I was on my own until Friday afternoon. My flight got in around 8 and I seemed to have quite a bit of luck after that. I managed to find MARTA, get to the hotel (though I got off one stop too early and had to hop back on the train), and though check in is not until 4, the room was ready. This allowed me to store all my crap, freshen up, and head over to the Hyatt for registration. Registration was a breeze, but they make you go through this maze of ropes to get to the correct booth and I was tempted to ask where my reward of cheese was once I reached my destination.
Since no panels started until 1, I headed back to the Marriott, grabbed an over priced sandwich and a terrific éclair and went to the room to eat and doze for a bit. I had decided to check out a BSG panel supposedly made up of people who know what they are talking about. HA! It was in a packed room and I was forced to sit on the floor…for about ten minutes…until I got up and left. The people on the panel couldn’t recall the names of the episodes, claimed Tigh was washed up and dumped on Galactica, Lee was the best military person they had, and that he was “visiting his father” at the time of the attacks. I wasn’t going to waste my time listening to this crap so I headed to the Walk of Fame (autograph room) at the Hilton.
The only person I planned on getting an autograph from was James Callis – one for myself and one for divahag and I did not want to disappoint her so I figured I should try my luck early. See, James was only going to be there Friday and Saturday and I didn’t want to miss my opportunity. When I showed up at the room entrance I noticed a long line and was a bit worried. The first BSG cast Q&A was in a little over an hour and I knew he would have to leave. I asked one of the Con people, after he sensed my confusion, if this was the line for James Callis and he said, no, it was for Summer Glau (this would be a theme all weekend). He then took me over to James’ table (and may I say how great the people who work the Con are - very friendly and helpful) and there was only two people there getting autographs.
James only had one picture to choose from and I joked with his handler that it was a tough choice. He made a joke about how each really were different and showed various aspects of his personality. While I was waiting I picked up the gist of the conversation between James and the woman ahead of me. She was talking to him about her friend and how she mistakes him for Alexander Siddig, but having seen him now she doesn’t think they are that much alike. James was very polite and talked about how often he hears about the resemblance and went so far to autograph the photo for her friend, per her request, with something along the lines of ‘James Callis, not Alexander Siddig’.
When I got my turn I did the standard hand shake and nice to meet you and proceeded to go on about my friend and how she only asked me to get one autograph for her and it was his. He was flattered and wrote something very nice on the photo. After he signed mine he asked me if I could read it and though I said yes, he read it to me anyway, “I’m not so bad in real life Honest!” I agree. I told him I thought his character was grey and would be redeemed someday. His handler laughed.
Kate Vernon was seated next to him, though I didn’t say anything to her at the time (I rectified that later) and walked around until I found Aaron Douglas. I didn’t care to get an autograph from him, but I wanted to say Hi and tell him how much I enjoyed his work, blah, blah. Unfortunately, there were several women there chatting with him and getting autographs so I decided to just keep walking…until I noticed the guy sitting next to him. I actually did one of those moves where you are moving forward then suddenly moving back. The guy had his head bent down to sign an autograph, but I thought it looked like Tahmoh. As you now know, it was Tahmoh! I may have fangirled a bit. Anyway, I hadn’t brought much money with me, but I had enough to get his autograph. He only had one pic compared to Aaron’s many, but at least it was a nice shot of him from the mini. Just to prove to you all how rational I can be even under surprise fangirl sightings, my very first words to Tahmoh were “You’re not on the schedule.”
Then I went on about how unexpected this was and how great it was he was there. He proceeded to tell me the whole story as to how he got there. He was having dinner with James in LA earlier in the week and James was telling him how he *had* to come to the con because it’s the second biggest Sci-Fi con there is. His handler, sitting next to him, arranged to get him on an 8:30 flight the night before. I asked about panels and he said he was being squeezed into all those already scheduled then mentioned he was going to call Grace, who was in New York, and see about getting her to fly down for a day. I think he was sincere, but, if I was her, I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble. I told him it was great if she could make it and how pleased I was with the increased BSG presence this year. Seeing Tricia last year was great, but I was surprised there wasn’t more of a focus on the show at the time. I also may have gone on about how a certain friend of mine *hated* sci-fi until we made her watch the mini, liked what she saw, and totally loves him on the show. ;-) He seemed very pleased to have had that affect on someone and getting people to tune in.
