Asta 2

Dragon Con Post the Second: The Quadrangle of Doom

I'm still not sick, but am suffering from some sort of post con extreme exhaustion, hence my long delayed second post. So, without further adieu.....

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! ;)
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Oh wow, I wasn't at the Monday panel and this is the first I'm hearing about the Paul Campbell stuff. Interesting. I feel like a minority in BSG fandom in that (wince) I never really cared much for Billy or Billy/Dee, but I've always hated the sudden way they had to write him off and I am sad if it led to Dualla getting stuck in the quadrangle drama.

Also interesting in light of the fact that they were supposed to bring him back for "The Hub" (instead of Elosha), but again it was the actor's choice not to do it.
I wasn't a huge fan of Dee/Billy either, though I did think they were cute together. And, like you, I think the way the relationship ended was abrupt and did a disservice to Dee in particular.

I forgot about Billy being brought back for 'The Hub'! Total speculation on my part, but I wonder if Paul wanted more of a commitment, such as series regular, if he were to stay with the show and the producers wouldn't or couldn't do it.
*sticks up hand*

I never really cared all that much about Billy either. I liked him fine, and I quite liked Dee/Billy cus, well, it was sweet but probably in retrospect that was more for Dee than Billy. I know this is gonna sound totally dumb, but I always kind of felt Billy never properly appreciated how much Laura wuvved him and was a bit ungrateful. WHY HELLO THAR PROJECTION! :p *facepalm*

And I totally didn't know about The Hub! That's....weird and a shame.
I found Dee the more interesting of the two and if Billy made her happy, and he did for awhile, than I supported the two together. And I did consider the implications of who they worked for/with and how it could affect their relationship and I do find it a shame that wasn't explored further. Though, it just occurred to me that perhaps Dee making Lee's decision to leave the military and fight for the shards that were left of their civilian government and democracy and help defend Baltar may have been a remnant of what Ron had planned for Billy and Dee?

Maye Billy failed to see how important he was to Laura, but I can understand why. With all the things she struggled with on a daily basis, and Billy seeing first hand how she put the people of the fleet, as a whole, above all else, even her own health, he probably didn't believe he was such a significant part of her life. Sadly, often people never get the opportunity to learn how much they meant to someone before it's too late and the other party has to deal with not making their feelings known when they still had the chance.

I believe Paul's possible involvement in 'The Hub' was mentioned in the podcast, but it's been awhile since I listened to it.
I think they still would have HAD to pair Lee with someone (and they were never gonna do Lee/Laura) so that would have left who? Racetrack. And Kat. Kat would have been pretty wildly inappropriate with her being a nugget and I can't imagine them as personalities working at all, and Racetrack was even less developed than Dee (and far too much like Starbuck for it to have been an interesting quad.) Either way he got short shrift when they decided they had to bring in Trucco.

Also this: 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.

So so much word. That is my least favorite scene of the entire series I think. The histrionics!! Awful.
As much as I'm not a fan of Lee/Dee, a troublesome alternative would have been to not pair Lee with anyone and have him be all alone and mopey while Kara had Sam. I may have had to do bodily harm to someone if that had come about.
Yeah I don't think they would have done that. They clearly wanted them both to be turning to other people and choices were limited. Though sadly...well Lee alone might have been a better option, for all the thought/screentime they put into Lee/Dee.
I guess my fear is, considering how often Ron has stated he/they didn't know what to do with Lee, the situation could have been worse? O_o I'm just struggling with who else Lee could have been paired with. Racetrack may have been the best option, but I just don't see her putting up with what Dee put up with. And she probably would have gone after Sam as payback. ;)
Yeah. Although...I have a hard time imagining pre-S3 Dee putting up with what later season Dee put up with. She was very forthright. Sigh. I can't see Racetrack working at all.
I share your frustration on hearing that we could have avoided the quadrangle of doom. :/ On the other hand, that might have meant we would have ended up with an L/K ending? On the other other hand, which would we prefer? :p ;)

I hadn't heard this about Paul Campbell but I do remember some interview with him when he left; it wasn't exactly clear that there was drama per se, but from what I recall I think he was holding out over his contract because he didn't want to commit to more series at a go, like, because he was a minor character he was on a shorter-term contract I don't think why he was holding out was ever explicated, but I do remember I got the impression it wasn't just a money thing, it was a wanting to be free to do other stuff too thing. Although I could have been reading into it. Still the fact that apparently I was maybe reading right is interesting.

And yeah, it's totally weird that they're so out of touch with him - he doesn't ever even do cons for BSG anymore, does he? Which considering people like Lucianna Carro do and Billy is easily as big a character as her, seems unusual? Since, like, he's turning down gigs? Weirdness.

Makes me wonder what happened too, but I doubt we'll ever find out.

As to the extended scene, I haven't seen it, so don't really have much to add other than your analysis seems to make sense to me and I agree that a) Lee would be gunshy and b) I'm glad, given 4.5, that Kara didn't say "the wrong guy" stuff.


the first two seasons laid the groundwork for Lee/Kara rather than Lee/Sam, but Kara/Sam did end up the canon relationship.

