Podcast:Home, Part II

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"Home, Part II" Podcast
[[Image:{{{image}}}|200px|Home, Part II]]
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Speaker(s)
Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Terry Dresbach
David Eick
David Eick
Comedy Elements
Scotch:
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Teaser

RDM: Hello again. I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica.

Eick: And I'm David Eick. I also work the show a little bit from time to time.

RDM: (Chuckles.) And we're here to do the podcast commentary for episode seven, "Home, Part II". As we said last week, this was originally all one episode. And as development went on we just realized that there was just way too much story to try to tell this entire tale inside of one hour so this got split up into two piece.

We're still in the recaps from last week. A side note is these recaps are endlessly worked over (laughs) in the editing process, back and forth.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: There's endless discussions from everybody. From the editors and us to the studio and the network of exactly which elements should be reprised from last week and it's all having to do with, ok, new viewers to the show who may not understand the storyline versus people who just need to be refreshed and brought up to date. And so these little sequences- actually as I'm watching this I'm realizing that's- I don't even remember which pieces are in the recap anymore because I get so bored with the process of arguing about the recap that at as certain point I just ignore it and it's like, ok, the recap will tell people something.

Eick: Yeah. They'll bring something to the table.

RDM: They'll bring something.

Eick: This is also- this episode is in the category of "be careful what you wish for" in a way, 'cause as Ron was saying we learned early enough that we were able to do something about it the episode was too long or had too much story to tell in one episode, but what it really had was about an episode and a half. And so we were able to come up with a strategy, pitch it to the network, get the network to approve us, extending this to a two-parter, which was, in its own way a victory because it didn't have the kind of definitive plot engine that you would have in last year's episodes four and five to make that case. And they finally said yes. And Ron and I were in Vancouver, "Yeah," high-fiving each other, slamming beers, whatever we were doing to celebrate having gotten this approval, but of course we were about to embark on the first day of prep on episode six and realized we had to basically come up with half an epsiode to flesh out episode seven that would also have a backwards domino effect into episode six. So by the time we were sitting at dinner that night, basically rebreaking these two episodes and wondering how they were gonna get accompli- how they were gonna get written before we actually had to shoot them, it was one of those, "Uh oh. What did we just step in."

RDM: (unitelligble) what?

Eick: And so- But this, I remember this scene showed up. This sce- this teaser showed up a few days later. Ron had gone back to LA. I was still in Vancouver and I was so thrilled with it because it was exactly what you want to start an episode like this with. It was a very changeup approach, rhythmically. It was a series of scenes- the cut is really pretty faithful to how it was written. In which we're seeing disparate pieces of activity and business that are, in a sort of magical way, linking these two very far away places. And I just thought it was really powerful and a way of starting an episode that even if you hadn't seen episode six, there's still this compelling mystery being unraveled to you that would make you interested in episode seven.

RDM: And I actually enjoy writing these kinds of sequences. This is reminicent of, in some ways, of the beginning of "Kobol's Last Gleaming".

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: Where we started with a lot of silent, just visual shots of all the different story elements that were happening in that episode. This is a little simpler in that you're going back and forth between two groups of people in- one group going somewhere, the other group looking for them. And there's just some, I don't know, I really enjoy the intercut of it and finding the little thematic ties and what it- you're telling the story visually instead of with dialogue and a lot of tv- so much of tv is just talking heads-

Eick: (simultaneously) Talking heads.

RDM: -and people telling you things endlessly. And it's always interesting when you can try to- especially start an episode just visually. To just make it film. To just tell- show it instead of tell it.

Eick: So although there was a lot of shuffling of scenes, basically what we- and so it wasn't quite this scientific but by and large the first half of this episode was all brand new and the second half of the episode picked up where we had left off the original second half of episode six. So it was a bit of a mental jumble and a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls, a lot of flurry and we were fortunate that episode six was directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, who had done episode five last year, and this year's episode seven was directed by Jeff Woolnough, who'd done episode ten last year, "The Hand of God". So we're dealing with directors who knew the show and who were pretty intimate with the characters and with the style and the do's and don't's of Battlestar Galactica and that helped the process because we were able to continue to refine the script as we went without running the risk of having the director hopelessly confused. This also- this episode was uniquely difficult, production-wise. Probably the most difficult episode we've done of the series, production-wise, with possible exception of the finale last year, because of the exteriors and because of the number of characters in all the scenes. And when you're working on an eight day schedule and just having to cover the dialogue and the reactions and the different points of view of every scene, well, when you've got two or three people in a room it's one thing. When you've got eight people standing on a hillside, you can shoot all day and get a page of film. So it's it was a real challenge.

RDM: How many days out was this?

Eick: This was six days out, two days in, and that was after a lot of struggle. It was originally seven days out, one day in.

RDM: 'Cause there's a pattern that we do in each episode. Generally our pattern is five days in, three days out. But that's just- for budgetary reasons you look it at that way 'cause days out are generally more expensive than days interior on the stage and so you apportion yourself a given number as a pattern, week in, week out. So to really upend it and go- to go six out and two in really changes a lot of the dynamics of how you're shooting the show, how you're budgeting the show and it's hard. And then add rain to the sequence, which I added.

