Eddie! Don't!
March 6, 2007 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Eddie destroys the ship. Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica podcasts have been discussed before, but the most recent one contains a gem. At the end of the episode Maelstrom, Edward James Olmos ("Eddie" to his friends on the set) lashes out in an unscripted, improvised, emotional moment, destroying a sailing ship model that had been a frequent prop on the set. Turns out the ship ... ahem ... wasn't a prop, but an extremely valuable museum piece.
posted by frogan (79 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
You broke your little ships.
posted by dhartung at 10:10 PM on March 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


Another great moment in ship-smashing history.

Now then, who needs a good cry after "Maelstrom"? Yeah...I know you do. There, there. Let it out...

.
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:12 PM on March 6, 2007


damn you dhartung! (breaks little ship)
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:13 PM on March 6, 2007


You see Eddie, this is why we can't have nice things.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:15 PM on March 6, 2007


Mine has better acting, neener neener.
Actually, this is killing me. I just finished "Resurrection Ship, Part 2" .... The spoilers! They burn!
posted by dhartung at 10:15 PM on March 6, 2007


Holy crap. That is, if you'll forgive the expression, frackin' awesome. I mean, I feel for the museum people and the set dressers, but it really was an incredibly powerful moment, and to find out it was improved? It gives me a considerable insight into how good Olmos is when it comes to wringing emotion out of a scene.

And while the Wife was just sitting stunned by the events that had transpired moments earlier, I had to admit in the back of my head, that I was a little sad that they had destroyed that beautifully built prop just to sell the ending. Now I know the truth.

Based on the commentary, and how that shoot affected the cast, I have to wonder if EJO knew the cost of what he was going to do and chose to do it anyway, or if it really was just an in-the-moment kind of decision. Either way, it definitely worked.

/hates the waiting for the next episode.

posted by quin at 10:25 PM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


dhartung, that was the best Star Trek-related anything I have ever seen.

/ still laughing
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:32 PM on March 6, 2007


dhartung : Actually, this is killing me. I just finished "Resurrection Ship, Part 2"

Oh you poor soul. You have no idea. No idea.

/shakes head.

I'm there for you my brother. In 26 episodes, you will know our pain.

/Starts singing Lean on Me
.
posted by quin at 10:33 PM on March 6, 2007


A link to a zero-byte MP3?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:35 PM on March 6, 2007


Pff. Sorry, but that episode left me cold. Is there anyone in the show you doesn't have some kind of special awesome mystical destiny now?
posted by Artw at 10:38 PM on March 6, 2007


For those of you who haven't caught up to Maelstorm, and are planning to, FLEE THE THREAD NOW! Before some mefi-er spills the beans.


*vaguely spoilerish!!*







It felt like "Serenity" all over again. "Oh, he's going to come back, yeah, he's coming back aaaaaaaanny moment now.."

And to comment on the improv, apparently quite a bit of BSG is improved. Listening to the podcasts will give you a greater sense of how much. For example, uh, Season 1, is it? When Col. Tigh's wife is flirting with Lee under the table, that was apparently improved.
posted by eurasian at 10:49 PM on March 6, 2007


I keep reading improved as improved, as in "made better".

Improvised, people ... improvised!
posted by bwg at 10:58 PM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eddie improvs all over the place. The kiss? Improv. Half the stuff that goes on in the episodes he directs (like Ellen flirting with Lee under the table)? Improv. Some of Adama's best lines are improv too.

*hearts Edward James Olmos liek whoa*

It's amazing to me that a show this good with two Oscar-nominated actors leading the cast and a Peabody in its pocket can't get the Emmy Awards' attention. WTF, Emmy people, WTF.
posted by tzikeh at 11:01 PM on March 6, 2007


After the first few episodes of season 3, I haven't been that excited. Overall the pacing has been off and it's been a yawn fest between "Same old emo pain" and pat answers for large scale social problems. And not enough space battles to occupy my inner 14 year old either.
posted by yeloson at 11:08 PM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks bwg, I actually doubted myself after seeing my own comment enough to look it up, then thought about correcting myself, then figured, 'eh? I'm going to bed.'

