Podcast:Colonial Day

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
"Colonial Day" Podcast
Download
This podcast hasn't been fully transcribed yet
This podcast hasn't been verified yet
Posted on:
Transcribed by: Misco
Verified by: Steelviper
Shane
Length of Podcast:
Speaker(s)
Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore


Comedy Elements
Scotch:
Smokes:
Word of the Week:
Legal Notice
All contents are believed to be copyright by the speakers. Contents of this article may not be used under the Creative Commons license. This transcript is intended for nonprofit educational purposes. We believe that this falls under the scope of fair use. If the copyright holder objects to this use, please contact the transcriber(s) or site administrator Joe Beaudoin Jr. To view all the podcasts that have been transcribed, see the podcast project page.


Teaser

Hello and welcome to the podcast commentary of episode eleven, Colonial Day. I am Ronald D. Moore the executive producer and creator of the new Battlestar Galactica and tonight we're going to be talking about the eleventh episode of the first season Colonial Day. This was- essentially began life as our West Wing episode and we'd always wanted to do an episode that really took place in Laura Roslin's world and really dealt with the politics of the fleet and Galactica and the people and the survivors of the human race and how that would evolve over the course of the series.

As I was developing the show early on and setting up the major players I felt very strongly that the President should be a very important player in the show. In the original Battlestar Galactica there was a Quorum of Twelve, which is reprised in this episode, of political leaders of The Twelve Colonies which before the attack of the Cylons in the original Galactica the Quorum of Twelve was the political quasi-military leadership of the Twelve Colonies.

Before we delve further into that, because I tend to digress a lot in these as long time listeners will know, this is Cloud Nine which is actually the college of VC University. We definitely wanted to get outside of Galactica, go explore another ship in the fleet and we decided that if we had at least one vessel that was set up in some sort of arboretum type setting that had a dome on it, a place where you could create- that had recreated some sort of Earth-like or colony-like exterior that would be a nice place to open a show up, it keeps the show from getting too claustrophobic, but it prevents or it allows us to stay within the fleet instead of having to go and make up the colony- the planet of the week idea which I was very much opposed to doing from the get-go. I didn't want the show to be about going to alien worlds constantly that happened to look like Canada. I wanted to essentially use Caprica- the story-line on Caprica to be location driven in Vancouver and we would essentially be saying that Caprica looks an awful lot like Vancouver but as far as other planets- I think it starts to beg credibility at a certain point when all the planets in the universe look like Canada. I'd never really wanted to go to other planets in this series and I definitely didn't want to explore other aliens and so the idea of having at least one ship in our rag-tag felt that had a certain sort of exterior feel to it allows us to have it both ways; we can go outside and we can do a few- some episodes like this where the characters get to go outside and be in the trees and get a different sort of visual sense without it really breaking the reality of what we had set up so far.

And there are the sirens and the dogs which I'm sure you've all come to know and love in my little home here in Altadena, California and I'm er... yeah isn't it great? There they go, the public services, my tax dollars at work.

In any case the West Wing episode was something that we had talked about from the very, very earliest going, I always wanted to do something that was more political that dealt with the practical realities of trying to govern and run a society that had- run the remnants of a society that had just been destroyed and unlike the original series I didn't want the political leadership of our rag-tag fleet to really be straw men for Adama to knock down over and over again, because that was essentially the dynamic developed in the original series. The Quorum of Twelve would come up with some lame-brain idea, 'Hey let's go make peace with the Cylons' or 'Hey let's stay here on this planet' where obviously the Cylons were gonna come in five minutes and Adama being wiser and smarter would always find a way to beat them and cooler heads would prevail and Adama and Apollo would save the day. I didn't really want to do that because I didn't like the message of it, I didn't really like the notion that, 'what you really need is just a good, smart military who can control and run everything'. I just didn't like that, I liked playing the natural tension between the civilian and the military authority in this situation, I wanted to really explore what it meant to be a democracy in these circumstances and a republican form of government in these circumstances. And I thought it also said something interesting about the society- the Colonial society, that they do value and treasure and place great emphasis on the fact that their government is still with them. I mean the entire Laura Roslin plot line throughout the series is really a tribute to the fact of how strongly these people believe in their system of government, how fundamental the notions of democracy and representation and the vote and equal rights and- the sort of things that in this country, the United States, are also built into our culture. We have this fundamental belief in the Constitution, a fundamental belief in the Bill of Rights and there is argument about margins of it but we have this undeniable belief system. I wanted the rag-tag fleet and in essence their society to mirror our society in that way but then I wanted an ability to test all of those assumptions, I wanted this circumstance and this set of problems to continually challenge and really provoke those ideas.

