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'Battlestar' Secrets Revealed (to Press)

July 30, 2007 1:08 PM

Despite record attendance and large flashy panels at Comic-Con, with multiple cast members, creators, showrunners and producers, surprisingly little hard news actually emerged from those sessions.

The most significant announcement from the "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" panels concerned the return of a cast member -- with the "Lost" news being leaked in advance. The majority of other news took the form of clues or plot points that would be meaningful only to die-hard fans of the show -- which I guess is what Comic-Con is all about.

"Battlestar's" big reveal was the midseason return for two or three episodes of the Cylon D'Anna, played by Lucy Lawless. Executive producer Ron Moore said D'Anna's unboxing would represent a pivotal moment in the series, turning the direction of the season's second half.

"What I like about D'Anna is she was the grit in everybody's eye," Lawless said. She also joked that Dean Stockwell's Cylon character had been keeping all the D'Anna models in his quarters for his own private purposes.

The public "Battlestar" presentation was lively and thoroughly entertaining -- focusing on the women of "Battlestar" -- but it was the press conferences after that yielded the most information and clues for devoted fans. This is perhaps a benefit of having a professional asking the questions as opposed to suffering, say, the "Heroes" audience asking several variations on "What's your favorite part about starring on the show?"

So for all you "Battlestar Galactica" die-hards, here's a rundown of what to look for in the show's fourth and final season.

  • Showrunner Ron Moore confirmed that the identity of the fifth and final Cylon will be revealed late in the series, perhaps as late as the final episode.

  • This season will see lots of Adama-Starbuck conflict, especially the first episode. No one will be left saying "Gee, I wish there was more Adama/Kara scenes."

  • Baltar's arc will be shocking and thrilling to fans of the character. Said Tricia Helfer (Number Six): "Baltar's getting a lot of action this season, and I haven't been involved."

  • Moore is hoping to bring back lawyer Romo Lampkin from the season-three finale.

  • Katee Sackhoff eloquently discussed how differently she'll play the character of Starbuck, now that she's seen Earth. Initially the plan was to play Starbuck very serenely, but during shooting it became clear that wouldn't work. So while Starbuck now does have moments of calm and peace, instead Sackhoff is playing Starbuck with heightened emotions. The most significant change to Starbuck's character is that she has now found a purpose and role in life, whereas before she was always frustrated by her failure to find any.

  • "The decision was to end the show at the top of our game," said Moore. "That choice precludes certain other choices. [Like wrapping up every possible loose end of plot]. We'll always be able to say we could have done more."

  • With the Chief now revealed to be a Cylon, it means there are two Cylon-human baby hybrids, Hera and Nicholas. Moore said Hera is crucial to the ongoing story and her arc will be concluded, but the ramifications of Nikki's heritage may end up being ignored.

  • One plot point that may or may not be resolved on camera is, at the end of the miniseries, who left the note for Adama telling him there are 12 Cylons? Don't despair, though, as Moore said he's always considered it to be Baltar who left the note. Moore described it in the context of the adjacent scene in which Six and Baltar are walking down a corridor and Baltar is contemplating his guilt about playing a part in the human genocide. He expresses a desire to do something good, hence the note.

  • Moore found it difficult to talk too much about the plot of "Razor" -- November's special extended episode intended to bridge the gap between seasons three and four -- because it jumps around in the show's chronology so much. He confirmed that in the scenes featuring the first Cylon attack 40 years ago, we would see the original Cylon centurions and raiders from the 1970s TV series.

  • Moore also clarified the plans for different versions of "Razor." His original cut had to be shortened for broadcast, so various scenes were removed that helped set up the current chronology for the special. Sci Fi Channel will begin airing these six to eight weeks before the episode's on-air debut as a way to stoke interest. Moore seemed unsure if they would be aired on Sci Fi as minisodes or online as webisodes. For "Razor's" DVD release, these will be seamlessly edited back into the episode.

  • There are no plans to do a series of direct-to-DVD movies after "Battlestar" ends its run. While it can't be ruled out as ever happening, Moore pointed out, "At some point we're going to strike the sets, and it'd be very difficult to rebuild the Galactica on a TV movie budget."

  • Moore and cast seemed pretty serious when asked about a potential SAG Award nomination for ensemble performance.

    "I think our cast absolutely deserves a nod," Moore said. "It's one of the strongest on TV. From guest stars to the regular cast, they're amazing."

    "We've been relishing in the ensemble," said actor Mary McDonnell.

  • Katee Sackhoff is able to star in roles on "Battlestar" and NBC's "Bionic Woman" without conflict thanks to "Battlestar's" atypical production schedule.

