Podcast:The Son Also Rises
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RDM: Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, here to welcome you to the podcast for what we call episode seventeen, "The Son Also Rises". I am joined here in my lovely home by my equally lovely wife, Mrs. Ron-
Terry: Love her or hate her.
RDM: (Imitating Terry's voice) Love her, or hate her.
RDM: Just- but don't call her ditsy. Mrs. Ron- Say hello, Mrs. Ron.
Terry: Hello, Mrs. Ron. I'm gonna be very intellectual this time, I'm sure.
RDM: Yes. There are various dogs and cats wandering the room, randomly. The Scotch tonight is Highland Twenty-five, a very nice bottle of Scotch my wife lovely gave me.
Terry: For Valentine's Day.
RDM: For Valentine's Day. The smoking lamp is, unfortunately, out. Mrs. Ron-
RDM: Mrs. Ron doesn't join us when the smoking lamp is on- is lit.
OK. "Son Also Rises". This is the beginning of the finale, really. We snuck this in as a making the finale of the season a bit of a three-parter, even though we never really said officially to the network that we were making a three-parter. But it kinda is a three parter when all is said and done, and this is the first piece of it. As we approach the trial of Gaius Baltar, we knew that a couple of the things that we were pretty determined to do was to somehow bring one or more of our cast members into the courtroom, as participants. We knew that that was gonna be difficult and we came up with various and sundry ideas for how to legitimize the idea of some of our people being participants in the trial. And this was where we ultimately ended up. Initially, we had talked about Lee actually being the sole attorney for Baltar, and finding a way to justify that.
Terry: But that seemed a stretch?
RDM: That seemed too much of a stretch. We just couldn't really get there. But we also knew that as a practical matter, to do a TV series like this, to get to a place where we're gonna do a trial episode, in a series that's not setup to do a trial episode, it seemed wrong to have all the players in the courtroom. Players being the lawyers on either side and the judges, have them all be guest stars, 'cause none of your major characters would be utilized very well, and the drama would essentially- you'd be constantly pulling away from the trial to go service the other characters and find other things for them to do, where the meat of this story is really what's happening in the courtroom. So, we bit the bullet and said, "OK. There's gotta be a way to get Lee into that courtroom in a plausible scenario." And this was the scenario that we came up with, which is to start off as a guy doing security for Lampkin, and ultimately have him aid in Lampkin's defense. It also raised the question of how do we get anyone else. We all quickly loved the idea of having Adama be one of the judges, or be a judge. In the course- at first he was gonna be the judge, and then we altered that and decided that'd he'd be one of several judges in the courtroom.
Terry: So, there's an excellent thread on the Scifi board right now, written by a bunch of lawyers. And one of the points they made, though, is, "Why wouldn't Adama have to recuse himself as somebody who was extremely involved in this case?"
Terry: How do you get around that?
RDM: We did grapple with that. We talked about it at length, and we decided that what we were- that ultimately, there really weren't anybody in the entire Fleet who could legitimately say they weren't involved in the case.
Terry: Yeah, but I mean he's very directly involved.
RDM: He's very directly involved, and it's a push, and we all admit that right off the bat. It's a push. All this- we wanted to get more drama into the show, and so what we did was we came up with the lottery that you're watching in these intercuts. The lottery of drawing the names of the ship captains to be the judges. There wouldn't be a jury. There'd be a tribunal of judges and that they would be chosen randomly, and Adama's name was in the hat, and it came up, and he was chosen. And that it would be chosen in that method. We also talked about the idea that the system of justice that had been prevailing in the Fleet up to this point, such as it was, was probably administered by each ship captain as that ship captain saw fit, so that the captains of the various vessels in the Rag Tag Fleet had been dispensing justice on their ships for several years now, and so they were the most- they seemed the most logical people to be the judges in the tribunal because they were already dealing with the administration of justice all along.
Terry: So the legal system, such it may have been, before everything that has gone on, may not necessarily be what they're pulling from in this case.
RDM: Yeah. I mean, we have always proceeded on the assumption that the legal system is a very fragile thing, in the Galactica universe. That there— they have probably precious few lawyers. That there's really no police force. There's no real force, other than Adama's military.
Terry: So you keep the gist of the law, but not the letter.
RDM: You keep the gist of the law, but they don't, probably- we've said they don't really have a law library. They don't have much more than the law books that Adama kept from his father and passed onto Lee in a previous episode.
