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Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode four, technically, of season three. This is the episode, "Collaborators". I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica series. This week we're coming to you live, well sort of live, from my office on the Universal lot instead of at home. So those of you who look forward to the sounds of children and kittens and Scotch clinking in glasses will unfortunately be disappointed this week. You'll just have the sound of Diet Coke, but I'll smoke in my office anyway in defiance of California state law.
Anyway. "Collaborators" is an interesting episode in that, it may well be, and it's hard to say this with a straight face, but this may well be the darkest episode of Galactica that we've done. And that's sayin' somethin'. I've also been interested that a lot of people have told me, that have seen this episode, on the show and at the studio and other people who get advance copies for one reason or another. A significant number of them have told me that they thought that this is one of the best episodes in the entire series. Which kinda surprises me. I mean, I like this episode a lot. I think it's a really interesting, provocative piece of work, but I am surprised at the- I guess the depth of feeling. I mean, I've had people come up to me, here on the studio lot, working in departments that I don't even really interact with very often, and have stopped me to say, "That your lighter doesn't work." (chuckles.) To stop me and say how much they liked this episode. And how moved they were by it and there- People have talked about personal experiences or family experiences that had to do with the Holocaust and how some of these things echoed into that or people that knew people in France after the war and it's been interesting to see the reactions to this.
This episode came out of an early discussion of what the initial handful of episodes were going to be. And one of the first things we said was, "Ok. Well what happens as soon as they get back? And given everything that has transpired aboard- on New Caprica with people collaborating and other people in the resistance. What happens when you throw them all back together into the ships of the Fleet? Would they just carry on? Is life just- move on as normal?" And that seemed a bit of a stretch. And then we started talking seriously about primarily what happened in France after the Nazis were driven out and liberation came. There's the famous newsreels of women who had slept with Nazi officers being paraded in the streets, their heads being shaved. Those- there was a time, a small time period immediately after the liberation where people were settling scores. And it seemed like that would happen in this circumstance, too. Given the setup of a chaotic escape. The thrust- being thrust back into the ships of the Fleet. The central government trying to get itself together and figure out who's here and who's not. That essentially in the emotion of those first hours, if not those first days, people would be settling some scores and would be going out and saying, "You know what? Some of what you people did, you guys did, was fucked up and you're not gettin' away with it."
Initially this sequence- well, there's a lot to talk about in terms of what the early story was. Let's just talk about this sequence here with Jammer getting tossed out the airlock. In the initial drafts, Duck and Jammer- we had transposed the roles. This was going to be Duck. 'Cause Duck was going to be the collaborator and Jammer was going to be the suicide bomber, and then as we went through various revisions we decided that these were better roles for these particular characters. Actually at the suggestion of Aaron Douglas, who pointed out that given who Jammer was, and the way we had played him, had just seemed like Jammer was a little bit- better for this kind of a role. That he was- he had- we had painted him a bit weakly in "Valley of Darkness" and then he was a guy that could get led astray and make the wrong decisions and then end up in this position. This sequence, to me, is one of the toughest we've ever done, 'cause essentially we're opening the episode with a murder. And it's not just any murder. It's a murder of one of our characters, who we've established, who we've come to know over the seasons, who we know tried to do something heroic, and he's being killed not by faceless, bad, evil vigilantes out there. Our guys are right in the thick of this. Tigh, Tyrol, Anders. And the we have Connely and then we have Barolay. Excuse me, Connor and Barolay to round it out. But there was something about opening the show with this kind of sequence to really send the message that we're not kidding around. That this one- you're gonna go for a ride here, and it's not going to be an entirely pleasant ride. That this is gonna be about the line between vengeance and justice. It's gonna be about responsibility. It's gonna be about the truth. It's gonna be about a lot of difficult things. And that we weren't gonna really shy away from them.