After getting my auto, I moved over to Aaron and since I felt bad not getting an auto from him explained that I just spent the last of my money, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed him on the show and appreciated him being at the Con. He asked me my name and when I told him said it was a beautiful name. I thanked him, but the cynical part of my brain wanted to say he didn’t need to schmooze me. ;p
Several women asked to have pictures taken with one or both of them and I hung around the table for a minute. After they sat back down I asked to snap a photo of the two of them together. First one was blurry and they were nice enough to let me snap a second one.
Here’s where I proceed to jump around the three BSG panels because, at this point, it’s impossible for me to recall what was said when.
At the first panel, I had decent seats, about five rows back – I had gone up to my room to protect the precious – and met up with wisteria_, greycoupon, and trinnifer. A short time later, carrielee, her son Large Boy, friend Peyton, and her adorable toddler, Dancing Baby Girl, arrived. Baby Girl ended up being the hit of the Con, getting the attention at every turn of the BSG guys. I should have followed them around more. ;)
Tahmoh walked into the Q&A taking pictures of his fellow cast mates and the crowd. I noticed once up on the stage that he spent a lot of time looking at people in the audience. He seemed very much an observer and wanting to take in the whole experience and I found it rather sweet. He also seems very serious about the show and his career and learning as much as he can from EJO and Mary.
Richard Hatch, by his own admission, can be very talkative. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really don’t have an issue with this. I find him to be an interesting and enthusiastic speaker and enjoy hearing him talk about the show. Some of what he had to say was redundant from last years Q&A’s such as Tom Zarek really isn’t a bad guy or evil and who really sees themselves as such? He mentioned that the writing is so good that he doesn’t care if he has a large role or small role in an episode, he’ll happily jump on a plane to Vancouver when they call. And after being burnt out on acting and giving up for years BSG has helped revitalize him. He’s also convinced the show will one day get the recognition by a wider audience that it deserves.
In the other Q&A’s Richard had some very kind words for actors that weren’t there. Twice he was asked about how he felt about the character of Apollo and his portrayer. I don’t think there was a kind word he missed saying about Jamie. He talked about Jamie’s generosity, graciousness, kindness, what a good person he was, how done to earth he was…you name it. He also said that he finally had to be honest with himself and admit that twenty-eight years ago he didn’t have nearly the acting ability that Jamie has now. No argument from me or most fans of the show, but I give the guy credit for admitting it and, imo, he has improved since he appeared in the original series. He also, and I quote, “would have died” to have what Jamie has to work with. As much as we bitch about Sci-Fi, ABC gave the show and characters no room to grow.
He also mentioned how he was in LA and late to catch his plane and was contemplating cutting in line in front of people. Before he could do anything a young women waved him down in front of her and, because of that, he didn’t miss his flight. Once in Vancouver he discovered it was Katee.
I also like how Richard refers to Zarek as a “fallen idealist” – I though that summed up the character quite well.
There was a question regarding the Emmy snub which sent Aaron on a tangent. He could care less if the show ever wins an award; it’s the fans and their reactions that they most care about. James chimed in with an incident that happened to him recently. He was at a restaurant having lunch/dinner with people in the industry when a woman told him how sorry she was his show was cancelled. After the momentary shock wore off, he realized she was talking about ‘Stargate’ and corrected her. Her response was that they were all the same. You could tell this pissed him off and he recounted how he tried to explain to her how she was wrong. She became angry with him. :/ His point was people in the industry claim to be watching, be they really aren’t.
Since the first panel was Star Trek vs Battlestar Galactica there was some discussion of ST’s failings (of which most of us are familiar) and how it could perhaps benefit from a lengthy break and learn a lesson or two from BSG. Also, there was a really good comment from someone in the audience who pointed out that whereas on Star Trek, the characters go in and alter their environment and change it to suit them, on BSG it’s the environment that changes the characters.
In the two panels James was a part of, people tried to get him to tell some sort of embarrassing story about Tricia because, last year, she told the story of how he accidentally exposed himself to her. He’d have no part of it.