    "From a production standpoint it works seamlessly," Eick said. "From Katee's standpoint, she just has to do a lot of amphetamines."

  • David Eick is working on a Fox pilot called "Them." It's in consideration for midseason and Helfer has a role. Pilot has been shot, but reshoots are imminent.

-- Alex Romanelli

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Comments (23)

Joms Brin:

Sounds great... but I wonder if this season will still have too many stand alones?

I think that with the end so close, the stand alones will probably not exist. When LOST set its end date, Carlton and Damon said one of the reasons they fought to set it was so that they could better organize their episodes and really make sure the remaining episodes stayed focused and didnt serve as just filler. I would imagine its going to be much the same on Galactica.

Three or four filler episodes work out great in a twenty episode season when you dont know if you are getting one, two or three more years, but when there is a definite end, you really want to spend as much time servicing the story so you arent forced to tie up all sorts of loose ends quickly right at the end. We all saw how much it hurt ANGEL to do so. I think although there may be episodes that dont necessarily focus on the main story at hand, they will, in the end, be setting up events that will unfold in the final episodes.

So in short, probably no stand alones.

Anca:

Thanks for this update. I've been very curious to know how the production is going. I hope that this very talented and capable group of people can continue to deliver the best entertainment out there.

Devlyn16:

No one will be left saying "Gee, I wish there was more Adama/Kara scenes."

II had no idea anyone was even wishing for more anyone/Kara scenes

The decision was to end the show at the top of our game," said Moore. "That choice precludes certain other choices. [Like wrapping up every possible loose end of plot].

If the decision was made to go out at the top why didn't it end after the mini when they had their highest ratings?

Moore said Hera is crucial to the ongoing story and her arc will be concluded, but the ramifications of Nikki's heritage may end up being ignored.

In other words: when they planned the birth of Nikki they hadn't yet planned on Tyrol being a fleshjob. So this wil be ignored like all the other ill concieved directions & plot points that became inconveniant. But don't worry all of this happened before.

HI we're the Cyloons. God told us to kill you (our parents) so we're nuking your colonies & chasing down any remnants to externminate them. By the way all of this will happen again.

Opps sorry what we meant was God told us to breed with you (Hello incest!), that is why we nuked you becasue ...radiation is conducive to healthy reproductive systems? Did we mention this has happened before?

NO wait, sorry about the mix up, we really just want to control you becasue as our senile parents you can't really take care of yourselves or make good decisions. We just want to remind you this will happen again.

Gosh this is embarrising, it seems the memo from God did indeed say to kill you all. This happened before right?

Hmmm in this light, the memo from God looks like it says to either race you to earth or follow you there. What are the chances this will happen again?


One plot point that may or may not be resolved on camera is, at the end of the miniseries, who left the note for Adama telling him there are 12 Cylons? Don't despair, though, as Moore said he's always considered it to be Baltar who left the note.

I'd believe that if I believed Moore had a coheasive plan (that he stuck to) fro m the begining. Seems obvious that he didn't.


>There are no plans to do a series of direct-to-DVD movies after "Battlestar" ends its run. While it can't be ruled out as ever happening,

Could that be becasue the DVD sales of the existing seasons still don't campre to the sales figures for the original series? or perhaps becasue shows with dismal ratings rarely if ever get direct to DVD releases?

Let us remeber Skiffy has CANCELED shows with highte ratings than More attained for season 3.

Red Card:

Anyone else think Devlyn16 is a bitter original series booster? Methinks so.

Anyway, the news sounds like a great end to a great series, unlike the limburger cheese that was the original.

Devlyn16:

Interesting Tactic: Attack the poster, not the points. Attack the original show instead of backing up the merits of the current version. Because clearly there are hundreds of Pre-cable era Family friendly Sci-Fi shows that hold up well in comparison. I'm also sure the Elements that Red Card refers to as "Limburger cheese" were EVER so far from common place in other television shows of the late seventies. I suppose next we'll have to compare cave paintings to Beowulf & Shakespeare, but I digress as I'm not looking to turn this into a discussion of original vs Current.

For what it is worth I do feel there are some good elemets to the current show/

SFX is top notch. Zoic outdoes themselves and puts more on the screen than should be there based on the budget.

Tyrol & the landing bay: The inclusion of the maintence support crew as characters rather than extras adds a many story opportunities to the show.

The story elements Moore borrowed from other sources (Desanto, Hatch, Firefly ETC) were sound ideas although IMO mishandled by way of implementation. Still a good idea, is a good idea.

Marketing. the current production has managed to get the same PR piece quoted in so many places I'd almost think everyone was married to a journalist. Getting the show into Time (I believe it was Time ) was a masterstroke. Definately shows some skill.

