Podcast:Occupation

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"Occupation" Podcast
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Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Terry Dresbach
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Act 1

RDM: Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode one and two of season three of Battlestar Galactica. I'm Ronald D. Moore, developer and executive producer of the show. And it's my distinct pleasure to welcome you here to the launch of season three. We're very proud of the season. We think we've got a- what I think is the best start to a season that we've had so far. I think that, arguably, "33" which led the first season was just a standout episode in my mind and one that I think that we've never quite matched in a lot of ways, but I think that in all fairness the first couple of episode after that weren't our best. You could feel us struggling and figuring out what the show was. And then in the second season I think we opened well again, but we had these very disparate story lines with people in very separated geographically, very far away from each other, and the storylines took a while to build back to a point where the family was reunited by "Home". This season, the opening two-hour I think is the strong- one of the strongest things we've done. I think that the following episodes are equally good and that we've got just- I just feel very, very happy with where the show is at the beginning of the year.

Joining me this evening is my wife, Terry, Mrs. Ron-

Terry: Hello.

RDM: -for those of you on the Scifi board. We are also joined by our new kittens, who have yet to be named. Who are scampering about the bedroom.

Terry: Maybe we should do a contest.

RDM: Yeah- uh, no. We're not going to have a "Name the kitty" contest on the bulletin boards. That's all we need.

Terry: (Laughs.) (To the kittens.) Hey, hey, hey, cut that out.

RDM: Ok, so here we are. We're still in the recap from last season, here in the first episode and there was a lot to recap to bring people up to date on what happened. We covered quite a bit of ground in last year's season finale, "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II" and this is one of our more extended recaps, as a result. This episode opens with one of our lyrical, impressionistic scenes. Er- we're not even there yet, I forgot. Because this is- we edited this as a two hour as opposed to two separate episodes. We're not doing the teaser first.

One word about that, these were designed as two separate episodes. I wrote them both as the first two episodes of the season and actually the reason that these became a single two-hours as opposed to two separate episodes actually has a lot to do with the third episode, "Exodus", which was so big that- it was just a massive story and it worked really well and the action was great and we were really thrilled to have it, but it was so big we really wanted to split episode three into two parts. And because of that, we were looking for ways to not stretch the storyline out. We realized, well, if we sold the network on the idea that the opening two-hour- that we would open it with two hours, it was a way of not stretching out the storyline into five weeks. And it would still only be three weeks to get us to the conclusion of the New Caprica story. Essentially it was a decision that was driven a lot by how we wanted to structure other episodes. Nonetheless, when all was said and done, the first two- I did write them together and I wrote them simultaneously and I did have them very interrelated in my mind as the first two hours of what I envisioned as a three hour movie to the end of "Exodus". And so when we decided to make the two hours- see there's the cats knocking things over. That'll be your torture for this evening.

Terry: (Laughs.) Oh, man.

RDM: But remember, no whining. No- the podcast- you gotta be tough enough to listen to the podcasts.

Terry: I'll drown the kittens if they make to much noise.

RDM: Ok, in this open- intially this was gonna be a different open. The opening of the show now, like I was talking about a minute ago, is very impressionistic. It's all these scenes. You're setting up these flashes and all these characters and what's going on. And it's a way of drawing the audience into the episode. It's a technique that I really like to do. I like to write like this. I like to start on an image, then write the next image, then when I see the next images, and then start to repeat them, and then start to discover what those people are doing as I'm writing it. It's just an interesting way for me to start a piece of work. But this wasn't the original open to this episode. This episode was actually structured to open with the inside of a propaganda film that D'anna was going to be shooting on New Caprica, 'cause we had established that D'anna's Cylon character had posed as a filmmaker, or reporter, rather, in the Fleet in her first episode in the second season, so I- there was a- I did write a version that had D'anna- it was- I actually called it up on the computer for a change. It was like, you started in New Capr- exterior New Caprica, dawn. Then you started hearing and you saw the city. Then darkness beneath it, a trouble-filled sky with heavy clouds and you'd hear D'anna's voiceover saying "Four months ago our city was cloaked in fear. Shrouded in darkness. Besieged on all sides." Blah, blah, blah. And you went through this whole little thing about how horrible things used to be and then, of course, suddenly the sun comes out and she's like, "And then hope arrived in the most unexpected of forms. Old enemies come to bring hope where there was hopelessness. And so slowly the tide of fear began to to turn." And it was essentially- and then you would see the Centurions marching into New Caprica, handing out candy and stuff. And it was-

Terry: Y'know, I'm gonna take them downstairs.

