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"Precipice" Podcast
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Transcribed by: Steelviper
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Length of Podcast:
Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Terry Dresbach
Comedy Elements
Word of the Week:
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Act 1

RDM: This scene, which is essentially the beginning of "Precipice". We are now in the next episode, really. This scene with Laura and Baltar, I think is my favorite scene of this two-hour, and I think it's my favorite scene in a while, because as you step into this moment I don't know if there's anything more clear in your mind than Laura... I'm with Laura. She's the good guy. I hate Baltar. He's the bad guy. And this scene, when he starts talking to her, when you get to the point where Baltar is saying- he's challenging the fact that there are suicide bombings and can Laura support that? Can she really support the idea of young men and young women strapping bombs to themselves and walking into crowded places.

Terry: They haven't started talking yet.

RDM: I know.

Terry: Oh.

RDM: When they get to that point, I just think that's the moment- I love that moment, dramatically, because that's the place where, I think, you as the audience are not quite sure who you're rooting for anymore. Who are you rooting for in this scene? Is there somebody to root for in this scene? Is there somebody to root against? I mean, I think Baltar in particular, what do you feel about this? Here's the greatest collaborater of them all. Here's the man who is the titular head of the government during the occupation, under whose reign all these things are happening. And yet, what's he in here to do? He's in here to protest the fact that human beings are becoming suicide bombers. And the- look at Laura's face here. The way she can't quite meet his eyes. She can't look at him when he says that. "Waiting for you to look me in the eye." Mary plays it beautifully. It's a beatiful scene. It was one of the first scenes I saw shot on this episode. I was up there watching her do it.

Mary is one of those actors that's really interesting to watch on the set, doing it front of the camera. I like- Mary's footage is amazing. I love the way she looks in the show, but watching her do it on the set, through the different takes and how she prepares in between takes and what's going through her head and how she tries different things. It's like- it's a- I don't know how to describe it. It's like watching a different movie altogether, 'cause you're watching this movie of the actress doing a role. I find, when I'm on the set and she's on the set, I just find her fascinating. It's a really- interesting to watch the way she goes through the process.

He's quite good. He's quite good in this scene.

The tower there, with the Cylons on it, is a complete digital construct. That was really just a big light tower, with a light on it. They put in that thing entirely as well as all these Cylons obviously. I love the Cylon who foregrammed to the right as he turns and looks at Jammer here.

And this is- you can tell we're now in a separate episode. It is constructed as two stories that are very closely linked. But now we move to the story of Jammer. Once we had committed to the idea of- as I had committed to the idea of the suicide bomber in the first part, and concentrating it and making him someone we knew, Duck, the second part I wanted to personalize somebody on the other side of that. I wanted to personalize somebody who was in the NCP, who was in the Caprica Human Police force. And that too would be one of our people. 'Cause I wanted this to look at the situation. I didn't really want it to be a polemic. This- these two hours are not a polemic about how things should be and what's the answer to Iraq in ninety minutes or less. It was really looking at the situation as a whole, and ok, who are the guys- Jammer was in that building. That's one of the textures that we kept losing that I never quite was able to work back into the story was that Jammer was there during the suicide bombing. He was standing in one of those ranks, and suddenly the world exploded and there were dead bodies piled on top of him that he had to push off to stand up. And that that was part of what was torturing him through the episode. I really thought it was important that we go that side of the story, that we deal with, well ok, some of these guys that got into the New Caprica Police were doing it because they genuinely want to help their people. They genuinely think that this is a way to go. Better us- it's better that we police our own than have the Cylons policing us. And that there were- that honorable men could disagree on that idea. And that someone like Jammer could get sucked into that and suddenly find himself on the wrong end of the insurgency. To the point where he can't even reveal who he is. He has to hide his identity.

And this little scene, here, I like the fact that Tigh is being very open about the fact that what they're doing is wrong. Tigh knows what they're doing is wrong. Tigh makes no bones about the fact that he's doing something that's evil. He knows he's doing that. But he's justifying it to himself. He's going to do it.

Terry: An eye for an eye.

RDM: An eye for an eye. And the fact that he'll do whatever he has to do to win. This- why is Colonel Tigh on Galactica? Why does Adama keep him around? Because when the chips are down, and they are way down, baby, in this situation, when you are in a foxhole, who do you want next to you? You want Colonel Tigh 'cause he is gonna get your ass out of there. And he's gonna win. And he's gonna find a way to win. And he'll do whatever he has to.

