Podcast:Crossroads, Part I
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RDM: Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm 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, and uh—
Terry: In a state of exhaustion. So—
RDM: I hope. So—
Terry: I'm— I'll probably be pretty quiet too.
Terry: There has been a question as to what is your favorite scotch.
RDM: Ah, that's a hard question to answer. Talisker is one of my favorites. And err, Jura, that new one that I got from the professor at USC is a new favorite. This one came from our friend 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 what we call the pre-cap on this week's episode, which is the section 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 addition to the script. I took a pass at the finale fairly late in the process, while we were in prep. And I added this section and some other pieces that we'll talk about as we 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 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. And originally it was going to take place, I believe, around episode 12 or 13, after the escape from the algae planet. And then as time went on we started talking about what the season finale was going to be, and I started getting more and more in love with the idea that the season finale was actually going to be the trial of Gaius Baltar. And that took a little bit of salesmanship, actually, with the network. The network was not entirely convinced 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 then said "OK, we have to really deliver, 'cause they're definitely skeptical this time about what— y'know, about our ability to pull this off."
So as— so we developed this long arc that was going to culminate in the trial, which I've talked about before, with the Sagittarons becoming a problem within the Fleet, and that's where the Helo, "The Woman King" episode originated, to introduce the Sha- Sagittarons. Then we had more storylines with them, as sort of a sub-group within the Twelve Colonies, and how they were the outcasts of the bunch that— y'know, the other colo— tribes tended to take advantage of them. And it was included in this— in the initial drafts of these two episodes and it was going to form a key part of the trial. And it wa— the plot was essentially that as bit by bit the defense team, Baltar's defense team, kicked the legs out from under the prosecution case as it was presented, there came a point where Lee, who at that point in our story was actually going to be the sole attorney for Gaius Baltar, Lee was going to come into possession of a video tape that was sold to him by somebody from the black market, and the video tape was going to have on it actual footage of Baltar executing colonists on New Caprica. And it was him, it was there's Baltar, and he's pulling the trigger and he's killing people. And it was— it just had him dead to rights, and that's where this episode was going to end: with Lee coming into possession of that video tape and what was he going to do?
And then the second part of the episode— the second part of "Crossroads" was going to deal with what does he do with the video tape, how does— y'know, getting into the backstory of what happened 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 had struck the food supplies, and people were in desperate straits, and the Sagittarons were refusing to share the food that they had carefully cultivated to themselves. And at some point Baltar— and the government sent in the troops and Baltar got involved in the situation, which at first looked on the video tape like he was a cold-blooded murderer, 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" where Lawrence has to shoot the man to save the larger situation between the two tribes. That storyline was present in these two episodes as we went to prep, but the problem was they were just— it just wasn't working, because I think when we read it, Michael Rymer was probably the first one to put his finger to it, that— y'know, it was making up this other storyline about something that had happened in the past, that the audience really never had investment on. Meanwhile, all the crimes that the audience was interested in, with Gaius Baltar, weren't really being addressed as effectively, and the trial wasn't about something they could really sink their teeth into. And I tend— and late in the game, I realized that he was right. And 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 punted and said, "OK, we're going in a different direction."
And I started writing, and started playing with different storylines and different characters, and stripped that out of the entire process, and subsequently it meant that we had to go back and— y'know, we had shot those other episodes, except for the Dualla episode, where— y'know, that was tossed entirely in favor of the Tyrol episode pretty much. But we had established "The Woman King", and a lot of the Sagittaron backstories were in bits and pieces throughout other episodes, and so we had to go back and add it to the reshoot, and take that out of the earlier episodes. And that's just the cost of doing business when you run a show the way that 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 bit here with Baltar and his cult followers on the outside was something that developed pretty late in the game. I think this might have been a Michael Taylor script, I think that Michael Taylor, I think, did come up with this notion of the women out there that were sending letters, and he was getting visitations in prison. And it was— it's very Mansonesque. What's going on, that he— for all his crimes, for all his notoriety within the script— within the Fleet, there's still people out there that caught into him, that start to be attracted to these dark figures that are on trial. And that seems to be what tends happen in these kinds of trials. There are people that are obsessed with them.
That's the end of the tease.
RDM: Act one. OK. This storyline here of the Raptor going back to drag the trail, looking 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 scripted 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 then 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, he was 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— y'know, that it was too dangerous, and it was too overt, and so I cut it 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 then Sharon came out, and they looked at each other just for a moment, and it was meant to evoke the idea that they had 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 sig— 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 we started focusing on that element more, and it felt right that Lampkin is the lawyer, and that Lee's helping him. And Lee's not really expected to make arguments, to cross-examine the 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, sitting 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, and then— y'know, 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- y'know, 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 had— 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.