RDM: Oh, and now the kittens are being removed from the room.

It was- the idea was to shoot this- to do this propaganda film that D'anna was making and at the end of the propaganda film she was going to doing an exterior standup next to Laura's school tent and as she's talking suddenly, in the background of thes shot, is this flash and this puff of smoke and then you hear the boom a couple seconds later and the insurgency has hit another Cylon target and it like was "Cut. God damnit." And she starts bitching at Laura and Laura's defending what's going on and that was the way into this world that the occupation was well under way. There was an insurgency. The Cylons were trying to win the hearts and minds of the populace and some people were fighting back and some people were collaborating and the whole thing about the human security police, or the New Caprica Police, was mentioned in that context. And I wrote a couple drafts of that and I think people- there was a reaction from other writers and studio/network that- the propaganda film just felt like the wrong tone and it seemed odd that D'anna was still making movies, although I kinda followed that and kinda liked that. But anyway, it was like, it was- once they had set all those pieces in motion that I knew that I wanted to cover all this territory, it was sort of easy for me to sit down and write this particular tease, which had to do with a lot of- setting up different stories. Catching them all mid-story. All these things are well under way, and playing the mystery of what's going on in each one of these scenes. By the end of the tease to bring them to some sort of crescendo.

There's a device at the top of the next act where Laura will be doing a voiceover and recording things in her journal, and that was a much later thought and there was debate for a while over whether we would do that here in the first act, or the tease, whichever way you wanna look at it. We, in editing, we had a version where- there was another version cut of this that David Eick liked quite a bit. And it was David's cut and David's a fine editor and- contributes quite a bit in post-production and David cut a different version of this where we put the Laura Roslin voiceover up here in act one. And we started- you started the voiceover much, much earlier. You were filling in backstory and you- a lot of this intercutting and R. D. Moore poetic stuff went by the wayside and I didn't like it. We had an intense discussion about it. (Chuckles.) Let's put it that way. And we still speak, and we're still happy, and we're still good friends. But I- there was something about this particular tease fit together- or, I keep calling it a tease. Technically, it's act one. There was something about the way this particular set of scenes intercut and interrelated in the first act that I really like and really fought for. I thought Sergio just delivered some amazing footage and some amazing film and elicited some really strong performances, and I really wanted to showcase the more cinematic aspects of the show and I like that this is the beginning of a season. That this sets a tone and a feeling and a mood about what kind of film we're gonna do this year and what- where the show can potentially go.

This whole bit with Tigh and the eye. In the initial draft, the first draft I was wri- backing up one step, beyond that. In the story outline, before the draft, there was no mention of this. This wasn't something we ever discussed in the writer's room. It just- we didn't really talk about Jammer later being a suicide bomber. This was something, as I was writing, I was a writing the teleplay and I was getting to scenes where we were starting to talk about how horrible the Cylon occupation had been and why they were fighting back and that there was a real strong sense of rage and injustice from some of the humans. And I realized quickly that you needed to dramatize that. You needed someone who had suffered under the yolk of the Cylons. And various little possibilities slipped back and forth in my mind and I was like, "Tigh is probably- or definitely the leader of the insurgency and the resistance, as the military leader, and so maybe he suffered. Maybe they got him. Maybe they shot him, so he has a bullet wound or something." And then that seemed unsatisfying. And then I started thinking about, well, "No, he should be-". I wanted Tigh to be a visible reminder of the cost that so many people had paid in the C- not only in the Cylon occupation of New Caprica but even further than that. Ever since the show began, all these people have been wounded in one way or another and I wanted some- I realized that if Tigh lost an eye, not a limp, not like a gunshot, not a heart thing. He loses an eye. He's maimed. He's visibly disabled. I though that's a powerful thing to have happen to one of your main characters and also that he is then the symbol of all their losses. And you would never be able to get away with it. You would always be faced with the fact that these people have paid a price, and that Tigh would walk around as a walking billboard that reminds you, "Some of us have paid a heavy price. We have all been hurt in one way or another." That that was something that would carry on through the show.

This little sequence with Anders and Tyrol blowing up the Cylon r- yes? Yes Mrs. Ron?

Terry: Last time we did a podcast, didn't we have sound?