But you sir, are correct.
posted by quin at 11:09 PM on March 6, 2007


It's a Jewish conspiracy!
posted by basicchannel at 11:10 PM on March 6, 2007


As powerful as that episode was, my first thought when Olmos smashed the model ship that his character built but he the actor did not, was to feel terrible for the guy who had put so much work into building it, just to see it destroyed for effect. I even hoped that the ship that was destroyed was some much simpler mock-up built to be destroyed.

Much has I admire Olmos's acting and BSG in general, destroying those hours -- days, months -- of painstaking work seemed a desecration, especially when one artist (the actor) does it to another artist's (the model builder's) work.
posted by orthogonality at 11:14 PM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


eurasian : It felt like "Serenity" all over again. "Oh, he's going to come back, yeah, he's coming back aaaaaaaanny moment now.."

Other than the River-doing-harm-to-the-Reavers bit of the movie, tell me who you were sure was coming back? Really, after Book and Wash, I figured that Wheaton was willing to go all Wild-Bunch after that and just end them all.
posted by quin at 11:19 PM on March 6, 2007


"WTF, Emmy people, WTF."

Don't you know that if it happens on the Sci-fi channel it's not really television.

I was also really pissed about him breaking the ship just because it was beautiful. Finding out it was improved is pretty sweet though, glad they got something useful out of the footage.

/loves BSG
posted by sourbrew at 11:23 PM on March 6, 2007


How very sad. At least they kept the scene. Unlike the time with that poor donkey and Lars.
posted by cytherea at 11:29 PM on March 6, 2007


If that's how they're spending their $1-3M an episode, then they need to cut the show back to 13 episodes. Which they are.

It's been a weak season.

And no more museum pieces on set.
posted by vhsiv at 11:51 PM on March 6, 2007


I keep reading improved as improved, as in "made better".


Teh funnies.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:08 AM on March 7, 2007


Teh funnies.

I swear it was all improvised.
posted by bwg at 1:16 AM on March 7, 2007


I heard Eddie Olmos once kicked Bono's ASS.
posted by Dizzy at 1:37 AM on March 7, 2007


"Fight 'em till we can't"
posted by Tenuki at 1:41 AM on March 7, 2007


Really, after Book and Wash, I figured that Wheaton was willing to go all Wild-Bunch after that and just end them all.

I know it's a typo, but this sentence burned an image in my mind of grown-up Wesley Crusher kicking down the hatch of the Serenity, all "IT'S ON MOTHERFUCKERS," and just brutalizing the whole entire crew with a broken gin bottle and a claw hammer.
posted by furiousthought at 1:59 AM on March 7, 2007 [12 favorites]


Other than the River-doing-harm-to-the-Reavers bit of the movie, tell me who you were sure was coming back? Really, after Book and Wash, I figured that Wheaton was willing to go all Wild-Bunch after that and just end them all.

If you've listened to the Jossentary (and why HAVEN'T YOU, if you haven't. All Joss commentary tracks are gold), you'll know that that's precisely what he wanted you to think.

PS: Shut up, Wesley.
posted by sparkletone at 2:08 AM on March 7, 2007


As to the topic, yeah. That part of this week's podcast had me laughing.

As to this season: I don't think it's been that uneven. I think some of it's possibly that the New Caprica episodes, culminating in the mind-blowingly, un-fucking-believably awesome-in-every-way Exodus Pt. 2 (Adama Maneuver. LOL.) set a ridiculously high standard for the rest of the season, which on the whole hasn't been better or worse than season 2.

There's the obligatory Cursed 14th Episode (the 14th episode of season 2, Black Market, was previously, undeniably the worst BSG episode), and the one after that wasn't all that great either, but the last two weeks have been back On.

