Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oddly Funny

Former BSG co-exec producer Mark Verheiden says of these YouTube videos:

I'm not quite sure why these are being done, but they are oddly compelling...

I think I agree with him. I rather like this one the most:

Here are the full playlists by HighlandsTechno.

"Ron" discusses reactions to the finale:

"Ron" and "Dave" develop a new show about killer robots in space:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Colonial One Over NYC

BSG FX artist Mojo makes the point that the military could use CGI for all their photo-op needs:

If you wanted pictures of Air Force One and some F16s flying over NY, why not just pick up the phone and call Hollywood? I hear the governor has a few ties with people who make special effects movies. I’m sure they would have helped you out. When most people want images of something impossible, or just too expensive to do for real, they turn to the magic of visual effects. You guys didn’t think a movie like Independence Day used real UFOs, did you?

...Especially now, with computers, you can do FX really cheap! That’s right, the same computers you use to erase people’s identities and put your old math teacher on the no-fly list can be used to create UFOs and airplanes and anything else you can dream up. In fact, I used one to create this picture:

And guess what? I whipped that image up in just about an hour. See? I bet for less than the cost of the fuel you spent on that little stunt yesterday I could have computer-generated all the pictures you needed - all without a single Hail Mary or evacuated building. Hell, for a few extra bucks I would have even thrown in some HD video.

BSG: Dallas

ThamelasStormrage does BSG credits Dallas style.

Video: BSG The End

Highlights from the final episode from moviegeek7.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Caprica Pilot: 25 Word Review

(Greetings sentient centurions - over at my personal blog, I write 25-word reviews of movies and books and TV episodes.... last night, I watched the Caprica pilot on DVD, and here is my 25-word review. No spoilers besides what's shown in the trailer! - Sam J. M.)

Funny how different it feels from Battlestar - glossy, conventional, labyrinthine - yet terrifyingly familiar. Overall excellent. Who didn't swoon, watching that cylon take its first steps?

Friday, April 24, 2009

BSG mention on...30 ROCK?

WOW. BSG mentioned on 30 ROCK. That's a nice surprise. Now if we can also get a Tina Fey or Katee Sackhoff cameo on either MAD MEN or TRUE BLOOD this year, all will be right with my pop culture world...

Music of Caprica

Bear McCreary details the themes of Caprica on his blog.

Bear also notes two new BSG music documentaries to be seen on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases:

“The Evolution of a Cue” (DVD and BluRay) will walk you through my entire process of scoring, from the editor’s temp score, through sketching, writing, recording and the final mix. “The Musicians Behind Daybreak” (BluRay only) features interviews with each principle musician and goes into further detail of the Daybreak score, including several music videos like this one that went up on Hulu recently:

Caprica Paley Video

The Paley Center has video from their Caprica event.

Much more from daphnesadventures's YouTube Channel.

See also a preview from PlayStation Pulse.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Greetings From Caprica

The unrated CAPRICA pilot film hit the street today. Huzzah. I saw this several months ago and I am sure a large number of you BSG fans will really enjoy it. Check out what CAPRICA star Esai Morales has to say about Joseph and William Adama in this short interview. Jane Espenson talks about the upcoming CAPRICA TV series here. And The Futon Critic covers last night's CAPRICA panel at the 2009 PaleyFest in Los Angeles...were any of you there? Sounds like a great night.

Buy your CAPRICA DVD on Amazon, or download CAPRICA from iTunes. Let us know what you think!

Meanwhile I'm sure Logan is collecting up a million reviews for us...Right, Logan?

If you're still in a buying mood -- Blu-ray fans can preorder BSG: The Complete Series over on Amazon (also on DVD). And you DVD hounds can read about the 13 hours of extras and the 3 extended episode cuts we'll be getting on the Season 4.5 DVD set (also on Blu-ray). All of which hit the street on July 28th. Oh and here is more info, and photos of the box, for the Blu-ray Complete Series. Yum.

[...sorry, but apparently the tee is sold out.]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ron Moore Says...

Chicago Tribune Watcher Maureen Ryan talked to writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson about their work on CSI's BSG/Trek/SF themed episdoe, 'A Space Oddity'.

More on the CSI episode from Omaha Examiner, Entertainment Weekly, and Zap2it.

Screencaps from the episode showing the cameos from Ron Moore, Grace Park, and Rekha Sharma at Triny's World.

The Battlestar Wiki Blog reports on this upcoming event with Ron Moore:

Tuesday, May 5 - 7:30-9:30pm - At the Writers Guild Theater (135 S
Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90211)
Light reception included

Join us for this unique opportunity to learn from the writer, developer, and excecutive producer of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA… one of the most successful sci-fi series in a frakkin’ long time. Ronald D. Moore is one of the most successful writers of television science fiction working today. He is writer/executive producer of Battlestar Galactica. Previous writing and producing credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Good Vs. Evil, Roswell, and the acclaimed HBO series Carnivale. He is the winner of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy (plus many nominations) and a Hugo Award, as well as a WGA nomination.

Purchase tickets online here or call 800-838-3006

$20 General Public
$15 WGA members
$10 Student with ID
(prices slightly discounted online)

Caprica Reviewed

Yes, that's CSM with Joseph Adama.

