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|Ronald D. Moore|
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Hello, and welcome to the podcast. Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, here with episode four, "Resistance". My apologies to those of you who were waiting in vain for the podcast on episode three, "Fragged". I was not in town last week, having taken a much needed vacation with my family up to Big Sur for a little camping expedition, because, at the moment we are in a production hiatus. We have suspended shooting for about a month in order to catch up on scripts and give everybody a break. Because, as most of you know, this season we're doing a twenty episode order and we're broadcasting it in two groups of ten, which gives an opportunity to take a little bit of time off and I took advantage of it. So there you go. Hopefully I'll be able to get back and give you commentary on "Fragged" at some point.
So I'm in the recap of last week's episode. Crashdown's just died and "Resistance" is one of the episodes that, of course, I think I mentioned this before but, essentially the first six or so episodes of season two were pitched and structured at the very beginning of the season in that we knew that we had a storyline that was gonna take several episodes to unfold. Stories dealing with the aftermath of the shooting of Adama and the various other cliffhangers and so "Resistance" was developed in that context. I went back and looked at some of the early things on "Resistance". What they did not have, in early story outlines, was this sequence. Was the idea of Tyrol being under suspicion of being a Cylon and this subplot that happens throughout the show of Tyrol under suspicion, his incarceration, his somewhat rapprochement with Sharon, and then ultimately Sharon's untimely death at the end. That was a somewhat more later developing subplot. This story was always conceived as- we kept calling it the "Kent State" episode, where Tigh's repressive leadership would essentially result in the deaths of civilians. There would be an explosion of outrage in the Fleet, and this would prompt the prison break of Laura Roslin and the start of a counter-coup, or counter-revolutionary movement, within the Fleet, and at the end of the episode would culminate with the return of Commander Adama to the Galactica. And that was always the concept of this show.
There was a Sharon-Baltar storyline early on in this episode, that dealt with Baltar being back aboard Galactica now and getting his hands on Sharon. He was supposed to be interrogating Sharon, developing a psychological- an interest in her psychologically. Trying to get inside her brain so you know, here's a Cylon, who is now at my mercy, more or less. She would be incarcerated. She was going to be held in very difficult circumstances and Baltar was gonna be sent in to figure out who she is, what she is, how we can counter beings like her in the future. And there were a couple of drafts of story and, I think, even structure that explored that idea, but ultimately it wasn't that satisfying and what we started to come around to was the fact that Sharon had returned to- or, I'm sorry, that Tyrol had returned to Galactica, it felt like, well, here's the guy that was in love with Boomer. Here's the guy that protected Boomer. Here's the guy that everybody on the ship knew was involved with Boomer. So wouldn't he be under some kind of suspicion? And that's- as soon as we landed on that, I don't recall off the top of my head who came up with that notion, but once we angled the story that direction it became much more intriguing. It's like, ok, let's open with Tyrol sitting in the room with Tigh. Let's start the episode there. Here's the guy that just went through this horrific ep- encounter down on Kobol and he comes back and suddenly he's in jail.
And here we begin the resistance storyline on Caprica. This sequence, initially, as you might imagine in several drafts and even of the script was more traditionally plotted where we would have started with Helo and Kara out in the woods trying to plan their escape or plan their way to find a Cylon air base and then you cut out to these guys out in the woods watching them and that the guys in the woods are saying, "I think that they're Cylons." And it was fine, but it felt very pedestrian and there was something vaguely unsatisfying about it all the way along and so there came a point where I believe it was the director, but I could be wrong, Allan Kroeker, who directed this episode, I believe it was his suggestion that we start with the resistance and begin with their point of view, and I immediately thought that was a great idea because it just- it's a more intriguing way to start this little sequence, which really isn't very much. This is a very traditional plot move. It's like, ok, good guys are about to be shot by other good guys. Ooh, scary. But, by beginning it on the other foot, by starting with these people that you don't know and haven't seen before, wondering where- you're lost for a moment and trying to catch up and like, "Ok. Wait a minute. What's going on? Who are these guys? Who are they seeing out there? Ok. They seem to be- they're humans. I guess they're fighting Cylons. And..." It's just enough to hide the moment that it's actually Kara and Helo. I'm sure sharp-minded viewers can jump ahead, but basically if you're watching the episode it's a nice effective way to just hold off the reveal.