Terry: If survival is your only directive.

RDM: Absolutely. Which is a whole different point. But to the question of, "Why does Adama keep him around?"

Terry: Yeah, it makes-

RDM: Adama keeps him around because he's that guy.

This is a great costuming touch, which- the hat. I love the hat on Dean Stockwell. Do you thing, in your experience, Mrs. Ron, that that is something that Glenne, our trusty-

Terry: Hard to say.

RDM: Or Dean?

Terry: That's a hard one. It could-

RDM: 'Cause you're always telling me about how actors-

Terry: It could very well be something Glenne handed him and said, "What do you think of this?" It's one of those little costume moments, where somebody comes, and it's frequently the actor, will come in and go, "You know, I've really been thinking about it. I need to wear a hat. I need to wear a scarf." It's something that they've latched onto that really says something about the character and ultimately helps them to play the role in a way they like. You need me to stop...

RDM: All this night vision footage here, this green stuff. They really shot this with a real night scope. This is really the thing, we're not faking this in post. They really used night scopes to shoot this. This was Sergio's idea. It wasn't in the script and Sergio called and wanted to do it. He had this vision of doing this sequence in the green light, in the night vision lens, and what I think of this scene... it's fantastic. I love it, because- I was asked about this by a reviewer the other day, "Well is that a deliberate attempt to evoke Iraq and say that this is Iraq?" And I said, "Well, no. The reason was it's how you're used to looking at it." It's the same philosophy behind why I do the handheld camera in space, when you're watching Vipers flyby. The fact that it seems to be handheld and there's a person standing out there filming these Vipers whipping by camera and having trouble in focus and keeping it in frame, intuitively tells you that it's a real object. This is really happening. The night vision, to me, serves the same function. Because you're used to seeing scenes shot at night in that palette, in that green and black, and that you know that that's a night vision thing and you're used to watching either on COPS or footage from Iraq or around the world, where troops are go- kicking in doors and going into places, grabbing people. And you're used to seeing those images. By doing it in the show it immediately evokes a sense of verisimillitude. It's a sense of truth. It's you kn- "Oh my god, I've seen that happen. That looks so real." You want it to look real. Not- it wasn't the po- again it wasn't the politics. It's about what is effective dramatically.

Ok, why do the Cylons reduce their defense perimeter to just five Cylon baseships? A year's go- four months have gone by, noone's attacked, they think they have the situation under control. They get a little cocky. They reduce their presence. They've got other things they've got to do. It's- to be honest, I'm sliding by the issue. I don't need it. If there's twenty baseships out there, it becomes an impossible force to overcome. If it's five, the odds are pretty tall, but they're not impossible. You just need to establish that at some point. There certain things you have to do to make the make the driver work. It's not a major point.

I love this idea. That Tyrol does not know that Gaeta is the source, and Gaeta doesn't know that Tyrol is the recipient. That these- this was also again part of the things I liked playing that I was like, "Ok. Let's put our people into this situation." What happens if Tyrol and Gaeta are both working towards the same objective, but they don't realize it, and they're about to kill each other. These guys are on a collision course, and you'll see where that collision course ultimately takes you, much later.

I thought Gaeta was a really interesting character in this whole saga. That Gaeta, who had idolized Baltar and thought he was a great man, and ultimately become his chief of staff, or whatever he was, to President Baltar, then sticks by him and tries to work within the system after the Cylons come. And yet wants to help the insurgency and starts to believe that his boss is everything that is evil. What happens to him and how does he try to help and what are the constraints of that? I was very interested in Gaeta and his role.

This is interesting because, as scripted, Jammer, instead of having flashbacks of the kid and the taking of Cally, was having flashbacks of the suicide bombing. And we shot pieces of footage that were about Jammer waking up. We never shot the footage of him waking up in the dead bodies, which, I really wanted to 'cause I thought that was the most horrific image, that you cut close on his face and he would be pushing an arm out of the way and then you would get up and realize the arm was severed, and he was like pushing dead bodies off of him to just stand up after the suicide bombing. That's what he was supposed to be flashing back to in that moment. And we didn't- we never- the schedule and budget, we never got to shoot him and the dead bodies, so we tried to construct other things. He's remembering the flash, he's remembering people falling, he's remembering the paper floating down from the diplomas, and put that in here, and it just became confusing. Nobody understood what he was remembering. Noone was- we were so far afield from the suicide bombing that nobody was really making the connection back to that event. So David Eick saved us by suggesting that what he's remembering is the- oh, no. I'm sorry. It was Sergio. Sergio and David. They were both- they both saved it. Sergio shot it and put in his cut that Jammer is remembering the baby, and then David played that up even more and really went for more inserts about Jammer remembering taking Cally and that the baby was there and that that's what's freaking him out.