They've yet to squander my faith in their ability to make one of the best shows on the air. Not every episode can be an Exodus Pt. 2. And it looks like they're getting off their asses with regards to The Trial.

So now we're at the part of the season where everything's an increasingly awesome, "OH SHIT." moment until the genius, wrenching season finale. Right?
posted by sparkletone at 2:18 AM on March 7, 2007


Is there anyone in the show you doesn't have some kind of special awesome mystical destiny now?

Uh. Who besides Starbuck and (formerly?) Roslin have had any destiny talk?

Maybe my memory is going, but I'm pretty sure they've not been passing out Special Destinys like free candy....
posted by sparkletone at 2:26 AM on March 7, 2007


sparkletone -- tyrol was kind of destiny-ish in the temple, there, a few episodes back.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:21 AM on March 7, 2007


Baltar has a special destiny, Hera has a special destiny, Number Three thought she had a special destiny, I bet Billy comes back as a cylon and he has a special destiny.
posted by Tenuki at 4:45 AM on March 7, 2007


"Are you the Finger Man? I'm the Finger Man, too. Do you know what I can do? I know how to multiply by nines..."
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:11 AM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sure had the director been able to film the property master's reaction when Eddie smashed the ship, we would have been treated to even more emotions.

I have found this season to be a bit of a letdown after the New Caprica arc. It is obvious there is no plan to the series which is really the crux of my issues with the show.
posted by infowar at 5:16 AM on March 7, 2007


Grey's Anatomy in space. I miss when sci-fi was hardass.
posted by Kirklander at 5:35 AM on March 7, 2007


Kirklander hurt Dizzy but Kirklander speak truth to Dizzy.
posted by Dizzy at 6:04 AM on March 7, 2007


we had to destroy the village in order to improve it.
posted by bruce at 6:20 AM on March 7, 2007


I think some of it's possibly that the New Caprica episodes, culminating in the mind-blowingly, un-fucking-believably awesome-in-every-way Exodus Pt. 2 (Adama Maneuver. LOL.) set a ridiculously high standard for the rest of the season

Bingo.
posted by Cyrano at 6:21 AM on March 7, 2007


first half of season 3 was just fine by me, but since coming back for the second half, I keep scratching my head wondering where my show went. still, last two eps had some kickass eye-candy.
(and I realize the Serenity reference was plot-related, but it's the same sfx crew.)

spaceman_spiff, thanks for the guffaw.

why were they letting him place a new prow on it?
(not making excuses, but...)
posted by Busithoth at 6:24 AM on March 7, 2007


(ooops)
posted by contessa at 6:31 AM on March 7, 2007


I got bored when they wimped out on New Caprica and had everybody back into space within 3 episodes of the new season. Also the writing really went downhill, especially the dialogue. Maybe more of it should be improv'd (or maybe less).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:32 AM on March 7, 2007


Spoilery about Maelstrom....
.
.
.
.
.
.
I don't read any forums about the show, so this may have been covered to death. But didn't we see (a) a shot of Starbuck gripping the ejector seat handle before her ship went blooey, and (b) a shot from Apollo's perspective where he apparently saw the Cylon ship Starbuck was chasing? If so, is it not likely, given all the destiny talk by Leoben, Starbuck ejected and was rescued/captured by the Cylons?
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:40 AM on March 7, 2007


NERDS!
posted by ColdChef at 6:43 AM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Listen, when I saw this post I actually had to pause and absorb the whole idea that somebody would be upset about the smashing, because it never occurred to me that E.J.O didn't build that ship. That's how damn good he acts - I thought he built it. My exact thought when that scene ended was: "oooh nooo, he worked so hard on that!" I'm serious.
posted by contessa at 6:52 AM on March 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


tzikeh : Inneresting!

quin "Other than the River-doing-harm-to-the-Reavers bit of the movie, tell me who you were sure was coming back? Really, after Book and Wash, I figured that Wheaton was willing to go all Wild-Bunch after that and just end them all."
Honestly? Wash. Wash was coming back damnit. He's still coming back! It was a mere flesh wound! It missed all his vital bits and pieces!!! OMG THEY BURIED WASH ALIVE!!!
In denial much? Yes please!