RDM: So the idea was that each ship probably administered its own justice, and ran their ship accordingly. Just in the tradition of the captain of the ship being the ultimate arbiter of what was legal and what was not. And that there's some kind of balance, 'cause obviously Laura does exert authority in the Fleet and has, on occasion, issued presidential directives. The "no abortions directive" being one of the examples. The Quorum has authority. I think there's a lot of flexibility and a lot of gray areas in terms of what the legal authority is in the Fleet. But in any case we decided that- pull a set of judges from the ship captains, Adama's one of them, he gets pulled in. Yeah, you could argue that he should recuse himself, but at the same time, we just decided to brush off that and keep going, 'cause the drama was more important to us at this stage of the game. Then we started- in all versions of this story, we always had this thing about Baltar's lawyers being assassinated, and killed, and under threat. And this is- y'know, this was clearly influenced by the experience of some of the defense team of Saddam Hussein. When Saddam Hussein was on trial, various members of his defense team, and members of the prosecution, and members of the judiciary, were all coming under attack in Iraq, for various- by various factions with various motives, and we wanted to play this in that same tenor.
This sequence was always pretty much in even the early preliminary drafts of the show. I think the major changes had to do with what Lee's story were- was, in this episode. In the original story document, it was much more about- a Lee-centric story about Lee going in and interrogating Caprica-Six and he was going in to talk to Caprica-Six to get evidence, to see what she was willing to testify to. Could she testify? Lee was the guy that Laura had appointed to put the legal system together, and we were playing with the idea that as- in part of- part of that job is Lee determining whether Caprica-Six could be a witness at trial, which went to the heart of, "Is Caprica-Six a person?" If Caprica-Six is a person, then her testimony would be accepted. If she's a machine, then they could not take her testimony.
That's the end of the tease.
Terry: Mark Sheppard.
RDM: Act 1-We- In Lee's pursuit of Caprica-Six it was going to be actually a lot of him going into the interrogation room one on one with Caprica Six; talking to her trying to determine with a lock <indistinguishable> person or not, which, of course, is very controversial in the Galactica world, once they determine that Cylons are people it had other implications for how they should be treated and what the legal rights etc etc. Which was also complicated by the fact that Adama had designated Sharon to be a person, given her a Colonial uniform. It went to the he- And also went to the heart of the backstory between Caprica-Six and Baltar, she was going to give up the fact that he had participated in the destruction of the colonies, that was going to be a major- major piece of testimony that she may or may not give. We shied away from that storyline ultimately because it felt claustrophobic on the one hand. It also felt like that the issues were not as relevant as the trial itself, that it was a lot of him digging for backstory from Caprica-Six that the audience already knew. They already knew what Baltar had done and not done and that wasn't really what was most interesting in the show. So we opted to go with this other route that really ta- dealt with the aftermath of Kara's death on Lee and Adama and watched Romo Lampkin, who's coming up here in a few minutes, and how he handled the case.
I liked this sequence a lot. This is where Lee is in the ready room, dealing with the pilots and seeing that, you know,that he's not quite himself. I didn't comment on the- on the earlier scene earlier in the tease, where you saw that Anders was drunk and beside himself, just standing up on the Viper and falls off and breaks his leg. In the in- early drafts of this we had actually opened the show with Lee and Anders both going to the memorial wall to put Kara's picture on the wall, like Lee had promised. And in the midst of that, a fight broke out between the two men. That their anger and emotions about what had- the traumatic event- They vented on each other and it turned into a literal brawl. And we decided not to do that 'cause it- it just felt too expected to have them fight and it just didn't seem to like it gave you any real juice in the show. And it seemed much more interesting to play them in sympathy with one another. That after Kara had died their rivalry was gone. The reason for their rivalry was gone, and that the two men would have to gravitate towards one another, if anything, in their mutual mourning.
This is the introduction to Romo Lampkin who was initially, in early conversations, was slotted to just be a one-episode role. He was going to be in this episode, get Lee going on the trial and then he was gonna die at the end and have Lee take over. And that was when, again, we decided that was too much of a stretch, so we opted to keep him alive. So Mark Sheppard, who plays Romo Lampkin, got a three episode deal out of this.
Terry: The wonderful Mark Sheppard.
RDM: The wonderful Mark Sheppard, who's a friend of ours. This scene originally opened with a long speech of Lampkin's. It was shot, it opened with a speech about fear and what fear does to people. And that- fear of Baltar, and fear of being Baltar's lawyer etc., what it was doing to people. And I opted to cut it 'cause it just seemed like the wrong intro for him. It was much more interesting to start with the guy in sunglasses not saying anything.
The cat, a cat makes its entrance into Galactica for the first time.
