Guess what? I'm a Battlestar Galactica V.I.P. The show loves me. It truly does. And it loves you too. So, why have we been so nonreciprocal? I'm not sure. Personally speaking, I think it has to do with the fact that I don't have cable. Maybe it's because I don't have the time to devote to an hour-long TV show every week. Still, that has never stopped the show from being the best it can be. From what I hear on the street, it is truly something special. Something I would love. You probably would too. But, it's too late. Our inattentive nature has killed the show. Its fourth season will be its last. Yup, it's been canceled.
Those who actually watched it are literally sick at their stomachs.
I gathered that much when I attended the Battlestar Galactica All Access Pass Presentation at the Cinerama Dome last Thursday night. The show's fans were out in abundance. Their mood seemed off kilter, and it soon turned infectious. Only, I wasn't sure what I was getting so sad about.
The show that night was being held in honor of Battlestar Galactica's fourth season. It was also a send-off of sorts, as the series comes grinding to a halt here in the next few months. It was a bittersweet party, to say the least. I didn't really care, though. I've never seen more than a three-minute clip of the program.
Huge banners and character art posters adorned the red carpet area just outside the theater. It seemed to be a healthy mix of both fanatics and press. One line for each. A guy came along, passing out Frak Off t-shirts. Even though I didn't get the reference, I took one. Then I realized that I would never wear it. Just holding it, folded, in my hand made me feel like a giant nerd. I smiled, nodded, and decided that maybe one of my friends would like it more than I ever would. Maybe I knew someone that would even wear it.
The function must not have been too hard to get into. A semi-homeless man with a bad overbite and spaghetti sauce on his shirt stopped me in the line. He inquired as to what I was doing there and what I was about to see inside the theater. I told him I didn't know. That information hadn't been made too clear to me. "Oh, okay." And with that, he disappeared. For about four minutes. Next thing I know, he's standing in the fan line next to me, waving, "I got in." Great.
Once inside, I found the place to be a crazy madhouse. People were yelling and running around. Trying to get autographs from no one I recognized. A lot of the actors and technicians that work on the show were seated right next to me. Goofy looking nebbishes swarmed the place, seeking the weirdest and most unnessecary signatures. Who has a grip sign a DVD? I was glad for their presence, though. Without them, I wouldn't have known who a lot of these people were.
Seated directly in front of me was Robert Young, the man that directed the first episodes of the miniseries. Mark Sheppard stopped to stand right by me, signing photocopied sheets of paper that read, "More Romo!" Then Bodie Olmos got kind of mad at me. He plays "Hotdog" on the series. He wanted the two seats next to me, but they were being saved. Not for me, mind you. For this girl in front of us who would not turn around. It was embarrassing. I told him to take the seats, and he stormed off, taking his friends elsewhere. If I were more of a Battlestar Galactica fan, I would have probably been telling this story all week. "Hotdog totally got mad at me for no reason!" But I have to be honest. At the time I didn't know who he was, and I just now had to look him up on the Internet.
There were seven chairs setup in front of the large Cinerama Dome screen. I didn't have a clue as to who would be sitting in them. We were first treated to a three minute promo reel for Battlestar Galactica season four. There was a lot of action, and a lot of crying. It looked beautiful on the big screen, and I almost couldn't believe that this was a television series. The one thing learned from the short piece was that this series was going to Earth. That seemed to be the major selling point of it.
After it ended all-to-quickly, Xena: Warrior Princess's Lucy Lawless came on stage as mediator for the night's event. With much humor (they didn't allow me to take in a recording device, so I don't have a transcription), she introduced the presentation's participants. First up were producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eicke. Eicke pulled a Heineken out of his coat pocket and earned copious amounts of praise from the crowd for doing so. Then came the stars. On hand were Edward James Olmos who plays Admiral Adama, Mary McDonnell who plays President Roslin, Jamie Bamber who plays Apollo, and Katee Sackhoff who plays Starbuck. Damn, I didn't know such a gorgeous creature existed. Starbuck looked ten times hotter than any picture I'd ever seen of her.