Eick: (Laughs.) It was out, it was in, it was out, it was in-

RDM: It was out, it was in. There was lots of complaining about the rain. Well, can we do the rain? We gotta have these big sprinklers out there and hose them down and it makes the cast miserable and everybody gets miserable. But if they're just tromping through the woods and that's all that there is, it just didn't have the same sense of-

Eick: Well, during the Hercules and Xena days, Rob Tappert used to say women on horseback was the cheapest special effect. (Laughs.)

RDM: (Chuckles.)

Eick: The second cheapest special effect is rain.

RDM: Rain.

Eick: Rain looks great on film, it adds a whole dimension to the scene, you're pulled into the drama in a different way because there's just this inherent desperation to everything because everyone's wet and trying to survive. And- so I'm thrilled we kept it. It was not the episode you would ideally do that.

Act 1

Eick: Now we're watching what is technically a rough cut. This is by and large a locked edit of the episode although we have not done our final-

RDM: Final visual effects or...

Eick: -polish. Watch the-

RDM: Color time. Or any of this.

Eick: Well, I mean, we haven't even like done- On all of these there's at least one watchthrough where you make ten little adjustments and you-

RDM: Oh, that's true.

Eick: You go out on a different beat, you add a closeup, you take out a closeup. And so I think the timing will still be identical, but we'll try not to remark on a scene that-

RDM: Any particular cuts.

Eick: Yeah. (Laughs.)

RDM: This is the best part. This exact time index.

Eick: (Laughs.) So this is more of the mythos that we talked about in the last podcast where a lot of the stuff flies off the cuff and you hope it works and then you backtrack and you go in and you try to make sure that there's actual integrity to it versus-

RDM: And a lot of this stuff on the Cylon- there's a tremendous amount of information, actually, about the Cylons. What they know. What the mythos is of the show that comes up in these two episodes. And a lot of it are things that we've talked about for a couple years and hinted at-

Eick: Never had the chance to do.

RDM: Just never did. Just never really brought out. And this was like a really good opportunity to do that.

This plot. This Baltar-Six plot. It was a late developer in the script. That shot's right out of Scandal, which I love. This whole storyline with Six telling Baltar that he's actually just crazy is something that I think dates back to season one. We were in love with this idea that at some point Six would change the game and tell Baltar, "You know what?"

Eick: "Just kidding."

RDM: "You're right. Just kidding. You're nuts. There's no chip in your head, you moron. You're just having a psychotic break." And that was a really delicious idea and I always wanted to play it. And for some reason it went in and out of a couple of storylines. And then we forgot about it and we were working on this story- on this script and again, we had to flesh this out and make it a full-blown episode on its own and the question came, "Well, what is Baltar doing during all this?" He's not gonna go to Kobol. We knew that right up front. We didn't want to play that. Well, what would be interesting to cut back to him and I don't remember how we- we just said, "What about that old story?"

Eick: Well this was in- there was a version of this in the oldest draft of episode six. Remember, he went into the cage and Six wasn't there but Sharon was there.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And we played this whole development where he was seeing Sharon in his head and then Sharon became Number Six and said, "You're just going crazy."

RDM: Oh, right.

Eick: And it the fin- we were finally doing it, but it just didn't it didn't fit, we weren't sure about breaking the law of who Baltar sees in his head. Did we really want to say he starts seeing other Cylons in his head? So we abandoned that and it had been cut but when, again, when we decided to expand what had been one episode into two, we still were in need of some new material to flesh out an entire second episode and it was a perfect opportunity to bring this notion back in because it's hysterical to me. (Chuckles.)

RDM: Yeah, I think this is very funny.

Eick: I love the idea that he's wondering if he's really gone mad.

RDM: I love that he just goes off in such a typical Baltar rant there. Just, James off doing his thing and then suddenly she's like laughing. And this is really closer to how Trish actually looks. Trish wears her hair in a ponytail quite often and wears sweats and this is kinda who she is and it's fun to just suddenly change the character so completely. And then he would be so taken off stride by just how natural she is and that she seems perfectly genuine. She's telling him that he's just crazy. "Wake up and smell the psychosis."

Eick: Yeah, that was one of my favorite lines.

She's- but yeah Trish is like this in life. She's disarmingly approachable.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: There's that quality to supermodels and it's not stretching it to say that that's what Trish was and is. I mean, she was a big, big deal in the modeling world and is only- that's only in the past tense because she's begun to develop such a talent as an actor now that she's fielding calls from all over the place. But she has this quality to her that it is a- that's a very approachable, very accessible. When you see her she's the first person in the room you gravitate to, not just because she looks like what she looks like, but because there's nothing about her that is that is that quintessential supermodel, get- stay away from me.

RDM: There's nothing offputting about her at all.

Eick: Nothing offputting. And it's great because she's very bright. She's from a farm in Toronto, well, upstate Canada, basically, and she's just very down-home. (Chuckles.) Which you wouldn't necessarily expect.

RDM: The look on James' face. (Laughs.) He conveys fear so well.

Eick: Yeah. Fear and-

RDM: Fear and-

Eick: -confusion-

RDM: -confusion-

Eick: It's really- it's interesting because it takes a lot of guts to play this sort of thing.

RDM: Oh, yeah.

Eick: 'Cause you don't know when you're going too far. I mean, he certainly has a natural metronome inside him that knows how to measure these kinds of rhythms but I would terrified as an actor to do some of what he does.

