When you start off a Paley
Fest event with two of the panelists taking shots of tequila and the
moderator joining in, you know it’s going to be an interesting night.
That’s what went down when “Battlestar Galactica” and “Caprica” were
honored Monday night with a screening of the latter’s pilot episode.
Executive producers Ron Moore and David Eick were the people knocking back the alcohol, because as Eick explained, it was sort of a tradition. Before they
screened the “BSG” miniseries for its first audience, they were so
nervous that they decided to drink a bit. So Eick felt it was only appropriate to toast
“Caprica” in the same way and hope for similar success.
After the screening of “Caprica” and the trailer for the new “BSG” TV
movie, “The Plan,” the panel — which consisted of Moore, Eick, executive
producer Jane Espenson, “BSG” stars Grace Park and Tricia Helfer and
“Caprica” stars Paula Malcomson, Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Alessandra
Torressani and Magda Apanowicz — settled in to get grilled by moderator
and self-proclaimed uber-fan, Seth Green.
Now, the new “BSG” telefilm is titled “The Plan” and, if you were a regular viewer of the “BSG” series, you’ll remember that its title sequence ended with the
phrase “and they have a plan” …so Seth wasted no time in asking what the hell “the plan” is. Turns
out, nothing really. Initially, Ron didn’t even want those words in the sequence. When it was pitched to
him, his reaction was “there is no f&$#ing plan!” But now that the show is over, and the new TV movie — which is all
about the Cylons — bears this particular name, Ron admitted there’s more than a little irony there.
Seth also wanted to know if the dying leader that was
prophesized to lead humanity to Earth was in fact Galactica itself. “I
always thought [the dying leader] was Roslin,” Ron said, but he did
acknowledge that there were other explanations that could fit
into the prophecy just as well. He also shared that Mary McDonnell
(President Roslin) was told from the start of the series that Roslin
would die before she reached Earth. However, at the last minute, the writers
decided they wanted Roslin to make it to the promised land before she passed on.
Good choice, no?
And what about Starbuck? Her vanishing act in the series finale upset a
lot of fans and left everyone unsure of what exactly happened. Seth asked the writers if we should assume that she literally disappeared into thin air… or was she just hiding in the grass? While Jane
joked that it was fairly tall grass, the consensus seemed to be
that she had simply vanished.
I grabbed a little one-on-one time with Ron before the panel and
grilled him for more info on the issue. He told me he had no
regrets about how Starbuck’s arc ended: “I gave it a lot of thought and I was
satisfied with it. The choice to leave it somewhat
ambiguous [was intentional]. To say that she had died a literal death, was resurrected,
came back, fulfilled a function and then left, and the reasons why and
exactly who and what she was beyond that [was too much]. I just thought it was less
interesting every time we went down the road to give it definition and
it became more interesting if we left it open-ended.”
So was this the plan all along for Kara Thrace? Ron tells me no: “It was
something that developed organically over the course of the series as
we had gone through the different stories and started finding different
elements of her character and, you know, we laid in the [comments] about
her having a destiny in the first season and that was the marker that
started us down this road.”
Of course, Starbuck wasn’t the only heavenly-type character on the
show. Ron told the fans that during the first year of the show, he was
convinced Six was in Baltar’s head because of the guilt he had over
causing the destruction of humanity, but as the show progressed, so did
his thoughts on what exactly Head Six was. Tricia admitted she was
confused about what Head Six was until she watched the series finale. The audience loved that. It got a big laugh.
As for “Caprica,” they aren’t set to start filming the series until
July, but the writers and actors were able to share some scoop with the
fans: “Caprica” will be more of a serialized show than “BSG” and it will
lose the action-adventure element, since it’s years before the Cylons
become a real threat. The main drive for this show will be the
advancement and evolution of artificial intelligence. As of now, the Adamas will be the only “BSG” people represented on the series, but Ron did offer “never say
never” regarding ancestors of other familiar faces popping up in the future. However, for
now, he wants to focus on “Caprica” establishing its own identity apart
What do you think? Do you plan to catch “Caprica”?
My first impression of it? Ehh. I’ll have to give it time and get back to you…
–Reporting by Marisa Roffman