Aaron may have talked a little too much during the second Q&A (perhaps the result of the hangover – both he and Tahmoh had stayed late partying at the Colonial day celebration). There was a cute bit in which he commented about the image of Richard and Tahmoh up on the screen and that Tahmoh looked like a boxer and Richard his promoter. This led Aaron and Tahmoh to get up out of there seats and go toe-to-toe, face-to-face. Then they pretended to get angry with each other and Tahmoh lifted Aaron up over his shoulder. Unfortunately, when Aaron came down a certain sensitive part of his anatomy landed on Tahmoh’s shoulder. Ouch.
Aaron also had some anecdotes about the hazards of filming. During the scene where he’s beating the crap put of Cally, he accidentally hit her and didn’t realize it. When they called cut and she was still crying he thought she had just really gotten into the scene, but as she continued crying he finally asked her what’s wrong and got a sobbing “You hit me.”
While filming the miniseries, they had completed the majority of the scene where Tyrol is telling Adama he only needed forty more seconds, but decided to break for lunch and come back to do Aaron’s close-ups. He isn’t exactly sure what EJO had for lunch, but it was incredibly nasty and he recalled the effects that Eddie’s breath had on him, progressing from eyes watering to not having to shave for three weeks.
Tahmoh had his own, less disturbing, EJO story. He talked about primarily just having to work with Grace during Season 1 (not that he was complaining ;) and then finally having a scene with Eddie in which he had one line…a line he forgot as soon as the camera was focused on him because he was so in awe of Eddie’s performance.
Tahmoh and Aaron discussed shooting the scene in which Sharon is almost raped. They said it was incredibly hard to shoot because they were standing just off stage and had to listen to Grace scream and cry. By the time they rushed in they really didn’t have to do much acting. Btw, Aaron refers to it as an attempted rape. Sci-Fi stepped in and said the rape scene as filmed was too much and needed to be cut. Aaron agrees that what aired was enough. When everyone sees the extended Pegasus episode and the longer cut of the scene – it’s not canon folks.
The most stunning revelation of the weekend came from Aaron. I believe the question asked of the actors was with everything they go through on the show, did they ever take the characters home with them or were they able to leave it all behind? Tahmoh I think mentioned that they have to leave the characters on set or at least at the trailer door. Aaron proceeded to discuss how difficult it was to film the early episodes of Season 2. Tyrol was seemingly the angel of death with so many close to him dying. Turns out he was still dealing with the death of his wife who had passed away from cancer the November before. Now, I had read an interview with Ron or David during the filming of season 2 in which they stated that Aaron had lost someone close to him and that they debated on rewriting some scenes to make things easier on him, but he told them it wasn’t necessary. I don’t think anyone knew it was his wife who had died.
Kate Vernon didn’t get much of a chance to talk during the first two Q&A’s, but I was very impressed with her during the final one. So much so, I felt compelled to go up to her after and tell her how much I loved to hate Ellen and what a great job she did in the role. She was asked how she felt about so many of her fans believing she’s a Cylon and she said, as far as she knows, she’s not. The panel was also asked what their favorite scene to shoot was and she said she’s not allowed to talk about it yet. ;)
Kevin – they get the technical stuff right more often than not and he admitted that, once in awhile, even he’ll over look the silence if it’s something really cool.
One of the other panelists was Kevin, the shows science advisor. Who knew technical advisors could be so interesting?! His day job is working for NASA and the unmanned exploration part of the program. He also happens to have six degrees. Somewhat surprisingly, when asked how many notes/corrections he has to make to scripts he said the writers have it right more often than not. And when someone wondered if he ever overlooked the science because something in the script was really cool and he didn’t want to see it changed, he admitted that he did.
I can’t recall how it came up, but in ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ we were to find out that there was a lake on Cloud Nine that had rowboats made of Carbon and that when Helo suggested using that material for the Blackbird they were going to take it from the boats.
A few random hints regarding season 3:
Everyone talked about how dark things are going to get, but Tahmoh also mentioned that no matter how bad things are there is always a sliver of hope.
Helo and Sharon will have the opportunity for some tender moments in which they can shows that they still love each other and why
Tahmoh said to just wait for episodes 9 and 10. And may I add episode 10 is written by Jane Espenson.
Tahmoh: “Watch for the tap dancing in Episode 4.” He was half joking. ;)
And here be the rest of the photos.....
A little something for Julia ;) ...
And something for the RPFers...
Excuse me while I go weep about writing up reports for the rest of the Con.....