Podcast:Six of One

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"Six of One" Podcast
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Posted on: 2008-04-28
Transcribed by: Steelviper
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Length of Podcast: 45:09
Speaker(s)
Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Terry Dresbach
Comedy Elements
Scotch: Woodford Reserve bourbon
Smokes:
Word of the Week: elegiac
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Teaser

RDM: Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode 404 of season four. This is "Six of One". I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, and I'm here to welcome you to the second podcast of season four. Hopefully this one will be slightly more together than the first one, but you never know.

This episode, as were all the episode- all the first half episodes of the season, were done- we broke them all as one- part of one long story arc. In the previous session's podcast I read some quotes from the initial story document on that episode, so I thought we might revisit that again here as well, if I can pull it up here on my handy-dandy Mac. From the initial season notes: episode two says, "The theme is civil conflict. In a nutshell: Laura and Kara present conflicting direction- directions to Earth. Lee brokers compromise. Tigh, Anders, and Tory take exception to Tyrol's growing obsession with Kara's Viper. Cavil and Leoben clash over the interpretation of reluctant Raiders. Results: shocking violence. Birth of Cylon civil war. In depth: the Cylon story. Leoben and Cavil go to the hybrid, ask, "Why do the Raiders turn away from the humans?" Hybrid is enigmatic, "Because they won't attack their own." Cavil: "Hogwash!" Unilaterally lobotomizes the Raiders to get them to follow commands, incensing Leoben, who responds by making the Centurions more alive. Centurions slaughter Cavil-thinking Cylons. Kara and Adama, vis à vis Kara with gun ending episode one, surrenders it to Adama, putting her life in his hands. Her raw emotional purity convinces Adama to reinstate Kara. Laura's outraged. Has her own vision on which way to Earth, plus visions tell her Kara is not Kara. Lee brokers a compromise. Kara will lead scouting mission in her direction while fleet embarks in Laura's direction. Adama promises himself to be there for Laura and her cancer, regardless of their disagreements. Zarek gets Lee appointed to the Quorum as the new delegate from Caprica, and Zarek has his own plans. Final four: Tory is moved when Baltar tells her that the Cylons possess souls, and Cally becomes suspicious of Tyrol, who's sneaking off at night." And basically that is still the rough outline of this particular episode. As you can see, we knew from the beginning that we were gonna end on the cliffhanger in episode one, or episode three, as we continually call it around here, and then come right back in on the action. I was never quite clear why Adama left CIC in that little moment you saw when he rushes off to go downstairs. It's a dramatic device. It's like the commander of the ship, and he wants to be down where the action is, but traditionally he doesn't really do that sort of thing, and I guess it's because Laura is personally in danger that he feels the need to go off, but I never quite understood it, in all honesty.

This beat coming up with Laura shooting at Kara went through several iterations all the way through the process. Initially, in the first draft, I believe, sh- Kara puts down the gun, dares Laura to pick it up and shoot at it- shoot at her- shoot her, and Laura just refuses. She won't pick the gun up, because that kind of the ch- the way we established the character way back in "Valley of Darkness" when she was offered a gun by Lee, she just shook it off. And then I thought, well let's go a little bit further. Let's push that a little bit. Maybe she does pick it up. And I had this notion that she would pick it up and point it at Kara and decide to shoot her, but the safety was still on, and she didn't realize it, and she tried to pull the trigger, but she couldn't because the safety was on. And so sh- there was an intent to shoot her, but then Adama came right in. And that didn't seem to work for people. I think Michael Angeli objected and I think Mary did as well, that it seemed to make her look stupid, as opposed to just being fate that was intervening. There was something about- I'm trying to remember also- there was a version of the scene where Kara didn't push her quite as hard to do it. It was more just like, "Just shoot me. Just get it over with. End this, if you really think I'm a Cylon." And then she just picked up the gun and went "OK," and tried to shoot her. And I think Mary's note, which I thought was well taken, was that you had to push Laura a little further. Had to get in her face a little bit more. Had to really go at her to get this sudden response out of Laura. And the way the scene plays now, of course, she puts the gun down there. Slams it down in a lot of anger. There's more of a beat in between thought and action here so that- there's more dialog going on. Laura has a chance to let the thought tool around her brain for just a second that maybe this woman really is a Cylon. And that really is a loaded gun sitting on front of me and Mary's point, which, again, I thought was well taken, was that if she really thinks that she's a Cylon, if she really thinks that Kara Thrace is a Cylon come back to destroy all of them, or to play some kind of sleeper agent thing on her, Laura probably would pick up the gun and shoot her. And she would take the moment to- she would take the action, because it was- the lives of the fleet could potentially hang in the balance and she thought it was the one time that she could see her doing it. And then it became— y'know, she would miss her. And miss her at such close range. And that that would feel like the same kind of intervention of fate that I was looking for when she tried to fire when the safety was on. And in this version it's- she shoots, Mary, closes her eyes right as she's fire- fires the gun and it just b- it just goes right past Starbuck's head, and she misses her from virtually point blank range.