And this sequence just is a- it's a hard one to watch. When I was watching this in dailies I remember this was brutal. We were, like, "Oh my God. This is gonna be such a brutal opening to a show." And that's sayin' somethin', again, for Battlestar Galactica you know it's sayin' somethin'. And we- I wanted to play every beat of this. I didn't want him to face it stoicly. I wanted him to beg for his life. And you get to that interesting moment there with Tyrol when he says to Tyrol, "I saved Cally." I think that's where you, the audience, go, "Well wait a minute, maybe there is a way out here." 'Cause he did save Cally. We saw him save Cally. We remember him saving Cally. It's not just a ploy. And Tyrol goes over there and asks him if it's true. Tyrol says, "If that's true..." and then Connor rightly points out that, "Well, wait a minute. Maybe he did save Cally. But does that make up for all these other deaths? What about all these other people that died, including his son? Does saving Cally make up for that?" And I think that's a hard question. And I think their answer is, "No. No it does not." Not in this circumstance. Not in this world. Not with these people. And so, he's given the ultimate punishment of- he does such a great job. That look on his face when- the look on Jammer's face when he's looking through that glass window, just before he's sucked out into the void, is just wrenching and heartbreaking and- and then you're back to these guys. And what have they done? The toll of what they're doing and how it weighs on them. The man that lost his son is a stand in for many of the people that died down on New Caprica that we never saw but we refer to. So it was important to have somebody in this scene who had a direct connection to loss. That it wasn't all theoretical. That just as- in the same way that Tyrol's loss- or Tyrol's victory of having his wife be saved is personal, we needed somebody in the scene that was also had paid a price that was personal.
This little sequence is the setup for a runner that will be lasting all season is that the ships are more crowded now. We've lost ships in the exodus from New Caprica and now a fair number of civilians are now living aboard Galactica, forcing a lot of changes in how we do business and where the civilians live and they're a little bit more in our face this season.
I like this tease-out a lot in terms of the humanity of it. That we just left the execution scene, you come immediately to the family life of one of the men. And he raises the question, "Did somebody help you? And who was it?" And she doesn't know, but it did happen. And did happen the way that Jammer said it happened. So now he has to live with the knowledge that he just killed the man who did save his wife's life. And that's a difficult thing. And I don't think there's an easy answer for that. I don't think the- again, I've said this many times, the show doesn't try to answer all these questions for you. How do you feel about Tyrol and what he has done, given the fact that there's his wife, who is now alive, thanks to the man that he just sent out the airlock? But does that heroic deed make up for the grim things that Jammer had participated in as a member of the NCP? And the answer is there on Tyrol's face. I don't think there is an answer. He doesn't know. He's torn.
Like I said earlier, this show went through a lot of changes. Let's see, where you even begin? The initial storyline for this episode did not open- it opened with someone being airlocked on another ship, on the Monarch as I recall, and Tyrol was involved with a bunch of other people that- from the resistance or from New Caprica. They were killing Duck in that version, which later became Jammer, but the full blown circle and the formality of it had not really been established in the first draft. We were still playing with, "What are the storylines?" And the show was actually gonna concentrate more on a lot of other storylines that are happening.
Act one. The many storylines we were following. One of them had to do with Baltar, which this is now the beginning of the Baltar storyline. We're gonna play a whole running story aboard the Cylon baseship for a good chunk of the season and what we started to do in the first draft was play a lot more over there. There were more scenes about Baltar integrating with the Cylons, trying to figure out what was going on with the Cylons, what kind of society were they, working out different thin- kinks in his relationship with Caprica-Six, beginning to establish a relationship with D'anna, etc., etc. There was a lot of material that we just- Ultimately I just broomed out when I was doing my pass on the show in favor of this very simple- just posit him as alive. Posit that he's over there and that he's being held in a room and that they're not really talking to him too much.
