In the opening sequence showing the ongoing repairs of the ship, it was originally supposed to be Figursky who gets into an argument with the Six, but the actor was unavailable.
There are some continuity issues with the hull breach. They were now near the exterior of hull, but previously were in the bowels of the ship. In StWOM, Boomer caused the explosion near hull and it seemed like it could create residual problems.
There were changes in the story at the concept level. At the writers retreat in Tahoe, they came up with an arc for where they were going, where the show was going to end, and this (episode) was going to platform into that final story arc. Over the course of the writers strike, they started to rethink the plan and had second thoughts about what they were doing. They decided to chuck what they had and as a result the episode went in a very different direction.
Ron recorded the writer’s retreats in Tahoe, where they worked through all the stories of the last season up to and including what the finale was at that point, and Vegas before the fourth season began. He’ll share the recordings at some point.
The Opera House, gone for quite awhile, starts to bring certain threads together to be woven in the finale.
The decompression sequence was more drawn out in the original version with further cutaways inside the ship. Ron wanted the sequence cut back because he didn’t want it to feel like this damage, this incident, would send the old girl to the boneyard. He just wanted it to be one of many problems the ship was going through.
He loves Laura’s arc in the final few episodes and where it takes her. Hold your rage; he was referring to her struggle with cancer. It was important from the beginning that they played Laura’s mortality and her cancer as something real that would take her life eventually, something that was hanging over her head.
The captain’s meeting was an idea that had been germinating for awhile. If they didn’t have a normal civilian government, how would they govern themselves? Now, the captain’s have political power, but it is an uneven representative government since there are different size ships with different size populations. And the captains are circling like vultures before Galactica is even gone. There are limited resources in fleet, they’re desperate, and not shy about picking over the bones of the old girl. Lee’s outraged because of his personal connection to the vessel.
There was more of Baltar on the wireless. Ron read some of Baltar’s dialogue from the script. Baltar begins his address to the fleet with, “Good morning, this is God…” and goes on to say, “Had you all going didn’t I?…God doesn’t speak from the top down, he speaks to each of us through our hearts…” (Sorry, it didn’t seem like it was worth my time to type it all out.) The scene may or may not have been shot, Ron couldn’t recall at this point.
The script is pretty much as Michael Taylor wrote it.
The Hera and Boomer subplot was completely cut in EJO’s original cut. After Ron viewed the finale, he knew he needed to reinstitute some of the scenes.
Ron’s always liked the character of Boomer and liked that the brought her back into the storyline in a strong way. She’s a troubled and complicated character. They had established the Eight’s were troubled. They were more vulnerable and more apt to change their minds. They felt whiplashed between strong emotions and had trouble picking a side and sticking to it.
In the first draft, as Kara tried to get into the bathroom, some of Baltar’s harem attempted to block her way before she went in, sat down, and had the conversation with Baltar. Ron’s note on the scene was to have her already be in there with the lock busted on the door. He finds the scene very intimate and oddly familiar, if not domestic.
Part of Kara’s motivation for outing herself was her need to tell somebody. She tried to tell Lee and wasn’t able to. Baltar is styling himself as God’s man among the mortals and says a lot of pious things. Kara is very cynical about that, but she has a lot of profound questions about her nature and who she is. Given whom Kara is, Ron sees her telling Baltar out of anger rather than a confessional moment.
Ron talked about the dropped thread of Kara and Baltar having slept together. This is as close as they came to addressing that these two had been intimate and he feels there is a small connection. He regrets that they never revisited what happened between the two and feels that there could have been something interesting there to play.
The writers came up with the idea of Anders hybridized and connecting him to Galactica. Ron never thought of it himself.
Yes, Kara was going to kill Sam. Ron has no doubt she was capable of pulling the trigger.
There was a long discussion of how to make it visually clear Sam was connected to the ship. It turned out the simplest idea was the best - flicker the lights.