And I'll come back here after the tease.
So now we're back once again on Caprica. This shooting sequence- shooting sequences, action sequences like this, really is very difficult on a television budget just for, essentially, for lack of time. Action sequences in feature films like this and in the subsequent followup sequence to this can be much more elaborately staged and planned and you have much, much greater time. A feature film might shoot maybe a page or two a day, on a big feature, and maybe a sequence like this is shot over several days if they were making a meal out of it. With us we have to this in a day or less. We can't really afford time on our shooting schedule to do the kind of elaborate set pieces that you see in feature films so we're always a little hesitant to write in just random firefights because we feel an obligation to give you a good one if we're gonna give it to you and what we did here, you'll notice, you'll notive that in the cutting we never cut to the bad guys or to the resistance guys in this case. We're staying with Kara and Helo and giving you an impression of a bigger firefight than what you actually see. What's interesting about that is that it ends up putting you in their point of view and being under fire with them as opposed to, "And then the angle on the bad guy shoots and then the richocet," and trying to choreograph all these things.
This plotline about Cally ultimately being Jack Ruby I believe was suggested by our co-executive producer, Toni Graphia, who wrote this episode. And it was, I think, Toni's idea- I'm pretty sure it was Toni's idea in one of her drafts. As we started talking about Sharon and what happened to Sharon, somewhere along the line came this idea of a shocking end to Boomer. That Boomer would just get shot and killed. And it was a great instinct because at this point in the storyline I think you're assuming, "Ok. And now they have Sharon and now Sharon's gonna be in the brig and they're going to go down and play a lot of scenes with Sharon and they're going to talk to her through the bars and it's gonna be a lot of touchy-feely stuff." And it's really not. And what we wanted to play was, again, a little bit closer to the reality of some of these events, as close reality as we can get. In that there would be tremendous amounts of anger and conflicted emotions about having her on the ship at all and from this point forward, even though Cally's not talking about Sharon, it's essentially that there's that Cylon woman in there who's representative of an- of all the problems that we have- that we had gone through on Galactica and it's also that she is the root cause- as a person and as a representative of her race, she's- everything that these people have gone through can be tracked back to her, so wouldn't there be tremendous amounts of ill will toward her.
This little beat in CIC is important for plot reasons. It's the place where we establish, "Well, shouldn't Baltar come back and just take over the reigns of the Presidency?" No, he can't because Tigh has declared martial law. The Baltar story in this, like I've indicated earlier, went through several iterations. The early one being him plumbing Sharon's psychological depths, the second one being starting on this foot and still having him going down to the brig and- I think in a couple drafts he was still interrogating Sharon. He was still trying to get information out of Sharon. He was making a little bit of progress. He was intrigued by her. We actually, I believe, at one point started playing with the idea it would become a triangle between him and Boomer and Six and that there would be this competition that Baltar's interest in Boomer, even though Boomer was more- cared more about Tyrol, obviously, than she did Baltar, but that somehow Baltar's obsession/interest in Sharon was going to compete with his relationship with Six. It never really worked and I don't anybody was ever really satisfied with it and I believe I was taking a polish on this script at one point and was fixing some things and none of us were really happy with Sharon-Baltar and I latched on to the scene that we, coming up later, with him going down into the brig with Baltar and Sharon.
Anyway, back to where we are now. This was the key idea of the whole show, right from the pitch, which was that Tigh's leadership during what is essentially peacetime in our Rag Tag Fleet, they're not under attack at the moment, his peacetime leadership would lead to disaster. That he's not a political genius. This is not what he does well. He reacts emotionally to things that he should think through cooler. He is very easily affronted. He is manipulated by his wife. He's not the guy you want in charge of this particular situation.
This beat with Lee, as the CAG, continuing to do his job, also still harks back to the idea that we established in "Valley of Darkness" that Lee has essentially given his parole that when he's not on duty he's not going to be working against Tigh and then when he- I'm sorry, when he is on duty he won't be working against Tigh or helping the president and then when he's off duty he will go back down to the brig.
