Podcast:Sometimes a Great Notion
|"Sometimes a Great Notion" Podcast|
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|Length of Podcast:||46:46|
|Ronald D. Moore
|Scotch:||Woodford Reserve Bourbon|
|Word of the Week:|
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Hello, and welcome to the podcast. My name is Ronald D. Moore, and I am executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, and I'm here to welcome you to the podcast for episode thirteen of the fourth season, or episode twelve, depending on how you wanna count these things. I think of it- this episode thirteen. This is "Sometimes a Great Notion". Our first episode back after the hiatus. The Scotch is not Scotch in a startling break with tradition. It is Woodford Reserve Bourbon, for no particular reason other than my whim. But the smoking lamp is lit, and the smokes are American Spirit. [lights cigarette] This podcast is being recorded in lovely Berkley, California with- at sunset with the sun dipping down the San Francisco skyline. Which I tell you just for historical purposes.
Ok. "Sometimes a Great Notion." This is a great episode. I think it is one of the strongest of the series. It's an incredibly dark episode. As you may have gathered. In some ways this is probably the darkest episode that we've done so far. [clears throat] Which is not to say things are going to be getting worse before they get better, but it's also not really saying this is the darkest episode [laughs] of our journey thus far. This episode began life as one of many in the fourth season during the writer's retreat. We talked about what was going to happen at the midseason break and as we covered in the last podcast, we wanted- I wanted the midseason break to be pretty startling and shocking and get us to Earth at a point where the audience was not expecting us to get there, namely in the middle of the season instead of waiting for the final episode, and the idea was to say to these people, and to the audience, "What happens when you take the fondest dream away from all these characters?" When you take away the thing that all- they've all been hoping to find and dreaming about and praying for and barely surviving incredible odds and nightmares over and over again and they finally get to Earth and it's not what they thought it would be and it's a disaster as well. [clears throat] What happens to you? And this episode is the first an- the first of the answers on- the first of the answers that we'll be providing for Galactica. Sorry. Small technical malfunction I had to deal with there. This episode written by David and Bradley, one of their best efforts, I think, I mean- in some ways it's probably the best one I think- they've done, and I don't think that takes anything away from all the many other episodes. But this is a really complex, intriguing piece and they did a tremendous job with this. There's really just kudos to go around to just about everyone involved with this particular episode. You can see just from the cast here in these opening shots in the tease, that they're already deep into their characters and deep into the story and the director, Michael Nankin, I think this is one of his finest efforts as well. This is just an extraordinary episode, I think, in the history of the series.
Like I said, we started talking about it during the writers' retreat in Tahoe, that summer, [clears throat] and we talked about, OK, what would be the first episode back, and how bad would it be? And my instinct was let's make it as bad as humanly possible. Let's just make it- I wanna see the ship fall apart. I want to see everything just fall to shit. That they get there- I mean, 'cause realistically speaking I thought it would be something of a cheat and just wrong if they got there, they found that Earth had been destroyed, and they just got back on the ships and carried on with a stip uffer- stiff upper lip- and just kept going, and said, "Ah, we'll find someplace else. It'll be fine." It felt like you had to do more than that. This is the culmination of a long journey for all these people and as they stand here on this beach they have no hopes. There's nothing- we're not giving them any comfort. We're not saying it's gonna be OK. We're just saying it's really bleak. It's really terrible. And it sucks. And I wanted them to deal with what happens when it sucks. And importantly- most importantly I wanted the people at the top to lose faith. Laura and Adama fall apart, because one of the things that we'd maintained over the course of this series was that no matter how bad the shit got, no matter how deep it got, you could always count on Laura and Adama, at least, to be there. That Laura was always gonna be steady, Laura was always gonna try to soldier on. Adama, literally, would soldier on. And that with mom and dad leading the way you would always get to a place where you could understand how people would survive. In the previous episode we saw Adama collapse, emotionally, at the revelation of Tigh as his- as a Cylon. His best friend turns out to be a Cylon. In this episode it's really- he hasn't quite dealt with that. He- got the uniform back on and he decided to go find paradise, to at least go see that the nightmare was over. But now the nightmare isn't over. And what does he do then?