Spoiler Alert: Watch a fan video showing a Cylon Centurion prototype in action from Caprica:

Lucas Siegel for Newsrama reviews Caprica:

The Caprica pilot episode hits DVD on Tuesday, and it is one hell of a tease. It’s a tease in the best possible way; that sweet first kiss that you just know in your heart will lead to more. It’s familiar, but new. Most of all, it’s an hour and a half of great entertainment, and something to keep Battlestar Galactica fans smiling after the show’s recent completion.

This new show is very clearly a product of the final season of BSG. Religious themes, which were littered across the entire series but became the true central theme of BSG are front and center here from the very beginning. The show takes place 58 years “before the fall” in a world that could be hours +10-20 years. Technology is just further enough along to place it firmly in the realms of science fiction, but the rest of everyday life is familiar enough to make it all very believable. This story is about the modern birth of the Cylons (Yes, that’s an acronym, and yes, you’ll hear the longform of it) and the families who created them. Like BSG before it, the SciFi elements are really background; they are necessary storytelling devices, but they clearly are there in support of the relationships.

This is of course the opening to something larger, as all pilots are. The presentation on DVD first was clearly to support the original vision. This is bloodier, more graphic in both violence and sex (including some nudity), and deals more directly with adult themes than the version that will eventually make it to TV in 2010.

...It’s hard to view this from the point of view of someone who never watched or worse didn’t enjoy BSG. For fans of the show, this will make an ample replacement/supplement, and should simply make those people very happy that they get to continue to explore this era of the universe. For those who never watched/didn’t like BSG, this certainly offers a more down-to-earth look at the world, but still centers around themes of religion, life and how it’s defined, morality, ethics, racism, and how people interact with one another, especially in the face of great tragedy. The presentation is similar enough that it will likely turn off anyone who didn’t enjoy the first show; after all, that’s what a spin-off is for. Seeing how this all fits into the larger tapestry of the universe that was established in 4 seasons of a beloved show is sure to intrigue fans, and this was a hell of a way to start things off.

The Wall St. Journal has an article on the use of robots by the military.

Auction II Nears

Coming soon the second Battlestar Galactica Props and Costume live auction, in Pasadena May 8-10. Make a great bid and Boing Boing reports that you can get your hands on a Raptor, and a Viper Mark VII.

Vote for William Adama

Upcoming Event at the Paley Center, New York City:

Event: Star Trek Smackdown

Thursday, May 7, 2009
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
New York
In Person

Panel of science fiction experts to be announced.

O Captain! My Captain! Who's the greatest leader in the history of science fiction on television? We're pitting Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek against your choices, based on the results of our Star Trek Smackdown poll. We're beaming aboard a panel of sci-fi experts to debate the pros and cons of all the leading contenders, but we also want to hear what YOU think, so set your coordinates for the Paley Center and come join the debate.

Bring your tricorders to help you answer some trivia questions to win some DVDs and other special prizes! And feel free to come in costume if you're planning to go to a midnight premiere of Star Trek later that evening.

This event will be free with Paley Center admission.

Be sure to vote in their Smackdown Poll, as fans of other shows have been busily stuffing the ballot boxes. So, let's get all Roslin and do some ballot stuffing of our own.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another BSG Finale Tribute

From ZITremedy664


In honor of the series finale, violinist Bryan Lee (hitokirivader) performs a medley of BSG's music, The Colonial Anthem, Adama Family Theme, and Roslin and Adama.

Uh, Fridays

philwan deals with the lack of BSG on Fridays from now on...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caprica Video Blogs

Watch Sci-Fi.Com's exclusive video blogs for Caprica.

In other news, TV Shows on DVD, and Digital Bits, along with High Def Digest observe preview screens on the Caprica DVD pointing to the July 28th release of The Complete BSG on DVD and Blu-Ray disc.

Alan Sepinwall for The Star-Ledger briefly previews the sc-fi themed ep of CSI airing tonight. Tim Molloy for TV Guide talked to CSI actor Wallace Langham.

Not In Our Stars: The Betrayals of the Battlestar Galactica Finale

(Greetings Colonial Refugees and Rebel Cylons - this is my first post as part of the Sitrep editorial team. Now that the show is over, I am excited to see this blog become a space for fans to continue to uncover the rich and complex meaning of different aspects of the show, and what it has to say about us (in addition to keeping on top of Caprica developments, DVD releases, books and articles that cover the show, etc). To that end, my first post is a little provocative, to spark some debate and get us all talking... )

Not In Our Stars: the Betrayals of the Battlestar Galactica Finale

by Sam J. Miller

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves...”

Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene ii

The episode ends, and I stare at the screen. I've prepared myself for a soul-shattering ending, for horrible things, for these characters who I love so much to be dispatched in ways that make me sob and tremble and nod my head because I know, as much as it hurts, that it all makes perfect sense.

Because a huge chunk of what made Battlestar Galactica such a shockingly brilliant show was how much it rejected the cliches and easy answers of standard mainstream storytelling. Because characters were faced with real, challenging dilemmas, and things never ended in a tidy, cheery way. Because good people did terrible things. Because desperately flawed men and women somehow managed to be heroes, or find love. Because things were messy. And ugly. Just like life. Just like all great art. Yet the finale of Battlestar Galactica turned its back on all that, opting instead for the kind of shiny happy ending we associate with a far lower grade of television fare, and which its beautifully-damaged characters didn't deserve.