Terry: Mmmm. Yeah, I'm writing about spoilers.
RDM: That cats are running around the room.
Anyway, Mary and I had talked at length about the fact that the cancer could definitely come back, and that I fully anticipated at some point in the story it would come back, because I still felt that she was the dying leader. That that was who she was. That's- that was her role in the show. And that, while the cancer may have gone into remission for a time, and actually even van- actually vanish according to Cottle, that it was always lurking in the background. And when I put it back in the script and sent it to- sent it out, I- got a call from Mary, 'cause she was surprised too. She said, "Okay. What are we doin' here? And how do wanna play this?" And I said, "Well, I think she approaches this differently this time. I think this time she has been waiting for this other shoe to drop. She has known that it was gonna happen someday and she's thought a lot about how she would- deal with her treatment and her life if her cancer came back. And so this time she's gonna face it in a little differently. She's not gonna hide it. And she's going to deal with the ramifications of it and she's gonna deal with, the reality of it, in a very, very different way." And Mary really liked that. And we had a long talk about it and we committed to this direction and just went for it. And I think it's one of the best things in this particular episode.
This storyline with Tigh, Tigh being forced to admit that he killed Ellen on the stand is a brutal, brutal moment here in the show. I mean, Romo Lampkin really just twists the knife in this guy. The f- but- it's completely legitimate. He's drinking. He's drunk. He's a drunk witness on the stand, and his credibility is definitely at stake. And this whole notion of, "Why is he after Gaius Baltar? Why he is he determined to put Baltar out in the airlock?" It's because he blames Baltar for the death of his wife, even though he killed his wife. It's a very complicated emotional line.
As- just to step out a little further away from the show, like I said earlier, there was a lot of trepidation going in. Could we do a trial show? Is a trial show really gonna be effective for Battlestar Galactica? Can we- I mean, essentially, can you do Law & Order in Battlestar Galactica? And we had done a- we had done the tribunal show in season one with Tyrol, and it was OK. I think we liked some aspects of it. Some aspects didn't work as well, but it didn't really feel like we had- cracked it, so I think that made us doubly concerned of our ability to pull it off, but I really wanted to commit to this direction. I just figured, "We're gonna do it. We're gonna make a trial episode." And even as we scripted it and shot it and prepped and shot it and everything, I think we were still all wondering, "Could we pull it off?" But when I saw the first cut, when I saw Rymer's cut of this show I just went, "Oh my God. We've done it. This is a trial ep- this is a legitimate courtroom drama." And it really works. There's something about the canvas of a trial. The players, the prosecutor, the defense attorneys. The form of the trial, as drama, in the American theatrical tradition has become so familiar, and there's certain rhythms to it and there's certain traditional climaxes and twists and interesting little subsets, that it does become its own subgenre. It's a great to place to tell story. That it's just- it's- the strictures of the courtroom and the rules of the courtroom allow you to concentrate the drama in these little pockets and in these particular moments which- they leach out spontaneity, and they leach out conversation between conversation between characters. It's Socratic in many ways. It's eliciting information simply through questioning.
It's just- this is just a heartbreaking performance by Michael Hogan. I mean, he really-
RDM: He just so- you feel for him as he gives it up, as he just- as he admits to what he's done on the stand and it's just- terrible.
Terry: He's so good.
RDM: He's so good. He's just so, so good.
Terry: Talk about deserving of an Emmy.
RDM: Yeah, I mean, this guy really... just a fascinating man and a fascinating character. And then he would have to sit in public and confess to his greatest sin and the thing that haunts his dreams and it's just- tragic. While his best friend in the world sits five feet away at the judges table.
You'll notice that there is another judge that speaks quite frequently. It was important that we didn't make the tribunal- that the courtroom wasn't run by Adama, 'cause that just seemed like it pushed the conceit too far. You're already- asking the audience to make a buy here. You're asking them to buy that Adama and Lee could both be involved in the court. That's a complete buy. You have to buy that. To then have Adama be the lead judge all the time, and making all the rules, and really be in charge of the trial, was just too much. You just couldn't accept it. So we had to create another judge to carry a lot of that weight.