I love this little sequence in that- there's a little dream sequence with- on Colonial One and the way that Baltar starts to realize that it's a dream. This beat, I believe- I'm trying to remember. In the draft, she didn't kiss him. In the draft it was- she says, "You know, I've always wanted you." And he goes, "Really?" And then she shoots him. She, like, pulled out a gun and like shot him between the eyes, because I thought that would be interesting to see that Laura with a gun is something we've never, ever done. And I believe it was- I think they shot a version that way, but I believe it was, and I could be mistaken here, I shouldn't- I might get in trouble. I think it was either Mary or James or both, but on the day they come up with this idea in conjunction with the director, Michael Rymer, of doing the kiss. That she would come over and kiss him on some weird wish fulfillment level of Baltar's subconciouss and that that would shock him out 'cause he knew that that couldn't possibly be true.
The set and the style here. We had a lot of discussion about what the interior of the Cylon baseship should look like. It felt like this was the place where we had to go into science fiction more strongly than we do in the rest of the show. In Galactica proper, and on the civilian ships, and on Caprica, they are clearly human, they are clearly close to what we see in our everyday lives. It's all very familiar, very naturalistic, as I'm always saying. But when we went over to the Cylon baseship, I couldn't find a way to justify it being anything other than alien to our point of view. That there didn't seem to be a reason why the Cylons would construct the interior of the baseship to look anything like the interior of Galactica, and yet I didn't want it to look like the starship Enterprise, either, that it was all slick and whatever. So we went for the odd juxtaposition of the slick high-tech quality of it with abstract furniture piece like the bed that you- or the daybed that you just saw. And this- a lack of geography, as you'll see over there. It's hard to get a handle on exactly where you are in the Cylon baseship.
This storyline with Kara and Anders was also much bigger in the initial draft. We deal- like I said we dealt a lot with Tigh, we dealt a lot with Kara, and a lot with Baltar, and Laura, and Zarek, as well as the collaboration storyline and what happened to those people. But as I was going through the draft and as we work throught the revisions I just wanted to focus it on the collaboration story more than anything else. And even this, even this storyline, is setting up Kara's involvement in- as a member of the Circle. We're telling you that there's trouble in the marriage, 'cause, hey that's a big surprise given everything that's happened, but it's also part of the motivation of why she goes and joins the Circle herself.
The initial storyline on the Circle, there wasn't a Circle in the initial storyline. It was more about there's a group of vigilantes out there they are working together to carry out retribution with some sort of acknowledgement by Zarek, the titual president. Laura and Adama were working to get him out of office. There was a time pressure that he was under to get all these things done. And at the end of the show it wasn't Laura who issued the call for reconciliation, it was gonna be Zarek. It was actually something he did to spite them. That he put out this blanket pardon for all these acts that people had done, which is- actually, I take that back. I believe that Zarek did not sanction them in the first draft. I think in the first draft there was just, this was happening out there in the Fleet. It was just a genuine, grassroots vigilante movement. And that at the end- but he approved. He completely approved of what was happening and Laura and Adama essentially took him down and wrested control away from him, but in his final act before he relinquished power he issued a blanket pardon for everyone who had participated in the vigilantism because he felt it was needed and justified and certain things had to be done and it was like his finger in their eye before he left office. But as I was working it through that seemed unsatisfying on a couple of levels and I started to gravitate towards this idea that Bal- that Zarek had sanctioned the Circle and had sanctioned the executions and had written a presidential orders making them happen. And then that seemed a logical extension of that motivation on his part was then, that he would try to justify it to Laura at the end and say, "You can't- this is ridiculous. What do you think is gonna happen? You gotta take these guys out now or it's gonna beco- you're gonna be wrapped up in trials forever." And that Laura would take from that message, given everything that had happened, that Laura was gonna be the one to then issue the pardons and a blanket amnesty.
This storyline was something that- it was also a late developing storyline. We always knew that Gaeta was gonna be a key man in this story. It was always gonna be the vigilantes were going after Gaeta. They were gonna make a couple of attempts in the early drafts where they took a swipe at him. They tried to get him and he somehow got away and then he was on notice. And people- there was more security, and then they tried again and that time they were really gonna succeed. And Tigh had been brought in by that point. And Tigh, in the original drafts, was not the ringleader of the circle and he was not really involved in these early beats. But later in the story he was brought in and he actually saved Gaeta more than Tyrol did. It was really Tigh remembering the whole thing about the dog bowl that saved Gaeta in the early drafts. But as we were working it through I realized that actually it was a little bit better to keep- I wanted Tigh to be in on this from the beginning. And that Tigh was almost the ringleader of that jury and was bent on vengeance because that made more sense in terms of the fact that he had exacted the ultimate price from his own wife, and why would he let anybody else get away with anything else? And that he would be- it would just seem more consistent with the character that he was much more hard core from the get-go.
