Is It Friday Yet?  - bulletproofbabe

Podcasts for BSG: The Face of The Enemy

When the webisodes were released I wasn't even aware Jane Espenson had done podcasts until beccatoria started revealing some interesting tidbits, notably about my Narcho. ;) So, last week, while at work, I finally got around to giving the commentary a listen and jotted down some notes.

Webisode #1

The webisodes were the idea of Kevin Fahey, who took the idea to Ron.

The webisodes were difficult to shoot for many reasons. They were shot at the same time as ‘The Plan’ which meant they had limited use of the sets. Sets were actually being torn down as filming on ‘The Plan’ completed. The corridor was one of the last sets standing and, finally, only the Raptor was left.

The director, Wayne Rose, wanted to get off the raptor set so he asked what if someone was looking for Gaeta? Originally, the idea was to cut to a viper pilot and we see Narcho looking for Gaeta. Jane thought they would make an interesting couple, but Sebastian Spence was unavailable. Either combo she feels would have worked well, but this one probably worked better with Season 4.

With Pilot Eight and Sweet Eight, Jane thought different makeup would be needed to differentiate the two, but it was pointed out to Jane that from the way Grace holds her face you can tell the difference.

Webisode #2

The webisodes were not written as a thirty page script, but as ten little scripts. They agonized over the act breaks. It was a challenge to write a very different type of story. Writers don’t like that hour long series have gone to six act breaks instead of four because the story has to turn more often and you have a very different type of story.

Jane was against using helmets with the new characters (Finn, Esrin, and Brooks). She didn’t want to obscure so much of their faces, but the helmets were beautifully lit which erased her worries.

Originally, the scenes on Galactica were with Adama instead of Tigh, buy EJO was busy directing and acting in ‘The Plan’. They needed an authority figure and Hogan/Tigh was available.

They didn’t have time to do a separate casting session for the webisodes. They had just cast roles in ‘The Plan’ and had audition tapes left over. The actors used had auditioned for the coach and pyramid players in the movie.

Webisode #3

Webisodes 1,2,3 and 7,8,9,10 changed the least in the rewrite process. The others were rewritten many times up until production started.

Jane had intended to use both Tricia and Grace. She had broken and written the webisodes with that in mind. The Six, Eight, and Gaeta were left alive. One webisode would have focused on Six and Eight talking about the murders they had committed onboard the raptor. It was less a horror movie feel and much more cerebral.

Webisode #4

The story had to lay out differently because it was too difficult to have Grace/Eight have a conversation with a version of herself . They had to make the other Eight the first killed. It makes the mystery more interesting and opaque and throws suspicion from Sweet Eight.

Electrocution was used because it was a plausible way for someone to die on a raptor.

The list of names is made up of names of people on the BSG crew.

Webisode #5

Jane didn’t know if they could afford the effects shot of the floating Eight so she wrote the scene with them just watching the hatch door close.

The shot of Gaeta’s stump was recycled from one of the episodes.

There was a lot of back and forth on what order to reveal the back story. Do we see early on that Gaeta/Sweet Eight are in a physical relationship? What are the lists accomplishing? Stuff got moved around a lot.

Jane talked about putting Gaeta in a relationship with a man. A lot of the fans had begun thinking of him as a gay character and she was concerned that when she wrote the relationship with a female Cylon that it could be seen as a slap in the face to the people who felt Gaeta was gay. So the writers gave him both. They gave Gaeta this strange liaison with Eight, but, at the same time, they gave him this very comfortable, subtle, lovely relationship with Hoshi.

Webisode #6

Introducing the two ampoules of Morpha in #5 was a writer’s convenience - a trick to put the memory in audiences head. When Gaeta takes out the Morpha later, you will know it’s a lethal dose without anyone having to say anything.

If Tricia had been available, it would have been the fist time we saw a Six put a chord into her arm. By having an Eight instead, it allowed Jane to write the line where Gaeta says, “I’ve seen you do this before, another one of you.” It shows he’s starting to lose the line between her and other Eights in his haze.

The exchange between Gaeta and Eight where he states “I have someone now” and she says “good” was important to show he’s conscious of Hoshi. He does not cavalierly kiss this woman while Hoshi is out looking for him.

In an early version of the script, they were shown having sex and there was a variation on the spine glow. The director was going to shoot the scene so you don’t see her spine but saw the light reflect off a wall. They decided to go with just a kiss instead. (I thought they dropped the spine glow long ago since it makes no sense. For a race so open with their sexuality, were we to believe they stuck to a few traditional positions? ;)

Webisode #7

Not much here. Jane mentioned she was glad they went with the kiss over sex since it tells the story of sweet little romance better. And she talked a bit about Leah/Racetrack’s performance.

Webisode #8

They had to close the raptor door for filming making it very hot and uncomfortable for the actors and crew.

The flight suits are very noisy. They crinkle and squeak and it’s hard to hear the actors over the sounds the suits make.

