Ron Moore Questions and Answers

Created by John Larocque on February 3, 2005
Last revised: November 6, 2007

This document is ©2005, John Larocque. All rights reserved.

Index

Plans for the Future
Seasonal Overviews
The Cylons and Religion
Writing Galactica
The Characters
Earth, Colonial Origins and the Galactica mythos
Original Series Plotlines and Actors
Technical and Aesthetic Comments
Colonial Jargon
Creative Directions
The Genesis of the Project
Remake versus Continuation
Original Series Fans
The Premise of the Miniseries
Answers to General Questions

Plans for the Future

1/30/2005 -- Question: To what extent would you want to explore the practical issues of life in the fleet -- you've touched on the basics of food, fuel and water, but how about problems such as finding enough doctors to treat the population, providing life support on ships not originally intended as passenger vessels and dealing with the inevitable fiefdoms arising on these mix and match metal life rafts?

I would very much like to continue exploring these issues in the second year and beyond. I'm intrigued by playing the situation as realistically as dramatically possible and I think these sorts of questions are wonderful material for the show.

12/7/2005 -- Question: Are we going to continuing development of civilian government infrastructure, such as civilian police and schools?

We're starting to talk about these things more, but haven't shown them yet, which is ironic since I thought that these very structures would be a key component of the show and indeed, they were featured prominently in my initial pitch. But, as I said earlier, I prefer to let things evolve naturally, and this show seems to live most comfortably in the military world and not so much in the police or school worlds. (source: SciFi.com Behind the Scenes)

12/7/2006 -- Question: Will we ever find out why baby Hera is the shape of things to come?

Yes, we will, but probably not until close to the end of the series. (source: EOnline)

12/7/2006 -- Question: Are we going to see a return of the mysticism in the future? Does the show deal with President Roslin's seeming abandonment of her role as the leader of the prophecies?

You will definitely see both of those things. (source: EOnline)

3/8/2007 -- I think you'll see more Leoben... We do have specific plans for Dualla next year... Narcho is definitely featured again.

3/26/2007 -- Will we meet the final fifth Cylon next season?

I think so. (source: Post-Gazette)

6/1/2007 -- The show has always been about a search for Earth, and I think to end the series without getting to Earth, or a version of Earth or something we call Earth, or having at least somebody say "Earth", it would be unsatisfying. So it will definitely figure into this year's story line... At the end of season three, we showed you a glimpse of Earth. You actually saw it and I think you will see more of it. We will get to a place that we're going to call Earth, by the end of the series. You'll get to see it. (source: End of series press conference)

6/1/2007 -- It's possible [Lucy Lawless might come back in season 4]. It's in the planning stages, nothing firm. It's one of the things we're talking about. (source: End of series press conference)

6/1/2007 -- We will touch on ["All Along the Watchtower"] again probably later on in the fourth season. We will explain it within the context of the show. It was something I thought about doing in an earlier season. (source: End of series press conference)

11/4/2007 -- Definitely more Leoben this season... Big things ahead for Gaeta this season. Jake is coming back... Mary definitely has more to do this year and her story is one of the main throughlines for the entire season.

Seasonal Overviews

10/2004 -- Over the course of the first season, you'll see a lot of character relationships and plotlines that were established in the miniseries being expanded on. The dynamics between Adama and Roslin change and move from conflict to co-operation and back again and there are new relationships forming between Starbuck and Apollo, Starbuck and Baltar, and several other players. There's also a season-long exploration of Cylon religion which specifically has to do with the relationship between Six and Baltar, and we learn more about Colonial beliefs. So there's a lot of interesting stuff that will take place in season one... The last two episodes are essentially a two-hour adventure. The fleet discover Kobol, the home of humanity, and a lot of things change, especially the status of Roslin and Adama, Lee makes a fateful decision and a choice. Baltar is given information about what his true destiny really is and Adama, in particular, meets an unhappy fate. There are a couple of cliffhangers. (source: Dreamwatch)

1/14/2005 -- The overall arc has to do with the relationship between Adama and Laura Roslin, the transition of both of them from what you think is going to be their roles of the military hawk and the civilian dove. And starting to realize that actually... she's a harder-line character than he is, and that he is the son, not of a long line of military men, but the son of a civil liberties attorney. And that he's actually very reticent to be her policeman, as he says in one of the episodes. And that by the end of the season, their conflict would come to a head. (source: SciFi Wire)

5/28/2005 -- There are a couple of familiar faces that will go down for the count. I would say the events of the end of last season [mark] the beginning of this season. Adama's shot. There's people stranded on Kobol. Kara's back on Caprica. Those storylines continue; all those continue. I would say we don't wrap up season one until episode seven. Adama is not back on his feet any time soon. Commander Tigh is in charge of Galactica. Laura is in jail. There's a meteor crisis that follows the cliffhanger, and Tigh kind of steers them through that crisis successfully. But, you know, Tigh, he's probably the guy you don't want in charge. Things begin to unravel when [Tigh's] in charge of the fleet. He declares martial law at a certain point. There is an incident where he sends the troops to get supplies, because the ships are withholding supplies from Galactica. He says enough is enough and sends out the troops, and an incident happens, and people get killed. They shoot a bunch of civilians. It's a whole nightmare, and Laura starts an insurrection and the fleet divides. There's a lot of fallout from the events of the last season. (source: EnigmaCon, reported in the SciFi Wire on 6/1/2005)

10/6/2005 -- The second half of the season obviously is going to deal with the cliffhanger where we left off, with Pegasus and Galactica about to do battle. First episode will deal with that. Then we're going to do some episodes with, well, one of the characters who's going to have a major role to play is Lee Adama. He's going to go on his own emotional journey and eventually find himself. There's a big Laura episode. You get to see her life on Caprica before the attack, and you'll get to meet president Adar, who was the President she worked for when she was the Secretary of Education. And you'll get to see a glimpse of what her life was like before she found out she got cancer and before the attack. There's a storyline where Baltar's growing affinity for the Cylons becomes more prominent and he starts becoming somewhat darker and scarier character as time goes on.

We're going to be doing big episodes with the other battlestar, Pegasus. We've got a big fighter plane combat episode that's all about Kara and one of our other pilots named Kat and their competition with each other and with themselves as regards to one Cylon raider out there that keeps coming back and killing pilots again and again. We're gonna try to do a couple of really controversial episodes. We're gonna deal with some sort of hot-button issues of today that will be translated into Galactica's world. Like abortion is definitely going to become an issue on the show. We're going to do a Cylon-oriented episode later in the season that's a story that's told primarily from the Cylon's point of view for the first time. Sort of get inside their heads, see what they're about when they're not out chasing Galactica. And then we've got, of course, a big two-part finale where a lot of things are gonna change, and the show's gonna make a fairly significant, radical change of direction.

Lee and Dualla are starting to become a bit of an item in the second half of the season, which is of course very complicated by the fact that Dualla is involved with Billy. We have our first triangle! Well, actually our second if you consider the Sharon and Helo! Or Baltar and Six! And Baltar, actually, his connection to a woman that I sort of named Gina in Pegasus, the captive that was held there, his relationship with her will continue throughout the season as well. (source: EOnline)

3/11/2006 -- The end of the season is quite a shake-up. The Cylons show up and all hell breaks loose. Essentially, season three is going to deal with the Cylon occupation of the Colonials on New Caprica. The archetype that we're talking about is like Vichy France: There's a Colonial government run by President Baltar that is collaborating with the Cylons, while the humans put together an insurgent resistance against the occupation. It's a pretty big twist... Adama and the Galactica and Pegasus are gone, and they're trying to get their act together to figure out a way to come back and rescue [the Colonials]. And season three will start off in that world of the Cylon occupation... We do eventually plan on getting them back out into space, and also another major thing that's going to happen in the third season is we're going to do an ongoing Cylon story where we're going to be cutting over to the Cylon world for the first time and running a complete arc within the Cylon. (source: Now Playing)

8/2006 -- It starts four months into the occupation. Time has moved on, and certain things have had time to develop. There's an insurgency on New Caprica. Galactica and Pegasus are off someplace desperately trying to figure out a way to get back and rescue everyone. Baltar is still the president, but he is under the occupation authority. There are humans who are working with the Cylons, but are they collaborators or are they trying to make things better? We deal with suicide bombings and a lot of contemporary, heavy-duty issues again in the third season. But then there is fallout. Whose side were you on when the chips were down? Who is a collaborator, and what should happen to them? What of Gaius Baltar? We'll also be telling stories on the Cylon side. We're going to do a running Cylon storyline throughout the first 11 episodes, and it cuts over to a Basestar spaceship for the first time. (source: Sci-Fi Magazine)

10/2/2006 -- There is fallout from [New Caprica] that reverberates for a while. Both [Kara] and Col. Tigh have trouble integrating back into the crew, once they're on board [again]. And there's another beat with Kacey after that, and Tigh can't return to being XO for quite a while. Essentially he starts drinking and stays in his room all day. Kara's marriage gets on the rocks and the situation with Lee becomes more perilous and then at some point midseason, the destiny that Leoben and a couple of people have hinted around that Kara has starts to manifest itself. And she starts realizing and is afraid of the idea that maybe she is pulled toward some specific end goal. (source: Chicago Tribune)

12/7/2006 -- We are going to see some interesting things: We meet Adama's wife for the first time, in an unusual way, and see who his ex-wife is and the roots of why they were divorced and the problems Lee had growing up. There are some big stand-alone episodes, including one for Helo, and one for Tyrol, and there's a really pivotal episode with Starbuck, sort of a fighter-plane episode about her. Beyond that, it starts to wrap up into our finale, and there is a three-part episode that gets us to the end of the season. By then, we will have major revelations and some major plot turns. (source: EOnline)

12/13/2006 -- There's a pretty big loss coming midway through the second half of the season. You'll be pretty shocked about what happens to somebody... Episodes 14, 15 and 16 [are] a little more standalone and concentrate on particular characters a little more. We'll do some stuff with the civilians, their culture and society. We get to meet Adama's dead wife and understand who she was, in not quite a flashback kind of episode but one that deals with who Lee and Zak's mother was, and why did she and Adama divorce and why does he still have baggage about that in his life today. We have an episode about Tyrol and the aftermath of the union experience on New Caprica and what that means today in terms of labor and class. There's an episode that deals with Helo and racial and cultural tensions within the fleet. And then the episodes kind of crescendo into the end. There's kind of a three-part ending to the season, but it's formally a two-parter. But it crescendos into the culmination of a lot of the plot threads we've set up since the beginning of the season -- the Baltar line, the final five Cylons line, stuff with Lee and his father and the family Adama and who they're all about, things with Hera. The finale this season is more interconnected with the entire season than last year's was, or even before. This finale brings together a lot of plot threads and it has startling revelations [and] multiple cliffhangers. (source: Chicago Tribune)

The Cylons and Religion

5/10/2003 -- The discussion started with the production realities. Early on, we knew that while the original Cylons were iconic in pop culture, that they would need to be significantly updated to play for contemporary audiences as legitimate villains. The two choices are inevitably actors in suits or CGI, the former being bulky, costly to produce in mass quantity, and run the risk of being silly, while the later are still cost prohibitive for a TV series. We went round and round on the problems, before deciding to go with human looking Cylons. This presented its own problems, of course -- losing a key tie to the original series and covering familiar terrain in science fiction being the two biggest. First, we decided to try to maintain some presence of the original mechanoid Cylons to maintain a tie to the original. Then the challenge became to make the humanoid Cylons unique in the way they think, act, and emote so that they weren't the Borg or Replicants or any other familiar cybernetic characters. Then we realized that making them the creation of the Colonials opened up many more creative avenues and made the entire war and struggle much more complicated and ambiguous than a simple "Evil Robots vs. Good Humans" scenario. (source: Cylon Alliance)

8/14/2003 -- Human-like Cylons are better from a creative standpoint because the backstory now is that the Colonials created the Cylons. The Cylons went off and developed on their own... and then they came back in this new form. There's a stronger tie between Cylon and human; it literally is parent and child now. That creates a different resonance in the piece, because it's really your children that you have responsibility for, that you've created in a very literal sense, and that have now come back to haunt you... It creates many other possibilities. They can infiltrate human society. Will they lose themselves in human society? Will they begin asking existential questions such as who am I, and is there a god? Those are fascinating things when they are ostensibly a synthetic life-form... The original Cylons are still in the story, but in very small roles... they're not really the newest, coolest model of Cylon any more. (source: Robert Falconer)

11/5/2003 -- There will be more mechanical Cylons but they will be seen only sparingly. CGI is very expensive for a TV budget... I'm still working on the Cylon backstory, but yes, their belief in God and in their own souls developed during their 40-year exile. I've considered the Iblis connection, but I'm not sure if I'm going to use it that way or not. (source: Cylon Alliance)

12/4/2003 -- "Who are the Cylons? Why are they chasing the humans? Why do they hate them so much?" Ultimately, "What is this series about?" And in the original, it's not really about anything. The Cylons are evil because they're evil, and they're bent on galactic conquest because they're bent on galactic conquest, and they hate the humans because they hate the humans. And the humans are just like the noble, heroic, innocent, "Oh, we love freedom." And it was just nothing there. There's some vague story in the old show about the Cylons trying to take over a third alien race and the humans tried to defend them, and that sparked a war, but that's about as far as it goes. There's some intimations that the Cylons used to be reptilian and then their technology took over, but none of these are really at the heart of the drama. When David and I were talking story, we were like, "Okay, the Cylons destroy their entire civilization -- billions upon billions of people are dead -- and maybe like 50,000 people make it out of here and run away into the stars, and the Cylons just keep chasing them." And it's like, "Why?" You really kind of wonder, "What's the big deal?" ... They were villains because they were villains, and it didn't go any further than that. So from a creative aspect, we were looking for deeper, more interesting themes and stuff to play. (source: IGN FilmForce)

12/5/2003 -- [The idea of human Cylons] came out of discussions early on between myself and David Eick. We were talking over both production problems associated with doing full-on Cylon body suits or CGI as well as the existing problems with the Cylon backstory, or lack thereof. At some point we began to gravitate toward human-looking Cylons because the themes and stories would be more interesting and the production problems would be much more containable.

12/6/2003 -- Mankind has turned against them in this version, a traditional idea, but these believe in God, have a soul, feel they are children of humanity but must kill their parents. I'm more internally terrified of an enemy that's killing me in the name of God... When you look at it, you won't say we've treated the Cylons as Muslims. We're not dealing with al Qaeda. You can say they are stand-ins, but I don't think you can say the Cylons are Islamists. (source: Washington Post)

12/7/2003 -- These machines actually believe they have souls. They have a God and believe that the child cannot become an adult until the parent is dead. They come and kill us in the name of love. Personally, I'm more frightened by that than the idea of a bunch of space Nazis. (source: The St. Petersburg Times)

2/20/2004 -- The creative aspect was: one of the problems of the original series was that you never really understood why the Cylons wanted to kill the humans. They spent a tremendous amount of time and resources chasing down the Galactica and its rag-tag fleet, hellbent on destroying them, and you're never really clear why, except that they were the bad guys, space Nazis. They were evil and humans were the good guys... So they needed something that was more intriguing and more interesting to have as their motivation for going against our people. One of the roads that that brings you to is, what if the humans created the Cylons? What if human beings, in this other society, had advanced to the point where they created truly sentient beings and then they rebelled against them? That's a familiar science-fiction idea, that has been explored in many other arenas, but in our version, what made it different was the way the Cylons were specifically realised. They have a belief in God, they have a religion, a society, a culture. They view themselves not just terminators out to destroy mankind, because they hate us, [but instead] as mankind's children who can never quite realise their own potential until their parents have died. Which is a bizarre, but more intriguing idea.

Then, from the practical aspect, if you went with mechanoid Cylons, close to the original or even just a modern day version of them, it's going to cost a lot of money. Modern day audiences are not going to accept the slow-walking, bad-shooting Cylons of 1978. So, it would require very complicated suits, which are very expensive and would be hard to mass-produce, if not impossible. That leads you to CGI, which we did use in the pilot, but again, the expense of all the CGI means that you couldn't do a lot of them on a television series' weekly budget. If you make them human, all those problems go away, and we could still bring in a few mechanoid Cylons here and there. It was a good way to go for creative and practical reasons. (source: BBC Cult TV)

2/20/2004 -- I think that the enemy that says I'm killing you in the name of God, and God is love, is a more frightening enemy to me than the one that's the space Nazi and just wants to kill you because they're evil. You get the feeling that one, you can take care of them. The other, you're not quite sure how to even approach them. Also, it's a contemporary thing. We're dealing with religious fanaticism in many contexts, some on the left, some on the right, and I think it's an interesting area to explore. The humans in the show believe in god, or in gods, rather, and have a religious faith, and a belief in something larger than themselves, and so do their enemies. That's intriguing, because it gets you out of the easy dialectic, "We're the good guys and God is on our side, and you're the soulless, godless evil ones who are trying to hurt us." (source: BBC Cult TV)

2/25/2004 -- We'll reveal pieces of Cylon society slowly. It's best to keep them interesting for the time being.

3/6/2004 -- We will open up the Cylon world a little bit more. You want to do it slowly and carefully because they are really interesting the more mysterious they are... We will see more mechanoid Cylons as the series goes on. But right now I don't have any plans for Imperious Leader. The humanoid Cylons are the pinnacle of Cylon evolution at the moment. (source: James Iaccino)

4/2/2004 -- Bit by bit we will peel back the onion of Cylon society, who the Cylons are, what there values are, and what they care about. We will treat them as people. And just because they're people doesn't mean they aren't capable of doing horrific things. Complicated and interesting villains are the most effective... The Cylons' belief system and the Colonials' belief system is intrinsic to who the two parties are in this show... The Colonials believe in a polytheistic view of the universe with multiple gods: the Lords of Kobol, with their own mythology and backstory. The Cylons look at that differently. They looked at that belief system and then evolved on their own, ultimately reducing the multiple god system down to one. The Cylons believe in a single god, a larger, single creator of the universe who guides all things... closer to a monotheistic system. (source: Robert Falconer)

6/17/2004 -- There are Cylons within the fleet that are a threat. There are Cylons like Sharon [Boomer] from the miniseries, who you know is a Cylon. But in terms of dog fighting, with Cylons literally attacking the Galactica, that's not going to be every week. We'll do that every three or four shows; but that doesn't mean the Cylons can't attack and threaten us in other ways in the interim. "33" had dogfights and space battles, as you'd expect from Battlestar Galactica, but in episode two there isn't a dogfight. (source: SFX Magazine)

1/9/2005 -- It's about the role of faith in society, how it can be used for good or for evil, and different faiths, and what happens when they collide. The religious aspect of the show is one of the more interesting textures of it. Complicated philosophical debates go on. There are certain theological issues that are posited and argued about -- Cylons and humans, why the Cylons believe in one God and the humans believe in many. What does it mean when one God tries to drive out the many? (source: Zap2It)

1/9/2005 -- We will continue to fight the Cylons throughout, but we don't do it every week. The show is not really a shoot-'em-up, it's a drama. There are plenty of problems for this fleet that don't involve the Cylons. There are Cylon sleeper-agents within them, they're running out of food, they're running out of supplies, they have accidents, things happen to them out in the reaches of space. And that's great, because that means you don't have to defeat the Cylons every week. Because if you do, you start going, "Well, how tough can they be? I mean, these guys beat them up every week." So, it's a good format, and it gives us a nice balance on the show. (source: HypaSpace)

1/14/2005 -- Most of the things that we're doing in season two were at least begun in season one. A lot of the religious things that happened in the show in terms of the Colonies and in terms of the Cylons. I think probably the big opportunity in season two that we didn't get in season one is to open up the Cylon world a little more. To see more of other Cylons. See how the society functions a little bit more. And give a sense of what that community is all about (source: Sci-Fi Wire)

1/15/2005 -- We're talking about eventually opening up the Cylon world and going aboard the ships and starting to see that culture, but I want to do it very slowly and I think right now the Cylon society is very interesting because you don't know anything about it and it's mysterious and kind of cool and kind of out there. And the more you reveal, the more you start getting familiar with that and it might not have quite the same intrigue. (source: Now Playing)

1/20/2005 -- The religious angle was something that evolved after the first draft of the miniseries. In that draft, I had mentioned, almost in passing, that Number Six believed in God and that really intrigued Michael Jackson (the executive, not the singer) who was working at the studio at the time. He suggested making it a bigger part of the show and also to more strongly play the Al-Qaeda/Cylon parallels. Both comments surprised and delighted me and I was more than happy to go in both those directions. The Colonials in the original were always mentioning the "Lords of Kobol" and I decided to make that literal rather than figurative and give them a polytheistic religion and the Cylons a monotheistic belief system. I found the clash of those two belief systems to be fascinating in our own history and thought it would be an interesting conflict in the show.

