancy Sinatra
Harry Dean Stanton
Connie Stevens
Ben Stiller
George Takei
Regina Taylor
Renee Taylor
Lea Thompson
Mark Totty
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Lisa Ann Walter
Chandra Wilson
Rainn Wilson
Scott Wilson
Alicia Witt

Click here to view ad(PDF)

To sign on, email with your name and SAG membership number (NOT your social security number!).

In issue 17 of SciFiNow coming out in July, Eddie Olmos talks about the end of the series, and what's in store for everyone:

Edward James Olmos has said that audiences will not be prepared for the upcoming finale of Battlestar Galactica, in a panel at London’s MCM Expo and an exclusive interview with SciFiNow.

“It’s not a happy ending, we end up with almost nothing,” the 61-year-old actor told journalists from the magazine over the weekend, while jokingly recommending that people don’t watch it. Previously in the day, Olmos had described how highly he rated the show, reaffirming his previous statement that it was the best television that he had been involved with. “Twenty years from now, people will see this as excellent post-9/11 television. It’ll be marketed in a way that demonstrates sociological change for the time.”

Olmos also revealed that the cast now know who the final Cylon is as they’ve shot the last episode, but he remained tight-lipped over the final fifth’s identity. However, Aaron Douglas did say that all of the guesses and popular theories he’d seen on internet forums and blogs “don’t even come close”.

Off Topic: 1962

The first season AMC's series Mad Men comes out on DVD next week. And season 2 starts in a month. Marueen Ryan has the first pictures of season 2. Here are some promos that give you the flavor of Mad Men:

So, you might ask why is a Battlestar Galactica blog talking about Mad Men? Well, for the same reason I occasionally talk about Lost: Shows with great writing. (And BSG, Lost and Mad Men are about the only dramas I watch.) Besides you're not going to find any better program than Mad Men to watch over the summer, and while we wait for BSG to return next year with Sometimes A Great Notion. So, check it out.

See also, this excellent Mad Men blog, Basket of Kisses.


BSG writer David Weddle talked to SyFy Portal's SyFy Radio talk show:

"This is not an attempt to manipulate people," Weddle said. "Earth is a metaphor for all of us, whatever our hopes and dreams might be. There is no land of Oz at the end of the rainbow for any of us. When your dreams are shattered, what do you do? Where do you go from there? And that's what we wanted to investigate. It has larger thematic implications about war and destruction and the ability to rise above conflict."

"Because our profile is so low, we've been able to tell the kinds of stories we've been able to tell," Weddle said. "We're off the radar because we're just a sci-fi show, and we've told some pretty amazing stories because we're just a sci-fi show. We're not on the radar of the networks, or the censors. To me, that's a positive way to look at it."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tricia Helfer Is Everywhere

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Tricia Helfer has been tapped to co-star on Fox's drama pilot "Inseparable," from ABC Studios and writer/exec producer Shaun Cassidy, is a modern-day Jekyll and Hyde tale about Justin/Clyde (Lloyd Owen), a partially paralyzed forensic psychiatrist with a split personality whose alter ego is a charismatic criminal.

Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica") will play Mason Wicks, a psychiatrist who evaluates suspects for the police department. The casting stems from the talent holding deal Helfer inked with Fox in April.

This is in addition to her recurring role as Carla on USA's Burn Notice. Maureen Ryan for the Chicago Tribune interviewed the executive producer of Burn Notice, Matt Nix, the creator of the USA Network show. Nix talks about becoming a fan of Tricia because of Battlestar Galactica, and also notes that they used another BSG actor, Lucy Lawless as a guest last season.

In other casting news, Sam Witwer ("Crashdown" from seasons 1-2) has been cast in Smallville to play über-villain Doomsday.


Jason Dorough for Film School Rejects writes about The Ten Coolest Battlestar Galactica Collectibles.

New Moore Podcasts

Sci-Fi.Com has posted new Battlestar Galactica podcasts. The Hub, has commentary by executive producer Ronald D. Moore, Jane Espenson (co-exective producer/writer of the episode), Michael O'Halloran (editor of episode), and Andrew Seklir (supervising editor). For "Revelations" you can listen to commentary by Moore, David Weddle (writer of the episode), Bradley Thompson (writer of the episode), and Julius Ramsay (editor).

If you subscribe to the podcasts you'll also note they added the commentary for "Faith" to the feed. But, that podcast was posted online to a while ago. However it didn't turn out well, and is of really poor audio quality due to technical problems Ron was having.

So, that's why they recorded the podcasts for The Hub and Revelations at the studio, so as produce higher quality podcasts.

Check them out, they are well worth listening to.

Also, Trek Movie Report has the last segment of their interview with Ron Moore online.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Revelations Recap

SkiffyFan on YouTube posted this video recap of the season four mid-season finale of BSG, "Revelations." Based on audio from

Church of the Third Revelation

In an article that links to various final Cylon theories, Marueen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune talked to Ron Moore and confirmed the following information:

Moore confirmed to me that the final Cylon is not any of the people in the Last Supper photo.

From the Arclight Dome, Sci-Fi Pulse has new video of the arrivals of Mary McDonnel, Katee Sackhoff, Tricia Helfer, Ron Moore, and Universal cable exec Bonnie Hammer. in partnership with was granted the opportunity to interview Ken Hawryliw who is Property Master for the hit Scifi series Battlestar Galactica. Ken shares insight into the processes involved with developing props for the show and the behind-the-scenes magic he performs to make them so believable.

