Podcast:Deadlock

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Revision as of 14:51, 11 March 2009 by Steelviper (talk | contribs) (Act 1)

Teaser

Hello, and welcome to the podcast, and this is Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica. I am here to welcome you to the podcast for episode 418, "Deadlocked". I'm doing this on the fly, sorta in between meetings, I'm running out of my house to get back to the office and the podcast is late anyway, so unfortunately, not only is the smoking lamp out, but the bar is closed as well.

OK. I will try to do the best I can in terms of giving you some inside information on this particular episode, but as I look through my notes and I went back and looked at the original story document and subsequent drafts, this is one of those episodes that didn't change a hell of a lot as it went from start to finish. Originally this was called "Drowning Woman", which was referring to Galactica herself and her difficulties and drowning and metaphorically probably also into Caprica-Six, as well. Somewhere along the line, I think Jane, decided to change the title to "Deadlocked" which is a perfectly good title.

Getting back to this particular set, I think I think I talked about in the previous podcast, this set is actually sandwiched in between our normal CI- I think this is C- no, no. It's not the CIC. It's- no, I'm sorry. It is the CIC. The CIC set and the back of the stage wall. This set of the superstructure- or the interior structure of Galactica is sorta sandwiched in between there, and we're actually using the actual fire escape as sort of a bit of set decoration.

It was interesting to get back into Dogville. We hadn't been in Dogville for a while in the show, with the people, the civilians, down on the lower decks, which we had taken aboard quite some time ago. And I think that's why this scene is placed here as opposed to where it was in the original draft, which was Caprica-Six walking down just the hallways of Galactica and set upon by thugs from the Sons of Ares in that context, and I think we moved it back over here during the production process to sort of- it's a more visually interesting scene. It's also sort of reminding you of the- that we do have all these civilians on board and sort of setting up this two-tier situation aboard Galactica. We have the military operations and the military personnel and we've also got the refugees and survivors of all the various holocausts down below.

This is, obviously, a very heavy Caprica-Six/Tigh/Ellen episode. We talked early on in the season about bringing this to- this culmination eventually. I think after Caprica-Six was impregnated by Tigh, we weren't quite sure where we wanted to go with that. I think we sort of- I kinda remember the discussion in the room when the writers first pitched it to me and they said, "And Tigh- or Cottle tells Adama that Tigh's pregnant," and the writers all looked at me and I just kinda laughed and said, "God, I fuckin' love that." And they laughed too. And we- and I said, "Where does that go?" And they kinda shrugged and said, "Well we don't know." And I said, "Well, I love it. Let's do it." So we just decided let's do it and it was gonna be an exploration of love and love from- hot Cylon on Cylon sex, and all that kind of stuff. And it was also just an opportunity to add a different layer of complexity into the series because obviously the series is not complex enough.

This sequence up here is interesting in that it shows the Galactica Vipers are actually joined in the CAP, the combat air patrol, by the Cylon Raiders and that they're now flying joint CAP missions, which I thought was really interesting. A lot of the story here in the second half of the last season has been about the gr- they way the Cylons and the humans- in the Colonial Fleet are inevitably moving closer and closer toward one another and being forced by circumstances to have to share certain duties and responsibilities and one of them, being the CAP, felt like it was one of the most visually interesting ways to do that and it would go a long ways for telling you that the cooperation had gone to a new level.

This arrival of Ellen Tigh back on Galactica is obviously very reminicent, and deliberately so, of the- of when- of the episode when Ellen came back aboard- came aboard Galactica for the first time way back in season one. The shot of the Raptor door opening on to Ellen's leg. I really like this little beat, that Tyrol can tell that it's Boomer, just like sight uns- just like at first sight. He can look at her and he can tell her- he can tell that.

We- Boomer was a character that for a while in the series we had almost lost track of. We knew that she had resurrected back with the Cylons and we kept like dropping her into little things here and there over the course of time during the New Caprica arc, and so on, but she didn't have a strong role to play for a while. We married her up, so to speak, not literally married her up, with the character of Cavil to play their relationship and play someone for Cavil to deal with. But it took a while to come up with something for Boomer and we never quite gave up on it. There were times, certainly, when it seemed like it was never gonna happen, but I think the writers in particular were determined that Boomer was a large thread that deserved to be tied up by the end of the series and I tended to agree in that she was one of the original characters in the miniseries, and I mean the miniseries itself actually ends on a shot of Boomer, of her saying, "By your command." And it felt right that in the final episodes we come back and we revisit her storyline and we give her an ending to her tale as well. So, Boomer's story does continue here. And that's the end of the tease.

Act 1

Beginning of the act.