Act One

I was talking a moment ago about how I wanted the situation that the Colonial survivors find themselves in to really challenge and provoke their notions of society and freedom and I think that idea of a situation that is so dire, that is so fraught with peril, that puts at risk the very nature of existence is an interesting one and how it tests the system of governments and governance and the social rules that people operate in, that idea, that challenge to the fundamentals of the system, is something that I think we're going through right now. I think that the situation in this country, the War on Terrorism, the assertion of executive power in all circumstances, the march- the long march toward extreme authoritarian governance has begun in this country and the idea of how we fight back against that- or what are the places that we choose to fight back and what are the places that we choose not to fight back, what are the places and what are the areas of power and society today in our culture are we willing to hand over to security, are we willing to give up freedoms in which areas in order to provide security. I think those ideas are in the show 'cause those ideas are in the culture right now.

Back to the show onscreen here, this sequence of Kara and Lee getting on Cloud Nine and just relaxing and stopping to literally smell the roses as it were- used to be a pool, in first draft there was a scripted- there was a large pool that also opened the show, there were people diving into the pool because Cloud Nine was like a cruise ship and banquet facility and convention and meeting place and so on originally, before the holocaust, and in this sequence- instead of her spraying him with the hose, which she's about to do here, we had Kara just stripping off her clothes and going skinny-dipping and Lee sort of being scandalised by it but then jumping in as well because we wanted to just give them a moment. It was like, 'give these guys a break, they've had a long difficult season too' and it just felt like 'okay now they're standing out there, it looks beautiful, it is beautiful, let them enjoy themselves and have a little bit of fun'.

This is the lead-up to the meeting. I mean, all these sort of security things, the screeners, the marine guards, the procedures that you see them following, they are intended to be redolent of the familiar security procedures that travellers and people going to various meetings have to experience today, again the notion here is to have this mirror our society, we're not trying to create a new cool-spacey-wow-weird society, this is a recognisable place, with recognisable customs and functions because we're trying to convey a certain idea here and we want you to think about the ideas and enjoy the drama rather than really being distracted by some of the trappings of what the genre sometimes brings.

This whole little bit of business, well not here but what we're leading up to, the bit of business with Zarek and will Laura Roslin shake Zarek's hand in public is inspired by- Yasser Arafat came to the White House for the meeting with Yitzhak Rabin to sign the Oslo Accords there was a lot of speculation whether Rabin shake the hand of Arafat and the symbolism of that and what it entailed and the carefully choreographed maneuver where Clinton got the two men to shake in the famous photograph and video on the White House lawn- I always liked that there was something interesting about just the symbolism of a handshake, what it says, how it conveys- and so I made this whole little bit of business of Zarek come up and Tigh won't shake his hand and Ellen who is becoming a little bit more of a player and a little bit more cunning decides to shake his hand and get her picture everywhere and it would make news and that would start to advance her agenda, which we start to learn is a separate agenda from everybody else and again Ellen is her own person, her own player, Ellen is a survivor in a literal sense and in a larger sense, Ellen is someone who is going to find a way, somehow, someway, to survive and to keep moving up the ladder and she sees him as a possible way up that ladder.