Several Canadian outlets, CTV, Canadian Press, and 24 Hours Vancouver talked to UBC professor C.W. Marshall, who teaches Greek and Latin poetry and fellow UBC professor, Tiffany Potter, who have edited a book of papers called Cylons in America: Critical Studies in Battlestar Galactica.
Marshall says the book falls into three major sections, the first looks at how post 9-11 life is reflected in the series.

"The series is really trying to reflect in a fictional world the real things that are happening after 9-11," he says. "The second section has a series of papers that deal with what constitutes being human. In the television series the surviving humans are fleeing the robotic Cylons. But the question of whether the Cylons are human, can be treated as humans, under what circumstances they can be seen as human - really these are philosophical questions that again map onto a post-9-11 world, when we can feel comfortable bombing another country because they're not like us.

"And the third section is really looking at the series in terms of television today. How this series is at the forefront of a wave of new television that's really quite exciting and thought provoking."

Tiffany Potter, who co-edited "Cylons in America" with Marshall, says because "Battlestar Galactica" is science fiction and rooted in fantasy, it can explore topics in ways that would be difficult for a series set in the contemporary United States.

"The problem with talking about that on CNN or Fox News is you immediately risk alienating a substantial part of your audience," says Potter.

"As soon as you translate that to outer space, it's not real. You're able to make it about a space president and a space election. When you remove that threat to people's own self-construction, then they can ask the hard questions."

The Hollywood Reporter has news on the Fox pilot Virtuality written by Ron Moore and Michael Taylor, which has cast the lead role of Frank Pike with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who previously stared in the Fox series New Amsterdam.

And at The Atlantic Monthly Asymmetrical Information blog by Megan McArdle, attempts to answer a reader's question on how to get his wife into SF and Battlestar Galactica in particular.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Richard Hatch at Wrath of Con:

Trek Movie Report has part two of their three part interview with Ronald D. Moore. (Here's part one.)

The New York Times profiles USA/Sci-Fi Cable exec Bonnie Hammer about her approach to programming, and how she brought Battlestar Galactica to the Sci-Fi Channel.

Music of the Spheres

In the New Jersey Star-Ledger Alan Sepinwall profiles two of the best composers on the scene right now, Michael Giacchino of LOST and Bear McCreary of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA:

In recent seasons, McCreary's music has even become a part of the plot. At the end of the third season, "Galactica" producer Ronald D. Moore wanted to use Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" as the song that four human characters would hear to realize that they were really robotic Cylons. He tasked McCreary - without telling him what the story was - with penning a version of the song that didn't sound like Dylan, or Jimi Hendrix, but "like 'Galactica.'"

Working blind, McCreary cooked up a version that was equal parts Middle Eastern and heavy metal, and Moore liked it so much that it became far more prominent than originally planned. This past season, McCreary was asked to write an opera song for one character to sing while recovering from the loss of a limb, and the writers have come up with a musician character for the final batch of episodes (due sometime in 2009) who's loosely modeled on McCreary.

..."For me," says McCreary, "it's an opportunity to show that it's still possible to write music for television - on a deadline and budget that would make composers for film weep - that's intelligent and artistic and something that is worth a second viewing."

A Week on Earth

Revelations on Hulu.

Perrin at TV Fodder has written an opus of an in-depth review of Revelations well worth the read.

Daniel Martin in The Guardian wrote after viewing the finale:

Anyone who thought the story might end with the ragtag Colonial Fleet finally finding Earth has been suckerpunched right out of the airlock. After a tense episode of Cylon revelations and hostage deadlocks, the euphoria of the Admiral's announcement to the fleet could be matched by only one thing.

And that was the magnificent tracking shot at the end where they get down to find their new home to be a burnt-out nuclear ruin.

And was that supposed to be the Brooklyn Bridge at the end?

Even more so than war, BSG's major theme has been faith - and since they had nothing left to believe in, the human survivors found themselves clinging to a religious myth of "earth". Nobody believed it existed: Adama used the scriptures as a carrot to give his fleet hope. It only became apparent that maybe Earth did exist when the spacefarers opened themselves up to a world beyond their reason. Not that BSG is a religious show: Maureen Ryan writes an excellent column on the Chicago Tribune site, reckoning that the revelation reinforces the central theme of our show: "that salvation doesn't necessarily arrive in the manner in which you expect it."

...After four years of awesome performances from Edward James Olmos, the scene where his entire world collapsed when discovered Colonel Tigh, his closest ally - had been a Cylon all along has got to be one of the best of all.

At Chud.Com, Natalia Castro proves that it's never too late to get into BSG:
Last tuesday, I finally saw the mid season finale of Battlestar Galactica. It took me a long time to become a fan of this show but slowly and quite painlessly I got there, and this episode sealed the deal for me. Needless to say, I was impressed. Very impressed.

Other finale reviews from Brittany at The Two Cents, Cory Johnson of 411mania, A recap quiz from GeekSugar and some reviews from Sci-Fi Haven by Chris McQuillan and Samuel T. Cogley (who used to be an attorney of some renown.)

It's been over a week since the finale, and does the final tracking shot, which I think is destined to go down as a classic, still resonate with you?

More Top Ten Lists

Following up on Entertainment Weekly's list of the best 100 TV shows, Sci-Fi Wire reports Sci-Fi's Visions for Tomorrow project:

SCI FI Channel's Visions for Tomorrow campaign has announced the results of an online poll to determine the top 10 things to read, watch and do to save the world. The poll asked readers to vote on which science-fiction films, television series and literary works resonate most with them and which positive courses of action they inspire. More than 20,000 votes were cast in each of the four categories.

A complete list of the results follows.

