Friday, March 20, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Ronald D. Moore finale Q&A

After Sci Fi Channel screened the "Battlestar Galactica" series finale for the press on Monday evening, there was a brief press conference featuring producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, and stars Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos. Later in the evening, I asked Moore some additional questions about the finale. After the jump, some highlights from the press conference (really only from Moore and Eick), and then a transcript of the solo interview with Moore. To read my review of the finale, click here.

Post-finale press conference

(All questions will be paraphrased, since I only asked the first one)

(On what the second Kara actually was, and whether we all went down a rabbit hole when we assumed that Kara was the daughter of Daniel the missing eighth Cylon)

Moore: Daniel was definitely a rabbit hole, and it was an unintentional rabbit hole, to be honest... (Daniel) was always intended to be an interesting bit of backstory about Cavil, as a Cain and Abel allegory. And people started seizing on it as some major part of the mythology... and it was never intended to take that kind of load-bearing weight.

Eick: It's kind of like Boxey in that way.

Moore: It's exactly like Boxy. Kara, I think, is whatever you want her to be. It's easy to put that label on her: Angel, or Messenger of God, or whatever. Kara Thrace died and was resurrected and came back and took the people to their final end. That was her role, her destiny on the show... We debated back and forth in the writers' room for a while on giving it more definition, and saying, definitively, "This is what she is," and we decided that the more you try to outline it and give voice to it and put a name on it, the less interesting it became. We just decided this was the most interesting way to go out, with her disappearing without trying to name what she was.

(On whether any of the Cavils, Simons or Dorals survived the attack on the Colony)

Moore: The final (edit) came out a little less clear on that level than I sort of intended... The idea was that when Racetrack hits the nukes, they smack into the Colony and it takes it out of the stream swirling around the singularity, and it fell in (to the singularity) and was torn apart. But as we were cutting the show for time, and taking out frames, one of the things that became less apparent was that the Colony was doomed. The intention was that everyone aboard the Colony perished.

(On when and why he decided to have the fleet wind up discovering our Earth in the distant past)

Moore: We decided that a couple of years ago... I don't think we ever had a version of the show where they wound up in the future, or the present. Those didn't seem as interesting. In the early going, we started talking about the fact that we would see a lot of contemporary things in the show, from language to wardrobe to all kinds of production design. That only made sense to us if a lot of the things we see in the show you feel are taken from our contemporary world were actually from their world and spread through the eons and came to us through the collective unconscious, or from (what Lee said about) "We will give them the best part of ourselves."

Eick: There was a time we were talking about, "They land and there are pterodactyls and tyrannosaurus rex." But it was the idea that they were part of the genis of humankind, and this seemed the more affordable way to do it than going "Jurassic Park."

Moore: The image of Six walking through Times Square, we came up with a long time ago.

(On what happened to destroy the original Earth)

Moore: The backstory of the original Earth was supposed to be that the 13th tribe of Cylons came to that world, started over, and essentially destroyed themselves. There was some internecine warfare among the Cylons themselves that was supposed to be another repetition in the cycle of "All this has happened before and all will happen again." Even they, who were the rebels and split off, left to their own devices, there was enough of humanity left in them that they destroyed themselves.

(On why Cavil killed himself)

Moore: Cavil killing himself came from Dean Stockwell, to be honest. As scripted, in that climactic battle in CIC, Tigh was going to grab Cavil and fling him over the edge of the upper level, and he was going to fall to his death. Dean called me himself and said, "I just really think that in that moment, Cavil would realize the jig is up and it's all hopeless and just put a gun in his mouth and shoot himself." And I just said, "Okay."

(On the history of "All Along the Watchtower" in the "Galactica" universe)

Moore: The notion is that the music, the lyrics, the composition is something divine, it's eternal. It's something that lives in the collective unconscious of the show, it's a musical theme that repeats itself. It crops up in unexpected places, and people hear it, or pluck it out of the ether. It's sort of a connection of the divine and the mortal -- music is something that people literally catch out of the air... Here is a song that transcends many different aeons and cultures across the star, and was reinvented by one Mr. Bob Dylan.

Eick: It was a simple way to communicate the idea clearly that this is not the future. This is the story of a culture that gave birth to ours. There was an episode in season one in which Helo and Sharon are running for their lives and they hole up in a diner, and there's a Cylon centurion cornering them, and for the longest time we planned to have an old jukebox in the diner that would play, "Yesterday," or whatever we could afford.

Moore: Probably not "Yesterday."