This scene serves a couple of purposes. Some things that we're develop later in the season, hint hint, are beginning here with this relationship between Dualla and Lee. We always like the idea that Dualla had a special relationship to all the pilots, because she's literally the voice in the phone. She's the voice that called them home and the voice that told them it was ok, or the voice that told them where danger was. And that she had this almost informal relationship with all the pilots on the ship. And this little scene is a nod in that direction where they've established this routine each day of her happening to fall in with him as he walks back toward the brig. The guards deal with it, they like her, nothing untoward ever happens. But he was also a subtext that maybe there's something else here and this little look here at the end from Kandyse. What- I love the fact- What is she looking at there? She seems to be looking, why wait a minute, our Specialist Second Class, Petty Officer Dualla, what are you looking at?
Tigh and Ellen. You'll note that we're making much greater use of Ellen in these episodes. This was one of the great opportunities to have Ellen on board the Galactica this season was to play the dynamic of a husband and a wife. How that dynamic can influence events to the detriment of other people. In the pilot, in the miniseries, the mention of his wife, without even giving her a name, causes him to kick over a table and take a swing at Kara. So, what is up with that relationship. And she- he welcomes her back into the fold and- but what is it that drives you crazy about her and what is the- she's not just a screaming harpy. That would be pretty easy. If she was a screaming harpy and, yeah, somebody that was always in your face and denigrating you it'd be easy to dismiss her and you figure even Saul Tigh would probably divorce her. But there had to be something going on. There has to be a real marriage here. There has to be some back and forth psychologically of what she provides to him in the way of some kind of comfort and yet at the same time she's "comforting" him there's also a bit of the twist of the knife and there's also a bit of manipulation. Some of it, conscious on her part, some of it unconscious. I think there's a part of Ellen that doesn't even really understand what it is that she does. I don't think she consciously is trying to get him to do specific things so much as she does react in the moment and reacts to weakness in a very predatory way. She sees weaknesss in her husband and she- it makes her almost go on the attack. Almost like a pack mentality kind of a thing.
Back out to Caprica. Again, this- I believe this was all still shot on the same day in the same location. So you can see just how much work there is. We've moved locations. Not dramatically, but a company move is always a company move and there's a lot of gunplay. All this has to be choreographed. The armor has to be there. There's a lot of safety issues. All this takes an ungodly amount of time. And you don't have a lot of time in TV. So you don't get a lot of takes to do this. You don't get a lot of chances to go back and redo it. You certainly never get a chance to watch all your dailies and then put the piece together and say, "Oh. Well, well we're missing this coverage," or whatever, because nine times out of ten you can't return to that place.
This sequence- it- this works. This was my idea. That they would come to this standoff. It's hard to play these kinds of beats. Nobody does them better than John Woo, the Honk Kong film director who's done several American films, to get to a place where the characters are pointing guns at each other, but don't actually pull the trigger.
And I'll come back in a second.
In all honesty, there's really no reason why they don't shoot each other from the very beginning. It's a bit of a dramatic conceit and I'm the first to admit that. The conceit that you get these characters in this action moment and then they have the guns trained on each other but they don't pull the trigger at the last moment and the dramatic conceit is that they- what I wrote in the script was I (I took a polish through this section, as well) was that they, Kara and Anders, both see some- they both have intuitive sense that the other is not a Cylon. There's something instinctual that says to them that the other is human and not synthetic. That idea doesn't quite pop through. It's something you write in a script and then how do you play that? It's like Kara- "We see by the look in Kara's eyes that she thinks that he might be human." (Chuckles.) It's- I think almost literally what I wrote. But that's hard to convey and it's really hard for a director and an actress to go out there and actually do that. So I knew that this was a bit of a push and a bye that you'd have these characters pointing guns at each other and that'd you'd be able to buy this in the moment and so what I opted for was to go-
There was also this idea that Toni and I discussed where maybe the resistance- we were talking about who are these resistance guys? Where'd they come from. Are they just going to be a bunch of other army guys? 'Cause that's not that interesting. Who are they? Are they survivalists? That's almost interesting. And then somewheere in our conversation one of us popped out with, "Maybe they're basketball players or something." And we just both started laughing. I thought, "Well that's actually kind of great." I liked the absurd quality of that, that these guys would be a Pyramid team and then there was something that started to make sense. Oh, it's a Pyramid team and they're out doing high altitude training. Oh, they're in the mountains. That's why they survived. It means they're not crackerjack army special forces guys, which makes them interesting as well. And Pyramid being the game that Kara's backstory- she wanted to be a Pyramid player before she became a fighter pilot. It provided a certain connectivity to her story. And it just also a great opportunity to play the attitude involved and then see the game and... we just decided to go for it. I thought there was something really- just, it's one of those odd, absurd moments that, "Yeah, in the aftermath of the nuclear holocaust that you might happen across the LA Lakers or something." It just seemed like one of those odd groupings that might actually occur because crazy shit like that happens in these sort of circumstances.
