Difference between revisions of "Podcast:Crossroads, Part I"

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m (Podcast transcript for Podcast of Crossroads I up to 5:38)
m (Podcast for Teaser of Crossroads I up to 6:36)
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Terry: This is so spooky.
 
Terry: This is so spooky.
  
RDM:  It's very spooky.  It's very, [[w:Don't Look Now| "Don't Look Now,"]] the [[w:Nicolas Roeg| Nicolas Roeg]] picture in a lot of these shots and very creepy and very effective.  I like a lot of this a lot.  Originally, we had always known that we wanted to do the trial of Gaius Baltar this season.  It had originally was going to take place around episode 12 or 13 after the [[Rapture| escape from the algae planet]]. Then as time went on we started talking about what the season finale was going to be and I started to getting more and more in love with the idea that the finale was going to be the trial of Gaius Baltar.  That took a little bit of salesmanship actually with the network.  The network was not entirely that we would-that a trial episode was really the best way to end the season. But I was really sold on it and then went back to the writers room and said "Ok, we really have to deliver because they're definitely skeptical this time about our ability to pull this off."  So as-so we developed this long art that was going to culminate in this long art that was going to culminate in the trial, that I talked about before.  With the [[Sagittaron| Sagittarons]] becoming a problem in the fleet that's where the [[Helo]], [[The Woman King]] episode originated to introduce the Sagittarons.  We had more storylines with them as a sort of sub-group within [[The Twelve Colonies (RDM)| the twelve colonies]].  And how they were sort of the ouitcasts of the bunch the the other colo-tribes sort of take advantage of them.  It was included in this intialy drafts of these two episodes and it was going to play a key part in the trial.  It wa-the plot was esentialy that as bit by bit the defense team, Baltar's defense team kicked the-the legs out from under the prosecution's case as it was presented there came a point where [[Lee]], who at that point was going to be the sole attorney for Baltar, Lee was going to come into possession of a video tape that was sold to him by somebody on the black market and the video tape was going to have on it actually video footage of Baltar executing colonists on [[New Caprica]].  And it was him, it was there's Baltar pulling the trigger and he's killing people.  It just had him dead to rights, and that's where this episode whas going to end: with Lee coming into possession of this video tape and deciding what was he going to do?  The second part of the episode-the second part of Crossroads was going to deal with the dupe video tape getting into the backstory on New Caprica.  The idea was that the Sagittarons had sort of isolated themselves from the rest of the population and there was a famine that struck the food supply and people were in desperate straits.  The Sagittarons were refusing to share the food that they had carefully cultivated to themselves.  At some point Baltar-and the government sent in the troops and Baltar got involved in the situation that at first looked on the video tape like he was a cold-blooded murder; but as the case went on you discovered that actually; but as the case went on you discovered that actually that he was more-it was more along the lines of the moment in [[w:Lawrence of Arabia (film)| Lawrence of Arabia]] that Lawrence has to shoot the man to save the larger situation between the two tribes.  That storyline was present in these two episodes when we went into prep.  The problem was, it just wasn't working because when we read it-[[Michael Rymer]] was probably the first person to put a finger on it- that it was making up a storyline that the audience wasn't invested in.  Meanwhile, all the crimes that the audience was interested in with Gaius Baltar weren't being addressed as effectively and the trial wasn't really about anything they could really sink their teeth into.
+