Just a side-note about media because this is certainly the show that features media more than any other in this series, it's a bit of a push frankly, we're pushing what I think is the reality of the show slightly to make it feel a little bit more familiar and a little easier to play. We established in the miniseries that there was a group of reporters and press aboard Galactica for its decommissioning ceremony and presumably a lot of them were either on Laura Roslin's transport or left behind aboard Galactica, in any case there was definitely a press contingent that survived the initial Cylon holocaust. So I didn't think it was straining credulity too far to say that they would continue to function in those roles, I mean what else would they do, they're media people, they're experienced broadcasters and journalists and they would presumably try to cover the events that are happening around them. I think there may be a little too many of them in some cases and perhaps sometimes we stretch a point to try and give ourselves a sense of a press corps because we're trying to convey a certain feeling of politics, a certain importance of the White House, to sort of root you in what the archetypes are supposed to be, but more or less I think it plays fairly real.

Again, this is another location at the University of British Columbia where the Quorum of Twelve is meeting, as I started to talk about earlier the Quorum of Twelve is an idea that was in the original series, I never quite figured out exactly how you got on the Quorum of Twelve there seemed to be an implication in the original series that Adama was a member of the Quorum and I'm not sure if commanders of other Battlestars were or if Adama was unique, I'm sure there's fans of the original series who might have a better answer for that than I do, my impression from watching the Pilot and the episodes was that the Quorum seemed to represent each of the twelve colonies and there didn't seem to be a determinate of how one got to the Quorum or exactly what its powers were, it seemed to be a large Grand Council as it were which is a very familiar science fiction riff frankly that happens a lot. It happens a lot in Star Trek, in Trek there were many occasions where you would encounter an alien society and essentially instead of trying to stroke out the complexities of its government and do it by bi-cameral legislation and legislature and the judiciary and how the executive evolves and blah blah blah you would just say 'well, there's the Supreme Council or there's the Grand Council or there was the- ' whatever they were called there was some body that usually sat around tables and nodded a lot because they were mostly extras and there would be the leader of the council and that was how you typically dealt with alien cultures. Galactica has a similar sort of riff in the original, there is this Quorum, it makes sense there is twelve, they seem to be some kind of senate I guess would be the closest sort of approximation you could run to. In the new series the way I've started to construct the Government was that the Quorum of Twelve is somewhere between the Senate and a cabinet, there seems- I guess it can't be the cabinet I take that back- it is essentially some kind of glorified senate, each of them represents their colony which gives them a massive amount of power- just one person per colony in this setup- so the Quorum would have a tremendous amount of say- the rules of voting, is there a filibuster, does it take a simple majority to pass things- in this episode it takes a simple majority to elect a Vice President- does it take a super-majority to pass constitutional amendments etc etc, there's lots of detail work to go on at some point. But again I really wanted to play the reality of what they would have to go through, Laura can't run the entire civilian fleet by herself, any sort of society needs some sort of governmental construct, it needs some sort of bureaucracy, it needs some sort of designated hitters for education and security etc etc. There are anarchists listening to this right now who I'm sure will argue that point.

This episode I also wanted to start to get into the fact that the colonies or the colonists, the survivors are not just nameless, faceless and all think the same thing, there are divisions. There are colonies or survivors of colonies who believe one thing, there are survivors of colonies who believe something else, Laura Roslin is not the perfect leader, she is not the most popular President they've ever had, she's never even been elected to this post so she's not, I think, someone who holds the post by acclamation, she's somebody who holds the post because everybody ahead of her in the line of succession died and I think that gives- her hold on power's a bit tenuous as a result.