This little running thing with Corporal Venner, which comes to a head here of course when he ultimately aids in the escape of Laura Roslin, we talked for quite a while about who Venner was. And Venner being representative of a more spiritual type of person in the Fleet. He comes from Gemenon. We've established that Gemenon's more fundamentalist- "fundamentalist" planet in our mythos and that he would have a special connection to Laura and that that religious was going to override his sense of duty to the command. But you're seeing the whole command starting to fracture along different lines anyway, under the leadership of Tigh and I think the episode in some ways also underlines how fragile this situation is. What's important to remember is that there is no higher power for these people to deal with. There's no Fleet back there. There's no headquarters to deal with. There's no judicial system. There's no governmental structure at all. There's no replacements coming for any of these guys. They're out by themselves. So essentially, right or wrong, anything that happens, they're gonna wake up with the same people tomorrow and nobody's gonna change any of that.
Now we're out to the Gideon. This was the k- this is the key sequence. The concept here- we kept calling this Kent State. In fact there was even an early draft of the script that as a temporary title just called this script "Kent State" for- to keep it simple so we could keep all the stories straight. At a much later date I started going this really isn't Kent State. That's a misleading- mis- type for what this episode is about and what happens here. A more accurate description of this sequence is the Boston Massacre in that a group of soldiers is pinned in a situation that they're unprepared for and a tragedy happens. The Boston Massacre group of British redcoats, before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, were backed up against a building in Boston and- with a mob and a mob grew ugly and started throwing things and the situation got out of control and somebody in one of these situations- like in that situation, our situation aboard the Gideon, somebody squeezes off a shot. And it's really key to the idea that you'll note that we didn't show you who squeezed off the shot, where the first shot came from. Was it one of the civilians? Was it the marine? How did that Marine fire the shot? It doesn't matter. But the mistake is made. One shot goes off and then the other Marines in this situation that all of th- that they were completely unprepared for, fire back on instinct and people are killed. That's not Kent State. Kent State is a very different political situation. A very different setup and it carries with it a great- a heavy political connotation. This is truly a little bit more of the Boston Massacre, which then became a propaganda thing, the Americans, the Colonists used it as a weapon. It was a massacre. That they had fired indiscriminantly into this crowd. And the truth was actually more complex and as a historical sidenote, I believe it was John Adams actually defended the Lieutenant, the Leftenant, in charge of the Redcoats of the Boston Massacre. It was John, I believe it was John, maybe his brother, his cousin, Sam, but I believe it was John Adams defended them in court and got them off. They were not con- he was not convicted of any kind of negligence or homicide in the Boston Massacre incident. It was just kind of an interesting thing I've always liked.
This notion- here we're back on the Laura breakout. Again, this- the massacre or the shooting incident, I should say, that propelling Laura and Lee to finally get out of jail, were the key ideas of the show. That Laura would not be plotting a way out and Lee certainly would not be waiting- plotting with her until he got to a certain breaking point. And the massacre, sorry, I keep saying that, the shooting incident on the Gideon. It will be called the "Gideon Massacre" in subsequent episodes, that's why I keep messing it up. That the "Gideon Incident" would be the key moment.