Eick: Okay, something from The Guess Who. I think we felt it was too soon, and would confuse things. It would be so non-specific that people would just be thrown by it. But we were thinking about it that far back, that music would be a great way to tell the audience about the cyclical theme... All the colloquialisms and slang that you hear, and how people interrelate... we get that from them, not the other way around.

(On whether Head Six and Head Baltar are angels or demons)

Moore: I think they're both. We never tried to name exactly what the head characters were, we never looked at them as angels or demons. They seemed to periodically say good things or evil things, to save people or to damn people. There was a sense that they worked in the service of something else... that was guiding and helping, sometimes obstructing, sometimes tempting. The idea at the end was that whatever they're in service of is eternal and continues, and whatever they are, they too are still around, with all of us who are the children of Hera. They continue to walk among us and watch.

Ron Moore interview

When I talked to you at summer TCA, I ran through that checklist of unanswered questions.

Oh, yeah! What do you think?

You nailed pretty much every one. I think people are going to debate about Kara.

I accept that. I knew, when I decided this was as much as we were going to say about Kara, I said, "People are going to be pissed."

I don't want to spend too much time on Daniel, but did you realize that you were giving Kara's father this name that was so similar to Daniel?

That I had no idea. I only found that out online. I went, "Is that true? I guess it is." It's one of those things where you're inside the show and doing it, you don't realize that people are going to seize on this detail and it gets a life of its own. When I saw that stuff spreading online, I was really astonished. "Really? Daniel? They're obsessed with Daniel." So I started telling every interviewer, "Please tell people not to focus on Daniel, because they're really going to be disappointed."

This was a very dark, very bleak show, that had, for the most part, a happy ending. Were you ever tempted to go the dark way? Why did you decide to end it the way you did tonally?

I guess I always assumed it was going to end on some sort of note of salvation -- that they would find a home and be okay, at least some of them. I didn't want to end the series like "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," with the destruction of everybody. Although that's what Eddie wanted to do. Eddie kept pitching me that they come to Earth in contemporary times, and everyone's cheering and happy, and cut to the White House and the President goes, "Nuke 'em!" And they destroy Galactica -- cut to credits. And people say I'm dark!

I was literally never tempted to go that way. I always felt that however brutal the show was, and how bleak it felt in moments, it was never nihilistic. It was never about saying that people are irredeemable. It was about trying to be honest about people, saying, "Look at us. We are capable of all these things. Really good people do horrible things and horrible people do good things."

Given how often you used the show to comment on current events or, at least, draw current events in the show, do you feel that the finale in any way speaks to what's happening now?

Only in the sense of where it finally ends up in the very end: the robotics and where we are about to be technologically. I just saw something the other day with a scientist saying we're going to have a true (artificial intelligence) within five years or something crazy. Or these Japanese robots that look like the woman in the finale, they're getting more currency. It's been an old saw in science fiction for a long time, since Frankenstein, that we're going to create life that's going to turn on us. Well, we're right there, and we should probably really think about these things and understand the door we're about to go through.

I'm curious about a few characters' final fates. You very easily could have gotten away with Helo sacrificing his life so Athena could go after Hera, but they got the happy ending in the end.

There were two things. One, originally when we were breaking the story, Athena and Helo were both going to die to save Hera. And then I felt sort of unsatisfied about that. I really wanted that family unit to survive to the end. So in the script, when Helo gets shot in the corridor and he's left, I didn't intend it to be a cliffhanger of "is he going to die?" I just kept writing it, and there wasn't a moment to establish he was okay. And when Tahmoh read the script, he got that point and said, "Oh, (bleep), I'm dead." And when he got to the end, he was surprised.

And then it becomes this tearjerking moment when you see the three of them off in the distance (on Africa) and you realize he survived and they're intact.

And when Tahmoh had that reaction, I decided, "Well, now I definitely don't want to establish that he's okay," because I wanted people to have that same reaction.

Well, did anyone else almost die and then you gave them a reprieve in the end?

We did talk, for a long time, that Adama and Laura were going to get in a Raptor together and fly off into the stars, and Adama was going to show her the universe, and that would be the last we see of them. And before I ever even wrote it, Mary got wind of that and called me and said, "You know what? In our very first conversation about the show, we agreed Laura would die. I feel it's important to actually show it," and I said she was absolutely right, so she died on camera and Adama lived on camera.

Because when he said goodbye to Lee like that, I assumed he was going to wait for Laura to die and then crash the Raptor or something.

I knew people would have that reaction.

So he's going to be like Tyrol, just live off by himself?

He's going to build that little cabin, and who knows what.

Aaron Douglas keeps saying, "Well, you know what? They're going to get a message. Someone's going to trudge up the hill to Adama and hand him a note, saying, 'Tyrol needs you in Scotland!' And Adama will put on his pack and go off to Scotland!"