Terry: Which looks an awful lot like our cat.
RDM: It looks a bit like one of our cats. If I had known, truth to tell, about the online fascination slash obsession with "Jake the Dog" I would've opted to make Romo Lampkin Jake the Dog's owner—
Terry: Oh, I know.
RDM: —and use the dog through the whole sequence. 'Cause the whole gag is that the pet is the-
Terry: Was this shot before then?
RDM: Yeah. I didn't- I wasn't aware of any of those-
Terry: You didn't know about it then? I'm sorry everyone.
RDM: But the gag is that it's- the cat is from his dead wife and he keeps it around out of respect for her memory, but he hates the cat, which I like. That he just can't stand the cat and he puts it in a bag and carries it around everywhere he goes. Bob Young, who directed this episode, however, hated the cat. Kept begging me to cut the cat.
Terry: Never shoot with a cat.
RDM: Never shoot with a cat, never shoot with animals.
Terry: It's the worst. Well, dogs at least you can train.
RDM: Yeah, you can train dogs. Cats are the worst.
Terry: You can't. They're awful.
RDM: I remember when I was on Star Trek-
Terry: God. Ugh.
RDM: -Data had a cat. There used to be five cats, and each cat did exactly one trick: the cat that would jump in Data's lap, the cat that would lie down, the cat that would eat the food, the cat that would meow. And you had to have all 5 cats on the stage in order to do one sequence.
Terry: You were lucky you had the budget. I did a movie, we only had a budget for one cat. So it was 8 hours waiting for a cat to walk across a room. It was a nightmare, how many cats did you have on this?
RDM: I don't remember 'cause the cat didn't have to do very much. I think it was just one cat.
Terry: It's in the bag.
RDM: It's- it had- put in the bag, and it has- well, it had one task. It has to run out of the Raptor later on and it doesn't run, you'll see see it kind of loped, it kind of saunters out of the Raptor.
This scene with Rom- The relationship between Romo and Lee is a really interesting one and the character of Lampkin himself is really something that is crafted by Michael Angeli, who wrote this episode. I did not take a pass at this episode, this is all Angeli's work. He has a very interesting and distinctive voice, Michael, in how he writes character and what he brings to the party and Romo Lampkin was such a fully realized, interesting creation from the very first, from the first draft. Which we made substantial changes to along the way because all these shows get changed a lot. The one thing that didn't really change was Romo. And Romo was just always interesting and different and there was someth- fun and fascinating about- about this man and he stood in sharp contrast to most of our other players.
Terry: You know that's one of the things I really would say about him is that he's just completely different than anything we've seen on this show before.
RDM: He's very different. You feel li- I would like to know what Romo's been doing out there in the fleet,
Terry: Yeah. 'Cause you think it's si- it must be significant.
RDM: I'd like to sort of backtrack and see- He's been doin' somethin'. And I'm sure it was right on the edge of legality and ethics. And it's an interesting character and I think Mark's a great choice.
Terry: I'm going to be very interested to see what the lawyers have to say about this.
RDM: We spent an awful lot of time dealing with the legalisms on this show.
Terry: Did you?
Terry: Did you know there's an awful lot of scrutiny about, "Is this going to be Law and Order in space?" And a lot of people are concerned about it.
RDM: You know, that's a high standard, truth is that's a high standard.
Terry: I love Law and Order.
RDM: Law and Order's one of the best legal shows in TV. That's the end of the act.
RDM: One of the things we did is we discussed the law and how this would all work, was we were always aware of what the truth was. How the American legal system would work. And then we would bend that to fit the Galactica universe, and say, "OK. We have some free play, 'cause it isn't America. We can change some of the parameters." But we wanted- we always wanted the trial and the surroundings of the trial to feel familiar enough to the audience, who's- has been watching legal shows since Perry Mason-
RDM: -and understands the basic conventions, the right to counsel, how testimony is given, objections, overrulings. All those things, the audience has a fluid memory of and can follow along and we wanted to keep it in that groove, but give ourselves enough flexibility, like every legal show does. I mean, truth to tell, Perry Mason-
RDM: -bends the rules quite a bit, too. And we certainly bend some rules in our portrayal-
Terry: Well, you have to, 'cause if you ever sit in a real courtroom it's dull as-
RDM: -dull as dishwater.
RDM: But at the same time, when the characters- when they take actions that step- that break those rules, we generally have them acknowledge it, and say, "This isn't permitted," and then you move on and justify it in some fashion, so it- so you don't gloss over it. I love this- the way that James play- is playing the character of Baltar here. He's really taken the idea of the manifesto and the prisoner writing his political manifesto from jail and running with it.