And this whole little runner too about Tigh trying to come back into CIC, this was written more as an idea that he was drunk. That he had come back and was a little loaded when he came in. And I think that Michael Hogan didn't want to play him drunk in this particular beat, because his instinct was that- we shouldn't be excusing Tigh's behavior here and the way he treats Gaeta and the way he talks as just the alcohol talking. He wanted it to be genuinely where the character was and I think that's actually a pretty good impulse.
This little- this is a little mini-arc that we're starting here about Tigh and Adama and their estrangement from one another and Tigh's complete inability to fit back into the Galactica command structure. This will play itself out over several episodes, actually. But we just kept asking ourselves, again, "What would really happen?" How could Gaeta walk back into CIC? As much as he wants to, could Gaeta ever resume his post, and under what circumstances?
Now this, the meeting of the Circle, is something only developed in later episodes. In early drafts it was alluded to that they had met and they looked over evidence but you never really saw it. And I felt that it was important to see that these people took this seriously. That they weren't just crazies. They weren't running around just offing people willy-nilly. There was a system that they took to heart. That they were trying to behave like a jury. That- and the show is starting to- the show starts with this idea that, ok, there's vigilantes and they've gone crazy. And then you start peeling the onion back a little bit. And little by little you start realizing that actually it's not that simple. It's- they are meeting. They are working as a jury. And that Tigh- Tigh of all people, slams that guy's head to the table because he's not a- he doesn't see himself as a nutjob here, either. It's important to all these people in this room to believe that they are doing something that is just. That they are operating on the side of right. They are not people that are doing this because they think this is all about vengeance. They're doing it because they think this is the right thing to do. And as you then- the next layer you find on top of that is that the President of the Colonies has authorized this and that this is all done under legal circumstances.
Just a small touch here that I thought was important. It was important to me that neither Seelix nor Tigh nor Tyrol wear their uniforms in these scenes. That this was- even though it was legally sanctioned, this was not something that was done under their military- under the guise of it being a military operation.
We played around with a lot of this, in terms of editing, of where these scenes fell. The central idea was that Gaeta was always gonna be tough. That is was- here's somebody the audience likes. Here's somebody that the audience, if they know the backstory or they watched the recap, knows was genuinely a good guy. Here's a good guy who was trying to do something in a tough position. But what would everyone else think? And what would happen because nobody knew that he was the informant. And who would believe him?
And this was- there was also something in this show about random chance and luck and how if you're unlucky you could get swept up into something without really ever being guilty of something. And if you were in a system- if you're in a system where the state, in this case Zarek, essentially say- points a finger at somebody and says, "That person's bad. Look at the evidence in secret. Decide, and then go execute him." That's essentially what happens here. With no real chance for that man to prove his innocence or to even face his confronters or to have any true day in court. It's essentially, "We have the evidence. We're gonna make the decision and that's it." And what happens when through random chance or through just bad luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, an innocent man is swept up into that. Because the great irony, of course, is that Tyrol was on the other end of that dog bowl signal. He knows there was a signal. But Gaeta hasn't had a chance to tell him. And Gaeta doesn't even know that he's the guy to tell. Gaeta doesn't know who was getting those signals. It's like here's these- here are these people in the first couple of days after the exodus and everything's still being shaken out and Gaeta doesn't know that his life is hanging in jeopardy. Gaeta's trying to tell people what he did, but nobody really believes him.
This is also imp- was a key thing that- when Anders walks out because Anders has had enough, 'cause he's just had enough of killing and death and he's seen too much and he finally can't take it anymore. That when he leaves they don't just keep going. That it was important to Tyrol and to the others that it's a jury and the jury needed one more person and they weren't gonna keep going if they didn't have that person.
