Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Oath 415, Enhanced

With commentary track...

Terrific Post-Oath Reads

Still a frakkin Razor. Any questions?

After you've watched THE OATH, check out Mo Ryan's interview with writer/producer Mark Verheiden and Bear McCreary's discussion of the episode (which includes again this week running commentary from other crewmembers...and lots of details about new instruments starring in Bear's music this season).

This gave me chills.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Preview for Blood on the Scales

BEWARE: Possible Spoilers in the preview

Thanks to SevorTB

Also, this weekend, Maureen Ryan will post an interview with writer of "The Oath" Mark Verheiden.

Open Thread: #415 The Oath

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

Writer: Mark Verheiden
Director: John Dahl

More Roslin & Adama

TV Guide just posted Part 3 of their great video interview with Olmos and McDonnell. Love. Enjoy.

[Parts 1 & 2 are here.]

What Ron Said

Two more good interviews are available with Ron Moore this week: he talks with Geek Monthly Magazine in their February issue about BSG, DEEP SPACE NINE, CAPRICA and VIRTUALITY, as well as the changing face of sci-fi television. You can see a sample of the interview here. Several of the more, um, critical fanboys who hang over at the BSG forum and GalacticaBS somehow managed to corral Moore into an interview for MediaBlvd, with some very entertaining results. I guess this second interview should have a mild spoiler warning on it. Moore says some very interesting things about several key characters. Interesting…yet vague.

Meanwhile as you’ve all probably noticed by now, Moore’s new THING prequel/sequel film has a director. Some are happy about this…some, not so much.

Cons: Starfury and New York Comic Con

For those of us who can never make it over to the UK for Sean Harry's fantastic Starfury cons, a fan known as hobbitofkobol has done us a lovely favor and transcribed the sessions at last month's Q&A sessions with Tahmoh Penikett, Nicki Clyne, Jennifer Halley, Michelle Forbes, Katee Sackhoff, James Callis and Mark Sheppard. Terrific photos (some of which we've borrowed here) provided by fan benelie. BRAVO.

By the by if you are in the neighborhood and can get to one of Starfury's events, every fan I've talked to about these cons just loves them. The next BSG one is Mission Starfury in November 2009. Go if you can!

Speaking of good conventions: the New York Comic Con is coming up Feb 6-8. As you can see from their official schedule (and this blog by con Director Lance Festerman) no official BSG panels seem to be happening, which is a shame. Though the con does say: “Most Movie and TV Panels are Still Not Announced – And Will Be Revealed Closer To NYCC.”

There are some BSG-related events on the books: a ton of BSG comic book related panels; Tahmoh Penikett at a DOLLHOUSE panel with Joss Whedon where they will screen part of the first episode and giveaway some posters; Mark Sheppard at the SEGA booth promoting THE CONDUIT; there is a panel about the web series EMMISARY, which co-stars Aaron Douglas. SuperBSGfan Seth Green and his ROBOT CHICKEN posse are doing a panel as well. Last year's RC panel was the best thing I saw at NYCC last year other than the all-cylon BSG panel, make sure to be there if you’re attending!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best. Coffee Mug. Ever.

Disquieting Reviews

Reviews and recaps of "A Disquiet Follows My Soul"...

Alan Sepinwall ponders what's next:

Last week's episode was about philosophy. This one's about practicality.

Where most of "Sometimes a Great Notion" was spent on the characters -- and the audience -- trying to make sense of the ruined state of Earth and one mind-bending revelation after another, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul" features the rag-tag fleet attempting to get back to business. There will be time for soul-searching, and for answers, later, but right now, everyone needs to figure out what to do now that Earth has turned out to be an even bigger dump than New Caprica.

Todd VanDerWerff for The House Next Door:
“A Disquiet Follows My Soul” is probably going to piss off a lot of Battlestar Galactica fans, especially coming this late in the show’s run. Many of the big plot developments occur offscreen and are only alluded to, the episode tries to shove us into the point-of-view of the members of the fleet instead of our heroes, and the whole thing is more of a grim mood piece about a species giving up without its leaders instead of the razzle-dazzle space opera we’re used to....

I suspect this was ultimately a “setting things in motion” episode, where we got to see the beginnings of many plots that will carry through to the end of the season and series, but it was an elegantly constructed one all around and a fine directorial debut for Moore.

Daniel Fienberg writes: "Is this the calm before the storm? Well judging by the preview for next week's episode it sure looks like it."

MaryAnn Johanson says:
Wow. I just sat stunned through most of this episode. The intensity kept building and building and I couldn’t believe when it was over: it seemed to zip by. And then after all the awfulness, to end on that aww-sweet moment with Bill and Laura... that was almost like another punch in the gut, this tiny bit of happiness after all the bad stuff. And I guess it’s like a punch in the gut because we know it can truly be only a tiny bit of happiness for Bill and Laura.

The Guardian observes:
Yes, it's time for one of those episodes where the space battles (and effects budget) take a back seat to the human (and Cylon) drama; the disquiet before the storm, perhaps? Not that the episode passed without incident. Lee accidentally let the press know that the Final Cylon is a woman. Caprica Six and Tigh's all-Cylon baby is fine. Gaeta's harbouring a serious grudge. Chief punched out Hot Dog. Not much more was revealed about the Cylons that were found on the burnt-out Earth last week, or indeed about the nature of the Final Five, but maybe they felt like we'd had enough to digest already?

IGN notes:
This episode was written by Ron Moore, who also made his directorial debut. While not among the strongest installments Moore has written, there were plenty of notable moments – from the casual way we found out that yes, Adama and Roslin are now sleeping together (finally!); to a small moment like Adama pausing to pick up some trash in a Galactica corridor, wanting to keep his ship together as chaos threatens to take over. And on a show known for being extremely dark, there also were a couple of very funny moments this time – one during the scene in which Tyrol kept getting confused over how to refer to Cylons and if he should use "our" or "their"; the other during an otherwise grim scene showing Baltar's acolytes also getting worked up and angry, when Baltar told them they were not children, and then had to stop and point out to the little boy sitting in the front, that okay, he was a child.