Given how much of the show was made up on the fly by you and the other writers, looking back, how well do you think everything hangs together with the finale factored into it?

I think it hangs together better than it has any right to. I do feel good that the process I always believed in and really defended -- about feeling the story instinctively as you go through it, and not being tied to, "Oh, we know exactly how it's going to end up" -- that that was true. We were able to get there and could say, "We've been making this mosaic, and now we just need to put the final touches on it and we'll have a complete picture." There's loose threads and things that don't quite work, but I think that's in the nature of almost any show. By and large, I think we did a pretty good job of it.

The thing I wonder about is the head characters and how (important they were). There's that moment at the end where Caprica Six says something like, "That's it? You just needed us to carry Hera into that room and protect her?"

Well, if you look over the life of the show, they certainly did more than that. But ultimately, that was the key moment that makes everything else possible.

Some of what Head Six is doing is keeping Baltar alive and free, but when she's encouraging him to start the cult, and get the cult armed and all that, is that just her screwing around for her own amusement?

No, I think that she's moving him towards an acceptance of the divine. Baltar could not make that speech in CIC unless he had gone through a religious conversion. If he didn't have a belief in something greater than himself, he couldn't have made that argument to Cavil in that moment.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at


Anonymous said...

Alan, in your interview Moore says he was really surprised that people focused attention on Daniel. Doesn't that strike you as odd considering how much time, energy, story, and focus was given to finding out who the other 12 cylons were? I know part of how I got hooked on this show was on gradually discovering who was (and was not) a cylon. It seems bizarre Moore would have missed this COMPLETELY, as he says he did.

Anonymous said...

I also have to say I don't get why they even bothered to introduce the element of a 13th cylon if it had no overall significance to the plot. For the entire series we knew there were only 12 cylons, so the reveal of a 13th was obviously going to be a big could Moore and the writers think people wouldn't assume this was going to be a big plot point? Especially this close to the end? I don't get it.

Regardless of that, I really loved the finale. It was a brilliant ending to the series. Absolutely amazing.

Anonymous said...

Ok, count me as one who's annoyed about the whole Daniel thing. I just find it shocking that Moore didn't see the connection between Kara's dad, the opera house, and Watchtower.

I guess they just needed to introduce Daniel as a way of explaining why there wasn't a Number Seven...

Anonymous said...

My understanding was that the creation of Daniel had more to do with some connection to Caprica as opposed to anything major with BSG. If I heard correctly the name of the guy who re-creates his daughter was named Daniel?

I do agree, it seems shortsighted of Moore not to think the fans would be all over the Daniel thread that was put out there. Esp. with Daniel being artistic, Kara's dad being a musician, and then All Along The Watchtower connection.

SJ said...

What Steven said.

How can anyone NOT assume that Kara was related to the 13th Cylon? Especially after all that music crap and her childhood "circle" drawing.

Silent Bob said...

Alan, just wanted to tell you what a great job you've done with the BSG reviews and all the coverage. I have not been a frequent visitor to this blog, but I HAD to check in after the finale. Most of my questions have been answered except - Who is Daniel?? And what does he have to do with Kara's father? 13th Cylon?? I guess I missed this whole "controversy" entirely.

Keep up the good work.

SJ said...

I hope when TV writers create a show, they have a concrete idea about what the main beginning, middle and ending parts are. As much as I enjoyed the show, it was sort of evident that Moore and co. were just coming up with most of the stuff as they went along. I mean this isn't a show like ER where you just keep changing characters...when you think of all this you are supposed to know how you are going to end it all from the beginning.


Byron Hauck said...

SJ, like you, I also like to imagine shows are set in stone from the beginning, even if they rarely are. But it wasn't "sort of evident" that BSG was getting made up as it went along, it was repeatedly and explicitly said by the creators.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to counter the points being made about Daniel. As someone who was always somewhat bothered by the numerical inconsistency of the Cylon models, I took the mention of Daniel to be nothing more than a handy way to plug the gap. All the presumed significance seemed to me to be quite missing the point.

Also, keep in mind that the opening sequence always said "there are twelve models". ARE, not WERE. It's still entirely internally consistent.

verification word: inshing. V. Crawling from the toilet to your bed, very slowly, when you've had too much to drink.

yoav said...

How come you didn't ask them about the god thing? They literally committed the Deus ex machina sin and they should be ashamed of that. What an awful job they did.

