Podcast:Valley of Darkness

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Hello, and welcome to the podcast for episode two, season two, this will be discussing "Valley of Darkness". As those of you who listened to the podcast of episode one, "Scattered", know, "Valley of Darkness" was originally part of "Scattered". All the "B" storylines, the character lines, and what happens on Kobol and Caprica, et cetera, were all originally in the season opener, and we felt that it was just too much, too much to cram into one episode. So we basically split it into two. The significantly new element in "Valley of Darkness", of course, is the boarding action against Galactica, which is where we left off. The finale of the first episode, of course, ends with the Cylons in the landing pod. Once we split "Scattered" into two parts, everyone agreed that the simple "A" story of the Fleet being scattered and Tigh's efforts to put the fleet back together were not enough to really sustain you for two full hours. They were fine to get you through one hour, but we really couldn't attenuate that story to a place where you would go through two episodes doing it. So we had to come up with something else, and it seemed that a logical place to go, that if a Cylon Raider got through, crashed in a landing bay— in the starboard landing bay, where the museum was— that we could, as a jumping off point, we could say that that's where part one ends and part two picks up.

Episode two is also— it was a very problematic show, in a lot of— for a lot of reasons, in editing and post-production, and there was a lot of controversy about the show, there was a lot of re-editing— one could prolly fill an entire DVD with the various cuts of this episode. Starting right here: this scene, with Billy, Dualla, at the beginning is now one of the nicer textures in the show, in that it sets up this nice little subplot that we touch on later. This was actually shot much later. This was something we went back and put into the show, because there was a feeling that the show was too dark, that there was too intense, it was too violent, that there was— it wasn't enough, sort of life in it, and there weren't another other colors, as it were, to— of other textures, and human stories going on, so what we did is we shot the bookends, of Billy and Dualla in the corridor here at the beginning, and Billy and Dualla in sickbay at the end, and we also expanded the Caprica piece that I'll talk about later. Essentially, though, we did have in the original draft and the original cut, there was the sequence of Billy encountering Dualla in the corridor and them going off together, and all the action that takes place with Billy and Dualla in the action part of the story. What we didn't have was any texture about their relationship, and why they— why he found her, and why he reacted to her the way he did, why there was any kind of relationship. And the feeling— I felt that— David and I talked about this when we were getting a lot of heat about how dark the show was, and we talked about just in general, the fact that it would be nice to touch on that storyline again. And now it's like a story: it has a beginning, middle, and end. There's the setup of the relationship and what's going on with Billy and Dualla, that she's feeling a bit shut out with him, and then they run into each other in the context of the action story, and then there's a wrap-up at the end. So we created, essentially, a story out of what was just sort of a runner.

As a consequence, though, and this is a problem that I freely acknowledge, there is a sense in these opening scenes that the characters seem unaware of the danger that they're in. Which was a deliberate choice, but it was sort of accentuated now by this Billy/Dualla interlude at the beginning, where you don't quite feel the same sense of urgency that you want. I think that the show kind of opens in a lower key than I wish it did. Conceptually, the rationale here is that this is just moments, literally moments after the end of episode one. A lot of things are happening simultaneously. The Vipers are— pilots are still getting out of their Vipers, we've got a lot of immediate aftermath of the battle still going on. They're still figuring out what happened in CIC. Tigh's had time to make his way down to sickbay, but that's about it. And it's really— you had enough time for him to check on Adama and see how he is, and not much else has happened. And clearly everyone down on the hangar bay is unaware that anything untoward has happened. But I think it is a fair criticism to say that as you watch the episode now, that at the beginning it feels like too much time has passed since the end of episode one, and it feels like they're too lackadaisical, and too unaware of the fact that they have a potential danger in the starboard landing pod. And that's fair. Y'know, I mean we tried adjusting certain things, we tried to sort of up the urgency quotient, as it were in these initial sequences. Y'know, the lights are out. These guys are just walking down the corridor and have no idea what they're about to happen on, and kaboom.