Top 10 Films to Watch
1. Blade Runner*
2. The Matrix
3. The Terminator
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
5. Jurassic Park
6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
7. The Day After Tomorrow
8. The Day the Earth Stood Still
9. Children of Men
10. Armageddon

Top 10 Television Series to Watch
1. Firefly
2. Battlestar Galactica (2004)
3. The X-Files
4. Heroes
5. Stargate: SG-1
6. Doctor Who
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation
8. Babylon 5
9. Star Trek
10. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Top 10 Books to Read
1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
3. Dune by Frank Herbert
4. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
5. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
6. The Stand by Stephen King
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
10. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Top 10 Things to Do
1. Read.
2. Recycle.
3. Register to vote. Cast your ballot in November.
4. Eat healthier.
5. Be kind.
6. Empower children and yourself through education.
7. Protect wildlife.
8. Conserve energy by switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
9. Plant a tree and print less paper.
10. Give blood.

And Josh Jackson editor-in-chief of Paste magazine in his High Gravity blog declares Battlestar Galactica the number one all time SF series:
1. Battlestar Galactica
Based on a mediocre TV show with a great premise—robots annihilate most of humanity; the remnant search for earth—Ronald D. Moore's reimagined version has become the greatest sci-fi show in history. With gritty realism, the last remaining military ship feels like it's in a constant state of repair, like humanity is being held together with duct tape. The show explores major themes—politics, religion, terror, marriage, humanity, sacrifice, pragmatism, personal failure, free press, free speech, loyalty—while keeping the plot moving forward with every episode. Long live Commander Adama.

Josh's full list:
10. Mystery Science Theater 3000
9. Dr. Who
8. Stargate SG-1
7. Farscape
6. Firefly
5. The X-Files
4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
3. Lost
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation
1. Battlestar Galactica

* By the way, BSG FX artist Mojo, has an excellent report in his blog about a recent special screening of Blade Runner held on the Warner Bros. lot with a q&a with Ridley Scott, and for some fans a tour of the backlot where much of the film was shot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

News & Notes

I previously linked to this James Callis interview done by the Onion AV Club, but in case you missed it, definitely check it out. Here's a few highlights...

James talked to them about Gaius Baltars in everyday life:

I don't know if you've seen this, but in the newspaper, did you read this thing about this guy in China? I think that there should be a Gaius Baltar Award for Moral Cowardice given out to people every year. And this man—it's just, seriously, reading it, I was like, "Christ, this guy is Gaius Baltar!" He's a schoolteacher. The earthquake hits. And he said, "Stay still, everybody, you'll be fine," and just ran! He ran for his life, without any of the kids who he's supposed to be looking after. And the miracle of it is that the earthquake didn't touch his school in the same way. He went back to the class, and they're all alive, thank God. And they were like, "But teacher, why did you run away?" And his replies are just extraordinary. It's like, "I'm not a brave man. I am a coward. And in situations like this, it's every man for himself. I don't really feel very guilty, because I didn't cause the earthquake, and quite frankly, if it had been my own mother sat next to me, I would have left her as well."

They asked James how he views Baltar's religious arc:
To be honest, I don't believe it. I don't believe it as James Callis, and I don't believe that Gaius believes it either. Because he couldn't. And I think a lot of it comes out of, "Well, you've set yourself up on a dais, and you've got a microphone, now fucking have you got something to say?" And actually, he doesn't have something to say. He's constantly treading water with the most woolly—I mean, it's terribly woolly. And the thing about that is, the more you say about anything, the more explanation there is to an idea, the more complex an idea is, and the more it's not really going to be encapsulated by the thing you're talking about.

On a personal note, myself, I find religion—I can understand it, I can understand why we have it, as a kind of force on the planet. And I also at the same time think it's ludicrous. My Latin education teaches me that religion comes from religio, which means, "to bind." To bind with rope. And that's all it means. So whenever I hear somebody go, "I feel so religious right now!" I'm like, "Well, you're tying yourself up in knots, are you?" There's no spiritual connotation to that word whatsoever. And while it binds you to a rope, because it's about belonging, it alienates you to others. That can't be part of God's plan, if there is a God.

So I do find all of those things really tough, to be honest. Belief is everything when you're performing something. If you don't have the belief behind it, then that actually puts a shunt on the character. It's like, "Does the character believe this for a minute?"

Callis also talked about the final Cylon:
AVC: Viewers right now are speculating about who will be the final Cylon. I know they didn't tell the cast until pretty near the end. Has it been a crazy guessing game with you guys, too?

JC: It has. Of course it has! Of course it has. And not that we've put bets on it or anything, but… all I can say is, shocking. Shocking. [We were] shocked, and excited. I can't really blow the surprise. I think it's fair to say that you know, the repercussions of this thing is like, it could be anybody.

Also, if you previously read Bear McCreary's essay about the music for Revelations, you'll want to read through the comments on his blog to read Bear's interaction with his readers, and his answers to their questions.

Take this Battlestar Galactica quiz.

Our friends at Space Westerns are holding a poetry contest, and one of the judges is Battlestar Galactica writer, Seamus Kevin Fahey.

io9 explores the connections between Star Trek Deep Space Nine, and Battlestar Galactica.

Speaking of Star Trek, Trek Movie Report calls Enterprise star John Billingsley the hero of the recent FedCon USA disaster. It's great to know that an actor did all he could to give the fans a positive experience in the midst of a great deal of incompetence and confusion.

Check out these old school late 1970s Battlestar Galactica Mattel toys. (Back then I had the Viper and Cylon raider that lunched pellets. And I had the Viper launch station that fired off little foam made vipers.)