Just going back for a second. The actual Gideon shooting, if you look at the shooting incident. I'm not sure it's entirely satisfying. I'm not sure it comes off. I blame, ultimately, myself 'cause I run the show but there wasn't- didn't quite set the scene enough. We didn't quite give you enough sense of the crowd. We didn't quite pay off the notion of the shot from nowhere. I struggle with it in editing room, several times. I asked for some reshoots. We reshot some of th- actually did pick up shots of the Marines reacting and firing. We added additional shots of people getting killed. We tried some slow-mo. We tried repeating shots. We tried a lot of different things. Ultimately, I don't know that the shooting incident really conveys everything I wanted it to convey.
This little beat, I love it 'cause it's so oddly twisted. What is goin' on with these two? What kind of relationship do they have? There's some vaguely violent sexual thing that happens between Tigh and his wife and you get the feeling this isn't the first time and that there's this tragedy in the air and then there's anger and then there's sex. And it's interesting how sometimes those connected dots are- those dots are connected.
This is the scene I was alluding to earlier. Tyrol and Sharon down in the brig and then Baltar coming in and pulling a remarkable- making a remarkable turn here. This is something- I was working on the script, I was doing my polish on the script, and I was struggling with these scenes and I didn't know what to do with Baltar and I kept getting tired of Six just coming in and screwing around with him in his head and him playing games with Sharon and I didn't know what the point was, and I couldn't find a point to it. And at some- when you get- when you're off and when you're going 'round and 'round on scenes or storylines and you're having trouble cracking them it usually means that something fundamentally is wrong. It's usually not about the scene itself. It's usually about the story. And that was the case here. I just couldn't- I couldn't make the scenes work and I couldn't make it work and I finally just stepped back and said, "Let's just- screw this. Let's just try something completely different." And I just- I literally just started writing. And I brought him in and he- the scene just happened on the page. Which is really a great thing. I just started playing with it and he comes over and he seems to be taking blood test from Tyrol. Tyrol collapses, and suddenly it's, "He's dying, Sharon. He has moments to live and I want to know XYZ," and it's like, "Whoah! Wait minute. Baltar is suddenly gone much darker." And it's all layed out. The pieces are there. The Cally- Cally gettin' into his face and Tigh getting into his face and the pressures that he's under and the constant harping from Six and finally this man starts to turn a bit. And from this point forward in the season, he will slowly but surely start turning in a different direction. It doesn't mean that he's become an out and out villain or bad guy, but certainly he's started to take a more aggressive- a less kid-glove approach with everybody and is starting to advance his own agenda very strongly. I really like this scene. And I really like this performance of Sharon and Baltar in this scene. Of Grace and James. James giving another stellar performance and Grace really delivering on the desperation involved in all this. And I really like the fact that you wonder where this is going. Now you go, "Wait a minute. What is Baltar up to? What- where is he gonna go with this?" And we were playing with the idea of what would he do? And what is he gonna do with Sharon as the thing towards the end? Which I'll come back to.
Ok. Back to Cylon occupied Caprica where these guys hang out. I put in the script, "Ok. Let's find-" You have to- I'm limited by what you can find on location or what we can build. Those are the parameters of television. You either build it or you find it, and you don't have a lot of money. And you're in Vancouver. And you can only drive so far. And so I thought, "Ok. Let's put 'em in an abandoned high school and maybe there's an abandoned high school up there in the hills someplace and that's their base of operations." And so they went out and they found- I don't think, I'm trying to recall what this is really. I don't think it is a high school. I think it's like an old institution or something like that. The unfortunate thing is reads to big. You look at it on camera and visually it just feels like it's too much and that it's too large a base and that the Cylons should have found it and that it feels too exposed, but these are the things that happen and you just have to, as a writer/producer, sometimes you just have to suck it up and go on and ok, "That's the best we can find. Move on." Because that's dealing with television. Dealing on unforgiving deadlines and especially unforgiving budgets and you make the best choices. And ultimately choices like that, of the high school and problems in shooting the "Gideon Massacre" scene and all this niggling things that I keep pointing out that I'm dissatisfied with in the show are ultimately my responsibility. It's- the responsibility for these kinds of things flows to the top. Ultimately I'm the one who signs off on all this stuff, or David and I sign off on all this stuff, and say that it's ok and that you can move with it. And then later you go, "Hmm. I wish had more time with that. I wish that I had been able to push for a different location. Or I wish that I had done more coverage in this area." But you makes you choices and yous live with them.
