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Podcast:Resurrection Ship, Part I

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"Resurrection Ship, Part I" Podcast
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Transcribed by: Peter Farago
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Verified by: Joe Beaudoin Jr.
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Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore


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All contents are believed to be copyright by the speakers. Contents of this article may not be used under the Creative Commons license. This transcript is intended for nonprofit educational purposes. We believe that this falls under the scope of fair use. If the copyright holder objects to this use, please contact the transcriber(s) or site administrator Joe Beaudoin Jr. To view all the podcasts that have been transcribed, see the podcast project page.


Contents

Teaser

Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode eleven, "Resurrection Ship, Part I". I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, and this would be the first podcast of season 2.5, or 2.1, or whatever we're calling it currently.

"Resurrection Ship" is an interesting episode in that it did not begin life as a two-parter. I've often talked on these podcasts of our great difficulty in maintaining our time limitations on the show. We often found ourselves with episodes that are running ridiculously long, longer than anticipated. No matter what our best efforts at holding the line at the script stage and even on the stage, we often get into the cutting room and find episodes that are wildly over length. And this one in particularly was a good twenty minutes long. Twenty minutes is really long. It's a lot to cut out of a show. That's essentially like two full acts, if you think of an act as being roughly like ten minutes in length. And what happened this time around— we ran into a similar problem, some of you might recall, in "Pegasus", the season fin— the finale of season 2.0 or whatever, that we did four months ago. And in that situation we were sort of able to carve out the bare essentials of the show, make something that was exciting and dynamic, and still preserve sort of the longer version of "Pegasus" for video release. This time out, we opted to go a different direction. We really felt that completely cutting— completely eviscerating the show by cutting twenty minutes out was wrong, and this time another option sort of opened up before us.

We realized that actually, this show— this particular episode, "Resurrection Ship", in the original incarnation, lent itself pretty well to simply dividing it in half and creating two full episodes. The act two break of the original "Resurrection Ship" is the end of this particular episode. And this episode ends with the assassination plan. Pic— I almost said "Picard", that was very close— Adama plotting to kill Cain simultaneous with Cain plotting to kill Adama was the act two break in the script, and in the original cut. Because the show lent itself so neatly to simply chopping it in half, we were really able to make two dynamic, interesting episodes about it. Instead of having to cut out all the guts of the things that we love, we were able to preserve everything that we liked, and also because neither episode was quite up to time, we had a chance to actually go back and shoot additional scenes.

This made everybody happy. We were happy, the director was happy, cast, crew, the network; it really worked out to everybody's benefit and we got a lot more bang for the buck, and we were able to go in and really sort of goose up additional scenes that we sort of thought were lacking even back at the script stage, and then really flesh out the whole show.

This particular sequence being one of them. In the original draft and in the original cut of "Resurrection Ship", you never saw this mission of Kara's. Kara simply went off camera in "Pegasus", did this stealth thing, did this recon mission against the Cylon fleet, and then she showed up sort of in the middle of the battle. The way it was structured, the original sort of tease for "Resurrection Ship" was you were sort of in the middle of the would-be dogfight, the fighters are cruising at each other, "what are they gonna do? what are they gonna do?", and suddenly in the middle of it all, "oh my god, Dradis contact, there's a Cylon coming at us, what are we gonna do?", it breaks up the whole fight, the Vipers turn to go after the new intruder, and "oh!", it turns out to be Starbuck. And then you sort of fill in, "oh, she went on the recon mission, you might have forgotten, blah blah blah." It was okay. It would've worked, but it wasn't as good as being able to see the recon mission. In this case, you kind of did want to go see the stealth ship do its thing, for once. So by shooting additional scenes we were then able to go in, shoot this stuff in the cockpit with Kara, and then we had some additional funds available because were creating another whole episode to do some neat visual effects work to really go see the Resurrection Ship.