RDM: He's a very brave actor.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: He really is very vulnerable and exposes himself and takes a lot of risks with the character.

Eick: Well, I was on the set with him the first day we did- the first day of production on the miniseries was the sex scene with he and Number Six.

RDM: Oh, in the house?

Eick: Yeah. So he had just met this woman-

RDM: Oh my God.

Eick: And he's got to go in, get in bed, get naked, and grind with her... topless because we were shooting her from behind and she was topless. And she's very- she's a very free spirit. She's very comfortable with her body, obviously, but James, I was just- I couldn't believe he didn't have a complete panic attack. I just was so shocked. It's like, looking at him in awe, going, "How are you doing this? Isn't this..." He was having a blast.

RDM: And this scene has one of the few times that we've actually run up against broadcast standards and practices and they slapped us back down. We argued to no avail.

Eick: I'm so proud this little-

RDM: Yeah, this is a great little sequence that I added to it to. The original line that Tyrol has coming up here is-

Eick: "Topography's for pussies."

RDM: Yep. "Topography's for pussies." And then I added in the beat later where Adama says, "Yeah, and Adar was a prick."

Eick: "Was a prick," yeah.

RDM: And they wouldn't let us say either one. Which I guess is gender equal, actually.

Eick: Exactly! (Chuckles.)

RDM: They wouldn't let us say "pricks" or "pussies". And I made a very- I actually called broadcast standards-

Eick: I remember, yeah.

RDM: -and made some whole eloquent pitch about, "Well, it's context and he's not calling someone a pussy. It's not used as an epithet. It's really just a general statement of life and that 'Adar's a prick,' is a joke. It's not harsh. It's not demeaning." And they just, "Oh, that's really interesting. No, you can't say it." It's just really annoying.

Eick: Yeah. It's a very arbitrary set of conditions-

RDM: Oh, it's so arbitrary.

Eick: They don't really give you a guidebook. You just- you get away with stuff you can't believe you got away with-

RDM: And it's cable, so it's like, they really do just make up their own rules.

Eick: Yeah. There's no one in control.

RDM: There's no FCC. It's just, whatever.

Oh. Now this is not a special effect.

Eick: No. This is a high pressure air blaster I was very adamant about us using. All throughout prep I was being told it was impossible because it can cause an embolism. It's blowing so hard into your flesh that it can cause an air bubble and kill you. But, I had to have it and so- and I felt the actors had lived very rich lives and if something were to go wrong they would go out like (unintelligble).

RDM: (Chuckles.) We'd get good press out of it.

Eick: Yeah, they'd die with their boots on. Come on. So it's basically, I'd seen it in a James Bond movie the first time called Moonraker which Roger Moore contraption that's simulating the g-forces that you pull in outer space. Well I didn't know how they did it until we had our prep meeting here I said, "In Moonraker, how does Roger Moore's cheek ripple? How do they do that?" 'Cause that was before CG and our special effects guy said, "Well, it's a high pressure blaster, but they're dangerous." I said, well-

RDM: "How dangerous?"

Eick: (Laughs.) "Define dangerous."

RDM: Dangerous is when I have to sit in front of it. Acceptable risk is when Eddie has to sit in front of it.

Eick: Exactly. Well, of course, all you have to tell Eddie is that it's dangerous. It'll make him do it.

RDM: Yeah, then it's like next he'll want to take one home.

This sequence. This is the campfire sequence, the first night. This is a little trick for those of you aspiring writers out there. There's a lot of characters in this scene. This is the enti- virtually the entire- a big chunk of the entire cast shows up for this sequence. Directors hate this. It's a lot of coverage. It's a lot of giving everybody a line, and it's just a nightmare to shoot. To corral all these actors simultaneously and try to stage it. So what I did here, you'll note that these are all grouped off in little pairings. Everybody's off and there's little couplets and there's little miniscenes where you can isolate just a couple of actors at a time which makes it a lot easier to shoot. Director still complains about it, because he got a little pieces to shoot.

Eick: In the rain.

RDM: And the rain. But, in essence, you've just given them a way to make these sequences doable. When you've got like eight major characters and they've all got lines and they're all talking together, directors just want to throw things at you. 'Cause it just really complicates-

Eick: Well, because on a- and not that they want to throw things at you as a matter of principle. It's because when you've got to shoot six or seven pages a day-

RDM: Yeah, when you're moving through this-

Eick: And you've got an eight day schedule, you're only hope of getting out alive is to have tricks like this. And even so we were way over schedule on this episode because it was- you're dealing with the elements, you're dealing with exteriors, you're dealing with loading them up (unintelligble)

RDM: To stay for night too, didn't they?

Eick: Yeah, they stayed for night.

This is James Remar who we introduced in the last podcast but who we were very fortunate to get to play the character Meier.

RDM: And I swear to God, somehow he looks younger than he did in 48 Hrs.. 48 Hrs. and the craggy, really all scarred up.

Eick: "I got shot. That's impossible."

RDM: "I don't believe it. I got shot." (Laughs.)

Eick: Oh yeah. "I don't believe it." He- for a guy who's so tied into a particular role, he loves talking about- a lot of these guys they don't want to talk about the thing that their known for-

RDM: Yeah, that they're famous for.

Eick: And James and I spent a lot of time talking about Walter Hill and talking about what it was like making that movie.

RDM: Yeah?

