What's the secret connection between Quentin Tarantino and Felix Gaeta? What relationship between Bear McCreary (in person) and Starbuck did we almost see? We've got the exclusive answers, from Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Four.
Thanks to Titan Books for sending us these exclusive extracts from the BSG season 4 companion book, out now to coincide with the release of the direct-to-DVD "The Plan." No, they won't explain that whole "Opera House" thing, but they are pretty fascinating.
So here are five things you never knew about Battlestar's final season:
1/ As the production began the casting process for an actor to play Starbuck¹s father, they realized that they needed a performer who could not only act, but was also an accomplished musician. That¹s not a small thing to ask, and at one point, the production thought they might have a solution get musician Bear McCreary to play the part himself! McCreary agreed to audition. "I thought, he¹s about the right age, he's a good looking guy, he'll look good on camera, and he can play." laughs director Michael Nankin. "Why not?". During the audition, however, it was mutually decided that music
was where McCreary¹s considerable talents lay! "For the good of the show, and of humanity in general," McCreary jokes on his blog, "I didn't get the role"
2/ Aaron Douglas does an extremely good impression of Edward James Olmos, to the extent that if Olmos was away from set when a read-through has been scheduled, Douglas would stand in and read Olmos' lines
3/ The interest with going the whole hog in blowing Gaeta's leg off was influenced by the question of who may have been directing the episode. "There was a rumor that Quentin Tarantino was interested in doing an episode and his schedule only allowed him to direct during the dates that 'Faith' would go into production," explains [episode writer] Seamus Kevin Fahey. "So, there was a small element of making it this bloody, awful, insane, Tim Roth squirming in the back of Mr. White's car-type teaser. It didn't work out, but I remember that being a germ of inspiration while working on those scenes. Director Michael Nankin did an amazing job with that sequence. It's so brutal. I loved it." Presumably if Tarantino had directed, someone would have also had to lose an ear.
4/ The ship, the Battlestar Galactica, was absolutely integral to the series. Besides lending her name to the show, she was where most of the action of the series had taken place - and so choosing the right way for her to make her exit was important. "Once we had decided that Galactica was going to get to Earth in the distant past, the question was, 'Well, what are we going to do with the ship?" says Ron Moore. "We played around with that quite a bit in the fourth season.". The writers discussed various options before making the decision to send Galactica and the rest of the fleet into the sun. "At one point we talked about maybe burying the ship, and maybe in a flash forward to contemporary times, there were these mounds of unknown origin in Central American," recalls Moore. "That was something Bradley Thompson was talking about. We were going to have someone digging into one of these mounds and discovering metal - and there would be the side of the ship. We also had a version where Adama decided to burn the Galactica, like Cortez burning his ships when he got to the New World"
5/ Ron Moore, a self-confessed Navy buff, says the scenes portraying the build-up to the attempted mutiny aboard the Demetrius were specifically influenced by the Caine Mutiny, a 1954 film set aboard a US destroyer and starring Humphrey Bogart. In the film, the crew are successful in their attempt to remove the single-minded Captain Queeg (Bogart) and are court-martialled on their return to port. Moore was also interested in the look of the Caine, which was a run-down, clausrophobic ship, and the Demetrius also took on those properties, Moore was so pleased with the resulting set that he called the art department together to praise them personally. This initially caused panic amongst the crew until they realised the summons was for good news, not bad.