Other reviews and recaps from: Zap2It, BeliefNet, DigitalSpy, North By Northwestern, TV Squad, TV Fodder, BuddyTV,, Tim Goodman, and NY1.

Buddy TV wonders where the show goes from here, and Geeksugar has a recap quiz.

In the news...

Bear McCreary's music will be performed in Europe:

March 7th, 2009 will mark the first European performance of my music: The World Premiere of “Prelude to War” by the Hagen Philharmonic and Ballet of the Hagen Theatre in Germany. It will run throughout the spring, for 13 weeks.

“Prelude” is based on my scores for Battlestar Galactica, incorporating music from all four seasons. The orchestra will be in the pit, but the taiko drums will share the stage with the dancers, incorporating their movements and energy into the visual performance. This ballet tells no specific narrative, but rather allows the dancers, lights, taiko drum ensemble and full orchestra to come together and support the story within the music itself.

The Fresno Bee and Sci-Fi Wire talked with Ron Moore and Kate Vernon.

From The Daily Journal:
San Mateo native Michael Trucco spent lunchtime Tuesday with the Battlestar Galactica class at Crystal Springs Uplands School. Yes, the handsome movie and small screen star is a hometown boy. Yes, Crystal Springs Uplands has a special elective class devoted to studying the sci-fi drama. And yes, there is plenty to learn about history, psychology and sociology from Battlestar Galactica.

Kandyse McClure talks about Children of the Corn to Sci-Fi Wire.

At the Phoenix Comicon Aaron Douglas hung out with Wil Wheaton.

DVICE and ScreenRant ask, Enterprise vs. Galactica: Who Would Win?

Take a look at the single largest gathering of Battlestar Galactica in Lego.

Rob Loftis reviews the book, Cylons in America.

An article from George Reisch adapted from “I am a Cylon,” by Richard Hanley in Battlestar Galactica: Mission Accomplished or Mission Frakked Up?, finds a way to compare Battlestar Galactica, and Bernard Madoff.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Steampunk Cylon Contest

DVICE is having a Design a Steampunk Cylon Contest.

Not just any Cylon: one that might have existed in an era of steampunk. You know, a Charles Babbage, Jules Verne, pneumatic brass and crystal Cylon!

Imagine a Cylon Heavy Raider crashes in the 1800s somewhere on Earth. Only a single Centurion survives, and it's heavily damaged. Realizing its only chance at survival is to use the tools available, it repairs itself with the materials of the era.

Mark Verheiden at the Cort & Fatboy Portland Frak Party

Just a reminder to all you Portland, OR fans, that Mark Verheiden is apparently coming to this Friday's Cort & Fratboy Frak Party at the Bagdad Theater to watch his final episode, "The Oath," with you frakkers and do a post-show Q&A.

Lucky you! Let us know how it goes.

(Notes for you HEROES/BSG crossover fans: Verheiden's first episode written for HEROES airs Feb. 9th. And...did you know these three HEROES folks were twittering?)

It's on the Auction Block, right now:

So hurry up if you're interested.

[Unknown Soldier photo prop eBay auction ends Jan 30 10:30am USA PT]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Space promo for 415 The Oath

OMG no, not Lee! Noooooooo!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Commentary track for 414

The "enhanced" episode with commentary is on Hulu and, and the commentary podcast is now up on iTunes and the RSS page. I don't know if it was the gin and tonics, or "MrsRon's" presence, or all the discussion of sandwiches and the BSG Auction...but this was one of my favorite podcasts in quite some time. Two things one might consider newsworthy in the 414 podcast: Moore bought Baltar's cigarette case from the auction; Terry Moore seemed to indicate that Moore will be directing again quite soon.

Also on iTunes this week: Celebrity Playlists from Jamie Bamber, Katee Sackhoff, and Michael Trucco. [HT to bsg blog] ...OT: For you LOSTies in the house, they also posted lists from Michael Emerson, Evangeline Lilly, Naveen Andrews.

Other great links after you have seen ep 414:

  • Mo Ryan, bless her heart, has another interview with Ron Moore discussing this week's show.
  • Bear McCreary has posted his weekly exploration of the music for this week's ep, and includes comments from Ron Moore, Richard Hatch, and Alessandro Juliani. Bear also mentions a portion of the Baltar prayer meeting sequence that was cut from the version we saw on air.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

TV Guide talks with Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos

[ETA: some of you feel these clips, especially the first one, have one or two possible spoilers. I beg to differ, but I'll post this warning anyhow.]

Part 1

Part 2

CAPRICA writers room shaping up

Mo Ryan got the news yesterday...

The "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica" will have some familiar names among the credits when it debuts next year on Sci Fi.

Jane Espenson, co-executive producer of “Battlestar Galactica,” will have that title on “Caprica” and will eventually become “Caprica’s” showrunner.

...Ron Moore said he’d be running the writers’ room when it first convenes in early February, but he added that at some point, he’d be handing over those day-to-day showrunner duties to Espenson, who will take on the title executive producer midway through the season.

...Espenson said that "Battlestar" writers Michael Taylor and Ryan Mottesheard would also be joining the "Caprica" staff. On Jan. 16, the day "Battlestar" returned with the first of its final 10 episodes, Galactica Sitrep reported that "Battlestar's" composer, Bear McCreary, as well as its production designer, Richard Hudolin, and special effects supervisor, Gary Hutzel, would also be working on "Caprica."

Promo for 415 The Oath

Spoiler warning.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Open Thread: #414 A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Alrighty, dear readers...let's talk new BSG tonight. Unfortunately I (ProgGrrl) won't be back from my frak party till later tonight...Logan, are you out there?

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

RDM's directing debut! Very exciting... earlier this week, RDM had this to say about the episode:

It's a character piece. It's a smaller show; I designed it deliberately to be that way. I wanted to take a breath after the events, the shocking events, of the past couple of episodes. Things were happening huge. Revelations were coming one on top of another. And now I wanted to do a smaller piece that was just about people on the ship and where they are in their lives before the next giant arc just sort of pulls them along into even bigger events.