This whole sequence was with the two groups of Vipers going at each other was something we went— we labored on for a very long time both in script and in visual effects world. There were a lot of different variations of this, of y'know, what would the fighters do when they encountered, how do you track the fighters, one against the other, what would the dynamics of the fight be... there was even a version we considered at the script stage where they actually did shoot at one another, where the Vipers started opening up at each other and actually exchange gunfire at each other for a few moments before Kara's stealth ship came in. But ultimately I kind of felt that once these guys actually pull a trigger, and once these guys actually shoot at each other, there was really no going back from that. That there was no way that they would ever really be able to get along with each other every again in any kind of realistic way, so I was glad we pulled that out.

This whole little bit here, with Lee and Stinger in the cockpit— you'll note that this is one of the last times that you see Stinger, unfortunately, in "Resurrection Ship", which is kind of too bad, but the actor wasn't available to us beyond this, so he shot this little piece, and he wasn't available when we wanted to then later go back and do some additional scene work with him. Which is kind of a shame, because the antagonism between he and Lee in particular, and he and Kara, was really nice in "Pegasus".

This little beat was something that we were able to restore, the sort of game of Chicken we were able to restore between Narcho and Kat. We were able to put that back in when we did the big re-cut. It's also sort of an interesting dynamic forming here where we're starting to start to establish that Kat is the next hotshot pilot behind Starbuck, which will play very strongly in subsequent episodes, especially episode— what used to be episode fourteen, and what is now episode fifteen, called "Scar", which will be coming up later this season.

That's a great shot. The vipers chasing each other's tail, Kara coming in, getting the message from Starbuck. All this was sort of in the original draft, this whole little sequence was shot as part of the original movie. You'll notice that there's quite a bit of cockpit stuff. The stealth fighter was really sort of boosted for this episode, they did some additional work on the consoles to really get it moving so that we could really have a full blown fighter to go play all these scenes in.

Back into CIC with Admiral Cain here, and then you have Fisk. This was all part of the original section. Again, I had this idea that originally Kara, when she showed up in the stealth Blackbird, that she would do something that would— specific that would send out a signal. She was gonna flare her engines, she was gonna send out some kind of TECH[1] pulse, there was going to be some bit of whole little techno-nonsense that was gonna make her simulate like a Cylon. It all became a lot of mumbo-jumbo, and it was always kind of hard to figure out what exactly she was doing, and it's just better that she simply shows up on DRADIS, and you just kind of get it, y'know? This is— a lot of times where you just over-think what you're trying to accomplish, and the audience kind of follows it regardless, they just kind of get it. It's like, "okay, Apollo sent her a message, she did something, and now they all think that she's a Cylon." You really don't have to get into to all the techno stuff about exactly how and why that sort of thing happened.

There was— now when this was one episode, when "Resurrection Ship" was one episode, it actually opened differently. It didn't open with us coming right back into the cliffhanger moment from "Pegasus". It opened with a completely different sequence that is actually now the beginning of Part II of "Resurrection Ship", which was namely a shot of Lee Adama, which I guess I can't give away, because hey, you haven't seen Part II yet. For those of you who are picking up the podcast on the internet, I guess I won't spoil it for you. But suffice it to say, when you to to "Resurrection Ship, Part II", the opening sequence of "Resurrection Ship, Part II", was once the opening of the sequence of "Resurrection Ship" [[[m-w:in toto|in toto]].

All this sort of live video interactive stuff had to be done very quickly on the fly, as you might imagine. Usually visual effects has time to go out and work up designs on these ships, and work up all the various sort of schematics, and you can play around with what exactly the ships are like and how they behave, and all that. This time we needed live, on-screen video. By and large we tend to avoid what are called burn-ins, where you are matting in a visual effects shot into somebody's screen on Galactica. It's just something that we tend to avoid to give all these sort of— it frees up the camera movement, it makes the— everything feel— have a little more sense of verisimilitude, it's just more real, ultimately. So we do tend to avoid burn-ins. We've done them on occasion, and we tend to do them more often in the Viper cockpits where you don't notice, but when you're walking around CIC in situations like this, to do a burn-in is kind of distracting because the camera has to be locked down, and it kind of limits everything, it becomes another visual effects shot that you have to then count, and account for with your money, and blah blah blah, and it's all kind of a big pain in the ass. But anyway, that just means that the visual effects guys have to have these designs up and running quickly, so there's enough time for the graphic artists to come up with the exact monitor shots that we're using throughout. So we had to lock into the design of the Resurrection Ship very early.