Terry: Baltar reinvents himself, one more time.
RDM: Yeah, he reinvents himself one more time. The obsession with, "Gimme a piece of paper." The thought that has to be written down right now.
Terry: Baltar becomes Che.
RDM: Baltar as Che. Exactly.
RDM: And he really plays it, and James sells it, and- it's a really interesting transformation of the character.
Terry: What I like about it, and what I think is really the beauty of how James plays pretty much everything is that you really get the sense that whatever persona Baltar has adopted, this time, he believes it.
RDM: Oh, yeah.
Terry: He believes it thoroughly and completely himself.
RDM: He's sold, yeah.
Terry: "Well, I'm a political prisoner."
RDM: Yeah. "Of course I am." And yet his first concern being about Caprica Six, knowing what she knows, and that she can sink him. And wondering what's gonna happen on that angle.
Talked a lot about the sunglasses. The sunglasses came up quite a bit. Again, an invention of Michael Angeli of Lampkin wearin' the sunglasses until a key point in the script and then taking them off and putting them back on, and so on. It was right- hovers right on the edge of it- of being an artifice and I- even Mark, I think, voiced concern, and the direc- they were all wondering, "Are you sure you wanna do the sunglasses thing?" But I believed in it, and I believed in what Angeli was trying to do, and said, "Yeah. No, let's do it. Let's keep it." And I think it works. I think it's really effective and interesting, and I don't think it crosses the line into parody. I think it's an interesting way for this character to relate to everybody, 'cause he's essentially putting it in their face that he's walking around wearing dark sunglasses. And also I work with people who wore dark sunglasses in rooms.
Terry: I have too.
RDM: Ira Behr, who was my mentor.
Terry: Ira wore them?
RDM: Ira- not sunglasses, they were prescription glasses, but they were dark.
RDM: And sometimes mirrored. And Ira used to enjoy- he just liked wearing dark sun- dark glasses in meetings and rooms, and it-
Terry: That's pretty funny.
RDM: It was really fun and interesting. And he did it all the time, and got away with it. And you're surprised how many people never comment on it. Ira would walk into a meeting at night with mirrored sunglasses on in writers' room, or sometimes with actors that he's never met, and nobody'll say a word. (Chuckles.) They never even questioned it. It was just an interesting little bit of psychology.
I like the way that Angeli's got Romo playing Lee. Understanding where his buttons are, pushing them deliberately, getting a reaction, then cutting to the heart of the matter. It's a really interesting dynamic. It's a nicely written bit of business between the two.
Now here is, I believe, the cat's finest hour. [18:22]The cat is supposed to run out of the Raptor. That's what it says in the script and if the fucking cat had read the script, it would have run out of the Raptor. But of course it doesn't. So what it does, is it saunters out.
RDM: So we have to resort to one of the oooo-
Terry: -It's a cat.-
RDM: -oldest tricks in the book. We speed up the film.
Terry: Oh, you're kidding.
RDM: No, I wish I was kidding. I wish I- I wish I had the budget to make a CGI cat run out of the goddamn Raptor.
Terry: Oh my God.
RDM: But you'll see, we're gonna speed up the film here.
Terry: You know, they make cartoons, and it's a common joke about cats. Cats don't do what you tell them to.
RDM: Watch. It's comin' up- the shots comin' up right here. You see the bomb, cut into the cockpit, then as the door is closing... right here. I think we're getting there. Right there. Ohhh.
Terry: Oh, you're kidding me.
RDM: (Laughs.) It's a little bit of Land of the Lost if you get right down to it, but you know what? Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. (Laughs.) And so the cat zooms out. Bob Young hated this. He hated the fact that the cat had- the cat-
Terry: Now it's running.
RDM: -is responsible. Yeah, now it's running. 'Cause I think they're throwing things at it on the set.
RDM: But Bob really didn't like the fact that we found the-
Terry: The SPCA was involved in the making of this-
RDM: Found the bomb through the cat, and I had to really talk him into it. I like it. I think it's just a bit of serendipity and luck and all those kind of random things. That the Raptor was supposed to have been swept for bombs, so how the hell could that have happened, and it's clearly an inside job, and all that being said.
Watch Eddie in this episode. Eddie- this is some of his most emotional stuff. He really is teeing off on his- on Lee in these scenes. And his emotions are very raw. I mean, since the open of the episode, when he's sitting there putting Kara's- looking at Kara's picture and going through her service folder. The tears in the eyes and the emotion that he's- that Adama's feeling is all genuine. It's all really- I think Eddie is truly in mourning.