Also note that another Propworx eBay auction is live this weekend, containing items that were on the show last week and tonight, and some other older stuff as well (Socrata Thrace photos!). Frakkin fun.

Writer: Ronald D. Moore
Director: Ronald D. Moore

Hulu embed:

Videoblog: Life On The Cylon Baseship

ETA: io9 has transcribed all bits of The Cylon Bible that appeared onscreen in this video.

Items of Note

Ronald D. Moore previews his BSG directorial debut, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul" for Sci-Fi Wire:

Sci-Fi Wire: What can you tell us about the episode? What kind of story is it?

Moore: It's a character piece. It's a smaller show; I designed it deliberately to be that way. I wanted to take a breath after the events, the shocking events, of the past couple of episodes. Things were happening huge. Revelations were coming one on top of another. And now I wanted to do a smaller piece that was just about people on the ship and where they are in their lives before the next giant arc just sort of pulls them along into even bigger events.

Ron also discussed Caprica:
Sci-Fi Wire: What's happening with Caprica?

Moore: Caprica is getting underway. We're putting the writers' room together as we speak. It's very exciting. It's a very different challenge. It's a very different show. I think there's a sense of "Well, Battlestar has set a very high bar." That makes everybody have to bring their A-game, and I think that's the spirit in which we're approaching Caprica.

Sci-Fi Wire: Knowing that you had Caprica on the horizon, did you hold back at all on wrapping up the Cylon mythology in Battlestar Galactica in order to give fans an incentive to tune into the new show? Or does Battlestar Galactica settle it for everyone?

Moore: Galactica is going to pretty much settle it. Caprica will be about how the people on the colonies developed the Cylons. And that has its own story to tell about how that came about. But in terms of the larger mysteries and mythologies and hows and the whys and how everything lays out on Galactica, we set out to answer as many of the questions that we could by the end of the show, and that's what we did. We didn't hold anything in reserve and say, "Oh, well, we'll deal with this over in Caprica."

Matt and Nat of the BSG Cast review Sometimes A Great Notion, and Nat talked with Battlestar Galactica's costume designer, Glenne Campbell in Pasadena at the site of the prop and costume auction.

Jamie Bamber spoke to TV Guide about working on the final episodes of BSG and what it was like to say goodbye to the show.

Sci-Fi Wire talked to Kandyse McClure about her arrival at closure for her work on Battlestar Galactica.

Bryan Lambert shares his thoughts on Dirk Benedict.

BSG effects artist Mojo about working on BSG for the last time.

See also, a slew of science fiction links.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Reviews Are In

Reviews of "Sometimes A Great Notion" from around the web...

Alan Sepinwall:

As much as I love to speculate on the nature of the Cylons, the prophecies, the opera house and all the other stuff that Ron Moore promised he'd get back to, what really grabs me about the show (as I discussed in today's column) is its humanity, the way its characters react to situations the way you imagine real, contemporary people might.

How would you react if you had been living a horrific existence for years on end, and the only thing keeping you going is the hope of one day finding this wonderful place called Earth -- and then that hope gets taken away when Earth turns out to be ruined? I like to think I can handle myself well in a crisis, but I could very easily see myself committing suicide like Dualla, or curling into a fetal position like Roslin, or getting drunk and trying for a suicide-by-Cylon-cop like Adama. This is a brutal, brutal development on what wasn't the happiest show to begin with, and I'm glad team "Galactica" (led here by writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson and director Michael Nankin) didn't flinch from that.

Eric Goldman of IGN:
What's really surprising about this episode is that there are some huge revelations in it – by the end of the first half, some amazing things have been revealed that completely uproot the backstory on the series. On the heels of the discovery of Earth happening with ten episodes still to go, perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised, but it's really amazing and impressive to realize there are still several episodes to go and we're learning the things we are already. Not to say these revelations close doors – instead, they raise some major new questions to mull over as we head into the home stretch of this wonderful series.

Cory Johnson at 411mania:
The biggest question this season is going to face will be how they can produce an ending for this show that works. The way that Earth was suddenly no longer the panacea they were hoping for felt a little like a bait and switch tactic, but the explanation was so great, it doesn’t matter. There are a lot of unresolved issues to work through in the final nine episode, so either way, the ride should be worth it.

John Annese of the Staten Island Advance:
Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and say, "Everything's going to be alright." Well, unless you're a character on Battlestar Galactica. Then you're pretty much hosed.

MaryAnn Johanson writes:
Oh, man, I am still trying to get my head around this one. Talk about bombs dropping... Ellen. Dualla. Starbuck. The distant pasts of the final four. I barely know where to begin even thinking about it, never mind writing about it.

And I can’t not think about it. It’s not like you can just sit there and tell yourself, “Well, I’ll simply wait to see how things develop over the next nine episodes. I don’t need to turn it all over in my head and wonder about how things will turn out. The episodes are completed, everything is set in stone, it’s all a done deal. It’s merely that I don’t yet know what the deal is that’s been done, but all I need is to be patient and hang on from week to week.” No: you can’t not think about this.

Elizabeth Brown, Associated Content:
Things couldn't be looking worse for the weary refugees in episode one of the final ten. They traveled across an entire galaxy only to find that Earth was destroyed in a nuclear attack almost 2000 years ago and remains completely unihabitable. The opening episode shows the leaders of the scrappy survivors starting to completely lose their minds as they realize that the original inhabitants of Earth were apparently cylons. With all hopes of reuniting with the rest of their species dashed, the crew spirals into depression, mania, desperation and a whole lot of suicide.

Ben Scarlato, a transhumanist writing for the IEET observes:
As the final half season of Battlestar Galactica opened with one of the darkest episodes ever, it gave me a lot to think about regarding death, immortality, and hope even in the worst of situations. Even if you happen to assign a low probability to the possibility of a high-quality future for ourselves here in 2009, it is worth dedicating a lot in pursuit of that future when its realization is of great value and permanence....

The proper response to even devastating tragedy is not the seductive embrace of death and its incomprehensible oblivion, but rather perseverance even when it seems all hope is lost. The appeal of immortality lies not in continuously experiencing the pain and disappointment of life, but in looking forward and having the time to eventually create a situation that allows for a thriving life filled not with sorrow but with the things we cherish. A better place may be a long away for the Colonials, but by clinging to life it’s nonetheless a possibility for them.