This is a great opportunity for Kandyse. I love Kandyse as an actress and Alessandro, who's coming into this scene in just a moment, and it's really great that we keep coming back to them as characters, even though they haven't had their own ep- We haven't done the "Dualla episode". We've done "B" story lines with her and probably even less so with him. But, again, they're just part of the fabric of the show and the show would be seriously damaged if they weren't in it because I think they provide such important texture and humanity into the life aboard the battlestar Galactica. And just look in Kandyse's eyes. My God. It's just like- she has fabulous eyes. (Chuckles.) She has great eyes. And this little tiny moment here, with Alessandro, just the way he delivers that line, nods his head and then quickly moves forward says so much and delivers so much of the essence of the scene that it's just wonderful and it's just- that's really gold. You really- I really love things like that and seeing them- when I see them in dailies or see them in the cut. It just gives me such great pleasure to see the cast and the director and everybody giving it that extra bit of texture, which really makes the world work and really bring home the humanity of what we're trying to do on this show.
This is another nice beat. We're finally getting Eddie out of this bed and here's like the first good thing- the first positive thing he's been able to do in weeks.
Back to the Cally line- they- this cage that they're building here for Sharon, for Boomer, will actually be used. We will actually be putting somebody in that cage later on. It's probably not too hard for most of you to figure out that that will probably be the Sharon from Caprica, but when that is I'll leave to your fertile imaginations. I also really dig the fact that it's Cally that just swings on this. That Cally just goes for him. That- it's one of those odd things that- it's such a simple beat. It's, like, of course. Well, she gets pissed off... she swings at him. It's a human- it's recognizable human thing. But you don't usually give that role to the girl. That's what makes it interesting. It's not usually the girl who does that. It's usually some hotheaded guy who's some lunk or thug or he's your hero just being particularly uppity that day, but typically it's just not the girl who grabs somebody, throws them against the wall, and swings on 'em. And it's really great. It's really interesting. The gender roles in this universe are so equal and so non- non-stereotypical in a lot of way that little things like that pop through.
Here's Venner, giving his last, his all. Like I was saying, for Venner, we had talked about even the possibility that Venner was going to become one of Laura's key advisors eventually when she was returned to power and that idea did not come to fruition for a lot of complicated reasons. But also we just started to feel like the character serves his function when he lets her- he helps her get out of jail. We didn't need to then add him into the firmament and the character never really popped through strong enough to go, "Well, God. I can't wait to see Venner again."
In that moment just before the break when the guard sees Laura, there's a quick moment there where she- you see she was actually walking through the halls. She had a sandwich. She had come from the galley and she had a sandwich and she just drops it and then this confrontation develops. And there's actual- there was a shot, a pickup shot- not a pickup shot, sorry, a shot where she picked up the sandwich after this whole confrontation went down. Which I really liked, but it was awkwardly staged, it didn't quite play. But there was something about when it's all over, she lets Laura go and Laura walks away, and she goes back to work, that she went back and picked up the sandwich and kept eating it. As sort of a, "Life goes on," moment. And I really liked it and kept putting it in the cut and people kept saying, "No, it's stupid," and this and that and I finally relented and just lost it but it's one of those odd little moments that's always in my head because as a producer I see the cuts of these shows several times. Many times, actually, from dailies onward so in my head these shows play somewhat differently, because I keep reme- that's a effects shot, actually, right there, by the way. That we don't have that additional shuttle- we do have the shuttle- the Raptor, God. But a lot of this is just green screen work 'cause we don't have a bay as big as this.
This moment actually is a complicated story. This is Paul Campbell, Billy opting out of going down with Laura. This came about because, frankly, because Paul had another opportunity that contractually we had to let him do. He auditioned for a pilot at the WB and there was serious- see that's all green screen. There's nothing really back there. He had an audition for a pilot for the WB and there was serious question about whether he was going to leave the show at this point, so I had to write an option for us. A way he potentially wouldn't be in the next episode and then potentially there might be a way of killing him. And to preserve that option I had to change- he was originally slated to go on this whole mission but I couldn't put him in the next episode for politicial, well, not political, for contractual reasons. But then that didn't happen so then he comes back later.