Terry: -It's really nice to see Eddie being able to do this, because so many of his roles, I think, call for him to be so stoic and noble, and this is gotta lis- gotta lot of flesh to it.
RDM: This is a raw wound.
Terry: It really- is.
RDM: I mean, he's really lost his daughter.
Terry: And you get to see it.
RDM: It's very painful, and I think it's genuine, because I think Eddie really felt Katee's loss.
RDM: Katee's loss on the set, and it was affecting the cast and the crew at this point. And a lot of this emotion on both their parts is just genuine.
Terry: Well, and Eddie's dad on and off the show. I mean-
RDM: Yeah. He's the father, off and on the show.
Terry: Can you get the little-
RDM: Look at that. When he says this thing about, "You think your loss is deeper? You think you feel it-"
(Adama's dialogue is audible.)
RDM: It's great. It's great stuff. It's just so powerful. And knowing where this goes, it's even more powerful.
That's the end of the act.
RDM: Top of the act. The plot of who ki- who's the bomber? Who's the mad bomber on Galactica, interestingly enough, in the first draft, and in a lot of the drafts, actually, until we- until very far into prep, and maybe into shooting, we were gonna have the identity of the bomber- we weren't gonna reveal them on this episode. The end of the show was gonna be the bomber still with his hands- only identified by his bomb-making apparatus, and not know who he was, and keep him alive as a threat, and we were gonna keep him alive through the actual trial, and what was he gonna do? And it- became a problem because it's the old Hitchcock thing, if you put a- if you show a gun, you gotta use it by the end of the movie, and to have this guy around and keep him as a threat and not have a bomb go off in the courtroom in the finale just became a problem, and I didn't want a bomb to go off in the courtroom at the end. It just felt like it was gilling it a bit. So we talked about revealing him as, what's his face? God, I hate it when I forget the characters' names. As Kelly. As Captain Kelly. Revealing it as Kelly but not having Kelly hauled away, and then that just felt like it was the same thing. You still had the bomber on the loose, even though we were gonna have him put his bombmaking materials away, etc, as if he was done. But then we decide, you gotta resolve it. You gotta like have the guy found.
Now this is interesting, because this is- a question of when you cut to certain pieces. This piece, I advocated, of Baltar looking for his pen, I opted to put before the scene with Caprica Six. Which tel- where it- in this placement, you're not sure what he's doing. What's he looking for? He's looking for something he's lost. And he's trying to fi- what have I lost? And you might surmise that it's a pen, but you might not. You're just puzzled over what's going on. And then in the next sequence, when you get into the scene with Caprica Six, or not the very next sequence, sorry, when you get to the Caprica Six interrogation scene, and Baltar- and Lampkin gives her the pen and says that Baltar sent it, that it was a deliberative missive, you start to p- if you're a smart audience member, and I think our audience is quite smart, you might put it together and say, "Oh shit! He took it from Baltar. He didn't- Baltar didn't give him the pen. He's- he took it from the guy." In the original cut, and in the directors cut, that scene took place later. It was- you saw the scene with Lampkin and Caprica Six gives him the- he gives her the pen, and then after that you cut to Baltar looking for the pen, which also tells you that it was a lie, and that it was stolen, but it's after the fact, and it's just a question of where you want the emphasis to be with the audience. When do you want them to think about that. I thought it was interesting to have this ambiguous scene of Baltar looking for something, and not know what he's looking for, and not quite even understand where that falls into the drama, and that when you got into this scene with Caprica Six and Baltar- Caprica Six and Lampkin, that at that moment you might put it together and you might, in the middle of the scene, have a realization that Bal- that Lampkin is actually pulling a fast one on Caprica Six and that it's an added layer that the audience can discover, if they choose to discover- if they choose to think about it. If you go the other way, if you put that scene after the scene with Caprica Six, they don't really have a way of doing that, and essentially they believe what Lampkin is saying, and then after they go, "Ohhhh. It was all a ruse." But by placing it before the scene, it's you giving them an opportunity to figure it out, and to have the discovery mid-scene and to have a couple of things going on at the same time. Anyway, that's an elaborate explanation for and editing choice, but that's what we did and why.