I'm on the losing side of this, I know, from the ton of time I've spent on message boards and blog comment pages, trying to come through my own sense of grief and loss and betrayal. Most fans loved the last episode. I loved the first half. The Caprica flashbacks were wonderful. Watching Roslin emerge from her grief and choose the life of service that would ultimately make her President and the savior of humanity was wonderful. Galactica jumping right in, inches away, face to face with the Colony. Boomer's moment of redemption. Hybrid Sam tricking the other hybrids. And finally—the song—Starbuck putting the pieces together—jumping Galactica to Gods know where—the ship's back breaking...

And that's when I started to feel sick. This lush green blue paradise, this answered prayer, this FUCKING! HAPPY! ENDING! Such bright sunshine was utterly out of character for Battlestar Galactica. The show's darkness did not derive from the lightless vacuum of space in which it was set, but rather in the hearts of the characters. Old Man Adama's words, uttered in the miniseries, became Battlestar Galactica's first article of faith: “we are the flawed creation.” We must answer for our mistakes. We get what we deserve. Passing into the promised land so easily, it felt like we'd suddenly switched to a whole new show. As the writer Alexander Chee said of the finale, “It felt like getting the fortune you don’t want from the fortune teller, not because you fear it, but because it is simplistic, and you know the fortune teller is lying.”

Battlestar Galactica resonated so deeply because it was it had the guts to be as dark and disturbing and depressing as the modern world itself. It was the show that could finally show us how ugly we are. I've always felt that the show was just 'finding itself' until the Pegasus showed up at the end of Season 2.0. It was always dark as fuck, but it also had whole episodes of humor and lightness (Ellen playing footsies with Lee in Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down) or glib political soap opera (Colonial Day) and spirituality (the Kobol arc)... and then here comes the Pegasus, with its gang rapes and magnificent evil lesbian and the plot to kill Adama, and Roslin saying "we have to kill her..." and from THERE, the show never faltered, as far as I'm concerned. there was never an episode that broke that vibe of unrelenting harshness. Sure, some were weaker or slower than others, and some were not SO focused on the ugliness, but even a more "laid back" episode like Taking a Break From All Your Worries is really all about torturing Baltar. And for me, the most brilliant perfect moment in the entire series was the discovery of nuclear-wasteland Earth at the end of Revelations. That exemplifies the extent to which Battlestar Galactica refused to coddle its viewers, or give them easy answers, or make them feel better about themselves and the world they live in. “So you've spent all this time looking for Earth? You've pinned all your hopes and dreams on finding Earth? You think all your problems will vanish when you find Earth? Well here, motherfrakker, here's your Earth—now what?” Our problems are in ourselves, not our circumstances or in the stars, and it's naïve to think that finding a new home or winning a million dollars will make us all into perfect beings.

Battlestar Galactica's strength was its darkness, and the series finale betrayed that darkness.

So. Three weeks go by. I fume and rant and rave. At meetings, I brood quietly until the end, at which point I lean across the table and say “do any of you watch Battlestar Galactica?” I read the endless back-and-forth in the comments field at the Sitrep, and on message boards, and the hundreds of reviews and analysis from all the people who fell in love with the show and are now dealing with this same profound loss.

Finally, I talk myself into watching it again.

And it was a good decision. Because by now at least I'm not surprised or shocked by the awful bits, and I can focus on the good things. And I'm crying like a baby for most of the last hour and eleven minutes.

The Starbuck ending worked, for me. The whole painstaking build-up. Plus I never wanted her to end up with Apollo, and I liked the realization that they were more brother and sister than anything else. Her use of the song to find the coordinates that lead humanity to Earth was a good fulfillment of all the “Kara Thrace and her Special Destiny” mumbo-jumbo, as well as the bigger-picture role of that song, beyond its centrality for the Final Five. Her sudden disappearance left me feeling suitably gobsmacked, and left just enough ambiguity and mystery to not feel cheap and easy.

Roslin has always been one of the most complex and interesting characters to me, and the finale did not do justice to her role as the leader of the fleet, the civilian counterpart to Adama's military authority. What happened to the kick-ass Roslin whose steady hand and icy determination saved the human race from extinction time and time again? The dying leader who really did lead the caravan of the heavens to its new home? If the new non-wasteland Earth had any value, it's this—it fulfilled the prophecy, it gave Roslin her resolution. I mean, come on, I know she was dying, and all, but this is Roslin, for gods' sakes. She can kill somebody by narrowing her eyes. Adama could have turned to her and said “you did it.” Even better, she could have whispered to herself “I did it.” After all the hard decisions she had to make, arriving at Earth was her victory.

In Resurrection Ship, Part Two, when Adama asks Athena why the Cylons hate us so much, she refers him back to his own words. “You said, 'Man never asked itself why it should survive.' Maybe you don't.”

That's what sticks in my throat, watching us arrive at paradise. What if we don't deserve a happy ending? What if going through hell is no guarantee you'll get into heaven? What if, in the end, our mistakes and offenses are so great that we can't come back from them? If anything, the fourth season showed us the human race becoming even more desperate, dark, and violent. Like hunted animals. Matching the Cylon genocide with a genocide of our own, by destroying the Hub. Betraying our rebel Cylon allies by keeping Three for ourselves, after she was resurrected. Organizing a mutiny against your commanding officers, assassinating the elected representatives of the people as soon as they disagree with you. It would be one thing if the human race was learning from its mistakes, and deciding collectively not to be that selfish, flawed, greedy, violent, terrified community whose arrogance and aggressiveness sparked the Cylon holocaust in the first pace. Maybe then we'd deserve to have all of our dreams come true and end our days in a fertile sunny African valley instead of blown to bits in the dark and cold of space.