Act 2

Back to bizarro world. Where Leoben and Kara are making nice. This is such a strange, twisted little scenario that-

Terry: (unintelligible)

RDM: I love the fact that it was very spare and that we didn't see much of it. And that you just, by implication, this whole weird head trip had been played out on Kara in this episode.

This was in the story break. The fact that Leoben would say that, "We harvested your ovary, and we have this little girl." 'Cause everyone's always asking, "Well what about the ovary? What happened to the farm? What did they take from Kara? Where did it go? What happened to that?" And this was like, "Ok. You wanna know what happened with that? Let's do this."

This little girl, this little actress, is one of the better child actors I've ever worked with. She delivers some really nice stuff. The dailies of her and Katee on the set. Katee playing with her in between takes. Katee talking to her. Her reacting to Katee. She was really fun and really, just, delightful. It's really hard to find child actors. Especially at this age. Especially at the age where they're very young and you're just asking them to do a few discrete things. In fact- that's one of the things you have to keep in mind. That you can only ask them to do very simple, discrete things.

Terry: Pretty staggering.

RDM: Oh I know. It's one of the major revelations of the show. In fact I think that was part- that was the- in the original structure, as shot and as scripted, that moment of revelation of Kara has a daughter was the actual out of episode one. Episode one ended on that moment of him, Leoben, coming down the stairs and "Meet your mother," Kara's reaction, boom. To be continued. That was the end of part one.

Terry: Oh. It's amazing 'cause she's in the middle of that bizarro world.

RDM: Yeah, and she's totally disconnected from everybody else.

This Lee-Adama stuff... this was pretty much always there. I'm trying to remember... I don't recall going through a lot of revisions on these scenes. It was nice the way- well, it's not nice. It's a trick. I needed still cover some other exposition for later events and so I made Adama get up and walk out of the room, and he's walking out of the room to avoid talking to his son. So Lee is continuing to go at him, but basically I used this as a chance to get some exposition out, because as Adama's walking away he's talking about the fact, "Oh, and did you know that the Centurions are- can't distinguish between the Cylons and that they did this deliberately because they were worried about their own Cylon up- their own machine uprising." And that's essentially only in the show because you gotta set up the fact that when Sharon walks into the detention center later, to get the codes, which is actually in a much later episode, but- (Laughs.) Anyway. Actually, no, it does play in this. You need to know that. I needed to setup something about Sharon, and the fact that the Centurions could not tell our Sharon from any of the other Sharons, and so I used this little moment to get Adama to say that. But it worked in the scene because emotionally he's trying to get away from Lee and he's walking away from him and he's trying to change the subject. He's trying to talk about something else, so he does this, what seems to be a meaningless piece of exposition about, "Oh the Centurions," and what they can do and what they can't do. And it never takes you out of the scene, and we still get to the same end point where Lee changes his mind and gets Adama to see that he's asking too much. It still gets to the same place, but it's a nice way of slipping this card in at some earlier part in the script where later, when Sharon does need to get past a Centurion, and- without getting caught, you've laid in the predicate for it. You've established why she can get past that Centurion. And you did it in this very offhand way earlier in the script. It's just a trick. It's just one of the little tricks of screenwriting. You find little ways to set- it's all about laying down cards and picking them up later. So you lay down this card here in this scene about how- seemingly meaningless talk, Adama says, "Sharon can go do this thing," and then later you pick that card up. 'Cause the audience remembers. If the audience watches, they remember almost everything. It's really surprising. It's just little references and little tweaks early in the show. If you pay 'em off correctly later, they all fit together and the audience appreciates the fact that they're rewarded for following along.