Looking for Earth landing gear, as seen above on Adama and Roslin? The jackets appear to be M-65 field jackets. But, for winter, I'm hoping to get a Halliwax parka.

A Preview of Season 4.5

Just kidding. I don't think they have plans for flying motorbikes, Cylons being killed by microwave ovens, Super Scouts and sadly, Wolfman Jack is no longer with us. Whatever year it is on Earth for our Battlestar Galactica, it certainly isn't 1980. Thank the gods!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The good kind of hiatus

OK folks, I’m heading out tomorrow for a vacation and a nice big break from The Naked City. You all have a terrific week…you may hear from me, or not…where I am going the net access will be spotty. There might be some Twittering. Logan will be here holding down the fort, as always.

Who knows, maybe there will be something new and exciting to blog about when I get back…One thing I know will be waiting for me: my MAD MEN season 1 DVD box. Yay.

While the end is near for many BSG cast and crew this month, we here in the audience have quite a ways to go on our journey before we get to “see the box set.” [*crushing on Mary’s brain*]

Battlestar Fanactica part 2

Mexichick has posted on this thread at the BSG official forum, a ton of photos taken in Vancouver of the cast checking out the "Thank You" scrapbook delivered to set. They even got some of the CAPRICA cast in on it. Great shots, thanks Mexi!

That's Esai Morales (Joseph Adama), Paula Malcolmson (Amanda Greystone) and Alessandra Toressani (Zoe Graystone). Per Mexi: "They said they were well aware they have big shoes to fill, so to speak. They're hoping to get a scrapbook of their own some day!"

[What's up with that "Fishisms" board in the background? :) ]

“I saw the box set.” / Interviews & Rumor

"Yeah, he’s the one."

KTV’s Korbi has posted a fantastic interview with Mary McDonnell on Zap2It, in which she discusses Roslin, Adama, Leeland, the final season…and The End. Boy does that lady give good interview, huh?

Speaking of giving good interview: I know we linked to Jamie Bamber’s live call-in discussion with the Shaun Omac radio show before…but it’s a great interview, and they just put up a full transcript of it – so here it is again.

A trusted source tells me it is very possible that Jamie Bamber will be at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. Although the participants in the BSG panel that day are unconfirmed, Jamie may attend to promote the DVD release of his film PULSE 2. For those of you who bought your first-ever Comic-Con tickets and are planning the trip, the Mark Sheppard fans over at Planet 715 have a terrific, detailed SDCC Survival Guide.

IGN spoke with Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackhoff outside the Dome premiere last week. By the way, Tricia Helfer fans: Hulu has added all of BURN NOTICE season 1 to their programming this week, if you want to catch up with the show before Tricia begins her arc on season 2 next month.

SyFy Radio broadcast a previously-taped interview with BSG writer/producer David Weddle the other night.

One of the Hypaspace writers blogged about how she went so fangirl while interviewing Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell recently for the HypaSpace podcast, that she almost lost it. Heh. (btw I hope you have been hearing all their great podcast interviews this season with many of the BSG cast; check them out here.)

Top 100

Entertainment Weekly has put BATTLESTAR GALACTICA on their list of the Best 100 TV Shows of the past 25 years:

59. Battlestar Galactica, Sci Fi (2003-2008)
60. Xena: Warrior Princess, Syndicated (1995-2001)
61. The Office (U.S.), NBC (2005-present)

Speaking of Xena and The Office...make sure you check out Rainn Wilson's photo shoot in the same issue. And the videos.

Frakking Nukes?

We now have several short comments from three (possibly four) of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA writer/producers regarding the final shot of "Revelations"...for your endlessly enjoyable speculating pleasure.

Mo Ryan managed to track down Bradley Thompson the day after the broadcast, and posted the following in the comments on this entry in Alan Sepinwall's blog:

No sleep til January. Or until Ron's podcast comes out. At least regarding the bridge question.

At 2 in the morning last night, I had a million questions for the writers of last night's ep, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson. But I only put one question in my email to them -- I asked if the bridge was in fact the Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's Bradley's answer: "You're going to have to continue wondering about the bridge. Check Ron's podcast when it comes out."

More generally, he said, "People seem to be asking the right questions."

Mark Verheiden answered questions for fans over at Comic Mix one more time this week, and had this to say:
CMix (from reader Avery): Was that the Brooklyn Bridge in the background of the final scene? Are they on Ellis Island?

MV: Anything I might say or not say about that last sequence could be construed as a spoiler, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait until the next bunch of episodes. Given the other questions I’ve been receiving since the episode ran, I may have to put that particular demur on a hot key, since it will be my standard answer re: anything involving the next episodes.

But as long as we’re discussing the last scene, may I give a shout out, as usual, to the incredible FX team who once again pulled out all the stops for this episode? And for that matter, the props and play-back guys. Kara’s discovery in her Viper plays because the visual information is so clear and dynamic.

Jane Espenson touched on the topic in a letter published the other day on TV Squad:
The beauty of this episode is in its urgency, in the tumbling breathless slide that lands us on that grim gray unfamiliar beach... It's so gray, in fact, that I think it earns the British spelling. It's grey, which is even worse.

And -- oh -- that haunting devastated city there, with the massive ruined temple and our people trying to find their footing in a strange dead city I did not recognize... that image just kills me.

Lots of open questions now...not the least of which would be what lead to Earth/”Earth” becoming that wretched nuclear wasteland. Or, just a wasteland.

Videoblog: Last Call

The latest videoblog (the last for a while?) has been posted...