I love this whole little bit because you never really get to see the inside of the launch bays and the elevator's taking these craft up and you finally get to see that the Raptors are actually not launched out the side of the ship. They launch more like helicopters do on an aircraft carrier, which again, just extends our metaphor and gives us a rather visual language of how things are done on Galactica.
This whole sequence- there was a point where, how do you play Tigh deciding not to shoot them down? How serious should that be? There were early drafts where Ellen was actually in CIC and goading Tigh, in the moment, making him feel weak and pushing him and making him feel like he needed to stand up to people. Actually now that I recall, early drafts of this had Ellen Tigh sort of being the queen of the ship when this episode opened. That she was actually- she would actually come into CIC looking for Saul and if Saul wasn't there she'd take- she'd take on airs a bit and she would boss the people around. She'd have Dualla get her coffee and she'd be bitchy at Gaeta about supplies and that people were having to just kind of deal with her 'cause she was the Colonel's wife. And then she would be here because we had established that up in the beginning of the show that is was plausible that she could be here at the end of the show and at this key moment she was the one pushing for him to shoot down Apollo. And I actually thought that that could work, for a while, and tried to make it work and then nobody really liked it and ultimately I didn't like it and then when I was doing my polish on the draft I took out that whole element and just kept her in the quarters and kept her- just a more realistic version of the wife and not pushing her into- it was just getting way too broad. It's a danger in these shows is- you're trying to make dramatic tension and you're trying to create these moments that setup good guys/bad guys dynamics for the audience to follow and sometimes you just find yourself fall- lapsing into cliche or lapsing into areas where the characters are getting too big and too broad and not believable anymore. And fortunately, for the most part, I think we're able to curb that impulse and dial those thing back before they're too late. And that- this was an example of that. Ellen Tigh is much, much, much more effective in this show because she operates a little more believably. Because she's just in Tigh's quarters and she's not in CIC. If she had been here in CIC, whispering in his ear, this whole sequence would have taken on a whole different tone. And you just wouldn't have believed it. It just would have fractured a bit of the reality of we do things on the battlestar Galactica and the reality of how people actually interact. The Colonel's wife just wouldn't be in CIC screwing with him. It just wouldn't happen that way. It was moving into a broader TV moment.
This is a nice little beat here, too, since Gaeta has just been busting Dualla's chops, you know that Gaeta knows that she was up to something. But he protects her. And that there's a relationship between Gaeta and Dualla that goes above and beyond just officer and enlisted personnel. Not that it's romantic, but that it's a friendship and that there's trust and loyalty and that everyone on Galactica, like I was saying earlier, the ship is starting to fracture because they are losing faith in Tigh's ability to command and to lead and it makes these kind of events possible.
The notion of whether- there's a l- probably somebody's gonna raise the legitimate question of whether Lee Adama broke his parole by helping Laura out. Was he technically off-duty when he broke them out? Was he off-duty when he was plotting the breakout? It's a legitimate debatable point and it comes perilously close to violating the rule that I set up that, 'cause it was my idea for the rule back in "Valley of Darkness", or "Scattered", that there was this parole idea. Again, that is also a green screen. We don't have a bay remotely close to that size. So we had to process that end. And to be- just to keep going on there for a second, it's legitimate to say that he might have broken his word there. That action- he might have broken his parole in that he was plotting to break her our, certainly when he was on duty and that the moment of breakout, even though technically he had gone off duty, he kind of goes back to the hangar bay to help Racetrack and that makes him sort of on duty. It's one of these finer points of honor, but it is a point of honor and I think it's- we skated as close to the line as we could I just felt like- I had to. Nobody, actually, nobody questioned it. I didn't get any notes on it from the network or anybody on the show. It's just- it was one of those internal pieces that always tortured me and I always felt like I wanted to keep Lee on the right side of that bright shining line, but couldn't quite make it work that way.
