The concept was pitched in the second season, Ron thinks by David Weddle (sp?). Adama was holding onto a secret - that he had participated in a black ops mission before the Cylon attack and held himself responsible. Ron liked the idea of black ops missions prior to the attack and he thought it very plausible that the colonial fleet had been doing something in the forty years between wars.
Laura having Baltar’s picture hung above the toilet was a bit of an in-joke. Ron wants the picture someday and David put his coveted picture above the toilet. ;)
They never wanted to say Adama was directly responsible for the attacks, just that he felt responsible. Clearly the Cylons had been working on it for a long time what with sleeper cells (Sharon?), Baltar having been set up for years, etc.
The Cylon raider being chased by Kat and Kara and docking on Galactica was a much longer sequence. There were longer protocols to safeguard the ship (I thought they allowed the ship to land too easily), but the chase was confusing as to where they were and, once more, they were fighting time so it got edited down.
This is the first ep this season that Ron didn’t take a pass at with his typewriter. He was burnt out from writing the first two eps and rewriting next four. David carried the ep. (In other words, blame him!)
OK, here is where a lot of changes were made (thankfully)….
There were various versions of Laura’s involvement in the story. In early drafts she smells a rat, realizes something is wrong, and that Adama is hiding something from her. So she enlists Lee to do some digging and see what Adama is trying to hide. (This explains David Eick’s answer to a TV Guide Q&A some months back explaining we would see more Lee/Laura and her needing to turn to Lee for help when she senses Adama is not being truthful with her. As much as I was excited by that idea at the time, hearing what would have been involved, I’m glad it was scraped.)
Actual audio tapes of the black ops mission were in Galactica's archives including exchanges between Adama and Bulldog on the Valkyrie. There were problems with this. Ron (and I concur) found it difficult to believe Adama had kept tapes *and* transferred them to Galactica so they could be found. Lee was to find the tapes, play them, and then confront Adama with the truth. Adama becomes very angry and, in one draft, he hauls off and hits him for the first time.
Side note: Ok, most of you know my issues with Adama’s “fat ass” comment to Lee in ‘Precipice/Occupation’. It filled me with rage. It was a cheap shot and, imho, born of Lee daring to question Adama’s judgment. To me, we are seeing that play out again, but Adama looks even worse because he’s confronted with hard facts and unwilling to face that he did he hauls off and hits his son? Which is not only wrong on that level, but Lee is a junior officer. Ron believes this would have been an “amazing moment”, but they didn’t earn it legitimately. No Ron, it would have been the moment I lost all respect for Adama.
Adama was going to eventually offer to resign and turn over command to Lee. Only when they find out Bulldog was allowed to escape, Adama pulls back and maintains command.
All of this changed for a couple reasons. There was not time for a Lee investigative story (hello Black Market) and it was not as interesting as the personal story. And Adama resigning his command Ron thought it was bullshit. He doesn’t believe he’d just step down.
The dialogue by Lucy Lawless in the flashback with Bulldog was totally improvised by her. The scene, as written, was to be largely silent.
Ron thought the threesome was worth doing and believes it’s just fine to jump ahead in the narrative and the relationship. (Don’t get me started on that one.)
As Lee’s investigation went away, the Tigh/Adama story grew. This ep was to show a rehabilitated Tigh. He turned a corner in saving Adama from Bulldog and he has earned his place back in CIC. (Wow, it’s that easy? Oh, right, Ron likes to breeze over the big moments and move on to the next crisis). Tigh is turning back into the man we know and love.
Ron misses Ellen/Kate – she was the spark of life on the show because she was so unlike any of the other characters. She also showed us the other side of Tigh.
Apparently, some sequences were moved around. I wasn’t watching the ep, was tired, and growing rather bored by this point so I’m not sure what he was talking about.
On the back-story – why the Valkyrie? If it had been Galactica on the mission, then it would undercut idea that it was a museum ship on its way out and not a ship involved in black ops missions. And everyone on board Galactic would have known who this guy was and would have had an investment in his story. No longer would it be a closely guarded secret of Adama’s. (OK, fair enough, but couldn’t you have made the mission five or seven years earlier???) It also presents a reason Adama gets kicked to the curb and given command of an old bucket. There has been little reasoning for events previously established such as why Adama was on his way out. (Um, age? Downsizing?) We also see why he didn’t he rise above commander.
They pushed believability with the armistice line. With the vastness of space, it’s hard to buy that a couple clicks and he’s caught or that he could see anything just after he gets past the ‘line’.
They were going to do more with the Taurans (sp?) story, but it became too complicated.
A line of Lee’s was cut in which he states that maybe they (the Admiralty) wanted to provoke an attack and start a war. Ron felt this was too much, too big a conspiracy. They would not deliberately set up a war. Though Laura mentions the same thing later (Lee and Laura of the same mind! Sorry, moving on….), but Ron wishes he had forced David to cut that mention too.
D’Anna’s ‘suicides’ are the result of her being desperate to experience the downloading process. She glimpses something then.
Kara confronted Novacek herself, but I’m unclear if this was cut before filming or there is a deleted scene somewhere.
There was a scene between Kara and Tigh in ‘Unfinished Business’ explaining their new found closeness, but it was cut for time apparently. (You may begin grousing before the ep airs tonight.)
Again, I was a little confused do to sleepiness, but there was at least one continuity error in the ep they caught. They had to reloop “45 years of courageous service” because there were mentions of his 40 years of service? The first Cylon war forty years ago?
The Novacek wrap up scene at the end was cut and reinserted several times. They needed to let us know what was happening with him. It’s unlikely he’d put back in a cockpit right away, so he was sent off so you wouldn’t expect to see him in the ready room next week. He was sent to the same ship they sent Boxey. ;)
We see Tigh on the road back. He has his uniform jacket on and the road to recovery officially starts. In early drafts of the script, Adama gave his medal to Tigh and we see everyone cheering him. (Thank God for editing.)