I'm very fond of this scene in this show. I love everyone's performance here. I think Trish is playing it beautifully. I think Mark is doing great. I like Laura, Lee- I mean, this is- one of those scenes that you look back on, after the show is over, after the series is over, and you'll say, "Wow. What an amazing ensemble we have," because there's so much going on here, and so much of it is in subtext and the actors are all just really inside their characters and inside this scene and there's many competing agendas, and there's lots of different motivations and moments and I think the way Bob shot this is wonderful. I like the pace of this scene. I had to fight to preserve the pace of this scene, 'cause it's- it verges on the slow. And there are those who thought it was like watching paint dry, but I really like the slower scenes. I like this because it's really about character. This is really a scene about character and motivation, and love, and philosophy, and I think it's just a beautifully written piece of film, but I think it's really one of the better scenes in the show.
[Romo Lampkin's dialogue can be heard.] This little story he tells... It's a- this is a show about stories, and about stories and backstories, and human emotion. I think it's a much better direction than I think where we initially took this story, which was all about- an equally interesting topic about-
Oh, here it is. He takes of the sunglasses.
Terry: Oh but look at her.
RDM: It makes such a nice little moment.
Terry: Look at how fantastic she is.
RDM: Oh, she's great. Trish can do no wrong, basically.
[Romo Lampkin's dialogue can be heard.] See? The pen.
RDM: And at that moment, you either get it, or you don't, or it's- or you're so in the scene. It's just an interesting beat.
Terry: -Ssssso diabolical.
RDM: It's very diabolical.
Terry: And brilliant.
RDM: And the pen is truly a weapon.
RDM: The pen really is mightier than the sword at this point. The tr- pen keeps her off the stand. The pen keeps her from turning states evidence. And that- that's all Trish. Trish- just smelling the pen. I don't think that's scripted. I could be wrong. Maybe I'm robbing Michael of credit, but I think that's an actor's impulse. Look at the intensity on Mark's face here. Which is really heightened by the fact that we haven't seen his eyes, we haven't-
RDM: -seen his full face the whole show. That's why, I think, the sunglasses were effective. Because he takes them off at a precise moment for desired effect, and I think it works.
[Romo Lampkin's dialogue can be heard.] And their awareness of the surveillance, I think, is a nice touch. That they're- nobody's fooling anybody here. It's great. I mean, I- When the show works, the show really works. It's just- it draws you in. It does what drama's supposed to do. It makes you- it just pulls you emotionally into a moment, and keeps you there, and makes this all real.
I like- thank God we've got this little moment of, again, it's subtle beat. Where's Adama's button. What's he looking for? He's missing something. And it doesn't become clear until the end of the show.
This is one of the, I think, one of the best Lee-Adama scenes that we've had in the life of the series. I think this whole drinking sequence with Lampkin and- dealing with Lee's backstory, and his feelings, and philosophy, and politics, and I think is really interesting. I thi- Romo Lampkin's a f- a great character because of what he does to the rest of our characters. The way he challenges the rest of our characters, what he brings out of them. The way his particular persona gets under their skin in ways that they're not prepared for and they're not used to, and draws out these interesting aspects of their personalities.
[Lee Adama's dialogue can be heard.] We talked- this whole little backstory about the grandfather- I mean, there's a lot of references to Lee's grandfather and the law, and what kind of lawyer he was, and so on. And a lot of that is influence by the work that David, and I, and Remi Aubuchon did on the Caprica pilot. Which may or may not happen. But all of that discussion of who Joseph was-
Terry: Oh, right.
RDM: -Adama, and Joseph's role as a lawyer, and what he did for a living, and the very mixed record he have as a man who was- defending mobsters and then eventually becoming someone who defended civil liberties, was an interesting journey for the character to begin with. And a lot of this is influenced by that. It's not really setting up Caprica, per se. It's not really setting anything up. It's just interesting backstory. But all those discussions added texture and context in who Lee was and why Lee might be attracted to the law. The more we knew about Joseph, and the more we had developed Joseph Adama as a character for the Caprica pilot, the more we understood why Lee might be attracted to that. And why there might be conflict with his own father, in terms of what William Adama's relationship was with his own father, his own father wasn't- it's always been an interesting thing in the show that Adama does not come from the family of soldiers. That he's not part of a long line of sol- "The Adama's have always been in the military," kind of a thing. That he's the son of a civil liberties attorney, I thought, was always a fascinating thing. That on the one hand, a lot of Adama's belief system and a lot of his values are drawn from his father, in terms of his passionate belief in the civil rights and the civil liberties and his believe in a republic, and what it meant to wear the uniform, and he's very much an idealist in that- sense. But then also he had a real falling out with his own father and that he had real problems with who his father was and what his father did for a living, how he made money, and that his father wasn't just a one note, high minded idealist. That his father also represented guys that were really shitty, and scummy, and did lots of terrible, awful things. And his father helped get them off. And then later started to take up this mantle of the civil liberties. And so- and where does that leave Lee Adama? And Lee's relationship to a man that he knows as his grandfather and that he's drawn to the law books, and he's also drawn to the uniform at the same time. And that's where we settled on who Lee is and what he's all about.