Lots of fans expressed outrage at the extent to which "God did it" was invoked as a final explanation for so many of our big questions. Head Six, the Opera House, what-the-frak-is-Starbuck. To me, the problem isn't god(s). The problem is a simplistic god, an ultimately benevolent power who is guiding everyone to a happy ending. I'm an agnostic, but I always loved the show's religious themes—because they were complicated. Think of Caprica Six, with a crazy glint in her eyes, telling Baltar "God is love”—right after God commanded the Cylons to commit genocide! That's a real, challenging, complex look at what god is—a force that commands men to love one another, and a force that men use to justify killing each other. That's what Battlestar Galactica always had up its sleeve—the idea that God might be a bad-ass evil motherfrakker who really is planning to wipe us all out. The idea that God might be a lie we tell ourselves to make us feel better.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves,” says Cassius, trying to talk his comrade into rising up against Julius Caesar. We take responsibility for ourselves, and we accept the consequences of our actions, because to live any other way is to doom ourselves to keep on making the same mistakes. The reason a deus ex machina feels so fraudulent is because it steals the power away from the characters. Their punishments and their victories are no longer determined by their actions and their characters, but by the artist's lack of guts.

One source of Battlestar Galactica's astonishing intelligence was the way it took such supremely kitschy source material and turned it into something so stark and real and dark and bare. There's so little, even amidst all the death and tragedy and emotion, that ever felt sentimental or mawkish or easy. So to see Ron Moore, God himself in the Battlestar Galactica universe, standing there reading a magazine at the end, was exactly the kind of kitschy too-clever winking-at-the-audience bullshit that the show had so studiously avoided all along. And if Battlestar Galactica managed to break out of the science-fiction ghetto, winning over crowds of critics and brand-new audiences who had never before paid much attention to the genre, it was in large part through its studious avoidance of the standard cliches of TV science fiction. None of the Star Trek magic is at play here—machines that give you anything you want, or transport you to wherever you want go. No one in Battlestar Galactica sits back in a comfortable chair and drinks Earl Grey; they try to make a coffee substitute by roasting algae, but it's just not the same. In fact, there are really only two things in the Battlestar Galactica universe that are not currently possible with our own technology: faster-than-light travel, and artificial intelligence that equals or surpasses our own.

Yet the finale dug deep into the treasure trunk of science-fiction cliché, and came up with a couple classics. The idea that human life originated on another planet, or that Adam and Eve were aliens, is so hackneyed that many science fiction magazines include it in their list of themes that they reject out-of-hand because they've been done to death (“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” anyone?). So while I guess that being the mother of the human race as we now know it is a suitably major “reveal” for Hera, justifying all the hushed-voice talk about how important she is since before she was born, it also felt a bit too familiar.

And then there's that other science-fiction cliché, the one that has never been important in the Battlestar Galactica universe, and that all of a sudden becomes the ostensible motivation for the complete abandonment of Colonial civilization. Specifically: that technology is bad, dangerous, and we should abandon it. Granted, this cliché came out of the mouth of Lee Adama, who has always been full of crap and given to grandstanding, but still. It was trotted out front and center, and no one disputed it.

Galactica has always been too smart for this kind of easy analysis. The rebellion of the Cylons does not teach us that technology is evil and should be avoided—it teaches us that we must temper our use of technology with understanding, love, rationality, respect. The Cylons did not rebel because technology is evil; they rebelled because we enslaved them and made them fight our wars and dig our ditches and when you do that to sentient beings, you're going to piss them off, and you can be damn sure that they're going to fight back. We must not use technology to exploit and oppress others, for in doing so we sow the seeds of our own destruction. This is the lesson that Battlestar Galactica brought us, in the aftermath of 9/11. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore. Violence begets violence, and technology will always be used to build better land mines, bigger bombs, tinier cameras to invade people's privacy, scarier biochemical weapons to use on civilian targets, etc. Think of how many scientific breakthroughs, including the internet, came about as a result of military spending—and think about how much of our national budget, even now, is spent on the military. Science is not value-neutral; we must not pretend that science and technology are inherently harmless or, worse, inherently good. Plain and simple: we must be responsible in our use of it, or we will destroy ourselves. We will continue to oppress others, who will, in turn, oppress us. All of this has happened before, and will happen again.

I should give the producers a certain amount of credit. They shocked and surprised me with this ending, because the one thing I never expected Battlestar Galactica to do was fall back onto kitsch and cliche and sappiness and sunny smiley New York City to make us feel at home.

But I'll be honest. In the end, the real source of my heartbreak is not in the content of “Daybreak.” Pure and simple, it's in the fact that the show is over. And while I don't buy the hype that the finale could not have met all of our expectations for it, after a second viewing and a lot of soul-searching I can accept that even a 100%-satisfying ending would not have eased this ache I carry around with me, on the bus in rush hour traffic or watching some vastly-inferior television show, realizing that I'll never see Michael Hogan's astonishing left eye again, or hear Roslin say that something is “essential to the long-term survival of this fleet,” or share the Old Man's disappointment in his son. That is what we're privileged to have shared. That's what has forever changed the landscape of television drama. That's what we'll always have, long after the betrayals of Daybreak have ceased to annoy us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on CSI

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune has a preview of "A Space Oddity" episode of CSI:

For the geeks out there, especially fans of “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica,” Thursday’s “CSI” is required viewing—there are in-jokes large and small for followers of those franchises (“Battlestar” executive producer Ronald D. Moore even shows up for a brief cameo). I had to stop the advance DVD once because I was laughing so hard at a “Battlestar”-related joke.

