The show's Executive Producers discuss why they chose to end things after the Fourth Season
In a rebooting Battlestar Galactica for the 21st century, Executive Producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick created a show that, while based on an older property, managed to be more topical than almost any other show on TV. Having already had three seasons with fans and critics alike both clamoring for more, Eick and Moore recently sat down to discuss the Fourth Season and final season of this show.
Having spoken with Mark Stearn recently it didn't seem like the Fourth Season of Battlestar Galactica was going to be last one. Where do you think the disconnect happened?
Ronald D. Moore: I just think he's generally a shifty character. No, this is a decision that took some time to arrive at and like all decisions this large there are questions we had about it internally; a creative agenda that we wanted to serve, and I think we all had to collectively decide when it was time to be definitive about it and that time is now. I still don't blame him for keeping it close to vest until every side of this equation had been looked at.
I understand that the first episode of Season Four is going to be a two hour prequel?
Ronald D. Moore: Well, the two episodes are not really part of the Fourth Season. They're not connected to the cliffhanger where we ended Season Three. Essentially, the history was we were approached by home video in between the seasons, who expressed an interest in releasing a couple of the episodes on DVD for domestic and foreign distribution. As we talked about them internally, we realized there was no way we could really pick up the cliffhanger in that form. We preserved that for the official beginning of the Fourth Season. The way it made the most sense to all of us was to go back a little bit in time, not before the series began, but sort of back a season or two ago, say, the Second Season, and tell a story then.
We found a way to connect the events of that story to things that will happen in the Fourth Season. So it sort of sets up some things that will happen in Season Four.
This will air also?
Ronald D. Moore: It will air on Sci Fi Channel, I don't have a date for you but the plan, as I understand it, is to air the episodes on Sci Fi and then it would be released on DVD either the next day or two days later.
But before Season 4 starts?
Ronald D. Moore: Yes, the extended episodes as we're calling them will be broadcast in the fall and the official start of Season Four will begin in early 2008.
Since this show is so highly rated was there any pressure from Sci Fi of having it stay on the air longer?
Ronald D. Moore: There was discussion of how long it should go on. To their credit they were very sensitive to what we wanted to do creatively on the show. Since it came from David and I approaching them and saying, "Look, we feel the show has reached its third act... it's about the resolution of the series and we feel the storyline is propelling us toward a conclusion..." They asked us questions about why we felt that way and they understood reasons and they wanted us to think about it for awhile, make sure it was what we wanted to do. They didn't really fight us on it. They expressed concern that the show might be able to go on longer and we wanted to make sure we weren't passing up opportunities to continue telling stories through the series. They were very accommodating. When David and I were very clear that this is what we wanted to do they supported us.
Do you plan to wrap it up in an open-ended way in the Fourth Season? Maybe leave the door open for a feature film?
Ronald D. Moore: Well, the plan is to end the show. The plan is to bring us to a definitive conclusion. There's no plans or even thoughts in our heads really of then doing a follow up feature, a mini-series or anything beyond that. It's also the kind of thing where you never say never. Who knows how we'll feel when we actually write the conclusion? Will there be a plotline or a story that springs to mind? Something that we create on the page that opens a door? It'd be foolish to say absolutely not. Right now the plan is for a definitive end.
David, can you talk about your next project The Bionic Woman?
David Eick: Well, I'm trying to make use of this cast as much as I can because I just have found, in the last year, we sort of stumbled upon the greatest collection of actors I've ever been a part of. Katee Sackhoff is someone who was in the pilot for Bionic Woman and once Battlestar ends, and even when we go on our hiatus, she's free and we may be able to use her in an episode or two of Bionic Woman. Tricia Helfer was in another pilot I did for Fox called Them, which may be flirting with a midseason order. Sort of the same thing there if she was available...
Also the directors from Battlestar, once the opportunity developed to use one of them. Its been a great growth and evolution creatively, for everybody, to come out the end of this show and feel like, "Wow, we've got directors and actors and writers and all sorts of very talented and creative people, that we'll always stay in touch with and always work with because once you find those people you don't let them go."
You talked about this show having a real definite end from the beginning. Do you think that was more freeing creatively or restricting?
Ronald D. Moore: It felt very freeing. It felt like we had a definitive direction. There was a premise. This was a search for, this rag tag fleet was searching for the remainders of humanity and pursued by the Cylons. It was like, that's the path so it became a question of what you do along the way? The show just had a strong point of view and a definitive direction. I think that's very helpful.
Dont't forget to also check out: Battlestar Galactica