The mutiny arc was one of the more fun arcs to plot out. They wanted to take the characters to rock bottom. They took earth away and wanted to take them even further, to take the fundamentals down as far as you possibly could.
Parts of the Adama/Tigh scene were reshot to rejigure the choreography.
In early drafts of the raptor sequence, Laura didn’t make the call to warn Hot Dog. They wanted to slow the scene down and milk the tension. The call also makes it clear who is on whose side.
Ron was adamant that he didn’t want the missile to hit the baseship. It would only initiate more hostilities. But Angeli fought to keep it in. It gave the episode more fire and juice and rammed home the seriousness of the situation and the Cylons needed to take it seriously.
They debated who would be put in the vipers and Ron was pleased they put Hot Dog on the good guy side.
They jumped ahead as to how the raptor got on the damaged ship. There was to be some footage showing it, but it was dropped for time and budget reasons. And it was felt it was obvious after the escape that they would get aboard the ship.
In early drafts there was a stronger Laura/Tory confrontation. Laura even slapped Tory, but it seemed unnecessary and out of character. And Ron likes that the only time Laura was driven to physically hit someone it was Tigh during the New Caprica arc.
Ron didn’t like Adama turning the pips over to Gaeta and he fought to lose it at one point. He accepted the scene once they toned it down.
Gaeta refers to “battle stations” rather than “action stations”. Ron let it slip through, but he doesn’t like the term.
Gaeta’s whole purpose is to take over in a legitimate way because they have to govern the fleet when the shooting stops. They have to find legitimacy so everyone will listen to them. If they didn’t plan on achieving that, then they wouldn’t do any of this stuff. It’s not just about Galactica. Both he and Zarek wanted to be the next leaders of the human race so they couldn’t just start blowing ships out of the sky.
Ron loves the Zarek/Racetrack beat. It shows there is still time for human interaction…and Zarek is probably flirting with her. 0_o
By moving the baseship within the fleet, Laura is using Zarek and Gaeta’s own motives and psychology against them. They would lose all legitimacy by shooting at civilians. It’s a calculated gamble by Laura, but, in her mind, losing the fleet to Zarek is equivalent to losing humanity. The human race will not survive or there won’t be anything worth saving if he takes over.
When developing the trial, Ron thought back to Nikolai Chauchescu. He had had a drumhead trial, a moment to defend himself before a verdict was ramrodded through. Why take the time for pretense during a coup? Because they want to govern afterward. They have to have some fig leaf. There may be quibbles about procedure, but they are not barbarians – ‘we took action, we had to execute for sake of the state, but justice was served’. Gaeta has to do this for his own political and ideological belief system – to justify his actions to the world and himself. He needs to face Adama, whereas Zarek is more pragmatic. Zarek has been in enough moments like this to know you just have to wipe these guys out. Zarek would rather just make up a story that Adama was shot while escaping.
A different baseship story existed in the early drafts. There was more jockeying between the two ships with Galactica planning to attack the baseship. Ron questioned them trying to have a battle under these circumstances with everything else going on.
In the original draft, the Quorum supported Zarek and made him president. There wasn’t even a vote. Zarek came in, explained what happened and how it is and they just kind of applauded him and supported him. The reaction shocks Zarek and he looks at them sadly. He realizes what he has to do anyway and walks out to the marines. It was one of the few times Richard voiced he had a problem with a scene. Why would Zarek kill them if they supported him? Richard understood the need to do it and the character arc he was on, but felt it would be simpler if the Quorum went against him and then he executed them. If they had supported him, he would have been smart enough to play that into his political position. Ron realized Richard was right and he was being too cute with Zarek getting the win and still doing the bad thing anyway.
They began the series without a quorum and are ending the series without a quorum. By killing all of them and destroying the civilian government as it was, everything we know comes unwound. How do they recover from this? Who did they turn to? How do they govern this fleet after this?
Zarek has trouble doing what needs to be done because of Gaeta. He sees what’s coming and his end.
Laura puts it to the Cylons, who do you want to be? There is no army to back her up. It’s all persuasion and argument.
Ron likes how Laura’s voice cracks on “he’s alive”.
And he loves that Kelly and Tyrol can see the humor in the darkness of the situation. Ron asked for Kelly to witness the execution indirectly to give context for his turn.
Romo was to be the judge at the trial. Ron wanted to make him more involved, smarter, and have him try to stall to give people time to make something happen.
Originally, the gag with the grenade was to be Kara’s, but Ron suggested it be Lee because he thought it would make it more fun. It’s a continuation of putting Lee and Kara together one more time, going around guns blazing.
Anders getting shot is a beat that will take us to the end of the series. It’s a very important moment for the end of the show and the mythology - a pivotal event in a lot of ways. It was good to bring back the relationship. Kara did love him, did marry him, and there are honest feelings there.
Once Adama thinks Tigh is dead, he backs off completely, he’s not going to give Gaeta anything.
There was more between Romo and Zarek, but it was chopped back to maintain the tension.
There was a bit of slight of hand in the Leoben/Laura scene. How did you fix it? I fixed it with the blinking box! Ron feels they’ve already lost you if you really care about the box.
Would Zarek have turned against Gaeta? Maybe, at some point. Zarek didn’t intend that from the get go, but might have to take him out. Zarek is not military and needs the military behind him so he needs Gaeta. But Ron’s sure the relationship would have been rocky.
The shooting of Adama as a dream is a dirty trick and guilty pleasure of Ron’s.
Baltar is again having sex with a Six - it’s how it all started. There’s a sense of symmetry. This has all happened before and will happen again. He’s trying to lose himself in the arms of one of these women while others are suffering, but has gotten to a point where he can see that in himself.
There was an additional moment where Adama was willing to let the marines join him if they wanted to. He asks them to stand by him and one by one got up and stood with Adama. It didn’t play truthfully. Ron wanted it to be about this one guy who couldn’t go back as opposed to the ones who could.
That Adama didn’t execute everybody comes out of necessity. It wouldn’t have been smart because it wouldn’t help put things back together. It also comes out of history. During the American Revolution, Washington’s men mutinied and, once the mutiny was put down, his solution was to hang the ringleaders, but allow the regular soldiers go back to the army and serve again. It’s how he held the army together. He couldn’t afford to shoot half the army
Once Laura hears Adama has been killed she is going to really go after Galactica. She’s not going to quit here. She’s going to destroy that ship and Tom Zarek and nothing is going to stop her! (Yes, apparently, killing her BF is the great motivator, not the fleet being attacked from within and innocent people dying. Sigh.)
Felix doesn’t really want to fight any longer; he just wants to go with the civilians who will go with him.
When Adama and his group come around corner, Adama shoots one of the mutineers right off the bat. The thought was to bookend the moment with what happened in ‘The Oath’, but Ron felt it was gratuitous. But it had a seriousness to it and made everybody go whoa. He would probably put that moment back in now.
The Gaeta/Baltar scene came in the third draft. Ron wanted Gaeta to have a final moment where he’s not just strapped to the chair. And it’s right that it be Baltar with him. He didn’t care what they talked about, just that they talk.
Tyrol looking at bulkhead and seeing the distressed metal is another signpost to take us to the end.
There was a bigger version of the reunion between Laura and Adama. It was much more emotional and had more kissing. They toned it back, feeling they had already passed those points. This is a more cathartic release. And they didn’t want to milk it too much.
Gaeta is Baltar’s most important relationship besides Head Six.
Ron didn’t quite get the itching of the stump and it suddenly stopping. Angeli fought for it. Ron was dubious up until the final cut, but feels Angeli was right and he was wrong. It’s a nice thread to the Gaeta story.