Actors. With Olmos, Mary, Aaron Douglas, & James Callis chewing up the scenery how can one not appreciate that?

Avoiding to get the axe. Seriously this shows considerable skill in maneuvering in the Corporate environment. Looking at other First run Skiffy shows, that have had similar or lower budgets with out the steady ratings decline of Moore & Eick's show. So for them to get the corporate support really does say a lot for EIck and /or Moore's ability to Plead their case. Imagine what would have happened if Joss Whedon had been able to match that feat at FOX, Or Rob Thomas at the CW.

Jackie:

Maybe Devlyn16 is the fifth and final Cylon?

mage?!:

Devlyn16 is right on with his criticism of this well intended, slick Science Fiction political diatribe.

I am old enough to have watched and loathed the original as much as it's newer incarnation, and knowing that it is ending so that some actual content Science Fiction programing can potentially find a place on television, I also find it amusing that all the other posts are just fanish gushing without any backing.

I love Science Fiction genre programing and I am not a fan of battlestar galatica nor will I ever be, the original was just a cheap Star Wars ripoff and this one is a political show with explosions and boobs.

Maybe one day someone will actually make a sci fi television program in America, until then I am with Devlyn16 all the way.

Richh:

Maybe Devlyn16 *wishes* he was the fifth and final Cylon?

Jacket5:

I disagree with Devlyn16's comments entirely.

Who cares which show is better the original or the new series. Personally I am not watching either the original or the new series to scrutinize them. I am watching them because they are interesting and entertaining. It is sad that people who watch the show take away from it by constantly scrutinizing it.

Watch it, enjoy it, discuss it, but leave it at that.

Devlyn16:

Jacket5, Since I have made both postive & negative comments about Moore's show would you like to clarify which you disagre with and why?

As for scrutinizing the show I believe any show should be able to withstand a reasonable ammount. Especially when the prodcers have made comments about "reinventing Sci-Fi". This isn't a case of focusing on minute details like where the CGI Cylons store their ammunition. Or why the "12 models of cylons" don't include the centurians or raiders.

Now it is possible that Some of what Moore has said is Lies, of the nature told in the attempt to mislead the audience into believing Kara's death was 'real'.

So if Nikki doesn't matter becuase Tyrol isn't a cylon than that point is moot. Still you Can't argue misdirection for the inconsistancies in the Cylon's plan or the existance/nonexistance of their god.

Binford:

Cracks me up for ppl te be talking about long term story arcs these days. Till JMS did it with Babylon 5 it wasn't done. Now it's taken for granted.

Can't wait for the end of BG. It and Rescue Me are probably the two best shows on TV today.

jeditrish:

Devlin16: the 12 models of cylons referred to the human-looking ones. everyone knows this and it should not even need to be said since, in the context of the show, all the characters already knew about the metal ones and the raiders and the basestars. it annoys me that so many people that watch this show must analyze every minute detail. can't we just watch and enjoy it without having to pick it apart? of course there are inconsistencies, the writers made it up as they went along, like every other tv series ever made. sci-fi is the only genre that gets scrutinized for things that don't fit in the story for this reason. just watch and enjoy, people. that's what tv is for.

Tim-1:

This show is selling us out by not giving the gifted and talented Grace Park more screen time. Why is it that they have regulated the most beautiful and interesting character in Sharon and Boomer to seemingly bit parts? It really is a shame that they have generally ignored the importance of her characters role on the show.
Tim-1

Tyler:

I think @Devlyn16 has never been laid...

Relax man, its just a show, an entertaining one at that.

Why do i picture the simpsons episode with comic book guy on his computer posting some critisim on some website like this one? Weird.

yakyakyak:

I think we all need to wait until the season actually airs before making any real judgements.

Jon:

@Devlyn16.....

You must *REALLY* not understand Battlestar Galactica. Your "Hi we're the Cyloons" rant really demonstrates that.

It was (more than) hinted that Chief Tyrol thought he was a Cylon long before "Crossroads", in fact an entire YEAR before, in the 2nd season. So how can you criticize RDM for "not sticking to a cohesive plan" when he already was dropping hints to things in the 1st and 2nd seasons? It has also been stated that there have been many hints as to who the 5th Final Cylon is throughout the entire series. So how can you not say RDM hasn't "stuck to his plan" if you are not aware of the plan yourself? Nobody knows what he has up his sleeve, and until the series finale, so we really don't have any right to criticize his "plan" if we don't know the entire story yet.

