RDM: Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode 11 of the 4th season, "The Hub". I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica and I'm here in the editing bay with a roomful of people as we discuss "The Hub". I'm joined by the writer of the episode...
Jane Espenson: Hi, that's me. Jane Espenson, co-executive producer.
RDM: ...and the editor...
Michael O'Halloran: Hi, Michael O'Halloran
RDM: ...and the supervising editor
Andy Seklir: Andy Seklir
RDM: And we are all here because my podcasting technical expertise has failed us once again and now we are just going to do this right so everybody can hear. There's no Scotch, unfortunately, it's too early in the morning; there is just Diet Coke, and of course the smoking lamp is closed.
RDM: This one was one of the episodes that was talked about early on in the writers' reteat as part of the first batch of episodes of the lead-in to the midseason finale. It's, I recall, the initial notion centered around just putting Laura and Baltar in some isolated situation where Baltar was dying or was severely wounded, and Laura held his life literally in her hands; and during that story she would learn the secret of what had happened during the original attack on the Colonies, that he was actually a participant in it; and yet somehow through the course of the story she would actually forgive him and save him. And that was kind of... -- let's start from that as a premise to sort of turn the characters and just sort of progress the storyline. What else do you recall?
JE: I actually remember the earliest original idea for this -- you had said you wanted this sort of dark journey for her where she'd sort of be pulled over and pulled under and metaphorically repeatedly pulled underwater. And we'd originally talked about this idea that you would intercut between scenes of her dying, injured, in Baltar's arms and Baltar dying, injured, in her arms; and you'd go back and forth between the two and you don't reveal which one of those is actually happening until late in the episode. That one of them is the fevered dream of the person who's dying.
RDM: Oh, I vaguely remember that.
JE: Yeah, and that was the original idea. And then that was just too complicated to sustain, and so we went with -- pick one of them. And this was the first approximation of the structure that emerged.
RDM: And what was the variant of the simplest storyline that you can remember back at the beginning? Did we already have the rebel baseship as already established by the time we started talking about this?
JE: Yes, I think so... I actually think that this was developed quite quickly -- in the course of breaking the episodes. So I think we already knew that by the time we were talking about going into this.
RDM: I remember in the initial stages we came up with this fractured story structure that's actually more fractured than the story this episode now. The way it was originally broken and scripted was -- well it started at the end, right?
JE: Yeah -- the end of the teaser was her ripping the bandage off Baltar. And it was sort of, "well, how did we get here?" And then all of her flashbacks involving Elosha were taking place during that time that Baltar was lying there and bleeding out. They weren't a result of the jumping. And I think this restructuring is really smart -- to tie it into the jumping.
RDM: It was a really great -- I remember really liking the draft. When the first draft came in it was one of my favorite reads for a while because there was a real interesting flow... starting at the end, and going into different fantasies and Laura... you were so -- it kept you off balance and you were trying to figure out what was really going on and what was real and what wasn't real; and you saw Laura dying in sick bay, and you saw Helo and Sharon running through corridors,and there was a battle, and there was this Baltar thing... And I really enjoyed it. I really remember responding strongly to the script and then getting the note from the studio and the network, "Well, this runs the risk of being a bit confusing, don't you think?" To which I responded "No, what are you talking about? It'll be fine! Trust us, we know what the hell we're doing." And then we didn't do too much rewriting. Were there a lot of changes between the first draft and the second draft? Or subsequent drafts?
JE: No... Once we got up to Vancouver and we were in production meetings and everyone was sweating over a particular sequence that I had in there... once we removed that -- just lifted it wholesale out of there -- yeah, it pretty much stayed. Until, I guess, it was cut together, which -- I never saw it cut together in the non-linear form.
RDM: Oh, really? You never saw the...
RDM: ..director's cut?
One of the editors: It was about twenty minutes over, the full director's cut.
RDM: Yeah, it was twenty minutes long.
RDM: There's the end of the tease.