The writers of the episode, “A Space Oddity,” include Bradley Thompson, David Weddle and Naren Shankar. The first two wrote for “Battlestar Galactica” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and Shankar penned scripts for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and "Farscape." Director Michael Nankin has helmed many episodes of “Battlestar” and does a typically excellent job here. The vintage “Astro Quest” sequences—which feature DayGlo colors, lumpy Styrofoam rocks, flat lighting and static camera angles—are so perfect that you expect William Shatner to arrive and start hamming it up.

...The episode also contains sly rebuttals to (or acknowledgments of) some critiques of "Battlestar," which ended its run a month ago. One of the characters at the sci-fi convention wants to re-invent "Astro Quest" -- he wants to free fans "from a vision of an antiseptic future filled with heroes and heroines who are always steadfast and well-adjusted and altruistic."

He unveils a clip from his proposed "Astro Quest Redux" that features shaky camera moves, a dark palette and characters at the extreme edge of desperation. Even the music recalls the soundtrack of "Battlestar Galactica."

Also in the episode Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh) is a media-studies professor who offers insight to the fictional Astro Quest.

Mo also has some trivia notes:

* They couldn't use Bear McCreary's score for "CSI," but they tried to pay homage to his music in the score for the "reinvented" "Astro Quest."
* For legal reasons, there could be no references to "Star Trek." At all. The sound crew even had to invent '60s-appropriate sci-fi sounds for "Astro Quest."
* For the soundtrack to vintage "Astro Quest" scenes, Shankar thought of using a '50s album by composer Russ Garcia: It's called "Fantastica: Music From Outer Space."
* You'll be able to easily spot Moore and Kate Vernon (who played Ellen Tigh on "Battlestar") in Thursday's "CSI." The other two "Battlestar" cast members? You'll have to look more closely to spt them.

Mo will have more on The Watcher from "CSI" writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, after the episode airs.

Also on the Tribune she has an excellent essay noting the similarities between the resurrections of John Locke from Lost, and Starbuck from BSG:
Kevin, a commenter on my most recent "Lost" post, pointed out recently that the journey of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on "Battlestar" paralleled that of Locke -- both were "dead" but returned to the living in order to bring about certain events.

That comment left me pondering the lives -- and rebirths -- of Locke and Starbuck (as I drove to an Easter gathering on Sunday, as it happens).

Both characters sought redemption for their perceived sins. Both have spent time in kind of purgatory -- unsure of their purpose, mistrusted by others, wondering whether their existence has any meaning. Starbuck realized that being the "chosen one" was as much of a burden as a blessing, and Locke may yet find that to be true.

Around the Horn

Tahmoh Penikett - who played Karl 'Helo' Agathon on BSG - has been cast in new TV SyFy Channel movie Riverworld.

Joining the 33-year-old is fellow Canadian star Laura Vandervoort, 24 - who played Supergirl in Smallville. Penikett has also appeared in Smallville, as two different characters.

In Riverworld, Tahmoh will play war correspondent Matt Ellman, who is killed along with his fiancee (Vandervoort) but awakens in a mysterious world populated by everyone who has lived on Earth.

Alan Cumming - known best to geeks as the teleporting Nightcrawler in X-Men 2 - is to guest star as the Caretaker; Jeananne Goossen and Mark Deklin also have been cast.

World Screen reports that Ronald D. Moore, the writer and executive producer of Battlestar Galactica, has been added to the Master Class speaker lineup at the Banff World Television Festival, which is celebrating its 30th edition this June 7 to 10.

Recently Sci-Fi Wire reported that writer Eric Heisserer has been hired to rewrite Ronald Moore's script for The Thing, a prequel film to John Carpenter's 1982 horror movie of the same name.

World Screen also reported:

Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer has signed on to star in The Dealership, a new original series pilot for Canwest that will be distributed by FremantleMedia Enterprises.

The one-hour pilot will feature Helfer in the lead role of Rachel Carson, the tough-as-nails sales manager of an auto dealership founded by her father Frank, played by William Devane (Jesse Stone). Also on board for the show is Patrick J. Adams (Friday Night Lights) as Rachel's younger brother. The pilot is a production of Verite Films.

Tricia was recently on Chuck, and Maureen Ryan reports on efforts to save Chuck. (Mo also suggests that if Fox kills Dollhouse, Joss Whedon needs to find a home on HBO, AMC or Showtime.)

From Proggrrl's Tweet, we find out that Michael Ausiello reports that James Callis will play a "charismatic sociopath" on the May 15th NUMB3RS season finale.

SFX interviews Romo Lampkin actor Mark Sheppard. Newsrama reports on Astronaut Garrett Reisman's BSG cameo appearance. Jamie Bamber and Tricia Helfer's print ads for PETA. Complex on BSG's hottest women.

A new comic book
explores the back story of the Final Five. io9 notes:
The Final Five - written by Battlestar TV writer Seamus Kevin Fahey (The man behind "Faith" and "The Face of The Enemy" webisodes) and co-writer David Reed, and illustrated by Nigel Raynor - flashes back to thousands of years before the TV show to show us a backstory of the Final Five that will either explain it all, or confuse and screw up continuity once and for all. And what does it have to do with Starbuck's death?