Eick: Oh yeah. He was very proud of it, as he should be.

Act 2

RDM: We're back on Kobol.

Eick: This is a sequence that had a lot of good stuff but it that had to get lifted for time.

RDM: Yeah, there's a lot of little character beats between everybody's- they're journey through the forest.

Eick: I had this scene where Billy-

RDM: Billy's not here yet.

Eick: Oh, yeah. But there was just (unintelligble)-

RDM: It was all a principal banter.

Eick: [??:??]Yeah. I mean, Billy at one point alerts to Laura Roslin that he's an atheist.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And you go, "Really?" She stops in her tracks.

RDM: "What?"

Eick: "What?"

RDM: Which I loved.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: I really regret losing that.

Eick: And he just says, "Yeah. For me it's never been about God. It's never been about that. It's that I believe in you and I believe in Commander Adama." Character beats like that get lifted a lot of time because at a certain point you have a proscribed number of minutes you can do your episode in and the story has to make sense and you often end up having to cut for plot instead of character just so that you can tell a story.

RDM: I like this little thing of Kara haranguing her about going back to Caprica, and it's like-

Eick: She wanted to look at her.

RDM: "You know what? Can I just find this arrow?"

Eick: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah, "What do you want fr-"

RDM: "What do you want from me?"

Eick: (Laughs.)

RDM: "For crying out loud..."

Eick: "Can I get a bike for Christmas? Please, please, please? I want a bike, please. C-" Yeah. But you know what? And this is gonna sound a little odd, maybe, but I think Mary looks so- it's that Dances with Wolves thing. Michael Rymer was talking about this yesterday. You see her out in the wilderness like that and there's just something-

RDM: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Eick: -right about it.

RDM: I think its-

Eick: Mary McDonnell looks great outside with the trees. She just does.

RDM: I love this, this whole thing, too. What's she grabbing?

Eick: Heh.

Uh. Doc Cottle. He's become quite a fixture in the show. Donnelly Rhodes.

RDM: I love the fact that we don't really give him, like, stories. There's not like the "Cottle story".

Eick: No, no, no.

RDM: He's just this character that shows up and you know- you just look forward to him coming into scene and busting somebody's balls.

Eick: Yeah, there's a great- he's got some really great stuff, actually, coming up. Episode eleven, which we're- we just started shooting today, which is the second half of season two. Michael Rymer's directing. Cottle has a scene with Laura Roslin in which she- oh, this may be episode twelve. Or, what's the scene where he says, "If you want to psychoanalyze me, you'll spend your last days psychoanalysing me. It's a really big waste of time."

RDM: I think that's twelve.

Eick: Is that Mark Verheiden? Just a great sense of (unintelligible) that- that he's genuine and he's not doing any of this for effect. This really is him.

RDM: Yeah. It's who he is.

Eick: Although I wish he were a little angrier on that line.

RDM: Yeah, I wish he was a little angrier there. Which is usually not the problem.

Eick: Yeah, exactly.

RDM: It's usually-

Eick: Donnelly is very good with the anger.

So, yeah. This was the plot runner that we were able to make work in episode seven as an extension of what had been setup in six, which is the plan to assassinate Lee. And roping Sharon into this. In an early draft of this, Ron had Helo much more involved. He was basically more- he still is, but in an earlier draft he was in a rock and a hard place to the extent that he knew what Sharon was gonna do, as I recall.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And- trying to make th- strike that balance between a guy that you associate with our side of things being so caught up in Sharon that he might actually-

RDM: -help her-

Eick: -yeah, help her, became too much of a stretch to go with a ch- or certainly, if we're gonna go that far with a character, it probably would have doomed Helo to an unseemly demise at some point and it'd been-

RDM: A cell next to Lee.

Eick: Yeah. So, Tahmoh, who is such a great actor and is so great for this show, I think we found a way to suggest his culpability or his being seduced by Sharon without going quite that far with it. Although I still think we have in Helo now a character who we have to keep an eye on.

RDM: Yeah, I think he-

Eick: I mean, the (unintelligible)

RDM: He does have conflicted loyalties on some basic level.

Eick: So this was a scene that was originally the end of act two of episode six, which was the return of Adama-

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: -to. And I was actually- I mean, this was- we talked about this in the last podcast, nothing is ever quite like you imagine it, and this was supposed to be, this moment here, where Adama says, "You can put the gun down now, Captain," was supposed to be a moment of Lee just holding a gun on Adama and Adama being (unintelligble)-

RDM: (unintelligible), yeah.

Eick: And saying that line wryly. With some humor. I think Eddie wanted to have a gun and he was in the fatigues and before you know it it was, "Put the damn gun down."

RDM: Yeah, he wanted to play it-

Eick: -Yeah.-

RDM: -a little harder.

Eick: So- which was fine. Just a different choice.

RDM: It was also originally gonna be in the middle of the night, which had (unintelligible).

Eick: That's right.

RDM: It was gonna be more creep to it.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: They hear something in the bushes and it's dark and God knows what's coming at- and then it's just- We couldn't do it. We just- it's very hard to shoot at night. We're doing a lot of day for night stuff in this episode already. Day for night stuff you can only get away with for so long before you really begin to smell it. And so we just made the choice to transit- this is dawn. This is- we're playing this as like the crack of dawn so you can see the shadows and we're playing that. And it's probably shot in the middle of the day for all I know.

