Ron took the time to praise Weddle, Thompson and Michael Nankin’s work over the course of the series, which was nice, but it took away from talking about the episode. Which means this recap will be a bit shorter - but not much! And there was a lot less rage this time out. Woo!
The episode didn’t change radically through the development process, though Nankin contributed some notes that led to changes.
The opening montage was a homage to the film, All that Jazz. We see the character starting his day and the repetition he goes through. And some of the stuff heard in the background was taken from what the staff knows about the military. They wanted to convey the day to day life on a warship.
The Six, Sonja (I was right!), is the defacto leader or at least spokesperson for the Cylons now Nathalie is gone.
Ron read the story synopsis from a script dated 3/17/08. I didn’t transcribe what he read since the synopsis and episode were essentially identical. It was noted in the synopsis that the Cylons intended to give Boomer a perfunctory trial and then execute her.
Ron wanted to get back to the music and not lose it in Season 4. Around the time of developing STWOM and the stories leading up to it, it started to click into place for him what the song actually meant and what role it would serve into the mythology of the show. (Um, yeah, he apparently didn’t know before.) While in Vancouver, he pitched his ideas for the finale to the cast including how ‘Watchtower’ would be used and figure into the mythos of the show. The actors were all uniformly positive about his idea.
The series began with Boomer and Tyrol and Ron wanted to bring Boomer back. But she was only brought back because she could be worked into the plot in a very important way. Once they decided why they needed her (to take Hera), it became what kind of story could they tell when she got back to Galactica. The only person who would care about her is Tyrol. They hadn’t given him a big, juicy story in awhile and this was a great opportunity to do that.
There was discussion as to how overt they should be with Hera and the dot drawing. How clearly should the dots be music? How much attention should be drawn to Hera? Originally, Kara came in and Helo or Athena were puzzling over what Hera was drawing and asked Kara’s opinion. This drew too much attention to the clue and would leave the viewers waiting the whole episode for the shoe to drop. The drawing is not a key clue, but it has registered in the back of your mind.
Ron talked a bit about the oddness of Grace, as Boomer, and Aaron having to act as if they haven’t seen each other in a very long time when they see each other frequently as Athena and Tyrol. He also pointed to Grace’s ability to differentiate the Sharon models and how the cast comes up with inconstancies in continuity.
Projection was created in Season 3 because Ron was worried about prolonged scenes on the baseship. They didn’t have a lot of money or space for the set and he worried about it being limiting. Projection was a band aid for a production problem. As it turned out, they didn’t need it and got away from it because Ron misjudged how they could use the small space.
With Kara’s parents, Ron liked flipping the traditional gender roles. Her mother was military and the dominant figure in Kara’s life. Her father was a musician and into his own thing. Ron felt it was OK for Kara to encounter a version of her father and not recognize him. It seemed like there is a point in your childhood where memories become vague and colored. It’s plausible she could encounter a young version of her father in this context and not remember him directly. He’s more of a repressed memory.
In the first draft of mini series script, Boomer was not a Cylon and Tyrol was much older. She was a rookie on her first posting, headstrong and full of energy. He was the older crew chief, more a Sam Elliot kind of guy, who was taking care of her and fell for her. He knew it was wrong, but couldn’t help himself. He knew he was in relationship he shouldn’t be in and she’s his superior officer. It was Eick’s idea to turn Boomer into a Cylon at the very end – one of many improvisations that make up BSG. When casting, Ron still wanted to go older for Tyrol, but he wasn’t around for casting due to working on “the Hell that was Carnivale” (I’d love an explanation for that comment!) and he was told they had a younger actor that knocked it out of the park.
Ron likes that Kara instinctively goes to her father (Slick) to talk about this question about her basic nature. It’s the kind of question you turn to your parents for help answering.
Bear worked on how the music would be incorporated into the episode and worked directly with the cast and director. They made sure to cast an actor who could play piano. And there was a lot of work putting the pieces together and conveying the emotional resonance of Kara touching a piano again after all those years.
Helo having sex with Boomer, to go darker, was Nankin’s contribution to the episode. In the original draft, they did not have sex, just a kissed and had some interplay. Ron read Nankin’s script note where he stated, “I can’t believe Helo and Boomer don’t fuck.” And explained it would be the juiciest and most incredible scene in the story. The lights flickering, Athena semi-conscious, seeing them, thinking it’s a bad dream. It would “burn up the internet for months.” Rons response was, “It’s so wrong, that it’s right. And I can’t believe I didn’t give the note first.” You sense that this scene (people having sex in the bathroom) is not the first time it’s happened, nor will be the last.
They did ask would Helo, could Helo, recognize Boomer? And how fooled could he be? Ron would argue they are identical and the same person on some basic level. They have similar tastes and experiences and are hard to tell apart. The Cylons can tell each other apart, but humans have more difficulty - especially when he wants to have sex with his wife. The network objected to this development because they thought it would be damaging to Helo’s character to say he couldn’t tell the difference. It is a knock against Helo’s and a blemish to this upright character. But Ron said, ‘Let’s do that, he doesn’t have to be perfect’. But there will be consequences in how Athena looks at him.
He loved the idea of the kid in the box. It’s so horrible! :/
Ron feels there are some timing issues with the raptor getting off the ship. It takes too long.
In early drafts, Anders was walking and talking, but his memory was screwed up. He was even in Joe’s Bar with Kara. That changed, but there were more scenes filmed with Kara going to see Anders and dealing with being the wife of a coma victim while trying to do her job.
Kara playing the music for Anders is anther key idea.