*perks up*
Oh hey, do we sign up for that blogging gig?

(btw fans...did you catch what Gary Hutzel says in there? Listen closely.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

San Diego Cylon

Diamond Select Toys has announced an exclusive Cylon for Comic Con:

Get ready for a Cylon invasion at this July's San Diego Comic Con because Diamond Select Toys has unveiled plans for an exclusive "Valley of Darkness" Cylon Centurion! Based on the bloody second season episode, these nonstop murderous machines are sure to make a killing!

Only available at the Diamond Select Toys booth (#2607) during this year's San Diego Comic Con, the "Valley of Darkness" Cylon features a bloody hand-print from one of Galactica's crew members unlucky enough to encounter the rampaging Cylon Centurions. Intent on destroying the ship by any means necessary, these Cylon Centurions have only one thing on their mechanical minds...

Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios, this spectacular release features an awe-inspiring level of detail - including working piston joints and an astonishing 20 points of articulation. The "Valley of Darkness" Cylon Centurion will retail for $16.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nerdvana Revealed

Some details of what TV fans will be getting at this year's Nerdvana (aka the San Diego Comic-Con) are at last coming out.

This morning Seat42F started to reveal a bunch of panel days and times. After a full day of source-prodding, the Watch With Kristin grrls have a whole bunch more, including stuff we care about here at Sitrep. Although they take pains to point out this is all "totally unofficial, unauthorized and subject to change (especially if there is an actors' strike)," this is what they've announced:

Saturday, July 26

2:15–3:15 p.m.: Battlestar Galactica panel

6–7 p.m.: Jason Smilovic of My Own Worst Enemy and Ronald D. Moore of Virtuality, TV Guide panel

TBD: Dollhouse panel

I hope you kittens bought your tickets already, because the 4-day pass, and the Saturday-only pass, ARE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT NOW.

No mention yet of a CAPRICA related it too much to ask to get Morales, Stolz, Walker, Malcomson and a juicy clip reel? :)

ETA: PopCultureGeek has compiled a great list of film-related panel rumors and possibilities. *getting more excited*

ETA2: Dark Horizons with a bit more on possible film-related events.

Where do we go from here?

Matt Roush in TV Guide reacts to both BSG's and Lost's finales, calling REVELATIONS:

A powerfully downbeat, and thus hardly out-of-character, wrap for the first half of the final season of one of TV’s all-time-greatest science-fiction dramas.

Because of my long absence, I had the rare experience of devouring Lost’s first-rate season finale (capping a wow of a comeback season) and the final awesome handful of Battlestar episodes within a 36-hour time span. My head is still reeling.

What strikes me about both of these shows is how, for all of the mind-blowing fantasy and murky geeky mythology and eternally unanswered (possibly unanswerable) questions, they are essentially grounded in such rich character and intense emotion. The passionate investment in these shows is unmatched by anything else I experience in my current TV diet.

In Time Magazine, James Poniewozik writes:
Seriously, a stunning conclusion to a stunning episode. ....linger a couple seconds more on that amazing last scene. It was a gorgeous punch in the gut. First, the look of it: the planet we saw was not just ruined but dead, drained of color, as were the crew members taking it all in. It was a kind of ancient-Greek vision of Hell—where Hell is not fire and brimstone but the cold absence of life—in keeping with the ancient-Greek roots of the Colonial mythology. And the slow pan over each crew member and Cylon not only captured their states of mind but their personalities in miniature: Adama angry; Roslin bitter but composed; D'Anna horrified; Anders rejecting Tory's comforting touch (how fitting, by the way, that she would burn her bridges for nothing, abandoning the fleet just before it reached a truce with the Cylon rebels); Lee despairing; Leoben grieving.

I'm most interested going ahead to see how the discovery of the dead Earth affects characters like Roslin and D'Anna, who in a way were counterparts as the messianic leaders of their people, following visions and prophecies that turned out either to be wrong or to be cruel jokes. Either way, they—and Baltar, Leoben, etc.—have seen their belief systems shattered, the whole point of their lives (discovering Earth, which was to make everything all better) seemingly for nothing.

Or is it? If BSG is a show about faith, are the final episodes going to be about how faith can sustain them even against all physical evidence to the contrary? Or will it be about their discovery that their fate lies not with any God or gods but with themselves—that, having seen that there is no planetary deus ex machina out there to save them, they have to work things out together, or die? Is this in fact the meaning of the Hybrid's prophecy (that Starbuck would lead them to their "end")—that now they have seen the end that awaits them, human and Cylon alike, unless they break the eternally repeating pattern of hatred and violence?

The New York Times TV Decoder blog calls it a, "stunning mid-season finale."

James Hibberd for The Hollywood Reporter says:
The show, which has been uneven this season, snapped together in its last hour for an Emmy-worthy cliffhanger.

The final tracking shot that has fans reeling is not only the most pivotal moment in the show's history but is masterfully composed by director Michael Rymer, who managed to top his own "One Year Later" transition from the season two ender.

Tim Grierson in New York Magazine writes:
Suffering through the convoluted plot twists and out-of-character action marring recent shows, we've told ourselves that all Battlestar chesslike moves were groundwork for something amazing. And our patience actually paid off! “Revelations,” the last episode before the season hiatus, might even sustain us until the show resumes in 2009.