Adama’s Cylon allies would seem to prefer a mortal life to an immortal one, but at least the mortal Adama has the wisdom to cling to life in the hope of a better future even when life is at its worst.

Sam J. Miller writes about Roslin's loss of faith:
Poor Roslin. Last night, she finally had the breakdown that she has never allowed herself to have, going back to the initial attack, because she was immediately thrust into the role of president and had to focus all her energy on keeping morale up, giving the people hope, keeping the comforting wheels of government bureaucracy turning. She never got to grieve for all the things she lost, or mourn her murdered loved ones, because she had to heal everyone else’s grief by giving them something to believe in. Something called Earth. Now that Earth has been reached, and instead of the answer to their prayers it turns out to be one more horrific nightmare, she is confronted once more by The People, demanding that she make everything okay, and she breaks. Finally, the superhuman mask of The President cracks, and she let’s herself feel all the pain and bewilderment she could never afford before.

Andy Grieser of Zap2It and Asma Ahmad in North by Northwestern provide recaps. Other reviews from Galactica Variants, The Young Turks, and Galactica Science has a few interesting observations on Earth.

And check out an exclusive set of excellent behind the scenes photos taken by director Michael Nankin during the filming of Sometimes A Great Notion in The L.A. Times.

"You're the 5th"

photo by Randee St. Nicholas for the L.A. Times.

In The Los Angeles Times Geoff Boucher has an exciting and interesting interview with Kate Vernon.

Kate reveals that she's held the secret Ron Moore told her for quite some time:

All of this was a tremendous surprise considering Ellen was poisoned to death in Season 3, but with the Cylons, the usual rules of mortality don't apply. Vernon is thrilled to be back. Her character was originally written for a four-episode arc, but she endured and became a key character -- until she was murdered by her on-screen husband.

"I wasn't done with the character," Vernon moaned. "They killed me off. I was devastated. Why me? What did I do wrong?"

A small reprieve came when executive producer Ron Moore told her she would return as a dark vision of her husband's tortured mind, but Vernon resigned herself to the fact that her role in "one of the greatest shows ever made" was over. Then, on an especially wrenching afternoon many months ago, she got a phone call.

"I was crawling down Sepulveda and I had just come from a therapy session and I was crying, my eyes were swollen like clam eyes, and I was hanging on my steering wheel wondering what was going on in my life and my career. The phone rang. It was Ron's assistant."

For the next 45 minutes (traffic was bad) Moore explained that Ellen would return as a centerpiece presence. "Now I'm in seven of the last nine, and they are just absolutely brilliant. I can't tell you how good they are," she said.

Kate and Ron also talked to The Deadbolt about how trilled she was to return to BSG for the last episodes.

The L.A. Times also responded to reader complaints about their article, which ran a front page photo of Vernon in the Calendar section, with a large headline and with no spoiler warning. The L.A. Times responded:

"We really did think about it, but the story was too good to pass up for the few people who would inevitably be mad at us," says TV editor Kate Aurthur. She explained: "Entertainment journalism is a competitive medium, and this was a huge exclusive scoop for us. We took great pains to make sure it didn't export to the Web early by accident, and even held the Web version up so it published after the episode aired Pacific Time (letting our East Coast competitors perhaps get the jump on us, but out of consideration for Sci Fi's wishes and our core readers in California)." As for a reader who sarcastically asked if editors were aware that some readers record shows to watch later, Aurthur responds, "Though we certainly know that many readers have DVRs, we can't hold back on our coverage when something very important happens on a show people love. We must assume that people who care the most watch in real time, or close to it."

I have to agree with the Times on this one. This was a major event in the history of the show, so it's logical that it would make big news. My view has always been that once the show airs in the U.S. it's no longer a spoiler, and any embargo on the information can be lifted. At least that's our policy here. There are other sites on the web that specialize in spoilers, and they do a fine job at it. But on Sitrep, after an ep airs, the information is fair game to report and discuss.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Video interview: Olmos

Some time before heading to DC for the inauguration festivities, Edward James Olmos gave SciFiWire this exclusive video interview, which has spoilers for ep 413:

[Embeddable video at last? Nice one SFW!]

SO SAY WE ALL: A Thank You From The Fans

Grant over at the livejournal Battlestar Blog is spearheading a wonderful fandom thank-you project: you can submit letters of admiration, thank you, or other celebratory greetings -- and it will be collected up into a PDF file that will be distributed to the show's cast and crew.

Deadline to submit for the project is SUNDAY, JANUARY 25. That's this Sunday, so hurry up and get over there!

Thanks to Grant (and his secret crew contact at Universal) for putting this together, so that fans everywhere can show a little bit more love as the series ends. Sigh.

[Did you also know Grant is a terrific artist and some of his art is actually in the BSG wrap yearbook. Here's his latest BSG art, an image of Racetrack.]

More BattleAwesome AwesomeStar

We are once again late to the party on announcing this, but Toronto's Bad Dog Theater Company is once again doing weekly shows of the improv comedy show BATTLEAWESOME AWESOMESTAR this month.

Unfortunately all shows are now sold out except the last one on January hurry up and get your tickets. Wish I could be there...or that they'd take this act on the road!

Here's a clip of one of their shows uploaded by youtuber corecorina:

413 Ratings

NBCU has released a cheerful press release on the Friday ratings for ep 413. As they should do. Bottom line: a bit better than 4.0 and very popular amongst men who hang at home on Fridays.

Meanwhile, in the Cranky Fan Department, THR Feed's James Hibberd has hit the nail more squarely on the head, for those of us who actually watch the show on air…

The first episode of the final batch of "Battlestar" episodes (2.1 million viewers, 1.3 million adults 18-49) matched the Season 4 premiere in viewers and was down just slightly in the adult demo.