Also recently released is Battlestar Galactica: The Manga -- Echoes of New Caprica (v. 1).

The DVD for Caprica provides more confirmation of BSG coming to Blu-ray.

Battlestar Galactica makes the list of best series dramas of all time.

SF Crowsnest and UPI report on the upcoming BSG prop auction.

All of the Battlestar Galactica scenes from Robot Chicken provided on Adult Swim.

Check out this concept car the Hyundai Nuvis that looks vaguely Cylon.

Convention appearance updates via the Battlestar Blog.

A BSG crossword puzzle. Geeksugar's BSG quiz roundup. io9 points to this BSG fan anthem.

A PROGRAM NOTE: I'm pleased to formally announce that writer Sam J. Miller has joined the Sitrep team. His work has appeared in literary journals such as Fiction International, Strange Horizons, AlterNet, and The Minnesota Review—who nominated him for a Pushcart Prize. Unabashedly obsessed with the re-imagined BSG, he's the author of “Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Trek,” available at mental_floss. Previously Sam provided us with his essay on BSG's use of Laura Roslin's eyeglasses. Sam will be posting an insightful and interesting essay on the Sitrep with his commentary on the series finale, Daybreak, shortly. So, keep an eye out for that.


Caprica comes out on DVD and digital download next week, and the PR for the show is ramping up. AMC's Sci-Fi Scanner Blog interviewed Caprica EP Jane Espenson.

Josh Awtry of The Salt Lake Tribune has a review. ScreenRant writer Bruce Simmons reviews Caprica as well, concluding:

If you enjoy true character driven stories, you won’t be disappointed. It’s like Moore and Eick practiced with BSG and used their honed skills on Caprica. It’s believable and if you’re inclined to purchase this gem of a DVD, I think you will be pleased with this product.

It’s dark and desperate, on a completely different level than BSG was. Where society was running for its life in BSG, these Caprica families desperately pursue misguided dreams that make society what it will be. I think the casting of many of the characters was dead on and that makes this experience complete. Both Stoltz and Morales are Greystone and Adama. Additionally, I think this could have been a stand alone movie and that it would have been incredibly satisfying. And yet, they have 20 more episodes. I find that enticing and I can’t wait until it airs in early 2010.

SF Universe asks if Caprica can franchise BSG.

A copy leaked to the nets a bit early, leading to other reviews coming online.

and io9 note a technical item from the Caprica script about downloading human consciousness.

Market Watch reports that 'Galactica's' legacy is not lost on NBCU exec Jeff Gaspin, president and chief operating officer of NBC Universal.

And the upcoming Caprica event at the Paley Fest at the Arclight Cinema is all sold out.

Caprica will have its broadcast premiere on SyFy in 2010.

Also, explore "Discover Caprica" to watch an exclusive clip and help fans reveal additional video by removing pixels one by one.

Caprica is available on DVD and Digital Download 4/21. Win a copy here.

An astonishing breakthrough is taking shape on the planet Caprica. The rapidly evolving spheres of human and mechanical engineering have collided, along with the fates of two families. Joined by tragedy in an explosive instant of terror, two rival clans led by powerful patriarchs, Joseph Adama (Esai Morales, Jericho) and Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz, The Butterfly Effect) duel in an era of questionable ethics, corporate machinations and unbridled personal ambition as the final war for humanity looms. The latest phenomenon from the executive producers of Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D. Moore and David Eick), set in a time over 50 years earlier, Caprica is entirely its own world - provocative, thrilling and startling relevant to our own.

* Feature Commentary with Director Jeffrey Reiner and Executive Producer/Writer Ronald D. Moore and Executive Producer David Eick
* Deleted Scenes
* Video Blogs
* What the Frak is Caprica?
* The Director's Process
* The V Club
* The Birth of a Cylon


Sci-Fi.Com has posted the full video and a transcript of the Battlestar Galactica United Nations discussion.

The Washington Independent wonders if The Heritage Foundation use of a "33 minute" scenario, is because they saw the first one hour BSG episode, "33".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Several weeks ago the Hugo Nominations came out, and the BSG episode, Revelations is in contention for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form):

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
  • Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
  • “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
  • “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
  • “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)
In addition, in the Best Dramatic Presentation (long form) also touches on BSG: Audible’s original production, METAtropolis, has been nominated for a Hugo Award. As far as anyone can determine, this is the first time an audiobook has been nominated for a Hugo It's up against some of the year’s biggest movies:
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

METAtropolis was written by a great team of writers, John Scalzi; Tobias Buckell; Jay Lake; Elizabeth Bear; and Karl Schroeder – and a cast of narrators Battlestar Galactica stars Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani and Kandyse McClure, plus Stefan Rudnicki and Scott Brick.

The Hugo winners will be announced on Aug. 9 at the 67th World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal.

In other recent award news, BSG and Doctor Horrible won Streamy Web Awards where Battlestar Galactica: Face of the Enemy webisodes won Best Dramatic Web Series, along with Best Writing for a Dramatic Web Series, and Best Actor in a Dramatic Series for Alessandro Juliani. (Also of note: Tiki Bar TV won best Art Direction.)

Also, not too long ago, James McAvoy received Empire's award for Best Sci-Fi Superhero for Wanted from Jamie Bamber. McAvoy said, "Oh my god, I got an award from the CAG!"