The mood here on the Cylon baseship is intentionally more surreal. A little stranger. It's not as naturalistic. It's not as edgy and hand-held as we typically go. The camera still has a little bit of life in it, so it doesn't break completely with our style, but the idea was Baltar is "Stranger in a Strange Land" here. Not literally, but he's an odd- he's odd man out over there. And what's he gonna do? And where- what are his circumstances? And to- instead of laying out everything that was gonna happen on the Cylon baseship in the first episode, decided it was more interesting to play it as more mysterious. Play from Baltar's point of view. You don't get to see the Cylons talking about him. You don't get to see anything, really, outside of the confines of this room, here in the first episode. So you're really with the prisoner wondering, "What is this world I have landed in and what are my options?" And you start immediately hearing about divisions. You start hearing about arguments. That there's- his life is hanging in the balance and decisions are being taken someplace else. And it's interesting that D'anna comes to see him before Caprica-Six does, or any of the Sixes.
The set design of this, I was talking about a litle bit earlier. There were a lot of different concepts. It was a fine line deciding at what point did we want it to be straight up scifi in its feeling, traditional science fiction with flashy lights and all kinds of gear. And at what point did we want it to pull back from that and be more austere. And we settled on this idea that the backgrounds are opaque in terms of you don't know the functions or the purpose of any of the lights you're seeing or where those doorways go or even what the rooms are foor. There's just rooms. And you'll see in subsequent episodes you'll see hallway- you'll see more of the Cylon baseship as the show goes on. But in the initial setup it's just unclear what that world is. Because I think that with the Cylon baseship, a little goes a long way and also no matter what we show you on the Cylon baseship you're inevitably going to be somewhat disappointed. And I'm sure there will be lots of comment about, "Oh... we had such high hopes for the interior of the Cylon baseship, and this is all we got." And that's one of the things that we intentionally said, "You know what? We're gonna take that hit." Because we wanna tell the storyline over there, and that requires us to build some sets. And we had to build those sets in the same area where we once had the Pegasus, which also drove us to get rid of Pegasus. 'Cause you only have so much stage space to deal with. And we knew right away that no matter what we came up with, no matter what concept we put into that Cylon baseship, inevitably it was never gonna be as cool or as interesting as what your mind's eye imagines. What you project into the baseship and what you thought was the interior of the baseship will always be far more mysterious and interesting than anything we could possibly produce. And we just decided, "Know what? We'll take that hit 'cause we wanna tell a story over there."
I like that little beat with Adama and Lee. The reference to the jump-rope and losing weight again. There was a longer section of that scene leading in where Lee and Adama walk through the crowded halls of Galactica. Literally there were people- some people sleeping in the halls 'cause the ship was so crammed full of civilian refugees and them talking about how it's a little bet- it's nicer to have a noisy crowded ship and dealing with some of the- they were talking more concrete terms about some of the refugee problems and supply problems and you had a sense of them putting things together and then eventually you got to that place where the first reports were coming in that people were going missing.
I like that Gaeta has yet to put his uniform on here in this scene in the rec room. He's not really one of us yet. He's back on the ship and his position is a little uncertain. And everyone's watching him and everyone watches him and Kara together. And I like the idea that Gaeta is trying to tell people, "I did a good thing," but the truth is, who would believe him, really? I mean, if you're one of the people who's living on New Caprica and you're looking at Gaeta and you think that Gaeta is Martin Bormann, who- Martin Bormann was one of Hitler's inner circle, you don't have to think- you don't have to really see a picture Martin Bormann doing somethin' nasty. You just know that he was one of the in-guys with high-Nazis. That guy was a evil and should go down. And essentially the analogy here. That Gaeta is damned just by the fact that everyone knew that he was still worked for Baltar. And he's telling people what he did. And he's telling people about the dog bowl. He's telling people that, "I was trying to help the restance." But noone believes him. And the thing is, because of the circumstances and random chance, he's not telling it to Tyrol and he has no idea that Tyrol is the one guy on this ship that he should be saying that to. But how could he possibly know? And how could he know that Tyrol's out there getting ready to vote on his death.