RDM: Uh, I can turn it up a little bit. They don't like-

Terry: Or does that intefere? They don't like it? Ok. Nevermind. I'll see it tomorrow night.

RDM: No. Noone even really complains about it, anymore. I can turn it up a little bit, down low, there.

This storyline with Kara and Leoben. This was a very early idea. This was something that David Eick and I discussed when we were coming up with the finale for "Lay Down Your Burdens" at the end of season two. We had a version-

Terry: Here comes the dog.

RDM: Here he comes, now, the dog's waddling in.

We had a version of the finale last season where you got all the way to this point. You got all the way to the point where Kara-

Terry: Ooh...

RDM: -is captured by Leoben at the end of last season and put-

Terry: I didn't know it went out the other side.

RDM: (Chuckles.) Oh, yeah. Terry's react- yeah that's our. When the chopstick goes through Leoben's throat-

Terry: Oh, man.

RDM: -and it pops out the other side. And that- we actually-

Terry: Woah.

RDM: -we had to VFX that in that's a CGI effect.

Terry: Oh, that's pathetic.

RDM: Isn't it great to know that somewhere there's a guy that spent a lot of hours and did very fine work and his job was to make sure that the chopstick went through Leoben's throat. This is the magic of doing what we do! We were going to do a version of this at the end of last season. We were gonna have Kara captured by Leoben and placed into this domestic setting and we had talked about that being potentially part- one of the things that happened when the Cylons showed up on New Caprica. But the way that story structured itself out- it didn't lend itself for that to happen in terms of the timing and the chronology, if nothing else. So it got pushed into this season and it was one of the very- it was one of the things we knew were doing. A lot of things were gonna play in the storyline and we had a lot of things to work out, but this never changed. It was always this story of Kara and Leoben in this weird twisted little world that- that was pretty- that he created for her.

Act 2

Ok, now we're back on New Caprica. Oh, this is a fantastic matte, I have to say. This is a great visual effects shot of the New Caprica, the wide shot. Gary Hutzel, the guys, just they're doing amazing work these days.

Like I was saying earlier, this bit here, this voiceover of Laura is something that we actually came up with in post. This wasn't scripted. Initially part of that tea- part of that act one montage, intercut section, where you're going from story to story to story, one of those stories was this. It was shots of Laura writing, her being in a tent, her looking at pictures, talking with Tory, and by the end of it she talked about how one day they were gonna get back at these people, one day there would be a reckoning. She was keeping a journal. All the sort of things that come out much later, were all gonna be as that act one. But act one just got too big and somethin' had to go so we slid this into the second act and we made this- listen to her journal. Have her talk about her journal, and now, the theory that I had was, "Ok. Act one is more surreal. Act one is broken narrative and you're all over the place and playing all these different things. Mostly about mood and texture. And you get 'em with the- you get the audience with the explosion of the Raider at the end". And then you start the next act like this, "Ok. Now we're sort-"

Terry: Nice shot.

RDM: Isn't that a great shot? Now at the beginning of this act we will talk about the setup a little more. We'll introduce the Cylons. We'll lay the groundwork for where everything is politically. Who's up, who'd down. And what's going on. And that that was a great two-act structure. And like I said earlier, David's idea was to move the voiceover up into the beginning of the first act so that you got the audience caught up and told them what was going on right away. It's a completely valid choice, and you can go back and forth about which way is better, but I prefer this particular version.

Oh, now this-

Terry: -Remember on The Patty Duke Show, you had to show them their backs to each other?

RDM: Oh yeah. (Laughs.) When you're doing twins and doubles and stuff. Yeah this- Sergio- you're still using a lot of the same techniques. You're still splitting the frame something. There's that earlier shot of D'anna standing there and breaking the two halves of the Cavils on either side of the frame.

This is very tedious stuff. This was some of the worst days I think they had on the set, were shooting these Cylon scenes in Colonial One 'cause a, Colonial One is noone's favorite set. I have been begged, repeatedly to destroy Colonial One by the production team, on many occasions.

The Scotch tonight, for those of you who are interested in such things, is Bowmore "Cask Strength", which was given to me by a friend.

Terry: Not accompanied by cigarettes.

RDM: No. There's no smokes tonight, because I'm in the bedroom with Mrs. Ron and she forbade the-

Terry: -You know why.-

RDM: -use of tobacco.