Act Two

A fair question that comes up is why hasn't Laura designated a Vice President well before now? I think that is a fair question, Mary McDonnell asked me the same question, and I think the answer is simply that there hasn't been a whole hell of a lot of time since the holocaust until this episode there is really only a matter of weeks and they have had a lot on their plates, a tremendous amount has happened to these people in a very short amount of time. She's only now starting to get to the point where she can even think about putting a government together, to convene a Quorum, to establish a bureaucracy, to try to bring some order to the chaos of the refugee flight into the stars, so I don't think it's pushing things too far to say they haven't had an actual Vice President until now. I mean in practical terms what would have been her legal authority to appoint a Vice President if their system of government says that it has to be nominated and approved by the Quorum in this kind of circumstance. Presumably the Vice President was elected by the people under normal circumstances and then if everybody else is dead, much like when Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President in the early 70's and Nixon nominated Gerald Ford and he was confirmed by the- I think the House I'm not positive whether it was both Houses of Congress or not but in essence he was confirmed- so we're in a similar kind of deal.

This sequence to me is one of the more interesting in the show because of the ideas that are present in it, not just Tom Zarek and his agenda being one that I'll talk about in a moment, but also what it says about the fleet, think about what's happening throughout these ships, here are all these survivors, they're all stuck in these vessels, they ran away, they're all happy to be alive, they're all scrabbling in a day to day existence, conditions vary widely on all these ships and what do they do? What are they doing with their time? This is shining a light on one of the conceits of the show which is that everybody on a ship like this would continue to do their jobs. I mean, why is this guy continuing to be a gardener? Why are the bartenders continuing to be bartenders? I mean, he's bringing up a valid point, these people are all in some way living a fantasy, they're all sort of trying to maintain the veneer of the world that they once lost, which I think is a really interesting idea and again I think it's emotionally true. I think that they would try to hang on to their past lives. The journalists all want to behave like journalists. They don't want to start digging and- not even digging, creating hydroponic plants and becoming laborers and all this. I mean whether that's practical or not, it may not be practical at a certain point, I think that their initial impulses and their initial instincts would drive them towards continuing their old professions, continuing their old lives and trying to hang on to what they had as best as possible. I mean even here at Cloud Nine they're still going to the bar and hanging out and they're still behaving much like they would have behaved back home and yet home is gone and none of that's real.

This whole subplot that is illuminated here with the building assassination attempt on Laura Roslin that was established earlier with the tease with the man assembling the gun and the smuggling it through security and now we've got this guy- the show initially was- wanted to be just The West Wing, let's do just a political show, make the stakes Laura, Laura's position, make the stakes democracy and all that and I think that there came a point where that grew unsatisfying, we felt like we needed a little something else, it is Battlestar Galactica, there is a certain sort of tension and jeopardy component to the show and so now we have the barfight, (dogs start to bark) we have the underlying tension between- I apologise for the dogs, they're going crazy I'll shut the window, I hope it doesn't bother too many of you and I hope the rest of you are dog lovers- in any case, the feeling was we needed a little something else, a little more juice in the show, so there was this sort of underlying plot that may or may not be attached to Tom Zarek as he seems to be manipulating events and possibly getting ready to assassinate the President. I think that as far as it goes it works, I think it certainly- it delivers the tension and the jeopardy beats when you need them structurally in the script, I'm not sure that it's entirely successful, I laid most of that blame to myself because I'm the head writer, and I sort of construct these things and guide them through the process. I don't know that I ever really solved the problem of balancing the political and the jeopardy in this episode, I think that the jeopardy starts to take over here and you feel like we're really going somewhere- and I'll be back in a moment-