Eick: A lot of pieces her to try to tether together and I remember in a number of drafts of this, early drafts back when this was in episode six, I didn't really have Adama reacting to Sharon. And it wasn't really until Eddie was talking about a scene he was shooting in episode three or four where he- we- is it five where he weeps at the corpse of-

RDM: Five.

Eick: In episode five where Adama weeps at the corpse of Sharon, and Eddie had just gotten through shooting that. We were on the set and he said to me, "I loved doing that scene, because now I know if I ever saw that character again, I wouldn't stop at anything until she was dead." And I was sitting with my draft of episode six which had him basically showing up at this location and dismissing her presence and he had a line about it, but it kinda went on and Eddie had this notion about how he wouldn't stop at anything before killing her and so this scene came into being and-

RDM: So you're basically saying the actors did your homework.

Eick: Totally and completely did my homework. Yeah, 'cause you just get this cold chill and you go, "Yeah, Eddie, you're right. You wouldn't stop at anything until killing her. I'll be right back." (Chuckles.)

Good editing on this.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: Andy Seklir. He's a- Andy's a- not a guy who's been editing for a long time. He comes out of a different side of the business and- started editing only a few years ago.

Act 3

RDM: Ok. We had to start and stop so this is gonna be act three at the trackmark. Ok. So now we're in the aftermath of the- or not the aftermath. We're in midscene, really.

Eick: Have you seen the episode?

RDM: Have I seen this episode? No.

Eick: Do you know what's taking place?

RDM: I read the script at some point. (Chuckles.)

Eick: It seemed interesting?

RDM: Well, what's interesting is we moved this act break three or four times. What was the act two break? Were you gonna go out? We experimented with going out on the moment of "Rustle, rustle. What's that in the bushes? Ooh, ooh, ooh. It could be a Cylon." We tried going out on, "Oh, it's Adama". Then we tried going out on him choking her. And then there was a version where actually we pushed past all of this, right? We resolved this, and just went out on- and it was- I don't even know how we arrived at this one. We- it was just the best one, was to somehow go out him on her, trying to choke her to death. And the interesting thing in that sequence was David wrote this thing as very internal that I think comes through but it was hard to capture on film, which was the notion that in the midst of choking Sharon and Adama clutches his chest, that it's the exertion of-

Eick: -The heart surgery.-

RDM: -of the heart surgery that gets to him in that moment. And Eddie pl- I mean Eddie plays it. Eddie grabs his chest and falls off of her and the whole thing, but it's still going for a very internal dynamic on the character.

Eick: Was it Eddie or you that came up with, "And you ask, 'Why?'" 'Cause it wasn't my idea.

RDM: I think it was me.

Eick: Because the creepy thing about that is that I don't think any of us know what that means.

RDM: Yeah. What does that mean?

Eick: I mean, except that on some stellar plane she-

RDM: It just kinda works. It's an interesting, creepy moment. How does she know that? It's legitimate question. How does she know that? I don't know. Write in.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: Write in.

Eick: Yeah, write in. Exactly. We'll pick one.

RDM: (Laughs.)

Eick: (Laughs.) The ultimate moment, which has since been cut, was Eddie saying, "They're stronger than we are."

RDM: Yeah... Why did we lose that?

Eick: Well, it was- it struck a chord of confusion that I didn't really ever see. It was actually a network note that I thought was valid, which is that this, he means she just gave him the heart attack?

RDM: Oh, oh, oh.

Eick: Or is does it like- is he referring to her in a literal sense being stronger than him or in a greater sense being stronger than him.

RDM: Right, I see.

Eick: Had it been covered a little bit differently I think it would have resonated, but we were so limited by the coverage that we had, for good reason-

RDM: Yeah, I did like that. That was a nice- I mean, when you read it in the script it made perfect sense.

Eick: Totally, yeah.

RDM: There's something really (unintelligible)-

Eick: Or at least the extent to which it didn't make sense was compelling, on some level, as opposed to just confusing.

RDM: Yeah. (Chuckles.)

I like this beat a lot. We're watching the Sharon-Tyrol reunion. There was something really great about the fact that she remembers him, but they never met, and look on his face. And I'm continually impressed with Grace. That Grace really delivers all these different versions of Boomer, and so does Trish. I mean they really- it's a subtle thing.

Eick: Yes.

RDM: It's a li- it's how they carry themselves. It's how they smile sometimes, or don't smile, and just slight inflections in dialogue. I don't know what their internal process is on those two actresses as they do it, but-

Eick: Well, they're very- I mean, Grace, for one, is very- takes very seriously the character's relationship with Tyrol, and that was such a heartfelt scene in a lot of ways because it's a scene I think a lot of people who follow this show been kind of waiting for. When is Tyrol gonna come face to face with the other Sharon? And so, it was a pretty emotional beat for her. I think she pulled it off beautifully there.

This, on the other hand, is a bit more strange. (Laughs.)

RDM: Weren't we gonna put VFX, or visual effects, in here and see them urinating?

Eick: Yeah. Well, that's still to come. And don't cross the streams, of course.

RDM: Don't cross the streams! (Laughs.)

Eick: That's where that comes from, for those of you who don't know.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: So- this is very odd. I haven't done the sound on this yet, but imagine this is gonna be quite-

RDM: Yeah, it'll sound like a waterfall.

