'Exodus' was originally one episode split into two because it was such a large piece of material they were dealing with.
And here's were I'm going to jump around a bit rather than write about comments in the order Ron made them. There were many scenes moved around between 'Occupation', 'Precipice', and 'Exodus'. Or scenes were shot weeks later and added in because the eps were running short (Exodus came in about seven or eight minutes under, 'Exodus Pt 2' about five). Here were the notable changes/additions:
* The mystery of Tyrol's disappearing beard! It basically came down to two things. First, they were shooting flashback sequences while shooting the first several episodes of the season (the New Caprica location was doing double duty) and the point came where Aaron had to shave off the beard. Secondly, once 'Exodus' was expanded they needed to go back and shoot pick up shots. The scene where Tyrol comes into the tent (a tent shot on a soundstage btw) was filmed weeks later.
* Another pick up shot was when Conner (the guy who outs Ellen's complicity) goes back and gets the map off the dead Cylon/conspirator.
* The Oracle was originally to appear in the teaser in 'Occupation'. D'Anna's storyline was set to begin sooner, but it was deemed one story too many in the premiere.
* The Baltar/Six not-quite-sex scene was also to appear in 'Occupation'.
* The scene where the Pegasus and Galactica crews meet and pray before going their separate ways was another pick up shot.
* Jake got some more screen time in 'Precipice'. It seems D'Anna is very fond of the dog (I'm telling ya, dog/god ;) and often stops to pet him. Originally, she was to stop and see him right after Gaeta turned over his dog bowl to signal Tyrol there was new information for him. After D'Anna pets Jake, she begins to walk away, notices the bowl, and turns it upright. This was suppose to be why Tyrol didn't get the updated info on Baltar.
* The Anders/Laura scene was to be much earlier and tied in with the dropped subplot in 'Occupation'/'Precipice' involving D'Anna and Simon. Laura feared Simon was getting too close to discovering the truth and decides to put Maya and Hera in protective custody.
* Adama's big speech was suppose to be the original Act 2 break, but once they realized they had far too much material for one ep they felt it made a good closing for 'Exodus'.
Some other random bits of information:
* The reason for the, imho, redundant opening was that Ron wanted to play events over for the audience, lead up to a recap, and then show you the perspectives of the others involved. I have no problem with exploring the same situation from another POV, but don't assume we can't recall what happened last week.
* He felt that the Ellen/Tigh scene was important to show them together one more time before all hell breaks loose for them.
* In early drafts of the script, Jammer was killed during the shooting at the trucks.
* Ron discussed the role of the Oracle a bit and how he wanted to show the two theologies starting to have points of crossover. And that it's the colonial's Oracle that is supposedly getting a message from the Cylon god, acting as a conduit, and that both sides have a glimpse of the truth, but neither is completely right.
And Ron admitted at the end of the podcast that not a lot happened in this episode. It moved quickly (agree), there was character stuff (I guess), and that it sets up things about to happen.