In early drafts of this, this was different. The plan was different. I'm trying to recall what we- what we originally did, but I don't think- it wasn't that Adama- the idea that Adama sends Pegasus off was something we did much later. I'm trying to recall, in fact I'll look up here on my computer what it was I did in the first draft in the Adama-Lee stuff. Racetrack... Tyrol... Leoben... Yeah, there's nothing better than listening me to me look around on my computer for information. Well, I won't even try it. Essentially, the difference is that Pegasus was actually going to go, and do the rescue mission, and not Galactica. And that that explains certain things that will happen in later episodes. But the whole idea that Adama sends Pegasus off with the civilian Fleet to safeguard the remnants of humanity in case they fail then goes back and fights the Cylons on his own, is not what initially happened. We were always talking about having Pegasus back there, originally, then it would be they were transferring people onto Pegasus because Pegasus was the most powerful battlestar and it was the strongest battlestar and you would send the strongest ship into the fight and that'd explain why Pegasus was there, when it needs to be there in "Exodus" and not Galactica. But that didn't really play. It didn't play as strongly and it was confusing and the idea that Adama lays down the law to- or Lee lays down the law to Adama, and he listens to him, is more provocative.

I love this scene. This is where Tigh and- Laura confronts Tigh. I like the fact that Laura walks out of that Baltar scene and actually is agreeing with Baltar, if you think about it. She walks out of that scene and she goes and confronts the insurgents and says, "This has to stop." And then when he says something about her being on the side of the Cylons and she slaps him, I mean, we've never Laura ever hit anybody. She won't carry- she wouldn't touch a gun. She's not that kind of person. But that idea that she was on the Cylon side, that she would hit Tigh. And then this, I love this. This is just the long shot of just Michael Hogan. Michael Hogan is the unsung hero of this show because Michael Hogan is a very modest man and Michael Hogan does not do a lot of press. He doesn't do a lot of interviews for the press. He doesn't do-

Terry: He turns them down?

RDM: He turns them down.

Terry: Really?

RDM: All the time. And he gets a lot of them.

Terry: Why?

RDM: Michael- Michael is- he has this belief that it's not about that. It's not about what he has to say.

Terry: Really?

RDM: It's not about what he's has to say as a person. He doesn't think it matters. What matters to Michael is what Michael puts onscreen.

Terry: He's an actor?

RDM: I know, it's astonishing. (Laughs.)

Terry: I'm sorry.

RDM: I've stood outside the-

Terry: I love all of you, you know that.

RDM: I've stood outside the production offices in Vancouver with Michael, smoking cigarettes, and stood out there and Mike would say, "Y'know, I just," and I'd say, "Michael, you gotta do this publicity thing." He's like, "No. You know what? I'm just not about that. That's not what it's about for me. I just think it's a great show."

Terry: That's impressive. But you know what?

RDM: He loves the show. He just wants the show to stand for itself and he's not into promoting Michael Hogan.

Terry: I mean, everybody's different. And they all have their different responses to that kind of thing, but it makes sense when you look at his performance.

RDM: It's a very brave-

Terry: It's a very internal-

RDM: -it's internal. It's very brave. It's very vulnerable.

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: And his performance in this opening is just fantastic. He's really- he's the one I identify- of all the characters, I identify with Tigh the most, in this opening.

Terry: Oh. In this opening.

RDM: In this opening two-hour, I'm just so with him emotionally.

Terry: Really?

RDM: So... connected to...

Terry: Why is that?

RDM: I don't know why. As I was writing it I felt the same way. Here's the man who's been maimed.

Terry: I mean- and he's also the one that really comes off as, as far as I'm concerned, the worst of what happens in war.

RDM: Yeah.

Terry: What people can become legitimately. They can become what-

RDM: He goes to this place.

Terry: -the same thing that the people have done to them.

RDM: Yeah. And I really had sympathy for that point of view. I didn't want to judge him for it. I was really- I wanted to understand and I wanted to be there and know why you would do this kind of thing. What can happen to you? What could affect you as a human being? Where would you be that you would do this? And it was just so horrific and just was with him the whole way.

Terry: Hmm. That's interesting too, because you- we tend as a culture to expect people to behave always the best in the worst possible circumstances, and they don't. That's one of the reasons why, in my opinion, Moore is so scary because people do really bad things in really bad circumstances.

RDM: Yeah.

Terry: It's human nature.

RDM: Well there's a point we can all be driven to.

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: There's a point we can all be driven to.

Terry: That's why it's- I don't understand everybody's shock and dismay at some of this stuff that goes on in war.

RDM: No. Well, read any hist- any study of war will tell you that it's an ugly game.

Terry: Extraordinary circumstances.

RDM: It's- it is, yeah, the definition of extraordinary circumstances.

Terry: That's disturbing.

RDM: Yeah, the shot of-

Terry: That's a hard thing to do with a kid and it's really a hard thing to- a position to put a kid in.