I like all this stuff. Anders is- we saw in the tease that Anders and Seelix, there's the implication that something's going on with those two. That had a lo- more in the script and little bit more was shot to flesh out that story point. And then this look between Tory and Anders here, and there's this sound. What's going on with this? Do they hear something? Do they not hear something? What's coming in over the radi- over the wireless set. This is just slowly bubbling stuff in the background.
And then we get in here. This is- this- there was more to this- to Laura on the witness stand. She talked more about their life on New Caprica. She talked about the first time she was picked up. She talked about being in jail with Gaius Baltar, him coming to visit her. There was just more description. But it was also stuff that the audience already knows if you've been following along with the show. It built very nicely, and it was well performed, but when you were looking for major cuts within the show, that had to go. And one of the key things that I decided to do in the editing room when we were looking at, "OK. How do you bring these two shows to time?" was I essentially moved up- I essentially cut deeply into part one, and I pulled up a lot of things out of Crossroads, Part II. Part one was initially going to end with Laura on the stand saying that she has cancer. That was literally the last line of part one, was Laura saying, "I have cancer." ("Dramatic" Duh-duh-duh.) Fade out. End of story. Several of these subsequent scenes that follow on after Laura's revelation were actually taken from "Crossroads, Part II" and pulled into part one.
This scene here is a fascinating scene, an important scene. It kept going in and out of the cut and I tri- I was- it was a wardrobe problem that screwed me in the editing room.
Terry: Oh God, please. What?
RDM: Because I wanted to ma- I wanted at one point to make Laura- Laura's testimony one long piece. That she got on the stand, and then Lee got up and cross examined her, and then this whole thing. But she was in the same- she was in two different outfits. And I-
Terry: Because they probably shot it-
RDM: She was on two different days.
Terry: But wait a second. So they sh- So you wrote it as two different days?
RDM: I wrote it as two different days.
Terry: And then-
RDM: And the-
Terry: And they shot it as two different days.
Terry: But it was the wardrobe department's problem?
RDM: Yeah. Because they put her in two different outfits.
Terry: For two different days.
Terry: So actually, you changed your mind.
RDM: Yeah, I changed my mind. And the wardrobe department wasn't smart enough-
Terry: They didn't-
RDM: -to anticipate-
Terry: -to read your mind.
RDM: -that there are many different ways that I might cut the show.
Terry: Right. And go to the director and say, "Could you shoot it in every possible outfit in case Ron changes his mind down the road."
RDM: All they had to do is shoot it in one outfit.
Terry: This is the problem. You see, this is the problem people.
RDM: I can't be held responsible for these-
Terry: Right, yeah. But see, if I hadn't been here people would've thought that the wardrobe department somehow messed up instead of the writer.
RDM: If you hadn't been here I wouldn't have even said it about our-
Terry: Yeah, right.
RDM: -lovely wardrobe department and our fabulous costume designer, Glenne Campbell. No relation.
I was on the set for a lot of this, actually. I went up for some of the shooting of the finale. I hadn't been up to the set in quite a while, and I saw them shoot a lot of the stuff with Lampkin, and Leee, and Baltar in the quarters. These three guys were very- an interesting trio. There's a lot of testosterone going on in this room. There's a lot of just- interesting back and forths. They're like- busting each other's balls between takes. It's an interesting dynamic to watch.
RDM: And we're back.
This, I think, is just a lovely scene. This was something that I put in when I was taking my pass at the script and- that's not why I think it's a lovely scene, but I just like it a lot. There was something very, I don't know, just very emotional about Adama putting his friend to bed and that Tigh is just gone over the edge. He's just push- been pushed right over the edge by the whole experience. First with Caprica Six, then losing it on the stand and having to tell the story about his wife, and he's just gone. He's off the wagon, bigtime, and Adama's probably not for the first time, probably one of many, many times, he puts Tigh to bed. And the expression of friendship that happened in this scene I think is very moving, and I think it's wonderfully performed, and that Tigh says that, "I embarrassed you," and Adama says, "You're my friend and you're not an embarrassment." And he shakes his hand. There's just- he's not gonna- no matter what happens, these two have bonded and he's not gonna walk away from that. And that's such a powerful thing between these two men. And I know it's an important thing to Eddie. That Eddie and Michael both really respect the friendship between the two men. It's a really key thing in how they define themselves on the show, and a lot of the show is built around certain key relationships, and this is one of the- central relationships of the series, is Adama and his troubled friend, Tigh, who Adama will not abandon, no matter what the cost, no matter what the provocation. He just won't abandon him. And logically he probably should. But it's not a logical thing. It's just a lovely moment. I really like that.