The network is fortunate that's all it lost. Sci Fi has engaged in a momentum-crushing, yet budget-friendly, release schedule for this relatively pricey series. In an era when serialized shows have proven time and time again to benefit from as few breaks as possible, Sci Fi went the other direction for its final round of "Battlestar," splitting 20 episodes into a two-part season airing about a year apart (meaning the network also has to market the show twice).

After DVD sales are factored (look, it's "Battlestar" Season "4.0" ... then "4.5"), it probably all makes sense on paper. But fans get so annoyed by the network's strategy, you have to wonder if it costs Sci Fi in unfactorable ways.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You think YOU hate hiatus...

The timing is off for posting this vid...but it's so frakkin funny I can't help myself. If loving this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Downfall Mashup: Hitler's BSG Breakdown (Spoilers), by slumbering

[This gets even funnier if you also read this. This has always been another personal favorite. HT for vid to Mark Verheiden.]

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day

Well, we've watched Laura, Gaius, and Lee all get sworn in as president, so why not take a moment to watch President Obama take the oath of office and celebrate the day...

Regular Sitrep coverage of BSG will resume after the inauguration.

It's The Music

Bear McCreary goes into astonishing depth and detail about the score for Sometimes A Great Notion on his blog.

It's all a great read, but the story behind Dualla's score is quite noteworthy to learn how Bear incorporated Kandyse McClure's improvised humming into the music throughout the episode when Dualla is on screen.

More Auction Stuff

Access Hollywood has this up:

Battlestar Blog found video of a Hollywood 411 piece from the Auction.

Melody Muse was blogging the auction here and posted a nice flickr set of her photos from the weekend.

Don't forget the eBay auction is up for another 7 hours...

ETA: Thanks to reader Jack for two more great auction links: a really fun video up on's BSG HQ, and this SciFi Australia article that runs down the selling prices of a lot of the major items -- apparently the auction raked in over A MILLION DOLLARS this weekend...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

At The Auction

Here is a great flickr set of shots by reader Jeremy...and a few vids I shot this weekend:

BSG Auction from ProgGrrl on Vimeo.

In a Raptor at last... from ProgGrrl on Vimeo.

(Does anyone know who won Baltar's portrait?)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quite a send off.

ProgGrrl's favorite things about going to the BSG cast and crew screening of 413, last night in Los Angeles:

  • I was there. How the frak did that happen? And I got to hang out with this terrific blogger, extra double plus good.
  • Ron Moore and Bradley Thompson praising the entire cast and crew effusively on stage before the screening.
  • A SciFi exec onstage, saying "they're feeling it" for an Emmy this year. Cross your fingers.
  • Bear and Brendan McCreary performing All Along The Watchtower live onstage with a guitar and an accordion.
  • Finally seeing some BSG eps on The Big Screen. The detail. The intensity. Wow.
  • The reaction of the audience to any scene starring Michael Hogan's Incredible Acting Eye. FTW!
  • The reaction of the audience to any of Tory's scenes (lots of boos and hisses, LOL).
  • Knowing, at the end, that we may be seeing a lot more of a certain somebody on the show now. I hope.
  • Meeting Paula Malcomson and Esai Morales and telling them how happy I am about Caprica moving forward. GO TEAM!
  • Leaving the afterparty...feeling like a fox drifting, drifting along in the river...on a strong current...

ProgGrrl's favorite things about the auction today in Pasadena (WHICH YOU SHOULD ALL GO CHECK OUT ON SUNDAY, ADMISSION IS FREE):
  • Standing two feet away from all those memorable props. Getting up close with the CIC set pieces to see how detailed (and beat to hell) they actually are. TV magic at its finest.
  • Finally meeting Joe from the wondrous Battlestar Wiki...and Steve from the very cool site FuturePast... two of the folks that have been working really hard on this auction for months.
  • Sitting in the frakkin' raptor! (More on that soon.)

(Sorry bout the cruddy video quality...but my Mino HD didn't get here in time...)

Space promo for 414

I'm not watching the promos anymore, myself...but I heard on the SciFi boards that this one shown on Space is much more "interesting" than the one SciFi showed last night:

Commentary track for 413

Hulu and Scifi have ep 413 with Ron Moore's commentary (which you can also download as an audio podcast from iTunes here or from SciFi here).

First Reax: The Story of Job

Over the next few days, I'll be collecting, posting, and quoting the reviews of Sometimes A Great Notion as they pour in...

In the meantime we have this MUST READ from Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, who talked to Ron Moore, David Weddle, Bradley Thompson an Michael Nankin about the episode. My favorite quotes from the article are the words of David Weddle:

This is perhaps the most universal theme you can explore. For the people of ragtag fleet, the dream was Earth. For those of us here on Earth, the dream could be many other things. It may be the house you saved all your life for but now can no longer afford to make payments on. The career you fantasized about since high school, went to college to prepare for, finally landed and loved, then lost when your company downsized. The woman or man you met who seemed to be everything you ever wanted to find in a lover, who betrayed your trust or left you or died. The flood waters that swept your entire neighborhood away. The war in a far away land that took your son or daughter or husband or wife. The spot on an X-ray that now wants to eat you alive....

The day the staff finished putting the cards up on the board with Ron, and the day before we began writing, I flashed on my favorite American novel, Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. It is a much underappreciated and towering work. Anyone interested in fine literature and great story telling should read Kesey’s masterpiece.

The book opens with a childish rhyme that enunciates the theme of the book and what to me was the theme of our show. “Sometimes I live in the country. Sometimes I live in the town. Sometimes I get a great notion. To jump in the river and drown.”

In Kesey’s book, the hero --Hank Stamper, an Oregon logger -- does constant battle with the river that runs past his home, a river that has claimed the lives of pets and loved ones and comes to symbolize the vast and indifferent power of the universe that both gives life and cruelly snatches it away again. In his notes to himself as he was writing the book, Kesey scribbled something that has become one of the shorthand phrases Brad and I use while writing scripts. Kesey wrote: “Try to make Hank quit.” By that he meant: take this strong, heroic character and pile one misfortune on his back after another until he finally falls. What happens in that moment? Does he despair? Does he get up and go on? For me, there is no more defining moment for a character.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Open Thread: 413 Sometimes A Great Notion

OK folks, here we go with a first for Sitrep this season - we'll put up open threads every Friday for discussion of the episode.

Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the threads.

All 4.5 open threads will be collected in an index that will sit on our blogroll rightside column, for handy access. (Here's the thread for the webisodes, btw.) If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.

The hiatus is over forever. How are you feeling today?

Writers: David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Director: Michael Nankin

Hulu embed:

Season 4.5 Open Thread Index

This post is the index for all our Season 4.5 Open Threads.












[Note that Sitrep uses the episode numbering that SciFi and BSG Production used for season 4, with the RAZOR telefilm counting as eps 401 and 402. Also, here's some really frakkin important stuff you should know about watching season 4.5.]

Staffing Caprica

Bear McCreary in studio at a “Caprica” scoring session this week!
[photo: Andrew Craig]

From various sources right now, we can confirm that BSG crewmembers Richard Hudolin, Gary Hutzel, and Bear McCreary have joined the crew of the CAPRICA series to do, respectively, the production design, the special effects, and the musical score. Great news. (That Hutzel link is a terrific interview; here's another.)

This piece discussing CAPRICA, part of Variety's special BSG edition on stands today, has some interesting perspective from Ron Moore and SciFi's Dave Howe:

"It's about a society that's running out of control with a wild-eyed glint in its eye," says "Galactica" mastermind Ron Moore, who penned the "Caprica's" two-hour pilot with Remi Aubuchon.

"You can just feel it running out of control, with its youth culture and its moral choices. There's doom in the air, but not doom in terms of the human spirit," Moore says.


In short, the show's stories and settings will be more congruent with Earth in the very near future than "BSG" has been.

Moore and the Sci Fi Channel are hoping that will help "Caprica's" appeal.

"We want people to come to this who've never heard of 'Battlestar Galactica,' " explains Sci Fi prexy Dave Howe, whose network has ordered 20 hours of the new series. "I think there was a barrier to entry for some viewers (for 'Galactica'), since it had the backdrop of space and spaceships."

Moore concurs, saying "We had viewers say that if they were able to trick their wives or girlfriends into watching 'Galactica,' they loved it."

But with the name "Battlestar Galactica" "screaming science fiction," he adds, "there was just such a high hurdle to get female viewers to even try it."

David Eick's Video Blog: Inserts Action & FX

All the videoblogs are here...there was another one posted earlier in the week, but it's not on Hulu.

BSG episodes on

Pop Candy got this from the horse's mouth today:

Do you know if the Sci Fi Channel will have the new season of BSG online? -- Liz D.

Yes, and I just got the exact schedule for you: According to a Sci Fi spokesman, for the first five weeks, the Season 4.5 episodes will go on and Hulu at 2 a.m. ET the day after they air. They're also available on iTunes and Amazon beginning at 3 a.m. ET each Saturday, so you really have no excuse to miss 'em!

Only the first five weeks...but it's something.

The View of the Apocalypse

Eddie and Mary on The View:

The clip shown on The View:

Herc of Ain't It Cool News gives "Sometimes A Great Notion" 5 stars, and does so without spoiling the episode, but does provide some interesting teases.

Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Herald walks the same line, praising and teasing the episode, without ruining it for us all.

Variety has a slew of BSG articles today, including reflections from director of Sometimes A Great Notion, Michael Nankin, and co-writer of the episode, David Weddle.

Variety also presents thoughts and observations from friend of the Sitrep, and Daily Show writer Rob Kutner, who imagines a Daily Show in the fleet. Others pondering the meaning of BSG including members of the military, clergy, scientists, a political blogger, and a PBS TV show host all here .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Fans...And A Hybrid?

I was emailing back and forth the other day with fellow BATTLESTAR GALACTICA fan Rob Kutner…and things got a bit dense, BSG-fandom-wise. We geeked all over the place, called in An Expert (his DAILY SHOW cohort John Hodgman), and then I even quizzed Rob a bit about his day job. Wasn't it nice of them to let me publish our chat. Enjoy.


ProgGrrl: Hey RK, what's up. Happy new year. We haven't talked in a while…how's it going these days with our chances of apocalypse? Still looking good?

I've been having some serious geekalicious happy lately, watching the new BATTLESTAR season 4.5 promos, the webisodes…and today even a cool new clip of the way-before-the-apocalypse CAPRICA series. Great stuff to tide us over till our own apocalypse hits. We BSG fans…we KNOW apocalypse.

Rob Kutner: Come on ProgGrrl, war in the Middle East? A smart Black man elected President? How could anyone interpret either of those as signs of the End Times? At the very least, that means there must still be five to go. Actually, I'm tremendously enjoying the leadup to season 4.5. Right now, the whole show is sandwiched between two apocalypses -- like the meat in an Armageddonwich. Which, if you made it out of human-cylon hybrid flesh, would be guaranteed not to give you cancer!

But yes, I'm full of questions. Like, which gender – or species – Gaeta is going to smooch next? Where on Earth is Tigh going to find an ambrosia still? And what exactly is it that – in the trailers – Kara freaks out upon seeing? I'm guessing it's the smoldering remains of a Starbucks. Talk about "There are many copies…"

PG: Mmmm, Armageddonwich.

Have you been checking out those mindbender clues over on If you play this one backwards, it may reveal that the walrus was Adama. As for Gaeta...who knew about his thing for architecture? All that, and such a fine singing voice.

So I suppose an Armageddonologist like yourself must have enjoyed the final scene of "Revelations," the last episode from 4.0, when the rag tag fleet makes it to Earth..."Earth?"..."Earth!" (we fans aren't quite sure). What was your reaction?

RK: Gaeta truly is a Renaissance man. I bet he could talk your ear off about fine Leonis Estates wines. And a lotta good stuff in those teases. For instance, who knew that Adama actually washes his face? I half-expected all the crags to fall off and him to be the smooth-skinned Adama from Razor. Baltar seems to play a key role in the events to come -- meaning he's going to continue getting laid like a madman. Also, from the looks of it, there's a human-cylon hybrid baby born with a case of heartburn so bad, you can see it from the outside.