This s- oh, and I'm dr- the scotch this evening is- oh, actually, it's not scotch. What am I saying? This evening, actually, we're switching. This is Woodford Reserve. We're heading for a little bourbon, which, I think, has come our way before in these podcasts. We're also not at home. We're in our home away from home. We're in Berkley, California, relaxing in the bay area. Taking the airs, as they say. A place we find a bit more comfortable than Southern California, in all honesty. So- but it is a wooden house, with wooden floors, and you will hear my children periodically pounding across the ceiling, in the room I'm in and screaming outside the window, and I guess that's just your tough luck.

I think what was important to me was this out of control sense of Kara- this shrieking, crying. She's just coming apart at the seams kind of a character that had seen something- had experienced something that she was trying desperately to convince people of. And that there was really no rational way to get them to listen to her, so she took this incredibly extreme idea of going and confronting Laura Roslin in her quarters. But then once that you got in there and you got the marines on her and you were holding onto her tightly and you had her in custody, then she would still be trying to plead her case, and trying to, like, saying- trying to play on all their sympathies for her. I like the way Katee plays this as she's going out the door. "You've gotta kill me!" I love that. I love the way she just goes out the door just like shrieking at the top of her lungs. [chuckles] [coughs] Sorry, I'm also fighting off allergies these days.

I think, as I explained in the previous podcast, I'm grasping, on some level, to remember production details and story details on how we broke these stories. 'Cause we're so close to the end. In fact, today, as I do this podcast, I was- started- I was writing the first pages of the finale, of the end. So I wrote "Fade in," for the last time on a beginning of a Galactica episode, which is kind of a bittersweet moment, at the very least.

Act 1

Act one. It's nice to get back to the Cylon baseship and this dissolving with piano music motif that we'd established in the last season. I like this idea that here's Boomer performing these nude Tai Chi things for Cavil, and that there's something going on between the two of them that's overlaying this whole thing with the hybrid. This is actually, literally, us, or me, in the editing room, compiling a few different scenes together that were shot as literal scenes. There was an entire scene there of Natalie, 'cause we start to refer to that particular Six that you saw as Natalie, she's Natalie-Six in our nomenclature, and that Sharon, there was a whole scene of them listening to the hybrid. Of the hybrid giving all the jar- the gibberish and talking about mystical things and that the Raiders wouldn't attack their own. And then there was a separate scene and Cavil and with the Tai Chi moment that was then interrupted by all these other Cylons coming in to talk to Cavil. And as we were putting them all together, the feeling was that- I mean, the episode was way too long, as usual, and this was a nice way of cutting to the chase of getting all the information out and also getting a sense of how the story had developed into this direction.