As for the comments about Tyrol's baby and Hera, it's not that Tyrol's baby was ever an "oversight" on RDM's part, but there's one thing people are forgetting: The Cylons don't KNOW Tyrol is one of the Final Five! So of course his baby isn't going to be very important to the plot. However, Hera is probably going to be crucial to the survival of the human race, since Caprica Six and all the other Cylons seem to need to keep the baby alive.

Your "Hi, we're the Cyloons" rant really gets on my nerves, so I don't even know if I can attempt explaining it to you. You're criticizing RDM for making the Cylons seem "fickle" and "unpredictable"?? Why would he justify his reasoning for what the Cylons do AS they're doing it?? Doesn't that kind of take the suspense out of the story?? We're not exactly sure why the Cylons wanted a Cylon/Human hybrid, or why they want to reach Earth first. But that's kind of the point of a show, to leave these major arcing plots open to interpretation UNTIL THE CONCLUSION of the series.

And when I got to "Or why the "12 models of cylons" don't include the centurians or raiders." I realized you must not have even watched the freaking show. It's common knowledge that 12 is the number of skinjob models ONLY.

As for your "avoiding the axe" comments, I don't think BSG has ever really had to worry about this?? It is certainly the best Sci-Fi show on TV, and probably the best acted and written show of any show currently on television. The reason it doesn't get good ratings is A) Sci-fi TV hasn't been all that popular over the past several years (this is changing) and B) It's on Sci-Fi channel which hardly no one watches.

mmk.. I'm off to bed.

Anny:

When they say Adama/Kara scenes, do they mean older or younger Adama? If anyone knows, please post it...

Tim-1:

Anny: I don't know which is referred to either but it is a very good question on your part. I (personally) do not care which one it is, but it is an excellent point you make.

Shawn:

This is pure speculation on my part, but with regards to the Adama/Kara conflict scenes..I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that the conflict will be based on the suspicion that many on Galactica will undoubtedly have about Kara's "rebirth" and the implications that coming back from the dead obviously has in a world where the only ones celebrating Easter on a daily basis are the Cylons. I would imagine that given Adama's role as Admiral of the fleet, that the conflict would come from having to determine if, in the aftermath of Kara's return, she is the daughter figure he has always known her to be, or is she a cylon sleeper agent, programmed to play on his affection and gain his trust until her cylon objective is triggered into action, as Boomer did. Fool Adama once...shame on you....Fool Adama twice or three or four or,(good god how many times has it been now), and I could see where tension might begin to seep into thier relationship.....but thats just my two cents.

yoyoyoyo:

Devlyn16 is right on. RDM pretty much said he was making it up as he went along at one point. I was a vigilant fan throught season 1 and the beginning of 2. It got sloppy in the second half of season 2, ended totally weird. I did enjoy the whole Occupation thing, but later it just got silly. The "final five" crap was the nail in the coffin for me that the mythology of the show was being handled in haphazard retarded fashion. The only reason I still watch is because I''ve invested so much time already, that I just want to get it over with and have all the loose ends tied up.

Cavehand:

Im quite shocked reading comments on here especially devlin

Ive always loved this show

I owned, all the episodes of the original series,

So when the miniseries came on, i soo wanted to hate it, Starbucks a girl??lol

But i couldnt, at all

I think this show has given sci fi a kick up the arse (or if your in the states ass), which is what it needed for so long... as most of it invoved the "american dream" in space, big chined hero's fracking around, nothing too deep, again ive watched all of Firefly, and its just not as good

Story wise,... some of it will have been made up as they go along, but that will definately be the case for fracking B5 (which was a nearly good show), and even more so for lost

Particle Man:

Devlyn is a worthless troll. Ignore it.

That said, I still categorize Season 3 as "aimless" and the Season 3 finale as "ridiculous." I think Moore was great at playing around in a wide open space, i.e. Seasons 1 and 2 (which were just about masterpieces), but once it came time to start tying up all the loose ends, he fumbled the ball pretty bad. I could list tons of inconsistencies with the choice of "The Four" which seemed to just try to be a cheap ratings grab. The 2nd Cylon Love Child of course, also the question of why Baltar never ran his Cylon detector on any of them, etc.

As for the final Cylon... I have changed my mind several times, but now I really like the theory that it's Zarek. He's from the original BSG (irony!), he has not ever been openly suspected of being Cylon, and making him a Cylon wouldn't completely gut any of the main characters' storylines, like it would do to the Adama's, Roslin or Baltar. And for some totally weird and meaningless Letter-ology: Z is the last letter of the alphabet, and also, The Four and Zarek all have names starting with T: Samuel (T). Anders, Saul (T)igh, Chief (T)yrol, (T)ory Foster, (T)om Zarek. LOL. (Then again... Kara (T)hrace...)

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