Just to continue that thought. We did start talking seriously about a Boomer thread about midpoint in the season and how was Boomer going to tie in with the rest of the show. It changed. I can't really talk about the way it changed yet, on this podcast, because clearly we have episodes yet to go and the alternate route that we went down and then subsequently discarded after the writers' strike did involve Boomer as well, and Ellen, and Tigh, and that was all discarded and I can't really talk about that until you've seen the end, so I don't know when I'll get around to that. I'll do that in some interview or maybe in the podcast for the final episode, or something.

Originally, in the original draft, Tigh did not greet her in the Raptor scene, yeah, in the scene where the Raptor comes aboard Galactica. They- the Raptor was met by Laura and Ro- and Adama and then Tigh didn't see her until the end of this scene, actually. You came back in Act One and this all played itself out where she was debriefed and talking about what had happened, and then there was a beat and I think they let Tigh in, or Tigh came, or something. Their reunion was actually at the end of this scene, but it seemed to play much stronger to have the actual reuniting of the two characters in the tease so you could get there and go, "Whoah. Doesn't he have a girlfriend who's pregnant?" and kinda get those elements going forward. I really like the fact that Ellen is still drinking. I like that she's still Ellen Tigh. She's very much the Ellen that we've always known in the show, but she's something more. We're seeing that the aspects of Ellen as- in terms of her being a handful, her being a difficult character, her being- her own- that she's very much a character who owns her own shit. I don't think she blames the world for a lot of her own problems. But she's kinda defiant in terms of her likes, dislikes, and her appetites. And I thought that it was good to say that that really is Ellen. That when their memories- when the Final Five, their memories were wiped, and they were reinserted into human society, that what really came to the fore was the fac- were their personalities as it were, their- the default aspects of their personalities came forward and so the people that we've known over the course of the series are really who they are. We just didn- we, and they just didn't really know that they were Cylons at the time.

The sensuality here of Ellen and Tigh was something I always liked. I mean, it was right in the miniseries. That Ellen slept with half the Fleet and Tigh was sensitive about it. I like that they just go at here in the ward room, and even Tigh's like, "Errr! Just go for it, lassie." And then there's this moment of looking up and being confused and Caprica-Six. I mean, it's really psychologically complex stuff for Tigh, his feelings and what his feelings really are and how they affect things. Now, you'll notice that we we're drawing a connection, dramatically, between Tigh's feelings for Ellen and then later for Adama, and the child that Caprica-Six is carrying and her success, or lack of success, in being able to carry that child. Well, I'll come back to that a little bit later.

The situation down here in Dogville. One of the things that we talked about doing- I think when this story was originally structured and broken, Baltar didn't return to the Galactica quite as quickly as he does here, but as we were making changes in the earlier episodes, in particular Michael Angeli's episode, where Baltar was over on the baseship and has second thoughts about what he was doing and why he fled, I think that then dominoed out and we redid this part of Baltar's story as well, to bring him back to his people a little faster. Really like the character of Paula. She's turned into a really interesting one, over the course of the past couple seasons, in terms of how she interacts with Baltar, what that's all about. I like this- we talked extensively in the room about Baltar's role with these people upon his return. Who would want to follow him, who wouldn't? And what Baltar's all about. His sense of responsibility for leaving, or his sense of irresponsibility for leaving is probably closer to the mark. And what he's after when he comes back. What's his real relationship with "God" at this point? What is he trying to do? And it seemed to me that Baltar is driven primarily, as a character, he's been driven by guilt and self-loathing, and remorse, ever since the beginning of the series. And that those qualities would- I not sure they're qualities, but those aspects of his character would come to the fore here as well. Here's another apocalyptic moment, although in a smaller scale, obviously, that the miniseries, an apocalyptic event in their lives. He flees Galactica. He leaves these people behind to meet their fate. And now he's returning. Something he didn't do in the miniseries. He goes back to try to take responsibility for his people. To try to actually lead them. To try to actually help them. And his rivalry with Paula for leadership of the group, and whether he would be welcomed back or not, was also an ex- a source of extensive conversation.

I love this. That Ellen knows, like, right away, that Saul slept with somebody. Husbands, don't think that your wives don't know. Don't say it. Don't tell her. I thought of you. I love that. I thought of you. I actually saw her. [Laughs]. It's a really interesting little moment in these two people and the knowledge of Ellen and the larger view of who they are, and Saul reacting just like a man and trying to deal with the situation. I think in the script, in early drafts of the script, she had- she actually had some candidates who she said, "Oh, I bet it was so and so. Was it the president? Was it this woman? Was it- Don't tell me it was that woman with the one tooth, or something." It was some bizarre reference that was pretty funny but got excised somewhere along the way.

I was saying earlier