Now this is a later insert, this little piece of business here, where bah-boom— you go in and there's all these naked Sixes hanging out in the resurrection ship, which is such a great act-out. Gary Hutzel, who is our visual effects supervisor, was really tickled on the idea that we were gonna have all these naked Sixes hanging out in the Resurrection Ship, and he needed more time to work that shot up, to make that shot work, so that was something that he actually slipped in after all the footage was shot, that was like a later insert that was shot as a separate piece. You saw sort of some hair there at the left of frame, and that was not Michelle Forbes, that was sort of a photo double.

And we're into the boom-boom-boom, to the percussive, and now we'll go to act one.

Act 1

It occurs to me that I haven't done one of these podcasts in several months, and I'm a little out of practice on doing these. Usually I'm a little bit more in the game, 'cause you've just been sort of in the game longer as you're doing all these podcasts one after the other, and you get into a rhythm. And I haven't done this in a while, so it's kind of interesting to come back into the show; it is sort of like getting back into the season after a long break.

"Resurrection Ship" was shot after our hiatus. We took a hiatus in the middle of summer for about four weeks, to give everybody on the cast and crew a little break, and it was also an opportunity for the writing staff to sort of catch up on the scripts. This particular episode was going through a lot of changes. We went through a lot of sort of permutations of exactly how the storyline was going to resolve itself. We always knew that Cain's fate, which I won't give away, was already something that was in the story outline very early on, so we kind of knew what was going to happen, if not the— exactly how or who was going to responsible for what happens to Cain at the very end, but we kind of knew where that was going.

The biggest changes that happened in the story outline and in the script that we kept wrestling with was sort of an outgrowth of this scene.

Here we've got Laura and Adama and Cain in a political struggle at the very top. And we had notions early on about— that the stru— of making Laura a bigger player just in terms of the politics of what's going on here, that Cain in the original story and original script had a plant to attack the Resurrection fleet, and part of her tactic was to use the civilian fleet as a decoy. That idea is still in this episode, but a key difference was that in the early days, Cain was going to, um— Cain required civilian ships to purposely sort of set themselves up as bait, and she needed Laura to approve it, and it all came down to sort of an idea of whether Laura could trust Cain to ultimately come to the rescue of those civilian ships. And there was a lot more conflict that had sort of been set up in "Pegasus" in the original story, and that then played through in this episode, about Cain versus the civilian fleet. Cain wanted fuel, the civilian fleet went on strike and said, "Screw you, we're not giving it to you. What the— Who the hell are you?" Cain didn't take that very well, she was leaning on Laura, Laura was telling her— was leaning back on her, but ultimately Laura recognized the value of destroying the Resurrection Ship, and was willing to go for it. In a very pragmatic way, she knew that she could not relieve Cain, that even if she told Cain to stand down, or ordered Adama to relieve Cain, or try to arrest her, or anything like that, Laura was pretty sure that the Pegasus crew, given everything they had been through to date, was essentially going to mutiny and that they wouldn't put up with it. She told Adama in one of the drafts, "Well, I mean, if somebody came in an relieved you of Galactica, what would the Galactica crew do?" And y'know, they would mutiny, and they would not put up with Adama being thrown in jail, and it was pretty much the same thing on Pegasus. So in that storyline, it came down to Laura essentially realizing that she was dying very soon, she didn't have very long to live, she had to make sure that they wiped out the Resurrection Ship, because that gave the fleet the best chance of survival, and there was some line I think to the effect of Laura having a faith in that eventually if there's one constant in the universe, it's that what goes around comes around, and that Cain would get hers in the end. It wasn't really a great resolution. It was really great y'know, sort of story direction, and we struggled with it.

We went through several drafts, and I was on what was supposed to be my vacation with my family, and the— we were on a camping trip in the redwoods of Big Sur, California, and I had "Resurrection Ship", I still needed to bring back— when Hiatus was over, I needed to bring back a new version of "Resurrection Ship", and I sat there in the campground with the computer at the picnic table with a long cord running to the engine of the car, charging the battery periodically, and then writing "Resurrection Ship", and the on the way back, on the long trip down I-5, I wrote with the laptop in the front seat of the car while my wife drove. And essentially pounded out a different version of the script with whereby the assassination plot was going to be the big turn.