Blinded by Science

The Oyster's Garter, has a fascinating article about what life was like for humans 150,000 years ago:

150,000 years ago, the Earth was in the midst of the the Pleistocene Epoch. The continents were in about the same positions and many of the same plants and animals were doing their thing. But the climate was wildly different. Glaciers rose and retreated and rose and retreated, changing the world’s ecosystems each time. And 150,000 years ago was the maximum of the second-to-last, or penultimate, Pleistocene glaciation. (The final glaciation is the one we think of as the Ice Age, that ended only 10,000 years ago.)

Because of the penultimate glaciation, the African climate was colder and drier than today. North Africa was probably still desert and central Africa a grassland. But the biggest different is in Europe - southern Europe was a chilly steppe and Britain may well have been frozen under the Munsterian glacier. The Chief’s self-imposed exile may be even colder and more exile-y than he thought, what with starving on top of a giant pile of ice. Maybe he’s really in exile on the Canary Islands?

The Pleistocene is also known for vast herds of giant mega scary mammals. And it seems like most of these would have been around to eat or be eaten by the Galactica survivors. The steppe mammoth and the European jaguar roamed southern Europe, while the Americas were covered in direwolves and giant sloths and 10-foot tall short-nosed bears. African animals, which were least affected by the late Pleistocene extinctions, would have looked relatively similar to today. Which is to say that they were big and hungry and scary.

National Geographic Magazine's blog talked to Ronald D. Moore and David Eick about the use of National Geographic in BSG's final scene.

In io9, Andrew Liptak interviewed P.W. Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and author of Wired for War on the subject of robot uprising.

Jamais Cascio is a Senior Fellow of the IEET, and a professional futurist and writer of the popular blog Open the Future, proposes machine ethics:
The conclusion of the “Battlestar Galactica” television series a couple of weeks ago left viewers with a decidedly mixed message: a superficial gloss of “ooh, the scary robots are coming!”, coupled with a more subtle--and, for me, more important--story about the implications of how we treat that which we create.

The CG artist, formerly of BSG in-house effects, Mojo, writes about the stars in Battlestar Galactica's backgrounds, and how some observers read far too much into them.

Mojo also writes about the size of The Cylon Colony as compared to BSG 75.

Also, images of technology in BSG, and Vancouver cityscapes seen in the Daybreak flashbacks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Viva La France

Jamie Bamber, James Callis and Mary McDonnell will recieve the Jules Verne Award Sunday, April 26, at Paris Grand Rex theatre as part of the Jules Verne Film Festival. And guests will have the chance to see projection on the big screen of the episode of "Finale Saison" Daybreak. (And let me say, seeing the finale on the big screen is the way to go.)

The festival also has an advance screening of J. J. Abrams' Star Trek later that Sunday. A big day for SF fans in Paris. (And Trek Movie's Anthony Pascale has a mostly spoiler free review of Trek here.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Emerald City

Michael Hogan attended the 7th Annual Emerald City ComicCon April 4th & 5th, 2009 held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA along with Aaron Douglas, and Tahmoh Penikett.

erradient from the LJ Battlestar Blog has a convention report.

David Crosman, Contributing Writer for Comic Book Resources, has a detailed report as well.

Video from wrathofdon

Video from klozzocity

Michael Hogan will also be at the Polaris Con in Toronto, July 10-12.

Edward James Olmos and other BSG guests will be at this years DragonCon, September 4-7 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Also of note, the Paley Festival is hosting Battlestar Galactica / Caprica: A Look Back and a Look Ahead April 20th at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood:

In Person:

Ronald D. Moore, Executive Producer
David Eick, Executive Producer
Jane Espenson, Executive Producer
Paula Malcomson (Amanda Greystone, "Caprica")
Eric Stoltz (Daniel Greystone, "Caprica")
Esai Morales (Joseph Adama, "Caprica")
Alessandra Torressani (Zoe Greystone, "Caprica")
Magda Apanowicz (Lacy Rand, "Caprica")
Tricia Helfer (Number Six, "Battlestar Galactica")
Grace Park (Sharon/Athena/Boomer, "Battlestar Galactica")
Special Guest Moderator:
Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

“This has all happened before. And it will happen again.”

Now that Battlestar Galactica—itself a reimagined version of a 1970s TV space opera—has dry-docked, we turn our attention to Caprica, a BSG prequel scheduled to debut on DVD in April and on Sci Fi Channel in 2010. Set fifty years before the nuclear apocalypse that opened Galactica, Caprica follows two families—the Graystones and the Adamas (particularly Bill’s “old man” Joseph)—as they feud over the creation of cybernetic life forms, marrying artificial intelligence with mechanical bodies, aka, Cylons. Like BSG, Caprica is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, plus Remi Aubuchon.

This event brings together cast and creative team members from both shows and features a premiere screening of Caprica.

For other upcoming conventions with BSG and Caprica guests the Battlestar Blog is keeping track of it all.

Friday, April 10, 2009


From the Los Angeles Times:

The world seems as drab and bleak as a New Caprica prison cell these last few weeks because, well, there's no more "Battlestar Galactica." I'm trying to carry on, but it's not easy ...

At least it turns out now that on Thursday we'll get a light-hearted postscript to the best frakin' show ever with a quirky new episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

Ronald D. Moore, the lead architect of the "BSG" universe and a key creator on the late, great "Star Trek: The Next Generation," pops up in a cameo in an episode of the crime-and-science show entitled "A Space Oddity," which has some familiar themes to his career: The plot is about the murder of a television creator who has revived a classic old space-faring series with new layers of sophistication. Kate Vernon, who portrayed Ellen Tigh, the Fifth Cylon, is in the episode and Michael Nankin, a veteran of "BSG" as well, is the director. The finished product may be more like "Galaxy Quest" than anything else, but us "BSG" mourners will take our colonial-fleet thrills where we can find them. Here's the preview ...