I was always interested in this notion that here these machines have been programmed not to think about the Final Five in any way, and yet, they do. They find themselves talking about the Final Five, despite themselves. That they all, for various reasons, come to this notion that there is- something greater that they all need to think about, to talk about, and they can't help themselves. As they mature, and as they grow, as sentient, thinking beings. It naturally pushes them, like it did D'Anna. The D'Anna models were all pushed toward trying to figure out what lies between life and death, and the rest of them, too. It doesn't take too much to get them to start to think outside their program, to start moving in directions that they were explicitly designed not to think about. That the Leobens, and it felt like this- these- this particular lineup of models, would take you there. The Leobens who are inherently more spiritual than the other ones that we established. The Sixes, which were manipulative and seductive, but more free thinkers of their own- less likely to go along with the crowd. Always angling for their own agendas. And then the Sharons. The Sharons are the ones that tend to be a little bit more vulnerable, a little bit more naive. A little bit more prone to pressure and to change their minds about things. So it felt right that these three, that these three models would be the ones combining to challenge the notion of the Final Five and would also take great umbrage at the idea that they would go in- that Cavil would be going in and lobotomizing the Raiders. One of the notions that sometimes gets lost in the show is that the Raiders, themselves, are alive, in a sense. They are as alive as the other Cylons are. They are simply- exist on a different level of sentience than the rest of the Cylons, but in their world view, the Cylons- er- the Raiders have as much right to life, as it were, are as worthy of existence as the rest of them are, and the notion of cutting out part of their brains was abhorrent to them. I kinda like that. It was an interesting universe that was established over there.

You'll start to notice here in these scenes with the final four Cylons back on Galactica that divisions are starting to form within their ranks, as well, and their personalities are starting to pull them in different directions, despite Tigh, who is trying to keep them all together and try- who is trying to lay down the law, and who is trying to tell them what they will do and what they won't do. You can tell right away that Tyrol is already in a different place. Tyrol's already- he's giving far less- what's the word I'm looking for? He's paying far less attention to the rank and protocols of it all. He's already starting to separate himself from the authority figures and- he's starting to push away from the others. And then this conversation sends her to Baltar. I think in early drafts of this, Tory was going to end up in- after this scene, she was gonna just end up in Baltar's lair and just like go down there and start listening to him, and then we decided that she should be sent down there to go find out things about Baltar because of this conversation. In the early drafts, again, I think it was- certainly at the story level, it was more a case that she went down there out of curiosity, 'cause he was preaching about the one true God, and souls, and he had this connection with the Cylons, and she was curious, and then she got pulled in by the message. And then as the story developed, we started to feel like she should be sent down there, and it w- should be more of a mission. That she was sent on a mission by these guys to go get close to him, 'cause he knew— presumably knew something about D'Anna.

In the first draft of the episode, Kara is initially not taken to her own cell. She's actually put in a cell with Caprica-Six. It was something like, "Put her in with the other Cylons." And once she got in with the other Cylons, she got right in Caprica-Six's face and was like, "Am I a Cylon? Tell me! What am I? If I'm a Cylon, I wanna know!" And she started like hitting her. And then Caprica-Six hit her back, and Caprica-Six, of course, it was a reprise of the season two?- When was that? Season one? Season one fight between Kara and Six back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, where the two really went at it, and I think everyone was jazzed by the idea of seeing another fight between the two in the jail cell. But as I read it, I had to, in all honesty, I had to feel like we were just doing it in order to do it, 'cause we all just wanted to see them beat the crap out of each other because they'd done it before. And then, essentially, she was dragged out of that cell, having somewhat worse for the wear, and then she has a similar scene with Adama where Adama hits her, and it just felt repetitive. And I couldn't quite discern the reason why we were putting her in the cell to begin with. It was a little shaky, in terms of the underlying logic. So we dropped that scene and went straight for this scene of Adama coming in with Kara. This scene- I think there's about a page that I lifted out of this scene in the editing room. There's a point there where it doesn't quite match, if you go through the scene again on these over-shots, if you're looking for the coverage over Kara's shoulder onto Adama and then over Adama's shoulder onto Kara, you'll see there's a change of expression on her face that doesn't quite match the tenor of her voice, and that's usually a good indication that— you can tell that something's been lifted pretty seriously if you can't quite match them. 'Cause you're struggling to match different emotional states, and the cheat is usually to play the- that's another great scream of Katee's at the end- usually as a cheat you're trying to cover over a problem and you can't match the performance, is what I was trying to say.