Jane had written some material about how the human brain can delude itself whereas the Cylon brain is forced to record the truth. Grace pointed out that the Eights are singularly self-deluding and fool themselves all the time. Given Grace’s input, Jane rewrote the speech and the final version worked much better.

Webisode #9

During one take of the speech, Grace wasn’t happy with her performance and asked to do it again. Jane thought Grace had given a fantastic performance until she saw her turn it up to eleven. If Grace says she has more in the tank, she has more in the tank.

Jane talked about utilizing the Baltar/Gaeta scene from the series and the idea of using what we didn’t know was said to Gaeta. It’s one loose end the webisodes wrap up. Originally, the line was to be, “Do you know what your eight did?”, but she changed it to, “I know what your Eight did.” She feels it’s a stronger line.

Webisode #10

Ron was adamant the webisodes serve a purpose in the all around story of Season 4. They are answering a question you didn’t know you were asking. Gaeta is not unmotivated to do what he does, but anyone who sees these understands even better why he does what he does.

Gaeta is one of Jane’s favorites on the show and she thought he was underutilized. She talked about AJ being a trained singer, opera singer, and when Ron found that out he thought they should use it in the show. Michael Angeli wrote the song he sang.

They questioned how the rescue should be cut together. Do they stay with Gaeta or cut to Hoshi and Racetrack? Ron made the decision to stay on Gaeta’s side and to cut to the raptor after he knows he’s been rescued. Hoshi originally called him “Darling”, but the studio thought it too ‘Brokeback’. Not too gay, but too western so she changed it to “Baby”.

They didn’t have all the actors when they shot this so it’s not Brad/Hoshi’s hand we see.

This is where I got bit confused to the point I listened to Jane’s comments three times. She says Hoshi is left behind, but if it had been Narcho then the relationship would have continued. And with it ending with Hoshi here it serves the run of the season better. I’m guessing she is referring to the interaction between Gaeta and Narcho in ‘The Oath’ and BotS with Gaeta giving him the order to shoot down the president and, later, to execute Adama. Had they established that they were lovers in the webisodes then the interaction between them would have seemed awkward to say the least.

And I'll try to listen to the 'Blood on the Scales' podcast and post about it tomorrow so I don't get behind.
  • Current Mood: sore headachey
Grace pointed out that the Eights are singularly self-deluding and fool themselves all the time.

Go Grace! Nice observation.
It was nice to actually hear someone talk about Grace and her work on the show. Ron seldom singles her out in his podcasts.
I've been a big supporter of Grace since, well, the mini-series - and particularly during Season One when I know there was some criticism of her being a "bad actor" which to my mind I just couldn't see. In fact, she's one of the best actors on the show and unfortunately under-utilised this season.
I don't think BSG has ever had a bad actor. I will admit I wasn't blown away by Grace early on, but I feel she's grown a lot as an actress. And, to be fair, Jamie didn't impress me in the mini series. I think some actors just need time to grow into their roles. I'd also agree that Grace as well as a few others have been underutilized recently. I hope to see more of Athena and Caprica in the upcoming episodes.
I admit she has gotten better, as has Jamie. Though the show was fully formed right out of the gate, it's good to see the actors mature with their roles.

It's a pity that the Final Five have overshadowed the Original Seven, meaning Athena and Caprica have been sidelined.
Thanks! I never actually got around to listening to the last couple of these. That was a really nice observation on Grace Park's part, and one I agree with completely. Nice to be reminded she has a lot of perspecacity about her character since I often struggle a little to connect with her performance. (Although not to the degree I used to).

I agree about the end, I think she's saying that the interactions between Hoshi and Gaeta during the mutiny necessitated a kind of break-up or we'd wonder what was going on (well, hell, we still did), while Narcho's actions would be suggestive of some kind of ongoing relationship. I don't think it would have been awkward, more that...Narcho was being so trusted with duties like the execution and his loyalty to the cause because of Gaeta's personal relationship with him.

I'm...torn on which is better. I still feel that it's problematic introducing a gay relationship and then completely dropping it in the series proper. But also one of my favourite parts of The Oath was Narcho's very eloquent summary of why he did as he did before Adama arrests him, and if he was in a relationship with Gaeta that might have skewed that speech and made it easier to assume that he was really doing it for LURVE or whatever. I don't know.
I just assumed it was your plan to mention Narcho knowing it would motivate me to listen so you didn't have to. ;p

Just knowing that Narcho was almost Gaeta's BF was a distraction during BotS. When Gaeta called him Noel I know he was trying to connect on a more personal level to ensure he had his loyalty, but it could also be viewed as a more intimate moment. So, if they had been able to go with the original coupling, how could they explain Narcho's non-reaction to Gaeta being executed?

if he was in a relationship with Gaeta that might have skewed that speech and made it easier to assume that he was really doing it for LURVE or whatever.