In the original— I'm sorry, I should have backed up, in the original, after Laura has agreed to let the civilian fleet be used as a decoy, Cain of course broke her word and would not protect the civilian fleet, which had Colonial One in it for some reason that we could never quite figure out. Earlier versions had the Astral Queen, Zarek was involved, blah blah blah. But essentially the fundamentals of the old story was that Cain was not going to protect the civilian fleet, which she said she would, and that was when Adama really sort of had to stand up to her and take her down himself, and then by happenstance some other things occurred aboard with— aboard the Pegasus that allowed us to then have a resolution. But the version of the assassination plot was something that was a much later sort of developing storyline, and when I came back from camping, it simply worked better. It was simply a better choice to play it this way, that Laura— Laura comes up with the idea of killing Cain. And that Adama would be taken aback by it. And I— it's one of the dynamics that I love in the show, is the sort of reversal of the traditional roles, that playing against type of who's the hawk, and who's the dove, and what does "hawk" and "dove" even really mean in this circumstance. These people are out by themselves. They have no government to fall back on except the one in— the government in that room. There's no judiciary, there's no higher authority, there's nobody else, there's just them. They have to decide what to do, how they're gonna survive, if they're gonna survive. And there comes a point when Laura looks at the situation very coldly, and says, "Well, given who this woman is, and the way she's behaving, this can only end one way. And you've got to kill her." And I love the fact that Adama's reaction is just, y'know, "Has the world gone mad? I'm not an assassin."

Act 2

Act two. This scene with Sharon was another scene we were able to go back and add when we were doing pickups and reshoots. This— Sharon, in the original cut, in the original draft really wasn't in the show. I mean, she wasn't in the show until the very end, until the very end of what is now "Resurrection, Part II" when you see her— she has one sc— er, she has one sc— oh, I take that back, she has a scene at the very end of the show. And it was really— that was really all she had. No, I take that back. I'm sorry, I am tired. I'm tired, I'm just starting. But she had two scenes— (laughs) no, one, no, two, no four! five! ten scenes! No, she had two scenes in "Resurrection Ship", but they were both well into the show, and we felt that there was— when we had a chance to go back and add scenes to "Resurrection Ship, Part II", we realized that we never dealt with sort of the emotional or physical aftermath of the rape attempt from "Pegasus", which was certainly a strong, startling moment, and it felt wrong to not have any acknowledgment of that with this character in the show. So it was a great moment to really just go in and just— y'know, they took her to sickbay, they tried to deal with this situation. And I like the fact that what Adama comes to do here is, he just comes to apologize. That's really his thing. He just comes to say it was his fault, he was in charge, and he takes responsibility for it. He apologizes, because that's what a good leader does.

This scene— no, I take— yeah, this scene was always in the draft. I'm thinking ahead, 'cause there are— there is another— a subsequent Helo/Tyrol scene that was an add-on, but this was always in the draft. This is a nice little bit of business with Lee and the guys and "How many different kinds of stupid are you?" (laughs) And I— for some reason I really love Aaron's response here, just the way he kind of looks up and says, "What's up, captain?" And there's such an ease and familiarity between the three players here that you sort of get the dynamics of the inner workings of Galactica and the camaraderie of the men and women who work there. And just— it just plays, it's like here's the family; the family's in a tough situation, but they are a family. It's like they are clearly their own team, and they are a separate team from what's going on over on Pegasus.

