In Which Ron Answers Questions:
"Will there be a Apollo-[Sheba] romance as in the original, if/when Pegasus shows up? "
No, I opted not to include Sheba aboard our Pegasus (and for those of you who aren't fans of the original series, Sheba was the daughter of Cain, who commanded the Pegasus in the episode "Living Legend"). I did think about it, however, and we discussed her character at length in the writers' room before deciding against it. Ulitmately, as intrigued as I was by her inclusion, I just decided that it was too cute for Cain to also have a child commanding the air group in our version of Galactica. I acknowledge that Cain/Sheba is a key part of that mythology, but it just felt wrong for us and would've immediately been out of place in our show. It's hard to define all the reasons why, but in essence, what worked for it in the original series was the vague wink and a nod to the audience in having Apollo encounter a female version of him and then become interested in her, and in our show that very wink would break our conventions.
(Yeah Ron, that's clear...)
"I've noticed from your podcasts that most episode content usually run 50+ mins. and that you guys have to shave down to 41-ish for airing, leaving lots of unseen material on the floor. I hope this is an obvious request--please, when it comes time to release the seasons on DVD, put/leave everything in as you guys intended! The Producers' Cut."
As much fun as that would be, it's 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.
"I have been downloading podcasts and I'll be saving them until the second season has ended. Would you mind letting us know if we can watch the first half of the second season with the podcasts once episode 10 is over, or if it will contain information about the second 10 episodes. I'm willing to wait --really!"
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.
"Why didn't G-Sharon use Tyrol's first name when she told him she loved him in her dying moments??It was a perfect opportunity to add a deeper level to the the Chief's loss, a way to convey how close they once were and a way to clearly introduce Tyrol's first name to the audience... "
I did write that in an early draft, but his first name -- Galen -- tends to elicit a chuckle the first time you hear it and we decided that hearing her say, "I love you, Galen" would break the moment for the audience. (Sort of like that priceless moment on "Seinfeld" when you hear that Kramer's first name is actually Cosmo, it requires a slow, George Costanza take to really give it its due.)
"Is it still your intent to keep Baltar a somewhat conflicted character? Maybe I'm wrong...but he still seems partly on the fence about whose side he is on. He is obviously evolving, but I have yet to see him as an "evil" character. "
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.
"Did you think up "motherfrakker" or did Nikki Clyne? I have to know. Consider your answer wisely Mr. Moore, for it may doom your wild maned demigoguery to the vales of mediocrity. I think it was Nikki, though. It sounds like something thought up in a spur of the moment. Plus, Aaron's reaction to it seemed genuine."
Well, I certainly don't want my maned demigoguery to be doomed to the vales of mediocrity, but, alas, yes, I came up with "motherfrakker." This and every other variation of my favorite four letter word will continue to be provided for you and your children to memorize and quote at the dinner table as part of my on-going effort to destroy the underpinnings of western democracy as we know it. (Well, a guy's gotta have goals...)
"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.
"I'm curious as to what characters we are supposed to like at this point in the second season. Adama, Roslin, the XO, and Apollo have all been disappointments. Adama has been a non-factor due to his injury but is at the root of the martial law problem along with Roslin since they begin working at cross purposes. Roslin has turned into this Jim Jones/David Koresh type figure and added a drug addiction to it which I find off putting. The XO can't make a good decision (other than to go back to Kobol) and has turned into more of an alcoholic than ever. He's let his wife manipulate him for worse as well. Apollo seems like an ingrateful whelp with a chip on his shoulder, going against both the military and his father. Starbuck hasn't been much better, going against Adama and then tooling around Caprica reliving her old life and playing ball games. Which character has shown any redeeming values this season?"
It's up to you to decide who you like and who you don't. Personally, I like all of them. I like their flaws and I like their virtues, and for me, it's not a matter of finding redemption for anyone as much as it is a matter of allowing each character to be true to who and what they are and finding the most emotionally truthful storyline for them each week.
Sure, Tigh's made bad decisions and he'll likely make more, but isn't it interesting how all the good he did last season, all the good decisions he made, are suddenly overshadowed by the few bad choices he made this season? Tigh saved the entire ship during the miniseries, held the crew together through the nightmare of "33", located the lost fleet in "Scattered" and knew how to defeat the Centurion boarding party in "Valley of Darkness," but now that he's made a few bad calls (and some were really bad) he's called a worthless loser. What does that say about the nature of heroism? Does it mean that bestowing the title of Hero is less about discerning the intrinsic nature of a man than it is simply another example of the old game of "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?" We love you today, but if you screw up tomorrow, you're history. Maybe that's only fair. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to work. Maybe. Again, it's up to you to decide, you're the audience. Me, I love Tigh and Starbuck and all of'em. Warts and all.
"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.
"that thing that adama and starbuck say:
"morning starbuck, whatdya hear?"
"nothin' but the rain."
"Grab your gun and bring the cat in."
my friend and I have made up our own little meaning/interpretation for it, and use it on a pretty regular basis (parts of it). but what does it mean to those characters? and how did the writers come up with it?"
I came up with this in the miniseries, and it's essentially a riff on contemporary marching chants or cadences used in the military called, "jodies." You've seen them in films: the platoon is marching or jogging along and the drill instructor sings out something like, "Up in the morning in the rising sun/Gonna run all day 'til the running's done," and the platoon either repeats the lines or adds the next line in the jodie. They range from the funny to the deeply profane and I remembered several of them from my NROTC days while I was writing the mini. In that opening scene, Kara is jogging through the corridors of Galactica and Adama greets her with a line that is a reference to an old jodie that presumably each of them remembers from their own training. So it's kind of an in-joke reference that they share with each other which probably in turn has some even deeper private joke between the two of them. I never wrote out the entire jodie, but I liked the nonsensical nature of the lines and thought it was more effective to suggest the cadences without spelling them out.