Eick: -an entertaining scene to mix. And this was a scene that was probably four times longer, at least-

RDM: Yeah, many times. I think I took a pass at this at some point.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: I like the idea that Adama's the one who doesn't want to navelgaze and what's past is past. And that he owes his life to Laura, which I think is an interesting and unacknowledged truth in the show. That Laura saved all of them.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: Back in the miniseries.

Eick: And he's finally admitting that and- it's like that thing where you make the hard decision to do the hard thing, and then in order to justify it, in a way you say things, you accept things, you apologize for things, you acknowledge things that you might not have otherwise because, after all, if he doesn't feel these things why the hell did he get on a- in a Raptor and-

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: -lead his Fleet and travel down here to bring her back. So it's a pre- I've watched this episode with a number of people and it's interesting. This is the most compelling scene to a lot of people because it's a dynamic you've never seen between these two characters before.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: For better or worse. Some people may not like it for that reason, but it's definitely different. You've never seen this, other than the stiff pleasantries that they exchange in the miniseries when they're first meeting, I mean, right away they're at odds with each other.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And it's taken this long to get them to this place.

RDM: Well I remember one of the things that Eddie said early on was, "Well, I don't like this one." It was some note- it was some reaction to something he read in the script at some point and said, "Well, I don't like Laura, so I'm not doing this." I was just like, "Oh. Well, that's right. He doesn't like her."

Eick: Well I think- but I think as equally legitimate, he saw an approach to bringing him around about the character that worked, that had integrity to it, that made sense, that was logical, and that came from character. And so now I think he wouldn't say that.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: Because we've taken the character into a good place.

RDM: What I like, too, about that scene with the two of them, it's the first time that they ever use each other's first name. He calls her Laura and she calls him Bill.

Eick: That's right.

RDM: It's the first time they ever did that.

Eick: That's right.

RDM: And this is- yeah, we were talking about this earlier. There were different versions of this section where you wan- you felt like Helo- I think in an early draft it was like Helo just made a declarative statement like, "I'm with you, whatever you're gonna do, I'm there to back ya up." And it was really like, "Boom! I'm with the Cylon chick."

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: (Chuckles.) I mean it was just a little bit too much.

And then she bites his neck, and leaves the puncture wounds.

Eick: (Laughs.) Well, you have to be careful when you're looking at shots like this, 'cause you're never quite sure who's back is gonna start glowing.

RDM: (Laughs.) That's right. Yeah, you know we haven't done the old glowing spine in a little while.

Eick: No.

RDM: It might be time.

Eick: Well, when it's time to reveal Helo- well anyway, we'll talk about that (unintelligible)

RDM: (Laughs.)

Eick: Why is it that Helo gets along so well with Sharon?

RDM: Yeah? How could that be?

Eick: They seem to have this effortless rapport.

RDM: Wake up Helo. You're one of us.

Eick: (Laughs.)

RDM: You're a really stupid one of us that can't figure it out, but you're one of us, buddy.

Eick: (Laughs.) Can't figure it out...

Yeah. Tamoh's, although, both these two are local actors and-

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: -not that you shouldn't or can't cast local actors wherever you are but it can be a challenge because if you're not in LA or New York, there's risk.

RDM: Mmhmm.

Act 4

Eick: Part of- as an example of limited time to shoot all the stuff that was required, this is a blown up shot that we then backed out of because we had no closeups.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: Of what is a pretty important scene between Meier and Sharon.

RDM: And that whole walk-up that you just saw a little piece there, of Adama and everybody else walking up, that's- we were talking about that section earlier. There lots of little interludes of Adama reconnecting with Lee, Kara coming up trying to talk to talk to them, Billy and Laura. It was some great character stuff, but the show was just running absurdly long and a lot of things had to go, so that had to go, too. But they'll be, I'm sure, in your deleted scenes section of your DVD and maybe here on the website. You know they put the deleted scenes on the website, too?

Eick: Yeah? I saw that.

RDM: Which is very cool.

Eick: I saw that. I mean, most of them are just unwatchable, but I guess, you're right, there are some of them like- some of those vignettes that actually pretty good.

RDM: Biggest change here in this whole section, although I guess I'm a little bit ahead of myself, but the biggest change in this whole area was that there used to be a Cylon attack. After this whole thing with Sharon went down there was, like, the Centurions came and attack during the upcoming planetarium sequence. And we eventually cut that. And so now the only Centurion attack is in part one.

Eick: It was the first of two, as a matter of fact.

RDM: Yeah, there were two.

Eick: It was this.

RDM: There was a lot more fireworks.

Eick: And then there was after the reveal of map coming up later.

RDM: Yeah. The Cylons were climbing up the cliff.

Eick: Yeah, so there were a bunch of versions of this and- yeah-

RDM: But actually we changed this very moment, right here, with Adama gets the gun. This is a late change in the editing room.

Eick: Yeah. Yeah.

RDM: Originally he took that gun and put it to Sharon's head and you were playing the beat of, "Will he shoot Sharon or not?" And then we just made that lift, just within the last week, so it plays out more emotionally here instead of with putting another gun to another person's head.

Eick: It was actually an unfortunate bit of staging, because Eddie was so close to Grace that when he drew the gun on her head, his arm was-

RDM: -Yeah, it was-

Eick: -bent in this silly-

RDM: -silly way-

Eick: -position and-

RDM: -and it was a little gun. And it was just-

Eick: Yeah, it didn't look very badass at all.