It's still an effective open, I mean, and it's like, yeah, if you could— in a perfect world the whole sequence would have been designed to sort of sustain a sense of urgency throughout the entire tease in such a way that it wouldn't bother you quite as much. But y'know, I think it does work. I mean, I think you can take that leap as an audience and by the time you get the tease, certainly, I don't think you're— the end of the tease, certainly, I don't think you're thinking about, oh y'know, "what took them so long to discover the Cylons?" Hey, there's a Cylon right there; it just ripped that guy in half. So I think it kind of satisfies the blood lust on the behalf of the audience.

Oh, and as an added texture, that number of the survivors will change week to week, by the way. That's something you might wanna take a look at. We are tracking the number of survivors, actually. And that's the end of the tease.

Act 1

We went through various differ— as I said before, we went through a lot of different cuts, and structural changes were made, that— this sequence you're following right now, the Cylons pursuing the pilots down the corridor. As I recall, originally, and I think it was scripted this way, all this took place in the teaser, and we didn't really cut in the middle of that action until a later process in editing where we were looking for a more dynamic tease-out.

These are the Galactica marines which come up here. There were more little drops, lines of dialogue and things that sort of talked more about the marines, and there was a line that was dropped where one of the marines said, "when in doubt, send in the marines," and Lee says, "that's my new motto from now on".

Now we have the sitrep, and what's kind of cool in that sequence is the hub. (sound of car passing by) That's what, this area on Galactica— gosh, sorry for all the traffic tonight— this area on Galactica where the ladders are that really don't lead to anywhere. We don't— there's not a practical second level up that ladder, but it conveys the notion of the multi-layered, the multi-leveled ship quite effectively, so we like the use the hub whenever possible. And sometimes we've remade the hub into things like the communication office in "33" of last season. It's kind of one of our swing sets, as it were, and the hub is a multi-use facility.

Originally there were— I think there were scripted— we used to have a sequence where in that space shot, you heard all the other ships talking to each other, y'know, "I can't raise Galactica, what's going on?", y'know, "I think they're in trouble. Should we send a rescue party?", y'know, and "Maybe we should— I'm sending a damage control team right now", and there were—

I'm shutting the door, in case you're wondering what all the creaking is, just so it doesn't bother you all at home and your sensitive ears on your iPods. I wouldn't want you to drive off the road as you hear the traffic from my house or something.

—in any case, now we're down here in the brig with Laura. Again, a lot of this, the structure of "Valley of Darkness" went through a lot of changes and permutations. At what point do you cut to Laura? At what point do you pick up Lee again? Whose point of view are you taking? There was a lot of just complicated editing. What is the tone of the piece? Is this story on Galactica of the Cylons running amok in the corridors, is it a haunted house movie? Or is it something more like Aliens? And trying to strike the balance of those two ideas took up a great deal of time, and a lot of sort of playing around in editing in terms— in every aspect, in terms of how long you're in a particular scene, how much air there is in a scene, that is, how much time, gaps between dialogue, are you building suspense, what kind of music are you using, what's the sound design in the background— we had a lot of discussions about "how much gunfire should you hear in the background of all these shots?" And we felt that it was important that you kept hearing distant gunfire, so that you knew there were battles out there being fought in the passageways and corridors, even though we weren't showing them. And we're not showing them because we're following a very specific story. You're following the storyline of Lee and his team, and you're following Laura, and her people. And you don't want to constantly be giving away where the bad guys are. You don't want to constantly just be showing Centurions mowing down Galactica crewmen— as much fun as that would be— because that doesn't really help you tell the story. You want— the story you're following is: "where are the Cylons?" and "where could they be," and "they could be around any corner."

Now we're back on Cylon-occupied Caprica. This storyline from henceforth on Caprica is really one of my favorites in the whole series. I love this particular shot of them walking down the alleyway— this is obviously Vancouver. And this was really funny for a long time in dailies and in editing, because right behind Kara down that alleyway there used to be cars going back and forth— it's a busy street. There were cars constantly crossing back behind them. And she used to talk about where all the dead bodies are, and there was a line coming up later that I think we actually cut where she says, "Where's all the cars?" and you could see the cars, like, behind her.