Well, our expectations were upended again. We got the ending that found the Fleet and Rebel Cylons working together to find the planet — and discovering it had been nuked! All the hugging upon the discovery pretty well indicated a twist was coming, but the gut-punch shot of a decimated cityscape was truly epic. Did the human race destroy itself? Did the hawkish Cylon faction get there before our heroes? And does any of this explain what happened in The Road?

io9 ponders:
The Earth the fleet finds is so unexpectedly depressing that the scene was a pure, tragic pleasure to watch. It also remained true to the heart of the show, which is at its core deeply dystopian and apocalyptic. This is not a show about happy reconciliation and exploration. It's about the shattered ruins of a species that has warred and slaved itself into an evolutionary corner. Battlestar Galactica forces us to look at how potentially ugly the future could get, and I'm glad show creators Ron Moore and David Eick weren't afraid to keep horrifying us.

MaryAnn Johanson writes:
So, they did it, Ron Moore and David Eick. They finally did it. Damn them all to hell: they got us to Earth, and it’s not what we were thinking. Or maybe it was. Past, or future? We still can’t tell.

Heather Havrilesky in Salon:
"Battlestar Galactica" finale was packed with big surprises, from the revelation of the secret four Cylons living among the fleet to the suddenly bellicose maneuvering of D'Anna, fresh from her resurrection. But the biggest whopper of them all came in the last few minutes of the show when the Cylons and the colonists make peace and follow Starbuck's viper to Earth, only to discover that ... Oh nooooo! Earth is a post-apocalyptic wasteland!

But that's exactly the combination of high stakes and suspense that loyal viewers have come to expect from "Battlestar Galactica," a show that shines the most brightly during the start and finish of its demi-seasons (with a little bit of finger strumming and pacing in between). When the final episodes of the series begin to air in January 2009 (Oh noooo! Why must we wait so long?), the colonists (and their big Cylon buddies) will be forced to reckon with the fact that their new home, which they've imagined so long is their salvation, isn't the land of sunshine and moonbeams that they'd so dearly hoped it would be. At least it isn't anymore. After the celebrating and embracing and high-fiving over finally locating Earth, that moment where Admiral Adama runs his fingers through a fistful of irradiated soil and then scans the wreckage-strewn, overcast landscape is just devastating. Welcome to the promised land, motherfrackers!

Todd VanDerWerff writing for The House Next Door says of REVELATIONS:
It’s a bold, gutsy piece of television that perhaps cuts a few too many corners but more than makes up for it with its raw ambition, its terrific script (by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle), its stellar acting (by pretty much the entire cast) and its wonderful direction (by oft-unheralded series mastermind Michael Rymer).

...what made “Revelations” such a gutsy episode was that the writers essentially dispensed with most of the series’ status quo altogether. Now that the fleet has found Earth (and found it to be a post-apocalyptic one), the series could, presumably, return to following the adventures of a ragtag fleet out in space, but they would have nothing to head to, no one pursuing them (even if the peace with the Cylons is tenuous at best) and, really, no hope left. The final moments of this episode so drastically alter the series that we probably won’t even know just how much it has changed until we see the back half of the season. Even with the famed “one year later” twist at the end of season two’s “Lay Down Your Burdens,” the viewer kind of knew that the Galactica would return to save humanity from the Cylon occupation. Here, we have no such guarantees.

...There’s been some grumbling that the montage preceding the final shot is overlong and makes for too obvious of a cliffhanger. As much as all of the show’s viewers probably guessed that something very bad had happened down on Earth, the celebration preceding it is fundamentally necessary. For one thing, the music by Bear McCreary (no longer the show’s secret weapon, his music has become so praised—if Battlestar is going to win Emmys in only the technical categories, please give him one, Academy) during the montage is one of his best compositions for the series. For another, the VFX composition of the fleet passing in front of the sun just outside of Earth orbit is another gorgeous shot. And, finally, the episode needs this moment, needs to give these characters the space to have one last moment of hope before dashing it under a blackened sky.

...Everything that follows is out of the category that makes Battlestar such a great and compelling show. There are few series willing to take risks like this, and even if this one doesn’t ultimately pan out, there is something riveting about seeing a new chapter begin, this close to the end.

Mike at Pop Critics asks, where do we go from here?
This episode was awesome and full of fantastic moments that I wont soon forget.

The pillar of them was Colonel Tigh telling Admiral Adama that he was a Cylon. You gotta love Saul as a Cylon, because no matter how long he’s known he’s a skin job, he still hates it and wishes he was the same old guy he’s always been.

...It was such a brutal, amazing scene. The pinnacle of Michael Hogan’s days on the show (well, aside from when he killed his wife - that one still resonates with me to this day).

Adama can’t believe it. He thinks Tigh is joking. But once convinced, Adama goes into a tailspin in a matter of two scenes, first bashing in a mirror and then completely collapsing into uncontrollable tears and sobs.


Because I wasn’t expecting it, I just loved the way it ended. I am excited to find out what happened down on Earth and how this new, shaky alliance will play out. They are on a dead planet from what it looks like, so what the heck is going to happen in the next 10 episodes?

Cinemablend offers up questions to ponder while on hiatus. The Science of Battlestar Galactica studies the ruined bridge. IGN's editors comment on Revelations, and provide a review.

Other reviews and recaps from Alan Sepinwall in the Star Ledger. Marc Bernardin in Entertainment Weekly. The Boston Globe. Chicago Sun Times. Battlestar Galactica Review blog. Buddy TV. SyFy Portal. The 13th Colony. Zap2It. TV with MeeVee. Recaps from BuddyTV Hollyscoop and Cinemablend.

Vid by ainmer

All photos in this post from Flickr user Churchhatestucker under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Around the web

Entertainment Weekly lists the 12 Things They Learned from Battlestar Galactica this year. All in all a pretty good list.

