Now Playing Magazine has spoken with Ron Moore again, in the following article:
Moore’s What ifs: The Return of Starbuck, Ship of Lights, and More
Written by Scott Collura
Monday, 13 March 2006
In the first part of our interview with Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ron Moore (click here to read it), the showrunner discussed the controversial season two finale of the Sci Fi Channel series, as well as where Galactica is heading in year three. Today, as we conclude our chat with Moore, Now Playing throws out some “what if” questions at the producer… Like, for example, what are the chances of revisiting more of the episodes from the original ’70s Galactica with the new show, as was done earlier this year with the story arc about the Battlestar Pegasus?
“I’ve thought about it. None of the other episodes seem to lend themselves as easily to translation as ‘Pegasus’ did,” Moore says, while also acknowledging that the original series featured several iconic images and moments that even non-fans remember from their younger years – moments like the return of the Pegasus in “The Living Legend,” the ship of lights from “War of the Gods,” and the last stand of Starbuck from Galactica 1980’s “The Return of Starbuck.”
“The ship of lights I’ve thought about [revisiting,] but we’ve sort of at this point developed our own mythology and theology in terms of what the religious beliefs are and what the back story is,” continues Moore. “And the ship of lights feels like it’s a different thought than what we’re doing in the show. That was all about quasi-divine beings showing up, and you had the good ones and the bad ones, and there seemed to be some larger godlike chess game that the people on Galactica and the Cylons were caught up in, and I think at this point that just introduces a whole other complicating factor into what we’ve got because we’ve got so much going with the religious aspects of the show and the backstory of the Lords of Kobol and the tribes… So I don’t think we’re going to go there.”
In the case of Galactica 1980’s final episode, and its only good one, a revisit to the heartbreaking “The Return of Starbuck” – which saw Dirk Benedict return to the show long enough to get stranded on a planet along with a Cylon who he befriends – has not been ruled out.
“As for the Galactica 1980 episode, it’s more interesting,” says Moore. “I’m not sure… We might do something along those lines at some point. That episode is all predicated on the two fighter pilots down; it’s Wings Over the Pacific. It’s the two shot-down pilots who learn to trust one another in their situation, and it’s a very familiar story. I’d be willing to try it if we had a really interesting twist on it.”
Moore also wants to continue to explore the universe of Galactica in ways that the original show never quite got around to, including taking a look at life in the fleet from the “everyday Colonial’s” perspective every once in awhile. We’ve gotten a look at the non-military aspects of fleet life occasionally, as in the prison ship-based “Bastille Day” and the criminal underworld-themed “Black Market,” but, according to the producer, getting off the deck of the Galactica and onto the other surviving Colonial ships is harder than one might expect.
“The perspective of somebody, just sort of the day in the life type of show from someone else, that’s always a possibility and sort of a classic way to go,” he says. “We always want to do things off of the Galactica and in the civilian fleet more, and we talk about it endlessly and explore it periodically. It’s just difficult in terms of production, and we’re held back by money and stage space because we have to build or find another civilian ship and it’s always proven difficult.”
“Bastille Day,” the season one episode that featured the debut of the character Tom Zarek, is an example of how difficult it can be to create an entirely new environment on a TV budget.
“‘Bastille Day’ was the most we ever spent on another ship that wasn’t Galactica or Colonial One, and it was very expensive,” laughs Moore. “It was a hugely expensive episode for us in the first season and we just haven’t gone back to try and do that again since, mostly for that reason. We don’t have an ability to create large, complicated civilian vessels, so we have to make some rooms and find locations that are good stand-ins for the other ships. On ‘Bastille Day’ there was a lot of location work. We did some of that on our soundstages, but a lot of it was on locations that they found where we could kind of bring elements in. You just end up spending up so much of your resources in the art department and production and realize that you don’t have a lot left over for anything else. And it just keeps biting you in the ass all the way through the season, so we haven’t had a chance to do much of that.”
But, with that said, Moore thinks that episodes that do explore new aspects of Colonial life are essential to the continued creativity of the cast and the crew.
“We tend to get [uninterested] … if we don’t keep mixing it up and trying different things with all the different characters,” he says, before adding that looking for new and interesting things to do script-wise does not mean that he’s getting tired of working on Galactica. “I haven’t gotten bored yet, so that’s a good sign. I don’t know… I’m really attached to the show, and it would be really hard to leave it at this point. And we’re still pretty young in the life of the series.”
So for how long will Ron Moore be steering Battlestar Galactica?
“Ask me that again in like two more seasons,” he laughs.