This section right here through the bars where they stop and talk is actually added scene work. This was actually shot quite a while after the initial shoot when we wanted to sort of, again, add a little bit more texture, a little bit more pathos, a little bit more of the humanity into the show, and we loved this storyline so much that we knew it could sustain a little bit more discussion of Helo and what he's going through and Kara's reaction to it and a little bit more about their friendship. And it's moody and it's interesting, it gives you just a little bit more insight into the struggle that he's going through and that she's just starting to deal with herself.

The look of all this is tremendous, and Steve McNutt and Michael Rymer I think do wonderful, wonderful work visually, in terms of giving Caprica its own particular visual language.

This is obviously— this season, the first time that Katee and Tahmoh have worked together since the Miniseries. It's the first time that Tahmoh's worked with anybody except Sharon— except for Grace in a very long time, and it's just kind of fun to see they have a relationship, and that it's interesting to know now that Kara and Helo go back a ways, that they have a relationship, that they were friends, there there was a pre-existing sort of relationship between these two pilots.

And then we're here, we're back into original material. As scripted, actually, this was a little bit more complicated— she walked down these stairs, and she stopped and she looked and it was like the remnants of— in one version, a coffee stand, and in another version, it was the remnants of a newsstand— and it was a place that she used to go to, and she remembered that area, and that sort of place.

Back here on Galactica— this was actually— this sequence where Tigh tells them what the Cylons are after, when he says, "they're actually going over here, to aft damage control, and they're going to auxiliary fire control," and he says it now, he says, "I remem— I know where they're going," and in this version of the show, in the aired version of the show, it's— you just sort of assume that, well, Tigh's encountered these guys before, y'know, he fought in the first Cylon War, this is a memory. It was more literal in the script, and in the first cut. We actually shot an entire— uh, I'll get back to that in a minute, 'cause it's the act break!

Act 2

Okay, I'll get back to Tigh in a minute, 'cause I have to, 'cause now we're on Kobol.

This sequence, I think is really great. I think there's some people that will be quite disturbed by this sequence; I think it's really interesting and really intriguing, and it pushes the mythos forward in an interesting way, and I just think it's— but this was a controversial sequence, this whole beat of, not the Raptors flying over, but the whole beat of Adama and the baby and Adama drowning the baby, and I think there was a lot of hesitation, and there was a lot of nervousness, and "oh my God, can we show this?" and "oh please—" and it was a lot of arguing and y'know, I just kept fighting for it. David and I kept fighting for it, and kept saying, "oh, this is important. This is about the threat to the child that Baltar's investing in, and you're basically setting up a marker that Adama in some way, shape, or form, is the threat that Baltar must face to fulfill— y'know, that Adama is going to be an obstacle— a major obstacle in front of Baltar— between Baltar and fulfilling his destiny vis a vis the child. So this is a simple, visual, clear, and brutal way of dramatizing that event, and I just felt it was great, I felt that it's part of the show, that the show has these certain no-holds-barred, really brutal quality to it, that we don't shy away from things, that we tend not to avert our eyes when a lot of other shows would avert their eyes. And so we fought about this for quite a while, but ultimately made some compromises, changed some of the cutting pattern here, jumped our— did a couple of jump cuts to get you through it, and to not linger, exactly, on the shot of the baby actually being put under the water— because we really did go for it. You'll see here coming up that there's a beat where Adama— when Adama puts the child in the water— y'know, there were bubbles coming up, I mean, it was like, blub blub blub, down it goes. The whole thing— and I don't really have a hankering for infanticide, certainly, but y'know, I did— we did kill a baby in the Miniseries, and here Adama's killing a baby, and y'know, I— there is a certain sort of classic myth to this notion. There are childrenbabies are killed in the Bible. Jesus is spirited out of Nazareth because Herod is— orders it all— the first, y'know— that all the Israelite children should be killed, and probably I'm screwing up my biblical history, but that was the gist, as I recall.