RDM:  It's very spooky.  It's very, [[w:Don't Look Now| "Don't Look Now,"]] the [[w:Nicolas Roeg| Nicolas Roeg]] picture in a lot of these shots and very creepy and very effective.  I like a lot of this a lot.  Originally, we had always known that we wanted to do the trial of Gaius Baltar this season.  It had originally was going to take place around episode 12 or 13 after the [[Rapture| escape from the algae planet]]. Then as time went on we started talking about what the season finale was going to be and I started to getting more and more in love with the idea that the finale was going to be the trial of Gaius Baltar.  That took a little bit of salesmanship actually with the network.  The network was not entirely that we would-that a trial episode was really the best way to end the season. But I was really sold on it and then went back to the writers room and said "Ok, we really have to deliver because they're definitely skeptical this time about our ability to pull this off."  So as-so we developed this long art that was going to culminate in this long art that was going to culminate in the trial, that I talked about before.  With the [[Sagittaron| Sagittarons]] becoming a problem in the fleet that's where the [[Helo]], [[The Woman King]] episode originated to introduce the Sagittarons.  We had more storylines with them as a sort of sub-group within [[The Twelve Colonies (RDM)| the twelve colonies]].  And how they were sort of the ouitcasts of the bunch the the other colo-tribes sort of take advantage of them.  It was included in this intialy drafts of these two episodes and it was going to play a key part in the trial.  It wa-the plot was esentialy that as bit by bit the defense team, Baltar's defense team kicked the-the legs out from under the prosecution's case as it was presented there came a point where [[Lee]], who at that point was going to be the sole attorney for Baltar, Lee was going to come into possession of a video tape that was sold to him by somebody on the black market and the video tape was going to have on it actually video footage of Baltar executing colonists on [[New Caprica]].  And it was him, it was there's Baltar pulling the trigger and he's killing people.  It just had him dead to rights, and that's where this episode whas going to end: with Lee coming into possession of this video tape and deciding what was he going to do?  The second part of the episode-the second part of Crossroads was going to deal with the dupe video tape getting into the backstory on New Caprica.  The idea was that the Sagittarons had sort of isolated themselves from the rest of the population and there was a famine that struck the food supply and people were in desperate straits.  The Sagittarons were refusing to share the food that they had carefully cultivated to themselves.  At some point Baltar-and the government sent in the troops and Baltar got involved in the situation that at first looked on the video tape like he was a cold-blooded murder; but as the case went on you discovered that actually; but as the case went on you discovered that actually that he was more-it was more along the lines of the moment in [[w:Lawrence of Arabia (film)| Lawrence of Arabia]] that Lawrence has to shoot the man to save the larger situation between the two tribes.  That storyline was present in these two episodes when we went into prep.  The problem was, it just wasn't working because when we read it-[[Michael Rymer]] was probably the first person to put a finger on it- that it was making up a storyline that the audience wasn't invested in.  Meanwhile, all the crimes that the audience was interested in with Gaius Baltar weren't being addressed as effectively and the trial wasn't really about anything they could really sink their teeth into. And I tend-and late in the game I realized that he was right.  So I took a pass at the script and as I was taking my pass at these two scripts I essentially dumped that plotline completely-And uh-punted and said, "Ok, we're going in a different direction."  And I started writing started playing with different storylines and different characters and stripped that out of the entire porcess and it subsequently meant that we had to go back and we had y'know-we had shot those other episodes except for the Dualla episode and that was dumped entirely in favor of the Tyrol episode.  We had established the Woman King and a lot of the Sagittaron backstories was in bits and pieces in the other episodes and so we had to go back add it to the reshoot and take that out of the earlier episodes and that's just sort of the cost of doing business when you run a tv show the way I do. Where you sometimes you improvise and you go in directions that you didn't think you were going to.  So a lot of these storylines, like this one here with Baltar and his cult followers on teh outside was somehting that developed pretty late in the game.  I think this might of been in [[Michael Taylor| Michael Taylor's]] script-I take that back Michael Taylor did ocme up with this notion of
  