This is interesting, we're now going back to Baltar's house, which we hadn't been to in quite a while. We had sort of dropped away from doing Baltar's house for a variety of reasons, actually. One of them in particular was a production reason, which was that Baltar's house, which has this amazing vantage point looking out over the water, happens to be on a very busy road that's under construction because the Olympics are coming to Vancouver in the not-so-distant-future, and they're doing major road expansion on the road right outside this house, so that presents a lot of sound problems, a lot of access problems, it's a one narrow, windy road that you have to get all the equipment in and out of, so that was kind of a pain in the ass. And then the neighbors were getting tired of it, and we were shooting there; there were other film crews in the area doing a lot of shooting, so the whole thing was becoming difficult, to go up and shoot at Baltar's house. And separate from that, I think there was becoming a certain fatigue on everyone's part with what was going on at Baltar's house. We were not finding enough new and different and interesting things to keep doing there—

That's one of the sexiest shots of Trish in the entire series.

—but we weren't finding enough new and interesting things to do in Baltar's house to keep justifying all the difficulties that we had in going there, and this expensive location. So for lot's of reasons, we just hadn't been doing it very often. But in this circumstance it felt right, because it's making a different point. And here, he's actually saying that he's growing weary of doing this. That it's— the character is finding less and less satisfaction with the fantasy life that he has sort of invented for himself, and that she has sort of invented for him, and he's becoming more rooted in sort of the reality of the Galactica world, for good or for bad. And part of that is an outrgrowth of his relation— his developing relationship with Gina.

This was something we did— having Cain come down to see Gina was actually not in the first draft, which is in retrospect an amazing oversight. It took a couple of drafts before we realized that we never put Cain and Gina in the same room, even though Cain was responsible for everything that happened to Gina, and that presumably this is the woman, she's the big baddie in the episode, and it just felt strange to never have her and her prisoner come face to face, to really see what was her attitude toward the prisoner, the prisoner's sort of fear and hatred of her, Baltar's discomfort of having to be in the same room with the two of them. It's such a disturbing scene. I mean, I like it a lot, this particular moment, because it's really raw; you're not quite sure what Cain is capable of; you don't know where it could go at any moment; there's a certain out of control quality of this scene from the moment where Michelle walks in which I think is wonderful.

And then she just jumps up and goes at him. Right here. Which is great. Sometimes the oldest tricks are the best. I mean just— I don't think you're expecting that, that she just goes at him. And Trish does such a wonderful job with all this. The scrabble away, Baltar's reaction, and now this upcoming shot, this look on Tricia's face, on Gina's face, on Tricia's face. This— this, I just, I— that's an amazing moment.

What are you supposed to feel for this woman? It's interesting. What is the audience supposed to feel here? What do you feel here? What do you think of this woman? Do you hate her? Do you feel sorry for her? What do you do with that? Y'know, it's that— those are the moments I love on the show, where you throw something at the audience, and it's not entirely clear, it's not entirely obvious what you should feel. It's what— y'know, a lot of times when we leave it to you, the viewer, to sort of bring your own emotion to the scene. Y'know, in that moment, when Gina attacks Baltar, and then comes back and says "kill me", and she's sitting there on the floor, she's the embodiment of a race that has committed genocide, a mass genocide larger than anything in our own human history, an unimaginable evil, she is the embodiment of that. She is the face that we have seen on that. And yet, in that moment, we as human beings, what do we feel for her? Do we still feel hatred and loathing, or do we feel a human connection? Is there still some part of us that wonders if there's something salvageable in her? Do we still feel sympathy for our enemy? Do we or don't we? Maybe some of you don't. Maybe some of you feel a tremendous amount of empathy for her, maybe some of you feel sympathy, and maybe some of you don't. It's really hard to say. And I don't really care. It's really up to you, how you feel about that, about that scene, about that character. I just like playing the scene, and I like positing the questions.