"I have to go take a crap." That may be the first time that's ever been said in a scifi series.
RDM: I hope- we've broken new ground there.
Terry: Oh God, Ron.
RDM: I like this little beat. Was it tr- is the story about the woman true? And Mark turns around and we play it very opaquely. He says, "Yes." But... you cut back here. The fact that you cut back to him for a longer beat raises the question in the audience's mind.
This was a very difficult little section in the editorial. We didn't quite have the pieces. This is one of those things that writers put in scripts very- in a very blasé way that- you describe this setup and then it isn't communicated correctly or you don't prep it correctly, and essentially, you don't have the pieces on the day to really make this sequence work. You're- this isn't- this whole thing of the bomb working off. You wish you had more sections here to play with. There's- we're missing cutbacks to people. Timing is off a little bit. You're not really- you can't cut to the door as many times as you want to. You blow through it and you cheat as much as you can.
Terry: Oh really?
RDM: —the lawyer but we felt that it was just— it just seemed too much.
Terry: Yeah, I agree.
RDM: And the be— it seemed like the best you could do was to invest Lee in the case, at this point. He's been with Romo through this whole story, he's been in the scenes with Baltar, he's starting to respect him, to be intrigued by him, he has an interest in the law. You can buy that he'd start to get interested enough to want to be part of the team, but not to be the sole lawyer.
This whole little bit here, with Romo and the kleptomaniac, I love because one the things I say to my writers is: "I want you to surprise me. Surprise me with things I don't know about these characters, tell me things that are not in the break. When you go off—"
Terry: It's his button
RDM: His button, Laura's glasses, all that. Go off on the break and then tell me— surprise me in the story. When I was reading these pages and I got to the scene where Lee discovers that Romo Lampkin is a kleptomaniac and steals all these little bits of business, I thought it was just genius. I think that's— that's a real nice bit of writing, that's— it's creative and unexpective and in— unexpected and interesting and raises aspects of the character that you never suspected, but it's completely justified by who it is. And it's just— that's a marvelous thing. It's a real joy when you're show running, you're reading scripts ,that you're surprised by them. You want to be surprised by them, you want to be the audience, you don't want to just know what everything is.
Terry: Well but those are the layers, those are also the— what is that, a shoe?
RDM: Yeah, that's a shower shoe for the prosecutor.
Terry: That's so great.
RDM: We didn't play more of this, I won't want raise the expectation that there's more of Romo's kleptomania to come this— this was something we only really played in this episode, and we don't really play it in the next two. But I think it's fascinating, it's a fascinating bit of psychology and character, who this guy is. He's got this little bag of stuff that he's stolen from people from people (laughing) all over the ship! It's just— I don't know, it's just— that's just great.
Terry: It's also really believable for a lawyer on some levels, isn't it?
RDM: On some level, isn't it? You buy it.
Terry: They— they're such— they're such stu— they make such studies of human nature, and you know it's like— y'know and when he's talking about the shower shoe, and you can see that he favors— y'know, it's—
RDM: Yeah, he's doing it for a purpose, he gets certain things about who these people are. He steals things and are actually illuminating the character.
RDM: Laura's glasses, what does that say, why would he take Laura's glasses above all other things? How have her glasses defined who she is? And there is something about when Laura puts those glasses on as opposed to when she has the glasses off. And Adama, the button, the uniform, part of the man's literal clothing.
Terry: And when it's gone, Adama feels it.
RDM: And when it's gone, he feels it, and he's not quite himself, and he's a man who cares about his appearance and the way his appearance is— it's just fascinating stuff.
(Some of Lampkin's dialogue can be heard.)
Terry: Mark has the greatest voice.
RDM: It's a great voice, we wro— it was written with an Iri— in the script it said: "with an Irish brogue", in the initial description of the character. Mark is Irish, but he doesn't really have a full-on brogue. He puts it on a bit for this role, he doesn't really have it to this extent. He's also been in another science-fiction show, Firefly, he was on Firefly, he had a very prominent role, and he's been on "24", and, erm—
Terry: [[w:Medium (TV series)|"Medium")].
RDM: Medium, he does a big recurring role on Medium.
Terry: Please write letters if you think that we should see him in the upcoming season.