And this is out version of Pyramid which, as I've said in previous podcasts, the game in the original Battlestar Galactica series was called Triad and it was something like this except it was played in an indoor raquetball-type court in close quarters with, like, a couple teams trying to throw a ball into a hole in the wall. This is our version of it. I had scripted that this would be played in a raquetball-type court, but we just couldn't find anything like that. We couldn't afford to build it so we opted to do it outside as- more of a basketball urban-type setting and to not explain the rules and just do a one-on-one. There's obviously tension between Anders and Kara in that scene. There's obviously something going on, but when I saw the- an early cut of it there was too much going on. There were too many looks. Too much, "Ho. Ho. Looking at, you know, and holding you tight. A lift of the eyes, I block your shot." And I had them take all of those cuts out of it, even though they were called for in the script. The script said and there's sexual tension and there are these moment and then she's in the clutch. I found- and so it was there. That's why it was shot that way, but when I saw it I felt like when you take all those obvious beats and just have 'em play it, there's enough there to play the moment. You don't need to really slam the audience over the head with it.
This beat- this scene with Ellen and Tigh in his quarters afterward. It was always in the drafts. And this is like Ellen really just taking him apart and him trying to, not really strongly, defend himself 'cause he did something that- it could be read as weak. And he knows that. And he let the kid go. And then Adama shows up. Which is just great. It's like at this point I think you're so ready for Adama to get back into the show. You're really hoping somehow he's gonna get out of that bed. And he does. Which I think is a really nice turn of a story in that you're not- you're not really thinking about this. You're not looking for it. We're not playing that he's getting better or any of that. You just have that one tiny moment of his hand twitching on his hospital bed and then he's back here. And Eddie doing a great job reminding us that he's not- it's not a TV wound. It hurts. He just got out of surgery not too long ago. This is taking a great effort. And I like the tenor of this scene a lot. This scene starts with the Godfather moment when Vito Corleone comes back and Tom Hagan is sitting in the house and Sonny's dead and he just sits down and it's like something wrong in the house and he knows it. And this is a similar kind of a beat with Adama coming into Saul, but there's no recrimination here. There's no questions. There's no, "You're a fuckup and you should have done X, Y, and Z." He just accepts whatever's happened, happened. And that the man at the top makes decisions and he has to live with them and people who don't- who aren't at the top, people who are not at the top of the pyramid making these kinds of decisions, don't know what it's like. They cannot really understand the pressures that come with that kind of responsibility. But Adama can. And so that's what he- he just immediately lets Tigh off and says, "Ok. Let's go pick up the pieces."
And this sequence, this is the Jack Ruby sequence. Which Toni came up with, which I think is great. And Cally just steps out of the crowd. The implication here, there's a little bit of it left in the previous scene, was that Baltar was gonna continue to have conversations with and was gonna continue to get information out of her and continue to manipulate her. And this foils Baltar's plans, as well. Love that shot of Cally and then Tyrol holding her in his arms and her dying unexpectedly here at the end. And I just think it was a great intinct on Toni's part that this would really shock the audience and really take us into a hard turn here. And that Sharon, Boomer Sharon, wouldn't just get a pass on everything that had happened. That even though the higher-ups were keeping her around that somebody in that ship said, "No way, man. She has to go down." And that Tyrol, this man loves her. He can't- there's something about love. You can't let it go. Can't let it go, no matter what. And in her dying moment he's still there for her. And then there's the nice little bookend on the blood drop from his blood at the beginning to her drop at the end. Which is a CGI effect. Neither one of the blood drops is a an actual drop of blood. It's CGI right from there to there. That's all done in the computer and done very well by Gary Hutzel and his people.
And that is the end of "Resistance", episode four. I, as I said earlier I'll be trying to get back and get you some- do "Fragged" at some point 'cause I think "Fragged" is one of my favorite shows of the whole season and I'd love to do commentary on that. I've been playing around with doing podcast things for you guys on other topics. There's a podcast I record in my car on the way to work, there- I've been trying to record writer's meeting 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 like 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. But in any case, this has been an interesting experience doing these podcasts. It's a really interesting forum. It's a really interesting way of delivering information to an audience in a very timely fashion. Immediately with the broadcast, so I'm really happy that Scifi.com suggested this idea very early on and that I've been doing it and I will continue to try to do them for the rest of the episodes of the season, and hopefully I'll be able to throw you guys some other sort of types of podcasts as the year goes on. And I'll be talking to you next on episode five, "The Farm". Thank you very much, and I'll talk to you later. Bye.