Dualla. We talked about the fact that in the last run we were probably gonna lose some characters. That felt right for the show. It felt right for the style of the show, what we were telling, and we decided early on that Dualla was probably gonna die here.
This scene right here with Laura returning to Galactica is one of my favorites. I really like this scene. The- looks on everyone's faces. The way Mary plays it as she gets off the raptor and looks at them and literally doesn't know what to say. Laura's always been able to say something. She's always been able to rally the troops somehow. And this time she really can't. And the way Michael Nankin directed this scene, it really conveys all of it with precious little dialogue. There's just this sense of hopelessness. There's this sense of they really are lost, and you can see people's faces and them starting to lose face- lose faith by the second as this- scene plays itself out. This shot coming up with Laura coming through the crowd here- she starts to head in one direction and then she loses her way and then goes back the other direction and- I wasn't there during the shooting but what I was told was that actually on the set that day she, Mary, actually walked in the wrong direction [chuckles]
What I- just picking up on that thought, the idea was that Laura had- Mary had lost her way on the set physically. Like, she had gone the wrong direction. The camera just followed her and that- so that moment of her being lost was genuine, but then Michael like- Michael Nankin liked it so much that when they did the reverse, that is, when they put the camera on the other side, they just decided to run with that idea that she was lost and had to backtrack her way through. So that's why you see that reversal.
This little story with Leoben and Kara is just to keep the Kara mystery going, to make this discovery of her body and her viper and to start to get to the realization that actually the events the audience saw in the third season when Kara's viper was destroyed and she died, actually that did happen. It wasn't a fantasy a time glitch. That really happened and here's the physical evidence to prove it. So what does this person, what does Kara Thrace, think about that when she gets there?
This scene with Dualla coming into Helo and Athena's quarters with Hera is a great moment that was almost cut. I think Michael Nankin almost cut it at one point and then I put it back in or I might be misremembering the editorial process on this. I know there was some discussion of cutting and possibly a network note but I liked it, and I liked it right here, because it's so out of context that amid all this despair and blekakness there is this family and they do have to try to raise this little girl and they're gonna try to play with her and they're gonna try to keep their lives going, and God knows what they say once they're on the outside of that door. But my favorite part of the scene here, is what Dualla says when they leave. The way she just talks in that way that adults sometimes talk to little kids who don't understand. [begins sing-song voice] As long as I say anything in this really nice sing-song voice you won't understand that the apocalypse have- has come and all of us are going to die. [ends sing-song voice]
So- [chuckles] this scene out on the beach was always in the script. Actually, as I reviewed the script and the story document earlier today, I discovered to much my great pleasure that actually this story didn't change very much at all. The- all these story arcs and scenes were in the original story outline that David and Bradley wrote. It was pretty much as the story was broken and the script was pretty much locked in at a fairly early point. All this backstory about Earth and the thirteen colonies and the Cylons and the humans and the Twelve Tribes, and Kobol, and all that, was the subject of incredible discussion. We talked a lot at the writers' retreat and over the course of the season about exactly what was the backstory. How does this all add up? How does this all make sense? We worked it through in several different iterations. The notion- many of the notions in here are not fully explained yet, because that comes later in the last few episodes. But this fundamental idea that there was, once upon a time, there was a place called Kobol, where the gods and men lived together. And man, on the planet of Kobol, stole fire from the gods, in some sense. It's the classic story. They stole fire from the gods and that fire was the knowledge of life, and how to create life, and they created their own Cylons. And it was that creation, and the destruction of their- of paradise that was the end of Kobol. And twelve colonies- twelve tribes went that way, and the thirteenth tribe, the thirteenth tribe of Cylons now, went the other way. And they found and settled a planet that they called Earth. And that at some point the people on Earth, the Cylons on Earth, repeated the pattern and destroyed themselves as well. So this is- feeds into the overall, "All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again" mythology of the show.
