30 Things You Didn't Know About "Battlestar Galactica"

Monday, May 4, 2009

30. Despite improvising the story in ten episode arcs, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick always intended for the characters to reach Earth in the final episode, albeit thousands of years before the present day. They also conceived the epilogue with "Fantasy" Six and Baltar discussing the fate of humanity in Times Square very early on, to make the fate of humanity ambiguous.

29. The concept of the "Final Five" Cylons came about from the writers wanting to depict Baltar living on a Cylon baseship. Since the identity of only seven Cylons had been revealed up to that time, Ronald D. Moore came up with the idea of the remaining five as sacred beings, and selected the four characters - Tigh, Tyroll, Tory Foster, and Anders - who would be revealed at the end of the third season. Moore also selected the identity of the Final Cylon as Ellen Tigh, and informed only Kate Vernon of his decision. Vernon and Moore had to keep the secret from the cast and much of the crew for nearly two years before shooting the episode which would reveal her identity.

28. Cavil's suicide in the series finale was suggested by Dean Stockwell. In the script, Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan) was supposed to kill Cavil during the final battle. Stockwell, however, said he thought the character would shoot himself, realizing that his Cylon faction had lost the war. Writer Ronald D. Moore and director Michael Rymer agreed.

27. Paper in the series have corners cut off. It is said that director Michael Rymer did this during the miniseries as a reference to how he had to "cut corners" financially to make the miniseries work on a limited budget.

26. Starbuck, who is played by Katee Sackhoff, was a man in the original "Battlestar Galactica" (1978) show, played by Dirk Benedict. It's also the name of the first officer aboard the Pequod in the book Moby Dick.

25. Original series star Dirk Benedict (Starbuck) has refused to participate in this revival series.

24. Richard Hatch, who plays Tom Zarek, played Apollo in the original "Battlestar Galactica" (1978).

23. Though other actresses were considered, the role of Laura Roslin was written especially for Mary McDonnell.

22. The first season was aired in the United Kingdom on SkyOne months before it aired in North America. This resulted in an increase in North Americans downloading episodes on the Internet that were made freely available by British viewers of the show. Fearing that this widespread "previewing" of the series would diminish the show's ratings once it aired in North America, executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick made a written plea to fans to stop downloading episodes and wait for them to air in the United States and Canada.

21. The Battlestar Galactica and the Viper fighters are similar in design to the old show, but were revamped for the new show. The Cylon Basetar, Cylon Raider, and Cylon Centurion each had a completely new design for the new show. Also, there are only four ships that appear in the remake but not in the original: "Colonial One" (the transport used by Laura Roslin), the Olympic Carrier, Cloud 9 and the ringed passenger liner.

20. Commander Adama has a shaving mirror in his cabin. This mirror is made by IKEA, and is a model called "Fräck". This word is similar to "frak" which is the primary vulgarity in the Battlestar Galactica universe.

19. The rank structure for the officers serving in the Colonial Fleet are as follows: OFFICERS: Admiral, Commander, Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, Lieutenant (junior grade), Ensign. ENLISTED: Master Chief Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer (1st, 2nd Class), Specialist, Deck Hand, Recruit. There are also Marines aboard Galactica which conform more closely to the traditional enlisted Marine ranks, with Sergeants, Sergeants-Major, etc. Unresolved is the question of whether the Marine officers would also adhere to the mixed rank structure.

18. Number Six (Tricia Helfer) was named after Patrick McGoohan's character in the television series "The Prisoner" (1967).

17. The telephone handset used on the bridge of the Galactica is a US Army issues field telephone used since the Korean War, known as the TA-1.

16. Jane Seymour was offered the role of Admiral Helena Cain. When she turned down the offer, Ronald D. Moore offered the role to Michelle Forbes and she accepted.

15. Adama's lighter was actually purchased at a garage sale.

14. When they created the sub plot with Helo and Boomer on Caprica the creators did not know why Boomer and the Cylons were interested in Helo. It was only about half way through the first season that they decided that the Cylons were interested in biological reproduction, an issue that has become very important to the series.

13. The phrase "so say we all", which is used as a ceremonial affirmation in the series, was ad-libbed by Edward James Olmos in a speech given by Commander Adama in the mini-series.

12. The Battlestar Pegasus set is actually the recycled set of the Jupiter 2 from The Robinsons: Lost in Space (2004) (TV). The set was purchased when the latter's pilot failed to generate a series.

11. Lucy Lawless was originally offered the role of Ellen Tigh, but rejected it feeling that she was wrong for the part. The producers so wanted her for a role on the series, however, that they later wrote the role of D'Anna Biers with Lawless in mind.

10. The term "skinjob", used to describe any of the humanoid Cylon models, is a reference to the movie Blade Runner (1982), in which Edward James Olmos also starred (and suggested Tricia Helfer watch to help her prepare) and the Nexus 6 models are described by the same moniker.

9. The combat helmets worn by the Marines are actually Giro "Bad Lieutenant" snowboarder helmets. They're made out of plastic, not Kevlar.

8. Many of the weapons used in the series are actual modern firearms, and not custom props. The Marines often use Heckler & Koch G36 rifles and Beretta CX4 carbines, Anders frequently carries a Heckler & Koch UMP submachinegun and a Desert Eagle pistol, Helo sometimes carries a South African Protecta drum-fed shotgun, and Starbuck sometimes uses a pair of Skorpion vz 61 submachineguns.

7. In the beginning of season 3, Jamie Bamber did not actually gain the weight for the role. Instead, a body double was used for some close-up shots of the rounded tummy, and Bamber wore a jowl-forming brace in his mouth. A few wide shots of his body were cheated out.

6. Occasionally, the main musical theme from The Deer Hunter (1978) can be heard. For example, in the final scene of "Scar" (episode 2.15).

5. To prepare for her role as Gina, the captive Cylon, Tricia Helfer viewed the film La ciociara (1960) to give her a better understanding of a rape victim.

4. Jon Cryer auditioned for the role of Baltar.

3. The only characters carried over from the original series are Adama, Starbuck, Apollo, Boomer, Tigh, Baltar, and (in only the miniseries and a brief cameo in one episode) Boxey.

2. Sam Shepard, Ed Harris and Harrison Ford were all considered for the role of William Adama.

1. Edward James Olmos had a clause in his contract that no strange aliens or monsters would ever appear on the show. He wanted to insure that the story stay focused on human drama.


Mercédesz Biró said...

Thanks for this facts. I watched this month BSG for the first time, I really loved it. :)

Kurt Mager said...

Actually you missed two characters that were carried over from the original series. Zack Adama was in the pilot of the original series as well as the reimagined series. Also "Jolly" was a pilot that died early in the miniseries, but was also a reoccurring supporting character in the original series.

Kurt Mager said...

Actually you missed two characters that were carried over from the original series. Zack Adama was in the pilot of the original series as well as the reimagined series. Also "Jolly" was a pilot that died early in the miniseries, but was also a reoccurring supporting character in the original series.

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