This scene over to Seelix. This is how Seelix realizes that Kara is a potential vote, and probably a potential guilty vote, given the previous scene.
Back with the Cylons. You'll see a shift in mood in terms of how we play the Cylon baseship in the next episode. We started going for a different musical language. Slightly different style of how we shot the interior. There was a lot of learning involved with how much we wanted to show of the Cylon baseship and what the mood and feel would be over there. In this episode we decided that the story was stripped down enough and was so simple and you were just setting Baltar up as being over there at all, though we didn't want a lot of other bells and whistles and we didn't want to get into a lot of how the ship functioned and how they interacted among each other, and what- and even what the other rooms were. We said, "Let's start with this room, and let's just tell this little, small story, to get the story going."
I should also say that Michael Rymer, who directed this episode, was incredibly influential and had a key hand in developing the whole look of these Cylon sets. Not just in this episode, but in subsequents. Along with Richard Hudolin, who's our production designer, obviously, and his entire art department and Harvey and the whole team. But there was a lot of conversation with Michael in terms of how we were shooting these sets and the lighting. He had a great deal of impact in how we shot these scenes subsequently. But Richard Hudolin really, and his art department team, really had to make all this happen and really make all this stand in for a gigantic basestar.
I love this beat with Baltar. I think he- I think he adlibbed that in the table read. Or he might have mentioned- said it to me on the phone. I think we were having a dialogue notes session with James on the phone and he was running through the dialogue and he said something at the end of it, "And I probably should've started with that." (Laughs.) And he says, "I need you too! Oh. I probably should have started with that." I thought that was hysterical. I thought it's the perfect button to the scene.
This scene, with Kara getting pulled into the Circle for the first time. Again, this is the peeling back the onion. That now you're realizing that not only are these guys in some kind of formal procedure, but there's an official component to it. That the President has something to do with this. That they're not just lunatics running wild, and that that matters. That that would matter to them. It would matter to all of them how they took the job seriously, and what they did about it, and how Kara would come in.
Now in a minute here, Anders comes in and- I'm seeing this insert, actually for the first time. No, I've seen this insert before, I take that back. A lot of times the insert shots like that are shot so much later that ofttimes we don't have those shots in the cut itself and as you're watching the cut when you're- the editors, directors, even the studio and network cut. Frequently we don't have any of those little insert shots and an insert shot is typically a closeup of a piece of paper, a closeup of DRADIS screen, of a gun, whatever. It's almost always a closeup of an object with somebody's hand in it and many times that hand has- is not related to the actual actor on camera and those shots are shot weeks later because we realize we're missing a piece of coverage in the editing room and then they're just thrown in much later. Sometimes- in "Water", in the episode "Water" in season one, we redid the inserts of the detonator and the bomb under Sharon's Raptor chair more times than I care to even like fuckin' think about. It was just like over and over again 'cause we never got it right.