Act 2

Act two. Back on the Cylon baseship. This plot thread, as you can see, is clearly developing its own standalone story. This is— this time it's not about Baltar being over there. It's not one of "our people" being over on the— over and among the Cylons. Now we're really and truly cutting to them as their own story. And why is that? Well, if you think about it, it probably means that this story is going to collide with the Galactica story at some point. So from a plot sense, this is laying a predicate for the later sequences where the two stories do merge. Strictly in terms of character within the show, it's also lending greater credence to the Cylons as our characters. Now you're— you, the audience, are being asked to invest in the Cylons as their own story, to care about what happens to the individual models, to care about this divisions between them, to actually care about what the motivations of all these different models are. Which I think is an interesting challenge, 'cause they've— up until now they've been pretty much the villains. I mean, we started to differentiate different individual Cylons as far back as season one, when the Sharon that became Athena made her original turn. Into season two, where you started to see a little bit more in that direction. We did "Downloaded". You started to see more individuation of the Cylons and the Leobens started to pop up more and more. Season three you start to go to over to their baseship and start to get involved in their culture. Now, in season four, they become their own legitimate story and that their world is as legitimate as the Galactica world, in terms of storytelling. And I think that's an interesting and natural progression for this particular series. I think it's somewhat unusual in that you don't typically go over to your "villains" and start legitimizing them as characters and start saying that you can get as involved in their story as you can in the "heroes'" story and I think all of this is part of the effort on Galactica to blur those distinctions between the two and simply tell them as characters and not to sit back and say "Well these people you should hate, week after week, and these people you should like, week after week." It's simply "Watch the show." It's simply "Watch all the characters. Bring— make your own conclusions about likes, dislikes. Make your own conclusions about the morality of what they're doing and who do you wanna invest in." But the univer— the Galactica universe continues to expand outward, which I think is a fascinating and somewhat gratifying result of that decision. 'Cause now we get to get within all these different characters' heads.

Back on Galactica, yet— yes, there's all kinds of fun things going on back here. Initially, I think, this was going to be a sendoff in Joe's bar. It was just g— it was much more informal. It was just like Lee going and getting drunk with a bunch of the pilots on his night before he was leaving. And I remember calling Angeli, Michael Angeli, I had this epiphany about a scene that I wanted to do that ironically is— I cut myself from the final show, but I called him. I was at Disneyland, actually, one of my favorite places. It's the happiest place on Earth. And I was at Disneyland, and I was standing outside of Star Tours, make the irony of that what you will, and I was standing at Star Tours and I called Angeli with epiphany and I said "You know what? Before he goes, it should be— there should be a gathering of the pilots. They should all get together as one and s— tell him goodbye. And it's where Lee— and Adama is there. He's not standoffish." 'Cause I think in the early drafts, Adama wasn't even going to be at the farewell ceremony. He was still kinda mad. But I thought that maybe he's forgiven him by this point, and he's embracing the direction his son is going. And I said "They give him a pilot's farewell, with a lot of drinking and revelry, and so on, but then we make a cut, there's a dissolve within the scene, and then you cut to this point where it's much later in the party and Adama and Lee are sitting by themselves, and they're both plastered, and Adama just kind of leans over and says 'You know that bell's gonna ring.' And Lee kinda goes 'Huh? What?' He said, 'The bell. You know, you have to get up and answer the bell.'" And it was like a boxing metaphor. And it was that he was giving Lee a prediction that even though Lee had given up the wings and the uniform and the flight suit and was going off to be on Colonial One and get involved in politics, that there was gonna be a part of him that was going to miss being a pilot. There was a part of him that was going to— that had gotten used to the idea that when the bell rings, when the fire bell rings, or the alarm rings, that certain men get up and answer that call. They go out and they rush towards the sound of guns. They run— it's the firemen that run into the building instead of away from it. And Lee had become one of those men, whether he understood it or not. And that he was— from now on, he was never gonna be able to do that again. He would be over there. He would be one of the people that had to be protected, and he would no longer be someone who would answer that bell. And that it was gonna bother him. And Adama was trying to warn him that that day was gonna come for him soon, and he wouldn't know what to do with himself when it happened. And it was a great little scene, and the episode was just really long, and ultimately we didn't need it, and so it's there to be enjoyed for you in the deleted scenes.