This is another Tigh/Fisk drinking scene, which of course we did in "Pegasus", where Fisk revealed the first sort of— the curtain was first pulled back on Cain and who she was, and how she did things, and now he's pulling back the curtain a bit wider, and it's even uglier. There's a part of me, in all honesty, that I— every time I watch this scene I always kind of go, "oh— well, oh shit. I did it twice," y'know, doing the same seen a second time, in the second episode. And it's a bit of a cheat, in all honesty. It is kind of cheating a bit, because you're going back to the well a second time. It's in the same set, it's another drinking scene, and it's another "don't ask Fisk a question because you don't want to hear the answer" kind of a sequence. But it's— the only way that it's different is that we've shifted the dynamic slightly, in that Tigh is now deliberately seeking answers, and the first time it was more, just, they were hanging out, and Fisk said something, volunteered a story. This time, presumably Adama off-camera has talked to Tigh; Tigh is now going back and using that very friendship and using the fact that he knows that if you get Fisk a little bit lit, that he'll like, open up, and he goes back in there. I mean, and all that's fine, and it hangs together, and it works solidly, but there's still a part of me as a original writer and producer that sort of goes, "eh, I kind of wish that I'd found a different way for this particular story to come out," but y'know, we couldn't, and it was the easiest and the most elegant way. I don't know if it was the most elegant, I just contradicted that. It was the easiest way, and sometimes the easiest is just the best, so we went with this.

This is a pretty dark story. In part, this was sort of a result of the network giving a note at some point in the process, y'know, "why is Cain so bad?" And y'know, we went out of our way— in "Pegasus", you could justify just about everything she did. In fact, you can justify everything she did in "Pegasus". The woman really didn't do anything wrong by her own lights, and the way she read the law, and the way she read the situation, she acted in the way she thought best to protect her ship and her crew. Even the shooting of her XO was something in a combat situation she thought had to be done.

Act 3

And as so— just to complete the thought, even though in the first episode Cain had justified everything to herself that she thought had to be done, the network kind of felt like "Well, yeah, but given where we're going with Cain, and by the end of the Resurrection Saga— y'know, we need something really dark. Something really dark, to justify the fact that Adama's thinking about killing this woman, and that he's actually partic— gonna get to a place where he considered— where he's going to say, 'yeah, go assassinate that woman', we need something nasty in there." And I tended to agree with that, it was like, "yeah, I see that." Adama's reaction as a character at the top of the show is correct. Adama would not just shoot his superior officer, it's not who the man is. He says "the world's gone mad, what the hell's all this?" and he turns away from it. So to turn him back, to make him really realize that this woman had to be stopped, that Laura was right, you kinda needed one more bit of darkness, one more thing that we would just go "my god, y'know— this— I have to stop this woman." And the story of the Scylla, the story of going in and shooting the family of people that didn't wanna be sort of shanghaied onto Pegasus was a pretty good way to go.

Now this scene is kinda interesting in that in the script in— as shot, Number Six actually appears— appeared in this scene. And when Michael Rymer was in the cutting room, he cut Six out of this scene because he felt that she was actually distracting. When Baltar turns around here, turns away— which I think is a brilliant idea, this was Michael Rymer's— it was in Michael Rymer's original draft, that he brings her clothes and he— oof. That is as ugly as it gets, man. That is like— oof. Anyway. That he turns his back on Gina and gave her a moment of privacy. Well, in that scene there, Number Six appeared, and took his head, and made him look back at her, forcing him to look, to see what had happened to her, what had happened to her on Pegasus. And throughout this little sequence, Six was sort of kibitzing, sort of making comment on this scene about what had happened to Gina, and what was going on with Baltar. And it was distracting. It kinda took you out of this emotional moment of connection with this woman that heretofore you'd only seen sorta lying on the ground and then had had one sort of burst of violence against Baltar. And you sort of want this particular moment to be him and her, you want to hear what she has to say, you want him to be really there, you don't want to play that— the sort of imp on his shoulder this time. So it was interesting. I mean, we cut her out completely, of the scene, and you don't miss her at all.

Y'see right there, where says "I promise," Six used to lean in and says "don't make promises you can't keep," sort of foreshadowing that maybe he can't protect her. You can see the little bits of James sort of glancing over to where she once was. Not much.