RDM: It wasn't like the straight arm, John Woo angle to the head. He had this bent-arm like creeped up to her forehead.

A lot of struggle with this, too. With Zarek and his responsibility for what happened. Eventually the way this all works, it feels like essentially that because Meier did it in a- went for this assasination attempt, even though Zarek had told him not to, you kinda feel like you can let Zarek off the hook. It's why they don't slap the cuffs on Zarek and throw him in jail. I mean, they don't- the characters don't know any of what happened and why, but we the audience know that it wa- that Zarek did try to stop it and then it didn't work.

Eick: We were talking earlier about scenes that don't ever quite come together the way you wrote them, and this is said with a great deal of respect for Jeff Woolnough, who does great work on this show, and will direct again for this show. This moment, this scene primarily was about the irony that Starbuck had gone back to get the arrow, had brought the arrow all the way back to Laura, had journeyed down to Kobol with Laura, and had gotten to the tomb with it, and unable to figure out how the hell it opens the tomb door as is prescribed in the scriptures, realizes that it doesn't open the tomb door, and that if you just push hard on the tomb door, it opens.

RDM: You just push it.

Eick: And, in no way do you get that sense from this scene of the absurdity and the irony of that thunderous realization. It's- he says, "After you," and it's supposed to be Kara-

RDM: She's supposed to look at the arrow like-

Eick: You're supposed to look at the arrow like, "What have we- what has this done?"

RDM: "What the hell is this?"

Eick: "How did I waste all my time going after all this?" And I don't think you miss it that it's not there, but it's the kind of thing that-

RDM: It was a nice touch.

Eick: It was something that I remember watching the dailies wanting to (laughs) strangle somebody.

RDM: Now we're into- this whole section here with what they go in and find and how they get to map to Earth. We- I mean, we began discussions on this, obviously, last season when we came up with the whole Arrow of Apollo mythos and, "What does the arrow do," and there was a lot of discussion about what would the arrow be. I think Gary Hutzel's idea, which made a certain amount of sense, was that the arrow itself was the map. That there were like three jewels-

Eick: -jewels-

RDM: -There were three jewels in the arrow. On in the head, one in the shaft, one in the tail, and it was symbolic. It was like- you would eventually figure out that if you knew where the twelve colonies were and you knew where Kobol was, lining them up like an arrow would point you directly toward Earth. It was this- it was an interesting idea but didn't have any punch to it. There was no like payoff. It was like we went through this whole thing and essentially you could have figured it out back in the miniser-

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: Or actually, as soon as you found Kobol, you could have figured it out.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: But there was no journey, necessary. So this notion of the constellations was something I think I came up with. That you would look up into the sky. I wanted to connect it to our present day mythology of the Zodiac, which the show is replete with symbols and references to Zodiacal things and the Greek/Greco-Roman myths and also the constellations, and somehow I wanted to take, to bridge over to that step. That somehow these names for these colonies are not random. There really is a connection and here's the connection. It's that these people that are the Thirteenth Tribe looked up and made up these constellations and assigned them to their bretheren, their lost- the lost tribes. And so there's this-

Eick: So hopefully you'll draw that- you'll- as you hear the- this- the names of the constellations, if you're a real geek for this show, you'll realize that, "Oh, Sagittaron-Sagittarius. Tauron-Taurus.-"

RDM: And you kinda get that.

Eick: "-Picon-Pices." And that there's some link between all the various constellations. I mean, it was good having that starting point, but what it didn't answer was what the hell the arrow did.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And- but fortunately, 'cause I don't know very much about astrology, or astronomy for that matter, I was looking through research on this which originally was in episode six, I realized that Sagitarron has this very prominent arrow-

RDM: -arrow-

Eick: -and that there is this whole mythological story that goes along with his father and why the arrow was bestowed upon him. So it seemed like, well if the arrow is thing that if you back into Sagittarius' bow is the trigger that gets you the map to Earth, that that would work. And in truth that- none of this changed. This was all-

RDM: -Yeah, this is all pretty much as it was.-

Eick: -pretty much as it was in very early drafts.

RDM: I really like all this. (unintelligible)

Eick: What changed was where, was of course making it the end of this episode and also through a number of variations, or a number of early drafts, as they look up into the heavens and they're- this realization is settling in on them, suddenly the heavens break apart because of the incoming mortars-

RDM: -Yeah, the mortars-

Eick: -from the attacking Cylons and that's what stops them at arriving at a definitive conclusion about the location of Earth. It didn't s- "A", we couldn't afford to do that, ultimately when this was all put together. "B", it didn't seem like you needed that interruption. That they're-

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: They very clearly don't have the entirety of the answer here. They've got a big piece of the puzzle, but now they've still gotta search for the common constellations in order to come to where you would be standing on Earth. So...

RDM: [1]Technically, and you know some there's some people will say that, "OK, well if you look up and you actually spot the constellations in the sky, they don't actually- you can't see all twelve constellations in the sky simultaneously." OK. That's true. Fine, fine.

Eick: It is true?

RDM: It's true.

Eick: Oh. Oh well.