5/25/2005 -- At the beginning, I assumed that the Colonial would have a belief system, probably polytheistic. In the original, the "Lords of Kobol" were referred to several times. But it wasn't until relatively late in the game that I randomly gave the Cylons a belief system. I was creating the characters and working on some lines for Number Six and I thought it was interesting if she professed a belief in a single God. I had really given her a belief in a singular God almost by accident. [As] I compared that with the polytheistic religion of the Colonials, I started to realize that an interesting pattern was developing -- the Cylons believing in the one true God and the Colonials having an older, multifaceted system of deities that was obviously patterned on the Romans.

I started reading about the rise of monotheism in the Western world and how it came to displace pagan religion. Those themes were interesting to play with in the show, the dynamic whereby the pagan religious practices tended to be tolerant and allow monotheistic beliefs within their own culture. And then there came this came this notion of this outside monotheistic belief, of the one true God that could not tolerate others, that started to drive out pagan worship. You had this apocalyptic moment of genocide which kicked off the entire series, of this Cylon culture that has this belief system in one god that is literally wiping out this pagan belief system and then is pursuing them across the galaxy.

The Cylons come back with a vengeance and have this belief system in place. The interest in the Cylons is this notion of "why are our enemies doing this? Itís not just that they're space Nazis, it's that they have an intricate belief system that leads them to this horrific answer... The Cylons in the show focus on the soul; they firmly believe that they have a soul. Human beings have souls given by the gods, and Cylons have a soul given by their one true god and that has to be just as valid. That means there is a plan for their soul and something for them after they die too. It's a fundamental element of their faith. (source: beliefnet)

9/30/2005 -- I always felt one of the problems of the original Battlestar was the Cylons were just bad. They were just evil. They were just out to conquer the galaxy -- they just wanted to shoot you. And I thought that this series was going to be much more complicated than that and that our opponents would have much more interesting sides to them. That they would have humanity, for lack of a better word. They have feelings and emotions. They have a theology. They have a belief system. They worship a loving God of salvation. They're complicated opponents, which I think makes them more formidable opponents. It's like, "These guys scare me." You may not know what to do with these guys exactly, or how to outmaneuver them, or what their weak point is, or how you defeat them, or how do you just survive against the Cylons... Overall the Cylons are just not about destruction. They have their own civilization and their own ethos. What are they doing with the Colonies? They left a lot of the buildings intact; they're cleaning up the bodies. I think they're intent on using the Colonies for themselves. The question is for what. (source: Now Playing)

12/7/2005 -- It was a conscious choice I made during the development of the miniseries [to make the Cylons monotheistic and the Colonials polytheistic.] I had included a line from Number Six where she said, "God is love," and that became the jumping off point for this entire aspect of the series. The fact that the Colonials already had Greco/Roman names and nomenclature made it a natural for saying that they were polytheistic. I think I realized that the clash of two civilizations with these beliefs would echo our own history as well as be an interesting inversion of the usual Pagan=Bad, Christian=Good dynamic and I thought that would be interesting to play around with. (source: SciFi.com Behind the Scenes)

1/4/2006 -- On a philosophical basis, they seem themselves as the children of humanity, and their worldview says they'll never really achieve their full potential until their "parents" are still alive, as it were, it's the idea of children coming into their own when their parents are dead. And it's also practical. Knowing humans as intimately as they do, they know if they allow this ragtag fleet to escape and establish colonies, they'll eventually come back and seek vengeance. So the Cylons are driven by a strong need to foreclose that possibility. (source: Chicago Tribune)

1/20/2006 -- The centurions are not sentient and their memories/experiences are not downloaded into new bodies when they die.

7/26/2006 -- Number Six was specifically a homage to "The Prisoner," but the rest were assigned their numbers randomly.

9/19/2006 -- While we did briefly discuss using a new technique of using actors in motion capture suits to portray the centurions, we ultimately decided against it for budgetary and production reasons, and the centurions will be completely CGI once again [in season 3].

9/19/2006 -- We made a fundamental choice at the outset that the centurions would be an extension of the original Galactica centurions, and therefore would be bipedal and vaguely humanoid in appearance. It's an aesthetic choice, one intended to maintain a sense of humanity even in the mechanical opponents. We've talked about other, more complicated devices and robots, but it seems to veer off into predictable territory rather rapidly, so we've decided to keep it pretty simple for now.

10/2/2006 -- Question: Regarding the various Cylon models we see on New Caprica, does each model speak for all the copies of that model?

Yeah, they're speaking for their model. The Cylons reach consensus among the twelve, and each represents their distinct model. And how they communicate among themselves and whether there are some shared knowledge pools are things we leave deliberately vague. There's a certain dramatic context to it, I want to imply that there are more mysterious things and that they communicate in ways that maybe we don't understand. I never want to want to quite define them, because then they become mundane and not that interesting. (source: Chicago Tribune)

10/20/2006 -- I felt that as the religious aspects of the show were becoming more common and started to dominate plot lines and certain character attributes, you had to make a choice at some level about whether that was all bullshit or not. Does it mean something? Is all this worship just about talk and about made up religions that don't mean anything? Or is there the possibility of something greater? These are the existential questions. Is this all that I am? Is there something more? Why am I here? If all the characters on the show are asking themselves those questions, I felt that on some level I wanted to give a hint that maybe they're not all fools. That maybe there's some greater truth that they're all struggling toward, that none of them can see perfectly. So I started to feather in ideas that could not be explained by rational means. While never really coming out and saying that God is behind the curtain, I wanted to have elements of it.

One of the things that I had noticed working on Star Trek, and in science fiction in general, was that mainstream science fiction tended to shy away from this as a subject. Gene Roddenberry felt very strongly that in the future of Star Trek, religions were all gone; that in 300 to 400 years mankind had evolved beyond it; that religions were all superstitions and were things of the past. It was a very secular humanist idea, which I don't have a problem with philosophically, but I didn't believe as a storyteller that in just a few centuries we would discard this fundamental thing that had informed our societies for so long. So, I felt that in this world in Galactica, which had nomenclature like Apollo and Athena and all these names of the Greek gods, it beggared the imagination to say that they didn't really believe in it. And if they did believe it in, I wanted to give it some validity and show that there is something out there. (source: Screenwriting Expo 5 in Los Angeles)

12/7/2006 -- Question: Do Cylons get older, or do they always stay the same age?

That's a good question! We've talked about it internally, as well, but we don't really have an answer for that. On camera they don't look like they are aging, so we haven't had to deal with it. (source: EOnline)

3/26/2007 -- The audience has always seen them as people by virtue of the fact that we made them look human in the mini-series. However, the drive of the show is not to validate this assumption, but to challenge it each week and force the audience to ask themselves over and over again the question as to whether the Cylons are truly people and what is the definition of that term.

11/4/2007 -- The [humanoid Cylon] numbers will be mentioned during the season and I think you'll be able to ID each of them. There is one important thing in the numbering.

Writing Galactica

9/25/2002 -- No one's on staff at this point besides David Eick and myself. Eventually, I do plan on hiring a technical consultant. (source: BSG.com)

11/5/2003 -- Yes I would consider [script] submissions, and yes, I would put the [writer's] bible out there for use. (source: Cylon Alliance)

11/5/2003 -- I didn't have an advisor for the mini. Most of that was from my own research and knowledge of military protocols. My father was in the Marine Corps and I was an NROTC midshipman... We'll probably have a military and science advisor for a series but for the miniseries I was able to muddle through. (source: Cylon Alliance)

12/5/2003 -- Question: If you get the go ahead for a series, do you see BSG being an episodic series, such as Star Trek, or a series with more of a untied plot, such as Babylon 5.

It will probably be a combination of the two approaches -- episodic stories layered with continuing stories and character arcs.

2/18/2004 -- It's a corral of writers, somewhat as with Star Trek. I've gotten down the general story arc for the season, worked through several of the character arcs, and gotten a lot of stuff going... One of the joys of having a staff is that you have someone mention something you never thought of. I really enjoy that process. The writers all need a sense of ownership, and the series can only benefit from that. (source: scifi.about.com)

2/20/2004 -- I have story arcs that take us through to the end of the first season in terms of plot, and then there's various character arcs that I want to do as well. It's going to be an ongoing story. Each week you should be able to tune in and watch that week's episode, and follow the general plot that will have a beginning, a middle and an end that week, but also there'll be many plot threads that are continuing throughout. There'll probably be a little bit more humour. I don't know if it'll ever have comedy as a strong element in it, because that's just not the nature of the situation, but there'll be grace under pressure, and comic moments. The pilot is pretty bleak, because it's a bleak story, but it won't be that bleak week in and week out. (source: BBC Cult TV)

2/25/2004 -- Our writers are Toni Graphia, who worked with me on Roswell and Carnivale. A writing team of David Weddle and Bradley Thompson who are story editors and worked with me on Deep Space 9. We also have a staff writer named Carla Robinson, who is a relative newcomer.

2/26/2004 -- We're not going to take script submissions for the first season. There's no practical way to do that. The fans need to at least see one season of the show before they can possibly start writing and matching stories. So year one is going to be a staff-written show and we might give out a couple freelance assignments to other writers but they'll be other writers to bring in work in our business that we're familiar with. You know hopefully if we do get a pickup for the second season at that point I could open it up for submissions. (source: galactica.tv)

9/30/2004 -- I have a general sense of where some of the characters might be, or where I'd like to see them as the series progresses, but I haven't mapped out an entire series arc. I think it's better for us to remain flexible with this series, so that we can move in different directions as ideas unfold. If I remember correctly, I think Michael had his final episode of Babylon 5 all sorted out and locked away in a safe somewhere, waiting to be revealed for the finale. Certainly we're not doing anything like that. (source: Robert Falconer)

1/30/2005 -- We don't have a full time military advisor on staff. However, we did have an advisor on set during the miniseries, who also put the principal actors through a "boot camp" before shooting. I can't honestly remember his name or service branch (sorry if you're reading this!) As far as the scripts go, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle, and I provide a lot of the military technical details based on our own knowledge base.

3/12/2005 -- A lot of the background information on the characters is starting to come out in both Seasons One and Two, so there might come a point where I'd let the [series] bible be put out there for public consumption.

8/11/2005 -- As much fun as that would be, [a producer's cut is] probably not going to happen. There are a few problems, starting with the fact that once we cut scenes and character beats from the show, we then treat those scenes for the most part as if they didn't exist as we develop subsequent episodes, so in some cases we might well be reinstating scenes that are then contradicted by later events. Also, to re-edit the shows with additional footage would entail significant post-production costs that no one's likely to cough up -- not just the expense of completing visual effects, but also editing time, sound mixing, color correction, etc.

And finally, there's really not a definitive Producer's Cut to go back to in any case. Each episode is edited and re-edited by myself and David Eick several times even before they're presented to the network and oft times David and I find ourselves prefering our own cut of the same episode to the one done by the other. I find editing to be a lot like writing (Joe Menosky, one of the best and smartest writers I ever worked with once told me that a TV writer does his second draft in the editing room) and I like to reshape and reconceive different elements of the story along with the editor. David likes to work on individual scenes and fine-tuning takes and performances. Our two cuts are then blended together and presented to the network, and we usually submit an episode that is within a few seconds of our alloted running time so that we are the ones who make the painful choices on which scenes to be lopped out. More changes ensue, and by the time the show gets on the air, I generally have an overall impression of the show that encompasses all the different cuts I've worked on. But picking out the "best" cut from all the versions that have gone before would be a herculean task at best.

10/6/2005 -- I just kind of take each season as it comes. At the end of a season, like we're approaching now, I always feel like, oh God, can I get even one more season out of it? And at the beginning of the season we always come up with more stories than we have time to do. So I'm certain that we could get a couple more years out of it. And you don't want to overstay your welcome either. (source: EOnline)

12/2005 -- The broad story arc is only vaguely sketched in at the moment. I've thought over a variety of endings for the series, and each time I've gone down those roads, I've been dissatisfied with the answers, so I've opted to put it off for now. I know there's a school of thought advocating working out everything in advance, but I prefer to let the show and the characters evolve more naturally and discover their stories along the way. (source: Sci-Fi Magazine)

12/7/2005 -- I can say that working on a show that I created is the most gratifying experience I've had, hands down. There is a freedom to my work that wasn't there in any of the other shows I worked on, for the simple reason that my primary task before now was always to emulate someone else's voice and execute someone else's vision. My experience at Roswell taught me a lot about editing, which I learned from Jason Katims, and that experience has proven invaluable ever since. Carnivale was a bit of a trial by fire and the most valuable thing I learned was the discovery of my own ability to withstand pressure and be able to operate in a difficult environment, with the experience of having virtually no limits in terms of content and the tremendous freedom that entailed being a close second. (source: Sci-Fi.com Behind the Scenes)

2/27/2006 -- We did take a month long break in between eps 10 & 11 in order to catch up on scripts. Doing 20 instead of 13 makes a big difference in terms of stamina and quality control. When you're concentrating on 13, you can essentially make each of them special and each of them gets a lot of attention. With 20, you're spreading yourself out more and trying to keep more balls in the air at once. I won't say that's the only reason why we had a couple of shows that I wasn't happy with this season, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a contributing factor.

3/8/2006 -- Hill Street Blues was definitely something of an archetype we looked to for developing the structure of the series. I made explicit reference to the show in our series bible and talked about how we would strive to emulate their structure as much as possible. That structure was, basically, to have a self-contained A-Story that would begin and end each week, with smaller character-centered B-Stories that would take place over a few episodes, and finally long-running C-Stories that would arc throughout the season. It was a starting place for a lot of story discussions and script meetings, but we didn't strictly adhere to the form, as you can see from the experimentation we did throughout the first season. The first seven episodes of season two roughly follow this format, but then we varied again from that structure for the rest of the season. Why didn't we hew more closely to the Hill Street format? Partly it's a result of not wanting the show to get so serialized as to be inaccessible to new viewers, and partly it's a result of continually wanting to try new things on the show and mix up the story-telling.

9/19/2006 -- Creatively in terms of the series, each season I think there's maybe two seasons left. I start each season thinking, "Oh jeez, can I really fill up a season's worth of episodes? I'm not going to make it this year." And then at each year's end we end up with more stories that we never got around to telling. Part of it is just an objective perceptual thing. Right now from where I'm sitting I can see another couple of years of this, but you know, ask me again next year and I might give you the exact same answer! I do know how I want the series to end, so we're lining up pieces and evolving storylines and arcing them in a specific direction. I don't like to block everything out and I don't like to lock into a firm game plan to get there. I like to have it more improvisational on the way and try new things and mix up the stories. But I basically know where the show is headed. (source: CHUD)

12/7/2006 -- I have an idea where we should end the series, and the question is how long the story, I think, can go from here to there... It's so hard. By the end of the season I'm like, "How many more of these can we get out?" And then sure enough, we think of a whole lot more in the writers' room -- but at least a couple more years. (source: EOnline)

3/8/2007 -- I tend to look at the show in roughly ten episode blocks. The writers and I talk about where we want the show and the individual characters to be at the mid-season break and then where we want to be for the finale. Then we outline a way to get there and begin the process of breaking the individual episodes. However, we make a point of remaining open to make changes on the fly as new ideas come up and old ideas fail to live up to their original promise. Doing it this way seems to provide a steady direction for the overall story while allowing improvisation and inspiration along the way, which provide the spark of life to the entire show.

3/8/2007 -- Question: You once stated you were thinking to have a 5 year arc for this story to unfold. Does this still hold true, and if does not hold true, what is your new game plan?

My basic thinking along these lines is still the same, but it's always under discussion.

3/24/2007 -- We the writers are always pushing to make it more serialized because it makes for better storytelling. We've done a few stand-alone episodes here and there, and they're almost never very successful for our particular series. They're not what the audience tunes in for. But the network's legitimate concern is [that] the audience tends to attenuate over time. It's hard to bring new people on board. There's the hurdle of them having to catch up on all the old episodes, and any hurdle you put in front of the audience is just a bad thing. I don't know what to say. This is the kind of show I like to do, and we're just going to keep doing it. (source: Salon)

3/24/2007 -- At the beginning of the season, we arc out about 10 episodes. I can think in groups of 10. Then we break all the interior shows. But as those shows get translated into teleplays and we get into production, things will change. We'll get different ideas or get inspiration in the middle of a scene I'm writing and think, "Oh, know what? We should make a hard left turn here." Then all the planning goes out the window and we have to make a change on the fly. But we still try to maintain that goal. We still aim to get to that same place by the end of the 10th episode, but the path to get there I consider much more flexible. As you get deeper into the series and start planning the next 10 and what's the season finale, it's the same process. You think you've laid out a path, but as you do it you find that there's this other more interesting path to get there. It causes chaos and you have to scramble to change things that you've already set in motion. But I find that it's just a more organic way to do it. (source: Salon)

3/24/2007 -- We've always felt that there's an end to this show, and we've moved into the third act of a three-act structure. Especially after this season's finale, we've moved the story to a place where we're talking about conclusions and climaxes and what's it all about getting into the endgame. How long it takes to finish out the saga is another matter... The worst thing that could happen to us is if we overstayed our welcome and got to a place where we had not finished the story and then we got canceled. I'd rather go out on my own terms creatively and go out strong. (source: Salon)

3/26/2007 -- It's going into the third act and there's a couple chapters left, and they could be 10 episode chapters, 20-episode or 30. We're moving toward the climax of the series and resolution of storylines. We're just in the process of sitting down and mapping out the fourth season. We're excited about having those decisions in-house. So far, the network has very much been saying, "We'll take our cues from you." (source: TelevisionWeek)

3/26/2007 -- The series is about the search for Earth and when the time comes, I fully expect we will resolve that one way or another. You get to Earth and what might you find? Is it really their home? You've been promising the audience that end point from the beginning, so you're duty-bound to go there when you end it. We're scripting the beginning of season four. I know how many chapters are left in the series and it will come up in this fourth season kind of quickly where we'll have to decide whether this is the last season. The network has made it clear they will take their cues from us if we say we're ready to end the show. David and I have conversations about that and we're pretty close to a decision... The decision has nothing to do with next year's ratings. It's first and foremost a creative decision... I have two chapters left in my head and I can see those being of different lengths. ... The question of how many episodes is the best route to get there and deciding how much do we want to go out now and end strong and how much do we want to try to extend it because we all love it and go for another year... We want to go out on our own terms and decide when our story ends. (source: Post-Gazette)

3/26/2007 -- I take the continuity of the show and the consistancy of the universe we've created quite seriously, but I don't feel that one must be a puritan in this regard. We have a covenant with the audience to keep as regards honoring the history we've established and we all strive mightily to keep it week after week. However, I will not be hamstrung by an off-hand reference to an event being on a Tuesday if later I need that event to take place on a Wednesday -- if the initial reference has no real bearing on the show. If Captain Kirk says that he's from the United Earth Space Probe Agency one week and calls it the United Federation of Planets another week, I'm willing to grant him that license in pursuit of constructing a better and stronger series universe. I won't consider changes that I think change the fundamentals of what's important to me in the series, but I am willing to make compromises around the margins. The difficulty comes when you, the audience, feel that I've changed something important and that it has a destructive impact on the show and damages your viewing experience. In that instance, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I simply look at the show from a different perspective than you do and I guess your mileage does indeed, vary.