RDM: Yeah, I know.

Terry: (unintelligble)

RDM: I know. She's referring to the shot of Kacey laying on the landing with blood coming out of her head. I know. I completely agree. It's a hard thing to do. Here's Kasey lying in the hospital bed afterward. But ask- I don't know. When I was writing it, I wanted to really put the fear into Kara and into the audience, because I'm asking a lot here. We're asking to- for Kara to cross over the idea that this is a trick. She has to emotionally move past the place where she is suspecting that it's all bullshit and she can just write it off, and it doesn't matter. She's been holding this child at a distant- arms-length, and when the child is hurt and you think you might be the parent, that there's a moment where you sit on the other side of that hospital bed and you accept the coffee cup from Leoben and suddenly you're just a parent. And I needed it to be really graphic and really horrific to take the audience with her, so that they're not going, "Oh. Come on, Kara."

Act 3

RDM: This is a fun scene, too. This is like Cally, God, you've gotta love Cally. She's like... just this little wisp of a nymph of a girl, and she is like just such a fireball. One of her first episodes she was biting the ear off of a prisoner-

Terry: It's true.

RDM: (Laughs.) -on the Astral Queen. It's a gun shot.

Terry: It's like seeing your sister in these insane circumstances.

RDM: I know. She's so hard core. I just love Cally. (Laughs.) She's just somethin' else. And now put her in the detention center, and she's just gonna get in Sharon's face. "Frak you, Sharon, you stupid frakked up toaster." And Tyrol married her. Just remember that. What does that say about Tyrol? (Laughs.) These are the two women in Tyrol's life.

Terry: Oh, that's true. I forgot. That's right.

RDM: The Cylon and Cally. Yeah, that's them. Those are the women that Tyrol-

Terry: Some men like their women feisty.

RDM: Some women- like really strong, feisty women. What kind of strange men are they?

Terry: I have no idea.

RDM: (Laughs.)

Terry: Masochists, clearly.

RDM: Some men are just damaged and need help.

Terry: (Laughs.)

RDM: This is the next suicide bomber. Oh great, that made it in. The security camera footage was something I tortured the visual effects guys about quite a bit, because the first iteration of it- yeah it's in black and white, but it still looks really good. And they kept beating them up and making them go back in and degrade the video image and make it look like crappy VHS, which is what I said I wanted-

Terry: They must have loved that.

RDM: -with the streaks and they just- Gary is a pro about it. Every time we would tell Gary, "(unitelligble) look worse," Gary's like, "Oh yeah. Absolutely. I totally agree. I totally see it." And then the next time he's like, "Yeah, I think we can go a little further." But I can hear that it's taking the content of his soul every time that I do it.

This is a great shot. This is- Sergio wanted to do this three- this is a three-sixty around the room. Camera never stops and we're doubling, we're doing the digital duplication over and over again. And he's timed it really well. But this was like- talk about torturing your actors. This was like putting your actors in a room and turning out the lights and hitting them with cattle prods randomly. Because it's just so tedious. And it's- takes so fucking long.

Terry: I mean I guess you have to constantly go from one to the other.

RDM: It's one- and you have to time that it's a motion control shot, so the camera is on a fixed movement and they have to time their line correctly and they have to listen to the other line, and they have to look in the right direction. And then we have to do it again. You have to sit over here now, and there's a wardrobe change in between. And wardrobe takes so goddamn long-

Terry: Hey!

RDM: -and like do everything.

Terry: It does not.

RDM: How long does it take to change a costume? D'anna has to do a costume change. How long does it take?

Terry: Well, once you have to get to get her off the set, that's usually what takes so long, is getting her off and on the set.

RDM: And how long does it take to change the costume?

Terry: How long does it take you to change your clothes? You do it every day.

RDM: Well...

Terry: Five minutes? Ten minutes?

RDM: Well why does it always seem to take like twenty, thirty minutes?

Terry: Because hair and makeup steals them a lot of the time.

RDM: Oh, it's hair and makeup...

Terry: No! No, no. A lot of stuff going on, then they at stop at craft service, they go to the bathroom, they- somebody comes u- a producer, comes up to tell them about the latest brilliant prose he's written for them.

RDM: (Chuckles.)

Terry: And all the time the poor wardrobe people are going, "Where's the actress and why isn't she here?" See. Blame wardrobe, always blame wardrobe.

RDM: Well, they can't fight back, so that why I beat up on them.