Act Three

Like I was saying before- now we're back on Caprica of course- and before we- let's just put off talking about Caprica for the moment- the jeopardy component of "Colonial Day" I don't think is entirely satisfying, I know I was never satisfied with it, it's never really a full-blown assassination attempt, we never have the sniper rifle or weapon with Laura in the crosshairs and you're building the tension of will they get to the sniper before he pulls the trigger and will Lee knock her down and we never really play any of that because I didn't really want to, I didn't really want to play that, I just felt like that was a little too easy, it was a little too predictable, I didn't find a lot in that that really interested me personally and yet I did acknowledge that there was a need for some kind of jeopardy and tension in the show beyond the political. So I sort of went with the assassination thing to an extent and I think that in overall feeling, the episode kind of falls between two ideas a little bit, I think I really like the Laura story, I love Mary in the show, I'm really intrigued with the political dynamics of it but the politics of it never quite spin, it never becomes quite dire enough to sustain it, the political situation takes a while to set up, it's a lot of complicated ideas, there's maneuverings back and forth and I never found a way to really make that story so dynamic and so intriguing and so fraught with jeopardy and tension that you felt like you didn't need anything else and yet the assassination story is never quite in the line of fire or something, like I said you never look through the crosshairs of the sniper and you're never really playing that all the way either. So I think the episode is a little soft as a result it never quite becomes a barn-burner of an episode, all that said it has some of my favorite bits in it. I mean I really like this storyline on Caprica, I think it's satisfying and it moves the Caprica storyline along quickly, I like the performances a lot in this episode, I really like the direction, this was directed by a friend of mine J. Pate, he and his brother Josh were the creators and showrunners behind a little show that I worked on briefly called G vs. E or Good Versus Evil which is how I came to meet my partner David Eick and that show used to be on USA and then it migrated to the Sci-Fi channel, it only lasted really one season but it was great, it was just a great episode, they were really, really smart, young, very young, directors and writers and this episode works in large measure because of the work that J did on it. I think he brings a lot of tension to these scenes, he really knew how to shoot like I said what was not the greatest assassination conspiracy show and he kinda gives it a lot of life and I think that these scenes work as a result of the director elevating the material and the actors also elevate the material within it. This stuff is all fairly straight ahead, it's the interrogation scene. You've seen riffs on this for years and years and years, this works because J makes it work, he knows where to put the camera, he knows when to go to people, it's edited well, you've got three good actors in the room, I mean this little bit with Kara is tremendous, the wink, adding the right note of cynicism and jeopardy into the scene.

Again, I love- I didn't get to comment on the fact that Jamie threw that briefcase across the room, that's completely his own doing, it's just like we were watching dailies and Jamie picks up the briefcase and FLINGS IT ACROSS THE ROOM! And I just love that, so we kept it in the show. Jamie, he really can go for it, he really- there's a lot bottled up inside Lee Adama which I think is fascinating because on the surface you don't think that Lee is a violent person, or that Lee really could explode and in the moments that we let Jamie cut loose with the character you really do, your head kinda snaps back a little bit and you go 'Woah'.

This little beat here and the later beats that are coming up between Laura and Gray are- illuminate another part of the character that I'm really fond of which is that Laura Roslin who is the Secretary of Education and seemingly a very genteel, a very quiet woman who had liked to stay behind the scenes, never wanted to run for office but had been around politics for quite a while, had been in the Office of the President for quite a while, had been in the Mayor's Office and knew how to throw elbows and knows what to do and that Laura, when push come to shove, will shove you. And that she shoves Gray out the door is in-keeping with the same character who put that Cylon out the airlock, I think Laura says a lot of good things and that Laura believes a lot of things that she says about freedom and about right and wrong, she's a very idealistic person, but she's very, very practical and pragmatic. I think she's a pragmatist first, I think one of the interesting things about her vis à vis Adama is that Adama really is an idealist. Adama is this warhorse military leader who is going into retirement and who has dealt with the practical realities of men and women in combat and you would think that would make him almost cynical but I think Adama is a bit of an idealist, I think he believes in things y'know the Articles of Colonization which is their version of the Constitution and whatever their Bill of Rights is and those sort of ideas of freedom and democracy and liberty, I think Adama believes in those things passionately. I think Laura believes in them but Laura's a pragmatist first, Laura gets things done, Laura figures out how to accomplish- how A leads to B leads to C. And I think that who Laura was before the holocaust- I think Laura was a quiet person, I think she kept to herself a lot, we've established that she took care of her mother as her mother was dying of cancer which was I think- if you think of Laura as a caregiver who had to function in that role and also be a public figure I think you realise that this was a woman who led a very solitary very internal existance and then the world ends on the same day that she finds out she gets cancer and she's elevated into the Presidency and I think that's a fascinating story.