6/1/2007 -- Each season, we mapped out where we wanted to go by the end of that season. That's how I like to approach things. At the beginning of season one, we talked about where the end of the first year would be. And then, for the second year, we broke it up into groups of the first 10 and the second 10, and kept that style of planning, all through the show. Somewhere mid-way through the second season, I started thinking seriously about what the end of the series itself might be. Ideas for where we were headed and what it all meant started to coalesce over the course of the third season. In season three, we started talking in earnest about, "Well, okay, if we do end it next year, what would it really be?," and it just felt like, "Yeah, this is the right time to do it... The plan is to end the show. The plan is to bring us to a definitive conclusion. There's no plans or even thoughts in our heads of them doing a follow-on feature or any series or anything beyond that. But it's also the kind of thing where you never say never, because who knows how we'll feel when we actually write the conclusion, will there be a plotline or a story that we create on the page that opens a later door? It'd be foolish to say, "Absolutely not." But right now the plan is now for a definitive ending. (source: End of series press conference)

7/23/2007 -- We're certainly talking about wrapping up as many threads as we can by the end of the show. I don't know that we can wrap up every single on by the end of the show. There are some things we might leave deliberately vague or not want to return to, but the intention is to bring some sense of closure to the major plotlines that we've established. (source: iF Magazine)

11/4/2007 -- The decision to end the show had been rolling around in my head ever since late in the second season as I decided to push the story forward strongly as we approached that year's finale. By jumping forward a year in time and scrambling the relationships, I felt like we had also pushed the narrative itself forward and that got me thinking about the end game for the series itsefl. By the time we discovered the algae planet and the Temple of the Five, I knew we were moving into the third act of the show, but the question at that point was how many episodes comprise the final act. When we did the third season finale, I was pretty convinced that the fourth season should be the last and I never really seriously thought about going for five. A show has an internal rhythm, a bass line of storytelling and if you listen to that rhythm you can tell how many episodes it will take to get to a certain place and I just felt like we needed about 20 hours to finish telling our story so I went for that rather than wander around before getting there.

11/4/2007 -- We essentially consider what was actually filmed to be canon for the show, but we also know the overall intentions and we consider some things as having "happened" regardless of whether or not they made it to screen. We sometimes find ourselves later "going to the tape" to see if something was said or cut if we're working a particularly intricate bit of backstory and are often relieved to discover that the offending bit of show had actually ended up on the cutting room floor and we were able to contradict it without fear of disrupting continuity. I haven't seen what was posted on Sky One, so I'm not sure if it's the legitimate one or not. I'd be happy to have both the show bible and the Cylon bibles posted at some point.

The Characters

5/10/2003 -- [Baltar] is a egotist, a narcissist, and a deeply flawed man who fell prey to his own weaknesses. You can despise Baltar for his weakness and hate him for what his flaws have done to the human race, but you can't deny his innate humanity. That's what makes him a more interesting character than someone who's driven solely by greed and eeeeevil. One evokes a more complicated, more complex reaction from the viewer while the other is a caricature to boo and hiss. (source: Cylon Alliance)

7/8/2003 -- One of the first things that occured to me was to make Starbuck a woman... The character of Starbuck in the original is the rogue, the hot-shot pilot, the cigar-smoking, skirt-chasing, best friend of straight arrow Apollo. Approaching that character again years later and starting over, I felt that the essence of it bordered on cliché... The whole thing wasn't that interesting for me. But when I was starting from the place where Starbuck's a woman, it's a different relationship with Apollo. I hadn't seen that relationship played on camera. I hadn't seen the whole notion of women in the military. That is a relatively new idea. It's become more part and parcel of the way things are done in today's world, but hasn't been explored very often on camera. This was an opportunity to reinvent that aspect of the relationship as well, and I just knew it would change things. I knew that it was going to give me a chance to write a fresher character and to create a more complicated relationship between her and the character of Apollo and Apollo's father, Adama. So, it seemed like a richer place to go. (source: Television Critics Assocation press tour, reprinted in the Official Mini-Series Magazine)

8/14/2003 -- Kirk Douglas' character of Paul Eddington and Galactica's Colonel Tigh share many commonalities. I love the relationship, personified in "In Harm's Way," between Rock Torrey (John Wayne) and Paul Eddington: two friends, one the stalwart Commander, getting on in years, the other the deeply flawed man who is there for his commander and who can be relied on in time of crisis, but ultimately is a victim of his own weaknesses. (source: Robert Falconer)

11/5/2003 -- Making Starbuck female was primarily done to mix things up and add a different element into the relationship. Certain sexual tension will be there but taking it into different directions was the central idea, not just sex... I think the new viewers will like Starbuck and Katee's portrayal. She's rough around the edges and sometimes you just want to throw her out of the airlock, but in the end, she's the one you want next to you in the foxhole... I think Katee will grown on you. In fact, I think she'll be the breakout character if this goes to a series. I find Katee to be an interesting actress, all balls and tough on the outside, but I'm always aware of a cracked and broken quality to her on camera that makes you root for her. (source: Cylon Alliance)

11/5/2003 -- I wanted Tigh to be a different kind of XO than we normally see, which is the loyal, stoic, efficient soldier we've seen countless times. I also wanted Adama to be bending the rules a bit for his friend. In a way, Adama is protecting his friend because deep down, he still believes in him... I think that not for the protection of Adama, Tigh would have been long gone. Now its Tigh's turn to show Adama that all that effort was worth it, that Tigh really is the man Adama though he was. (source: Cylon Alliance)

12/4/2003 -- At first Boomer was a man... and the crew chief was going to be a woman, and there was something about the power relationship that I didn't want to play -- that's it's the officer man and the enlisted woman. It just felt too boss and secretary... I wanted it to be a forbidden romance. I wanted it to be something that two people were doing outside the norms, and that would give us sort of, "Why don't officers and enlisted mix? What are the problems with having men and women in the military, serving together?" I wanted that relationship to deliver that, and I thought it was more unusual to give the woman the senior role and the man the supporting role. And then I just called her Boomer because why not? There was a Boomer character, and I didn't have a role for another pilot. (source: IGN FilmForce)

12/6/2003 -- In the original there was a [Council] of twelve for Adama to rail against. He had to find a way to get around what they were doing. I invented Mary's character to be a strong presence and to be Olmos' co-equal. (source: Washington Post)

2/18/2004 -- I just thought it would be interesting: how it would change the whole thing if [Starbuck] were a woman. The two fighter pilot buddies, that's so familiar: the hot-shot rogue pilot and his straight-arrow friend. But when you make it a woman, it's just not so familiar anymore. You make her a woman, and you're dealing with things upfront, asking the audience to look at the woman's in a man's role and making any sexual issues much more overt. You know what's funny, is that although Starbuck is the wild one, she's closer to Adama than Apollo, more conservative than he is. Between her and Apollo, you wouldn't think it, but he's really the more liberal, while she turned out to be a Republican. (source: scifi.about.com)

2/20/2004 -- I think the one that brought the most that I didn't expect was James Callis in his version of Baltar. I had always loved Baltar on the page, and thought he was a really complicated, intriguing dark character, but what James brought to the role was a sense of humour. He's a much funnier character on the screen than he is on the page, and that was a perfect instinct on his part that gave us a flavour that we didn't have. He provides some of the only laughs of the whole project. You really like Baltar. Even as you despise him -- this is a weak, arrogant man who has helped bring down an entire civilisation -- you do still kind of like him, and it's an intriguing mix. (source: BBC Cult TV)

4/2/2004 -- I think [Commander Adama and Lee Adama] bridged a gap in the miniseries that certainly had held them apart for a couple of years. I don't think that issue has been completely resolved, but they've moved past it to a certain point. Now they're in a new relationship and a new dynamic... they're father and son and they're also serving on the same ship, and the stresses and pressures of that will affect the relationship. I think it's interesting that Lee Adama has a strong relationship with Laura, and that he in some respects is a bridge between her and his father... [Adama] was commander of the oldest ship in the fleet that was about to be retired, and had been on the ship for a while. He wasn't an admiral; he wasn't at the heart of the Colonial Military... [He] was not a hard charger climbing the ranks of the military structure. He went off into this backwater assignment... which he nevertheless loved. He has an affinity for the Galactica... it was his first assignment when he was a youth, and he came back to command it... He believes in the things the Galactica stood for when it was originally built, and there's a very deep connection between the man and the ship. But the destruction of the Colonies falling in his lap has certainly put him in a different place than he has been for many, many years, and I do think that brings with it a renewed sense of commitment and a renewed sense of relevance. There is a role for Adama to play now, and it's a hugely important one. (source: Robert Falconer)

4/13/2004 -- [Baltar's] motivations in the original show are simple, very cut and dried, he wants power, there's an intimation that he's betraying the Colonial's to the Cylons to maybe take over a Colony of his own, it's never quite spelled out, but that's sort of the general idea and from that point forward he's simply evil and he's going after the Colonial's forever and he's going to find them and destroy them... For a character there isn't a good motivation to sell out your entire race and simply say "Hey, I'll help you guys commit genocide to my entire race." It doesn't really make sense, so I chose to make it a more complicated situation. Here's a man who's weak. Here's a man with flaws, here's a man who's own arrogance allows himself to get into a position where he has betrayed his entire race. (source: Battlestar Fan Club)

4/13/2004 -- There's been a few examples in recent years of cinematic portrayals of women as pilots, but they've been few and far between and we've never played it like this where they are friends and they have this back story and it became a more interesting and complicated relationships. It introduces an odd sexual dynamic into the relationship, which is there whether they follow it up or not, it's always going to be present. Anyway, as I started delving into the backstory of her relationship with Zak that helped me play out things between Adama and his son, her relationship with Adama is more Father/Daughter and she happens to be closer to Adama than his own son. It just became more interesting the further I got into it, making the character of Starbuck a woman opened up many possibilities for me. (source: Battlestar Fan Club)

1/19/2005 -- In my first draft of the mini, Lee Adama had just been accepted into test pilot school on Caprica and was not currently assigned to any battlestar. Presumably, he had been posted to at least a couple of battlestar air groups in his career, as well as several ground assignments as well. This isn't canon yet, however, and I'm currently thinking of changing some elements of his specific backstory as I work on storylines for Season Two. Overall, I'd say Lee was striving (perhaps too hard) to blaze a different path for himself in the fleet from that of his father. I don't think Lee ever saw himself as a battlestar commander and was looking for a different way to make his mark.

1/20/2005 -- The beginning of the process involved thinking about the characters as pieces within the larger context of the show: The commander, his son, his son's friend, the loyal second in command, and the traitor. They were the inner circle of the original show, the core characters that made the drama work. Understanding how they interrelated and how they moved the show forward was essential to understanding the show itself. After that, it was mostly a matter of thinking about them and their interactions with one another -- what's an interesting father/son dynamic? What are the issues peculiar to this relationship that set it apart and what are the common chords we all understand?

Adama's journey was tied to that of his ship. Galactica herself was, in my mind, a glorious old bird from another time. I could appreciate the heroic lines of her shape and the triumphant step of the original theme, so when it came time to think about what the new Galactica would be, I essentially felt like we should treat her like the original ship suddenly transposed to this this setting -- an old, proud, handsome woman about to take a well-deserved retirement after a long and successful career, only to be suddenly recalled to duty. Adama would reflect his ship -- an old, proud, warrrior about to fade away into retirement...

I wanted a new dynamic between the CO and the XO. Typically, the second in command is a kinda thankless task (just ask Commander Riker) and tends to fall into the "I agree with everything you just said, sir" category except for carefully delineated objections and arguments. His "command decision ability" isn't really the core of the character, since that primary role is assigned to the commander. So the task is make the character of the XO and his interaction with both the crew and the commander interesting on its own. I was definitely influenced by the character of Cmdr. Eddington played by Kirk Douglas in "In Harm's Way," who was both a drunk and morally challenged to say the least. However, I loved the fact that his CO, (John Wayne) valued him as an officer, kept him aboard ship and even promoted him eventually. I thought that relationship between the heroic captain and his flawed friend would be an interesting one if it were translated to the Galactica universe.

1/20/2005 -- In my mind, [Baltar] was always this complicated, ambiguous, morally, ethically ambiguous guy, he had this weakness for women, he had an ego. What I didn't really write was that he was funny. James really brings that to the party, he gives the whole show a jolt. He's funny. (source: Chicago Tribune)

8/11/2005 -- I think Baltar will always be conflicted, and probably always has been. Certainly in his own mind, Baltar isn't "evil" and would recoil at the very notion of it. You decide whether you think he's evil or not.

8/11/2005 -- Question: Just how did Starbuck become so fracking awesome? I mean, she's the best pilot, the best shot, potential pro athlete, ex-flight instructor, her personal vehicle is a Humvee loaded with submachineguns (like that BEFORE the Cylons attacked), she dual-wields Skorpions like Neo, her fists pack a wallop, she's a tactical genius, second-best card player in the known universe... she's a tomboy Mary Poppins. Practically perfect in every macho way.

This is partly an outgrowth of the original Starbuck character, partly a result of the realities of television, and partly a riff on the traditional male action hero transposed to a woman.

The original character was supposed to be the best pilot in the fleet and the best card player, so I always saw those two attributes as integral to the role. Also in the original was the conceit that Starbuck and Apollo were inevitably assigned the most important positions in any mission and they carried out a variety of tasks that had little or nothing to do with flying Vipers and I decided to continue that conceit for continuity and for practicality -- you use your regulars to tell story in TV, that's why you're paying them. This is one of those areas where the realism of our fictional universe has to give way to the realism of producing the show. Could we have introduced a new sniper character for the final action scene in "Bastille Day"? Of course. But would that have been as dramatic or interesting as having Kara be the sniper while Lee is in the center of the action? Probably not. Could we have introduced a different pair of shipboard investigators to deal with the assassination plot in "Colonial Day"? Absolutely. But the show is about our group of regular characters, and handing over an entire investigative storyline to two people we've never seen before simply isn't as good as letting Kara and Lee do it -- as long as we can plausibly believe they'd handle those chores. And yes, I think that given the premise of the show, namely that there are only a handful of survivors to begin with and that Galactica herself was undermanned when the attack went down, I can accept Kara being asked to do a variety of roles.

I also frankly enjoy watching Kara take on many of the traditionally male roles in the show, as the leading hero(ine), which more often than not involves being extraordinarily adept at more than one thing. (James Bond, anyone?) Some of it is just my own perverse pleasure at watching us explode gender roles and stereotypes and seeing Kara Thrace be the go-to character in a genre which typically demands that person be a man. And truth to tell, if she were still a he, I strongly suspect that this question wouldn't come up at all.

10/6/2005 -- [Starbuck and Apollo] are kind of oil and water. They're very different people who have a strong personal connection and a strong emotional attraction to one another, and a physical attraction, but it's complicated by a lot of baggage and a lot of stuff, so I think the truth of that relationship is that it will always kind of dance in and dance out. There are times when they feel like it's the right thing to do, and then it will get screwed up, and then there are times when they'll just be at each other and wanting to kill one another and then they'll realize that there's something deeper between them. So I don't think it will ever be a simple relationship. (source: EOnline)

10/14/2005 -- I am aware of the [negative reactions toward Roslin] and I tend to shrug it off like I do a lot of comments about the show and the characters. I like Laura and I like the way we've played her as President. I think the comments about her say more about the people making them, than it does about the character itself, frankly. I've found it interesting that there's a school of thought out there which claims that Laura should've been completely sidelined from the very beginning, that Adama should've declared martial law from the outset and ignored civilian government altogether. It probably says something about me that I found that very notion to be antithetical to the underpinnings of a decent and democratic society, and I remember the very conscious choice I made in the early stages of this project that while Colonial society was going to be flawed and riddled with problems, that at its base, it was going to be a fundamentally decent and democratic one. It was not going to toss its principles over the side in a time of crisis. It was not going to turn itself into a security-above-all state. There were certain things that mattered more than survival, certain things that mattered more than safety. They were going to hang on to their government and their rights as citizens as best they could under the situation, and would give up those rights and freedoms only grudgingly. Laura Roslin is the personification of that idea. She wasn't elected, she wasn't chosen, she arguably wasn't even ready for the role, but she represented continuity to the traditions and principles undergirding their society, and she would stand for them until she died.

3/5/2007 -- This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and while I always say that the characters are all my favorites, I've lately come to the idea that I think Baltar is the most human of all of them and that sets him in a slightly different category.

3/8/2006 -- I think Baltar is the most human character on the show and I don't think I've ever really thought of him as the villain of the piece. I think he represents the entire human race in many ways -- the dueling impulses and capacity for venality and compassion living side by side in the same heart of a man who loves to smoke, drink and chase women -- and his journey is in many the ways symbolic of a larger journey for us all.

11/4/2007 -- Laura, to me, is simply more guarded with her internal thoughts and reasoning than many of the others. Adama feels the need to open his veins every once in a while, but Laura puts a premium on maintaining a certain composure even when terrified. I think it's also a good idea to play the president as a little unknowable... The difference between Laura and Adama was that Adama was commander of the Galactica before the attack and he was the commander after. His essential function and responsibilities were the same (albeit with far greater stakes) and as an experienced warrior and long-time military officer, there would be no question of his competence or his necessity to lead. Laura, however, went from a cabinet position to running the government, had never held the office before and was mastering an entirely new set of responsibilities. Added to that was the fact that the need for a civilian government just after the attack was an open question in the minds of many people and so Laura's relatively junior status before the attack has weighed against her ever since.