RDM: But there was no way to really dramatically and visually present, like, the heavens as we see them on Earth, which is where there'd be s- ever- the stars in the sky on Earth all circle around the North Star, the North Pole. And the constellations dip below the horizon depending on what time of year it is, but there was no way to make that work in this sequence. The sky would have been spinning wildly through the whole thing to make the point. It would have gotten- they would have been dizzy.

Eick: Right.

RDM: It wouldn't quite have worked. So we cheat the perspective a bit and-

Eick: -and then Gary had the idea of the obelisks-

RDM: -the obelisks to help you reference what the constellations are and tie them to the symbols, because the constellations don't look a hell of a lot like the images they're supposed to be-

Eick: No.

RDM: -when you get right down to it.

Eick: Now one of the unfortunate bits of fallout from not having the epilogue with the Cylon attack was that in the early drafts the Cylon attack led you to their slow walk back to their ship and you had a post-mortem about it and you understood. And now we just cut from-

RDM: We just jump.

Eick: -the inside of the tomb to them being back on Galactica. I think there's so much emotion tied into this story point that you're not terribly caught up in, "How did they walk back?"

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: "What do they do with Meier's body? Why isn't Zarek in jail? Should he be in jail?" There's a lot of that kind of shoeleather or refrigerator logic, as we used to call it, but I don't think you need it here.

RDM: I don't think they need it.

Eick: I hope not.

RDM: I think you're good going just up here.

Eick: Now Jeff did do a fairly faithful interpretration of the end of the film, Brubaker, which I had it in my office-

RDM: This is a good Brubaker.

Eick: -watching here a couple days before we shot this. It's a direct lift. There's no-

RDM: There's no (unintelligible)

Eick: There's no shame about it. I wanted there to be a sense of a polite applause that-

RDM: It's also nice in the show. It's also harks back to the miniseries. It hearks back to the moment of-

Eick: "So say we all." Yeah.

RDM: "So say we all."

Eick: Well, Rymer saw this yesterday and he said, "Isn't that kind of the same scene as the miniseries?" I'm like, "Yeah, kind of."

RDM: Yeah, kind of.

Eick: But it's- what I liked about in the movie Brubaker, what I like about it now, is it speaks to a sense of tradition or of ritual-

RDM: -ritual-

Eick: -that in a moment of- to demonstrate great respect you would clap in unison.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And I don't really know why that would be, and I don't know that it requires explanation-

RDM: -but it works. Somehow I-

Eick: -but it seems to work, yeah.

RDM: When I watch the sequence it moves me. I'm moved by the fact that it's Adama's gift to Laura. It's really-

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: It's generous.

Eick: In Brubaker it was Yaphet Kotto-

RDM: Yeah, it was Yaphet Kotto.

Eick: -for those of who are gonna go get the movie and look at this. (Laughs.) It was Yaphet Kotto's praise for Robert Redford, now it's Eddie Olmos' praise for L- Mary McDonnell.

RDM: Yeah.

And then we have our coda with our two star-crossed lovers. There was- this is coming up on the final Baltar-Six scene, where of course is all put through right there. There was an- one more Baltar-Six scene that we had to cut in editing. There was more fun. It was more of the same. It followed after the Cottle scene where he looked at the brain scans and said, "Yeah, you're a hypochondriac. There's nothing there." And there was one more bit of her twisting the knife in him and really torturing him about how it really is- "You really are just crazy," and "Just accept it."

Eick: Well and it's a tonal decision-

RDM: And it's too bad it's gone.

Eick: It's a tonal decision, too, 'cause the original end of this was a coda with Kara.

RDM: Oh, yeah.

Eick: You see her walk in her barracks. The first time she's really been home, hence the title "Home".

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And she puts out her peg and figurines and says, "Lords of Kobol, hear my prayer. It's good to be home." And the way Jeff shot it, it's beautiful. It's a really artful moment. Katee was magnificent in it. And there's just something about the end with Laura that feels like that's the emotional pinnacle.

RDM: Yeah.

Eick: And that from there, in Battlestar Galactica form, we want to twist it back towards the darkness-

RDM: -the dark-

Eick: -towards the uncertainty of their futures and that's really what the show is. It's always a balance between hope and betrayal, and people's love for one another and the fact that we'll also betray each other. And so in this particular instance we're ending on that minor chord or that darker feel and I do want to use that Katee moment somewhere.

RDM: I know, 'cause it's a really good scene.

Eick: It's a beautifully shot scene and I was really happy with the way it came out.

RDM: It's nice to see the red dress make a reappearance.

Eick: Yes. Very much so.

RDM: So you used to get overused, and no we've been away from it for so long it's cool to see it back. It very iconi- it's become so iconic for the show.

Eick: Yeah.

RDM: "I'm an angel of God." God, we get away with murder on this show.

Eick: (Laughs.)

RDM: (Laughs.)

Eick: Yeah, what's wrong with you people?

RDM: I know.

Eick: Don't you know this is sacrilegious?

RDM: How can we- how can we get away with this?

Well, I mean, that's the end of "Home, Part II". This is it. This this-

Eick: And in a way this is the end of the first season.

RDM: This is the end of the first season so...

Eick: Next week, it all starts fresh.

RDM: It all starts again. We'll see you in a different year, next season.

Eick: (Laughs.)

RDM: Who knows what will be happening in episode eight?

Eick: Or who will be showing up?

RDM: Who will be showing up? Thank you for listening.

Eick: Alright.

ID References