And then we're back. And Baltar wakes up. And this sequence also went through a bit of editing. This whole show went through a lot of editing and playing around with what we say and what we do and what the notions are. This idea I thought was really intriguing that part of the myth of the Colonies' backstory is this notion that Kobol was a paradise in the same way that Eden in Judeo-Christian tradition was paradise and that man left paradise and has been on a fall ever since. And I thought it was intriguing to go back to Kobol to find paradise and to find out that, far from Eden, there's some really nasty, horrific things happened there that- There was human sacrifice. There was barbarism. There was brutality. There were lots of things and that man fled paradise. He was not so much cat- he was driven out by the wrath of God for the things that he did. Which, in some ways, is a basic retelling of Genesis, is a retelling of Eden. That it was Eve's- was tempted by the snake to eat from the apple. Adam does too and for that sin they are driven out. Well this is essentially a different version of the same kind of tale. That man himself brings the sin to paradise and this became a brutal, ugly kind of sin than simply gettin' some fruit off of some old tree that you weren't supposed to be snackin' on. These guys did some really nasty, untoward things and then they had to leave. And the myth continuing- the myth building in the show of, "Ok. The baby. Baltar's role guarding the baby. The father figure. What's he supposed to do? He's now invested in the child. Where is that gonna go?"

Back a little bit. Just to jump out and talk about Tigh and the backstory. We did shoot a whole scene with Tigh and Adama that was set in the same period as the flashbacks that you saw in "Scattered". And it was a scene, it was a drinking scene, between the two men. And it was modeled on the scene in Jaws where Quint is telling you the story of the USS Indianapolis and there was a similar beat where Tigh and Adama, who again, were on the freighter on the night before Adama goes to the fleet, are getting drunk. And they're getting really drunk. And then they're sitting there and they're trading stories and it turns out Tigh was on a ship call the Brenik. And the Brenik was boarded by Cylons and they tried to decompress the ship and kill them all and turn the guns of the Brenik against the other ships in their escort fleeet, and Adama went through- and Tigh, it was his first taste of real, ugly, hand-to-hand combat and saw dead people for the first time. And then it turned out that Adama had gone through something similar on the Galactica. It was the first time that we ever got in the show that Adama was actually on the Galactica. It was his- in his backstory I always felt that Galactica was the first ship that Adama was assigned to during the First Cylon War, as a pilot. And that he went through a similar experience and Galactica lost a lot of men. A lot of good men died when the Cylons got on board. But is essentially, that flashback was what informed the audience knows what they're plan is and that they Cylon plan was they didn't come right at CIC, they didn't go toward the magazines, they didn't even go towards the engines. That they essentially went to auxiliary fire control and aft damage control. They went to these secondary places on the ship, went into aft damage control, destroyed the safeties, got into the computer systems and the mechanical systems and were able to overp- take over the ship from that point and then use auxiliary fire control to attack the ships around them.

This is my favorite scene. This my- easily my favorite scene of this episode. It is my favorite scene, really, of the season, and it's one of my favorite scenes of the entire series. I love this whole bit of texture, that you go to Kara Thrace's apartment. I love the way the two actors react to it. Katee and Tahmoh actually went in there on their own and did a lot of this painting on the walls and some of the canvasses and Katee was very involved in what Starbuck's apartment would be like. I like the fact that she painted and that she had this weird Bohemian existence, that is antithetical, in a lot of ways, to what it is to be a fighter pilot in the military and that there was this other aspect of her. And we've heard some not-so-great things about her mother. We've implied them in season one episodes, but then her father is a musician and her father is a- plays piano. And that she still has his cassettes or his tapes or his discs or whatever and listens to them. In fact, this leather jacket that she's going to pick up, in a minute, and put on, is supposed to be her father's jacket. I mean, it's mentioned in the script. It's not really mentioned in dialogue. It's just a bit of background texture on the character that tells you something about her. It's a mood. There's a mood to this scene. This scene doesn't move the plot forward, except in a tiny way later when they get the car keys. That's really the only plot reason for this scene. The character, though, aspect of the subtext of it. The- what it says about Kara Thrace, I think is fascinating. And there's something great about the fact that at the end of this scene, all they do is sit there and rest and take a break, man. 'Cause these guys have been on the run. And they've been on the run pretty much since the the pilot. They haven't had a lot of breaks. And it's unusual just to show your heroes on television taking a break. It's like, seldom can they just relax. I love the fact she sits on the arrow. I don't think that was scripted. I'd love to take credit for it. I don't think it was was. I think that's just Katee being Katee and doing something cool. And Tahmoh sitting down with her and- you expect him to be going, "Come on Kara. We gotta go. We gotta go." And he's not. He's just- he's giving her the space. He's giving her the moment. This is her house. This is where she- her- where she's from. And it's the first time any of them have been back to a familiar place. We did talk about, in the first season, that maybe Helo would go through his old town on- in his journey and we talked about that extensively and we never really got around to it or spent that screen time. And I'm glad that we saved it for this. There's- somehow, it's more meaningful that Kara- I'm more- I'm just more interested in getting into Kara's apartment, really. After having spent all this time with her and seeing where she came from and where she lived and what it said about her. And I love this whole little bit. I mean, I'm sorry to just keep saying how much I love it, but I do- the first time I saw this cut, this scene cut, I just was really moved by it. I was really touched by it, and it really meant something to me. It meant a great deal. It said that the show was really going into some really interesting areas and was doing things that I had always hoped the show would do. This one is a marker. This is- I have sense of personal achievement with this particular scene 'cause I think it really says something about this series and these characters and this world, and I'm just very proud of it. See? I love this. They just like kick back and relax. And the music just plays. How great is that? That's just- I don't know. I think it is great.