Orthogonality: On one hand, yeah, crappy, to destroy such a beautiful piece. On the other hand, one might argue its reason for being is to the show. If I was a beautifully crafted model ship, I'd rather go down in a raging maelstorm of Edward Rage than sit, unappreciated on a forgotten shelf only to be sold for a pittance at a garage sale; then perhaps, many years later, to be appraised at an astounding value to the shock of a lucky shmuck on "Antique's Road Show". I mean honestly, that host is all sorts of plasticy creepy.

furiousthought : I think we all know that Wesley would just walk in with a dumb look of childlike wonder and say "Gee, this is where all the flying happens! Where maneuvering of the ship is handled in two different ways. In atmosphere she has flaps and ailerons that in conjunction with the pitch of the side engines control her direction. In space she uses an RCS, (Reaction Control System,) consisting of Hydrazine fueled thrusters that work in a countered measure. Gee! Do you mind if I--" (reference)
Mal punches him out.
posted by eurasian at 6:58 AM on March 7, 2007


the 14th episode of season 2, Black Market, was previously, undeniably the worst BSG episode

Um... Boxing episode?
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on March 7, 2007


/rant
does anyone else find this podcast painful? does the wife have a job on the show, or is she there just to be annoying? are all podcasts this self-indulgent?
/end rant
posted by killy willy at 7:41 AM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, that boxing episode was M*A*S*H-tastic!
posted by bigbigdog at 7:43 AM on March 7, 2007


schoolgirl report:

On re-watching, one can see that as her ship implodes, the canopy is still on. She didn't eject.
posted by evinrude at 7:59 AM on March 7, 2007


Well that answers that, thanks evinrude. Should've rewound the DVR to verify.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:08 AM on March 7, 2007


My two main beefs are thus:

1. The show runs on ugly, unresolved looming problems. Pretty much after the Gaeta focal episode, there's been a lot of pat endings to really big problems. ("Ok, we promise to act better!" "Cool.")

2. The Cylons have a plan: "Let's kill them." "Let's use them in breeding experiments." "Let's live together by throwing them in jail." "Let's follow them around."

This plan sounds like the mixture of PCP and acid.
posted by yeloson at 8:18 AM on March 7, 2007


On re-watching, one can see that as her ship implodes, the canopy is still on. She didn't eject.

I still have no sense whatsoever that she won't be back. And before she returns she'll probbaly be in no end of tedious flashbacks and dream sequences, emo-ing it up.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on March 7, 2007


Come on, she's one of the mystery Cylons! She'll appear in some resurrection ship somewhere with a smirking Leoben. Her mother fought in the first Cylon wars so maybe something happened there that accounted for her getting carted to Caprica.

I hate to say it, but there just haven't been enough space battles this season. I think the tension of actual warfare is partly what propels the show to greatness and without it, the show loses a lot of energy. And while the military stuff helps move the show forward, the mystical bullshit only slows it down and diminishes the characters' fight for survival. You can sense the presence of a hundred deus ex machinas waiting in the wings to magically fix things and trivialise all the pain and struggles.
posted by picea at 8:18 AM on March 7, 2007


I was sure this headline was teasing some hitchhikers guide item re: Eddie the Shipboard computer.
posted by Dr. Boom at 8:58 AM on March 7, 2007


I have to agree with the rest of you. I get the feeling they didn't think they'd still be doing this three seasons in, and the show just isn't as strong as it was.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:02 AM on March 7, 2007


I am with schoolgirl report. Let me note that just because the people at Zoic left the canopy on doesn't mean that that was the intended shot -- they may well have been just recycling an older explosion to save a few thousand dollars.