Act Four

I think that in many ways you could argue that Laura Roslin's life began on the day that the world ended, that before that moment she was somebody who was living sort of a shadow life and then in one fell swoop she is made aware of her own mortality in a very real way and she is given responsibility for literally the human race. I think she came alive through that process in a way that she may never have come alive if she had just continued about her daily work back as the Secretary of Education. I think she's come into her own as the President, I think she's started to fulfil some of her own potential in ways that she probably never would if fate had not handed this to her.

This whole thing is sort of a callback to the Pilot, in the Pilot Baltar's initial scene, his introduction scene, was him doing a television interview and in that moment we saw that he was a very media friendly person, he knew how to play to the camera and he enjoys it, he likes the limelight. And this sequence is all about Laura hearing it over the radio and realising that that's a guy who knows how to stir people's emotions, that's a guy who people will flock to, rally to, then I can use that guy, it's all about using him. I think she's- she does not trust him completely, I think after the events of "Six Degrees of Separation" in which he was accused and then exonerated of being a traitor, I don't think she's ever forgotten that but Laura above all else is a pragmatist. She has a real problem right now, she's about to lose the Vice Presidency to Tom Zarek and she needs somebody else and here's Baltar, here's a guy that could win the vote who she has doubts about his motives but he's got to be better than Zarek and she's willing to pull that trigger and make that decision. And I think not all of her- sometimes her decisions aren't the right ones, I mean maybe this decision of pulling Baltar here will ultimately come back and bite her on the ass but you've got to deal with the problem when you deal with it so as the Secretary of Defense says, "You go to war with the army that you have, not the army you wish you have".

I think this whole beat coming up of her cutting off- is this cut directly?- See now it's been a while since I've seen the episode, I'm not even sure where we're cutting to- we're either cutting to Gray or we're going back to Galactica- okay we're going to Gray. That particular shot, for some reason, just because of that pole in the background and the way it's lit, it always feels like they're walking on the Mall in Washington D.C. which is perfect to me, the quality of the light, the landscape, it just sort of looks sort of like the Washington Monument back there and it's perfect in my mind because it really sort of roots you in this familiar environment, again it's evoking Washington, it's evoking the nation's capital without being literal about it. And this is the scene where the things I've just said about her ability to cut people off and stab them in the back if necessary really comes to the forefront and it's kinda sad, I mean she does- she jettisons her friend, she jettisons somebody that was valuable and good to her and helped her and the rest of the people immensely.

This is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series, there's Laura going into the bathroom to deal with Baltar, I mean we have had more bathrooms in this series than probably all of the rest of science fiction combined which I'm sure gives us some kind of distinction and maybe we'll win an award. Again, the relationship between these two is not an easy one, I think it's complicated, she's relied on him, she's trusted him, she's started to be suspicious of him, she's starting to wonder what he's about, she doesn't know if she can entirely trust him but again she'll turn to him in a time of crisis because, well, who's the other logical candidate? There isn't one, so you go with this guy. "You go with the devil you know," as she says later. And I think we've also been very careful, if you watch the show carefully, you'll see that Baltar- while we the audience knows he's talking to Number Six all the time and having all these wacky fantasies, there's very little that he actually gives away to the rest of the people around him, he generally- and mostly this is a tribute to how James plays the character- if you really examine it he doesn't give much away to the other people at all, they might think he's a little strange, a little odd but he doesn't really talk to himself that often and the few times he's been caught, like there was a moment when I think Dualla came and got him and he was talking and she kind of looks at him oddly and he just kinda says, "Yeah, I was talking to myself, I talk to myself okay?" and he kind of carries it off so I don't think it's a case of where everyone around him would be looking at Baltar going, "He's insane, he talks to thin air". We've always been very careful to sort of hide that aspect and he has other character things too, he's not just a guy that deals with Number Six, he's also the guy that would get Playa to come on and be in that bathroom stall, which I love, I love the fact that he's still on the make, even in this environment, that Six gives him permission and that he's able to pursue other women and that he's able to pull it off. I love this shot of him going back into the stall, that's just so perfect to me, I just think it's true to the character, that that's still who Baltar is.