This little bit of business with Tory and Baltar, again, this was originally going to be down in Baltar's lair, as we call it, where she was listening to him preach and he spotted her in the crowd, and then he made an approach to her like "What the hell are you doing here?" And then it devolved from there. As we started talking about interesting ways to go with all this, we talked about "OK. Baltar is out and about in the ship. He has protection. He has people watching him." This was so— part of the scene that I don't think quite comes through is that there are people— his people are watching the doors, they're watching him, they're looking out for Baltar all during this scene, and Tory can only get so close, 'cause all these women and all these people are watching out for him. And then Baltar himself has to go over to her table. And then we talked about doing a Head-Six scene where Head-Six was pointing him in a certain direction with Tory, because it felt like "OK. What does Baltar do now that he's around one of the Final Five Cy— final four Cylons, who knows that they're a final Cylon." And it seemed like, well, there's a natural Head-Six tendency. But then we had this notion that'd been kicking around for a while that the head characters would start to do changeups. That maybe Baltar would see a Head-Baltar, in the same way that Caprica-Six had seen a Head-Baltar. And we got tickled with that idea and I got tickled with that idea and it seemed like an interesting changeup pitch just in terms of what we'd been doing with this particular idea of the angel on Baltar's shoulder showing up and giving him advice. It was a way to give the scene a little bit more topspin to it and make it a little bit more interesting. And it was also a chance for James to really— for James to show off, and for James to do some really interesting stuff, which he could be relied on to do. And it's a great little scene. It's a classic person-talking-to-himself scene. The visual effects have now progressed to the point where it's really seamless. It's really hard to spot any flaw in this scene whatsoever. James does a really good job, especially coming up here when he sits next to himself and talks to himself. The timing of it, watch the way that they overlap one another. I think he really thought through how he was gonna play this performance and on the set, of course, he plays it once sitting in one position, and then comes in, sits in the second position after the wardrobe change, and they play the audio of the previous scene— of the previous take, of where he was playing it the other way, so he has his own voice to get guidance too, but it locks you into that particular take as well, 'cause everything he's saying is timed to that prior take. So you can't— you don't have a lot of flexibility in terms of swapping out audio for other takes and other performances. It's pretty much keeping you down to one take that he did on the set that everyone felt satisfied with. Heh. "Who the frak are you?" There's both such distinctive versions of Gaius Baltar, too. I mean, that's part of the charm of it, is that he's able to really convey the two different men. The real Baltar, and then the Head-Baltar character. See, right here. When they're sitting next to each other. It's pretty seamless. It's really hard to tell which one is in the scene, which one isn't. Who's looking at who and which one is not. Which one was there first? That would be very difficult. I think the guy on the right was the first take, and I think the guy on the left was the second take, if I remember how this was composited.

We had more— we were gonna do more Head-Baltar gags down through the season, and then I think we fell away from it. I don't think there's nearly as much of Head-Baltar appearing again as there once was going to be. I think we st— I was the one really pushing it through, and kept saying, "No, let's do more. Let's do more." And people kept following my lead on it, and then— and ever— but there was growing sense of reluctance to it.


Act 3

Act three. Just to continue that thought. There was a lot of growing reluctance to using Head-Baltar, and I started to realize that I was just sending everyone out on a flier, so I started to pull back from it. And actually, I had the thought that I wo- I kind of thought, "Maybe I should've pulled Head-Baltar out of that Tory scene altogether." But it was so much fun and we had- we were too far into the season to go back and redo it, so I kept it in. He's not gonna be a major player. It'll play fine in the mythology, and it'll still play in terms of explanations at the end of what the head characters all mean, and all that, but I don't know that it was a completely necessary side journey that I took us all on. It's one of my mistakes. One of my many, for those of you keeping track.