It's all part of Moore's long-term project: Fucking With Starbuck. We'll let her get something, only to take it away again. So now she thinks she's killing herself and accepting death, then she'll "discover" she's a Cylon and come to terms with her new fambly, only to have that taken away again when she really discovers that it was all a sham to make her think she's a Cylon. Leoben's done similar shit before.

Of course, this may be my way of saying "Wash will come through the door to save the day ANY! SECOND! NOW!"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:30 AM on March 7, 2007


Grey's Anatomy in space. I miss when sci-fi was hardass.

Amen dude

I'll tell you exactly when I stopped watching: Cain orders the hit on Adama, and vice versa. At the end of the show IIRC, they both coincidentally call off their hits. And then Cain is conveniently killed off anyway.

Biggest fucking cop-out EVER. I have not watched since.
posted by poppo at 10:17 AM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


And it looks like they're getting off their asses with regards to The Trial.
Which has me dreading the remaining episodes of this season. Honest. Everytime the show dives into the politics (especially dealing with Balthar), it's like dropping a 30-ton boat anchor on the show.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:22 AM on March 7, 2007


"I HATE YOU ALL.

Thanks, you turkeys. I haven't had the chance to see this episode yet. Way to go. Next time, put up a spolier alert somewhere Geez. Someone should be banned for this. "

Hey, someone had to say it!
posted by drstein at 10:26 AM on March 7, 2007


"I HATE YOU ALL.
Thanks, you turkeys. I haven't had the chance to see this episode yet. Way to go. Next time, put up a spolier alert somewhere Geez. Someone should be banned for this. "


Yeah--it seems like a minor spoiler (I guess?), but this FPP really could have done with a "more inside" after the first sentence or two. Not quite worth a callout, as it'll only result in a few posters holding their noses up and claiming that "good art can't be spoiled," and so on. And I'll probably have forgotten this by the time Season 3 comes out on DVD.

(The Captain America post above this is far worse, though. And I don't even care about DC/Marvel comics.)
posted by Prospero at 10:39 AM on March 7, 2007


I somehow find it hard to accept that Sackhoff's done with the show. The practical answer, then, is one of two things:

She's one of the mystery Cylon models.

They'll do a Six Feet Under thing where she appears all the time in memories, flashbacks or premonitions.

Does anyone know enough about the industry to comment on this kind of thing? I.e., contracts with actors for a set amount of time. You have to reserve them so they don't run off to another show, but do you have any obligation to keep them in the show? Could they just pay out her contract? Renegotiate?

The podcast leads one to believe it was rather unexpected; that Moore simply loved the idea of killing her off. It wasn't discussed or planned very far out, so what are the practicalities of such a decision?
posted by odinsdream at 12:51 PM on March 7, 2007


Does anyone know enough about the industry to comment on this kind of thing? I.e., contracts with actors for a set amount of time. You have to reserve them so they don't run off to another show, but do you have any obligation to keep them in the show?

There's some talk of that in this radio interview with Katee Sackhoff right after the episode aired.
posted by Cyrano at 1:23 PM on March 7, 2007


Grey's Anatomy in space. I miss when sci-fi was hardass.

Yeah - like Time Tunnel! Or Logan's Run! Or the awesome hardassery of Sliders. Or, lest we forget , all that hardass speechifying they did in Babylon 5.

When the heck was TVSF ever more hardass than BSG?
posted by Sparx at 1:54 PM on March 7, 2007


BSG: Nothing is more hardass than watching 45 minutes of emo-gurning with the slim hope of seeing a robot or spaceship.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on March 7, 2007


Baltar has a special destiny, Hera has a special destiny, Number Three thought she had a special destiny, I bet Billy comes back as a cylon and he has a special destiny.

I'm not so sure that Baltar's special destiny isn't his IMAGINARY FRIEND just confirming his self-importance. Hera, uh... Yeah. I totally forgot about her when posting this morning (d'oh).