RDM: (laughs) No, no, don't write letters. This is not the Romo Lampkin fan club. I like the fact that it's Kelly, I think it's—
RDM: —it's interesting that it's Captain Kelly that's the bomber, and that he's the guy, somehow I just buy that. The look on his face right here, I totally believe that he's the guy.
Terry: Well, he's such a stalwart, company man—
RDM: He's so stalwart and he's such a company man. And that he just cannot abide the fact that this guy is getting a trial, and this guy is getting a lawyer, and— y'know, it just really burns him. And I think that it burns a lot of the people in the fleet that this guy is getting a trial at all. And I don't think that that's an uncommon feeling. And I think that—
Terry: Since the beginning of time, people feel like you should just string 'em up.
RDM: Anybody that gets accused is essentially strung up in the media in many situations. There's local radio hosts here in Los Angeles who— anybody that's ever accused of a crime, especially a splashy crime, these clowns will get on the radio all day and night and just beat the drums. The guy should be convicted.
Terry: Trials are only for the innocent.
RDM: Tria— yeah, trials are only for the innocent.
Terry: That— but that point of view is— comes from emotion.
RDM: Sure, it comes from emotion.
Terry: The legalist system is supposed to not be from emotion—
RDM: —to take emotion out of it—
Terry: —and so it's— y'know it's a very human response and it's a good thing that you showed him having it.
RDM: And I think— y'know, absolutely, it's questionable that Adama and his son are both in the case. That is something we went back and forth on in the writer's room over and over again, and I always had qualms about this. Is it— are we gonna— are we pushing too far, can the audience buy that both Lee and his father are in the case?
Terry: And they may not, or some people may not.
RDM: You just have to swallow it, move on. 'Cause I just felt that there was something about the power of the father-and-son dynamic that I wanted to put into the case. I want the case to be about our people, ultimately the case— it's not a philosophical exercise. It's not an intellectual game about his guilt or innocence. It's about these people. These people have all been involved with the story from the beginning. And who better to have in the case than a judge of William Adama, who I expect to be a fair-minded person in all circumstances, and who better to really argue, and passionately, for the man who cannot be defended, than Lee. And it just seems right. And so we opted to keep it.
RDM: That's the office calling and they will be ignored in favor of the podcast.
Terry: I'm late.
RDM: It's a little late for a conference call.
RDM: I like the resurgence of the father-son conflict, 'cause I don't think that father-son conflicts ,such as there are between Adama and his son, ever really go away. I think they can resolve certain issues and they can resolve certain feelings, but fundamentally, do they ever really go away? I don't know that they ever do, and I think they can come to the surface rather quickly given the right set of circumstances, and this is clearly one of those circumstances.
Terry: (Coughs) Excuse me.
RDM: —that he puts her behind him and so does Anders, Anders with the broken leg. These two guys.
RDM: I'll go answer it, it's just a—
RDM on the phone: Hello. Hello? Hey, I need like two more minutes. It'll be real quick. Right. (Hangs up)
Terry: We just saw the inner workings.
RDM: That's how the office works. I just put off some very important people for all of you people.
Terry: He's joking.
RDM: All of you very important people. My audience. I'm trying to think of something brilliant here to say to justify blowing off an important phone call. I like the fact that Anders is having real trouble getting over her death. That Lee can move on on some level even though Lee's love for Kara is arguably deeper and more profound—
Terry: Yeah, but his is resolved in a certain way.
RDM: His is resolved in a certain way. But Anders can't— I like the fact that it jangled his bones and really screwed him up and that— y'know he's not gonna recover quickly. This is also a nice bit of business because it implies a certain manipu— yeah, one more level of manipulation by Romo Lampkin in terms of Lee and that all is not what it seems. I like that we saw him seal this envelope in front of Lee, and that Lee delivered it like he was asked to, but not knowing what the contents of the letter were that was sitting right in front of him, that Lee never knew what Romo wrote in this letter, I think is another nice little bit of plot that Michael Angeli came up with.
And that bringing— 'cause we had talked at length about the fact that bringing Lee into the defense team was a deliberate action by— from old Romo, and that he was doing it to appease. And there was a lot of discussion in the subsequent two episodes about how much is Lampkin manipulating Lee and his father. In any case, that's episode 17, "The Son Also Rises". I'm very proud of this episode, I think we're really moving into the finale very strongly, and I think it's gonna be a great ride from here to the end. So err—
Terry: If it were up to (unintelligible).
RDM: If it were up to (unintelligible). So thank you for listening, good night and good luck!
Terry: Good night, everybody.