Anonymous said...

the more I think about it the more I dislike the way they ended the series. And I was already disliking it a lot last night from the point of the opera house/CIC scene onward. I really loved the show before but that was just bad storytelling and cheap tricks to resolve the story. If he wanted to go in the direction of an overt religous message and the head six and Baltar characters, and the resurrected Kara, being agents of the divine I can deal with that but then he should have laid the foundation better and pointed in that direction. But they pointed in the direction of Cylon technology and misled the audience. Its a cheap OHenry story telling trick to pull a deus ex machina trick at the very end. Now every question has been resolved by saying it was god's/the universe's will that it be that way. It's like science fiction written by the church. I'll never be able to watch BSG repeats. What a disappointment.

Sean said...

yba - You have to be kidding me. They didn't "commit the Deus Ex Machina sin"... the whole series was LITERALLY about Deus Ex Machina! God/Gods played a role from the very beginning, it's not like they just willy nilly threw the concept in at the last moment. Not to mention how many times a "Cylon God" was mentioned, which would have been... a God in the Machine.

It wasn't a contrived plot device, it was one of the driving forces of the show.

Anonymous said...

disagree Sean. take the issue of the nature of Head Six and Baltar. they built up the implication that they were some manifestation of cylon technology. then in the last episode they reveal they are some sort of angel/demons that are influencing events on behalf of the devine. if they wanted to go that way fine but give better foreshadowing. and I don't believe varoius characters prattleing about their version og god counts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -

Didn't the fact that Caprica Six had a Head Baltar eliminate the possibility that Head Six was implanted Cylon technology? That threw me for a loop when Head Baltar was introduced, a long time ago.

Didn't Head Six's constant preaching about God to Baltar from the beginning of the series establish her link to a "Devine"? Devine intervention, with the prophecies of Pithius, to the events on Kobol, the return of Starbuck have been clear all along.

Not of this was pushed as new at the end. We were pointed here from the beginning.


Anonymous said...

Anyone who didn't realize that Head Six and Head Baltar were somehow supernatural beings really wasn't paying attention to the show. It was obvious since at least season 1. There is even an episode where it is confirmed that there is no technological explanation for it.

The entire series has been about the fact that there is some sort of entity or supernatural force influencing events.

I'm astounded that there are people who actually didn't pick up on that. I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a mystery, it was so clearly laid out. I seriously am baffled that people didn't get this. It's like watching Star Wars and saying "what's 'the force', what a deus ex machina!".

Anonymous said...

Yeah, um...anyone who saw more than like the first season and a half and still thinks Head Six might be cylon technology either never watched seasons 2-4 or just, I don't know how to say it without being offensive, but it has been abundantly clear that the Head characters were divine or supernatural for a very long time.

There has been virtually no suspicion that they are the result of "cylon technology" since the very early days of season 1.

I'm sorry but anyone who still suspected that they weren't divine/supernatural, you seriously missed like a lot from the entire series, and I don't see how it's even possible unless you skipped a bunch of episodes.

The fault with this one certainly doesn't lay with Moore because he and the writers laid that vision out very clearly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others that having Daniel be Starbuck's father would have been more satisfying, and wonder if maybe at some level Moore realizes that too given his reaction to the reaction. Yeah, there would have been complaints about Hera no longer being so special after all. But there also wouldn't have been as much "huh, what's that now?" feeling about Starbuck just disappearing. Maybe if Kara had then sacrificed herself to destroy Cavil it could have left Hera as the remainding hybrid, the germinal Eve, and we'd see Lee at the end with his own Head Kara. And, yeah, I know, after the show rewrites "smell like p**p."
-- anonymoose

Sean said...

To the Anon that disagreed with me - Seriously, they ruled out Head Six being Cylon tech ages ago. And I suppose Baltar saying "I see Angels" repeatedly while looking at Head Six also didn't count for anything.

Honestly, did you people just watch the show for the pretty space battles or something? I normally don't get this offensive online, but you really had to be paying ZERO attention to have thought that ending was out of the blue.

Anonymous said...

Timothy and Dave,

if it was so abundantly clear that the head characters were supernatural in nature why was they such much discussion on various forums about what their nature was? In his list of questions to be answered Alan had "Identity and nature of the "head" characters?"


Anonymous said...


Baltar was the most self centered and self aggrandizing character on the show. I took his 'I see angels' schtick as an effort to further his religous movement for political purposes. I never for a moment expected the writers to expect us to take this as more of Baltar's manuvering.

and you can be as huffy as you want about people watching pretty space battles. I watched it for an interesting and complex story with intense character development. to have everything quickly explained at the last moment with supernatural quackery was a major disappointment.


Anonymous said...