If Billy came back as a Cylon, it would be worth just for the scene where Roslin airlocks that motherfucker.

Um... Boxing episode?

Said sheepishly: I liked the boxing episode... I've not run into that many people (the admittedly not-statistically-significant TWoP grading for the episode bears this out, as the non-recapper grade is A- after 1600 votes) who hated it.
posted by sparkletone at 2:52 PM on March 7, 2007


PS: Like Baltar, I also attributed Three's "I've got a special fate!" to being crazy rather than being Special. Maybe I'm wrong there?
posted by sparkletone at 2:55 PM on March 7, 2007


Horses for courses I guess... for me it was just about the most painfully boring episode of anything I've ever watched.
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on March 7, 2007


I was kind of disappointed with the episode until a friend of mine (a Classics major) came up with this theory (my husband also posted this on Fark, so some of you may have already read this):

Essentially, we witnessed the apotheosis of Starbuck; she's not dead, but she's not alive just in "that place between life and death" She has has become Aurora Goddess of the Dawn, and and in true Greek tragedy form, she has great (even greater?) weaknesses... and in this tragedy she has an apotheosis. It's not a stretch to think she's a god... the theology of the humans resembles the polytheism of the ancient Greeks in which the gods were really just glorified humans... finite beings, in contrast to the ethical monotheism of the Cylons. The Aurora reference is confirmed by the Aurora statue she gave to Adama for his now smashed up ship.
At the end, she's fingering the eject button, and Lee sees (or thinks he sees) a Cylon ship, so maybe the Cylon ship picks her up.

So there you go. That's what happens when Classics majors watch SciFi. And if his theory turns out to be true, I have more respect for the writers and can forgive the inconsistent character development from all of this season.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:01 PM on March 7, 2007 [6 favorites]


> "She's one of the mystery Cylon models."

I bet she'll show up back on the Galactica in a white flight suit.
posted by Tenuki at 4:16 PM on March 7, 2007


I'm guessing Starbuck's not really dead, just stranded on a planet with a deactivated Cylon who she'll repair for companionship.

Eventually she'll have a child who will be mysteriously sent into space only to be picked up by the Galactica. The child will have an awesome intelligence and assist Galactica when they eventually find a technologically-backward Earth.

Mark my words!

And the Cylons will follow Galactica to Earth, send a scouting team down, and inadvertently crash someone's Halloween party.

Oh! And flying motercycles!
posted by mazola at 9:42 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


motorcycles even
posted by mazola at 9:44 PM on March 7, 2007


We are of three minds in my household (which is difficult with only two people) about the route they will take with Starbuck. First, she's dead. Dead and gone kind of dead (Wash kind of dead for those still in denial.) As in Katee Sackhoff wanted off the show kind of dead. I think this is pretty unlikely.

Another thought is that she is a Cylon, or part Cylon. An early generation hybrid/ half-breed from her mom's time in the first war. This is the one I am kinda leaning towards. She may be a Cylon, but like Boomer, she has her own path to follow.

A really unlikely alternative that has been suggested is that the Cylons have figured out a way to use the Resurrection Ships to clone a human. If they go this route, I will be disappointed.

The last is that she got out of the ship. Perhaps to be captured by the Raider that everyone thought wasn't actually there.

Exempting the first idea where the actress wanted off the show, I think we will see her again. The problem is that the last season was not written by the people from the earlier episodes. And I'm deeply hoping that this doesn't turn into a really expensive version of Alias or Lost where the writers walk away from the project because something newer and shinier came along.
posted by quin at 10:20 PM on March 7, 2007


"know it's a typo, but this sentence burned an image in my mind of grown-up Wesley Crusher kicking down the hatch of the Serenity, all "IT'S ON MOTHERFUCKERS," and just brutalizing the whole entire crew with a broken gin bottle and a claw hammer."