There was one structural change that occurred actually in post-production on this. The script was written with a complicated flashback structure which I really liked. This- the flashback structure was- that it was all gonna be framed by the Adama-Tigh conversation. That you would open with Adama coming into Tigh's quarters with the booze and the gun and say, "You wanna talk, Cylon? Let's talk. Have a seat. Sit down." And that you- we were gonna essentially tell all these stories were gonna be interspersed throughout the- what am I trying to say? I'm not doing this podcast very well. All of this material was gonna be essentially flashback material. That the show was bookended and framed by the conversation between Tigh and Adama and that you would keep coming back to Tigh and Adama all the way through. Michael Nankin dispensed with that structure in his cut, and when I got the director's cut he had discarded the flashback structure and had just ironed everything out and made it chronological. And as soon as I saw it- it just- it worked perfectly and I was more than happy to go with that version and never look back. I don't think we ever- I don't think we ever cut a version using it as a framing device. There- maybe the editors assembly did that- probably did, but by the time I saw it that was already long gone. And I think stronger for it. Sometimes I think my instinct as a storyteller is to try to do the razzle-dazzle too much. Every once and a while- I like mixing up time. I like flashbacks. I like monkeying and fucking with the chronological- the chronology of sequences. And I think it's an interesting way to tell stories. But it's not always appropriate for every scenario. And this is certainly one where the fundamental narrative was so strong and the character journeys were so strong that you didn't need anything else on top of it.
Getting back to Dualla. We had decided to kill the character and to let the character die. It was- we wanted someone to pay a heavy price for this- discovery of Earth, and that Earth- was not what they'd hoped it would be, and that it was actually nothing at all. And it felt like not everyone should come back from that. And Dualla was the one that we decided would take the hit here. But you'll notice that the arc for Dualla is actually- even though she- at the very beginning, she despairs when she finds- when she holds the radioactive soil in her hand, when she finds the jacks, the remnants of the long-dead civilization, and she's- you see it on her face in the raptor scene how devastated she is about what's occurred. But then from that point forward she's just to all intents and purposes it looks as though she's trying to get back on the horse. She's trying to look forward and trying to be optimistic. The question obviously arises, "Has she decided to kill herself, even now, at this point? And is she just- is she just marking time? Has she not made that decision yet? I think those are probably questions best left to the audience. I think in my opinion on the character, I think that probab- she's probably been contemplating suicide since that moment on the raptor. That she's probably just gotten to a place where she can't face the notion of journeying forever in the stars and loneliness with nothing specifically to hope for and to just place all of her hopes and dreams on the off chance that maybe they'll find a planet to call home someday, and that that's just not something that she could actually face.
I like that we got back to the Lee-Dualla relationship here in her last episode. I've said before that I think that we mishandled the Dualla-Lee relationship, that we rushed it early on, and then didn't quite know what to do with it and it- we jig-jagged back and forth with it a few too many times. I think here at the end, though, I think it's really nice. It works really well. Kandyse really brings you back into the character and reminds you of why she was such a pivotal character in the show, that she was one of the original characters. She's there from the get-go, and so her loss, I think, is more keenly felt as a result.
This episode here with Callum and Katee is some of their best work. I mean, it's interesting to see how the relationship between the two of them has changed since "Flesh and Bone" when she was the interrogator and he was the prisoner, and then on New Caprica the roles were reversed, and he's always sorta been the demon, and the guide, and the journ- the fellow traveler on her journey who knew more about her journey than she did. But in this episode, he gets to a place where he literally doesn't know what to do. Doesn't know what to say. Is afraid to see things, for the first time. And Kara, being Kara, even this version of Kara, or whatever you wanna think of this version of Kara, is still plunging forward, is still seeking answers, demanding answers- going into the places where saner people and more deliberate people probably would not and should not go.