After reading thorugh the forums and the overuse of the the term Deus ex machina, I couldnt agree more with sean. I have always used the term negatively but they literally made the concept into a full blown show and bucked convention, the shoot from the hip writing style further cemented it and made it a truly magnificent art. They pulled off something this extravagant and it was a blast the whole time. As religious as this show is I was completely satisfied with this answer.

Anonymous said...

To the "Anonymous" surprised about the nature of Head Six/Baltar, the precise nature was never known, but you seriously had to have been paying zero attention to think that they were technological or not somehow supernatural. Honestly, I don't know what else to say. If you missed something that clear it isn't the fault of the writers. There is an episode in season 1 or early season 2 where it is specifically said that there is no technological explanation, and ever since then the implication has always been that they were supernatural or divine in some manner, or at the very least carrying out the agenda of some force affiliated with neither the colonials or the cylons.

If you thought the "god" angle came out of nowhere, you simply didn't pay attention to the series. It was there the entire time, from the first season.

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that people think the God/Supernatural/Divine came out of nowhere? Have you people ever watched this show?

Nekkel said...

What Dave said. lol

Alan Sepinwall said...

Not to try to impose my will on the debate, but we've been speculating on the idea of the Head characters as angels -- and about Kara as a Head character for the entire fleet -- at least as far back as "The Road Less Traveled," midway through the first half of this season. Baltar's been talking about angels for a long time, and Head Six has been talking about speaking for the one, true God since the miniseries.

This is not deus ex machina, for the reasons others have stated. You may not like the explanation, but you can't suggest that it came out of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the ones who thought Daniel was Starbuck's father, but I didn't realize the negative implications of that until the theory was dispelled in the last podcast. Namely, that Starbuck would have been the first half-human/half-Cylon, thus totally undermining Hera's importance. Yep, there's no way they would have made Daniel Kara's father.

A random question I'd love to have answered by someone on the inside: what was the nature of the Twelve Lords of Kobol?

SJ said...

I don't mind the divine nature of the Head Six or even the whole God thing, since the show has been religious from season 1. It just bothered me when it came to Kara.

Also, can anyone tell me what was so important about Hera? I mean the humans survived without her...unless you mean the whole rescuing her saved them thing.

Anonymous said...

Scientists have been saying that we are five years away from true artificial intelligence for the past fifty years.

Anonymous said...

Posted by Kris

Hank said,
"Baltar was the most self centered and self aggrandizing character on the show. I took his 'I see angels' schtick as an effort to further his religous movement for political purposes. I never for a moment expected the writers to expect us to take this as more of Baltar's manuvering."

Hank, you should see the movie "Frailty." It came out in 2001 and stars Bill Paxton.

Anyway... I have to agree with others here who mentioned that the supernatural/ Divine has been at the fore-front of the series since its beginnings.

There was also one episode a few seasons ago where, IIRC, Baltar has his head X-rayed or scanned to rule out that he had a chip in his head, because he was trying to figure out why and how he could see this blond woman who nobody else around him at that time could.

Sean said...

Hank - "to have everything quickly explained at the last moment with supernatural quackery was a major disappointment."

... have you read one comment in this entire thread? It wasn't "explained at the last moment with supernatural quackery" as the "supernatural quackery" had been there since the very beginning. How many times did "the one true god" get mentioned? How many times did they discuss fate? Prophecies? "All this has happened before, and will again"? The series was rife with every element you needed to know this all had to do with God.

I am just amazed at how many people are saying it came out of the blue. I'm not sure we went one episode without at least someone bringing up God.

-shakes head- I give up. A bunch of you paid no attention at all, and now you are judging it all from that perspective. Those of us who actually paid attention seem to have had no problems with it.

Anonymous said...

I fully expected that God or a Higher Power would have a role in the ending and it did. Not a full, puppet master type role but a gentle guiding wind type of role.

The reason this does not surprise or anger me in the slighest is that it was set up right from the beginning. Ron Moore has freely appropriated christian, hindu, buddist and I-don't-know-how-many other concepts into the mythology of the show. And he has had the characters talk freely about religion. He's had Laura and Baltar make decisions based on visions.

C'mon what did you expect? Ah...therein lies the problem. With a show like this if you build up too many of your own expectations you can't just sit back and let the story unfold.

Anonymous said...

@Alan pointed out: . . . we've been speculating on the idea of the Head characters as angels -- and about Kara as a Head character for the entire fleet -- at least as far back as "The Road Less Traveled

More than the fleet, Alan. It seems everyone could see her and she interacted directly with them.

In the muslim world there's a concept of a wali (pronounced waleee and it just means friend/companion, short for Wali-Allah) who is like an angel who takes the form of a beggar or other downtrodden person. The idea taught kids is that if you mistreat people like this you'll never know if one of them could be an angel sent from God to test you. Not sure that it really makes people behave better towards beggars in reality, however, but always an interesting topic of conversation when you're a stranger.