11/4/2007 -- Question: It strikes me that Helo and Lee Adama are very similar to each other in that each hold strongly to their inner convictions--each may be counted on to do what they feel is "right" regardless of the personnal consequences (hold a gun to Tigh's head, marry a Cylon, etc.). However, Admiral Adama seems to respect this in Helo while finding it disloyal in Lee. Is this strictly because of familial conflict, or is there some subtle difference in how they carry out their convictions?

There is a difference because of the familial connection, but I think it's also worth pointing out that Adama understood and sympathized more with the decisions Helo made than he did those of Lee. Even Helo's sabotage of the plan to eradicate the Cylons with a bioweapon was something that Adama was grateful for on some level, even if he didn't actually condone it.

Earth, Colonial Origins and the Galactica mythos

11/5/2003 -- The ancient astronaut influences are still there in the background concept, and actually there are other ancient astronaut concepts such as those in the Von Däniken books that will emerge if we go into a series... Earth does in fact, exist. The fact that no one on Galactica can be sure of that is one of the great things from the original that I preserved. The backstory is the same. Humankind starts on Kobol and twelve Colonies go one way and a thirteenth Colony goes to Earth... The twelve Colonies were all on one planet in an earlier draft, which I did to make the story simpler, but in truth it didn't help and it was a conversation with a fan who convinced me to change it back to twelve planets in the final draft. (source: Cylon Alliance)

2/25/2004 -- We certainly won't be finding Earth anytime soon. As to the long-term, I don't know, it's too early to say.

4/13/2004 -- The show still takes as a given that there are twelve Colonies of human beings that are out there someplace in the cosmos and that there is a thirteenth Colony which is Earth and somehow all these people descend from the same place called Kobol. Now within that, I kept the names of the Zodiac as the names of the Colonies. What I didn't do was put in the Egyptian helmets and I didn't use some of the more obvious connections to Aztec and Mayan symbolism. It's not as overt. But beneath it all, it's still this fundamental buying into the concept that OK, the people on Earth came from the same place that these guys did. The ancient astronauts idea is part and parcel of Galactica. The nature of the story I was telling in the pilot didn't really lend itself toward a deep exploration of the mythos or really getting into a lot that. Because it's really just about the attack, the apocalypse that happens and their narrow escape. If we go to series and the series goes on then we'll touch on the mythology, develop it more. (source: Battlestar Fan Club)

1/30/2005 -- Question: Will there be any development between characters on what distinguishes a Sagittaran from Caprican, Virgon, or any of the twelve Colonies? Did they develop separately their own cultures and even different religions on their worlds?

This is an area we didn't get a chance to get very far with in the first season, and I'm hoping we explore more fully in the second. I think that some of the Colonies have developed very different cultures and attitudes from one another and that it's rich ground for us. We alluded to some differences here and there, but mostly we talked about the "Federal" (for lack of a better word) governmental structures. We do know that there was a sizable opposition to the Colonial government. Leoben claimed to be an arms dealer supplying freedom fighters or terrorists, depending on your point of view, and Tom Zarek was the jailed leader of a sometimes violent opposition, so it stands to reason that there are a wide variety of views, some of which come into violent conflict with one another. It's also worth bearing in mind that one of the uses for which the Cylons were originally used by the Colonies was as soldiers in their wars against one another.

1/30/2005 -- The mythology of the new Galactica is heavily influenced by that established in the original. I've always approached this project with an eye toward taking the original material and making it work in a new context. I still try to do this whenever possible. Does it make sense that there would be a star system with twelve inhabitable planets? Not really, but that was in the original and at some point I decided to run with that as another nod to the old show. The mythology of the old show centered around Kobol and the thirteen "tribes of man," so I've kept it as the centerpiece of ours. Not every single element is the same and not every element is even intact, but the roots are there. The point was to make another version of Battlestar Galactica, not just use the name.

2/19/2005 -- There are a couple of notions rolling around in my head as to how we reconcile the very real fact of evolution with the Galactica mythos, but I haven't decided which approach to take. However, it was a fundamental element of the orginal Galactica mythos that "Life here began out there..." and I decided early on that it was crucial to maintain it.

3/12/2005 -- Question: There are a lot of references to Republican Rome in BSG, in everything from the names Gaius and Valerii to the Religion to the democrato-militaristic govennment. Has this been done on purpose, or is it just a lot of coincidences?

The original series used elements of various ancient civilizations and I wanted to continue that element, but I didn't feel that the Egyptian motif, which they used predominantly, would be particularly resonant in this series. Greco-Roman influences were also present in the orginal, and I felt that Roman influences in particular would have resonant value given today's American society both in the republicanism (lower-case) and in the portrait of a culture that had ascended to a certain plateau, had driven its enemies from the field, proclaimed itself the guardian of truth and justice and yet was still prey to the same frailties and failings of all other human endeavors.

4/11/2005 -- Question: What do you have to say to new fans, like myself, people who are unfamiliar with the mythos of BSG? You've been talking mainly to people who are intimately familiar with the original series.

I guess I say welcome aboard and you've got some homework to do. If my references to the original series drive you crazy, why not go out and get the DVD set of the original and see what all the hoopla's about? I try not to delve too deeply into the original show in my commentaries, but at the same time, this show does have a history and I think it's only fair to point out the connections between now and then, after all there would be no Galactica now were it not for Galactica then.

9/2005 -- We were all really surprised in the first season how strong the religious overtones of the series were and how interesting that was going to be in terms of what the show is about. That aspect of the show really opened up the Cylons in a different way and established a way that I could introduce mythos, ironically, from the original Galactica. The lords of Kobol. What is Kobol? Where did they all come from? What is Earth and their mythology and what are the roots of this universe? I wasn't really intending that would be such a big component of the show. (source: Dreamwatch)

4/18/2006 -- Question: Why are the home worlds other than Caprica not really mentioned? Was there one planet per tribe?

It's just a factor of Caprica having had the capital city of the Twelve Colonies . That put Laura there in the miniseries and it was natural to have Baltar there as well so as to keep the confusion factor to a minimum for the audience rather than trying to establish and identify more than one planet. Same goes for the reason Helo & Sharon put down there in the mini. So from that point forward, Caprica becomes the default planet to reference and deal with. We have talked about Saggitaron and Gemenon and sketched out the particulars of their cultures, but we just haven't done a lot more with the rest of them, which is unfortunate.

5/18/2006 -- Question: The possibility of everyone getting to Earth must be tempting but then you have to think of how that would play out with the Cylon threat. Will the conflict be over by then? Will Earth play a part in the Cylons defeat or will the twelve tribes simply never make it home? Or is it just too early on to be planning that far ahead?

I have given it a lot of thought, and yes, I do know how the series ends. And no, I won't tell you. (source: Sky One)

10/20/2006 -- In theory they think of [Earth] as paradise. They have a mythic view of what the world is and where it can be based on their scriptures. But beyond that, when they think about it realistically, they don't know what they're going to face there. Are they going to find that the Thirteenth Colony is dead, is it hostile, are they going to welcome then, will it be more advanced, less advanced? It's such a big unknown. They really don't know what to expect, and the only thing that keeps them going is that it's the only hope they've got on the horizon. It's the one place they could maybe solve all their problems and they've committed to putting all their eggs in that basket... The Cylon [search] for Earth is a little more mysterious and we're teasing that out a little bit. (source: Chicago Tribune)

3/8/2007 -- I began to put into place most of the fundamental cosmology of the BSG universe as far back as the first season. Since then, we've talked it over in the writers' room periodically so as to keep everything within the same parameters. There are still some elements to put into place, but we pretty much have it worked out by now... [The spiritual/metaphysical aspects of the myth arc] will certainly be a key aspect of the end of the series, but I really can't talk in any specific terms about it.

Original Series Plotlines and Actors

9/25/2002 -- I'm redoing the pilot, so I watched the pilot. I do remember enough of the series to understand the universe that was originally created. I knew who Lucifer was, I remembered Count Iblis, I had the hots for Sheba and I remembered thinking the Ship of Lights was pretty cool, but I didn't see how watching "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" or "Fire in Space" again was going to help me redo the pilot. I do plan on watching them all again before we go into production on the series, to see if there are any story elements to pick up on, but probably not before then... We're obviously using the story from "Saga of a Star World" to launch the series, and I have had ideas about using one or two others as we go along. "Living Legend" is the most obvious one that cries out to be included, but beyond that I'm going to take a wait and see approach... Commander Cain is a strong candidate for a future storyline. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- Question: Are you considering having any original cast members reprising their roles in the remake?

Not their actual roles, but perhaps in other roles... We have made some preliminary inquiries regarding their participation, but it's still too early to tell. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- I have never once heard anyone at either the studio or the network say one bad thing about Richard Hatch. All I've heard is about how passionate he is about BG and how astonishing it was that he laid out his own cash to produce a trailer. They respect his guts even if they don't want to go with his take... Thank you, Richard. It was your commitment and passion that likely got people interested in Galactica after a long hiatus and I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due. (source: BSG.com)

11/5/2003 -- I would definitely like to bring back the Pegasus, Sheba, and do something with the Ship of Lights. (source: Cylon Alliance)

12/4/2003 -- They're looking to find Earth and they're being chased by the Cylons. We have the additional advantage of the possibility of having Cylons within the fleet itself, but the general direction is that the stories would be generated from within the fleet... That we really wouldn't do "planet of the week" type episodes. We might. We might discover that we want to discover other alien races, but for the most part I'd like to stay away from it, and I'd like the drama and tension and action to occur from the stories that come from within the fleet itself. (source: IGN FilmForce)

12/5/2003 -- We did contact several of the original actors and discussed having them appear [in the miniseres], but they declined the offer. I'm open to contacting them again and discussing that possibility if we go to series.

2/10/2004 -- I've talked about revisiting the Pegasus episode, because I think that's a cool idea at some point. There's a possibility in my head we might go back and play around with the Ship of Lights that was in the original series. And I'm going to sit down and watch all 22 of them again, kind of go through it. But the first thing that springs to mind is that the old show did a lot of planet-of-the-week type episodes, and we're specifically not doing that on this. So a lot of those aren't going to translate very well. (source: SciFi Wire)

2/25/2004 -- There is a possibilty that I might re-make some of the old episodes but for now we are concentrating on some original stories.

2/25/2004 -- Do you see the possibility of introducing the Iblis character in the new series?

Possibly, it's something I've been thinking about, but haven't made a decision yet.

2/25/2004 -- Question: Will there be other races than Cylons and humans?

Not for a while at least. I don't plan to have other alien races as a major part of the series. When we encounter an alien, it will be a big deal.

3/6/2004 -- There's a possibility of revisiting one or two of the original episodes. But if we do it, it wouldn't be until the latter half, the latter maybe third of Season One. It's more likely it would be Season Two.

9/30/2004 -- I kind of see the Cylons as a race of mechanized beings that went off and evolved on their own. Certainly, I've thought about the idea that they had help, and I've thought about using Iblis in some sort of storyline, but right now I'm not leaning in that direction. (source: Robert Falconer)

1/20/2005 -- I'm open to [casting original series actors]. The trick is to do what we did for Richard, which was to find a good, rich role for them to play. (source: Chicago Tribune)

1/30/2005 -- Question: Did the Colonies have outposts, bases, or trade partners outside of the twelve Colonies. Did they even explore other systems. The Colonies could have had observatories, listening posts, or even scientific research teams exploring other planets beyond the Colonial system(s). They could encounter any of these which could lead to supplies, raw materials, food, fuel etc.

I think that's probably true, but part of our premise is that the fleet has Jumped far out into unexplored space in an effort to elude the Cylons, so we won't be encountering any other outposts or Colonies.

2/19/2005 -- We are talking about shows that deal with other survivors right now. Don't ask about the Pegasus -- I haven't made up my mind yet.

9/30/2005 -- You never know as far as the original players. It's sort of like Richard was a unique case. He and I talked and then we came up with a great character that was a good match for him. Hopefully if we were to bring anyone else back from the original show, it would be similar: that we would have a great character that was a good fit as opposed to just a walk-on or a stunt or something like that. (source: Now Playing)

10/6/2005 -- Beyond ["Pegasus"], I've looked at the other episodes of the old show. I don't really see much in there for us because so much of the old show is predicated on the idea of encountering other planets or other aliens in their universe and that's just not something that we do. The overarching kind of myth of the show, I've worked in to this version of Galactica. The fundamentals of the old show are still here. It's still an aircraft carrier in space. It's still a ragtag fleet looking for earth. There's still a large myth about where humanity was born and the twelfth tribe that went to the Galactica world and the thirteenth tribe going to earth. There's sort of a Greco-Roman nomenclature to the original show, which I then took and made that part of the religious aspect of the Colonials of this world. I mean there's definitely a lot of elements of the original that are present in this show. But I don't know that we're going to go back and redo any more episodes. (source: EOnline)

2/27/2006 -- We don't have any plans for redoing any more episodes from the original series. "Pegasus" was the one that translated the best and the others all seem too distant from our structure and universe.

3/13/2006 -- The Ship of Lights I've thought about, but at this point we've developed our own mythology and theology in terms of what the religious beliefs are and what the back story is. And the Ship of Lights feels like it's a different thought than what we're doing in the show. That was all about quasi-divine beings showing up, and you had the good ones and the bad ones, and there seemed to be some larger godlike chess game that the people on Galactica and the Cylons were caught up in, and I think at this point that just introduces a whole other complicating factor into what we've got because we've got so much going with the religious aspects of the show and the backstory of the Lords of Kobol and the tribes... So I don't think we're going to go there... ["The Return of Starbuck"] is all predicated on the two fighter pilots down; it's Wings Over the Pacific. It's the two shot-down pilots who learn to trust one another in their situation, and it's a very familiar story. I'd be willing to try it if we had a really interesting twist on it. (source: Now Playing)

Technical and Aesthetic Comments

9/25/2002 -- We're a ways from post-production, so my thinking here is still preliminary. I do think it's time to move past the usual orchestral score and try something different, but that doesn't mean I want to discard the original theme altogether. I could go on and on in this vein for a while, but it's just way too early for this particular discussion. Suffice it to say that I intend on incorporating the original theme music but not with the classic arrangement. (source: BSG.com)

5/10/2003 -- David and I started from the proposition that we should retain as many design elements from the original as we could. In the give and take of getting the production on the air, we had to give ground on some of these issues and more things changed than we would've liked. You win some and you lose some, but in the end, we have a mix of old and new and hopefully we're struck a balance that will work. (source: Cylon Alliance)

5/10/2003 -- The costumes were deliberately designed to evoke our own present-day reality rather than go with the usual "space clothes" approach. It was a conceptual choice that we wanted the audience to see this story and these events through the prism of their own world rather than dress it up in "other-worldly" designs. This goes to the heart of the entire approach -- to make this feel real and true by building a reality close to our own rather than create a fantasy world. It's anti-escapism being married to a genre that typically lives and dies by it's escapist trappings and you could call that both risk-taking and adventurous. (source: Cylon Alliance)

5/10/2003 -- It's an attempt to try something different and more creative. Ever since Lucas reimagined space battles as WWII dogfights, it's been the standard approach for this kind of material. We're looking to try something new and hopefully the splits will give us a new dynamic to sell what's become a familiar sequence on screen. Losing sound in space has been done before in 2001 and more recently in Firefly (which I never saw, but heard about) so it's not like this is an insane notion. Again, it comes out of our desire to play the show straight, to make it as realistic as possible, and to challenge the audience's perception of what a space show is. I can remember after Star Wars came out that Harlan Ellison was saying that Hollywood film producers were dumbing down the audience by putting noise in space and treating the ships like fighter planes. He said that the audience is smart enough to understand what the reality is without condescending to them and I'd like to put that to the test. (source: Cylon Alliance)

8/14/2003 -- We're approaching all the visual effects with the idea that someone is documenting them. Someone is sitting in a cockpit [for example] holding a camera and pointing it out the window. We're not going to do the big, sweeping "hero shot." That's not to say we never used a dolly or a crane; we did do a few of those shots. But by and large it's pretty much hand-held, pretty much guerilla, "you are there" style cinematography. Imagine the sorts of shots you might see on CBS News. If the CBS News crew goes out to the carrier, Enterprise, they'll give you an establishing shot of the carrier, but it's shot out the side of a helicopter as it goes down the side of the ship. (source: Robert Falconer)

12/5/2003 -- What led you to put greater emphasis on the military angle of this Galactica?

It seemed right. Galactica is supposed to be an aircraft carrier in space, so I decided to treat it like one, to embrace the military aspects of the show and play them as realistically as possible.

1/27/2004 -- The way I described [the Cylon raiders] in the first draft of the script, they were going to be some kind of variation of the flying wing, because that's what the original Cylon raiders were. And David Eick, I think, is the one that came up with the idea that the Cylon raiders should have a sort of a head or a face associated with a big oscillating red light. And then it went through various changes over time, and by that point I was not really in the loop anymore. (source: galactica.tv)

2004/02/20 -- When I talked to the studio and the network about what the intention of the project was, I pretty much laid all that out in the very first meeting. I said I wanted this to have a different style and aesthetic than other space opera that's on television. One has to play it real, one has to take it seriously. I don't want it to be hyped-up melodrama, I don't want it to be sentimental and milking everything, I want to play it as if this really happened to a race and a culture that is basically ours. I wanted it to be a parallel society to our society, because I found that that was more intriguing and relevant and I wanted the audience to hook into that... What we did with Galactica was strip away a lot of the artifice... For instance, in the Galactica miniseries, when the Cylons attack the colonists, they attack them with thermonuclear weapons. They don't attack them with lasers and photon torpedoes, and strange things that don't exist. When you see a planet nuked, and you see those mushroom clouds, and hear about the destruction of entire cities by nuclear weapons, that is a much more terrifying and frightening idea than if you're saying fifteen thousand photon torpedoes were launched at Caprica. One is real and one is not. (source: BBC Cult TV)

2/25/2004 -- Regarding the flight characteristics, I would say the impetus was to try to make space flight realistic, once again. Space craft have become analogs to airplanes or naval ships in science fiction. George Lucas delivered fighters in Star Wars like fighter planes in WWII, which was brilliant at the time, but since then it has become a cliché of the genre. Likewise Nicholas Meyer, had the Enterprise act like a battleship in Star Trek II. I wanted Galactica to come at the entire genre from a more realistic perspective, which meant treating the characters, the story and the visual effect in a more realistic manner.

2/25/2004 -- Question: Is the series going to be shot in the same style as the mini was?

Yes. Probably even more documentary and hand held than in the mini.

2/25/2004 -- We will continue the muffled aesthetic. We ended up trying to split the diffrence between the true silence of 2001 and the completely unrealistic sounds of Star Wars. I think what we ended up with was a unique sound design that conveyed the emptiness of a vacuum of space, while still providing a viscereal thrill to the audience.

2/25/2004 -- Question: How is artificial gravity approached in this series? Will it ever be explained?

Never. It's one of those things that is best left unspoken.

