For the few who don't know, the title is a reference to the Cheers song.
This was suppose to be their "comedy episode", an attempt to do something lighter. The last time they did a comedic episode ('Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down') they also handed it to EJO to direct. Through the process of working through ep storylines, scenes, and performances it kept getting darker and darker. Yet, they still thought of it as light, fun-filled episode until they saw the final cut. The network was very surprised since this had been sold as a lighter episode . They never intended to turn it as dark as it turned out to be.
When they blew up Cloud Nine they already knew they would eventually establish a new bar - a place for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. Since they brought more civilians aboard Galactica and people were doubling up they felt it was natural to build bar on Galactica instead of another ship that they would need to make up excuses to go to. The bar will be seen again this season and in season 4 (assuming there is one).
Even though this was once intended as a lighter episode, they always had the Baltar torture storyline. (That would have been an odd mix.) The lighter aspect was to be courtesy of Lee. They saw him as Milo from 'Catch 22' (I've only seen the film once so I'm not sure about the comparison) or Hawkeye in that episode of MASH where he has a hole in his boot and he must wheel and deal and trade to get new boot. Lee was to do the same to get people to help build the bar and then to save the bar (according to the sides an algae processing facility was to be set up on the same site as the bar). The story never quite gelled for Ron and he felt they couldn’t ignore events in the previous two-parter and what was going on with the marriages and relationships. So they moved it further in that direction and it became more about the problems in the marriages and heavier types of issues.
That Baltar was not watched 24 hours a day, allowing for the attempted suicide, was a conceit to make the show work.
The bar was originally named Why Not before becoming Joe’s.
The Tyrol/Lee friendship (?) formed presumably because as chief and CAG they see each other a lot and would talk quite a bit.
They dealt more with the marriage than in previous episodes. There is a firmer handle on the character of Lee and where he was going. (REALLY?) And they worked here to set up his arc for the rest of the season. (I'm trying to be encouraged by this.) Jamie had a great deal to do with molding the storyline. (I'm still debating whether that is a good thing or bad thing.) And the groundwork with Lee and Dee here will platform with where they go at the end of the season. (Whatever that means.)
EJO’s direction and the way the show is cut – he went for the dramatic jugular in almost every scene, pushing the actors and nature of show. There were more close-ups and more charged emotion, with Laura in particular. Mary was pushed in a direction she wasn’t certain she wanted to go.
Originally, there was more of Head Six though he didn't elaborate on that.
What is Baltar’s guilt? There was a whole backstory started in this episode that was ultimately dropped because it won’t be used in the trial. (More on that in a bit.)
In earlier drafts Baltar was physically beaten by Tigh, but they figured they had already physically tortured him aboard the basestar.
There was more in the script about Adama using drugs like the ones they used on Baltar on prisoners in the past.
Having so much inter-cutting of the storylines was EJO's idea and more dramatic than they normally do.
Anders is turning out to be more interesting than anyone thought he would be when the character was created. He's not just a jock, he has layers. He's aware of Kara's relationship with Lee and that "she is special". They thought about having Anders become a marine or go into flight training, but they felt they weren't exploring new ground, it took up time, and it didn’t feel right.
Sidenote: Terry Moore came into the room at this point and screamed at him, "Are you smoking in here?" He's not suppose to smoke in the house. It was amusing.
Ron talked about understanding the circumstances under which Dee decided to marry Lee. He referred once again to the cut scene in UB in which she talks to Lee about living for now, that she would have him until Kara came back into his life, and that, until then, she would marry him. Lee protests that his relationship with Kara is history, but Dee is wiser and she knows the truth. She went into the marriage with her eyes wide open. (OK, at this point I realize Ron has no clue as to what he has done to Dee and how she is coming across on screen. Saying she had her eyes wide open and she chose to marry a man she believed was in love with another woman only portrays her as weak and pathetic. Yes, I understand that all of them live with the belief that their lives could end at any moment and that they should take what happiness they can, but how can you be happy living in another woman's shadow and being second choice? Oh, right, she loved him so damn much and was lucky to have him. This makes no sense! Sorry, I had to vent. ;)
It seems all the Bambers get screwed by the show. Mrs Bamber, AKA Kerry Norton, AKA Nurse Ishay, had a much bigger role. She was tending to Baltar, in his cell and in the med bay. We were to see her mounting disgust with what was going on and having ethical problems with the way he was being treated. It drives her to say she can’t do it anymore, can't be a part of it, and she ends up walking out during the torture sequence. It might have been after she knocks over the tray, Ron wasn't certain. At the end of the episode, there was a public announcement that Baltar had returned to the fleet. The information was leaked to the press by her. They closed at the bar with a shot of her sitting there and reacting to the information. The bulk of the footage was cut for time, but the shot at the bar remained until they realized they couldn't sell it because so much of the story had been cut back.
The first scene with Kara and Anders was suppose to be much later in the show. It was swapped to set up the problems with Lee.
The tank of water and interrogation – EJO and Michael Taylor largely came up with it.
Much of the episode was rewritten because of decisions made on subsequent episodes.
Lee losing his wedding ring was shot much later. The scene had been cut before filming because they knew they were running long, but without the sequence you never had the beat where he made his choice. You needed to see his desperation, what the marriage meant to him, and the scene brings it all in focus at last. (How can you be sloppy drunk and focus? They only thing it showed me is that Jamie sucks at playing drunk and his ship mates are no help.)
Inter-cutting Baltar and Gaeta with Lee and Dee was EJO’s idea.
There was a discussion with the staff and Jamie about Lee's marriage and where it would go. Would they stay together or not? Would he let go of her? At one point they discussed Lee going back to Kara just as she opted to go back with Sam and then they tried it the other way. The structures were deemed too cute. (OMG, it could have been worse!)
The edited Laura and Caprica scene - it was to be what pushed Laura to give Baltar a trial. It was lost because of time and they felt they didn’t have to go there to justify that once Laura had decided not to kill him that there were enough issues to warrant a trial.
Ron realizes now they underplayed Kara’s side of things. They didn't provide enough material for her getting back together with Anders - showing that she had made a decision to stay with Anders.
There were allusions to another matter that would figure prominently in trial. Back on New Caprica, the Sagittarans (sp?) were treated differently. They were a colony other colonies weren’t too fond of. They weren't exactly victims of prejudice, but they were treated differently. There was something that happened to directly nail Baltar on. There were witnesses to him killing somebody. Gaeta has guilt about what happened and coupled with Gaeta's threats to implicate him in something he had nothing to do with, it prompted him to attack Baltar. This was all developed more in subsequent episodes and when the storyline was dropped, they had to go back and excise the subplot.
The staging of the scene with Laura, Adama, et al is setting up a revelation for Laura later in the season – foreshadowing events. (I watched the scene again and no clue.)