Katee is just at some of her best in this episode. She's just a formidable actress and you can feel the force of her personality in each one of these scenes.
This is a great beat, when they- when she pulls up the helmet on the pilot and- oh, there's blonde hair in there, oh, I don't wanna see that. Ooh, I don't wanna see that. Scifi didn't wanna see it either. [Laughs] But actually, I don't think they complained too much. I think they might have- might have asked us to cut a couple of frames from the shot, or something, but by and large they didn't give us any real grief on any of this. Actually, the network was very supportive of this episode. They were really very supportive of the concept, [lights cigarette] of the script, of the cut. To their credit, the network really, really got aboard the last journey here and really, really like what we were doing. And even though they said, "These are hard episodes to watch. This is a very difficult episode to watch," they said. It's just brutal. Beat after beat, just gets worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, all the way through this. They supported it all the way. They never asked us to pull back from any of it.
Now watch this. This beat here with Leoben is great. He's lost. Look at that. We've never seen that from Leoben. It's just a genuine break of faith and of everything he thought he knew, because he was the Cylon who could kinda see things that others couldn't. And now he doesn't have that. And if he doesn't have that, what does she have? See? He's almost like falling over, there. He's almost staggering, and Callum Keith Rennie just does a tremendous job with all this.
It's probably worth talking about the circumstances of this episode. This episode was actually technically the last one shot before the writer's strike hiatus interrupted everything last year. The strike was actually called just as this episode was about to start shooting. There's the act break.
Started to talk about how this episode was shot. This- the writer's strike was called, I think, the day before, or two days before, the episode was to begin principle photography, and under the terms of the strike, obviously, nothing else was gonna be written, and there wouldn't be any change pages on this, so these guys were gonna be on their own with a- script that was fortunately done, and locked, but there weren't episodes beyond this. [lights cigarette] As the executive producer/showrunner, I had control over that and I could- I made sure that there were no scripts that could be- that would be completed that- to even allow the possibility that we would keep shooting beyond this episode. So that the show would shut down.
Let me pause here for this moment with Anders and the guitar- the guitar handle. Him remebering- 'All Along the Watchtower'. It was a nice little beat that I wanted to insert back in. This was sorta dropped in the director's cut and I felt it was important to establish the tie of the music into the mythology of the show and back to- that it was here on Earth. And that Anders was here on Earth. And I- a subtlety that I think is dropped here somewhere is I think Anders, he played the song for his friends is said up here, the final four when they were on Earth, he played it. But I think it was also intended that he wrote it, and it's a su- that's a subtlety that may or may not come through.
But back to the shooting of this. The strike was called and so we all- the writers all went out on the picket line and I kept getting calls from up north in Vancouver saying that people were worried, what was gonna happen, was the show gonna get canceled. People didn't quite know what was gonna take place and so I called up north and I said, "I'm gonna come up. I'll come up tomorrow and I wanna talk to everybody, the cast and crew, together." And of course, in the meantime, once that word went out, suddenly I got these other panicked phone calls saying, "Well, the rumors are that you're coming up to pull the plug on the whole show, that the show's been canceled, and that production's over, and everyone's terrified of you coming up here." And I said, "No, no, no. I'm just coming up to talk, tell them the show's not over. I'm actually just coming to dispel these kinds of rumors and tell everybody what's gonna happen." So I came up to Vancouver and I flew up that morning, got there in the afternoon, and it was a rainy day in Vancouver, one of many. And Harvey Frand, our line producer, had gathered the entire cast and crew in CIC, and so I went to CI- they ga- ironically, on that day, were the day that the third season jackets, the crew gift jackets, had arrived, and so everybody had new jackets on and I got my jacket, and I strode into CIC and everyone was standing there, all around, up on the second level, on the first level, they were surrounding me. And I walked in, and I just