Anyway, this stuff, this shooting the Cylon- these Cylons- double Cylons, triple Cylons in this set. They just all hated me for it because essentially everyone hates shooting in Colonial One. The ceilings are low and awkward. The lighting scheme is not the greatest one. Steve McNutt, our DP, just would love to burn this set down. Then add on top of that the difficulty of doing all these splits, and all these cross moves, and all these- lots of blu- greenscreen and visual effects setups and that's very timeconsuming and it's all very technical and the actors have to do it many, many times in both positions and then there's all these continuity issues and eyelines and it's just like a complete pain in the ass thing. And so of course I gave them like four pages of dialogue to cover (Laughs) in a set like, we kept doing that trick throughout.

All the inserts there of Laura writing were done much, much later, 'cause like I said before we had no intention of doing this much. This is actually shot from much later in the epsiode. That's actually a shot that we stole, that's part of the later sequence when Jammer is going into the graduation ceremony. And we just wanted some pieces of establishing who the NCP, the New Caprica Police was, so we added a lot of this. This is- a lot of this stuff was shot afterward, after the fact. That's actually a shot from the next episode. Again, this is all a section of catching u- we have four months of material to catch the audience up on in terms of what's happening and where.

I'm asked quite a bit about the parallels to Iraq. I've done a lot of press in the past couple of weeks and I get a lot of questions about how, "Boy, it seems like you're really doing Iraq finally. This is the occupation and the whole thing." There's certainly elements of that, and- but the truth is we sat in the writer's room and there were a lot of discussions of Vichy France and the West Bank and various occupations, even the American Colonial Era, about when British soldiers were being quartered in American houses and rights and what happened during the Boston Massacre-

Terry: You mean you were talking about war?

RDM: Yes.

Terry: Just war.

RDM: Yeah. We talked about a lot of-

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: -different historical examples.

Terry: Everybody gets so literal. And it's-

RDM: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. It's not-

Terry: -it's war. All kinds of wars.

RDM: -there's certainly parallels here to what's go- to what went on in Iraq, what is going on in Iraq.

Terry: Just like there are in what happened with- in World War II and every other-

RDM: Yeah. This show is- it's just taking this situation, now is more interest- I wasn't really interested as I was doing this episode, these epsiodes, oddly enough, making a political statement about Iraq. I was really interested in taking a lot of those parameters and a lot of that setting and applying it to our characters and saying, "Ok, what would Tyrol do in that situation? What would happen to Tigh? What would Laura do in that situation." That's where we spent I'd say we spent 80%, 90%, of our time, was talking in terms of what the characters would do. And the rest was usually spent about, "Ok, and the plot's gonna get us over to here. So how do we move Laura to this position by this point in the narrative and still get to the same place?" But there wer- there weren't really many, if any, political discussions about the situation in Iraq in the writers room that I can really recall. We talk about the news and we talk about what's going on in the world, and react to whatever that day's story was, but when we were going through the structuring of the episode it was- Iraq was referred to but, a lot of places were referred to as well. There were a lot of- the writers are- most of them are pretty well versed in history and they'll pull out examples of all kinds of things. There was even, I think, David Weddle was talking about something that happened during when the Romans were occupying Gaul.

This was shot much later. This is the- this is the establishing the door. There was some question- we shot these tunnel scenes, and there was some question as you looked at the footage where people were saying, "Where are they? Are they in a building? Are they in-". And I said, "No. They're in tunnels." "Well, it doesn't feel like a tunnel. Is it a building somewhere? Where are they? How'd they- if it's a tunnel where's the tunnel? How'd they get into it?" And so, eventually, it was like, "Ok, fine. Let's shoot a door. Shoot the trap door, where they actually go down into the tunnel."

We always talked about this being the core of the resistance. Anders, Tyrol and Tigh. I love that. That's just so- this where Tigh is describing how they popped his eyeball out onto the floor.

Terry: That's so gross.

RDM: It's just so- it's very strong stuff.

I totally lost my train of thought. I can't remember what I was talking about. What was I gonna tell them?

Terry: I'm not listening to you.

RDM: (Laughs.) You're not listening to me. Well there you have it. See this what happens when you just do it live.

Terry: I'm reading the Scifi- I'm reading my thread on the Scifi.com message.

RDM: We're just going with live radio.

Terry: Well I can't hear the TV, so I don't know what you're talking about.

RDM: Well I can turn it up a little more-

Terry: No, no, no. It's ok. It's alright. It's ok. I have seen it.