This scene- I intercut this. This was not meant to be an intercut. It was not meant- this was supposed to be a completely separate piece of business. It was like Kara is with Anders out here. She leaves the Circle. She has her breakup scene with Anders and then she goes back in as scripted and as shot. She went back into the room and participated in the end of the jury scene. See, this scene right here, where Tigh is talking, trying to convince Tyrol, Katee is actually still- is sitting in this set. And we had to like- because I wanted to intercut the two, I felt that by going out there and having their entire marriage breakup scene and then following Kara back into this scene and starting all over again, it felt slow and it felt too long and it didn't have any juice to it. So what we did wa- what I did was to try to intercut the two, but that meant having to carve Katee out of all this coverage. Because in several of these shots there were angles where you could see Katee's head or she was looking and we had to then carefully reconstruct that scene in the Circle so that you never saw her sitting at the table. And it also, by intercutting it, allowed me to chop up this breakup scene a little bit. Because I wro- I wrote this breakup scene a couple of times and it got a little purple for my taste. It got a little melodramatic some of the things they were saying. Part of me still feels a little dissatisfied with this sequence. I tried to cut this down even harsher. I was- there was a cut I did where this was even more barebones than this. It was just mostly looks and a couple of lines and then she was gonna say goodbye and he was gonna leave. And people freaked. They were like a- They were like, "You can't. I was crying. What are you doing?" And I don't know there's- it's an interesting thing. I notice this in myself, a lot, in my writing and onscreen. Sometimes I will write dialogue for characters, especially in emotional, romantic type scenes, and it reads beautifully on the page. Or at least, I think it does, and then sometimes I'll see it on camera and I'll make me cringe and I pull away from it and I start carving back and then I start whittling it back so far that it's too much. And it's trying to find the happy medium where it works and- I don't know. There's some- there is a differen- there's obviously difference between the written word and the spoken word and sometimes on the page you can write things that are poetic and interesting and I think that they're gonna play beautifully and then I watch them on camera and I realize that I've just overwritten it and that I'm hitting stuff a little bit too hard on the nose. And thin- and that's just a challenge for me, personally, as a writer. Writing this sort of emotional scenes without overwriting the emotional scenes.
I love that shot. The wide shot of them in the hangar deck. It's romantic. I mean, it's a romantic shot. See, now this is where I was saying Katee walked back in, and then we were gonna pick up the jury scene and she was gonna sit down and then once the jury had been reassembled they were gonna go through the whole vote again.
This is not the last you will be seeing of Mr. Anders, I am happy to report. Who I think is, just done an amazing job for us. The character of Samuel T. Anders is really come along and is now a key part of the family.
And again, this is the repitition of where you saw Jammer in the tease. This a c- this is what we call a callback in the business. You use- you set something up very early in the show and then all you have to do is go back to that set or reuse some of the same angles and material and you're calling back the first thing and the audience immediately knows what's gonna happen here 'cause we've been here before.
I believe that A.J., who plays Gaeta, I think it was his impulse to really play this down a little bit. That there was a futility. Instead of him raging against them and I think in the early drafts and in my draft he was trying to fight it more. He was trying to sa- tell them what he had done, and he was trying to like talk his way out of it. And think it was A.J.'s instinct that actually it would be- that he would realize just the futility of it. That after- especially after the scene with Kara and the scene with Tigh that he would get- be- to a place where it's just like, "You know what? I'm not gonna beg. I'm not gonna beg, just do what you gotta do. Do whatever." I thought that was an interesting choice. I think it's a really smart decision, as an actor, to go to that card. And I- and then I decided to play off it. I thought that's great because then there's something interesting about- Kara wants him to beg. Kara is here- Kara needs something out of this. She needs blood. She needs this guy to go down and go down hard. This guy has to pay for the things that happened to her. And she even goes up there and kicks him. It's an ugly thing to have one of your leads do. This is an ugly scene of Kara Thrace kicking and yelling at the innocent man before she executes him, for Gods' sakes.
I think if there's one thing I wish we had a little bit more of in this episode is, I wish we had a little bit more from Kara and what she went through. I think it's- I wish there was- we did play some- there were scripted nightmare sequences flashing back to her time with Leoben. There were pieces of Kacey we were gonna come up with. And they were all unsatisfying for one reason or another and they all ended up getting cut and so we stripped it down to a barebones Kara line but I kinda wish in this last sequence, I wish I was with her pain a little bit more than we are. It's like I understand that she's in pain, intellectually, but I'm not feeling it strongly.
And then Tyrol put it out there. He was the guy. And the shock of it. And how close did they come to that? What have they been doing? What happens when you don't give people a chance to challenge their detention? What happens when you don't give people a chance to actually fight their accuse- face their accusers and fight for their day in court? Maybe those are things we should think about.