And then right back up. A legitimate question can be asked about, where is everybody else? Well, here there are. I mean, there are people on Galactica. They're just getting shot. A lot. The Cylons are basically running through these corridors and laying waste to people and the Galactica crew is not having a lot of success in stopping them. I think it's also important to remember, for those of you who care about such things, that Galactica was a ship that was on its way to be decommissioned. It presumably had a skeleton crew to begin with that- however many people we say Galactica has, and I can't even honestly tell you off the top of my head how many crew it has. Probably a couple thousand. One thousand, two thousand, something like that. Probably had almost twice that many when it was at its full complement. So I think a lot of the ship is empty, in general, anyway. It's a very large ship. I mean, the landing pods alone, I think, are the size of two or three football fields. So this is a very large vessel. And it's a bit undermanned at this point. And now they've got a crisis. They've got power off. They've got the the Marines are fighting and trying to stop these Cylons. Other guys are at damage control stations. Some of the people are getting mowed down. Other people are just staying the hell out of the way. So I think it is legitimate that you can play these kind of beats, with the ship being relatively empty, and remembering that they don't have communications. The sound-power- the sound-powered telephones I don't think it's really working, but those lines are getting jammed, presumably the Cylons are cutting them. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Essentially, if you really want to, you can find rationales for just about everything that we do. The question is, "Do you want to find those rationales? Or do you want to pick it apart?" It's like, if you're stopping and asking yourself those questions, "Why is the ship dark? Why can't they call? Where's-" Then we've lost you. Then the drama has not hooked you to the point where you don't care about those kinds of questions. Where you're actually thinking about the refrigerator-logic stuff. You close the door. Did the light really go off? Where did I put that carton of milk? It's like, you either care- you're either invested in the scene or you're not. And I- my feeling is you can get away with a lot. You can still play fair to the- with the audience as long as you have a rationale that holds up and that you can stand on. You just don't have to explain everything all the time.

Act 3

And we're back on Kobol. This too- little sequence here with Cally Tyrol and Tyrol was a reshoot later that we added into the show. This was more for clarity and partially for texture, 'cause we wanted to catch you up with this story a little bit. Remind you that they're coming back from the place where Tarn got shot. And I like it in terms of its character and really glad that we added this piece, because I really like this notion that Tyrol's head is still back with the man he just lost, and Cally's trying to connect with him. And then she just like- she just loses it at him. And he's forced to deal with that. And I think Cally- this relationship between Cally and Tyrol has been an interesting one since the miniseries. I mean, Cally was, I think I'd said this before, Cally's a very small player in the miniseries and we just kept using her and there's something great about the relationship between these two knuckledraggers. The two guys down below-decks and what they've gone through and what they've shared and that they're on this mission to save one of their guys, to save Socinus.