A Space Oddity was written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson.


Some interesting CGI animations by FREEMANvl worth checking out....



Battlestar Galactica Stars Hit Villa Night Club in West Hollywood. 03-23-09

Jamie Bamber At "The Damned United" World Premiere - London

Auction 2

Battlestar Galactica Props and Costumes reports:

For those of you who have been breathlessly waiting for our hotly anticipated 379 page full-color catalog to be in your hands, this blog post is for you.

We have started taking orders for the Auction II print catalog. To order the catalog, please visit our online storefront by clicking the link in the right hand column.

The price of the catalog is $35 USD. We do charge for shipping and handling; all items are shipped via United States Postal Service both domestically and internationally. California residents will be charged sales tax.

Make sure to register at Auction Network for the upcoming Live Auction II in Pasadena, California May 8-10, 2009.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A voyage down memory lane...

Scindre created this homage to BSG called "Lest We Forget" with the Sigur Rós song í Gær:

Gaeta's Lament

Several YouTube artists have created their own versions of Gaeta's Lament:

By kittymakesmusic

rincewindx has two versions:

So Say We All

Artist and LJ BSG blogger Grant Gould completed compiling his So Say We All: A Thank You From the Fans project and has sent it out to members of the Battlestar Galactica team, and already Bear McCreary commented on his appreciation for it.

Star Trek

There's been a lot of discussion about BSG withdrawal, and io9 asks what show is your new BSG?

Freakonomics mentioned that Carl Sagan's Cosmos is now on Hulu, and that's a good intelligent diversion.

And of course Star Trek mania is starting up. Our friends at Trek Movie have details on the recent surprise screening of the film in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Also check out some items from the press tour in Australia, from the world premiere in Sydney.

Yahoo has a cool clip of McCoy meeting Kirk. And Spock meets Scotty.

For all of your Star Trek needs, visit Trek Movie.

International trailer (shows Uhura talking to Kirk on the bridge.)

BSG Cast

Check out Matt and Nat's finale review of BSG, for the finale, Daybreak Part 2. The full version of their review is on their site, here.

We're all gonna miss your reviews, Matt and Nat.

But, thankfully they will continue their netcasting, and they will be covering the next BSG auction.

Ursa Major

Jamie Freedman interviewed Bear McCreary for

Go behind the scenes with Bear McCreary as he worked on the score for the finale.

René Kissien (Lex) and Peter Glotz (Pedda) for Caprica City interviewed Bear in Germany while he was there for the BSG ballet in Hagen, Germany.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Something for your BSG DTs

If you are still recovering from BSG withdrawl DTs, let me suggest a few shows that might help fill the void.

KINGS (NBC; Hulu) - Brings the ancient tale of David and Goliath into a modern city setting, populated by incredible actors such as Ian McShane (DEADWOOD), Eamonn Walker (OZ), Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. Shakespearean level drama plus metaphors of politics, religion, leadership that remind me weekly of BSG. But sorry -- no robots. Sunday nights on NBC. ETA: NBC just announced the final 8 eps of the series are going to air Saturday nights starting April 18.

Pilot episode "Goliath"

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Fox; Hulu) - Here's your robots folks! Religious metaphors, intense and beautiful women (some metal) kicking huge amounts of ass, an endless war between cyborgs and their human creators, apocalypse threatening around every corner. And for added fun: TIME TRAVEL. Yes, the season is over next Friday; yes, there are rumors of the show's imminent cancellation. But look...we are just trying to patch up our wounds here, people. It doesn't have to last forever. Season finale is Friday April 10 on Fox. ETA: and sorry I forgot to mention -- Bear McCreary does the music for this show.

Episode 211 "Self-Made Man"

Friday, April 03, 2009

Dark Void

Bear McCreary has news:

The super-secret video game project I have been hinting at is super-secret no more. Yesterday, CAPCOM announced me as composer for their highly-anticipated release Dark Void. Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes look from Gamespot:

GameSpot has a Q&A with Bear here.

On Bear's blog you can hear samples from the Dark Void score and Bear asks:
You guys ready for a CD of this or what? Well, I need your help. Capcom is proving slow to approve a soundtrack album, even though I’ve already finished and mastered an incredible 80-minute disc and La La Land Records is ready to put it out. If you guys want to hear this score on CD, we have to get it approved, Guerilla-Style!

I’ve started a thread on Capcom’s Official Dark Void Forum calling for a release for the Dark Void soundtrack CD. I’m asking everyone who wants to hear this album released to log in and leave a comment there, so we can get Capcom’s attention. I want all of you to hear this music on CD and I need your help to make it happen!

In other CD news, Bear recently revealed details about his plans for the upcoming release of his Caprica score, BSG Season 4 -- which will be a double CD album, and a soundtrack for Razor & The Plan. Plus, he plans a multi-CD set of "un-released material from all four seasons, perhaps even including demos, sketches, out-takes, source pieces and other odds n’ ends I’ve produced for the series."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tricia Helfer on Chuck

Tricia Helfer was recently on an episode of Chuck in "Chuck Versus the Broken Heart".

Various photos of Tricia on Chuck.