As far as the end of "Revelations," wow. It takes a special kind of armageddon to turn everything that precise shade of brown. Sort of Ron &co's way of saying, "Earth? You ain't found shit." And after seeing Earth, you have to imagine the humans and "good" cylons are pining for the verdant lushness of New Caprica or even Old Caprica. Speaking of which, I assume they wouldn't just hightail it back there because Sharon and the 1s, 4s, and 5s (great name for a band, btw) would find them there? It's a pity, because I love its oddly 50s-style cars. Do those come equipped with FTL drives? How cool would the new "Caprica" series be if characters were saying, "Hey baby, wanna jump with me to the drive-in?"

PG: That’s not all they’re jumping on Caprica, from the looks of this.

RK: Yowza. Based on that clip, you get the feeling if the Cylons hadn't done Caprica in, Holo-chlamydia would have.

PG: Who is your favorite character on the show? Or do you have more than one?

RK: My favorite characters... I would say Roslin, the Old Man, I kind of dig Cavil in a strange way, and I'm endlessly amused by the Hybrid. Talk about a multi-tasker! ("...shall spell the doom of all mankind 'ere his first blossoming... oil low - check engine soon")

PG: Who do you love more: funny, clever scientist Gaius, who is always hanging with cylons and getting laid…or Christ-like, suffering, guilty preacher Gaius who is being either tortured, imprisoned, or getting laid?

RK: As much as I enjoy seeing Gaius get the frak beaten out of him, I do enjoy him more when he's talking fast to save his own skin - I particularly enjoyed him in "Torn" way-too-easily blurting out how to get to Earth to the Cylons, and trying to talk his torturer D'Anna into reconciling science and faith -- while simultaneously having projected-sex with #6. No wonder he can go head to head with the Hybrid!

PG: Let’s talk burning questions. I have some, our readers certainly have even more… What are the things that keep you awake at night about this show? I come up with new questions every few days. Right now I want to know if Gaeta will begin randomly slaughtering Number Eights whenever he sees one around the ship… if Adama’s going to punch that dude who spray-painted FRAK EARTH on his wall... if Tigh will decide he wants to settle down and raise a family with Six…if Kara will ever find out why The Hybrid was throwing all those big words at her, like “harbinger,” and stuff.

RK: So, my questions: I, too, wonder whose ass Gaeta will claim next - let's not forget Sam "the leg-shooting toaster" is also on the list. If Tigh and Six do settle down on Earth, how will he be able to grow a lawn that he can yell at kids to get off of? Will Bill Adama ever be able to settle down even anywhere on land, or will he be forced to grow another "orbit patrol 'stache?"

As far as outstanding series questions (ie: Truth I Hope Will Be Known): Who/what saved Starbuck and sent her to Earth and back with coordinates and shmancy new Raptor? How could a skinjob like Tigh have been created so long ago, and with such an alcohol problem? How did the birth of cylon-human Hera spark such mystical awareness among both Roslin and D'Anna, yet his fellow cy-man (or is it "hum-lon") Nicky did not? Why were the Five separated, how is it they've "seen the way to earth" yet the lone models we know have no clue where it is, and why are they suddenly switched on now? And how did young Bill Adama in Razor come upon the original Cylon prototypes and Raiders, yet not one Daggit? (Sorry, new-BSG purists.)

PG: Good stuff, big questions...we're both pretty stumped here. My head is spinning. What we really need expert.

What about your friend John Hodgman? I bet he could help us. I know he's incredibly frakkin busy with non stop book tours, Daily Show appearances, Mac ad shoots, and twittering...but...there's just *so many questions*, my gods.

[It takes a bit of time to adjust the signal here… Rob waits… I wait… then, suddenly, we received the following.]


Hello friends. I am writing to you from the fabled lost colony of Park Slope, where I have been catching up on all the Gaeta-sodes, and it was a marvelous experience. I got to watch the movie "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" ten times! (At least, I presume it was the whole movie. There can't be much more to it than that, can there?)

As an added bonus, I got to enjoy the BSG material itself, which as you know was co-written by Kevin Seamus Fahey and the very lovely, generous super-genius Jane Espenson. As you may also know, it was Jane who gave me something to say on my very fleeting appearance on one of those last 10 episodes. (Do not ask me about it. I would not say a word to spoil it, and I am hardly sure I will end up in the finished product anyway).

But it leaves me in a strange position. Through the palimpsest of partial scripts, I have glimpsed at least some of the answers to some of my biggest burning questions. But these answers lead only to more questions, which also burn. And so, like you, I am equally looking forward to the cooling answer-poultice of the new episodes.

Until then, I will recline, hybrid like, speaking cryptically, knowing more than I can say, but traveling with you, and bathed in glowing slime.

But I can ask these questions:

1. WHEN DID THEY DECIDE TO TURN UP THE LIGHTS IN THE CIC? Did someone just discover the dimmer switch finally? A cache of old fluorescents they forgot about?

2. WHY DID GAETA PUT A BOOT ON THE END OF HIS PEG LEG? I'm sure it aids his getting around, but it is hardly as stylish as plain old pirate gear (as Tigh figured out some time ago). And I really think it increases the chance of him tripping every time he walks through a pyramid door.

3. IF THE GAETASODES DO OCCUR AFTER THE DISCOVERY OF EARTH, where is Earth now? If they are still doing long jumps all over space to evade hostile cylons, does that mean they have abandoned earth already?

As for my favorite characters, I agree with Espenson's assessment in her commentary for Gaetasode 10. Michael does more acting with his one visible eye than a lot of people do with their whole body. Like Gaeta, Boomer8thena, Tyrol, and Cottle, these are all really amazing Canadian actors whom I probably never would have seen were it not for this show.

Another reason I am grateful almost everyone on Caprica died.

For now, THAT IS ALL

PG: Hmm…I always suspected Hodgman might be a Hybrid. Ain't it always the trouble when chatting up a Hybrid: cryptic statements, full of promise, and most of your questions remain unanswered.

So we shall have to wait and see if, where, and when Mr. Hodgman appears on BSG. Meanwhile I see he has already gone back to you said: those Hybrids sure can multi-task.