This is a great scene. This scene with Eddie and Mary is one of my favorite Adama-Laura scenes in the series. It's- they've really progressed to a point of intimacy as people and trust, and they really are who they are, and they're not putting it on anymore. She just gets him to come over and sit down. He's drinking. He's getting hair of the dog. He's drinking a lot more these days. If anybody- I'm sure you've noticed. He's fighting for Kara. He just knows this sounds ridiculous. It's just- it's a nice reversal of their positions. It g- it really does hearken all the way back to the first season when she was starting to have visions, and needed him to believe in something that was not rational. And now he's coming to her and pushing for the exact same thing. And she just torments him. "A miracle." She wants to hear him say it's a miracle. I love that. I just love the way that she just takes the opportunity to box him right in at that point. I mean, I think these are two people that know each other extraordinarily well at this point. Sorry. I start and stop the podcast and start and stop the picture. You'll just have to run with me on this sort of thing. I can't edit the goddamn program to save my life, what do you want. Anyway. Back into the scene. As I was trying to convey here, the sense that these are two people that know each other, respect each other, care about each other on some profound level, love each other on some level that they can't put a name to yet, but are willing to really go for each other's jugular if pushed to it. That they're both very strong characters. That neither one is really gonna defer to the other one, if they think that they're right. They're both willing, and able, and fully capable of taking their claws out and really going at the other person to the point where they'll say really vicious things to one another. And that, on some level, is a sign of true love. [Laughs] At least it is in the Galactica universe. I love the fact that she tries to force him to face it, when on some level, she hasn't faced it. And she just turns him down flat. And the look on Eddie's face here- the look on Adama's face here when she just, like, shuts him down. He's made his plea. He's exposed himself. He's asked for things he never thought he would ask for. He's played the miracle card. And he got nothing for it. Yeah. He'd rather do that. And it's just- it's the human frailty of it that she nails him on. And Adama's not one to really let people get in and understand him and put words to his frailties. As flawed a man as he knows he is, he can't really stand to hear someone else be so true- be so accurate about the truth about Bill Adama. And then he just reaches out and casually claws her up. Watch her. He does it just- he barely- he just tosses it out there. And tosses it out with a casualness that makes you know he really believes it. And then she has to sit with that. And this little beat here, this nice little beat of pulling the hair out. What it means to her. And she comes close to just- as close as Laura comes to just falling apart. This is really the kind of scenes that I think you have to wait a while in a series to get to. You can't- I don't think we could have taken these two characters to this place before now. We had to lay a lot of groundwork. You had to have traveled a long road with these people in order to justify getting to that place. And to let the actors know their characters so well that they would be able to take them to those places. All the characters, and all the actors have matured and are grown and evolved over the course of time to the place- to the point— now we can send them to a lot of places that they never would have gone to in the earlier seasons. Or if we had tried, they would have felt false and forced, and it wouldn't have played with any kind of depth, and the actors may not have wanted to have taken them to those places, or might have resisted, or might have tried to go to someplace but not had the underpinnings and foundation laid to know how to get there. But at this point in the series, four years in, they know their characters extraordinarily well. They know their characters better than we know their characters in s- in many ways. Even though we're- we, the writers, I mean, are inventing them and tweaking their backstories and getting inside them psychologically on a daily basis, the actors live and breath them. They stand on those stages and they become them. They wear their clothes. They say their words. They laugh. They cry their tears. They feel their pain. They know them in a much more profound way than we know them.

This scene. I think I cut some of the middle of the inter- the interior dialogue out of this scene. I think there was more about the two of them. I think they reminisced a little bit more. I think they talked about their predicament- her predicament a little more. I think there was a little bit more reference to the fact that this wasn't her first time in jail, again. I think there were a few more lines along those lines, and then I shortened up the scene and tighten- in the overall tightening of the episode just looking for lifts. And in some ways, I think it made the scene a little stronger. It's interesting seeing Lee in his suit. I think I said this last season. There's something really interesting about the way the character, to me, has come to life in the suit, in a way that he didn't quite come to life in the uniform. And I think that's actually symbolic of the character as well. I think the character was never comfortable in the flight suit. That was how the character was established, was someone who was- had gone into the service for presumably all the wrong reasons and was conflicted about them the day that we met him, and then became the CAG and became leader and put on the mantle and struggled with it and tried to find his own way, in many ways, and even became commander of the Pegasus and still struggled with it. And now he's left it, and is leaving it behind and there's a freedom to it. There's a sense of him finding his own path, at last, and something that is not really living in his father's shadow anymore, and maybe more comfortable with knowing who his father is and living in that shadow, to use the word again.

