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SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON AISLE SEAT EXTRA: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Press Conference Held Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless, David Eick, and Ronald D. Moore gathered in front of the collected press late Saturday afternoon at Comic-Con, and as you’d imagine, it produced quite a lively panel. The questions flew fast and furious, and here are the highlights:

On Katee being a semi-regular on Eick’s new BIONIC WOMAN: “The hiatus schedules for the shows work to free Katee for BIONIC WOMAN,” Eick offered. Katee added that doing “both keeps me fresh.” Each also praised Moore for being very supportive of her dual show existence.

On revealing the final Cylon: “Late in the season we’ll reveal the final Cylon,” Moore said. “It won’t necessarily wait for the finale.”

On plotting the final season: “We always create more than we can use. But there’s no room for an episode that doesn’t work,” Moore stated. “There’s a different vibe,” he added, “Everyone wants to go out strong.” Later in the conference, he noted that season four would not “have as many stand-alone episodes. It’ll be more of one story straight to the finale.”

On future films: Moore noted that, “Everyone wants to see how RAZOR (the direct-to-DVD film coming in November) does. Plus, it gets more complicated; eventually, the sets will be struck, and rebuilding them makes it unrealistic (due to costs, etc.).” The interesting news about RAZOR is how it will be presented; there will be a DVD version and a TV version. The difference comes with the previously announced “mobisodes.” That footage comes from cuts made to get RAZOR to proper running time for TV, but they’ll be restored to their proper place in the film for the DVD.

On what comes next: Mary McDonnell discussed how “the actors (would) feel like cleaning the slate. Whether to pick up old ideas or go for the new.” Helfer spoke up about a couple of projects she currently has going, including a film at the Toronto Film Festival where she co-stars with Leelee Sobieski and her role in Eick’s pilot THEM at Fox, which remains in play as a possible midseason replacement.

Regarding untold tales: “Not all stories will have been told. But it’s better to end on our own terms with a natural conclusion instead of attenuating.”

On the cast and awards: Moore brought up the SAG awards and offered, “The ensemble deserves award nods.” McDonnell followed up by discussing being “surrounded constantly by excellence in the other actors. We’ve been relishing in the ensemble.” A later question about why Colonel Tigh seems to be consistently put upon drew this response from Moore: “Michael Hogan plays misery well. It’s a damaged, fractured character, which makes him fascinating to write for. It’s fun to be mean and horrible to him.”

What they’ll (literally) take away from the show: Katee said, “I want the Goddess Aurora figurehead. I’ve already taken all my Starbuck dogtags.” McDonnell thought it over for a minute before deciding on “the fabric and curtains from my ship.” Lucy Lawless properly noted that “Edward James Olmos’ office has a lot of great stuff.” But it was Moore who got the biggest laugh, laying claim to the enormous portrait of Baltar that formerly occupied Colonial One.

On Lucy’s return: “Ron Moore called and said I was coming back. Un-boxing D’Anna is a pivotal point for the season.” He added that, because of what she’s seen, she has a lot of knowledge that other people are desperate to get from her. “My one question,” Lawless said, “was can they keep her vicious? I like that she’s the grit in everybody’s eye.”

Who’s writing it all: Moore informed the crowd that only Anne Cofell-Saunders had exited. On the other hand, Jane Espenson has joined the writing staff full-time.

On the reveal of the four Cylons in the season three finale: Sackhoff was effusive, saying, “I thought it was great. Everyone involved was aligned in a spot of power where they could take down the fleet.” Helfer followed by telling the crowd that, “The actors are all going through inner turmoil and it’s interesting to watch their journey.” Sackhoff quickly added that “Michael Hogan is in denial,” bringing a laugh from the panel and the room. Moore added that Tigh won’t be getting a new eye, Cylon or not, and that the four characters would get their back-stories told this season.

Regarding Starbuck’s resurrection: “She’s the exact same Starbuck,” Sackhoff said, “but one with a mission she believes in 100%.”It was originally intended for her to become a completely serene warrior, but that didn’t work, so instead “she is more enlightened, but just as hot-headed. Every emotion she has is magnified.”

What they learned: Helfer talked about there being “so much to take away. The whole experience has been a huge learning curve, and I’ve been a sponge, particularly lately as I’ve had scenes with Mary.” McDonnell followed, saying “it will be tough to go on to the next one. The (Galactica) story was always reaching out to an Idea.” Later, she added that she “can’t go back to traditional roles for women. Cable TV has really become the place for interesting women characters.” Sackhoff agreed, saying how enjoyable it has been to have the “opportunity to play amazing, strong women. I can tell now within 10 pages of a script if I’ll like something.”

With that, the conference concluded. GALACTICA returns with RAZOR this fall and its final season in the spring. Thanks to the fine folks at Sci-Fi Channel for the invite.

Marc Mason


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