So maybe I'll think about Starbuck like that because otherwise she's just a "zen event" to me.
-- anonymoose

Anonymous said...

SJ, ... (sorry for my english) ... the importance of Hera was established when her face fade and we found Head Six and Head Baltar reading the story of Eva (actually, a real scientific theory), about a woman who lived in Africa and was the ancestor of every single human bean living in this planet today. It means that after some generations, no one of the descendents from humans or cylons survive on earth if they don't descent from Hera, for father or mother. I can be wrong, but I believe that the theory is based on the fact that all the people share the same mythocondrial DNA (yes, we are all a giant disfunctional family :-)).
And by the way, the finale was perfect for me. It was the one I spected from season one. And for Kara's rol, a very important word was said to Cavil by Baltar: Ascension. If you searh on google for "earth ascension" you will find a lot of nonsense, but some very interesting thoughts too, and coincidentially or not, related with the spiritual message of BSG. Message that was a main character in the story from the very beginning).
(sorry for my english again)

Ike said...

Personally I was always vaguely hoping that Ron Moore would turn away from implying that God controls and guides us all, humans and Cylons. We have to seize control of our own fate, rather than putting ourselves into the hands of God. I liked the way that ST:DS9 (one of Moore's former shows) treated religion much better. Sure, God was often invoked throughout BSG but I was hoping this was a theme, not an answer to everything. To me, putting God in control and using God as an excuse is just lazy writing. In the BSG universe, Ron Moore *IS* God, so Moore saying "Kara was resurrected by God" is like Moore saying "Kara was resurrected by ME... (waves hand) so say *I*! Poof! There she is." And there's no lazier writing in the world than that.

I thought Moore was more skeptical of religion than this. In the end, this is just another show revelling in the impulse towards monarchy ("God") rather than self-determination and democracy.

BSG's characters were great, but I'm very disappointed that Ron Moore has been revealed to be even worse at plotting and planning arcs than Joss Whedon. Aren't there any TV writers left who can write long-term plots? Why are proper plots and planned-out arcs so rare these days? I long for the days of Farscape and the Wire and (to a lesser degree) DS9.

Anonymous said...

For me this was the best tv show ever to grace our screens. As someone said before, one of the reasons that this was such a great experience was because the actors obviously put their hearts and soul into playing their characters and will probably never be recognised for giving such powerful perfomances.

Having watched the finale I was initially happy about the way things turned out. But 24hrs later and having had time to reflect there are things that are now starting to niggle at me.

Most notiably is the fact that after being together for such a long time, everyone just decides to go their own way. I could accept the 'let's get rid of the technology,' thinking but then for all the main characters just to go off seperately on their merry way just didn't seem right.

On another note. What about the the 12 colonies? Surely even after the holcaust there were survivors. From earlier episodes we could see that on Caprica, it hadn't been totally devastated. Of the 40 odd thousand that arrived at earth surely there would be many more hiding in different places on the other colonies. And would there not still be a Cylon presence on the 12 colonies that would need taking care of.

I agree that I'm probably already missing the show and was looking for another 10 series where Adama and the rest of the crew make plans to retake the 12 colonies and wipe out the Cylon threat for good.

Anyway thanks to the actors and the creators for such a beautiful creation. Guess it's time to go back and start with the series 1 dvd's.

This has happened before and will happen again. So say we all.

Anonymous said...

i too would like to raise the question/mystery of the Lords of Kobol. i was hoping for the backstroy to get more play in the finale. i know that ron moore writing mantra is that its all about the characters, to let them determine the direction of the writing, but when you weave so many characters stories together for so long you can get caught in a complexity that needs to become simple very quickly... for the finale.

what happened to D'eandra? what about the role of the Centurions in it all? what about the already-there inhabitants of this earth they find!?

i was shocked that they put in there "primitive tribes" that they spy on and make references to "teaching" them AND mating with them! are THEY human?

and Helo and Athena playfully arguing about which one of them is going to teach their little girl to KILL?! to HUNT?! "hello"! didnt we learn anything? so now we know where the first earth-weapon comes from... from Colonial Soldiers.

and Head Baltars hair is so stupid... greased back like hes some sleazy gangster. they were quite over-the-top. the whole debate about the Head characters being connected to god or not.... i always assumed baltar was creating his own hallucination even if there was a psychotic connection between him and 6, i never thought "god" was behind it all.

i think they made this "god" way too literal in the end, especially attaching him ("sir" is "gender-neutral?!) to this visually romanticized "innocent", plentiful earth they can now dominate and conquer. the judeo-christian ideology that nature is here for people to use is way too strong... how is that being "ground-breaking" in any way?

i too thought that the show previously had a more skeptical view of such dogma. ron moore may claim that theyre not presenting any specific religion but rather idea about a generic "divine" but thats not what i get from it.

dismal ending. 150,000 years after the Agethons start building weapons and the "humans" land and start building we have New York City and the domination of technology to the point of AI. this is not a happy ending people.

ron moore may say "were at a crossroads, we have to choose and decide, etc...." and thtas why the fast-forward to "today" in "real life". but weve been making "choices" all along.