Ron thought he’d have an argument with the network over Laura telling Adama about the joint and the subsequent sharing of it. He received no flack and believes they were just resigned to it by this point.
There was talk about the character beats being what the show is about, not about things exploding. They spent a lot of time in the mini setting this up.
The clip of Baltar working in lab, looking through the microscope, was stolen from a first season episode. They realized in editing that there was a missing step, no bridge between Kara’s confession to Baltar and him outing her on the hanger deck. Since the show had completed production and they could do no pick-ups, they had to search for old footage. Fortunately, they had a close-up shot of Baltar so you can’t tell his hair is a completely different length.
Originally, there was no recon mission to look for the Colony and Hera. Ron felt it was too callous of Adama to not even attempt to look and see if he could find the Colony place so the mission was put in at the last minute.
In the first draft, it was Adama’s conversations with Laura that convinced Adama to abandon Galactica. Ron toned that down not wanting one particular moment to convince Adama, but have all the various events force him to see the writing on the wall.
Adama’s attached to the inanimate object of Galactica just as much as Helo is attached to his daughter. (Wow, is that sad.)
What became one funeral was scripted as three separate funerals. The funerals were combined in post production through blending, dissolving, going back and forth. It’s a more powerful statement in how they are all connected in ways they can’t even see at the moment. How they share an interest in trying to come together - to be one ship, one fleet, to achieve one common goal.
If Kara really is alive and really had been dead then she is the embodiment of the notion of resurrection. In the Christian tradition, the resurrection is the key event, an idea that defines Christianity – you can die and be resurrected. It’s a powerful idea and there is an example of that event in their midst. Kara isn’t a Cylon; she’s human being who came back from the dead. It’s a profound thing to Baltar and those who believe in any kind of divinity. It’s an epic event and Baltar would seize upon this with what he has been preaching.
Kara has no connection to Daniel and it was never part of the plan. Ron didn’t realize the impact the backstory of Daniel would have. He thought it was an interesting story in what it revealed about Cavil, how Cavil reacted to the threat of someone else that was as beloved as he was and it could be compared to the story of Cain and Abel. But a “Cult of Daniel” popped up and Ron apologized if people thought it was a gigantic clue. He didn’t anticipate people’s reaction.
If you pay close attention, you can spot an old style Cylon raider at the Colony.
The Colony is as close to home as the Cylons get. For years, the writers had been referring to the Cylon home world as Cylonia, but they never wanted to go there since people would ultimately be disappointed or dissatisfied with it. They then came up with the idea of the Colony. At the heart of the Colony is the original earth ship from which the Five came to find the twelve colonies.
Adama has an epiphany in the bathroom, a final realization that the ship is falling apart. Ron admits one mistake he made (One?) is that he hit the story of Adama losing his ship a little too hard. There were too many beats with Adama being concerned with the cracks in the ship and being upset about it. (NOW he sees that!) When you look at the completed episodes, there is a repetitive quality. He’d now cut many of the previous beats so the final scene would have more impact. He was too in love with the idea of breaking Adama, from finding earth, to the revelation of Tigh as Cylon, to losing Laura, to the ship breaking down. Adama was such a stoic figure and so powerful in the early part of series, he wanted to really go after him. But there is too much of Adama and his ship, a choice he made because they never played Adama’s personal connection to Galactica like Kirk in ‘Star Trek’. Jim Kirk was married to his ship; they didn’t play that with Adama. Adama had personal and emotional connection to his vessel that would surprise us. (Um, seriously? Wasn’t Adama’s love of Galactica heavily implied?)
The episode originally was going to end on Kara and Anders and the significance of music, but they felt it was more fitting to end on abandoning Galactica and Tigh and Adama saluting the ship. They talked about Tigh being the one to push Adama to this final realization, but it was more interesting to see Tigh not wanting to let go, almost trying to talk Adama out of it. There are shots of people abandoning Galactica which will likely be in the extended cut.