RDM: I was talking about the other story lines we were dealing with. In early drafts of the script the res- the focus of the resistance was not on the suicide bombing. That was a much later development added to it. Initially, what was really was going on on New Caprica was a lot more about Hera, the Cylon hybrid child and- or Isis, depending on how you name her, and the fact that the Cylons were looking for her. The Cylons started looking for her much earlier and they came to Laura's school and they were giving bloodtests to the little kids in Laura's school and Laura was getting kind of worried because she didn't know where this was going, why they were doing it, but she was having suspicions, and Simon was there, and D'anna was there, and D'anna was like on the trail. D'anna was like, had heard rumors about the Cylon child and was looking and sniffing around Laura was denying it, and then they give the bloodt- they take a sample of blood from Hera, and then Simon leaves and then Laura went to the window of then tent and pulled down a shade or did something, then you cut outside the tent and there was Anders. And Anders and a few of his guys were watching the tent and they saw the signal, and at that signal then Simon left the tent and started walking down the street, and then Anders and his guys melted out into the population, then you cut ahead and essentially Anders kidnaps Simon. And one of the things that the insurgency was doing in those early drafts was they were kidnapping Cylons, humanoid Cylons, and keeping them in like a pit, and had them tied up and were like beating information out of them and stuff. And they were keeping them all alive because they knew that if they died, they would download back to the resurrection ship, or to a resurrection facility, and tell the Cylons everything that was going on. So they had this weird, almost quasi-dungeon of Cylons being held and Simon got put in there. And that was the thing that was really freaking the Cylons out on New Caprica. That was the thing that was really scaring them, was that pe- they had members that were just disappearing. They had guys that were just vanishing, weren't being heard from again, and weren't downloading. And that was freaking out the Cylons and that was really driving them towards crackdown more than anything else. That idea- it just went away in the rewrites.

It was like one idea too many, in a show that had a lot of things going on and also as the drafts were developing I started realizing that the real drama was about the sucide bombing and about having Duck, actually initially it wasn't even Duck, it just a guy. It was just, they were doing suicide bombings and I realized as I was writing it that that was really potent and really powerful. Obviously it's very contemporary. And that that's where the drama of the show belonged. And then I, just on the page, much like I decided Tigh was gonna lose an eye on the page, I started writing a scene where Tigh and Tyrol were talking, and they were sitting in some bleachers, and as they started talking you were cutting to this Pyramid game. You saw Anders playing pyramid and then Anders is talking to Duck, one of the pilots, in Pyramid. And as you were cutting back and forth you started to realize that it was a suicide mission and he was gonna be a suicide bomber. Or you didn't even know that, it just- he was- it was a suicide mission. And that Tigh was- Tyrol- Tigh was gonna go through with it even over Tyrol's objections. And once I wrote that, the show just kept moving dramatically toward that storyline and it just becoming more and more important. There was a more full-blown version of the insurgency wanting to assasinate Baltar, and then really working hard to assasinate Baltar. And the suicide bombing was primarily for that, and then they had other attempts and- but those all went away, too, and it was like, for part one here, in "Occupation", it's the build. It's the move of life on this planet is moving towards a crisis. It's starting to get to a place where the humans are not just fighting back but they're taking the gloves off and they're gonna do anything they can against these guys. And that that was like really gonna be a marker that was- things were gonna change after that. And that's why we're telling this episode now. It's like, "Ok. You're gonna jump four months ahead in the narrative. Why?" You're jumping ahead because in four months there's gonna be this dramatic confluence of events that you'd rather tell than you would the initial opening weeks, and that's like a dramatic choice we made very early on. I wasn't interested in the first couple of months, the first weeks and the first couple months of the occupation, because essentially that was all about establishing things. It was all about making promises. It's all about giving them medicine[0:26:08], helping, there's an initial point of confusion and chaos where they're just trying to get settled. I was much more interested at what would happen later. What happens when the insu- when there is a full-blown insurgency and they start blowing themselves up? And what happens then? And what happens when at that point, that's when Adama's coming back and are trying to rescue them. It's because those things are all happening at the same time, in four months, that's when you tell the story.

This act-out.

Terry: That's sincerely disturbing.

RDM: That image? I know.

Terry: The whole thing. The whole s- the whole thing.

Act 3

RDM: Yeah it is dark Groundhog Day. I never thought about it that way. (Laughs.) Dark Groundhog Day. I may have to write that movie. Groundhog Day II, this time, it ain't funny.