started to talk to them. I had a little- I had scribbled down some notes and I just said, "This is the deal." I said that, "There's a strike and that means I'm on strike. The writers are on strike, and there aren't going to be any more script pages coming. That means that we can't help you with this." I said that, "You might be wondering if- how I feel about the rest of you continuing on with production during the strike, and would I want you to not shoot, or whatever," and I said, "Well, there's no picket sign outside this studio. I'm not gonna go get a picket sign and establish a picket line outside this studio, and I want you all to work," because even though I was a big supporter of the strike and I felt very strongly about what was being fought for, I also was very sensitive to the fact that I had a responsibility to my people and I wanted- it was their jobs and their livelihoods and it was a difficult thing and I told them all I wanted them to work as long as they possibly could. I told them I wanted to get as much overtime as they possibly could, which gave Harvey Frand a fit, but I just said, "Make this the best one ever. If this- I don't think the show will be canceled. I think the show will come back, but you never know, and I want this to be a great episode. And so I trust all of you and it's like I said, 'We're sort of taking a blind jump' like Admiral Cain did in the Pegasus, and she took a blind jump and didn't know where it was gonna lead and this is a blind jump, and none of us know where it's gonna lead and I wish you all well and I'll see you on the other side of the jump." And I walked out and they applauded and I was crying and there was a lot of tears and I got back on a plane and flew down to Los Angeles and that was the last time I saw them until I came back to direct the next episode after the strike.
During the filming of this episode emotions were running very, as you can imagine, because they did all feel that it was possible that it was the very last epsisode of Battlestar Galactica and they just wanted to leave it all on the field and so they all just really gave it their all, the crew gave it their all, the cast really stepped up, Michael Nankin gave it everything he had and it's an amazing episode. I mean, look at this footage here with Kara and the sillhouete against the skyline and building the pyre and- they don't have a lot of time to do something like that. You can- it's remarkable that this is all- that the light ha- doesn't change very much. You can see there in the sky that the light doesn't change. It's starting to get a little darker here in these shots. They're lising the light. Every second that goes by they're losing more and more light, so they didn't have a lot of time to do this many- takes here, so they really had to- pull it all together and get it done. This is a great, great shot. I mean, it's silent. It's Kara- what does it mean? Why is she doing it? I think it's great that we deliberately left all that unsaid. That you- just have to be there emotionally with her as she burns her own body, which is such a bizarre idea, on this pyre, on this planet, and you have to wonder what this all means for Kara Thrace. I love- look at that. That's an amazing shot. Amazing shot. Out in the cold and out in the desolation.
Meanwhile, back on Galactica, things are looking up for a moment. OK, this is- this is a dirty trick. This is a sucker punch. This is one of those structural things that you put in a script and you write it and you shoot it and you construct it deliberately to lead the audience down a particular path. In this case, it's to lead them down the path that maybe Lee and Dualla are getting back together, and maybe that's the story we're gonna tell, and the audience invests in this idea. The invest in the idea that, "Oh, well maybe amid all the bleakness they're gonna rekindle this romance and that something good will happen to at least these two people and maybe life does go on, after all." So you give the audience that story, which seems plausible in context, and then they're listening to it and they're- investing in it and they're hoping. They're hoping like the characters are kind- at least Lee is kinda hoping that something better's gonna come of all this. And then you yank the rug, and it's a really hard yank of the rug. I mean, it's- it's not a nice thing to do to an audience, but that's sorta why you do it, because part of our job as storytellers is to shock and to rattle and to make you feel and I think this is one of the best shocks that we've done and- look at Kandyse. I mean, she's sellin' it. She's not foreshadowing it. She's not giving anything away. She's not telling you that there's really- there's something that's wrong. And Lee... he's just... he's feeling good. It's like- he's like, "Wow. Maybe there's something for us after all." But, no.