This is actually a much chopped down scen- version of the scene. There was a whole setup in here that- there was a scene- the beginning of the scene has to do with them realizing that there are these death squads. This stuff has been going on. We gotta find these people. [00:38:28] And there was a wo- there was a- in the early scene with the Circle you saw a woman's picture on the table and they put a big "X" through it as she was marked for death. Well, this scene was gonna open with that woman was killed and there were the materials were found on the vigilantes. They didn't catch them. It was on this other ship. But Laura was looking for a picture. Laura was like, "Oh, I remember that name. I remember the name of that dead woman and I had a picture of her in my journal." The journal that we setup back in "Occupation" and "Precipice". And she goes to find the picture and the picture is missing and how did the picture get missing and then Tory, who's becoming increasingly uncomfortable, and that's why she's in this scene, finally cops to it. She gave the picture to Zarek. Zarek was using material from Laura's own journal to supply information to the jury to go out and get these people. And Tory was the linchpin. She had- she was really upset and shattered by the revelation. And in the scene used to be in this show that I then put into the end of "Exodus", where Tory is with Laura and she's crying and she's saying, "We've been looking for Hera and we can't find her." In that scene she went on and got very upset and says, "I'm sorry. I've betrayed you. But I just want all those people to die. I didn't- I don't want them to get trials. I don't want them to have lawyers. I just want them to be killed." And you understood her rage and her passion for what she had done by helping Zarek do this. And we cut it all. We cut it all for time because we- I just couldn't fit everything in and this was just stronger. This was a stronger cut, to just go straight in that they're already- they've already heard what's going on. Adama just going, "What the hell are you talking about?"
Wanted to have just a little piece of Laura being sworn in again, just to bridge it and bring us back to- get the Fleet back on its feet. As I said earlier, this was initially gonna be Zarek's swansong as he went out he was gonna pardon everybody before he left and stick it to 'em. And then I figured- I realized it was more important for the show and for the characters that Laura learn something here. That Laura move on. That Laura realize, on some level, her own journal was supposed to exact vengeance. And that they- that after this experience they were all back in the same boats together and they had to keep going, they had to go find Earth.
I love that little cut away of Tigh unpacking Ellen's clothes. I think that's so touching.
That they had to move on. And that the only way that they were gonna move on was to try to forgive one another. That they couldn't just be trying to constantly root out the collaborators and hunt down people who had wronged them. That they had to forgive and move on in order to survive. Now it does raise the question of Baltar. Would they forgive- will they forgive Baltar, if and when he ever comes back to the Fleet? Which I think is an open question, at this point.
And Caprica-Six bringing back his clothes.
And of course the notion of the reconciliation and amnesty is- has happened in South Africa and in other places.
Love the little beats with Gaeta getting his uniform back on. See, that's why there's these cuts to Tory, too, here in this scene. You'll see Laura's looking at Tory, Tory's looking back at her, that's because Tory- she actually had lines in the episode and she used to pay- play a bigger role. And it's a very smart idea that, I think this was Rymer's idea, that Adama is first on his feet and applauds. That Adama wholeheartedly supports and respects what she just did, as controversial as it is, with others, perhaps.
And then this little button. I mean, I think this is a really interesting bittersweet little ending, that nothing is said in this scene. The two men. The would-be executor and the would-be executed. Sits down with him. He doesn't say he's sorry. Doesn't say how it's goin'. They both can't- the both aren't gonna forget what happened, but they're gonna try to keep goin'. And just by sitting at the table with him, speaks volume. I think it's a lovely piece of acting by them both and the looks on their faces. And I think it's a really interesting ending for the episode.
So that's "Collaborators". Like I said, I think it's- it is definitely one of my favorites of the season. So far I've really loved all these episodes. These first four I'm just very, very proud of. I'll be interested to see what people's reactions are to this one. This is a tough episode to watch. I think it- I think we're really asking a lot of the audience in some of these episodes and in this one in particular it's really challenging, I think. Challenging you to stick with us and to go with the story and not just leave and go watch something else. Thank you for listening and hope you enjoyed the podcast and I'll be talking to you next week on episode five, "Torn". Good night and good luck.