Terry: (Laughs.)

Then back to Galactica. There was some debate, as well, about how long do you hold off Galactica and I really wanted to- my reasoning to hold it off until the third act was I wanted the first two acts of this to be set up this big story. Ok, establish where everybody is on New Caprica, what are they about, who's on what side, what's the political situation, what's going on down there. And then I wanted to give you like two acts of just absorbing all this- absorbing all this information. Sussing out so you know the political situation as well as reminding yourself who the characters were and what their relationships were about. And then go to Galactica. 'Cause Galactica, I think by the time you get to Galactica now in this structure, I think you're happy to see her and you're excited and you're like, "Oh, yeah. There's the Galactica." And the first thing you see is they're in the Vipers and they're doing the thing and practicing their moves and they're thinking about trying to get back there. And that's I think where- exactly where you wanna pick 'em up.

Helo and Sharon weren't even in the finale, in "Let Down Your Burdens", simply because at that point I had no idea- oh no. I take that back. Helo was in "Lay Down Your Burdens". It was Sharon. I'm sorry. It was just Sharon. "Where is Sharon?" was one of the big questions of "Lay Down Your Burdens". But we can talk about her later. Sorry. I was thrown by Helo. Helo's performance often just throws me. I have to- I'm gonna hafta kill that guy. No, I love him.

Terry: Stop it.

RDM: I know! The word gets out really fast.

Terry: Stop it.

RDM: He's great!

Terry: I know, but you know...

RDM: I love Tahmoh. I know. I shouldn't joke like that, 'cause we're perfectly capable of doing stuff like that. Of killing actor? Of killing characters?

Terry: No. I understand that. I'm just saying.

RDM: No, I mean it's just completely plausible that-

Terry: There gonna be three hundred threads in about four minutes.

RDM: We're not killing Helo.

Fat Lee. Fat Lee is a metaphor for what happened to all of them in that year. They got soft. He got soft.

Terry: Stocky Lee.

RDM: Stocky Lee.

This storyline, that what was happening on Galactica and Pegasus, I think was- this is pretty much as it was all broken in the original story outline that this was the situation. This is really great. I like this shot coming up here.

Terry: Whoah.

RDM: Viper- that shot. The shot looking back from the nose of the Viper as it spins in space. Just some really great work here. I like seeing how all these people change and their different jobs. Dualla now in CIC.

This scene was interesting in that there were a couple versions of this scene where- I can only describe it as how much volume Adama gets, as I wrote it. There are a couple versions where he just tees off on Lee from the very beginning. There were other versions where he said very little. I played a lot with what the level of invective is that he goes after his son in this moment. But I definitely wanted him to have crossed a line we never really saw him cross before. Before it's- he's been pretty much on the defensive with Lee, with rare exception, and this time he's the offensive and it's Lee who's the fucked up one.

This is the scene I was talking about earlier. This is the- I literally just wrote this intercut on the page. I just started writing the dialogue and how would you reveal the- it was like an exercise in my head. It was, ok there's a secret here and the secret is that somebody's going on a suicide mission, and I don't wanna say even what that's what it is specifically. I don't want it to be known that it's a suicide bomb. I just want a sense of dread and that they're about to do something that will fundamentally change things. And I just started writing this little dialectic, this little back and forth between Tyrol and Tigh. And then seeing the man actually, the recruitment itself, out on the field. There's a whole sequence coming up in part II, in "Precipice" that has to do with the oracle, Amanda Plummer, and when D'anna goes to see Amanda Plummer. That was all part of this teaser, the act one of "Occupation". That's the way it was written. It was one of the many, like I said before, there were many stories I was trying to touch on in act one. Laura'a ended up getting moved into the second act. D'anna and the oracle got moved all the way into the second hour. But, that only comes up here because part of the backstory to what's going on here is that Duck- Duck says, in one of the cuts that he had seen the oracle and he has nothing to live for, and this was all playing and D'anna had just come from the oracle as well and a lot of these scenes were also interacting with D'anna and her- the fallout of her going to the oracle to be told that she will hold the baby in her arms and know true love. And so all these scenes were designed around that storyline as well.