4/2/2004 -- Galactica was designed to withstand a nuclear hit. Don't forget that nuclear weapons in space have a different impact than they do in the atmosphere. There's not really a shock wave in space, it's more the immediate blast, heat and radiation effects. Galactica is shielded against radiation. However, I'll tell you that we're going to get into that as the series goes on. That nuclear hit will come back to haunt them later; there will be consequences to what happened to the ship structurally when it took that hit. We're taking the approach conceptually on this show that we must live with things that have happened to us, and that there are consequences. As to the Galactica's size, I don't know the exact figure off the top of my head. I was asking Gary Hutzel to give me the technical specs just last week, actually. I think he described the flight pods [hangar decks] as being about four football fields in length. (source: Robert Falconer)

4/2/2004 -- Question: The bullets that the Vipers fire, are those really bullets, or are they some sort of an explosive charge?

We settled on them being bullets, for a variety of reasons... We had long technical discussions about some of this. What mattered to us was that they weren't laser blasts. We just felt that had been done to death, it wasn't as interesting, and it wasn't realistic. From our research we discovered that such weapons would take huge amounts of energy, and that fighters would probably be better served by using actual bullets. But presumably they're more advanced than what we're using today, although we haven't actually sat down and defined them as such. (source: Robert Falconer)

1/19/2005 -- Question: Why Colonial One looks so much like Airforce One? Was that deliberate?

The design of the ship itself was meant to evoke commercial airlines and of course, present-day Air Force One is a modified 747. One of the things we discussed was trying to make Colonial One immediately identifiable amid the sea of other ships, so we started to make the color scheme and markings more distinctive and recognizable. It does evoke Air Force One at this point, and I'd say that helps with both recognition and with reminding the audience that it's the President's ship.

1/19/2005 -- Question: Why is everything so low tech when clearly these humans are so advanced? It seems incongruous.

The plot explanation is that following the Cylon Uprising 40 years ago, Colonial society took a giant step backwards to protect itself from the technological nightmare it had unleashed. With their enemies able to hack into virtually any network, the Colonials had to rely on stand-alone technologies that we not connected to other components. Ships like the Galactica were designed with this in mind, as well as the old military philosophy of building equipment that will function even in the most dire of circumstances. You don't want to be using cordless phones when the ship is hit by a nuke and power is disrupted to say the least. You want something reliable and solid and preferably with a cord.

The creative explanation is that high-tech ships with touch screens and computers that talk has been done to death in my opinion. Also, having magical technology that does all the work for you tends to take the human beings out of the dramatic equation. I wanted a lower-tech Galactica so that we could put people back into scifi. This show is about our characters, not about the magical technology that they use.

1/20/2005 -- Question: Can you discuss the thought process behind the decision not to re-use the theme and how you and your staff came up with the musical direction of the series? I'm assuming you decided to go in a completely different direction with the score in keeping with the tone of the new show.

You pretty much hit it on the head when you said I just decided to go another direction. In fact, when I first pitched the series I made a specific point of saying we weren't going to go with a lush, orchestral score because it had been done to death. Michael Rymer, who directed the miniseries, and David Eick, my partner, had a tremendous amount of input into the score and worked directly with our composer, Richard Gibbs.

1/20/2005 -- Question: Are there any other military ships in the fleet? I know there are no other capital ships, but I was wondering if there were any minor military vessels remaining that would be the equivalent of destroyers, coast guard cutters, etc.?

I always thought that the Colonial Fleet would have a variety of vessels for various purposes. The battlestars formed the nucleus of fleet, with battlegroups around them, much like modern day carrier groups. Battlestars are different in that unlike carriers, they also carry heavy weapons of their own and fight other opposing capital ships -- in a sense, they are a combination carrier/battleship. But there might also have been dedicated heavy gun ships and smaller carriers as well.

1/30/2005 -- Question: Why is it that the paper in the Galactica universe has the corners cut off, even the tractor feed.

This is a closely guarded secret of the show and certainly not a wacky design element that someone came up with during the miniseries.

1/30/2005 -- "Wing Commander" is frequently mentioned to me as a possible influence on the show, but I've never actually seen it. While it's possible that other members of the production team were influenced by it, it wasn't something that figured into my thinking. My own design influences were things like "Das Boot" "Blade Runner" "Alien/Aliens" and a stack of documentaries on the modern and history US and Royal Navies.

1/30/2005 -- An FTL Jump is nearly instantaneous, essentially moving a ship from point A to point B without travelling through the normal space-time continuum, presumably by bending space around the ship in some way. The analogy I used during production was to imagine three dimensional space as a flat piece of two dimensional paper. To get from one side to the other, you can travel in a straight line across the page, or you can gently bend the sheet in half and cross from edge to edge virtually instantly. How this is accomplished and what is the basis of this technology outstrips my technical brainpower. In fact, I feel faint just coming up with that explanation.

2/19/2005 -- The rank structure is derived from the original series. I didn't want to change Commander Adama to Captain Adama or Colonel Tigh to Commander Tigh, so I elected to simply embrace the co-mingled nature of the original rank structure. For our internal purposes, we've decided that the ranks are indeed a mixture of naval and army nomenclature and are basically as follows:

Officers --
Admiral
Commander
Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Lieutenant (junior grade)
Ensign

Enlisted --
Master Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
Petty Officer (1st, 2nd Class)
Specialist
Deck Hand
Recruit

Just to complicate matters further, there are also Marines aboard Galactica which conform more closely to the traditional enlisted Marine ranks, with Sergeants, Sergeant-Majors, etc. Unresolved is the question of whether the Marine officers would also adhere to the mixed rank structure (which sounds odd) or if they are strictly army equivalents (which makes no sense given that the "Navy" ranks seem oblivious to there being any such distinction).

2/19/2005 -- Please do something about the consumables questions; fuel, food, ammo, clothing etc., where is this stuff coming from?

Water is addressed in... uh, "Water." Fuel is addressed in "Hand of God." Other consumables will be addressed in the second season.

2/19/2005 -- Question: Will we see the mess hall and other part of the ship such as the main Kitchen where all the meals are prepared?

I'd like to. It's a question of budget; there has to be a story point or scene so cool that we just have to build this set.

3/12/2005 -- Question: I am aware that you intend to address the logistical problems the fleet suffers, however, do you intend to explore indepth the consumable production vs consumption directly. Considering the tonnage dictated by Baltar in one of the episodes one would think that every possible space would be converted to hydroponic grow ops (of the legal variety)? There seems to be an awful lot of wasted space on some of these ships.

This has always been in the back of my mind and I'd like to bring it up in the show at some point. (And they're probably growing the illegal variety too.)

4/11/2005 -- The visual style of the show was deliberately chosen to evoke a sense of realism to a world that, by its very nature, is fundamentally unreal. Ours is a world of many conceits, in which the viewer is asked to believe a great many things that he knows do not exist and so we strive to create a mood that implies, in ways both explicit and subliminal, the idea that, "Yes, in fact, this is a real place and you are watching real events occur." By doing so, we hope to encourage the viewer to suspend his natural disbelief and invest himself into the drama. One of the tools we use to achieve that is to use a visual style which suggests that the viewer is eavesdropping on the proceedings, peering into an objective reality that was captured in some way by an imaginary documentary film crew. The same holds true for the exterior space shots, which are designed to continually suggest that a real cameraman is filming the action as a way of implying that someone had to go "out there" and shoot these objects. The audience has a built-in awareness, whether they are conscious of it or not, of exactly how real cameras move and behave when they are being aimed at real objects, and more we can suggest to the audience that a real camera was involved, the more they're willing to accept unreal objects as actually existing.

8/11/2005 -- Could you explain via plot or in your podcast why the Colonials aren't trying to copy the FTL drive from the raider? It seems like that would solve most of their problems if they could even learn to make one 1/2 as capable.

For now, we're saying that the industrial capacity available in the rag-tag fleet is extremely limited. I doubt that they are really capable of reproducing the Raider FTL drive with the equipment on hand.

10/14/2005 -- I did want to stay away from the technobabble that I felt sometimes swamped the characters in Trek, and so I have intentionally avoided discussion of the technical workings of Galactica. Bit by bit, however, small windows into the inner workings do come to light and I'm sure will continue to do so in the future. Also, in all honesty, the writing staff often felt that the technological detail of the Enterprise was as limiting on Trek as it was helpful. We'd established so much about the way the engines worked and didn't work that we sometimes found ourselves discarding perfectly good story ideas or scenes because it contradicted some bit of jargon we'd tossed out two seasons before. There was always the option to write around those kind of details, of course, but inevitably, the thought of yet more tech-talk to justify doing what we wanted to do became a real irritant and we'd usually just try a different approach.

12/7/2005 -- Question: Will more research go into how computer networks "actually" work and how computers are susceptible to viruses? There were a few "questionable" instances in a couple of episodes regarding how viruses managed to get into the Galactica's computers, taking away from the "realism" of the show.

We strive to keep things realistic without getting bogged down in too much technobabble or detail about it. We do have a very good, very knowledgeable technical advisor, who usually flags down errors of this sort, but in the end, it's my call when to stay with the dramatic beat or change things around to keep it scientifically accurate. It's a very subjective call and basically I listen to my own instincts as a writer, so if we're doing something that pulls you out of the show because you know better, it's probably a result of me taking the dramatic rather than the accurate path. (source: SciFi.com Behind the Scenes)

1/20/2006 -- Question: Why does every one call the officers Sir even if they are women? I was in the military but I thought that every one knows to call female officers or presidents Ma'am.

This was something I took from Wrath of Khan. In that film, everyone called Saavik "sir" and I liked the way it played and the implication that the honorific had become gender neutral at that point. On Next Generation, we didn't encounter a point where a female officer had to be addressed with a "sir" or ma'am" until well into the run -- an embarassing moment for the entire writing staff, by the way -- and it started a fair amout of debate about which one should be used to address Troi during a crisis (I believe the episode was "Disaster"). My personal feeling was that there was something vaguely condescending about "Yes, ma'am" versus "Yes, sir" in context and that by addressing everyone as "sir" it made a point about the egalitarian nature of Starfleet. It's certainly a debatable point, and Jeri Taylor, the executive producer running the writing staff at that point, felt very differently about it. Ultimately, we decided to go with "sir" and follow the protocol from Wrath of Khan. When I was writing the miniseries for Galactica, I decided I wanted to use sir for all the female characters and I even toyed briefly with the idea of calling Laura "Mister President" but that seemed lik e a step too far. Billy does call Laura "ma'am" on occasion, so the term itself does exist in the Galactica universe, but the military invariably calls her "sir."

2/1/2006 -- It's a pretty deliberate choice not to reveal very much about the technical specs on Galactica. Partly it's a way to clear out a great deal of technobabble that tends to swamp action scenes and leach drama from what should be intense moments, and partly it's a way of preserving flexibility in terms of storytelling. The more we define the capabilities of the ship, the more we limit ourselves in terms of exactly what the ship can and cannot do in a given situation. Now, you can't really avoid establishing parameters as the show develops and having some sense of the limitations is a good thing to maintain continuity, but a little of it goes a long way.

3/8/2006 -- Question: Why do the "marines" on the show always wear a CQB (close quarters battle) gear loadout in all the episodes? Even in the ones where they are outdoors? Is it possible we might see a different "marine" gear setup?

It's primarily a budgetary issue. We've got the CQB gear, so it's cheaper and easier to keep using it week after week than it is to rent specific items for every mission or to buy a wide variety of gear for stock. There's also a costume issue in that we don't really have specific Marine uniforms, so we use variations of our existing "naval" uniforms for the Marines and distinguish them mostly through the use of the CQB gear.

3/27/2006 -- The documentary/verité approach was in the initial pitch I made to the studio and network, and it was something that David Eick and I had numerous conversations about in the lead-up to the miniseries. It was a stylistic choice we made early on, and it colored all the conversations about the show with the production team, including the directors. Michael Rymer then took this aesthetic approach and made it real, developed the visual language of the show and made concrete the ideas that David and I were tossing around. The series bible does discuss the documentary film approach, but as always in this business, it's up to the man or woman behind the camera to make these things happen and Michael deserves a great deal of credit for the visuals we now take for granted.

4/18/2006 -- Question: Why don't Cylon raiders fire conventional missiles anymore?

That's a good question and Gary Hutzel brought this up himself. I think it's something we just kinda stopped thinking about as we were working on the dogfight seqeunces, because they were already so complex that adding yet another layer on top seemed overwhelming. However, I agree that it's something we've established and should try to reintegrate into the show again.

4/18/2006 -- It's coincidental that Racetrack & Boomer were women, and I never really thought of the Raptor as a transport, I usually thought of it as analogous to the Navy's EA-6 Prowler (a variant of the A-6 Intruder popularized in "Flight of the Intruder"). Dualla, however is the one who communicates most often with the pilots and I actually made her a woman because she was filling the role of another woman in the original BSG series who used to man the communication system on their bridge. That character was called "Rigel" but I didn't think that name worked in the remake, so I gave her the name of Dualla. (As a side note, Roddenberry made a similar decision on the original "Star Trek" series when he made the computer voice a woman -- I think there's an anecdote in Stephen Whitfield's "The Making of Star Trek" where they did some research about the US Air Force deciding that pilots listened to or responded better to a female voice.)

5/18/2006 -- They presumably do [have their own calendar system], but we've been deliberately avoiding talking about it. There's a fine line in the show between embracing familiar Earth terms for accessibility and crossing over into bizarre anachronism. It's certainly debatable as to where that line should be drawn, but to me, saying "January" will cross the line. By the same token, having them refer to a made-up month tends to pull the audience out of the show because it's a reminder that none of this is real. (source: Sky One)

7/27/2006 -- The props are all deliberate choices that imply more than just a passing connection between our world and the world of Galactica and there are deeper connections yet to come.

Colonial Jargon

11/5/2003 -- Frak is in there big time. I tried but I just couldn't make the felgercarb work. (source: Cylon Alliance)

1/30/2005 -- Question: What is the DRADIS? Is it like sonar or radar?"

It's our version of radar. [ In the draft script, DRADIS stands for Direction, RAnge and DIStance ]

1/30/2005 -- Question: In the MS, what does "krypter, krypter, krypter" mean? Is it like an SOS?

It's our version of "mayday, mayday, mayday."

1/30/2005 -- Question: What's the acronym CAG stand for?

Commander Air Group, meaning the senior pilot in charge of all aircraft in the group embarked aboard ship. I know that the nomenclature sounds anachronistic, but my reasoning was that terms like this would most likely live well beyond their origins and still be in use even when the "planes" involved were actually spacecraft.

2/19/2005 -- [Frak is] straight out of the original series. I dropped many other terms from the old show like "centon" (a unit of measurement) and "yahren" (year) because I felt they distracted from the mood I was trying to create and they sounded a bit silly to my ear. There was something elegantly lovely about "frak," however. There's nothing like being able to say my favorite four letter word on TV over and over again and I salute Glen Larson for giving the joys of frakking up, frakking off, not giving a frak, and frakking-A to the masses.

3/26/2005 -- The card game they're playing in the original series was actually called Pyramid. And somewhere along the line, I transposed the names, I mis-remembered what they called it. The racquetball/basketball game that they play in the original, I now call Pyramid. And the name of that game in the original, which was Triad, is now what we call our poker game. So, it's one of the charming differences between the old and the new. It's either that, or a stupid error that the writer made. (source: Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I podcast)

Creative Directions

6/2002 -- [The original series] was a little bit more in the Star Trek pantheon where the fugitive fleet would go from planet to planet or alien race to alien race or situation to situation. What I want to do with the new version of Galactica is make the show much more about the people within those ships, the societies that have developed and what they've taken away from the worlds that are now gone, what they're going to lose and what they're going to keep. And what happens to these people. How are their lives changed and what does it say about them as people? ... It's more of a drama. It's going to have ups and downs through all the characters. In the same way that you watch ER, there's always a certain sense of death in the air at a hospital. There's always a sense of jeopardy and mortality that sort of colors everything in the hospital. You might say that that's a downer every week, but it's really not because that's part of the human experience. You see how characters respond to facing their mortality in uplifting ways and depressing ways, and it gives you a way to explore the range of human emotions.

I think there will always be an internal narrative structure where there's an episode each week. The DS9 format was that the station never went anywhere, so by its very nature it had to have a continuing storyline. I think the way to look at Galactica is that the character relationships will continue, the characters will change and grow and there will be a continuing through-line with the characters and their relationships, but Galactica will give us the opportunity to tell episodic plots as well.

Galactica is a wagon train. It's a bunch of covered wagons of civilians guarded by one troop of cavalry. The original Galactica kind of made it all about the cavalry and I want to make this about the wagon train. The show is Battlestar Galactica, so that is still the home base. It's still about the ship primarily, but I want a larger window into the civilian world as well... Once the initial emergency wears off, it feels like there would be a natural tension between the military and the civilians. I'm trying to make it a more realistic series; trying to ground it in terms of character and storytelling. At the same time I want to maintain the general myth and the elements of Battlestar Galactica that have made it a beloved classic. (source: SFX Magazine)

9/25/2002 -- Essentially, I'm looking for a more grounded, more realistic presentation of science fiction than traditionally presented in the "space opera" format. Taking the opera out of space opera would be another way of putting it. I'm looking to give you more human characters and more realistic stories which take place in a fantastic setting... We're going to try to bring a more naturalistic way of storytelling to the form... The central narrative still revolves around the family Adama, which is one of the reasons I think the original was beloved in its day, and many of the original characters are present and fulfill similar roles. The central narrative and mythos of the Galactica world is much the same. Much has remained the same, but much has changed as well... I'm interested in deepening the character relationships both within the Adama family and without. I feel that a sharper focus on the characters and less focus on the sci-fi plot of the week will create a different kind of science fiction series, one where the human equation is front and center. This is the heart of my approach -- make the new Galactica more about people, less about sci-fi hardware and pseudo-scientific tech talk. (source: BSG.com)

8/2003 -- One of the things I loved about Deep Space Nine was that our characters were flawed. They were human, they made mistakes, they had rough edges, they had unlikable traits. I wanted to take that even further and make characters that were really human in every way. They would have fundamental flaws, and we would root for them because we recognize the human condition, even with all its flaws. [With Battlestar] it was a good fit to marry all those ideas onto that property... If you take all the archetypes out of it, and make them more identifiable human beings and put them in the same situation, to me, it's more of an homage to the original show. It's saying there was something worthwhile at the heart of Battlestar Galactica. There was something there that is worth revisiting and worth expanding and worth exploring if you take it seriously. (source: Sci-Fi Magazine)

11/11/2003 -- I was eager to write something that was more dramatic than the traditional space opera, a story with real characters, real human relationships, but in a science fiction setting. Instead of creating a completely different, alien culture, I took the approach of , "This is you and I and we're on an aircraft carrier in space and then the world ends. What happens to us?" One of the things that struck me when I went back at looked at the original pilot for Battlestar Galactica was how dark it was. I mean, it begins with the destruction of an entire society. And I thought, you know, there are depths that we could really plumb with that. And remember, I was looking at this in a post-9/11 world, a world that had been at peace and that was going along quite well. And then suddenly, one morning I woke up and the World Trade Center had collapsed and people I'd never heard of hated me and hated everything about my society and wanted to destroy it. Life stops for a moment. Looking at it in that light, I thought that there was a truth there that we should go for. How do people react in that moment? And how do they go on afterwards? How do they balance security and freedom and how do the debates about that unfold? (source: SciFi.com)