And it was important to me that this scene- when I watched it in the cut, these scenes were separated. That scene and this scene, with Lee, were separated. They had moved a scene in between and it was very important to me that they had to be linked up together because you have to understand where Adama's coming from in this sequence. You have to come right of the emotion of him having to put Tigh to bed, and then come and deal with son, and now T- Adama's drinking, and his own anguish and his own headspace, and he's torn up, and he's guilt-ridden, and there's a million different emotions going on, and he's pissed. He's pissed that they did that to his friend in the courtroom, and they- he understands why it was done, and on some level he knows it had to be done, but he's angry. He's an angry man, and here's his son, who is sitting at that defense table defending Gaius fucking Baltar, of all people. And the scene just- it's like there's this. It's e- I think it's really easy for a father and son in this kind of situation to just fall into a really old easy pattern of anger and animosity, and saying the most vicious thing that you can to the other one and just hoping to escalate it, and on some level you wanna break- the relationship and you wanna just really go too far, and I think that's what you see happen here. It's just- neither one of them can really stop themselves. There's just this- sense of neither one is willing to stop. And is just gonna push it. And on some level is hoping that the other one is gonna push it even further. Now I'm gonna push you further and it's just gonna go all the way to the breaking point.
Terry: How do you spell chutzpah?
RDM: How do you spell chutzpah?
Terry: t-z-p-a-h. Why am I asking you?
RDM: I have no idea why you're asking me.
Terry: I'm more likely to know-
RDM: I don't spell out loud very well. I have to write it down. And mastery of the Yiddish idiom is somewhat lacking.
See? Now there- Lee puts the wings down. That's the- that he's just raised the ante. What's Adama gonna do? And the fact that Adama takes them, accepts his resignation. I mean, it's just- there's just so much ugliness here.
Terry: Well, and there's just history, and that's one of those things that-
RDM: -There's history-
Terry: -seeing a lot of the discussions about this, it's like, life doesn't get wrapped up in a neat little bow all the time.
Terry: I mean, you're- you've issues with your parents your whole life. They come and they go. They morph in and out.
RDM: Yeah. You put things behind you.
Terry: -People al- yeah.
RDM: And then they come back.
Terry: And move on, they come back. And you will- they'll always have the same relationship they have.
RDM: See? And there's Laura in that other damn suit.
Terry: Oh, God. It's not my mod- my podcast, or I could go on about what producers do the costume department all the time, they really do.
RDM: It's just when you're in- the editing room and you have this stroke of genius, and you're like, "Yeah, we can cut this," and then you go, "She's in a different outfit."
Terry: You don't wanna- blame yourself, and you need to find a scapegoat.
Terry: I understand.
RDM: That's right! That's why you have people working for you, 'cause you hire them to be scapegoats.
Terry: Ahhh. Producer is God.
This is a p- I think this is one of the great scenes in the series. I mean, I really do. I really- this is just a really nice piece of work here, and this is just the actors doin' the job. It's interesting how Jamie's entire being changes when he puts on the suit, as opposed to the uniform. He just feels so fundamentally different. He, in this moment, suddenly is a lawyer. And you accept him as one, suddenly. And his hesitancy grow- at the beginning and- his- he's not quite sure of himself. He's not as quick on his feet. Lampkin has to bail him out here in a little bit. But then he grows in strength and he grows in sureness through the scene. And if you watch Laura, Laura can see it coming early on. She starts to- she realizes pretty early that this is dangerous and that he's goin' somewhere she doesn't wanna go. She's trying to put up the confidence here, but she smells som- she just- she's an intuitive politician and she knows it. She knows something's comin'. He didn't get up from behind that table for no reason.
[Lee's dialogue can be heard.] Yeah, the medication thing. [Laura's dialogue can be heard.] And she- I love the fact Mary- so she puts on the glasses at that moment. As soon as the subject of medication is rising, the glasses come up, as if in a defense mode. She starts to go somewhere. And then she starts to get it. She knows what he's after. And she's gonna make him do it. She's gonna- she's not gonna help him here.
I'm sorry. I'm getting lo- I'm just watching the scene. See, we had to give- we- this is where you have to let the dramatic license- you have to give him more freedom than he probably really would have in the courtroom. 'Cause, again, it is a drama.