This beat with Gaeta. It was important to continue this little Gaeta thing we'd had going for a while, with his leg, and with his overall arc. It plays into the next episode, his reaction to Dualla's death is one of the many factors that plays into where his story arc is going.
This beat here with Dualla, and the mirror, and the singing. When I showed this to my wife, Terry, who's not with me, unfortunately, tonight, when we were watching this together and she doesn't- she's long since stopped reading scripts and know- wanting to know what- where various stories are going, she had no idea what this story was going to be, when she got here, she was starting to feel uneasy. She was like, "Somethin' bad's gonna happen here." But, interestingly enough, her take was that Dualla was the fifth Cylon. And that when she- coming up here, there's a beat where she looks in the mirror and sees Gaeta, as Gaeta goes out the hatch behind her, and Terry took that as, "Oh my God, she's a Cylon." And then, of course, hard on the heels of that, "Hey, wait! Maybe she's a Cylon," comes the- gunshot and the shock and I mean, Terry literally like, her hands went to her mouth and she jumped. Right there. When Dualla looks at Gaeta closing the hatch. That's where she thought it was gonna be- we were gonna do the revelation. It's all very calculated. I mean, I think the idea- calculated on Dualla's part that she wants to go out at a moment of happiness. She wanted to leave this life- boom. Oh. It's just so ugly. She wanted to leave when she felt good for a moment. When she was up. When she had something happy on her lips and in her spirit. And that's how she wanted to end- her life and go out of this world, instead of continuing to suffer and continuing the journey from hell. It's a pretty horrible, horrible moment. And it's one of the most shocking, because it is a suicide, and because it is someone that we've cared about so much. End of the act.
This scene with Lee and Dualla's body, and then Adama coming in in a few minutes- there's a longer version of this, which we might- I don't know if they'll put it in the deleted scenes or not. But the scene went on a bit longer, and there was more discussion between Lee and his father about the possible motives of Dualla for why she would do this and how it could have possibly happened, why they wouldn't know, and that sort of thing, and it was all good, well acted stuff, but it just- it felt long, and it felt like we could do with less, and that the emotions would still punch through strong enough, and so I carved this back down a little bit in the cutting room.
I like that we're seeing more and more gray in Adama's hair. That's a nice, subtlety. I'm not sure who's idea that was, but you've seen over the course of the last couple episodes and now more prominently and on until the end, more and more gray just starts coming into Adama's hair.
I love that line reading of, "I don't frakkin' know." And then he pulls out the flask. Which- or it's not even, sorry, the bottle. Which he hid down in his pant leg, which is something that Tigh used to do. And it's been an interesting thing that- I think Eddie really glommed onto and it's something we just decided to keep playing was his- was that Adama's drinking was getting more and more problematic and he was starting to go down a certain road that his own- XO had once gone down, or continues to go down, I guess.
The relationship between Adama and Dualla was something we- had played from the very first season about how she was a confidant and she was the one he saw every morning, every day, took dictation, handed him memos, and signing things, and that he could talk to her in a way that he didn't talk to any other people, and that this would be an especially devastating loss. I think in the s- perhaps in the struct- in the early part of the structure I think there was a version where his visit with Laura came after this, so that Laura's burning of the Pythian prophecies and the scriptures was really what pushed him into this scene. I love this. Where he asks for the sidearm. And this shot, as he walks down the corridor, the great thing to me about this is look at the background players through all this. They're p- some people are spray painting graffiti. There's fights breaking out. Some people are just lost and not giving a shit anymore. There's trash on the decks. I mean, the ship is literally coming apart, and in the middle of it all, the admiral's walking through the corridor with a gun in his hand, and nobody- notices or cares, and you just have a sense that it could all really come apart right now. The ship could just come un-fucking-glued. And that's really what I wanted to feel in this episode. Like I said, this- originally was going to be the opening of the episode, was Adama walkin' through the corridor with that gun and then comin' into Tigh's quarters and setting this up, and then we would- this scene would've framed the entire episode.