And here we get to the resurrection ship concept. Which I like, because it really is part and parcel of the show. I believe— I don't remember, but— forgive me, but I believe that the whole notion of "Resurrection Ship" was something that came up in the writer's room, and I don't even think I was there. I think the writers were working on their own, on various storylines, and the idea of there being a ship, a physical mech— an actual ship, and the entire physical mechanism required for Cylon resurrection is following the fleet, sort of, y'know, [to] provide them with a fallback where they could be reborn, and giving them that sort of freedom of immortality, of not caring whether the people on Galactica should kill them or not. That that being, as part of the fleet that was dogging them the whole way, that that would present an amazingly tempting target was something that I think grew out of writer discussions on other storylines that were ultimately abandoned. There was a whole show that was abandoned that was about going to— going on a raid, the show was called "The Raid", where they were going to infiltrate a Cylon base, and get inside, and once they were inside, they got plans— they got some kind of clues of about this Resurrection Ship, and where was it, and if they could knock it out, that would really be a major boon to them. And that storyline ultimately fell apart and didn't go anywhere, but we held onto the idea— that that idea became the idea of what was so important that Cain was going to destroy come hell or higher water.

That particular shot of Colonial One with the Viper outside in escort is actually a reuse of the shot from the miniseries where Lee was escorting Colonial One.

This scene, I love. This is one of my favorite scenes of the season, this scene between Laura and Adama. And again, if we had had to really chop apart "Resurrection Ship" to get it down to a one hour episode, we would've had to—we— in fact I think we did lose this scene at one point, when we were messing around to see what an hour version would look like, and it just broke my heart, because this is a lovely, lovely scene. I love the performances here are just tremendous, and you really get a sense that these two people in this scene have walked such a road from where they began in the miniseries, where they really were at odds and could bare— and barely gave each other the time of day, to the point where Adama had relieved her of her presidency and instituted a military coup, and Laura had broken out and led a rebellion, and they had gone to Kobol, and I mean they had just traveled such a journey, and then now, in the middle of this other crisis, Laura is dying. And Adama is there to give her a glass of water, and just be there with her. And you can just see— y'know, the look on his face— y'know, the connection with her and it's just amazing. And y'know, there are times I just— I am so grateful for the cast. I know I've said that before in these podcasts, but this just gold. This is gold.

And look at his face. His heart's breaking. The trust between the two of them. They do trust each other. They know each other, they know each other's weaknesses, they know each other's limitations, they know each other's integrity, and sense of honor.

And now watch this, when Eddie goes away— look at that. He wipes away the tear. It's such a small— it's just intuitive actor— actor's instinct at work. And it's so honest, and you just so believe it. And it touches me every time I see it. And she sends him out.

Act 4

Act four. This is an additional scene. This scene between Helo and Tyrol is actually not only an additional scene, but something we chopped into after we shot it. (laughs) This is a- this little scene with the two guys that are still in jail, mulling over the future and their relationship to the various Sharons, is actually interrupted at the end and becomes a different scene, and as we were juggling timing issues between the two episodes there was two- this was originally going to be a scene that was going to be all in Part Two and then we had too much in Part Two and not enough in Part One, and there came a point where we realized we could cut this scene in half and put part of it in Part One and part of it in Part Two. So you'll note when you get to- there's another Helo/Tyrol scene in Part Two with them, in this cell, and Aaron's still in the bed,(laughs) and Tahmoh is still leaning against the bunk and it's essentially picking up this scene. But it works just as well, 'cause it really is a scene that had two big things going on in it. There was this conversation and a whole other sequence, and it cleaved itself in half very nicely. And I like this moment just in terms of the characters saying things that must have been on their minds. You're dealing with issues that the audience has thought about. "What does Helo think? Is Helo know that he's in love with a machine? What does he think about- isn't he freaked out about the fact that he's having a baby that's half machine? And isn't Tyrol getting to a point where he's gotta let go of this thing he's got for Sharon? I mean, doesn't he need to WAKE UP ALREADY TYROL?" And it's just nice to hear the two of them acknowledging that and dealing with it, and dealing with it in a very honest way. Tyrol's struggle to move on, Helo's inability to move on.