SJ said...

//Aren't there any TV writers left who can write long-term plots? Why are proper plots and planned-out arcs so rare these days?//

Fully agree. I guess The Wire has spoiled me...I wish TV shows were more like books, with everything planned in advance, especially when it comes to shows like BSG, Lost, etc.

It bothered me a little when Moore decided that Ellen was the final of the final five before he started writing the final season. Such an important part should have been in his mind right from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

"Editing for time"?!

Edited out the part where the center of Cylon civilization gets sucked down a black hole

and left in interminably lame and unconvincing flashbacks about Lee, Kara, and Roslin not getting laid, and Mr. and Mrs. Tigh spending their free time at a strip club?!!

Absolutely nothing that happened on this show since the Pegasus was destroyed made any damned sense, and the final episode was the worst of all. What could they possibly have been thinking?

Anonymous said...

They illustrated that Head Six was not a chip in Baltar's head, but they never explicitly clued that it was celestial avatar, or a psychosis of guilt or some other Cylon-tech scenario a la the Tyrol/Boomer fantasy house or Tigh seeing Ellen on a Six's body (or vice versa).

They only cleared that there was no physical tech piece in Baltar's head - but Caprica could have infected him with some techno-organic telpathy receptor virus. Or whatever.

The point is, no one is exactly correct - no, the celestial aspect was not sprung, nor was it so thoroughly illustrated earlier on in the series.

It was up there with Starbuck's resurrection, as a non-specified, intriguing angle, that might have benefited from a little deeper set up or a little more screen time, as opposed to all of the flashback time spent in the 3-part finale.

One thing that did rub me wrong was all of the time that was spend building up the relationship between Leoben and Starbuck, the cryptic clues and messages etc. That was very intriguing, and it just got dropped on Earth 1 with the discovery of Starbuck's body and Viper. Leoben freaked out about how it wasn't supposed to happen this way, and then the whole thing was dropped. He was barely even in the last season.

They could have used him relative to Kara in an analog of the head characters.

Again, or whatever. This is why, while I enjoyed the finale, I felt it was flawed via being a little rushed/disproportional.

Anonymous said...

> He's going to build that little cabin, and who knows what.
> Aaron Douglas keeps saying, "Well, you know what? They're
> going to get a message. Someone's going to trudge up the hill
> to Adama and hand him a note


This is about 25,000 people, spread out across an entire planet, with no technology. When your friends and family walk over the next ridge and you don't go with them, that will be the last time you ever see them.

Adama, and Helo, and Baltar are not each going to be able to construct, by himself, an entire little eighteenth-century homestead, from nothing, using skills he doesn't have, tools he left behind on Caprica, supplies that can't be bought anywhere on this empty planet.

They're not going to teach the natives anything, they'll be lucky if they can pick up the natives' survival skills before they starve!

The characters' blasé attitude about saying goodbye to their friends and relatives, for the last time, for no reason, is a big believability failure.

Anonymous said...

The nature of the Lords of Kobol and the parallels between the 12 Lords of Kobol/12 Cylon models/12 tribes is a concept that I would have liked to see explored more in the series, but may likely be a thread that is picked up in The Plan or in the mythology of Caprica.

Anonymous said...

I was very satisfied with the ending. I especially like the fact that the main characters split up. Especially Bill Adama. If he stayed with the main group, people may have tried to use him to second guess any new leadership. If he stayed with Lee or Saul, they would have continued to live their lives under his shadow.

Baltar breaking down when talking about farming made me cry. It made the recent flashbacks worth it.

Kara Thrace. Well, not what I expected, but I am OK with her resurrection and angel status. It was best she didn't stay with Lee if she was human, because we know that wouldn't work. (Although Lee didn't freak out as much as I would have) Also, I think that "the harbinger of death" talk was Cylon propagada.

Captain Average said...

My first thought, as the final credits rolled was, was in regard to how Rick Berman and Brannon Braga ended Enterprise. To wit:

This is how you end a frakkin' TV series! You morons!