One of the few times you see Tigh not grabbin' a drink when someone else is drinkin'. And Adama's really drinkin'. He's drinkin' some serious drinkin' here. Oh, that's very close. I love that. The way that glass almost came right off the desk and into Michael Hogan's lap, and he saved it and- it's very well done. I'd be curious to ask sometime if they did some takes where that glass actually did fall of the desk, but that one is really cool, 'cause it's really- its a subtle thing where the glass almost falls off the desk and it's som- there's something interesting and symbolic in that idea.
I kept giving the guys notes to just make this scene between Tigh and Adama uglier. To just- make it more nakedly raw. Nakedly raw. To just make it raw and emotional and ugly and just to s- have Adama say ugly things to Tigh in a way that only a really close friend could say things to him. That laugh. That laugh is so disturbing.
And back to Ellen. Ellen the perp- the eternal difficult thing in Saul Tigh's life. Right from the beginning. And here, almost at the end that it comes back again. This is so ugly. This is SO ugly. Ugh. Look at him. Ooh. Ooh. Uh. Now that's an act out.
And we're back. It's great work between these two. It's been interesting watching these two actors play off of each other from the beginning. How they had a singular relationship. Two men who share certain experience. Two men who had bonded through a lot of difficult times and had weathered a lot of storms, professionally and personally especially. Adama's had stuck up for Tigh and had saved Tigh over and over again and Tigh had saved Adama and there was a tremendous amount of trust and love between these two, and then this thing about Tigh being a Cylon to just fundamentally undercut the entire relationship on the most profound level. What that would- where that would leave them.
Yeah, well maybe we've both had enough, baby, but Adama can still grab that other glass. [Laughs]. I love that. I love that. I don't think he was- I don't think it was scripted that way. I think that was an improv thing or something they came up with on the set, that he just drinks it one more time, and then he's just- he's having he's just holdin' onto that alcohol.
This is a great story. This is something that David- I think- I believe, I could get this wrong, but I think it was David Weddle knew about this story, that somebody had told him this story, and he brought it up in the story break, and it was like, fantastic, and it played really well into the end, into Saul walking out into the ocean. I think there were originally two stories that hie was gonna tell. I'm struggling to remember what the second story was, but I'm pretty sure that there were two stories that he told, and that there was something in addition to the story of the fox, and I asked them to cut the second story and to just go with this one because it just felt stronger.
I mean, in a lot of ways, this show really is testing the audience. And I think the network twigged to that pretty early on, and we all did, that after this episode, do you wanna keep watching the rest of this show? Now we're taking you someplace that you don't wanna go. You don't wanna see the characters like this. You don't wanna see the Galactica falling apart . You don't wanna see Adama drinking and Laura burning the books, and the friendships questioned, and Dualla shooting herself. And you don't wanna believe any of that. You're watching the show because you do have hope. 'Cause you do- you're rooting for these people on some level, and you wanna see where it all goes. And this episode is really slammin' it all down. It's slammin' you down and just saying, "You know what? Stick with us. Stick with us, 'cause it's gonna be a good story, but it might be hard to watch." Eddie at- there was a press conference- press event I went to with Eddie, and he said, "You know, it's-" Somebody asked him about the second half of season, and he said, "It's hard to watch. [gruff voice] Hard to watch. You know, it's really difficult to watch. I don't know if you're gonna be able to. It's just... so hard to watch. Don't watch it. [end gruff voice]" [laughs] I love that about Eddie. That he says shit like that. But it's true. I mean, it's hard.
This is a nice little beat here, with Lee erasing the one that stands for Dualla. There was a little longer version of this scene with- between Kara and Lee, as well, that we cut for time, where they just talked a little bit more about Dualla and what she meant to him, and Lee trying to puzzle out the possible reasons for her death a little bit more, and Kara trying to help him along. But it didn't seem like it gave us very much and we- and the emotions were already stated- already present in the show.