1/27/2004 -- I pitched the show initially with an idea towards taking it to series, so I pitched it to be producible on a weekly budget. It's designed to be an interior show, that is, about the people within the ships, not planet of the week. It's not designed to go to any alien cultures, not to do the prosthetics, the wardrobe, the sets, what have you, that's associated with that. It's not designed to be a war show where you're doing lots of combat every week. It's supposed to be a drama, first and foremost, and the drama's supposed to be within the Galactica and the ships of the rag-tag fleet. (source: galactica.tv)

2/10/2004 -- I think one of the hallmarks of the series will be that it's always going to be a tense situation. These people are always going to be one step away from disaster. Which doesn't mean that the Cylons will be attacking them every week. But I think the nature of their situation and the reality of what they're facing out there alone, with most of them left with the clothes on their back and whatever food and supplies they happen to have on those ships when the events of the pilot occur is only the beginning. And it's going to take a long time for them to get to any kind of stability or normalcy... The tone and context will be in that vein. There will be lighter moments. I'm sure there will have things that are unexpected and fun to play as time goes on. But the miniseries, that's the bar. That's what we're trying to [do].... We want to do that show every week. (source: SciFi Wire)

2/18/2004 -- Sci-fi is a much larger canvas to create on... You can explore contemporary social ideas in sci-fi, and people give you a pass. When you write them in contemporary dramas, so much is taboo. Sci-fi is allowed to explore the human condition in allegorical terms... Sci-fi should be a vehicle to comment on us today, a way to see what sort of creature man becomes when things happen to us. So, what if [destruction on a global scale] happened to us? Not to some bizarre space aliens, to us. I want something that strikes a chord. I want the audience to think, "I know what it's like to see my world come shattering down." That speaks to me. That propels the show, thinking, "What do I do now?" What do you do about your basic liberties? Is the Patriot Act a good idea? How do you respond to that sort of threat? Can you be noble when your world is ending? (source: scifi.about.com)

3/6/2004 -- These people are on ships without support, way off by themselves. They have only the clothes on their backs and whatever supplies happen to be on the ships when they escaped. And our job is to take that seriously, to play the truth of that, to really see what will happen to these people. How do they organize themselves? What is their society going to be like? Where are they going to get food and fuel? How are they going to replace the most basic things? Where are they going to get the bullets for the guns? All these sorts of questions are typically swept away in sci-fi where you just press buttons and things appear and you never question how the ship gets repaired and where the food came from and what about people who have different points of view. What about people in the fleet that don't like Laura Roslin, that don't think she's the legitimate President -- who question her authority and legitimacy to give commands? I think all those things are inherently dramatic and interesting. And they're more dramatic and interesting than simply having the Cylons show up and do a dog fight every week. (source: James Iaccino)

5/18/2004 -- They dress like us, their furniture looks like our furniture. They act like human beings, they have the same flaws, wants, and desires as recognizable 21st-century human beings. Let the audience put themselves in the drama. This isn't another wacky other alien race. This is us. This is what would happen if we went through this tragedy. (source: Multichannel)

1/9/2005 -- The miniseries was informed by a lot of 9/11 memories, 9/11 feelings, and the series continues on that route. The series is definitely about this time and place in America. We have a band of survivors on military ships. They're at war. They're worried about things like terrorists in their midst, who they can't identify, because Cylons can look like people. They have questions of security. There's questions of freedom and democracy and civil liberties, the hard choices you have to make. That's what I think sci-fi should do. Science fiction is supposed to question things that are going on in society, think about things that are relevant. It's not just escapism. The show is trying to be relevant, to provoke debate and make people think about the world they live in. (source: Zap2It)

1/9/2005 -- We're not doing bumpy-headed aliens. We're not doing planet-of-the-week stories. We're not doing mind control, body swapping, time travel, all the usual things. This is a drama. It isn't about gee-whiz scientific ideas week in and week out. It's about people and characters in a desperate situation, and it happens to be in a scientific backdrop. (source: Zap2It)

1/12/2005 -- The show will still incorporate elements of a post-9/11 world and the Iraqi war world... What I like about science fiction is the idea that things that matter to me in American culture today, that I have an opportunity to explore those things, to comment on them ... without having to write a "West Wing" or an "NYPD Blue." Here's another world, and it's a lens through which we can view our own. (source: Associated Press)

1/30/2005 -- Question: I have a friend who has a son and they both enjoy watching the new Battlestar Galactica. But it is a very frustrating thing when he cannot allow his son watch the show when there are sex scenes and constant sexual innuendo scattered throughout the episodes. Call me a little old fashioned but I nor others that I know really appreciate having to endure sex scenes that really do not further the story in any significant way.

First of all, I'm sorry your friend can't watch the show with his son, but I always intended this series to be for adults. I have two small children, and I wouldn't dream of letting them watch the show -- mostly because of the violent content. Second of all, I disagree that the sexuality is intended to be exploitative or that it's somehow not integral to the story. We're presenting adult human beings as adults, and their sexuality is a key part of their lives. Baltar's sexual weaknesses, Sharon & Tyrol's forbidden love affair, and Starbuck's promiscuity are part of who and what they are. I think the only reason this gets the kind of attention is does is that we're not used to seeing sex treated maturely in science fiction -- nine times out of ten, any sex is either something to snigger at or to make fun of. Somehow it's okay to fetishize sex by putting women in S&M leather "space" outfits or have Carrie Fisher run around in harem clothes (not that there's anything wrong with that), but to portray two mature adults simply having sex is somehow controversial in sci-fi circles.

I'd also point out, as I have many times before, the strange standards of American audiences, who can become red-faced with indignation over nudity, but find no problem with slasher films or chains-saw massacres. I mean, Galactica's premised on a massive genocide, and the pilot deals with violent, shocking deaths over and over again, but people get upset about the sex? Weird....

2/19/2005 -- Question: Why does the doctor smoke?

Because smoking is cool. Don't let anyone tell you different, kid.

Seriously, we're showing people doing what people really do and not all of their choices are smart ones. We smoke, we drink, we have sex with the wrong partners -- we make lots of bad choices and some of them we do knowingly and in full cognizance of the risks and consequences. Dr. Cottle obviously knows the risks associated with smoking and he elects to do it anyway -- that's his choice. I'm also frankly tired of all the anti-smoking p.c. crap that we're bombarded with these days and I decided that this was a world without all that. Call it my one sop to the idea of an idealized society, the notion that adults can make informed choices and not be nagged to death or run out of public spaces for making choices that others may not like or agree with.

2/19/2005 -- Security and discipline are definitely problems on Galactica and they're not going away. The ship was far from the best of the best at the time of its retirement and the people on board weren't either. The discipline was lax and many procedures had been allowed to fall by the wayside. Now, this ship and its crew are forced to operate far above what they considered to be the norm and it's not an easy transition for any of them. This was a deliberate creative choice. It's one thing for the finest ship, with the finest crew to deal with the end of the world and a long flight from a relentless enemy, it's quite another when you were just a bunch of people trying to get by. I find it a more challenging and interesting environment to tell stories in and I find these people more heroic in their actions just by the nature of the obstacles they have to overcome in their day to day existence.

4/1/2005 -- What are the politics of the show and what is its political agenda? The quick answer is that the show doesn't really have a political agenda in the sense that it's neither liberal nor conservative in the way those labels are thrown around in the sound-bite era of demagoguery that currently passes for political discourse in this country. One would be hardpressed to say that watching Laura Roslin break her word to a prisoner and then kick him out an airlock would be advancing a progressive, liberal agenda, or that Adama questioning his society's worthiness to be saved is somehow indicative of a conservative bias. I certainly have my own political views and it would be disingenuous at best to say that there's some kind of firewall between my beliefs and those portrayed on the show. I'm the head writer -- my views and thoughts are on life are on display every week, including my political predilections. However, I don't see the show as a platform to advance my political belief system or my own views on morality. I do see the show as an opportunity to raise questions in the minds of the audience and ask them to think, which is something of a rariety in these days when politics seems to be about stoking emotionalism and finding simple-minded slogans to stand-in for actual answers to complex problems. ("Culture of Life!" "Right to Die!" "Ban Smoking!" "The Ownership Society!")

Galactica is both mirror and prism through which to view our world. It attempts to mirror the complexities of our lives and our society in turbulent times, while at the same time reflecting and bending that view in order to allow us to extrapolate on notions present in contemporary society but which have not yet come to pass, i.e. a true artificial intelligence becoming self-aware and the existential questions it raises. Our goal is to examine contemporary culture and society, to challenge (and sometimes provoke) our audience, but not to provide easy answers to complex problems.

I firmly believe that what Kara Thrace did to Leoben in "Flesh and Bone" was wrong. I believe that a society which employs torture on the defenseless captives in its custody has crossed a bright shining line that civilized people should not cross. Likewise, I think that Laura Roslin promising a man freedom only to kill him in the end is abhorrent to the ways in which I want my president to behave. However, I also understand why each of them did what they did. I understand the emotional, psychological and moral quandries which can lead two moral, good people to take such ghastly actions. And, in the end, I also believe that it was true to who characters really are, and that trumps everything else. Would I personally behave the same way in similar circumstances? I hope not, but neither am I so confident of my own immunity to the pressures felt by an interrogator charged with finding a nuclear weapon or to the enormous weight sitting on a chief executive trying to protect her citizenry that I can say I would absolutely have made the more "moral" choice.

Was it wrong for Adama to dissolve a legally constituted judicial tribunal in "Litmus" simply because he sensed it becoming a witch-hunt or was he actually protecting the larger concepts of justice? Was it right for Lee to shoot down a civilian ship knowing full well that it was probably filled with innocent human beings or was he making a pragmatic choice to protect the greater number in the fleet? Is Tyrol a fool for protecting Sharon or is he honoring the most fundamental human emotion of all -- true love? These are the debates that I hope you have among yourselves, your families, your friends.

I want the show to provoke you into thinking about the times you live in and the choices that are being made all around you every day. In a time when the President of the United States actually asserts that he has the power to arrest without warrant and detain indefinitely without charge or appeal, any citizen (indeed any person on the face of the Earth) simply by designating them as an "illegal combatant," we should all be engaged in a vigorous and energetic debate about who we are as a people and as human beings and exactly how we do intend to respond to the very real threat posed to this nation and to the foundations of liberal democracy posed by people capable of, and willing to, fly airplanes into buildings.

I hope this show makes you think. I hope this show makes you question the moral choices that are being made in your name and by your representatives. I hope this show angers you at times and makes you outraged at the actions that good people like Kara and Laura sometimes take. But the show is not a polemic; our aim is not to screech and demagogue these issues in search of facile answers. Good people can make bad, even horrific decisions, just as bad people can make noble, even righteous ones. Balancing civil liberties with security is a complicated, difficult gymnastic act which defies the easy, pat answers typically served up by an hour of episodic television. If the show does have a single, consistent point of view, it is probably best summed up by something Lincoln said during his second inaugural address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." Think about that. Debate the meaning of that simple idea. For that, more than anything else, expresses this show and the politics behind it.

5/10/2005 -- I think the allegory has moved on with us. The series deals with the aftermath of 9/11 and the war on terror, the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan -- it's imbued with things that are more current, like liberty versus freedom. Security versus freedom. The ideas of how far a society is willing to go in order to safeguard its citizens, what happens in witch trials or how the does the judicial process become a witch trial? What does it mean when you have a prisoner and you put his head in a bucket and you tell him he's going to drown to get information out of him? Those are things happening in the world and those are things that we tackled on Galactica. This is what we do. This show is about the experience we're having right now and trying to view that experience through the prism of science fiction. Not necessarily to make it ripped from today's headlines, but essentially to take the themes and ideas of what is happening in the world and put them in this format and examine them from a different light and perspective. (source: SFX Magazine)

5/25/2005 -- The parallels between the Cylon beliefs and fundamentalist Christian beliefs, there are certain aspects of it there, but there's also Al Qaeda's use of its religious practice to justify what it does. That's part of who the Cylons are too, they aren't just really stalking horses for fundamentalist Christianity... The show is really supposed to be about our society and political structure, the conversations we have today in the culture. Hopefully, the show is able to examine those things from a different perspective without making it as simple as the Cylons are Al Qaeda and Laura Roslin is George Bush. I don't think the show offers you easy answers on why Al Qaeda does what Al Qaeda does, but I think it gives you an easy reference into how an entire culture, or entire group of people can believe something so fervently that seems so unfathomable at the beginning. Religion is used in various guises, in things good and evil. (source: beliefnet)

6/2/2005 -- I doubt that there is a single quote of mine anywhere that says I am attempting to "teach" the great unwashed masses some profound moral lesson that I, in my greatness, have learned and now wish to pass on. I have said that I want the show to make people think about the society they live in and the actions that are taken in their name. To say that I want to raise moral questions through the fictional universe of Galactica is hardly asserting that I am some kind of "sage" imparting my "lessons." Who am I? I am a citizen of this country and the last time I checked, that was the only qualification to have an opinion and engage in a political discussion over the policies my country chooses to pursue. It's called democracy and I strongly recommend it.

As to the continual grumbling about how "unrealistic" the discipline aboard Galactica is, I would point out that anyone in the US Navy in the early 1970's will tell you about rampant drug use, poor discipline, ships that literally could not leave port because of a failure to even have enough manpower aboard and other tales that sound like a work of fiction, and those incidents happened in a military that had just concluded fighting the Vietnam War. It takes no great imagination, nor any wild-eyed liberal mistrust of people in uniform to imagine that a military force that has not seen any real combat in 40 years (which is our backstory) has begun to slide in its professionalism and discipline. Let's make this crystal clear: the military is a tool. If I dislike how the tool is used, I blame the person wielding it, not the tool itself.

The notion that I've somehow "glorified" terrorists with this show, and used it to promote some kind of "anti-Americanism" only serves to demonstrate just how partisan and unthinking political discourse in this country has become. I am evidently expected to accept without question the policies which come down from on high, and if I beg to differ, I'm part of the "blame America" crowd. I, and many, many, others in this country deeply resent that kind of broad-brush McCarthyesque attack on the motives and patriotism of people who question the way the war on terror is being conducted and the very fact of the war in Iraq. And since we constitute roughly half of the electorate, I think this kind of attitude only serves to deepen the political and cultural divide that currently plagues this nation and is one of the lower forms of argument.

I'm anti-American? Hey, I stand up IN MY HOME when the national anthem is played and I call fast food restaurants to complain about them flying tattered American flags at all hours of the day and night, I don't need lessons from anyone in what it means to love this country.

The military force in Galactica is shown to be willing to lay their lives on the line every day for the people they are sworn to protect. They are shown to struggle against overwhelming odds time and again, and to maintain a dedication to their mission even when the world itself has literally been lost. I think that is a noble portrait of men and women at war, and if they are plagued by the same flaws and weaknesses on a personal level as the rest of us, that to me only makes them more human and heroic. I'm proud of the men and women aboard the Galactica and I would be proud to have my freedoms guarded by them as I am by the men and women of the US armed forces. (source: Colonial Fleets message board)

9/16/2005 -- The collision of a monotheistic society and a polytheistic society is interesting. It doesn't necessarily have to be stalking horses for Al Qaeda or stalking horses for the Christian Right. It's not so much about "Let's parallel a contemporary storyline because here's a political agenda we're trying to service." It's more like, "Well, these things are all happening in the real world. What if you put them together in this combination? What would happen?" (source: Now Playing)

12/7/2005 -- I'm interested in having people argue about whether what the characters did in a given episode was understandable in a human way as well as have them argue whether the actions they took were right or wrong. Yes, I want people to argue about the rightness of their heroes torturing a prisoner for information, but I also want them to argue about what a human being does in that situation and what it does to him or her as a result of their choice. I've been gratified to see that people are willing to take up the arguments about liberty versus security and freedom versus safety because I believe those to be the most vital conversation we are having today. (source: SciFi.com Behind the Scenes)

12/7/2005 -- I like the ambiguity and the jagged edges of the show, in all honesty. So much of TV is wrapped up in neat little packages with everything explained and over-explained to the audience. I like not knowing certain things, I like not knowing why and how something may have happened, I like the mystery of what happens just outside the frame of our show. (source: SciFi.com Behind the Scenes) 7/27/2006 -- I think homosexuality definitely exists in the world of Galactica, but I frankly haven't found a way to portray it yet. It's a texture that I'd like to introduce into the series without doing "the gay episode." It's something that gets talked about internally periodically, but so far there hasn't been a good story or character arc or scene that's seemed like a good way to establish the fact without really hanging a big neon sign out that says, "See, we're doing a gay theme now!" Ultimately, it's probably a failure of imagination on my part and a reflection of the fact that I've never made this a priority for us, so pin the blame on me for not moving this bit of reality into our universe.

The Genesis of the Project

9/5/2002 -- SciFi is demanding a remake -- not true. I will step up and take this bullet squarely. When I was invited to pitch an idea for a Galactica series, my hands were not tied in any way by the network and I was free to go in with anything I wanted. This is what I wanted and you are free to hate me for it, but your venom is misdirected if you blame Bonnie Hammer et al. Also, there's a misperception that I didn't even watch the original pilot until after I pitched the show, but that's not true (I was either misquoted in some interview or I misspoke). The sequence of events was: I got a call from David Eick asking if I'd be interested. I thought about it over a weekend, had an idea for remaking the pilot and then agreed to work out a pitch. A couple of weeks of work followed, during which time I watched the pilot at least three times before we ever went in to pitch it to first the studio and then the network.

9/20/2002 -- First and foremost, we're on track and in good shape. I'm (still) working on a rewrite of the script to incorporate network notes, which I'm pleased to report were not destructive and/or idiotic, but actually constructive (and if you know anything about network TV, you'll appreciate what a miracle that is). The greenlight to begin preproduction in earnest awaits a firm decision on an airdate. Here's how it works: if they want to broadcast the mini in Fall '03, then we'll start prep quickly, if they want to go with Xmas '03 or later, then we'll start prep later. Why not start immediately anyway? The simple answer is that the longer you're in prep the more money you spend, so just extending prep can actually hurt you in the long run. The complicated answer has to do with "holds" on actor contracts regarding their services for the actual series, and the like. In the meantime, we're meeting with production designers, VFX supervisors, directors, etc. in order to line up the production team.