It's effective. This- I mean, I'm very happy on balance of all the re-shoots that we did and that we added them into the show. That it does provide a little bit more humanity into it and just get to spend more time with these characters is the biggest plus that came out of the effort to go back and really keep working on this particular episode. This- overall, "Valley of Darkness" now feel like a full meal. It feels like a richer meal. It feels like we've really expanded the language of what was happening in this particular episode. And they just keep going. 'Cause they've got- they're trying to get their stuff back to their guy.

This bit here is another like great just little bit of action with Sam Witwer as Crashdown. I mean- I- Crashdown's just a fascinating character. I mean, he's really trying to do the right thing. He's really trying to be in charge. He is not just a patsy. He's not just like an idiot second lieutenant who's so dumb, and so inexperienced, and so stupid that it's like, "Oh my God." But there is- he is inexperienced. He isn't a ground officer. He's not an infantry officer. This isn't his thing. He's really trying, though. He's really trying to be a leader. He's really trying to live up to the ideals of what he thinks he should be doing in this situation. And I think that makes him an interesting character. Even though you can see the flaw and you can see the things that are not workin' too well in his leadership style.

This scene. Also very controversial. Does Socinus die? Should Socinus die? We felt, yes, Socinus d- should die. It was too- I mean... It was in some ways too pat and too easy and just too good of an- too nice of an ending that they went through all the things that they did and they came back and they brought him medicine and then survived. And no, it just doesn't always happen that way. It just doesn't. And we wanted to play that. We wanted to play the pyrrhic nature of that. We wanted to play the intense emotion that's happening to these people. The tragedy of the things that are happening in this- to this little party as one by one they die and they just can't seem to stop it no matter what they do. And that the best that they can do is help ease him on his way. And that in some ways that small act of mercy and that small gesture is the best they can do for him, and that they're willing to do it. I didn't know, when we were writing this sequence, that Aaron Douglas had gone through a loss and a tragedy and had gone through losing someone very close to him, and that made it very difficult, I think for- he told me that it is very difficult for him to do these scenes. But he really embraced it. He really wanted to do these scenes. He thought it was very brave. He wanted to really- he wanted to play it and I was surprised and I was moved by that and I- as soon as he started telling me that I was just, "Oh, my God. I didn't-" Because I didn't- you don't- it would have been really not cool to have taken something from an actor and put it in a script like that and forced him to go through just to get a response. And when he first started telling me about it I was very hesitant and I was like, "Ooh. Maybe we shouldn't do this." But, no, Aaron's a pro, and Aaron cares about the material, and Aaron wanted to reach inside and really bring something to it that he knew and knew was true, and wanted to play the truthful quality of it and really touch on the feelings that were happening. It was a brave- it's a brave thing for an actor to do, to go to those places. And it was a dark place and Aaron was willing to go there.

Looking back, I still regret that we cut that scene where he got Socinus out of jail in "Kobol's Last Gleaming". That- which is really too bad, 'cause it added a layer of meaning to all this. That Tyrol had just gotten this kid out of jail and put him on this mission and that that was part of the guilt of what was going on here. It's heartbreaking. It's supposed to be heartbreaking. These things break your heart.

Back on the Galactica. This was al- there was also a significant story cut here. There was a sc- there was a whole bit of business here when Lee calls into Tigh and tells him where he is and what he's doing. Tigh, and we filmed it this way, and the first cut had it, where he comes- he calls Tigh and Tigh says, "Ok, where are you? What are you doing?" And he's, "Oh, ok. We're down here. I've got these Marines with me." And Tigh immediately goes, "Ok. Jesus. Let me talk to Private So and So." And Lee says, "What? What what are you talking about? I'm in command of this mission." And he says, "No you're not. I'm relieving you as of this moment. Give me Private So and So. Private Kelso." And Lee says, "Hey, what's going on? I'm the officer. You give the orders through me." And Tigh went off on him, under the stress. "You have disappointed everybody in your life. You're someone that can't be counted on. Now GET ME THE FRAKKIN' PRIVATE!" And Lee was shocked by that and just told him, "I- this is my command. You have orders, you give them through me." And Tigh had to acquiesce to that and finally give it to him. And then in the end, at the very en- the end sequence when they're next to Adama's bed, there was an exchange between Tigh and Ada- Tigh and Lee, part of which is still there, but it also went to Lee saying, "Did my dad really say that about me?" 'Cause Tigh assumes that it's- I love this little bit. Sorry, as a side note that, "If you ever put that in your trousers, put the safety on." I think it's just so great. That Lee saying, "Did my father really say those things about me?" 'Cause Lee assumes that Tigh is parroting something that he heard Adama say. But no, it's actually that, "the Old Man thought the sun rose- rises and sun- sets on you, and I don't know for the life of me why you put a gun to my head. You chose that woman over him and I think you're a loser," basically is what he's saying. And Lee having to take that and move on and then the scene continued. And there was a lot of controversy about it. Is it unlikeable? Why are they doing this? And blah, blah, blah. And it was one of those things that ultimately I was wrong about. Ultimately that was a misstep in this script and when I saw it in the cut I didn't like it either. Felt it was inappropriate and decided to cut it. You just- sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes you think these things are gonna work out and they don't.