I love your typo. XD
Even though the series spent a great deal of time setting up L/K, by the fourth season it was becoming clear that Ron had decided that Lee and Kara would not end up together. I'm still not entirely sure why, but my guess is Kara's specialness, destiny, fate, whatever you want to call it trumped all other considerations in Ron's mind and Kara couldn't be the one who led humanity to it's end and Lee's girlfriend? She didn't even get a happily ever after with Sam (though I do believe they are together on the other side), so it seems Ron was convinced Kara's journey had to be a very solitary one.

I recall the talk of contract negotiations too and whereas the other actors negotiated over money, Paul didn't wish to, essentially, be on call for when they needed him and wasn't offered a long term commitment. (Though the stars would argue they could have been killed off at anytime, even with a five year deal.) It always seemed the show made every effort to accommodate the cast's other projects. Heck, Jamie even got paternity leave and not a lot of series would do that for an actor and during the first season.

I get that the actors don't want to get roped into doing cons all the time, but, if you're not working it's a great way to pick up some quick cash, and there doesn't seem to be the stigma attached to cons as there once was. I lost track of how many Oscar nominees were at DragonCon!

I love your typo. XD

It was late! I was tired! ::goes to edit::
I understand hating the quadrangle, but I can't extend it to hating Paul Campbell. We've only heard one side of this; people leave jobs for a variety of reasons, and some of them are not known to everybody in the "office".

I await your Farscape thoughts now that I am all about that show.
It looks like my joke fell flat. :/ I don't hate Paul. I don't hate anyone connected with the show. Not even EJO...but Adama is another story. ;) I don't even think Paul's exit is (totally) to blame for the quadrangle, though it certainly seems to have played a part in it. We're still searching for reasons as to why Ron made some of the choices he made and Kandyse's answer shed some light on one particular situation. Unfortunately, I can't fully relate the feelings Kandyse seemed to be expressing and were interpreted by people in the room (I spoke to someone after the panel who had the same take on her story as I did), but it was obvious that Paul's leaving the series was upsetting to her.
Oh. D'oh. Sorry, you know how humor sometimes go wacky on the internets.

I understand what you mean about not conveying the feeling in the room. And I'm not a defend-to-the-death Paul Campbell fan. I just have a fond memory of Billy (and Dee, and Billy/Dee), and wanted to put in the minority opinion. But I would not be surprised if he were an asshole, anymore than I would be surprised if the show done him wrong.
I doubt very much he should be put in the asshole category. I know people who should be put in that category and I don't see him fitting in with them ;) It just seemed as if Kandyse found it difficult to talk about him and it conveyed to me she wished things had ended better and/or differently.
I don't recall any actor on the series ever wanting to leave and over the course of the weekend this belief was reinforced.

Sam Witwer who played Crashdown apparently asked to be written out of the show, thus Crashdown's death in s2. He's said so multiple times, so there's one example of an actor wanting to leave :)
Interesting! Did he mention why he wanted to be written out? Crashdown's death seemed like a natural resolution to his storyline so it never occurred to me that it hadn't been part of Ron's plan for quite some time.
It was definitey one of the more intense moments of the show. Then again, the beginning of s2 was awesomely intense in general.

From what I remember him saying in interviews, it was just too demanding to move to Canada as a series regular for a show on which he wasn't doing very much, so Ron Moore and David Eick took pity on him after s1 and gave him the (un)glorious death. Same basic reason Seth Green asked to leave Buffy, I think. Apparently SW's a big fan of *watching* BSG though heh.
Ooh, juicy. It sounds like there might have been more tension between Adama and Roslin if Paul had stuck around, as well as the more interesting- at least compared to the QoD - relationship conflict with Dee. I completely unseriously hate him too now. ;)

Re: "the wrong guy:" it actually doesn't bother me that much, one because I rarely view Kara as a reliable narrator in terms of her own feelings, and I think at that point she was always wanting the one she thought she couldn't have, but also because, like you said, it comes before all the stuff between her and Sam in season four, even if we're not getting it until now.

Ah, verb tenses.

Edited at 2009-09-16 12:29 pm (UTC)
It's also possible in stating Sam was "the wrong guy" she was telling Lee what she thought he wanted to hear? It's like in 'Unfinished Business' when she told Lee she loved him. Not that she didn't, but Lee was pressing her and she felt she had to say it there and then as opposed as when she was ready to (if that day ever came!).
I was the one who asked the question about Billy and Dee, and I admit that I was hoping for a bit more backstory as to why he had left, because it never quite fit for me. Kandyse gave far more in her answer than I would have expected because, while PC leaving struck me as odd, I never thought that there had been so much drama behind it. It makes me wonder if there was drama prior to him asking to leave, because like you said, it seems like most actors are desperate to stay on the show and I can't imagine what would prompt him to leave, especially since he's done so little since then.

Apparently when Jane Espenson wrote The Hub, Elosha's role was originally supposed to be Billy, but Paul wasn't able/didn't want to come back. I found that very odd, and disappointing.

In any case, she gave me a lot of food for thought, though raised more questions than she answered!
That was you! Great question! :)

As I mentioned, I didn't expect much of an answer and was surprised by what we got. Kandyse seemed genuinely hurt by whatever went down. Considering Paul was offered a contract to stay with the show and Ron wanted to have him back for 'The Hub", it would seem whatever the issues were they were Paul's.

Yes! I want more dirt too! ;)