This little montage was actually crafted out of a couple different pieces. We were struggling with the moment of decision. Part One, when we chopped the show in half into two episodes and were assembling them, we realized that we never really had the moment where the decision was crystallized, where Adama decided that he was going to have kill Cain and the moment where Cain decided that she was going to have to kill Adama. Ironically, these pieces were shot for a moment in Part Two, on the eve of battle, when each of them was about to- this was all supposed to be in Part Two was what it was shot for, there was a big battle coming, this was the night before the battle, and the two of them had already made the decision. Cain had already made the decision to kill Adama. Adama had already made the decision to kill Cain. And this- those little silent bits of them sitting in their room having their "long night of the soul" were meant to show them both struggling with what they had already decided to do. But, since they're silent scenes, and they're both just actors struggling with issues, it was easy to put them both- both those sequences, into Part One and suddenly the context changes, and now you, the audience, bring a different set of sens- expectations into what's going on, and now it reads as the two of them struggling with what they're about to do as opposed to struggling with what they had already decided to do.

This is going back to "the big board" as we like to call it. Which was- we haven't really seen in the show since "The Hand of God" in Season One. It's a very effective way of making complicated stuff work. So I insisted that we use it again. It's just such a simple thing. It's like, ok, put the models on the board, move them around and show the audience how this all is going to work. Get it out of the way, give them the plan, and then move on. The graphics, I've talked about this before, putting dots on screens, and light and lines, and getting complicated graphics to explain "We're coming from there, they're going to go this way." All that stuff the audience loses surprisingly quickly, and it's really hard to make work as strictly-tech talk. You put those models on tables, just like it's "Sink the Bismark" man, and it just reads. You just get it. And thank god it works with our retro-feeling and sense of the technology that we've established on Galactica and you can just use it.

We always like the role reversal between Starbuck and Lee- Starbuck and Apollo, that she would be the CAG and suddenly he would be just a pilot. It was nice to play them in those roles for a bit. And we get to play them even more in Part Two.

And now this. This was something that I just wr- I had a vision of how this would work, the intercutting between the two- between the Raptor and the "big board" room, between the two of them. And I wrote it as an intercut, where you would write each sequence and how the dialogue would blend and overlap. But, I will say that it works much better in the show than it did on the page, which is really a salute to our- the editor of this episode, Dany Cooper, who did a marvelous job putting this footage together. Because it really is about rhythm and moment and being able to build a certain pace in. You'll notice if you watch the style in which this is edited, it starts very traditionally, you're just cutting from one piece to the next, and you're letting them say a couple of lines, then you start- then the pace starts to pick up, and then she starts to have the dialogue prelap one another and overlap, and it's almost becoming one scene by the very end, then it kind of slows down again towards the end. It's a great, great thing. It's something I couldn't have foreseen or know how to do, but a really good editor will be able to take footage like this and really nail you. Even just the choice of going from Cain to Kara. 'Cause you sort of going from Fisk to Cain, Fisk to Cain, and then suddenly it's Cain to Kara and you're in the other scene, the other foot. And then sometimes she's going Cain to Adama. See off of Starbuck, back to Cain, as if looking back to the reaction shot, at that time you just go Cain to Adama. And now it's overlapping, now it's starting to move faster, and the tension, "Oh my god, what are they- what are they about to say to each other?" Then there's the hesitation.

"Case Orange" is actually a reference to a battle plan of the American Navy prior to World War II. "Case Orange" was a certain idea of what the Japanese would do, what they would do in response. "Downfall" is another reference, it's a reference to a German- to a film about Nazi Germany and the last days in Hitler's bunker.

That last line kills me. "Take out your gun, and shoot Admiral Cain, in the head." That's so perf- that's just so perfect.

Once last note that I'll make is that that little beat where Cain is saying "Terminate Adama's command, starting with Adama," is an homage, a bit, to "Apocalypse Now". Where the famous line of Harrison Ford's, "I want you to terminate Colonel Kurtz's command," and then the other guy, whose name I can never recall in the scene leans forward and says, "Terminate with extreme prejudice." And I briefly toyed with the idea of actually using that terminology, but there's a fine line between homage and ripoff, and that seemed to pole vault over the edge.

So that's it for the podcast for Resurrection Ship, Part One. Thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoyed it. We will next be dealing with Resurrection Ship, Part Two, obviously. And hopefully I'll have my act together a little bit more and can be a little more entertaining next time around. Thank you, and goodnight.

References

  1. "TECH" is a term used in Star Trek scripts as a placeholder for to-be-determined technobabble.




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