Terry: Oh, excuse me? I think I-

RDM: Well, they can fight back. They dont-

Terry: I think I worked with you...

RDM: That's true. Actually, sometimes they can fight back and they have claws.

Terry: Very long, sharp ones.

RDM: This beat here where- where Doral-

Terry: Oh my god. I forgot about this.

RDM: Well I cut it at some point. Doral shoots Caprica-Six and down she goes. We clearly scripted this and shot it and it was in the initial cuts, as this show was coming down it was still too long, even at two hours and I had to- well, it's two hours, that's not unreasonable. It's two episodes. So I had to make cuts. And one of the cuts I was making for time and for other reasons was in this scene I cut that moment. I cut the moment where he shoots Caprica-Six.

Terry: That's Caprica-Six?

RDM: The one that got shot was Caprica-Six, yeah. Now we're in his head-

Terry: Now I'm understanding something here. So there's- so within the models, there are numerous models-

RDM: -of each one.

Terry: So like there's a lot of Caprica-Six's, there's a lot of-

RDM: Well there's a lot of Six's. There's one-

Terry: I know there's a lot of Six's.

RDM: There's one Caprica-Six.

Terry: I thought she got blown up by the nuclear bomb.

RDM: Yes. That's the continu- the soul, the person-

Terry: Ohhhh. I see.

RDM: -that was Caprica-Six is the woman that was actually with him...

Terry: So there's always a Caprica-Six.

RDM: Caprica-Six continues. She just moves into other bodies.

Terry: Ok. I get it.

RDM: Now-

Terry: I didn't know that.

RDM: The thing here was that I cut the moment of Doral shooting Caprica-Six and James Callis was very upset and because shooting Caprica-Six in many ways-

Terry: -was his motivation-

RDM: -moves him. It's the fear of it. It's the shock of it.

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: The visceral shock of the blood and the murder.

Terry: And losing the Six that he really did love.

RDM: And then having the experience with head-Six, as they call her in the writer's room, or Number Six is how I refer to her, the fantasy Six.

Terry: Right.

RDM: It's the combination of those two events that really makes him sign the document. James was very concerned all the way through that Baltar never become a complete villain.

Terry: And I think he's right.

RDM: And I think he is right. And that's why, when he asked- and it was very late in the process. I showed it to James, and James- and he was very upset by the fact that we had lost that moment of Doral shooting Caprica. And I was like, "Well, you know what? I lost it for time, but I also think that it doesn't matter b- I think it's important to cut it anyway because nobody responds to the fact that she gets shot and that's a big deal in the Cylon world, blah, blah, blah." But he pressed the point, and I started to realize, you know what? No, it's more important to protect the character, Baltar. It's more important that Baltar- that we understand why Baltar does these things, so it was very late in the game when I restored that edit back into the show.

Terry: He does go on, doesn't he? What about this thing with Boomer? (Laughs.)

RDM: This is all about me going on.

Terry: I understand. What about Boomer becoming-

RDM: An officer?

Terry: -back in the Fleet?

RDM: We wanted- it was something we talked about in the writer's room. We were- we didn't want to keep Boomer in this jail cell. We felt like, that story had run it's course. I didn't want to just keep making Boom- sorry, not Boomer, now I've screwed it up, Sharon- didn't want to keep just having Sharon be the woman that sits in the cell all day. There was nothing interesting about that. We had done as much as we could with that. And that there was something more interesting about, again, the idealism of the fact that if there's a point where Adama wants to believe in her. Adama wants her to be in that uniform again.

Terry: Well it also makes the Cylons ever so much more interesting and less one-dimensional.

RDM: Absolutely. And that- and it's important to me and it's important to me as a storyteller that Sharon now be worthy of that.

Terry: Oh... my... God.

RDM: Oh, Ellen and-

Terry: Oops. Yeah.

RDM: (Laughs.)

Terry: You guys know what that is, right?

RDM: "The twist" and "the swirl". Ok. This is a complete homage to Seinfeld, because I am a complete Seinfeld nut.

Terry: Raymond Shaw, are you listening to this?

RDM: I was into- I watch Seinfeld a couple of times a night. As my wife will testify.

Terry: Well, a couple is putting it mildly.

RDM: A couple is putting it mildly. So "the twist" and "the swirl" is a complete homage to Seinfeld, I just totally cop to it, and am proud to do it.