9/25/2002 -- In the beginning, I was told the Singer/DeSanto project was being shelved and I was asked whether or not I was interested in coming up with a new take for a Galactica series. I thought about it and said yes, and my pitch was to remake the series... The previous production was dead well before I ever came in to pitch the remake. Exactly what went down and why is something I honestly don't have the answer to... David Eick approached me sometime around February/March of this year and said that the studio was looking for a new take on the BG project. He and I and Breck Eisner (who David had worked with before) discussed my initial take on a remake for a few weeks, then I pitched it to first the studio and then the network. They bought it, we made a deal and then they announced it in April. I can't speak for Tom or tell you the ins and outs of his project, but I can tell you that there was nothing secretive about my becoming involved. It was all handled very matter of fact and at no time was there ever any suggestion that the previous project was still alive or under active consideration. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- We're still waiting for a firm airdate from SciFi. If it's Fall '03, we'll begin prep very soon, if it's Xmas '03 or later, we'll start prep later. Filming itself will probably begin 9-10 weeks after the formal start of prep, last for 40-50 days, then several weeks of post-production before we have a finished product. In all, figure roughly nine months start to finish... They don't like us to give out actual [budget] numbers, but suffice it to say that it's well into the 8 figure range. I think we'll be able to pull it off given the budgetary constraints. Keep in mind I knew going in that I wasn't getting the budget of Attack of the Clones and so I very specifically designed the story to keep us on budget. I've been producing science fiction television for a long time and I've been able to apply that knowledge and experience toward creating a show that is doable from a budgetary standpoint. (source: BSG.com)

12/4/2003 -- As I was wrapping up Roswell in that final season, I got a call from David Eick, who I'd worked with on Good vs Evil -- he was with the studio at that time. Now he had a production deal with Universal, as a producer, and he called and said that the Bryan Singer/Tom DeSanto version had collapsed, and that the studio was looking for someone to come in with a new take, and was I interested in coming in with a new take. That's all I really know. I've talked to David and with various people at the studio over the time to try and figure out what happened to the Bryan Singer/DeSanto project, and it's kind of you get a different story from all of them. Some say the script was the problem, some say Fox was the problem and they wanted to do Firefly, others say it was Singer's commitment to X-Men 2 and 9/11 interrupted the schedule. I don't really know what the truth is. By the time [the miniseries] was announced, I had been in to Universal and in to the Sci-Fi Channel for multiple meetings, and it wasn't like it was conducted in secret. And they were all very upfront about saying that the other project was dead. I think Tom was probably holding out hope that he could resurrect the old project or something, but there is a lot of passive/aggressive behavior in this business, so maybe nobody ever picked up the phone and called him. (source: IGN FilmForce)

12/4/2003 -- We had a full approved draft before we went looking for a director. In the early days of the property, Breck Eisner was involved, so it was me, David and Breck going around pitching it, with Breck as director. But then Breck left to go do a feature. There had been a few efforts to get Battlestar Galactica off the ground before I came around. Glen Larson had tried a few times, and Richard Hatch as well. Hatch had done a trailer with his own money, and I think that his efforts were so extraordinary that I wouldn't be surprised if it was him that got Universal's attention. But then when Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto got involved, that was as close to doing it as anyone had come. They were going to go on FOX, and Bryan was going to direct the pilot. Then, that fell apart. (source: UGO)

2/20/2004 -- About two years ago, I was wrapping up production on Roswell, and I got a call from David Eick. He said that Universal was looking for somebody to come in and give a different take on Battlestar Galactica. The previous effort had collapsed and the project was now back at square one, and they wanted somebody to come in with a new take on it, would I be interested? I told him to let me think about it over the weekend. I went out and got a copy of the original pilot, and watched it again. I'd seen the show, originally, when I was a kid and it went out in the seventies, but I hadn't seen it in a very long time. I thought about it, and I still liked the premise. I thought that there were things I could do with it, things I was interested in exploring in science fiction, and changing it and trying to do a different kind of television series. The relevancy of Galactica's premise just struck me. When you watch it now, in the post 9/11 world, this story of this society that is suddenly and shockingly destroyed in a devastating sweep, it hits you in a different way than in 1978. I realised that this was an opportunity to make science fiction relevant again. Science fiction to me is at its best when it's a vehicle for commenting on and exploring contemporary social and political ideas. So, for all those reasons, I thought, yeah, I'd like to take a crack at re-inventing Galactica. I called him back on Monday and said, "Yeah, let's do it." (source: BBC Cult TV)

Remake versus Continuation

5/2002 -- Doing a sequel crossed my mind, but I just wasn't interested in that so much as I was in going back and starting over. Part of it is on a practical level. I think if you're going to pick up from where you left off, you basically reduce the audience to those who know and love the original already. Let's face it, Battlestar Galactica is just not Star Trek and we're not going to pretend that it is this giant pop-cultural phenomenon where you literally could pick up 75 years later and continue going... I've been talking to people about this and it's funny to see how few of them really remember it. In truth, very few people actually remember the premise, that their worlds were wiped out and that the Cylons are chasing them. It's surprising how many people -- some writers, some not in the business -- think that the original premise was that they're all from Earth and Earth is wiped out. I've run into that over and over again. With that in mind, there's a sort of general confusion out there of what the show is, even though the name is very recognisable, even by people who are not fans of the genre and may not have seen an episode. It made such a blip on the pop-culture radar when it came out, that it has maintained a cetain memory. So I think you have to go back and redo it. I just can't see picking it up later. (source: SFX Magazine)

6/2002 -- I've seen some people compare it to Star Trek -- nobody recast Kirk and Spock years later. But it's just different. Frankly, Battlestar Galactica is not the giant phenomenon that Star Trek was and what the concept was, but Battlestar has a more complicated back-story. The origin is important to understand the show, so you have to go back and retell it. Generally you go back and recast Batman and show his origin again, you show Superman's origin again, you do Tarzan from the beginning. God knows James Bond never hesitated to recast. It's just the way it's usually done. (source: SFX Magazine)

9/3/2002 -- You have been heard. Your voices do count. But I must tell you in all honesty that my decision [to retell the BG story from the beginning] remains the same. I've explained my reasoning in several interviews to date, and I'm sure I'll go on explaining it for quite a while, but all the explaining in the world isn't going to make some of you feel better about this. I am truly sorry about that. I've read your postings and know how passionately some of you feel about a continuation, but I've got to do what I think is best as a writer and producer for this show. All I can tell you is that I do care about Galactica, and I do care about what's gone before. I have written a script that has its roots firmly based in the mythos of the Battlestar Galactica we all know and love and which brings back nearly all of the original characters and themes from the original. Whether you choose to embrace it is, of course, entirely up to you, but I hope that you'll watch the full four hours before you make up your mind.

9/25/2002 -- Remaking Galactica provides an opportunity to explore the entire Galactica universe with a fresh approach, while a continuation would lock in elements from the original and strait-jacket the storytelling both from a character standpoint and from a plot standpoint. This is a chance to revisit the Galactica world explore it in new ways. It also gives us a chance for a Galactica that might be embraced by an even larger audience beyond the fanbase and allow a new series to get a longer lease on life than the original did... Did I think about doing a continuation? Sure, it was an obvious (and creatively valid) idea, but in all honesty it didn't interest me as a writer as much as the possibilities inherent in going back to the beginning and retelling the story from a fresh perspective... A remake will open up more and better creative opportunities to explore in both the miniseries and the series, and in my opinion, making the best show you possibly can is always the bottom line (or at least should be).

It's also worth bearing in mind that at the time I was coming up with my pitch, there was no hue and cry for a "continuation or death" on the Internet that I could discern and that it materialized only after the deal had already been sealed and the project was announced. As I said in my earlier posting on the SciFi board, I have listened carefully to the feelings of some of the fans since that time and I do understand their feelings, especially after having traveled such a long road already with multiple attempts at getting a new Galactica on the air. But that sympathy and understanding didn't suddenly make me decide that a continuation is a better approach. The audience may still reject this show. It may fail. But it won't be because I didn't try to make the very best show I thought I was capable of making. And in the end wouldn't you be disappointed if the executive producer of the new Battlestar Galactica said anything else? (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- A continuation is far from a slamdunk recipe for success. I mean, shall we talk about a little show called "Galactica: 1980"? It had a mix of old and new cast members, the exact same costumes, design, theme music, etc. and it stank. Fans sometimes want to pretend it didn't happen or that it doesn't count somehow, but the truth is that "1980" was a continuation and it failed. Miserably. We can all argue about why it failed, but the point is that a bad show is a bad show is a bad show and doing a continuation is no guarantee of success just as doing a remake is no guarantee of failure... The people who are arguing for "honoring the original work" continue to overlook the fact that "Galactica: 1980" is part of the original canon as well and everybody is more than willing to chuck that overboard just because they don't like it. Well, I don't think you can have it both ways -- if we must honor the original at all costs because it's a moral obligation, then a continuation picks up after the events of "1980" not in some alternate future where they're still hunting for Earth years later. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- I see more and greater possibilities inherent in starting over at the beginning and changing certain problematic elements of the series in order to strengthen the overall franchise... I do see the advantages of a continuation, I just think they are outweighed both creatively and commercially by the advantages inherent in doing a remake. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- In my view, Star Trek is the exception that proves the rule. To my knowledge -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- no other film or TV show has successfully emulated the Trek formula. In fact, the ONLY successes are the remakes: Charlie's Angels, Mission: Impossible, the Bond Films, The Addams Family, The Brady Bunch, MASH. Each of these recast and remade the original without the use of the original actors in their original roles (except with the notable exceptions of Q & Moneypenny in Bond, and Radar in MASH).

Many have tried to go the Trek route (Bonanza: The Next Generation anyone?) but none have succeeded. Consider The Brady Bunch -- an iconic beloved show that has firmly implanted itself in pop culture. Could anyone replace Greg and Marcia? Surely not. But when Paramount tried to revive a continuation of the Bunch in the early 90's with the original cast reprising their roles and picking up the story years later it failed, just as have all the others. But when they recast the roles and approached the material from a completely different, ironic angle it took off and was an immediate success. The closest anyone has come to emulating Trek are the one shot reunion TV movies that are essentially an exercise in nostalgia like The Wild, Wild West Revisited or Return to Gilligan's Island. If that's the limit of your ambition, then I guess that's fine, but the goal here is to produce a pilot for an on-going series.

I think there are important factors which allowed Trek and Trek alone to succeed with a continuation: only ten years had passed since the original series was broadcast; the entire original cast was still alive; the show was cancelled before the advent of ratings demographic information which would've shown it already had a vital audience on NBC which advertisers would've killed to get their hands on; and most importantly, the series itself had reached iconographic status in the American audience's mind well before the first movie was even contemplated. It is no insult to Galactica or its fans to say that none of those factors apply in this situation, as indeed there is no other series in the history of television that can make a similar claim, which is why I say Trek is the exception that proves the rule. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- It's precisely because I was a fan of the old show that I want to do a remake. I'd like to go back to the beginning and tell the story from the start because I think it's the best way to make a successful series and the way that opens up the most creative avenues to explore. It was my first instinct when I was approached to work on the project and I still think it's the best way to go. Doing a remake doesn't "cheapen" the original at all in my view. In fact, if anything it'll probably drive more people to check out the original on DVD to see where the new show came from in the first place. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- In all fairness, a continuation has had at least three different chances: Galactica: 1980, Richard Hatch's project, and then the Singer/DeSanto version. So I don't think you could say a continuation hasn't had a fair shot. Let's give the remake at least one try before it's condemned. (source: BSG.com)

5/10/2003 -- David and I realized early on that a remake was the only viable option, in our opinion. Then, once we pitched the concept of the remake to the studio and network and it was accepted, that was that. There were no subsequent conversations involving the studio/network regarding a change in format. After the script was written, I did have a conversation with a fan via email discussing the possibilty of turning it into a prequel, but ultimately decided that it would require too big of a rewrite and would change too many conceptual components of the miniseries, not to mention the fact that it would also require going back into the studio and network and getting them to approve a major conceptual change that I knew they would resist. (source: Cylon Alliance)

11/5/2003 -- If Larson and DeSanto can get another BG project off the ground then more power to them. I think if there is that kind of support for the BG universe then it will only benefit both projects. To me, and this is only my opinion, if the mini is successful then perhaps other studios will be willing to put money toward a BG movie on the logic that there's clearly an audience out there and maybe they can get some of that dough too. (source: Cylon Alliance)

2/25/2004 -- I was only interested in a remake from the very beginning. I thought there were interesting creative possiblities to explore, going back to the beginning to tell the story. I was less interested in picking up the tale many years later. I think a continuation would have had a more limited nostalgic appeal to the general audience. There is nothing wrong with doing a continuation, but it wasn't something that interested me as a writer.

1/20/2005 -- I wasn't interested in the continuation story. I saw more to be gained by going back and retelling the tale from the beginning than by picking up the story 20 or 40 years later. I personally never thought a continuation was a bad idea, but it simply didn't interest me as a writer.

Original Series Fans

9/25/2002 -- At this point, you can argue that the percentage of people who care to post messages on the Internet about BG and who attend conventions are in favor of a continuation, but you can't say with any certainty that this somehow reflects the feelings of the larger potential fanbase itself, which remains overwhelmingly inactive (by which I mean they're fans of the original but aren't currently involved on the net or any other organized activity. Let's say that a potential "fan" of BG is anyone who has a positive memory of the original and would like to see a new series based strictly on that positive association. I have to think we're talking about numbers in the millions. Those millions of potential fans have not and will not make their feelings known on the subject until the miniseries premieres and they either accept or reject it. If we start to talk about the general audience itself which has little to no memory of the original but probably has some recognition of the name, now we're talking about tens of millions of people and every argument about continuation vs. remake is essentially meaningless to them. All they'll care about is whether or not it's any good.

So the bottom line is, we're not going to know "what people want" until we show them the show. That's always the way it is. You never know until you're done. If you could test and poll and demographically analyze your way to success, believe me the studios and networks would do a lot better than they do. I'm not a big believer in demos and polls and marketing analysis as a way of doing a good TV show anyway and I'm not about to start. You have a creative vision and you work like hell to realize it -- that's how you do something good, not poring over the numbers some suit in market research has cooked up for you... I do not and will not run a show by marketing research. Not this one, not one, not any one. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- Question: How do you intend to embrace the fans of the old series with what you are intending now?

By reaching out to them in this forum and others and continuing to provide information as we go along in the hopes that even my harshest critic will at least give the new show a chance... They strike me as very similar to the Trek fans: passionate, knowledgeable about their show, committed to getting a good quality product, and unwilling to accept something they think won't be worthy of the name. I respect that and it's my job to give them something I believe is worthy of its lineage. (source: BSG.com)

5/10/2003 -- The key decisions -- and this is important -- were made long before there was any fan reaction at all. Doing a remake, making Starbuck a woman, having the Cylons be products of the Colonials themselves, Baltar & Six, etc., all of those choices were in the original pitch. By the time there was even an inkling that some fans weren't happy about doing a remake, we were well on our way to starting the script. By the time the cast sheet revealing Starbuck as a woman was leaked [February 13], we were greenlit to production and beginning prep. It's important to understand that, because we didn't make some deliberate choice to go against what people were or were not saying on the Internet, because the Internet reaction lagged behind the decision-making process by weeks and sometimes months. I was interested in what people were saying about the show out of curiosity, but the figurative ship had sailed by the time fans were beginning to weigh in with their likes and dislikes. (source: Cylon Alliance)

5/10/2003 -- I understand what he's saying. By purist, I'm sure [Olmos] means if you're a "continuation or die" person or if you just cannot stomach any changes to the original at all, then save yourself a lot of grief and stick with the original. I've tried to tell people much the same, in that while we want everyone to watch, if you just aren't going to be open to what we're attempting and you're simply refusing to give this version a chance, then don't waste your time. (source: Cylon Alliance)

11/11/2003 -- I think, at its core, this is still Battlestar Galactica. That said, I think your reaction to this show will depend considerably on how much -- or rather how -- you loved the original. If you thought it was perfect the way it was and you just can't imagine anyone else doing those roles, and the nostalgia of it weighs heavy on your heart, I don't know that you're going to be satisfied with this. Because we didn't try to do that. We took the core of what Galactica was and tried to give it a deeper meaning, a greater sense of humanity, a greater relevance to our lives today. So I think if you look at the original with some fondness, and you kind of remember it as being fun at the time, but you look at it right now and go, "Yeah, we could probably change some things, make some improvements along the way," then I think you'll really enjoy this version of Battlestar Galactica. (source: SciFi.com)

12/4/2003 -- I didn't realize was that there would be an uproar over continuation versus remake. When I first got the project, I looked around on the fan boards and it wasn't a topic of conversation. I guess, in retrospect, it's because that idea hadn't been broached... I thought, "These guys are going to be grateful that we're doing anything. I mean, this show has been gone for 25 years -- they're going to be happy it's coming back at all." I knew that making Starbuck a woman was going to be controversial. I knew that. Part of me was attracted to it because it was controversial, and I just thought it was a great idea... I knew that changing the origin and the nature of the Cylon backstory was going to be controversial, but that was about it. And as time has gone on and there's been an uproar on the dedicated fan boards and this and that, I just looked at it with a grain of salt because it's just not that many people... It's a very small community that's been keepers of this flame for a quarter of a century by themselves. And so they are very proprietary about it, and they are very dedicated to what they think is the positive aspects of the old show and why the show is worth fighting for, and I'm ruining it and here's the reasons why. I respect that. I understand that. It's borne of passion, and the arguments and the brickbats that they throw are all borne of their passion for the material. But at the same time, most of the audience hasn't seen the show. The original got one year and was gone, and most people haven't seen it in 20 years. And the mass audience isn't going to approach it from the same perspective that they do, so I can only take their criticism so far. (source: IGN FilmForce)

2/2004 -- When David had first approached me about the project, and we decided to do it, I was under the naive impression that the Battlestar Galactica fan community, as it were, would just be delighted that anybody was doing this, that somebody was finally going to make the show. I thought that they were going to be just beside themselves. I had surfed around the Internet a little bit and looked at the existing Battlestar Galactica sites -- of which where there were only a handful -- and I read some of the boards. Most people at that point were still bemoaning the fact that the DeSanto/Bryan Singer version had collapsed and, "Oh my God, we're back to the same place and nobody's ever going to make our show." And I thought, well, gee, these guys are going to be thrilled. Wait till they hear I'm doing it, and I'm the "Star Trek guy," and it's really gonna happen. And lo and behold the initial press release went out and said that we were doing a reimagining as opposed to a continuation. And people just lost their minds, they were so appalled. (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)

2/26/2004 -- It would be nice to win [some of the original fans] over, but certain members of that community, are just [set] in their ways and they're not interested in being won over... I hate to say that, but the truth is, it's a small number... That doesn't mean that they're not important, or that their opinion doesn't count, or that I'm dismissing them. It's just sort of a reality check. How far are you willing to go to accommodate a small group of people who don't want to be accommodated, who will not be happy no matter what you can do. There's only so far that I'm gonna go... If you like the new Galactica and you want to embrace it and you're a fan of the old one, more power to you. Just go to the places where you're gonna be welcomed, and talk to people that share your interest, and try not to worry about the other fans, 'cause they're entitled to their opinion. And people that are committed and love the old show and hate what we are doing now are perfectly entitled to that point of view but that doesn't mean that you have to communicate with them or have to participate on their boards. Go do your own thing. (source: galactica.tv)

3/6/2004 -- Inevitably what I say seems to piss off the old fans. And then there's flame wars back and forth between the new and the old. From my perspective, I feel like I've been willing to engage in a conversation with all the fans. So to me, to have the conversation, to be willing to do the interviews like this one and to go on line, to trying to be open and honest with people about what our intentions are -- is a way of me reaching out. Now some of the fans will say, "That's not enough, that you're not listening to us, that you're not making the changes that we're asking for and you're basically ignoring us and telling us to go f*** ourselves." That's not really my attitude. I mean, I'm trying to let people know what the show is and not to pretend that we're doing something that we're not. I really want to find a way of bridging the two [fandoms]. I just don't know what that is yet. (source: James Iaccino)