This is kind of an interesting scene because this was shot several weeks after the episode was complete, the episode was done, we were slightly short, we're not usually short on episodes typically we're too long, this episode ran a little bit short but we could have made it work, This came in because when we watched the initial cuts of the show and the director watched the initial cuts, everybody kinda had the same reaction which was we wished there was more on the assassination story, a little bit more along that line, something to just remind you of the danger. So I wrote this scene very late in the game in the middle of shooting "Kobol's Last Gleaming", which sort of touches on the danger that, hey there could still be assassination thing going on, don't forget abut that, but then I actually thought what to me made the scene worth doing, worth shooting, was that little business with the uniform and her saying she cleans up good sometimes and him saying "yeah right whatever", because we have the scene coming up where you're gonna see Starbuck in this dress and in the cut it just sort of came out of nowhere- in the first cut it came out of nowhere, she just sort of appears at the final reception in this dress, which is a great moment and all, but you have- it just seemed to come out of nowhere, like why would she do that and why is it with Lee? And there hadn't been any intimation of that so I used that little- when I had the chance to go back in and write an extra scene, I wanted to use it to serve two masters, to sort of touch on the assassination story one more time and also to set up the ending because what's also happening in this show is the subplots of Baltar and his interest in women in general and in Kara specifically and the budding sort of interest, are they or aren't they between Lee and Kara which you kinda knew we were going to do eventually but I was always reticent to do and always wanted to be careful how we went in that territory and if we went in that territory at all and where this leads into the next episode and into "Kobol's Last Gleaming" is quite interesting in my opinion.

Love this, this whole sequence when we temped- when you watch this in the editing bay in the first director's cut they put in temp music or temp tracks as they're called from all kinds of places, cd's, other soundtracks, whatever- his entrance here as soon as the lights come on and everybody started applauding they temped it in with (sings) "Fly me to the moon and let me swing among the stars..." it was so great, I laughed and loved it and we kept it in the temp track until somebody just said, "Oh come on you can't really play 'Fly me to the Moon' can you?" And y'know there is a part of me that just wanted to play 'Fly Me to the Moon' to be honest because I think there's larger ideas within the show- there's Kara in her dress- there's larger ideas in the show that we're starting to explore more and more, this notion of 'all of this has happened before and all of this has happened again' and inherent in that idea is a sense of cycle, that things are cycled back through, that all of the events you are watching right now have played themselves out many times before in various guises with various players and that things would start to be the same, that certain ideas, concepts, words, language, would maybe not be the same in each iteration of the cycle but might crop up again and again, that perhaps they do wear suits and ties, maybe the next time wear togas and maybe next time at some later version there is a version of 'Fly me to the Moon' floating out there in the society and what's the connection between this culture and what's established in this culture and our own, what happens on Earth? Well, that's all remains to be seen, you'll have to watch the rest of the series to get all of that. But I wasn't completely opposed to the idea of 'Fly Me to the Moon' in this episode because I think you can go there with this series, I think you can start to play things that are familiar and interesting and mysterious and let the the audience start to wonder what the connections are because there is a connection, there is definitely a connection between all these events and Earth events and I think that's part of what makes the series fascinating is trying to sort of divine what these connections are and where they're going.

This little bit at the end is just sort of one of the few times that we ever see the cast and the characters just kinda relaxing and letting down their hair and having a celebratory moment, it felt right, it's like okay we've been through this long trauma of the season, now they've had a political thing and nearly an assassination, let 'em enjoy themselves, it's Colonial Day, I mean it's their Fourth of July and if they can't celebrate and try to relax on this one day then they really never are and I never saw the series that way, I never saw that they would be so bleak and so desperate and so unpleasant a place that they could never smile and they could never relax, it's all about context and it's about when you decide to do that.