Kate Vernon. Kate Vernon, this is a difficult thing to act- ask an actress to do. It's sexual, it's overt, it's tawdry. It's weak. She's bruised. She's in a- it's Dean Stockwell, who's much older than Kate is. And it's a difficult role to play. And Kate just delivers such a great performance for us that- I'm really proud of her. I think she really embraced what this material was and just was very naked and it's hard to watch some sections of the next few episodes with Ellen, because it's a very-

Terry: Raw.

RDM: -raw. I mean, look in those eyes. She's just brave. And considering where that story began, where that character began.

Terry: Yeah. Women throughout time who've ended up in bed with their captors as a way of survival and the conflict that it creates within them. It's really interesting.

Act 4

RDM: Now we're back here.

These are real beards. Just to- for nothing else than to talk about for the moment.

Terry: Huh. Wow.

RDM: Nice shift of tone, this the real beard of- (Chuckles.)

Terry: Should I have one of the animals do tricks or something to kill the dead space?

RDM: (Laughs.) No. I was suddenly at a loss.

Terry: Call out the garbage man?

RDM: See? I'm not used to doing a two-hour. The two hours are a little scarier.

Terry: Oh is this two hours?

RDM: This is a two hour.

Liberty. Roll over. Roll over, Liberty.

Terry: Liberty?

RDM: Saturday Night Live! Chevy Chase doing Gerald Ford.

Terry: I don't know what you're talking about. Maybe we should name one of the cats Liberty. Justice.

RDM: No. I'm going for Trouble and Strife.

Terry: Yeah, I don't think so.

RDM: Trouble and Strife. Those should be the names of the cats.

Here we are. Ellen gets the map. Tigh wants to burn the map. Ellen pockets the map. Ellen gives map to Cylons. Ok. What happens now? How bad is this about to get for one Ellen Tigh and for one Colonel Tigh?

Terry: Probably pretty bad, given what show they're on.

RDM: Yeah.

I had some conversations with Michael Hogan about, what's the intention here? I mean, when he heard he was losing his eye and getting a limp, he was like, "Ok. What are you going for? What's the deal here? What's this all about?" 'Cause Michael's Canadian and his "y'know" and the "about", "y'know", kind of comes through with Michael quite bit it.

Terry: Hey... that's Scottish, honey.

RDM: Eh? Oh, sorry. Yeah. My accents are suspect.

But when I explained to Michael that I'm going for the walking wounded, the symbol for all the losses that they've taken, then he just ran with it. He was totally cool with it after that.

Terry: Speaking of good performances.

RDM: Oh yeah. A.J., he's just great. You really- and wait till you see him in "Collaborators". Episode four, but the third episode broadcast.

This whole storyline now dealing with the rounding of the pris- from this point on we're doing homages to other pieces of work. This is now about pace and rhythm and visuals and moving you through what's going on. This interior argument among the Cylons I thought was fascinating, given this context. Here's the guys with the hoods over them being marched into the trucks for the death squads, and yet there's internal dissent, and it was all about, again, providing texture and also saying that the situation is not so easily read. That there are two sides to everything. That their world view of what they're going through and how they view these situations. You're with them, very much, in this scene. There's Cally, but, emotionally you're with Sharon and you're with D'anna and you're dealing with their issues. And then, all these prisoners, they're in the background because that's the perspective of that world. And then, enter Tom Zarek. Which I think is really a nice, little grace note as we approach the end of the second hour, to suddenly bring in Tom. It's like, "Oh, woah! Wait a minute!" I like the fact that he and Laura can connect in this circumstance and joke with each other and be easy with each other. That's one of the better- that is completely CGI right now.

Terry: Really?

RDM: There's no plate. It's not a real forest or anything.

Terry: Very nice.

RDM: Completely CGI.

Now we're at the river. We had to figure out what New Caprica looked like. There was a- it was definitely a challenge to try to differentiate New Caprica from Caprica, which you saw extensively in season one.

Terry: By the way, I really like where Anders is going.

RDM: I know. Anders has really developed into one of our major characters.

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: For somebody that was-

Terry: -who brought a lot of depth.

RDM: -A lot of depth. I think the actor has really become interesting in that he's really provides a lot of nice textures into the show. He's really good in this two-parter. In this two-hour. In these two episodes. Whatever you want to call them. I'm so into Anders. Here's this guy, this, Pyramid, this athlete, who became a resistance leader and then got rescued by this pilot and now he's doing a second resistance on another planet.

Terry: Well, it's so heroic.

RDM: It's very heroic.