 
== Act 1 ==
 
== Act 1 ==

Revision as of 16:31, 20 March 2007

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Teaser

RDM: Hello and welcome to the podcast I'nm Ronald D. Moore developer and executive producer of the new Battlestar Galactica and I'm joined here by my lovely wife, the lovely and talented Mrs. Ron. Say, "Hello," Mrs. Ron.

Terry: Hello Mrs. Ron

RDM: And we're here to discuss part one of the season finale, Crossroads Part I, which we call episode 18 around these parts.

Terry: I'm here again because Ron is now doing these in bed at 11 o'clock at night-

RDM: Yes-

Terry: In a state of exhaustion. And uh-So-

RDM: I hope-

Terry: I'm-I'll probably be pretty quiet too.

RDM: The smoking lamp is again out, but the scoth is Urgegragor 10 from-single malt from the Highlands.

Terry: There has been a question as to what is your favorite Scotch.

RDM: That's a hard question to answer, Talisker is one of my favorites. Jeru, that new one I got from that professor at USC. This new one came from John Hodgman who was here last night.

Terry: Mr. PC.

RDM: Mr. PC from the Apple commercials.

Terry: Ok, let's get into it. This is Crossroads Part I. In case you're wondering, no we did not forget to put the pre-cap on that says, "The Cylons Were Created By Man," etc. etc. Truth is we were pressed for time on these last two and we asked for special dispensation to do away with the pre-cap, as we call it, and also with the main title. So-to give us-in order to give us more time to tell the story and really play this for all it's worth. This sequence back at the opera house which we've seen before, the Kobol Opera house, was a very late edition to the script. I took a pass at the finale fairly late in the process, while we were in prep. I added this section and some other pieces that we'll talk about as they come along.

Terry: This is so spooky.

RDM: It's very spooky. It's very, "Don't Look Now," the Nicolas Roeg picture in a lot of these shots and very creepy and very effective. I like a lot of this a lot. Originally, we had always known that we wanted to do the trial of Gaius Baltar this season. It had originally was going to take place around episode 12 or 13 after the escape from the algae planet. Then as time went on we started talking about what the season finale was going to be and I started to getting more and more in love with the idea that the finale was going to be the trial of Gaius Baltar. That took a little bit of salesmanship actually with the network. The network was not entirely that we would-that a trial episode was really the best way to end the season. But I was really sold on it and then went back to the writers room and said "Ok, we really have to deliver because they're definitely skeptical this time about our ability to pull this off." So as-so we developed this long art that was going to culminate in this long art that was going to culminate in the trial, that I talked about before. With the Sagittarons becoming a problem in the fleet that's where the Helo, The Woman King episode originated to introduce the Sagittarons. We had more storylines with them as a sort of sub-group within the twelve colonies. And how they were sort of the ouitcasts of the bunch the the other colo-tribes sort of take advantage of them. It was included in this intialy drafts of these two episodes and it was going to play a key part in the trial. It wa-the plot was esentialy that as bit by bit the defense team, Baltar's defense team kicked the-the legs out from under the prosecution's case as it was presented there came a point where Lee, who at that point was going to be the sole attorney for Baltar, Lee was going to come into possession of a video tape that was sold to him by somebody on the black market and the video tape was going to have on it actually video footage of Baltar executing colonists on New Caprica. And it was him, it was there's Baltar pulling the trigger and he's killing people. It just had him dead to rights, and that's where this episode whas going to end: with Lee coming into possession of this video tape and deciding what was he going to do? The second part of the episode-the second part of Crossroads was going to deal with the dupe video tape getting into the backstory on New Caprica. The idea was that the Sagittarons had sort of isolated themselves from the rest of the population and there was a famine that struck the food supply and people were in desperate straits. The Sagittarons were refusing to share the food that they had carefully cultivated to themselves. At some point Baltar-and the government sent in the troops and Baltar got involved in the situation that at first looked on the video tape like he was a cold-blooded murder; but as the case went on you discovered that actually; but as the case went on you discovered that actually that he was more-it was more along the lines of the moment in Lawrence of Arabia that Lawrence has to shoot the man to save the larger situation between the two tribes. That storyline was present in these two episodes when we went into prep. The problem was, it just wasn't working because when we read it-Michael Rymer was probably the first person to put a finger on it- that it was making up a storyline that the audience wasn't invested in. Meanwhile, all the crimes that the audience was interested in with Gaius Baltar weren't being addressed as effectively and the trial wasn't really about anything they could really sink their teeth into. And I tend-and late in the game I realized that he was right. So I took a pass at the script and as I was taking my pass at these two scripts I essentially dumped that plotline completely-And uh-punted and said, "Ok, we're going in a different direction." And I started writing started playing with different storylines and different characters and stripped that out of the entire porcess and it subsequently meant that we had to go back and we had y'know-we had shot those other episodes except for the Dualla episode and that was dumped entirely in favor of the Tyrol episode. We had established the Woman King and a lot of the Sagittaron backstories was in bits and pieces in the other episodes and so we had to go back add it to the reshoot and take that out of the earlier episodes and that's just sort of the cost of doing business when you run a tv show the way I do. Where you sometimes you improvise and you go in directions that you didn't think you were going to. So a lot of these storylines, like this one here with Baltar and his cult followers on teh outside was somehting that developed pretty late in the game. I think this might of been in Michael Taylor's script-I take that back Michael Taylor did ocme up with this notion of

Act 1

RDM: Act one. OK. This storyline here of the Raptor going back to drag the trail, lookin' for the Cylons, was something that was in early drafts as we started to re- We knew that we wanted to bring the Cylon threat back into the show, here in the last two episodes. We had been away from it for a while and we stayed away from it deliberately so that we could bring them back in a big way towards the end. And this notion that they had been following along for quite some time and that Galactica was taking precautions, just in case they were, but- and would leave this trailing Raptor behind to sit and wait and see if the Cylons would show up at their old position, and that this time Adama decides to leave a Raptor for a longer period of time was something that was always in the story from the early get-go.