RK: First off, I want to echo what John said about how - in addition to being a great yarn - the Webisodes gave us 10 exciting glimpses at "Underworld." As it happens, I'd been wondering what we could be, instead of being slaves. I now know the answer: "LYCANS!!!!"

PG: You know Rob, seeing as you are a writer on another one of my favorite shows, THE DAILY SHOW, I can't resist asking: are there any other TDS staffers who are BSG fans? We've heard that BSG is loved by the entire Late Night With Letterman writers' room. This summer I was waiting for you guys to make the McCain/Palin -- Tigh/Roslin connection…but no dice.

RK: I took a poll, and about half of us are into it. The rest are clearly lesser-evolved Centurions. But I resist that political analogy – even Laura Roslin knows way much more about 21st Century U.S. foreign policy than Palin.

PG: There've been a few passing mentions on THE DAILY SHOW this year of BSG…is Jon Stewart in on this? Stewart has always had a bit of geek cred. Not as much as Stephen Colbert, but not bad.

RK: Jon doesn’t watch it, but he has this eerie all-knowing sense of what’s in the ether. However, there have been legions of BSG pitches that never made air. For example, that Rod Blagojevich’s censored wiretapping remarks were actually him repeatedly saying “FRAK” – bleeped out because CNN doesn’t want to get into copyright violation territory. We tried to get Jon to ask Education Secretary Margaret Spellings if she hoped for a global nuclear holocaust so she could become President. When Biden was making those ominous remarks near the end of the campaign about how an Obama administration would get “hit within six months,” I worked with Jane Espenson to find suitably disturbing Hybrid clips to intercut with that.

PG: When are Katee Sackhoff or Tricia Helfer gonna guest on the show? I'm amazed Helfer hasn't been on yet…can you possibly make a case to your producers on behalf of BSG/TDS crossover fans everywhere?

RK: You know our show – they’d have to first write a book about Iraq. Actually, my strong preference would be Grace Park. Shouldn’t be that hard to book – there’s like a hundred of her, right?

PG: Well Rob…and John (wherever you are)…thanks so much for taking time away from Apocalypse Research, Generally Being an Expert, and skewering the body politic with the DAILY SHOW crew to talk Galactica with me. It's always a pleasure talking BSG with other addicts.


Rob Kutner is an Emmy-award-winning writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and lots of other things. His book “Apocalypse How” is available. Right now. You should buy it. He twitters too.

John Hodgman is currently a Famous Minor Television Personality, the Resident Expert on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and the author of “More Information Than You Require” and “Areas of My Expertise.” We BSG fans might recall that he wrote this, back in the day. You can also read a bit more from him about BSG here.

The Really, Really Frakkin Important Stuff

Generally Frakking Important: Sitrep has collected a ton of info over here to take the discerning BSG TruFan far into the future.

Help Bear Curate the Season 4 CD: Bear McCreary would like all of us to comment here on his blog throughout the final season, and tell him which musical pieces we would most like to see on the Season 4 soundtrack. Pretty cool, eh?

Ron Moore podcast commentaries: Hulu and Scifi are posting full episodes with Moore's commentary track overlaid weekly. You can also download as an audio podcast from iTunes here or from SciFi here.

How to watch BSG season 4.5 on TeeVee:

USA: SciFi

SciFi is broadcasting all 10 webisodes tonight (Thursday night) during the airing of the film PITCH BLACK. On Friday beginning at 8:30am ET/ 7:30 CT, they will air an all-day BSG season 4.0 marathon leading up to the premiere.

Canada: Space

Starting at 10am ET, Space will be running 14 hours of BSG programming this Friday, including all the 4.0 episodes and a “fandom forum” discussion.

UK: Sky One

Sky 2 is running 4.0 eps this week leading up to the 4.5 premiere on Sky One on January 20th.

How to watch BSG season 4.5 on Teh Internets: (free): last year, SciFi’s own site posted new episodes 1-3 days after their Friday broadcast, along with “enhanced” versions containing Ron Moore’s commentary tracks. They also streamed the full episodes for the first few weeks starting on Fridays at 9am EST – but there has been no indication that is happening this year.

Hulu (free): the final four eps of BSG 4.0 are currently on the site, and here’s a statement from Hulu on new eps…

New episodes of BSG return to Hulu 1/17. The first five episodes will be posted on Hulu the day after their TV broadcast. Subsequent episodes will be posted 8 days after their original broadcast date.

We are able to offer five older episodes from the previous season; they will be available until 5 a.m. PST on 1/31/09.

iTunes: there is already a very nifty BSG home page on the iTunes Store site, which contains pages for each season in both standard and high-def formats. They have posted the entire set of The Face of The Enemy Webisodes (in 720p HD) for free download; this is the first time any BSG webisodes have been available in HD. Also available for free are the catch-up specials. They have bundled a set of “Best Of BSG” eps from past seasons, curated by Ron Moore. In the past, new eps of BSG have appeared on iTunes the morning after first US broadcast.

Xbox Live Marketplace: the entire series is on their site, and we are assuming new eps will be there too. If you know something different, speak up. One element that makes us nervous though: as of this morning, they only have 7 of the 10 webisodes posted. Are they going to be slow to keep up with posting new series eps?

Amazon VOD: you can watch all of season 4.0 now, and we are assuming you can get new ones starting this weekend. There’s a discount for subscribing for a season pass. Their VOD system allows the following compatibilities: Mac and PC online viewing, Windows PC download, TiVo DVRs, Sony BRAVIA Internet Video Link, compatible portable video devices.

Off Topic: I’d like to also put in a plug for another TV show that begins its 3rd season run on NBC Friday night, which is FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. A lot of us FNL fan(atic)s are wondering if this will be the last season for the show because, much like BSG, the ratings have always been kinda low. FNL director/producer Jeffrey Reiner, who directed the CAPRICA pilot, directed several of this season’s best episodes (which just finished running on DirecTV). You can watch the first two seasons online here. For a nice look at some of the reasons you should watch this show, check out Tim Goodman’s piece here about BSG and FNL, and Alan Sepinwall’s piece here.