BSG's ratings surged for the finale, says The Hollywood Reporter:

The midseason finale of Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" jumped the show's ratings.

Friday night's episode, "Revelations," attracted the largest audience for the series since the fourth-season premiere.

The episode was seen by 1.8 million viewers. Among adults 18-49, the finale was seen by 1.2 million -- the highest-rated episode since the season’s fourth episode, which aired in late April. As always, the numbers are expected to increase once DVR viewing is included.

Multichannel News and VFX World add:
For the entire 10-episode half-season, Battlestar Galactica averaged a 1.7 rating, 2.2 million total viewers and 1.6 million adults 25-54 and 1.5 million adults 18-49, respectively. The viewership figures were the series’ best since the first half of Season Two (July-September 2005.)

Season 4 of the series has also record strong ratings among female viewers, growing 23% among women 18-49 and up 25% among women 25-54, compared to Season 3.5. Sci Fi officials said the top four women 18-49 telecast of Battlestar Galactica have all aired this season.

See also, this report out of Canada.

Paul Campbell, Billy from BSG, according to The Hollywood Reporter has joined the cast of another Glen Larson remake, NBC's Knight Rider:
Paul Campbell has joined NBC's new action series "Knight Rider," Leven Rambin is in talks to come on board Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and Sophina Brown has been added to CBS' "Numbers."

On "Knight Rider," a sequel to the 1980s NBC series, Campbell ("Battlestar Galactica") will play the head research tech at Knight Industries. He is repped by WMA and ROAR.

A few more Cinerama Dome reports from Buddy TV and Wired.

From the world of science, have astronomers found the Colonies?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Michelle from The Chief's Deck posted several videos from the Battlestar Galactica panel at London's MCM Expo with Edward James Olmos, Aaron Douglas, Alessandro Juliani and Rekha Sharma from May 8th.

Sprocket762 has more videos from the Arclight Dome BSG event panel.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Next Stop Caprica City

If you want it, a very spoilery report has been put online, written by an extra who recently did background for a scene with Paula Malcomson and others in CAPRICA.

Sounds like some of the visual style of BLADE RUNNER may hold sway over this corner of the Galacticaverse...

ETA: I am going to allow discussion of the report in the comments here. Spirgins, you have been warned. Stay away. ;)

More from the Dome

A video clip and some lovely photos from the Dome premiere of "Revelations" has been posted by The LA Times.

You know a show is great -- better yet -- you know a show's FANS are great when one of the loudest cheers at a screening comes when the writers' credits hit the screen. But that's how it is with "BSG"...

Here is EW's coverage of the event.

MovieWeb was nice enough to type up a transcript of most of the Q&A with Ron Moore, Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell & Tricia Helfer, and even removed the spoilers for "Revelations." Note this discussion about the spinoff show CAPRICA:
You mentioned a couple of years ago that there was a prequel series. Is that still in the works?

Ron Moore: Not only is it in the works, they're shooting it as we speak. Caprica is being shot in Vancouver right now. Jeff Reiner is directing it. He's one of the directors on Friday Night Lights. Dailies look great. I was up on the set last week. It's very cool, the cast is tremendous, Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales headline the cast. We have high hopes for it. It's a two-hour back-door pilot. We have great hopes that it goes to series and it's a very different piece. It's not this show. It's a different mood, it's a different flavor, it's a completely different concept for a series that lives within the same Galactica universe and we'll just see what happens.

Mary McDonnell: I snuck out of Battlestar the other day...[spoiler removed] and I went over to watch Caprica. I, first of all, scared them, because they didn't know who I was, this mad woman [spoiler removed] and then they said, 'Mary!' I sat there and watched and it was absolutely thrilling. They were beautiful and adorable and it was startling to watch. I just wanted to share that because we all feel, I don't know, we all feel paternal.

Katee Sackhoff: I was just going to say that they all kind of treat us like their parents. It's very interesting.

We have heard a lot of rumors over the past two weeks about CAPRICA going to series. Let's hope they are true!


Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reflects on Revelations and on her blog, you can vote for what was your favorite moment of the episode.

Sweet Lady Jane

BSG writer/producer Jane Espenson wrote a very great letter to TV Squad about "Revelations." You must read it.

A blogger who dreams of writing for TV posted about a recent Scriptwriters Network TV panel that Espenson was on:

The panel consisted of the wonderful:
Jane Espenson (Battlestar, Buffy, etc.)
Amy Berg (Threshold, The 4400)
Dawn DeKeyser (Ugly Betty, Samantha Who?)
Jeanette Collins (Dirty, Big Love, etc.)
Melody Fox (Flash Gordon)

...there were some interesting moments in the talk... There was a debate among the panel about the relevance of specs vs. pilots...And I don't know how anyone couldn't be interested in their discussion of why male scifi and genre TV writers tend to be less chauvinistic than their mainstream brethren. The lovely Jane Espenson theorized that it was because those kinds of guys were more likely to grow up in their rooms reading The Narnia Chronicles instead of fearing women and joining frats...

When asked where they saw themselves in five years, Ms. Espenson said she'd like to be running her own show, or working for Ron Moore or Joss Whedon. She said she had absolutely no problem serving as a lieutenant to genius.

Meanwhile: if you are ever in Los Angeles with a hankerin' for sweets, you cannot go wrong with this particular bakery's Triple Berry Shortcake. It's divine. ;)

The Grauniad

Is he having a laugh?

In The Guardian (U.K.) John Plunkett (pictured above) completely bashes the 4th season of Battlestar Galactica using the tired cliche:
Is it just me - and I'm sure you won't hesitate to tell me - or has Battlestar Galactica jumped the shark? Or to use a more appropriate turn of phrase, fracked the jump drive?