Act 4

Ok. Aft damage control. It says so on the chiron. And it says so on the door. It must be Aft Damage Control. There, I think, early drafts of this had different firefights and exact mechan- different mechanics of how people got to where the positions they were, but essentially this scene didn't change a lot, conceptually, from draft to draft. I like the idea that these guys were the only guys between the Cylons and Aft Damage Control. The Cylons had essentially outmaneuvered everybody else. They had trapped people. They had fought Marines. They had depressurized certain compartments to slow the passage and now the only thing that stood between them and getting their hands on the decompression safeties was Lee and his little band. And then Laura happening, just by coincidence and luck of the draw, happens to be coming into the same area at the same time.

These are hard sequences to stage. Hard sequences to shoot. They require a lot of coverage, that is, different shots of different players at different moments. There's lots of angles to deal with. There's lots of special effects and stuntwork, and it's complicated things. If you want to make it look like something other than what tv normally is, where it's just simple little shootout and you go, "But that doesn't make any sense." And we wanted it to be as brutal and realistic as we po- as we could given the time, and budget, and all the parameters that we have to deal with on a weekly series. You're building the suspense and tension here. A nice little callback about, "Roll the hard six," that Lee comes up with from his dad, even though he doesn't know what the hell that actually means, which I think is charming and wonderful.

And then we get to actually do some real hard core Cylon Centurion stuff. These scenes really are dependent entirely on their success on Gary Hutzel and his team coming through with us- for us, in the end. We shoot all these things and you just have faith that Gary and company are gonna come through. They're gonna put Cylons in those empty corridors and that they're gonna be great and scary and wonderful.

The key to this whole sequence is that Billy misfires the gun. That it's actually- I like the notion that it was a mistake that gave them the moment of advantage. That these guys- the Cylons are comin' for 'em. Are they gonna be able to stand where all the others have fallen? I think think that's a greate shot of Cylons running down the corridors. And then we have this little bit of business, where Billy just squeezes off a round, because he's- she says, "Now take the safety off." Laura ducks. Billy misfires. What's that? Look at all the blood on the Cylons.

Sorry, I'm just watching now. It's like- I love that. I love the way the guy gets up. The Centurion gets up one leg at a time like a person would and stands there and blowing these people away. And then comes the really cool shot here, that it's just, I think, tremendous given that it's just there's no practical anything. It's just- that's all CGI. m-Boom! Right over his head. That's great. And the slide down the hall and the clanking sound, and then it's over. And you're not even sure who made it and why.

Oh. I have a cat running across my roof at this moment. There is something, a creature, is skittering across the tile roof of my house.

Jammer was- initially they- I think it didn't quite come through in the script, or in the film, rather. But the idea was when he was in the arms locker he was there hiding. He was, like, like the guy hiding in the closet during the attack and that there were- not all the Galactica crewman are heroic and that he was dragged into this mission, despite his misgivings, and then was there at the end, and then he lords- he's the one who's the most excited, of course, because he- "We got 'em! We got 'em! We got 'em!" And I thought that was an interesting little journey.

I like bit of Laura. The bullet holes in Laura's clothes.

Back to Caprica. Those boxes. I love those cigar boxes. In the earlier scene that Kara's looking through and looking for the cigars and I keep expecting her to pull out a stash of something. I just- yeah, Kara has, like, all this stashed, sitting in her apartment. (Chuckles.)