That little scene in the pilot ready room is one that usually would be cut. Generally, you would cut that 'cause it doesn't- you could cut straight to this scene and not miss it, but I really fought for it and wanted to keep it in the show, 'cause I thought it set a nice tone and it made more of a journey for Lee as he went from one place to the other and I really wanted this last beat with him down in the hangar deck, getting the formal sendoff- the pilots had given him the informal, drunken sendoff the night before, that there was still one more beat to play and I wanted them all there on the flight deck with their- in their dress uniforms and call him Apollo one more time and give him the salute and his father would be there this ti- again, and the President, and everyone would give him the respect that he had earned in the last four years. I think there was a beat that was cut- there was a little bit more of an exchange between him and Laura, because Laura had not quite- still had not forgiven him for being one of Baltar's attorneys during "Crossroads", and there was a lingering animosity that she wanted to play, that Mary wanted to play and the character would naturally would play, but as I was going through the scene, it felt a little bit out of co- it just felt wrong in this particular moment to play that. It was a discordant note. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you want an elegiac beat like this to be leavened with a discordant note that reminds you that not all is well and good with these characters. There still are buried animosities, and so on. But, this time out I just didn't want to spoil the mood so I opted to cut it.

I like this little beat with Dualla. Haven't seen her much so far this season, and it was- I thought it was important to give a nod towards the storyline that we've been playing. The storyline of Lee and Dualla and Kara and Anders. While not always successful on every level, every time we played it, it was- it's there. It's part of the show. We can't ignore it. And I didn't want to just pretend that it had never happened. And so it felt like she had left him at the end of last season, essentially bringing the marriage to an end, if not formally then at least in reality. And it seemed like I wanted to have some goodbye between the two of them, and it felt right that she would just show up here and make a gesture for him, as he was leaving Galactica to go pursue another line of life.

I'm- this was a risk, in all honesty. I'm kind of proud of it. It was a risk to take one of our characters out of the uniform, because there's a sense that being in the military uniform is everything. You gotta be a soldier in this kind of series to have any validity at all. And that him walking away from the uniform in a time of war and all that jazz would be seen as a despicable act on some level by some elements of the audience. And I'm kind of proud of the fact that we pulled it off, that we did it. And it seems to work within the body of the show. And that it actually seems to give us more story. And that it actually worked. But it was kind of a- it was a somewhat risky move. It was something that you just don't normally do. Not to go back to my Trek days, but it was certainly not thought of to ever take anyone out of a Starfleet uniform once they put one on. It just wasn't really done. But I was glad- it opens up possibilities for Lee, and as you'll see it opens up great story possibilities for us this season. The Lee Adama story is made by that move.

This is a nice way to end this episode, back here on the Cylon ship with Natalie, and the other Cylons. I like this- the way Dean played- plays this conversation and they way that the Centurions come in somewhat ominously here at the end. The look on their faces. You're like, "Eh, what's gonna happen here?"

Act 4

Of course it's not the end of the episode. It was the end of the act. I'm sorry.

That's a great shot, sorry, to open up act four. The workmen— the repair work that they're doing on the big ring ship. I thought that was very cool. I love that idea. When Gary first showed me the pre-vis on it, I liked it— just the way that it was giving a nod towards the fact that we do have to repair the damage that we take in these battles and that there are scars. There's scars on everyone after all this combat that's goin'. And as you— if you go back and look at it, when you pan off of the ring ship over onto Galactica, Galactica herself is looking a little worse for the wear this season. The ship's been through a lot and it was im— you'll see, over the course of this year, Galactica will look a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more banged up, that the ship is nearing the end of the story. That we're getting into the final season and the ship herself is starting to feel it.

This was an interesting little beat that we talked about with Tory and Baltar, is an interesting pairing between the two. We had actually talked about, I think, a version of Tory involved with Baltar before the revelation that she was a Cylon, when we— back before we'd actually even come up with that idea. So the notion of linking these two on some level had been kicking around the office for a little bit, in various guises. And this seemed like the perfect time to do it, because we hadn't— we just hadn't played the sexuality of Baltar in a while. We haven't played that carnal aspect of his character and what kind of trouble it could get him into, and certainly now, gods know where this is gonna go, with Baltar involved with one of the final four Cylons.

