Monday's BSG panel I didn't think I would be able to attend, but danceswithwords kindly checked out for me and wrangled my luggage down the elevator and into the holding area (you have to be there) so I was able to make it to the panel. Neither Micheal was on the panel. Trucco had been scheduled, but apparently got an early flight. Hogan wasn't scheduled, but EJO had been and there seemed to be an expectation he'd fill in. So the panel ended up being Kandyse McClure, Richard Hatch, Luciana Carro, and Kevin Grazier.
About midway into the Q&A, someone in the audience asked Kandyse what would have happened if Billy had not been killed? Would there have been a future for Billy and Dee? Or something close to that. I thought Kandyse would either not have an answer or would have to resort to speculation. I wasn't really paying close attention until Kandyse commented that it was really Paul's story to tell. Which left me going, "There's a story to tell?"
At least some (like me!) in fandom have wondered what really went down when Paul Campbell left BSG. It was known Paul had a pilot to shoot and needed some time off in early season 2, which accounted for Billy's odd decision to not to leave Galactica with Laura in 'Resistance'. And I believe Ron stated either in a podcast or interview there were contract issues with Paul over his reoccurring status. The thing is, I don't recall any actor on the series ever wanting to leave and over the course of the weekend this belief was reinforced. Kate Vernon expressed her sadness at learning Ellen was to be killed off and her joy at being told she would be returning. Alessandro, though he loved Gaeta's arc, expressed his disappointment at getting so close, but not making it to the end of the series. Luciana wished Kat could have walked on Earth - either of them. And Trucco joked that, unlike Aaron Douglas and Hogan, he was thrilled to learn he was a Cylon because it meant a twenty-two episode commitment. :) And for the actors who had other commitments during the run of the series (Callum Keith Rennie and Lucy Lawless come to mind) Ron made every effort to work with their schedules. So Billy's demise and Paul's leaving never struck me as quite right.
Kandyse didn't go into detail, but it was clear there was drama and it was a bad break up. It turns out, Ron had a plan, at least when it came to Dee and Billy. The relationship between the two would have continued to develop, but problems would have arisen because of their positions within the fleet – Billy as aid to the president and part of the civilian branch of the fleet and Dee as, essentially, aid to Adama and a member of the military branch of the fleet. Their loyalties to the president and admiral would have eventually led to conflict within their relationship and they would have been forced to choose between the duty they felt to those they served or each other.
The storyline sounded very interesting and full of possibilities. But what really hit me was the realization that because Paul apparently chose to go on to bigger and better things, we got stuck with the frakking Quadrangle of Doom. Sure, Ron could have paired Lee with someone else and we could have had the same storyline, but I struggle with who else Ron could have used to complete the quadrangle. It seems like a case of Kandyse/Dee about to be set adrift so Ron came up with Plan B and paired Dee with Lee. Sigh.
Kandyse also spoke about Billy's death as if Ron wanted to leave no possibility for Paul/Billy to return. She said the scene where Billy was shot and killed was the very last scene Paul filmed and her crying over Billy's body was her really crying. She sounded as if she was pretty gutted by Paul's leaving. And while Kandyse had nice things to say about Paul (she loved working with him, the usual), she also commented that Paul did what he felt he needed to do.
After Kandyse finished answering the question, Richard Hatch turned towards Kandyse and asked, in all sincerity, if Paul had done anything lately? I think there was a bit of laughter from the audience, but Richard stated he really was curious. The moderator said Paul had appeared on 'Knight Rider' last season and Richard responded with an, "Oh, Okay", and that he also recently completed an independent film with Andy Griffith. That last bit of news seemed like, well, news to Kandyse and she said something along the lines of "good for him".
What struck me is that no one seemed to have had any contact with Paul since he left the show. And it seemed a bit odd considering how close the cast was/is and, even if they don't see each other as often anymore, they appear to stay in touch.
Speaking of the Quadrangle of Doom, ddt73 posted the extended cut of the Lee/Kara scene from 'Taking a Break...' that was included in the BluRay box set. There is some interesting discussion on the scene in comments on ddt73's post as well as in comments on callmeonetrack's post. Of course, as a Lee fan and as someone who doesn't ship Lee and Kara, I have a different take on the scene. ;)
I've read comments that the extended version of the scene should have been included in the episode because Kara comes across as more open, honest, and vulnerable than she had previously. And because the talk between the two alludes to the possibility of a future, together, for Kara and Lee.
Given a choice, I would prefer seeing the scene between Lee and Kara in it's entirety in the episode rather than a drunken Lee humiliating himself in the corridors of Galactica as he searches for his wedding ring. It's the one time on the series I actually felt embarrassed for Jamie.
I defended Lee's words and actions toward Kara in the truncated version and I don't find Lee, or Kara, any more sympathetic in the longer version. Actually, I find Kara, at worst, more dismissive of the enormity of the situation for Lee and, at best, oblivious to what her ever changing mind is doing to him.
But I don't wish to paint Kara as the 'bad guy'. Sure, I think Kara is being rather selfish here, but it's not like Lee is the picture of nobility. Lee is prone to immature behavior and rather than confront an issue head on, and be honest with himself and the other person, he'll choose avoidance and he has been avoiding Kara. See also his actions in 'The Captain's Hand' and 'Unfinished Business'.
And Dee is still shown to be Lee's second choice, his Plan B. Lee doesn't want to hurt Dee, I believe he's genuine in that desire, but he also doesn't want to end up alone. Maybe Kara would have left Sam this time, but history has given Lee every reason to doubt her following through. Lee told Kara he loved her and she married another man. Lee reconciled with her and said he'd leave Dee so they could be together; Kara countered with an affair and making him the other man. He's been jerked around by Kara too many times and I get why he wants to make it work with Dee - Dee is the sure thing. His choice is understandable if not honorable.
When Kara announces she said some words to the wrong guy, Lee is taken aback. It's what he's wanted to hear and his hopes are raised, for a moment. But Kara's "If I leave Sam" seems to temper the hope. "If" only provides the possibility of changing the situation, which Lee was willing to do before, only to have Kara make excuses. There is still not a definite commitment from Kara.
Another (big) problem I have with the extended scene is Kara referring to Sam as "the wrong guy". This contradicts Kara's feeling for and commitment to Sam in Season 4.5. Granted, the back half of the season was rewritten and at least the first two seasons laid the groundwork for Lee/Kara rather than Kara/Sam, but Kara/Sam did end up the canon relationship. And had Kara's "the wrong guy" statement remained in the episode, not only would the sentiment have been confusing, it would have painted Kara in a bad light.
No promises on when my next DC post will be, but I foresee one more BSG related post, followed by thoughts on 'Buffy', 'Trek', 'Stargate', and 'Farscape' because I actually do have other interests! ;)