Oh, I love that. That's Mary, I thin- I think that's Mary's complete line. She says, "Please don't do this." It's just- a great, great piece of vulnerabil- look at the look in her eyes. Yeah. This is- I believe this is all Mary's suggestion. I might have written this in the script, but it was definitely came from her. She plays the relationship. Plays the truth. Lee's determination to go on. He's a man on a mission. He's just not gonna be stopped here. [Dialogue from the courtroom can be heard.] Yeah, and Adama now swinging wildly. I like the fact that the other judges don't defer to him because he's the Admiral. I mean, there are ship captains and they, on some level, they have a little more gravitas here than I think you felt initially.
Now what's interesting, I think, is that Lee's willing to let it go at that. Lee's willing to just establish that she's taking drugs and she's having hallucinations, and her testimony is unreliable. And then Laura says, "Put me on-" She makes the conscious choice to go ahead and out herself, here. She's been cornered, and he gave her an escape route, but she refuses to take it. And now she's gonna face it. She's gonna say it. She's going to, like- she's gonna- this is what Mary and I talked about, she's gonna face it directly. She's not gonna hide her illness this time. She's not gonna be in the shadows, dealing with her situation, and then in public giving a different face. She's gonna really just stare it down.
Terry: That crashing and banging... sorry about that. I'm sure there'll be people complaining about it. That's our kitten playing. I guess we could tie him up or something. But-
RDM: I'm all for that.
Terry: Oh, well.
RDM: End of the act.
RDM: Now as I said earlier a lot of this is drawn from the second part. This scene with Dualla leavng Lee was this was also something I added in my pass as I was-I really wanted to move the characters forward and start complicating their lives and have fall out. Once Lee did that to Laura I just felt that y'know-he had pretty much ostricized himself from everybody else on the ship. And Dualla, Dualla just wasn't going to do it, she wasn't going to stay with him. And that line there, where Dualla says, "The system, the system is trying to get that man off. That means the system is broken is has to be torn apart and put back together." That's actually something my wife has said, on occasion, about the show and systems of justice. That's actually a lift from conversations that she and I have had. But she's too busy reading the board at the moment to really register what I just said.
Terry: I can't hear it y'know
RDM: No, to what I said.
Terry: I hear you all the time.
RDM: This press conference scence is also pulled from-this is I think this whole act was originally part of the teaser of Part II and got pulled up into Part I, umm....Y'know notice how frazzled Tory is starting to look here. There was more of an awareness actually in the follow up scene that's coming-that there was a line that was dropped where Laura essentially confro-where she confronts Tory in the scene coming up in th quarters she out-she tells Tory pretty directly, she knows she's sleeping with Anders at that point. Because that that secret was out in the fleet. And Laura was saying, "Y'know your spending more time with Mr. Anders." And Tory kind of blanches. And Laura says, "Y'know that won't, his wife was a hero to a lot of people in this fleet and this isn't looking good and what the F*#$ are you thinking." It was just another thing that she flew at her, and in context by moving the scene up it wasn't something that we had really established in part I so I had to drop it from this confrontational scene between Tory and Laura. Which is kind of shame because it was a really nice moment with Laura-when Laura was chiding her personally and professionally and kind of through her out of the office.
RDM: I love this bit of Tigh. Tigh going slowly crazy, Tigh starting to hear things in the wireless now he's hearing things in the ship. This too, this with Helo returning to XO was again in part II. And uh-we intercut these with these sequences to get an out in part I. When this was really kind of scripted to be a small beat to try to re-establish the plot of the tyllium ship and trying to lure the Cylons away and all that. It was just to sort of to try to remind the audience it existed in part II. Now we used it editorially to sort of highten the tension to and sort of make you feel like as dark as things have gotten in this episode there's a change of weather coming and things are going to get worse before they get better. And to sort of highten the tension here at teh end of the episode.
(RDM's cat playing in the background.)
RDM: And there is something just over the horizon.
(RDM's cat playing in the background.)
RDM: (unintelligible) "It's in the ship (RDM imitating Saul Tigh) It's in the frakking ship!" (Laughs) The look on his face, that's just priceless.
Terry: He just-he he he-
RDM: He just-
Terry: He just plays so many different fragments of a human being. I mean-
RDM: Oh yah, always does the colors.
Terry: It's just fabulous.
RDM: It's just great. It's a great episode in my opinion, um-very strong setup for the finale and then next week is our finale. That'll be the it for quite awhile. Stick with us. It's going to be a hell of a ride at the end and next week is the end of the shooting match. Say, "Good night," Mrs. Ron.
Terry: Oh, good night.
RDM: And uh-I will talk to you all next week. Good night and good luck.