When I saw the first cut of this episode, which I really liked, I responded very strongly to the first cut of the show, this was how Andy, the editor, and Michael Rymer chose to open the show. You open straight into the courtroom with the opening statements, which I thought was really interest- an interesting journey. But ultimately because the episodes were also extraordinarily long, they were like ten and, I think, twenty minutes over, respectively, there was a lot of reshuffling that had to be done in the structure, and some things had to go to make room for others, and as a result the teaser reverted back to the way the teaser was actually and structured initially and the opening arguments moved back to the top of act one. There is a significant lift here in her speech. She talks about loss and numbers and how they count up the people that live instead of the people that are dead, because of their particular situation, which I thought was a really intriguing idea that was in Taylor's script, but initially she wrote the number of the entire Twelve Colonies up on that whiteboard in the background, which was like fif- I can't remember what the number was. I'll probably get it wrong if I quote it. But I think it was like fifty-one billion, or something. And she had this big number, and then from that there was a series of subtractions of people lost in the initial attack and the people lost down through the years, all the way down to New Caprica. And it was a chain of reasoning that led her all the way to the crimes of Gaius Baltar, which was very effective, but it just took too long to get there. And in fact, we had to digitally remove the original numbers from the top of that chart, because the old numbers were up there as well, and so we had to go in and ask Gary Hutzel and- Gary Hutzel and friends, our new variety show, to remove the old numbers from the board. Cassidy, the prosecutor, in the sh- in early script and definitely in the story, was a man, was an older man. A bit of a professor. But as we got close to casting the part we started to feel that we hadn't had another strong female character in the show in a while and we wanted to bring another voice into the courtroom and make the opponent a woman. Which I thought was a good choice.

This beat- you'll notice that Laura is gone from the courtroom there. There was a sequence that was cut where Laura- you saw Laura get up and have to leave the courtroom at a certain point, and she goes into the officer's head by herself, and she's in there splashing water on her face 'cause she's not feeling well, so it was another clue in her storyline, what's going on with Laura. And while she's in there, Sharon comes out of one of the stalls and they have a moment together where Sharon- in my dra- when I took a pass at it, I had Sharon actually confront her and say something to her, 'cause she had never been in a room with Laura since the dis- since she learned that Laura had stolen her baby. And I had her say something like, "Just remember that a Cylon let you walk out of here alive," or something, and then she walked out. And everybody thought that was cr- too much and that Laura- that it was too dangerous, and it was too overt, and so I back- but there was a scene shot where Laura was in the bathroom and she and Sharon just looked at each other. And it was a lovely scene, and it'll probably end up in the deleted scenes on the DVD or on the website, because Mary did this great thing of leaning her head against the faucet. The coolness of the metal cooling her forehead, and Sharon came out, and they looked at each other just for a moment, and it was meant to evoke the idea that they reco- they had seen each other in the dream sequence, but weren't ready to really verbally acknowledge that to one another.

This opening statement by Romo Lampkin- a lot of this courtroom stuff, especially here in the early going, is pretty much as Michael Taylor wrote it. I didn't really mess with a lot of this. I made trims and s- minor polishes here and there. But this pretty much all of his work. In the early script, well, in the early story, of course, Lampkin had died in the episode before, and Lee was carrying the whole case. And then as we went into subsequent revisions, Lee's role helping Lampkin kept getting smaller and smaller, because the closer we got to actually shooting the show I started feeling that you had- the believability factor became more and more important and focusing on that element more, and felt right that Lampkin is the lawyer, and that Lee's helping him. Lee's not really expected to make arguments, to cross-examine witnesses, to do any of that stuff. He's just the guy at the table helping Lampkin, and that they're only c- eventually you'll get to a place where he had a significant contribution, but not at the beginning.

There's that- there's Laura. She actually coming back from the officer's head, there.

Mark Sheppard tells me a story that- I don't think Mary liked the fact that he kept- turning on her before she sat down, and she wanted to get all the way down to her seat and Mark, every time she was about to get to her seat he'd whirl around and catch her in it, and it was pissing her off, but it just helped her irritation in the scene a little bit.