Yeah, back to the Cylons. I like the way they look at each other. Or no, I guess they look at her. But there's that head turn on both of them that makes them very suddenly realize there's a sense of individuation going on. "Why don't they leave?" That's about as much tech talk as we're gonna do here on the old Battlestar, so I hope you enjoyed it. [Chuckles] None. [Laughs] I like the way this all really plays. I'm sorry. I'm just kinda tickled by this scene, and watching it more than commenting on it, I know. The Centurion storyline is interesting. I can't talk too much about it now, obviously, 'cause we're so early in the season, but there were a lot of conversations about the Centurions and what this would all mean. And that the hierarchy within the Cylon world, and how it developed, and what they— what the Centurions might think or feel, on some level, as they came to awareness. It's sort of in a repetition, again, all this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. That now another group of Cylons are starting to become aware, and becoming aware of— they're being used as slaves, essentially. But now this group of Cylons would choose not to treat them as slaves and choose to acknowledge them more as thinking beings. We didn't play nearly as much of that as I thought we would, so, don't look for gigantic moves in that direction in the future. But it was like a fascinating idea that we did toy with for quite some time.

There was a— to get back to Galactica. There was a fascinating little storyline that Angeli had in an early draft that I really liked and kept wanting to find a way to make work, but I just couldn't make it work in my head, where Adama, out of his frustration and his desire to understand what Kara was going through, he went down and he got in that pristine Viper of hers that she flew back in, and he got in a flight suit, and got in the cockpit, and flew it out around the Fleet by himself, and he was going through some internal thing, and he starts firing the guns and he's yelling, "Ahhhh!" And gets out his frustrations and you cut from that and you come back aboard ship and then he brings her out and gives her the Demetrius and gives her the mission. And there was something Michael was going for about him going out on that mission, not even a mission, out on that flight, by himself that informed him or catalyzed him in some way and made him change his mind and I liked it. There was something very cinematic about it and very interesting. I just couldn't quite figure out what it meant, and usually I'm willing to take the risk or really want to take the risk in going a direction where I don't understand what it means and just throw it out there and make it work, but this time out I couldn't quite grapple with it. I couldn't quite understand what he was going toward and it just seemed like it was ra— because it was a mystical moment when this pristine Viper came out, when Adama flew in it I didn't wanna play the message that maybe he was being influenced by it, or whatever. So in any case, I chickened out, and when I watch the episode now I always think back about that little storyline that Michael came up with and wonder if I made a mistake in losing it, 'cause it was a really interesting idea. It was beautifully written.

The other thing that did not get played in this episode, at the end of the episode in one of the dr— in the drafts was a beat with Tyrol at the end, looking— inspecting the— Kara's Viper and looking up and finding little hieroglyphics on one of the wheel wells— one of the skid wells. And there were like strange markings on it. And it was dropped because we didn't know what it meant, and it was one of those little beats that we started to throw in for mystery and then decided that "No, no, no. It was a huge thing, and we went to pay it off, and we'd have to keep going, and decipher them, and figure out what the hieroglyphics meant." And it turned out that that wasn't a direction that we wanted to go in any case, so it all got dropped from the draft. I don't think we actually shot that scene.

Now here, of course, begins an entirely new plot. Helo was not originally gonna go with Kara, I believe. I have to look back, maybe before I do the podcast for the next episode I'll look back and try to remember who the original crew was for Demetrius. But Helo was not going, and I think there was a note from the network, actually, as we were just stroking out the first few episodes, and they noticed, "You know, we haven't given Helo much to do." And I kinda went "Oh, god. You're right. Hmm. Let me look at that. " And I was— it bothered me. 'Cause Helo's one of my favorite characters, and they were right. When I looked at the stories, we hadn't played a lot with him. And so I think it was at that point that I decided to go back, and I think this show was already in prep, I think this episode was already in pre-production, and I went back to Angeli and said "OK, Helo— I wanna put Helo on that ship, and maybe Sharon, too." And that was how Helo came to be the XO on the star-crossed mission of the Demetrius, which I will talk about in the very next podcast, which hopefully I'm going to do right now.

So, until the next podcast, this is Ron, signing off on episode 404. Good night, and good luck.