At some point we had to decide, "Do they have cars on Caprica?" And you get into a thing about, well, it is a sister world to ours, but what's a car gonna look like? Is it gonna be just a Ford or something? There's lots of discussion and finally we just went, "You know what? Whatever. She's got a car. Let's get her a- something tough and Kara-like." And so we went for, basically, a Humvee kind of vehicle and just went for it because it just became too tedious and annoying to try to come up with the futuristic car that's a "Caprica car" that's not a recognizable car. And it's like, "Who cares?" Give her- this feels like something Kara would drive. If Kara's gonna drive a car, I believe that's the kind of car Kara's gonna drive.

Again, this little sequence was, again, part of the re-shoot. Not the re-shoot, but the additional scenes we went in and shot. And you can see, now, in context, that it really does provide a little bit of a story here. That the story of these two young kids and young lovers, as it were, through the piece, that they survived and there's something hopeful about that and there's something warm and touching about that and it's just another piece of life aboard the Galactica. And I am glad that this sequence is in here. Not least of which because these are two great actors. I mean, I think Paul and Kandyse both are really, really valuable members of the team, of what makes Battlestar Galactica a very special show. I've always remarked on how incredibly lucky we are with the cast. The cast is just tremendous, top to bottom. And that they're all good players and that there's really just too much. If anything it's an embarrassment of riches with all these people and they can- and they're just great to play all these scenes with and you just know that whoever's in the scene is gonna be good and that you're gonna be intrigued by each scene and that you're gonna feel something in each scene.

And then we come back to the Adama section with- everybody who ended up in sickbay now looking down at Adama.

This is all pretty much as written and as filmed. Lee, who hasn't seen his father, really- I mean, you forget- Lee hasn't seen his father since he was dragged kicking and screaming out of CIC at the beginning of episode one. Which was really not that long ago. I mean, this whole, we're talking about a couple hours, max. Or however long "Scattered" took place. This is really not that long since those events.

This was the section that we lifted, that I lifted, because I just didn't think it worked. It was just a- it was just too much. It was adding too many conflicts between characters. There's enough conflict going on in this scene, given the fact that Lee pulled a gun on Tigh and that he sided with the President against Adama, and yet he is Adama's son. He's not Tigh's son. And the ship is Adama's, and that's a statement that even Tigh admits. No- nothing's really gonna move forward without Adama. They're not make these- Tigh's not- only gonna make so many decision. He's not going to ultimately decide what to do with Lee. He's not gonna ultimately decide what to do with Laura. That he- this is Bill Adama's ship until the day he dies, and Tigh really believes that so he's going to do what Lee said, "Wait until the Old Man wakes up and then he can decide what to do with both of us." Which I think is great.

And that musical piece coming back in again which is just haunting and wonderful. We've loved since we heard it in the first cut. It became, like, the signature piece of the episode, emotionally.

I think it's a good episode. I'm very proud of "Valley of Darkness". It was a tremendous amount of time and effort went into this piece by a lot of people to make this one all that it could be. And in the end, I think it's a really good one I think it's a worthy episode in that it doesn't suffer from the "sophomore slump" in that oh, the second episode sometimes is not as strong as the open. I think it really does carry forward and it feels like season two is really going places and doing things that season one could only hint at, and the characters all seem deeper and richer, and the show just feels like it's really hitting on all cyllinders at this point. It's not still trying to figure itself out. It's not hesitant. It's still uncompromising, and in your face, and brutal, and yet it still has a heart, and it still is demanding a lot of you, as a viewer, and I'm very proud of that, and very proud of the fact that we continue to set a very high standard for ourselves, and for the show, and that- and I'm very pleased that we continue to deliver ratings for Sci Fi Channel, which is what it's all about, and- but the Channel's been very supportive of us and they continue to support the things that we do, and they're good creative partners for the show, and I think we're on the perfect network for this program.

And that's about it. And I will talk to you again on "Fragged". So take care, and thank you.

Battlestar Galactica (Re-Imagined) Season 2 (2005-2006) Podcast List

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