This idea was something that we talked about quite a bit in the writers room, that Adama last season was already on a path to have a "special relationship" with Sharon. That he was already bringing her into his quarters and asking her advice like he did in Pegasus. And that given a year, a year goes by where these two characters were aboard Galactica almost by themselves for a very long time, for like a year. She had her husban- had Helo, obviously, who became her husband, and he- his son was up there, but his son was on the other ship, and the ship started to empty out. Adama let a lot of people muster out and the reasons why he let people muster out will be covered in a later episode. But Galactica had become like "a house where all the children have gone home", and somebody will track down that quote, but that in that context with nothing to do, really, and they were just like punching holes in space and going 'round and 'round the planet for days on end and most of the people that he'd become close to were now gone, were now living their lives down on the planet, that Adama would more and more find himself in a dialogue with Sharon, with the vision of the woman that shot him. Not the literal one, 'cause that was the other Sharon, for those of you keeping score, but that he had started the relationship with this woman and that he would continue it and that he would give her more priveleges. In fact, when I wrote the description of the cell, it was like, the "lifer" that had gotten special priveleges from the warden and she has curtains, and she has things, and material in there, and it's a "comfortable" existance down in her cell. And I started to believe that after a year, these two who would talk, day after day by themselves, would form a very special bond and that that bond would actually have transcended the fact that he knows that she's a Cylon and that she can turn on him at any moment. That there was a part of him as a human being that wanted to believe in her, that does want to believe in her. I think that's one of the- that's one of the optimistic ideas of this show. People are always talking about how dark the show is, but to me the show has high ideals within a very dark situation. I think that Adama, this man who has gone through so much, has witnessed so much, has had to rise above so much, and so much tragedy and horror was caused by the Cylons, but there's a part of him that wants to believe that he can talk to Sharon. That he can trust Sharon. That Sharon's a person. That Sharon is someone that he can have a relationship with. He still wants to believe that. Despite all the evidence to the contrary. I think that's ultimately an optimistic view of humanity.

This stuff with Lee and Dualla. This was the subject of much discussion of how the storyline was gonna go. The original story here was that it wasn't gonna be just that Dualla is calling him out and saying that he's gotten soft, but that Dualla herself had also gotten soft. That she had lost a step. That she was off her game. That their lives aboard Pegasus had turned into something miserable and they had really fallen into laziness and fallen into a lot of bad habits. That they were unhappy and one of the results of this arc was going to be, when all is said and done, after the rescue, after people get back on Galctica, and I'm not giving anything away by saying people getting back on Galactica, I think we're all adults. We all know that it's gonna happen. But after everybody got back to Galactica there was going to be a change in what Lee and Dualla do with their lives. They were gonna become much more spartan. They were gonna become marines. They were gonna become really hard core. That they were gonna become razors. That that was gonna be their new mission. That they had learned something and been shamed by what had happened to them in that year off, and that when the dust had finally settled they were gonna make some changes and they were gonna become hard core. And we tried a couple versions of that in script and it just didn't play. I never liked it entirely and I don't think we ever cracked it, so we didn't do it.

This thing with getting the message from the Raptor. This also was something discussed in the initial break. How this was gonna work. What the rules of it would be. As always, David and Bradley, two of the writers on the show, were instrumental in figuring out a lot of these kinds of things. They're really knowledgable in terms of military procedure and protocol and I know Brad has several friends and acquaintances that are in the military and he talks to pilots and he is a pilot and he knows a lot of the stuff, so a lot of these things were run by them first.

I like that. (Laughs.) I don't know why. I just like the way that that's phrased. "Have hope. We're coming for you." That seemed like a very simple message that you'd leave these guys. And this, this is like a really odd way to end this scene, I have to tell ya, but I love it. That Adama stands there and just says, "It's gonna be ok. It's really gonna be ok." And it say- on some level it's a weak moment, 'cause it's not like- it's essentially saying that he didn't always know that it was gonna be ok, and he's not the all-confident guy and that there's a part of him that's really relieved and really, whew, almost emotional about the fact that it's all gonna be ok. But that's why I like it. 'Cause it's an unexpected move to make with your lead, with your hero. So much tv is just, and film, is just predicated on the idea that the hero must always be strong. Hero cannot show weakness. That the hero- and when he does show weakness it's just such a noble thing that he's weak.

Act 4

RDM: No. There's like, there's frailties and there's things that real heroes do that make them human. I think you can show that.