The show started with a question about the end of the series. Producer Ronald D. Moore stated, "Truth be told, we knew we were going to have to end this series when we were making season two. We knew it was going to last only a couple more years. We realized this when we went to the Alpha Planet. We needed to bring Battlestar Galactica to a natural conclusion." That's when Eicke joked, "Season two is when Ron's Star Trek residuals started coming in."
Edward James Olmos was a little more vocal about the demise of the show. He said he felt, "Terrible. They can keep my paycheck. I'd support this show on my own if I could. I don't think the powers that be understand what is going on with this show. And they wont know until twenty years from now. It doesn't exist simply to sell Doritos."
Ronald chimed in, "Doritos, a fine snack."
Eddie quipped back, "Yes, they are. That's why I brought them up." He then continued on with his feelings about the end, "I think the idea that they had this ending planned all along is bullshit. We are very gifted and lucky to have a show like this, which comments on what is going on in the world right now. They didn't know when to end it. They had to end it because you guys don't like to watch commercials. Neilson needs a hole in the head. They don't monitor minorities. This show does. And it does it well. It is something that should be seen on the big screen."
Mary McDonnell added, "I think everything Ed said contains the same amount of emotion we are all feeling. It's a hard thing to contemplate giving up. Though, it is a luxury to have the whole story be told. There has been a new electricity this season, because we all know this will be the last time we see each other. I am honored to be inside of that. I am happy that I could come here and sit for an hour, and talk to you guys. We get to finish it together. And that is a truly wonderful thing."
Jamie Bamber seemed a little less excitable about the whole ordeal, "I'm a British actor, so I like nothing better than to complain and moan. Six years? Who wants to spend six years on rubbish? I didn't want to keep coming back to be Ron and David's bitch. I didn't want to do anymore. But now that they've told me it's over, I'm complaining and moaning about the end. I feel rotten. I came to Los Angeles for vacation. And then I ended up staying here for five years. This is my life. It is great to know that we are ending, and that we won't be caught short. My fear was not to have the finale. They had the balls to end it when they were pushed. I'm glad for that. I think, sometime in the future, I will look back on this with so much nostalgia, it will hurt."
Katee told the audience, "I thought it was over when I was dying. I called the producers, crying, "Are you trying to get me off the show?" They told me they were going to kill me, but that I would be back. It was a huge secret. So, I kind of already went through it. At that time I got a lot of free booze and a cake."
Lucy asked what everyone's favorite moment was, and McDonnell answered with, "Watching Jamie's towel hold itself up." This got a huge laugh. Katee then reiterated, "All of my nude scenes were so much fun. I'm sure there are a lot of secret dailies floating around out there."
Jamie countered this by saying, "What do you think is paying for my house in Malibu? Certainly not my paycheck from the show."
The thing that got the biggest crowd response was Lawless' question to Olmos, "So, is Adama ever going to get laid?" McDonnell answered with, "That's a question for James. He shaves so much. He just never stops shaving." Edward stayed quiet on the matter.
What can we expect from the fourth and final season of the show? David told the crowd, "This will be the final chapter. And it will be told in two separate parts. We go to Earth, whatever that Earth may be. We also see that the Cylons have a master plan. We're not being too aggressive about how it will all work."
Next came the crowd questions, which were a little better than your average Comic Con type of fan questions. These people seemed well poised, and well put together. The first question raised, "What should we expect to see happen with your characters?"
Ed: "Ask Mary first."
Mary: "I'm just hoping to stay alive."
Ed: "That's very unfortunate."
Mary: Maybe we'll see Roslin start drinking.
Jamie: I don't really care what they have me do. I have had such a rich experience working on this, I surrender my character. Whatever the writers come up with is fine by me."
David and Ronald revealed that there wouldn't be a big screen adaptation of the series. Every thing is wrapped up pretty cleanly with the fourth series finale, and it wont end with a wink, as if to say there's more. They are also currently working on a Battlestar Galactica prequel series entitled Caprica, and they are doing The Bionic Woman.
Those were the highlights of the evening. They did show another four minute clip after the speaking portion of the program was over. I decided to beat the crowd and leave before it played out. That didn't help me much; I was stuck in the Arc Light parking structure for forty-five minutes.
Anyway, that was the Battlestar Galactica V.I.P. All Access Pass special. Let's hope the series finale leaves up to the rest of the series.
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