You'll notice that we have a lot of spectators in the audience, and there's several of our regulars in the audience that we cut to occasionally. Tahmoh and Alessandro are there, sittin' side by side in some shots, and there's Tory and Laura. And all these people had to sit in this courtroom, which is a redress of the hangar deck, for hours on end while they shot a courtroom show, and one of the things that the cast almost to a man, and a woman, said afterward, was "Oh my God. Can you imagine having to do a courtroom show every fucking week?" 'Cause you have to sit in these positions for take, after take, after take, and nobody gets to move, and only one person speaking, then somebody else does their lines, and then you do it again. And it drove them just batshit. Tahmoh was talking about how they were trying to keep themselves awake, just to do the coverage, and then they had to do coverage from other angles, and they had to always be sitting in these chairs, and it was like a struggle to just maintain consciousness through vast stretches of the trial.

I really like that overhead shot of the Raptor, pushing down, that Gary put in here. Gary really added a lot of bells, and whistles, and flourishes to all the visual effects sequences here in the finale. I think he and the visual effects team really pride themselves in being able to add in things that surprise the producers when they- when all is said and done. And you get a lot more bang for your buck from those guys.

This storyline, that begins pretty much here, with Laura and the chamalla and the return of her cancer, this was something I added in my draft. And this came out of a couple of things. One, I was looking for other colors to play in the courtroom, in the trial episode, 'cause I felt that we weren't quite throwing enough surprises. We weren't really pushing the show far enough. We weren't taking enough chances. It was too much trial. We had the stuff going on with some of the other characters hearing things. But there really wasn't enough meat to sink you teeth into. And, secondarily to that, but just as important, was the fact that we had lost track of Laura, I think, over the course of the second half of the season and Mary and I had talked about that, and Mary was concerned that we had lost track of her character. She didn't seem to be doing too much and what was the next moves for her. I remember that conversation and I was really struck by it, and I was concerned by it, 'cause I agreed with her. I was- we had spent so much time trying to figure out what to do with Lee, and how we were gonna have a trial of Baltar, and the Sagittarons, and the search for the final five, etc., etc., that Laura did get lost in the shuffle, and I really didn't like that and I was committed to trying to do something with her strongly in the trial episode. I felt that she shouldn't be a direct participant in the trial, because that didn't make sense and didn't seem right, but I did want to do something with her. So as I was taking my pass through the script I just got to the scene where- I wrote that scene in CIC and I had the tea come in, and she was- or no. I'm sorry. The tea was a much later thing. She wasn't feeling well and she walked off into the weapons area and then Adama followed over and Lee watched them interact, and there was something in the way Lee watched her and Adama interact that he knew that something was up. And I determined, at that moment, as I was writing the scene, when he was looking up at Laura, and he saw the way that Adama was talking to her and the way that- I think Adama, in the script, put his hand on her arm or something. It was some very intimate gesture of compassion and concern, and it was at the- and it was in that moment I said, "She's got cancer again." And I knew that was a big move, but it felt right, and as I- and I immediately knew that it was gonna be a big turn in the trial and that Lee was going to- was gonna out her for it, and that she was gonna have visions again, and it meant that she was seeing things. It just- all these things just spun out in the moment as I was working on the script, and I knew that I seized on something I really liked. And it was an instinctive moment. It was an improvisational moment. But it tapped into things that I wanted to do in the show. The- when Laura's cancer was cured in the second season, I was never entirely happy with the notion that that was it for that story. That Laura having cancer and being the dying leader taking the Fleet to- taking the- leading humanity towards salvation was always a defining characteristic of her character. It was the way we are introduced to Laura. That she found out that she had terminal breast cancer and it was important to me at the moment that we did it that we had to relieve that pressure. We couldn't- I couldn't sustain her dying forever. It just didn't feel like that was- the show was gonna become about Laura in a hospital bed for the next two years.

I like this beat a lot. Sorry. Just to get back into the scene where we are. This Caprica-Tigh scene. I mean, he hits her, and then she hits him back (laughs) so quickly and so well. And this look on- Trish's face. That little almost smile. It's just really nice. It's nicely done stuff.

Anyway. Back to Laura. So when we cured her, at that moment, I talked about it with Mary, and we both said that it could come back. That's the end of the act. I'll come back.