Anonymous said...

If there was ever a planned connection between the 12 Cylon models and the 12 Lords of Kobol, I have to think that went belly-up when they decided that the "Final Five" were actually the last five of a whole planet of Cylon models rather than the last five of the post-war 12. Since the "Significant Seven" (actually "Elite Eight", including Daniel, I guess) weren't created until long after Kobol, and the "Final Five" were just five of probably billions that existed before Kobol, the 12 Lords really couldn't possibly have much to do with the 12 Cylon models of the show.

Anonymous said...

I think it is evident that the whole religious idea was not handled very well because if we accept that divine (or supernaturnal or whatever you want to call it) intervention played the biggest part, then which "god" interfered? The cylon god or the human gods? Which one is the true god? There's no way to tell since things turned out sour for both civilizations.


Goldarn said...

Ever since EPISODE 7 from the first season, we knew there was more to "Head 6" than met the eye. When she disappeared from Baltar's head and reappeared as "Shelly Godfrey," followed by her sudden disappearance (she turned a corner, while being followed by guards, and was just gone?) seemed a sure sign that she wasn't an ordinary cylon.

Anonymous said...

Kara was indeed the harbinger of death (for the fleet) and led civilization to its doom.... and then civilization was reborn, like kara

Fiksal said...

A very interesting post by the original author.

May I join?

I have to say, it's upsetting to realize that the finale is the best that they could have come up with.

The show overall was just so well written, so believable that the last 30 minutes of the Daybreak feel weak by comparison.

Re: final five

I was relieved to learn that they managed to explain their exisitance and how they ALL ended up on this specific battlestar.

Unfortunately, same cant be said for Kara...

Re: God.

As someone stated above, God or Gods was the reoccurring theme, however it was never stated that the divine power actually exists in the show.
I was taken by surprise. Definitely if I get to meet Ron (somehow) I'd ask him that.

Re: Abandoning ships.

That should've been a standalone episode for me to buy into that. I can almost see why Ron thought Lee would suggest that. I can not see why anyone would agree with him. It was never made clear what exactly they took away from their ships. They lived for years on those ships - they made food, they survived. What would their chances of survival be 'now', that they threw it all away?

Re: the new Earth.

It'd take a divine power to make sense of the music, language, technology, culture overlap between the words that were thousands of years apart (the 13th tribe, 12th colonies, the 'new' earth 150,000 years later)

Maybe it's a good thing that the God exists in the show - he can patch up all the holes then.


Konstantin said...

Well done, Mr Moore.

I remember Kara's gesture after playing the song on the piano. The masterpiece is accomplished.

Job hiring said...

you did a great job man

Bisera Vukovic said...

"if we accept that divine (or supernaturnal or whatever you want to call it) intervention played the biggest part, then which "god" interfered? The cylon god or the human gods? Which one is the true god?"

I really don't see why people are having so much trouble with the way Moore left this concept. I don't think idea of the divine belongs to anyone in particular. If it is there, then religions are just the reflection of how different cultures choose to perceive it.
He handled it very well and I for one loved the fact that he didn't try to quantify it or label it or explain to death something that is ultimately a mystery.
This way everyone is allowed to understand it in their own way and to draw their own conclusions about who exactly Kara was and what is the nature of God according to their own beliefs. I don't think he could have handled it any better truly. Suddenly defining it as belonging to this or that modern religion would have been a total letdown. In fact, Baltar's image at times square at the end says: he doesn't like to be called god.
Personally, as an atheist, the first thought that popped into my head with the images of the two of them standing in time square, casually talking about fate of humanity in terms of mathematics and probability, and contempt for technological decadence made me immediately think of Q from star trek, with ultimate powers, sitting and playing with the people's fates. I'm not saying that is at all who they are but the point is they left it up to people to decide. In any case, that was not the point of this show anyway. The whole story about human struggle through their exodus was a drama. I got involved in the show because of the richness of the characters and the excellent jobs the actors did to make them so believable and interesting. It matters little ultimately how you label the god or gods or whatever you want to call the divine forces. if they are indeed that.

Anonymous said...

It's really simple. The last jump took them back in time to earth 150,000 earlier than the bsg time. 150,000 years ago it was in that spacial position.

140,000 years later earth colonises space, the 12 colonies come into being, the story unfolds.
The primitive homosapiens they found were their own ancestors.

The first ruined earth they found had our continents. It was the same earth 150,000 years later. The ruins were NYC.

The 12 colonies came from our earth, they just jumped back in time in the final episode and it will loop around forever. "All this has happens before and all this will happen again".

Solves every plot hole.