This little beat here is kind of interesting because there's sort of a natural inclination on some level to try to build a budding relationship, a romance between Laura and Adama, I mean they're the two leads and their positions make them unique and you can't imagine them being with anybody else in the fleet so y'know and you start wondering whether you'll ever hook them up together- there you can sort of see Baltar and Starbuck having a thing- this is as close as I wanted to get, this is sort of like they are a man and a woman and they are both attractive, intelligent, smart people with a lot of strength and on some level that has to attract each of them to the other if in just a very slight way so let's give 'em a moment where just for a moment the President and the Commander actually go and have a dance and they play it beautifully. I mean look at the look on Eddie's face and look at Mary, there's just such an interesting, nice level of comfort to this moment especially given what's going to happen in the next episode and all of this is like y'know, all these sort of nice, good feelings because in the next episode things go VERY BAD for all these people. And I wanted to sort of set that table a little bit, I wanted you to see them, this is the sort of world there might be and how happy they are the night before the next stage of the story which is fast approaching and things are never going to be quite the same for any of them after the events of the next two episodes, 'Kobol's Last Gleaming' one and two. This relationship between Ellen and Tigh, and Tigh and what she wants out of him and what she hopes to be and what he can be and what he wants to be are things that we are exploring in the very first couple of episodes of the second season which we're working on right now, in fact as I sit here recording this we're in prep on the first two episodes of the second season which will be a two part episode to open the season with.

Here we are back on Caprica and this is where it all kind of comes to a head, Helo's been with Sharon this entire journey, he has accepted her as Sharon, I mean, why wouldn't he? He has seen some strange things, he's seen that there are at least clones or doubles or something weird of humanoids out there, that the blonde Number Six has appeared more than once and that got his attention- that's the new Heavy Raider in the background by the way as opposed to the more conventional Raider that Kara captured, that one we call the Heavy Raider- but until this point Helo has never really questioned whether the woman he's with is really Sharon. He knows that the Cylons are up to something strange y'know I mean what is all this? I mean their sort of ostensible explanation is that they're cloning people is sort of what Sharon said just to get him to not think about the fact that maybe the Cylons look like people, that they can look like her because she certainly didn't want him to think that. At this point Sharon has been on her own- God I'm so- I apologize for the dogs they're going crazy- at this point Sharon has been on her own agenda trying to help Helo get off the planet because she has developed real feelings for him and that was not part of the plan, it was never part of the plan for Sharon to develop actual feelings for Helo and this is the moment of truth; he looks up and 'wait a minute, oh my God, how could this be?' Bang, bang. It's always nice to squib people and watch their chests explode, it's one of the fun things about doing film and television. Love that shot, that's like a great, great shot. This was all very complicated in editing, flashing back, sort of reminding you of the journey he's been on as he puts the pieces together, this was just one of those things because on the day of when they were shooting this they were very pressed for time you could see they were losing the light, they were losing the location, time was at a premium and they didn't really have a lot of time to do a lot of shots so they had to create a lot of this sort of ending in the editing room and I love this last moment of Sharon.

Okay and that's the end of "Colonial Day", I hope you enjoyed it, and of course the dogs have stopped barking now that the show is over and next time I will be taking you through "Kobol's Last Gleaming", the finale of the season and perhaps we'll talk a little bit more about upcoming episodes, the episodes that we're currently preparing for season two, and I will talk to you then so thank you for listening.


Battlestar Galactica (Re-Imagined) Season 1 (2004-2005) Podcast List


33 | Water | Bastille Day | Act of Contrition | You Can't Go Home Again | Six Degrees of Separation | Flesh and Bone | Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down | The Hand of God | Colonial Day | Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I | Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II | Next Season >