The prayer scene, I believe- oh yeah. We had to do a different version of this. Interestingly enough, the photograph there of Duck and Nora had to be digitally redone much later after we shot this scene, because of the webisodes. The webisodes, which I'm sure all of you listening to this have watched several times and showed your friends, the online webisodes featured a storyline about Duck and Jammer and Nora, Duck's woman. None of that had been done or written when this was all being developed, or shot. It was all still in the works. And so that scene, that tracking shot across Duck's quarters featured a different actress, just, I believe, an extra, one of our extras, in the photograph. And then much later, when, after we had cast Nora, and we shot the webisodes we had to go back and digitally insert her face into that photograph. If not the entire photograph. Actually, I'm not sure. This is like a trivia question someday for Gary Hutzel. I'm not sure if we actually just swapped out her head or if we swapped out the entire photo. 'Cause I know that- I think they might have redone the entire photo, because I think he did pose with Nora in the flight suit.

The bi- the Baltar-Six storyline that starts there is actually had started earlier in the original draft and the scene that is now in the second part, in "Precipice", where they're in bed and they wake up and they're having problems. That was actually, embarassingly enough, also in act one (Laughs.) of "Occupation". So you can see that "Occupation" began life as a very bloated act one where I was doing so many different things. And act two got kicked all the way down the line into the next episode.

A lot of discussion about how this whole signal with the dog bowl works. There was- we played around with it, not just on the page, and shooting it, but in editorial inserts and stealing shots. That's a shot from "Lay-". I mean, we were doing all kinds of stuff to make this clear. 'Cause I had written it to be sparse. I wanted it to be, you followed the signal by watching it, as opposed to somebody saying, nobody ever says, "Well, I've got this guy and he turns over a dog bowl when he- when he turns over the dog bowl I know that there's a message over in this other place. So I go to the other place and I get it." And I didn't want to play it that I way. I wanted it to just be something that, hey, the audience actually had to pay attention to and had to actually watch to understand. 'Cause it's all visual. It's all about putting things in boxes and kicking over dog bowls and if you watch it you can figure out.

Terry: Were any animals harmed in the making of this show?

RDM: Many animals were harmed in the making of this show. We- I think we-

Terry: Ron...

RDM: We slaughtered and ate a pig, like every day.

Terry: You know, you think it's funny and people are gonna take you seriously.

RDM: (Laughs.) I know. PETA will be calling.

Terry: Remember- that's right.

I was joking.

RDM: No animals were harmed during the making of this film, except for the actors.

Terry: Now you gotta get them all riled up.

RDM: Remember what Hitchcock used to call actors?

Terry: Ron, watch your step.

RDM: (Laughs.)

Terry: See, this is why I'm here.

RDM: Great work here in visual effects world, as duck approached the detention area. That Cylon that confronts him, the way it moves, and the way the light hits it. That's one of the best visual effects I've seen.

Terry: Oh, last time I saw this they were blank spaces.

RDM: Yeah, see how good they look? These, I gotta tell you these guys... it is criminal that our visual effects team did not win the emmy.

Terry: It really is.

RDM: I'm sorry. I don't like to complain about, "Oh, we didn't get this award." The visual effects guys was robbed. Robbed! In broad daylight.

This is as dark as the show gets. I mean, this is really putting it out there. When I was writing this stuff, I was writing this stuff with the suicide bombing, and there's Duck, and I was like emotionally caught up in it, really. It was tripping me out a bit as I was writing these scenes of him standing in the police ranks, h- we know he's got the belt on. What's he gonna do? And then, oh my god, he actually does it. I mean, it's really- it's really horrifying stuff. But it's true. That's why I want to do it. It really happens. People do this. Look at this.

Terry: And they believe in what they're doing.

RDM: And they believe in what they're doing and we gotta think about that and why that happens. Understanding at least part of the reasons why some of these things happen. And I also thought, "I'll never get this- I'll never get this on the air. I'm gonna get a lot of shit for this. I'm gonna have a big fight with the network. This is gonna be a real problem. I'm gonna have to really dig in." And I'll tell you what, the network never fought me. They supported it. They thought it was great. I remember the first conversation with Mark Stern, getting notes about it, him saying, "This is just unbelievable stuff. I'm proud of you guys for going here. This is a story that has to be told." And I was just like, "Wow. Wow." That's- you don't get better than that from your network. You really don't. Sci Fi's really been incredibly supportive of some really, really challenging material. We're certainly not, I mean look at this. The dead bodies.

Terry: Oh my god.

RDM: We're not making it easy for them. We're definitely pushing what you're gonna see in television and it's to their credit that they support us as strongly as they do.