Odd thing that came up in the cutting room was that bandage on Kara's neck. None of us could really figure out what the bandage was supposed to be from. I guess- I think what had happened was down on the planet surface something had scratched her neck or it had- she had gotten a scrape and they kept it in continuity, like they always do. They always keep these thing- the various scratches and bruises are always in continuity, and the earlier shot of- there's a close up of Adama where you can see the bruises on his knuckles from smashing the wind- the mirror in the previous episode. So they're always really good on the set of tracking things in continuity, but when I saw this in the cutting room, I couldn't figure out where- why Kara was injured, and the answer seems to be that there was some slight injury down on the planet that we didn't- none of us really noticed, and then they put this bandage on, but the problem was that the bandage was very bloody in these shots, and it was- there was a big red bloody stain in the middle of the bandage. It was very distracting, because you kept saying, "What? What was that? Did I miss something?" And so we took it out, we made the bandage just white in post-production.
I love- "Frak Earth." Frak Earth is one of my favorite things. I love that. And the guy's smoking in the corridor, and Adama's still not tellin' people to pull it together. He's still tryin' to pull it together. He's barely walkin' back into that CIC himself. He's not walkin' down the corridors kickin' ass and takin' names and tellin' people to get back to their stations. He's feeling it. And that's when you KNOW that this is bad. And then people kinda sitting up automatically when he comes back into CIC this last time, or this- this- not this last time, but this next time. And Hoshi symbolically taking Dualla's place.
We are using the standard Earth terminology for stars, G, F, and K, that's current astronomical terminology for star classification. I feel like it belongs in the category of various other things in the show where there's various references and things, nomenclature, that are common to our contemporary culture that we ascribe to them as well, and that's our rationalization for it.
There's not much he can offer them here. I mean, this is not the most rousing speech. It can just be, "We're gonna go on." That's really all he can offer them is just, we're just gonna go on. Each one of them having to grapple with what- does the journey forward mean? What do they hope for here?
That's a nice- shot. Down to Kara's hand. And there's the ring and the dog tag from whoever- from that body that she burned. From herself.
There was more of Gaius Baltar in early drafts and in the original story, where he was- talking to his flock a little bit more and leading them down certain paths. A lot of that material got pushed into the next couple of episodes. It didn't feel like it was as important in this particular episode.
I love that Laura t- is just- that she hasn't left the place where we last saw her. That she can't get up. Adama's gotten up. 'Cause Tigh got 'em up. And Laura's not. And will Laura get up, I think, is the question that she and we have to ask ourselves as we go forward is, will Laura ever get up? Will Laura resume her duties?
We always intended for D'anna to- for this to be D'anna's last episode. We just got Lucy for a day for this episode. She was kind enough to come and do one more shot for us and we said this would be the last one, and I thought there was something poetic about leaving her on this planet. I think originally there was also a suggestion- more than a suggestion, a statement, that Tyrol wasn't going back to Galactica either. Tyrol was gonna go to the Cylon base ship and live over there. But we cut that in the script process and decided- that was not a place I wanted him to go yet and it didn't feel right and it seemed like it was robbing some- of the decision points from some of the other people and I like that D'anna just never even left the surface. That she just- what does it all mean? That it's just- she's gotten to a place of despair with it as well. "And ride the tide out to sea."
I won't discuss the rest of this- the ending here, on this particular podcast, because this podcast will be online before the episode airs and, in deference to those of you who've not seen it yet I'll simply stop talking about this now and say that the ending of the episode will be discussed in subsequent podcasts. [Chuckles] And with that unsatisfying comment I think I'll wrap up the podcast right here and let you just enjoy watching the rest of the episode. It's good to be back. It's good to be back on the air. It's good to do these last round of podcasts and commentary for the end of Battlestar Galactica. And so with that, I will just say thank you for joining me and I will talk to you about the next episode, "Disquiet Follows My Soul", episode fourteen. So with that, good night, and good luck.