I'd pay good, hard currency to see that.
posted by metasonix at 11:16 PM on March 7, 2007


As in Katee Sackhoff wanted off the show kind of dead. I think this is pretty unlikely.

This theory is undermined by both the podcast (ie: Moore's description of how the writers worked out the story for this episode) and the radio interview with Katee linked in this thread.

If she's dead-dead-dead, it's not 'cause she wanted off the show.

Before the podcast, I was thinking that this will be like Jean Grey/Phoenix... But now I think she's actually gone. Like Buffy's mother gone. There'll be a few more apperances here and there by Ms. Sackhoff, but they will be in flashback/dreams, etc.

And I'm deeply hoping that this doesn't turn into a really expensive version of Alias or Lost where the writers walk away from the project because something newer and shinier came along.

Me too. Though I'm not worried about Ron Moore leaving before he's seen the show through. He seems pretty determined to run the show into the ground until he feels BSG has run its course.

(He's said a couple times he has an idea as to where/how things end. I'm not sure I believe him, but I trust Moore way more than I ever did Chris Carter or JJ Abrams.)
posted by sparkletone at 11:40 PM on March 7, 2007


I was disappointed when I discovered, on the blog of one of the BSG writers, that this show (like the Cylons) actually has no overarching plan. It feels as if people are making it up as they go along because... people are making it up as they go along.

Some kind of arcs are apparently described in the series bible, but the writers really are just winging it almost all of the time.

This is normal for all sorts of quality shows, of course, and it's not as if they can't come up with a good idea to wrap all of the loose ends up. But they may just as easily fall into dreadful Trekkery, where amazing discoveries about the universe are just forgotten in later episodes, or frustrating X-Filesery, where questions breed far faster than answers.
posted by dansdata at 12:03 AM on March 8, 2007


I was disappointed when I discovered, on the blog of one of the BSG writers, that this show (like the Cylons) actually has no overarching plan.

Just to nitpick: The totally-awesome Jane Espenson is not really a BSG writer, as in she's not one of the staff writers. She's a freelancer who's written one episode, and co-written another (in that case the other person got the writing credit).

More generally:

I wouldn't say BSG is being completely improvised. At least, that's not the impression I've gotten from DVD commentaries and podcasts. That said, Moore's talked a lot in the podcasts about how he likes there to be a certain amount of improvisation in the show structure, and he likes the flexibility it provides them in plotting.

He's been pretty up front about how that's come back to bite them in the ass a few times. There was a really good example this season where he talks about how there were major elements in one particular episode were going to be dropped after just the one episode. Originally, they'd originally played into the rest of the arc of the season, but they'd later come up with something way awesomer and had to kind of triage episodes that were further along in production.
posted by sparkletone at 12:27 AM on March 8, 2007


Ah, mazola, I'm glad someone broke out the 1980. You win.

This season has been more uneven than anything. The first five episodes, through Collaborators, were top-notch, best-of-the-series calibre. The mid-season two-parter was very solid. The last two weeks - since the union episode - have been amazing. The rest has ranged from weak (intermidable mumbo-jumbo on the baseships) to ill-considered (the ridiculous Bulldog episode) to maddening (what this series really needed was another two-shot where Starbuck and Apollo sneakily look at each other across the room while holding their parters).

So if we assume that the last three episodes are going to be good, that's about a 50% average. But the good 50% were really, really good.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:06 AM on March 8, 2007


Dr. Zira wins the thread!

Note one further point: Starbuck was in a mysterious whirling vortex when he events transpired. In another Ron Moore show, a mysterious whirling vortex held the godlike spirits of the Bajoran religion.

Dr. Zira, in your world, did Starbuck ever lay foot to sand in the ages following Mr. Heston's visit?
posted by mwhybark at 1:54 PM on March 8, 2007


Damned dirty Starbuck.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:22 PM on March 8, 2007


After viewing the season ender last night, add me to the list who say Dr. Zira wins this one.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 9:38 AM on March 26, 2007


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