4/13/2004 -- I welcome the broad spectrum of fans. I know that there is an element of them that will never be pleased with anything we do and have chosen to reject this, and that's fine. The miniseries was successful, it was critically successful, it was commercially successful, it was considered a success with the studio, I'm happy with it, so the grousing and the people not happy with it notwithstanding, I think the show is good and I think the show works... I think most people who approach the material without a preconceived agenda of what they want the show to be generally like it. They have generally responded to it. I think that the group of fans who are outraged over what we've done, they are entitled to their opinion, there's nothing you can say about that, that's the way they look at it and I can't really change their minds about it. (source: Battlestar Fan Club)

The Premise of the Miniseries

5/16/2002 -- When I sat down and watched the original pilot again, I was struck by the underlying premise and how much stronger a piece it could be today. The premise of a bolt-from-the-blue attack which wipes out an entire civilization has an entirely different emotional resonance today in the post 9/11 world than it did in the 1970s. In those days, all-out nuclear war may have been a chilling sword of Damocles which hung over our heads, but we had not gone through the emotional trauma of 9/11 which continues to reverberate through our society to this very day. (source: SciFiPulse.net)

7/8/2003 -- When I was first approached about the project, David [Eick] called me and asked if I would be interested in doing a remake of the show, which I had watched in its original broadcast... I thought about it over the weekend and rented the original pilot on DVD and watched it. I was struck by a couple of things. One of them was that it was an extraordinarily dark premise... The entire civilization is wiped out. All of humanity is reduced to esentially one warship called the Galactica, and a rag-tag fugitive fleet of a few civilian ships. I was watching it in 2002, in the post-9/11 world. That premise had a completely different resonance for me and I felt that the project itself would have a different resonance for the audience. This was going to be an opportunity and a challenge to write something that would be meaingful in science fiction... We could really explore humanity and what happens to people in the face of an unimaginable catastrphe. You wake up one morning and your world has changed forever. What happens to you. What do you do? How do you react to it? What does it say about you? I realized that Battlestar Galactica was something different in today's world, and it was a chance to explore things that I wanted to explore in science fiction. So I called David back and said I'd love to remake it. (source: Television Critics Assocation press tour, reprinted in the Official Mini-Series Magazine)

5/10/2003 -- The project started as Battlestar Galactica, not some original series that I'd come up with on my own. I was asked to pitch a version of this title and this is what I came up with. Once they'd bought that concept, I don't see how it could've morphed into something else. Also, I think the same people who are saying this bears no resemblance to the original would be screaming bloody murder if an "original" sci-fi series came out containing:

-- A human civilization in some distant region, related to our own, but unaware of our location
-- Defended by a fleet of spacegoing aircraft carriers
-- A massive attack by their cybernetic/robotic enemies
-- One carrier survives
-- The carrier's commander has a son leading his fighter squadron
-- The cybernetic enemies destroy the entire civilization
-- The carrier and a fugtive fleet escape the destruction and flee
-- They begin a quest to find the mythic planet of Earth, while being pursued by their cybernetic enemies

Any way you cut it, that IS Battlestar Galactica and can be nothing else. As I've said over and over again, the fundamentals of the story are intact and cannot be mistaken for any other property. If you say a man on a distant world forsees the destruction of his planet and puts his son in a ship and sends it off to Earth and the boy grows up with superpowers, can fly through the air and has amazing strength, but is crippled when he comes into proximity to a piece of his old home planet, it's Superman whether he wears a cape and blue tights or not. (source: Cylon Alliance)

8/14/2003 -- What attracted me to the project was that at the core of it was a really horrific premise. How many television series get to start with something like that? However, in its original run, the show was a network piece of its time, riding the Star Wars crest of fame. I think the original producers felt they had to make escapist, popcorn fare. I mean, in the pilot they go to the casino planet and start gambling. Starbuck is chatting up the ladies. And just moments ago their entire society's been wiped out! The contradiction between the premise and what they could actually do was inherent within the pilot. (source: Robert Falconer)

8/2003 -- At its core, Galactica had a very, very dark premise... Our heroes are running away in the pilot. Their families are destroyed, their friends, their world. Everything they know has been destroyed by the Cylons, and they have to escape into these vessels and hunt for what might be a mythical planet for new hope. Even in the two-hour pilot, they play a couple beats of "Oh my God, our homes are gone," which are really pretty effective. But then the second half of the pilot is taken over by the casino planet, and everybody seems to have forgotten what happened just moments ago! ... [Once the series was on the air] ABC seemed to demand that it become more popcorn, going from planet to planet having wacky adventures. I think they fell into "OK, what did the original Star Trek do?" and tried to do riffs on that. You can sense them reaching to try to figure out how to do, not a dark, serious drama every week, but an action-adventure show every week while being saddled with this incredibly dark premise. (source: Sci-Fi Magazine)

2/18/2004 -- You set up that this culture has been at war for a thousand years, and then suddenly the Cylons say they want peace, and would you guys please gather your entire fleet over there and we'll meet you. And don't send out any fighters to check things out. And then Adama is the only one saying, "Shouldn't we send out some patrols to look around?" And the others are all, "No, you war monger!" And I never understood why Baltar turned over the human race. I mean, I was watching it again recently, and there's this vague intimation that he might have gotten a colony of his own as reward, but still! He's willing to allow nine billion to die for no real reason? I've always liked the premise, the set-up: the pilot [episode] destroys an entire civilization, and then they have to run with the Cylons nipping at their heels. I always thought that the original series was a bit at odds with itself -- very dark, but now here we are at the Casino Planet. The show's a product of its time. It's ABC; it's the 70s; it's coming off of Star Wars. There's a real internal contradiction. (source: scifi.about.com)

2/20/2004 -- The previous effort with Brian Singer and Tom DeSanto had been a continuation of the old show, picking up the story of the original show twenty years later. That didn't work out for a variety of reasons. When I approached it, I was always interested in going back and remaking it from the beginning. I didn't want to completely get rid of everything and just hang onto the name. I wanted it to be recognisable as Battlestar Galactica. It is still about an aircraft carrier in space, a rag-tag fugitive fleet of civilians, the Cylons destroying their society, and the Galactica and the survivors are looking for a planet called Earth that may or may not exist. It's about Adama and his son, in my version called Lee, and friend Starbuck. I wanted to retain the core elements of what was Battlestar Galactica, and then it was just a question of looking through it and deciding what elements work and what elements don't. I think any writer that approaches the process would make different decisions. Some things that worked for me wouldn't have worked for anyone else, and vice versa. (source: BBC Cult TV)

1/20/2005 -- My overarching feeling about the original was that it had to be true to the roots of its own premise. The premise is the same as ours. The Cylons destroy the entire human race and only a handful of people survive. It's a scary premise, but within the first couple hours [on the original show], they go off to the casino planet. They retell the "Guns of Navarone," they retell "Shane." It became popcorn stuff, which I think is at odds with the premise of the show itself. The entire destruction of their race, then they're hanging out with casino showgirls? But it was 1978, it was coming off Star Wars, they wanted to capture the escapism and fun of "Star Wars." "Star Trek" had not truly become a pop culture phenomenon. They really only had the old ["Star Trek"] series as a model and that was the plot of the week. So for this production, [the idea was] let's take this situation seriously. Let's really play what would really happen if our civilization was really wiped out. Which after 9/11, is not such a farfetched idea. It's drawing on those emotions, those reactions in our country after that event, the issues we're dealing with -- the war on terror, the war in Iraq, civil liberties and freedoms versus security. Play the show in that key. That's the show. It's a heavy premise. (source: Chicago Tribune)

7/10/2005 -- The original show does take a lot of knocks, but this show has its roots in that show. The premise of ours is the same as the premise that they had in 1978. The apocalyptic destruction of an entire human civilization, leaving a handful of survivors who escape into the night to go find a mystical place called Earth -- that's our show too. I think the key difference is that on ABC television in 1978, you couldn't really embrace the dark, complicated, ambiguous tone of that idea. (source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Answers to General Questions

9/25/2002 -- Question: So who's your favorite character in your new show and why?

I'd have to say Adama, Baltar, and our new Cylon character are my favorites so far. Without going into specifics it's hard to tell you why, but essentially I'm fascinated with them as characters and people, with all their contradictions, complexities and flaws. (source: BSG.com)

9/25/2002 -- Most of the characters are in their twenties & thirties, a few are in their forties & fifties, one is a teenager and one is a kid... The characters run the gamut of ages from Adama to Boxey, but I'd say the median age range is probably 30s... There will be racial diversity in casting and I think you'll be surprised to see how many strong female roles there are this time around. (source: BSG.com)

1/30/2005 -- Question: I have a question regarding the actress who plays Starbuck. How did you come across Katee Sackoff?

Katee was also a regular on the short-lived, but critically acclaimed series, "The Education of Max Bickford." Katee auditioned for the role along with many other actresses, and simply blew them all away. Sometimes we get lucky.

1/30/2005 -- Question: What made you decide to show glimpses of the current episode at the end of the opening credits? Oh, and could you please stop doing that? (:

This is a trick that "Space: 1999" used to do and I proudly stole it from them. And, no, I won't. Nice try, though.

1/30/2005 -- Question: Does James Callis' uncanny resemblance to Alexander Siddig in almost every way ever freak you out?

Not until someone on these boards mentioned it, now I'm totally freaked.

2/19/2005 -- Eddie [Edward James Olmos] and Mary [McDonnell] were actually the archetypes for the characters when we were developing the series. David Eick and I used to sit around and talk about what kind of actors would play Adama and Laura and we always talked about these two Oscar level actors as our dream duo for the series, but we never really thought we'd get them. They've told the story themselves of why they decided to do the project, but in essence, they really responded to the pilot script and saw a lot of potential in the characters so they went for it, to our everlasting gratitude.

3/12/2005 -- Books are in the works and the Cylon Wars are part of the possible subject matter.

3/12/2005 -- I just proceed as if it were already a done deal. I wrote the miniseries as a pilot for a series, without ever considering how to cover my bases if it didn't get picked up and I wrote the Season One finale as a cliff-hanger without any backup plan whatsoever if we didn't return. Sometimes you just gotta roll the hard six.

3/12/2005 -- Question: What are your thoughts on the decision to air BSG in the UK before North America?

I think, on balance, it was very positive for the show. Despite the pirating and file-sharing of the shows from the UK, which may or may not have depressed ratings slightly, I think that the UK exposure and earlier critical response helped to build momentum and interest for the series premiere in the US. I'm happy it worked out the way it did.

4/11/2005 -- I'm not sure "Space: 1999" has had a direct impact on anything I've done other than influence our main title sequence. I must admit the show is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, since it has one of the more ludicrous premises of all time (the moon?!) and some of my pleasures things like glee at watching how quickly Commander Koenig goes to the "We're all doomed and going to die," card during a crisis and watching Barbara Bain turn like she's a mannequin on a lazy susan during the main title. But, I do own the DVD set and I think the Eagles are one of the better spaceship designs ever. Okay, I'm a closet fan, you found me out... [Space 1999] represented the awe, spectacle, thrills and constant imminent danger of deep space better than any show I've seen and showed a crew that wasn't usually joking around or having a good time because they were working tooth and nail just to survive. However, in spite of their situation the observant viewer would always see clues that they did have a obvious caring for and about one another that was represented by looks and actions that went beyond words.

4/11/2005 -- My digital recorder is mocking me at this very moment. I had plans to do podcasts dealing with writing and production which would then be downloaded, but so far I've been either too busy or too lazy. I also think about going back and doing podcast commentary on the first half of season one, but I haven't made a move in that direction either. I'll do something, I promise.

6/1/2005 -- Military life on Galactica is a work of fiction. As such, there are liberties and concessions made to the form that contradict how things would work in today's armed forces. My purpose was never to perfectly emulate the contemporary military, but to evoke a feeling of verisimilitude and emotional truth that is typically absent from film and television depictions. I have been gratified to recieve many emails, letters, and personal comments from current and former members of the services who tell me "You got it right. That's how it felt aboard a carrier. That's the way it works." (Your mileage may vary, of course.) My father, a former Marine infantry officer and decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, likes the show and that's all that matters to me. (source: Colonial Fleets message board)

7/15/2005 -- The main title sequence has changed this year. We've lopped off the second part -- the upcoming scenes section with the drum beats and all that -- in favor of keeping the beginning and making it a little bit shorter. We also changed the main title theme back to the U.K. version, which was always the preference of the producers and everyone on the show... At the end of the day, everybody agreed that the theme we had in season one was not as evocative and interesting as the U.K. version. (source: Scattered podcast)

7/22/2005 -- That number of the survivors will change week to week, by the way. That's something you might want to look at. We are tracking the number of the survivors, actually. (source: Valley of Darkness podcast)

8/5/2005 -- I've been playing around with doing podcasts, things for you guys on other topics. There's a podcast report in my car on the way to work. I've been trying to record writer's meetings with varying degrees of success, because of the audio quality, you may or may not be able to hear. I'm going to also attempt to get back to my blog, which is still neglected, and which "tortures me," because I feel I've made a promise to keep that up, and I just haven't been able to, as much as I would really like to. (source: Resistance podcast)

8/11/2005 -- In general, I try not to give away spoilers for episodes beyond the one covered in the podcast itself. But, I may well slip and mention things by accident, or I may well just blurt something out, so you never know. I've taken to doing the podcasts in one take, to keep them fresh and keep me interested and on my toes, which also explains why you are treated/tortured with ringing phones, leaf-blowing gardeners, etc. during the session.

1/17/2006 -- Zoic was chosen for the miniseries after we examined several other houses and VFX artists. I was producing Carnivale for HBO at the time the final decision was made, but I believe that Gary Hutzel, our Visual Effects Supervisor and the man most responsible for the VFX of the show overall, strongly recommended using them based on their past work and their presentation.

Gary is the primary conduit between the VFX houses (and we do use other houses in addition to Zoic) and the show. Gary's involved in every episode right from the beginning of the process -- sometimes the writers are talking to him even before an episode is written in order to gauge the producibility (if that's a word) of what we're contemplating. For instance, we had numerous conversations with Gary regarding "Scar" which has a great deal of fighter combat in the show and we wanted to start talking with him early to get a sense of how to construct the episode so we could get the most bang for our buck. We also rely on Gary to help us "balance" the shows so that an expensive VFX show like "Scar" can be offset by pulling way back on VFX shots in a show that is less dependent on them like "Black Market."

Gary and his team are counting shots and coming up with rough guesstimates on budgets from the first writer's draft, and are intensely involved in the entire production process. We have dedicated meetings with just the VFX team throughout pre-production and Gary is often on the set during the shoot itself to go over the various green-screen elements needed to be shot.

Once the show is in the can (or rather the cartridge) the editor and the director collaborate on carving an initial cut of the episode and they slug in places for missing VFX shots. It used to be that you'd go through the entire editorial process with nothing but cards saying "Shot Missing --VFX." That was the way it was done when I did Trek; entire battle seqeunces were constructed only after the show had been locked and the editorial rhythms established. Today, the CGI artists will provide "previz" -- previsualsations -- giving rough animatics of the entire action. The editors, directors and producers play around with the placement and duration of the previz shots, often asking for changes in the shots or asking for new ones or dumping them entirely from the show. The entire process is complicated by the calendar, in that shows done early in the season have more time in Post and thus can be changed and monkeyed around with more than shows done late in the season which are closer to their airdates.

Gary is constantly battling to get David and I to sign off on VFX shots as early as possible to give his team enough time to complete them for air, and David and I are constantly battling to tweak the shots just "one more time." It's a long, difficult process and the fact that we have the best effects on television today (in my well informed opinion) is a testament to Gary's tireless efforts and the dedication of everyone involved on his team.

2/27/2006 -- I don't know when or if they'll be putting the specs on Pegasus up on the website. I hope so -- I'd like to see them myself.

4/26/2006 -- I want to ask all of you to please refrain from posting detailed spoilers about our upcoming season. It's only April, and we're a long way from the premiere in October, and it's frankly dispiriting and depressing to all of us on the production team to see spoilers appearing this early. We're all working very hard to provide the audience with a unique experience and it takes a lot of the joy out of our process when we know that people have already judged the work before it's ready. This isn't about secrecy or having a NSA-like production, it's about letting the artisans and craftsmen on this show finish their work before it's displayed. Short descriptions of scenes and storylines aren't the same thing as watching an episode of the show and by putting this material out there for everyone to chew over months in advance, it really only allows people to make up their minds about a piece of work that is incomplete by any measure.

I understand the desire to peek inside the tent. I've felt it myself about many projects from the Star Wars sequels to new episodes of Project Runway, and there's nothing juicier than getting the inside dope. However, there's a difference between that one on one insider knowledge and shared secret and posting it on the Internet where it gets passed around literally the entire world or putting in on a radio show for all to hear.

There's nothing I can do to stop this kind of thing from happening. When I was at Trek, we tried every known method of encoding scripts and plots and they always got out. The only thing I can do is appeal to your sense of decency and fair play and ask that you not spoil the larger fan community that cannot help but be aware of these things as they get massive distribution through the message boards. Self-restraint on the part of those in possession of inside information is the best way to prevent this from happening all through the Spring and Summer, so I appeal to you as fans of the show to help me keep the cloak over this piece of art until it's been polished and ready to be presented to you, the audience.

I appreciate your consideration,
Ronald D. Moore

5/18/2006 -- There are definitely both comics and novels in the works, and I know that Zarek and his back story are being mined by writers in both those formats. (source: Sky One)

9/19/2006 -- I do consult with the people involved in the books and I generally give them a lot of leeway in their storytelling since it's a completely separate project from the TV show.

12/7/2006 -- We haven't talked about [new webisodes] yet, because there are still some problems between studios and the Writers Guild. So, as of now, there is nothing planned. (source: EOnline)

3/5/2007 -- To me, all three seasons are favorites for different reasons, but Season Three will always been the one with the New Caprica storyline which will be one of the highlights of the show and of my career.

3/8/2007 -- Bear [McCreary] does his thing with very little input from me. We'll talk if there's a specific cue or a specific theme that I want to have in the show or if he has some questions, but I basically step back and let him do his thing. He does fantastic work for us and we're lucky to have him.

3/26/2007 -- Question: There's a real difference watching "BSG" on Sci Fi and when it airs on UHD months later in HD and 5.1 Surround Sound. Has this lag time been frustrating that viewers aren't watching the original airings the way it was shot?

I don't see it that way. We don't cut it in HD. When I sit in the Avid room, it's not in HD. As a practical day-to-day matter, there's no reason for me to be watching it in HD. ... When it comes out on UHD months later, I'm usually sort of surprised. "It's gorgeous! Look at that, you can see the reflection on the glass and everything." My head isn't geared toward HD at all. (source: TelevisionWeek)

4/6/2007 -- Question: Could you ever see a "Battlestar" theatrical film? Is that something that's ever talked about?

We've talked about it internally. There's never really been any sort of discussion with Universal Features, and I'm not sure creatively what I would want that to be. Even with these two hours that we're doing for the DVD release, I think of them as tied very specifically into the show. It's hard to come up with what's the completely stand-alone version of "Galactica" that isn't really tied into our mythos. I don't know that there's a great theatrical story out there waiting to be told.

10/25/2007 -- It's the perfect opportunity to try and do it here with my family -- the cast and crew of the show -- who have been working together for years now. For all I know, I'll hate directing, but right now I'm hungry for it. (source: L.A. Times)