I might have done the combination gag/eyeroll if that were the case. :p Given the issues with some of Laura's actions being spurred by love (oh, and wait until I do my BotS podcast post - there will be rage), I wouldn't want to see another half of another couple acting out of love rather than being motivated by their ideals.

Why are there no Narcho icons? I need one!
Do you mind if I add you? I don't have the patience to listen to the podcasts (although I did for the webisodes because they were short) so your updates are awesome. Plus, we both think Narcho is totally hot :)

I'm also debating which was the better plotline for Felix- Narcho or Hoshi. I think my answer depends on what happens in No Exit, or next time we see either of the two of them. On the one hand, I like that he and Noel went down together, and believed the same things. I liked the idea that Noel had his back, and that Felix had someone to go through this with (all nine hours). But then at the end, he asks for Gaius, not Noel. On the other hand, I liked the implication that Hoshi still mattered to him, and that's why he didn't tell him, because he knew he'd probably fail and he didn't want to take Louis down with him. I've also written both relationships, and they came out very, very, very different. (Which is entirely speculation, especially because I added in different things, but still.)

I'm really hoping we get some reaction to Felix's mutiny and death next week. I'm fine with the fact we haven't yet, because Adama's only known about this for six hours or so and has been pretty busy, and the last thing was Felix's death (SOB!), so there's been no chance for anyone to react to it. But I'd really hate it if everything went back to normal and no one mentioned Gaeta again. I'd love to see some reaction to the end of the mutiny from Narcho (and know what his fate is), and I also really want to see Hoshi's reaction when he has to take Felix's old position (unless they put Helo there).

Ah, show. Why must you kill me?
Friend away! And sorry about the delayed response. I've been posting a lot lately and have a backlog of comments.

I like that he and Noel went down together,

Hee. You know there is a double meaning to that. ;)

But then at the end, he asks for Gaius, not Noel.

Hmm, now that you mention it, it brings up the problem that no matter which man he was involved with, he didn't ask for his boyfriend at the end, but spent his last hours with Baltar. Then again, I've always suspected he was in love with Baltar.

And I'd talk about what did or did not happen in 'No Exit', but I'm not sure if you've seen it yet.
Yup- seen No Exit. Friday nights are reserved for the next five weeks :)

Hmm, now that you mention it, it brings up the problem that no matter which man he was involved with, he didn't ask for his boyfriend at the end, but spent his last hours with Baltar. Then again, I've always suspected he was in love with Baltar.

this is actually a spot where Hoshi makes more sense than Narcho to me. Narcho was in this with him, and it almost seemed like when Felix did take over, Narcho was going to be his XO. For them to have a romantic relationship and then for Felix to ask for Gaius over Noel is a slap in the face, unless you want to rationalize it that he's pretty sure Noel's getting the firing squad as well and he can't face him for taking him down. But with Hoshi, you have the whole thing where Gaeta pushed him away to protect him, and then although he's okay with dying, I don't think Gaeta's okay with the blood on his hands. Facing Louis would be much more shame-filled than facing Noel would be. I can wank that whole thing away with Louis, but not with Noel.

Also, I found it interesting that RDM said that after Head!Six, Baltar's most important relationship is his one with Gaeta. Juliani had mentioned he filmed 4.18, and I've noticed he hasn't been doing any exit interviews like Kandyse McClure or Richard Hatch. I'm really holding out hope that we'll see a head!Gaeta for Baltar- sort of like an Elosha to Baltar's Roslin. (Or that he's actually the Daniel model, which I've come up with a very convoluted theory for that I totally don't believe.)

And yup- total double meaning ;) (Hmm. I think I need to make a Gaeta/Narcho icon.)
I agree with you and Jane Espenson, having Hoshi be the BF worked out better considering what went down in this last batch of episodes.

AJ filmed a scene for 4.18? I did not know that. And, no worries, I don't mind knowing small stuff like that in advance. Yeah, I could see him visiting Baltar as a head character. Or maybe even Adama in a drunken stupor. ;) A flashback is another possibility. I've also heard of another character making a return appearance at the end of the season so there could be some big mind frakking plot twist forthcoming.

I think I need to make a Gaeta/Narcho icon.

I'd settle for Narcho. ;)
Well, he said he was in 4.18. But it's also possible that his death was originally in 4.18, and then everything got moved around in editing? I don't know.

I would LOVE it if he visited Adama, just because I really want to see Adama feel some guilt about Gaeta. Not even so much executing him, but to realize that he really did treat Gaeta very poorly, and maybe actually feel some regret, or wonder who Gaeta really was, or something. But I don't think I'll get it.

Another character? Is his first initial Z?

Yeah, I'd settle for Narcho, too. Seriously- the boy is really, really cute. (Don't have a Narcho icon, so I'll go for my next best one.)
Is his first initial Z?

Maybe. ;) But I have a feeling the return (assuming it's true) is not going to be in the way some people think it's going to be.

I should see if I can come across any Narcho screencaps. Unfortunately, people just seem to cap the more popular characters.