After a lengthy argument offered by Plunkett he reveals this:
Things have reached such a state that the last two episodes are waiting to be watched on my Sky+ box, and I haven't been minded to hit the play button. Imagine that!

Yes, imagine that! I stopped reading a novel before reaching the crucial chapters, and passed judgement. Imagine that, I left the movie well before the sled was tossed into the incinerator of Xanadu so, I have no idea what Rosebud was all about. Obviously Orson Welles jumped the shark.

Dear Mr. Plunkett, you might want to watch The Hub, and Revelations on your Sky box before commenting on season 4. Thanks!



Following up on a New York Times article that we noted recently, AFP reports:

In 2050, your lover may be a ... robot

by Alix RijckaertSun Jun 15, 1:51 AM ET

Romantic human-robot relationships are no longer the stuff of science fiction -- researchers expect them to become reality within four decades.

And they do not mean simply, mechanical sex.

"I am talking about loving relationships about 40 years from now," David Levy, author of the book "Love + sex with robots", told AFP at an international conference held last week at the University of Maastricht in the south-east of the country.

"... when there are robots that have also emotions, personality, consciousness. They can talk to you, they can make you laugh. They can ... say they love you just like a human would say 'I love you', and say it as though they mean it ..."

Robots as sex toys should already be on the market within five years, predicted Levy, "a sort of an upgrade of the sex dolls on sale now".

These would have electronic speech and sensors that make them utter "nice sounds" when a human caresses their "erogenous zones".

But to build robots as real partners would take a bit longer, with conversation skills being the main obstacle for developers.

Scientists were working on artificial personality, emotion and consciousness, said Levy, and some robots already appear lifelike.

"But for loving relationships -- that is something completely different. In loving relationships there are many more things that are important. And the most difficult of all is conversation.

"You want your robot to be able to talk to you about what is interesting to you. You want a partner who has some similar interest to you, who talks to you in a manner that pleases you, who has a similar sense of humour to you. ...I am sure it will (happen.) In 40 years ... perhaps sooner. You will find robots, conversation partners, that will talk to you and you will get as much pleasure from it as talking to another human. I am sure of it."

Levy's bombshell thesis, whose publication has had a ripple-effect way beyond the scientific community, gives rise to a number of complicated ethical and relationship questions.

British scholar Dylan Evans pointed out the paradox inherent to any relationship with a robot.

"What is absolutely crucial to the sentiment of love, is the belief that the love is neither unconditional nor eternal.

"Robots cannot choose you, they cannot reject you. That could become very boring, and one can imagine the human becoming cruel against his defenseless partner", said Evans.

A robot could conceivably be programmed with a will of its own and the ability to reject his human partner, he said, "but that would be a very difficult robot to sell".

Some warn against being overhasty.

"Let us not exaggerate the possibilities!" said Dutch researcher Vincent Wiegel of the Technological University of the eastern town of Delft.

"Today, the artificial intelligence we are able to create is that of a child of one year of age."

But Levy is unyielding. He is convinced it will happen, and predicts many societal benefits.

Just remember, if you're interested in this sort of thing, you'll have to get in line.

But, seriously, if you really want to get into some interesting issues you may want to research Posthumans, Transhumanism, the Singularity, and Post scarcity, abundance, and associated topics.

For a clear debate, see Bill Joy's Why the future doesn't need us, and David Brin's Singularities and Nightmares.

Yes, this post started out with humor, but has now gotten completely out of hand!


The Fedcon Con

Apparently, this weekend in Dallas for FedConUSA, was a complete and total disaster. SyFy Portal has been all over the story, so click their stories here, here, here, and here for all the details.

James Callis who was scheduled to appear released a detailed statement to the message board of his unofficial fan site. Key excerpts:

Sorry to anyone who bought a ticket to this gig.

I had been expecting to go to Dallas for Fedcon for ages! - so in the week coming up - I was surprised that I hadn't heard anything from the promoters via my agent -

At this stage filming for Battlestar is very hectic and Jamie Bamber and myself will be directing webisodes - which is also taking prep time, organization etc.

So with a convention planned mid schedule - I just want things to be as easy as possible.

No tickets and radio silence - were not encouraging signs

It seems that the organizers had no real intention of bringing Aaron [Douglas] and myself to Dallas after a certain point (whenever that was?) that it became commercially un-viable for them to to do so.


This is not the first time this has happened to me.

Last year I was set to attend FEDCON in Germany - at the last minute - they canceled me. But I was told I had canceled!

Needles to say it's the fans that get the raw deal.

Sorry again for the confusion - but up until the last minute on Friday I was still waiting for a plane ticket - a ride to the airport - and a hotel booking in Dallas. None of which materialized. There was some conversation during the afternoon about if I was willing to buy my own flight there and get reimbursed -

- Yeah.

These people are just brazen

After this kind of fiasco - I for one am going to be a lot more careful what I am going to commit to...

All conventions on the material side are about making money

But on the other side there's something great about all these collections of people/fans and attendees - a common bond through the spirit of ideas and fantasy.

But making money shouldn't include short changing or ripping off your clients- actually more than your clients, "your guests". On level of Karma then the whole thing breaks down - which is exactly what has happened in Dallas at FEDCON this weekend.

Be well

When your planning to go to a convention, do research into the reputation and history of the organizers before spending your money.

ETA: A report on the happenings at FedCon from Trek Movie Report. Also, in the comments, Meshel73 provides links to Aaron Douglas's comments posted on FedCon's message board here, here, and here.