Terry: It's the guy in the French Resistance.

RDM: He reeks heroism.

Terry: Oh yeah.

RDM: But that's a nice little beat there.

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: You really- as an actor, he hugs her and then he's like, "What am I doing?"

Terry: Woah! Yeah.

RDM: Why are there trucks on New Caprica? You know what? Because we need trucks on New Caprica. (Chuckles.) Because I didn't want to do landspeeders and hovercrafts and all that kind of crap, which would really take you- if suddenly these were shots of hovercraft and air vehicles moving around the scene, you would be taken out of the drama.

Terry: You know, I have to say. I read these things all the time and it's like I've watched this- this is my third time watching this episode. I never think about that kind of thing, 'cause I'm actually watching the development between the two people. So what kind of trucks-

RDM: Well, but see, if I put hover- If I put like-

Terry: -so what they're driving- It seems so- I don't know-

RDM: Well, that's exactly-

Terry: I just don't- It's a non-issue.

RDM: That's exactly why I do that. Because if I put a shot in there-

Terry: I'd be going, "Oh, look. Hovercraft."

RDM: Yeah. You would be taken emotionally out of the moment.

Terry: But I mean it's not just this one, it's all movies. I just- Crews used to go crazy because I wouldn't notice continuity errors. I just don't-

RDM: I think you're either into it or you're not.

Terry: If you're listening to the actors-

RDM: If you're involved- If you're involved in the scene emotionally-

Terry: Yeah, and what's the saying in Hollywood? If you're noticing the-

RDM: If you're noticing "fill in the blank"-

Terry: -then we've done a really-

RDM: That's right.

Terry: -then we're doing a bad job.

RDM: That's right. There's a lot of continuity errors in great films. In Casablanca, in Citizen Kane. There's continuity errors and all kinds of mistakes, but you don't see them.

Terry: If you're doing your job you don't notice them. And you don't really think about the fact that, "Oh, look. There's trucks." I guess if you've watched the episode seventy five hundred times, perhaps, I don't know.

RDM: This sequence, this leading up to the Cylons shooting them is an homage t- is a deliberate homage to The Great Escape. This is like the end of the movie when Richard Attenborough-

Terry: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

RDM: -and the other guy are captured and they're taken out in trucks and the Nazis say, "Get out and have a five minute break."

Terry: Yeah.

RDM: And they all just walk out, and it's like, "It was a great moment. We really tried." And they're looking at the mountains and then suddenly-

Terry: They turn around.

RDM: they turn around and machine gun. It's a different context and we play it a little differently, but this little interlude with Laura and Zarek, it takes you in a different place. It's the same trick. It's the same sort of structural idea. You take the audience over here a little bit. You get 'em involved in this little lighter moment. It's a little bit more of a joke.

Terry: They clearly have never seen The Great Escape.

RDM: They've never seen The Great Escape.

Terry: (Chuckles.)

RDM: And you're intercutting with the river. And then... all hell breaks loose.

I love this. I think this is one of the really interesting elements of the show is that Jammer, the collaborator, Jammer saves Cally.

Terry: Well, but that's kind of what I was saying about Ellen Tigh, again. You just- people in extraordinary circumstances... you cannot predict what they're going to do.

RDM: No. You can't.

Terry: And that- and it will always be that way. That is human nature.

RDM: He lets her go.

Terry: That's why you try to set up extraordinary circumtances.

RDM: So what do we feel about Jammer? How do you judge Jammer? Judge Jammer. Tell me the good and the bad of him. I think it's a complicated picture. I think people make complicated choices in complicated situations.

Terry: Well we were talking about that with the whole business of shaving the heads of the women who slept with-

RDM: -with the Nazis.

Terry: -the Nazis. And your initial thing is to condemn them, but at the same time you think, "Well you really are asking ordinary people to choose between- to make a conscious choice between life and death."

RDM: Yeah.

Terry: Is that it, it's over?

RDM: That is it. That is the end of our season premiere. I think you're gonna like the next one.

Terry: You are.

RDM: I think "Exodus, Part I" and "II" is pretty good.

Terry: You really are. How far have I seen? Episode, like, seven?

RDM: You have seen up to episode ten.

Terry: Ten? It's really good.

RDM: Up to episode ten.

Terry: It's really, really good.

RDM: Well, thank you for listening to the podcast, as always. And enjoy the show, and we will talk to you next on "Exodus".

Terry: Goodnight.

RDM: Goodnight.