Battlestar Galactica Interview: Mark Verheiden on the ‘Final Five’ and Music
Welcome to the latest installment of Battlestar Galactica Weekly, our recurring Q&A with Mark Verheiden, co-executive producer of the hit Sci-Fi Channel series Battlestar Galactica. Each week, we’ll interview Verheiden about the events of the week’s episode, what those events might mean for both the season and the series, and hopefully unearth some clues about what to expect as the final season of Battlestar Galactica nears its conclusion.
Along with posing our own questions to Verheiden, we’re also taking questions from fans — so be sure to send your questions to me, your official BSG Weekly interviewer, after each episode airs at chris [at] comicmix dot com. New episodes of Battlestar Galactica can be seen every Friday at 10 PM EST on Sci-Fi Channel. You can read previous interviews via our BSG Weekly Archive or the links at the end of this article.
This week, Verheiden answers questions about the Episode #7 of Season Four, "Guess What’s Coming to Dinner," which aired May 16, 2008. Note: These answers may contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.
COMICMIX (from reader Molly): Are there any legal ramifications for Sam’s shooting Gaeta during the mutiny, for either one of them? I know some were surprised that Sam wasn’t put in the brig.
MARK VERHEIDEN: Given that Gaeta was shot in the midst of a mutiny that he was helping to engineer (in the legal sense, Anders would probably be justified shooting a mutineer), I’m not sure anyone involved wants to get into the unfortunate details of the shooting. Especially with Adama.
That said, and not wanting to delve into “the future” except in the most general sense, this is Battlestar. The shooting will most definitely have ramifications, but they may not be what you expect.
CMix (from reader Allison): Was there any significance to the fact that Sharon kills Natalie in front of two of the "final five", and even asks Chief to pick up Hera, given that her vision is of the Opera House where the "final five" reside?
MV: Questions about significance naturally lead toward revelations yet to come, so I am hesitant to dive in on this one, but it is curious that so many of them are in the corridor for this confrontation, isn’t it?
CMix (from reader Erica): I found myself really stuck on how Baltar found out about this "rumor" that Roslin was sharing visions with several cylons. I don’t really accept his explanation to Tory.
MV: Since Baltar’s telling the truth about the President’s shared visions, I think you can assume his explanation as to how he learned about them is also true.
CMix (from reader Erica): Is there anything you can tell us about this ever-widening arc of musical metaphors and references that have been added to the show since the end of last season?
MV: Obviously “All Along The Watchtower” played a major role in the revelation of four of the final five, so yes, “music” is a recurring theme. As for it being an ever-widening arc, that is a perceptive and perhaps even prescient observation…
CMix: Were Tyrol, Tigh, Anders, Tory and the fifth Cylon to be named later all planned as "final five" Cylons from the beginning, or is it something that evolved over the course of the show?
MV: Since we only met 7 “skinjobs” during the first three seasons and always knew there were 12, the idea of discovering those “final five” has been floating around the writer’s room for as long as I’ve been on the show (I started about five episodes into Season Two).
Since Anders and Tory weren’t even introduced until several episodes into the series, obviously they weren’t in anybody’s “they’re Cylons!” thinking from the very beginning. But the concept was always there.
The question of “who” was something we discussed at length when we started considering this revelation for season three. Stories and plotlines tend to evolve as a show goes on, so I personally think even if Ron Moore and David Eick had picked five names in the beginning, they may well have changed as the show went on.
CMix: What’s the significance of the book Searider Falcon and why does Roslin have it with her on the trip to see the Hybrid? Does her having it mean she’s ready to accept death and read the rest of the book?
MV: That’s one possible interpretation, but remember Falcon was the book that Adama was reading to her over the last episode or two, so maybe it’s simply to remind her of someone who is important to her…
CMix: What causes Tigh to order the "weapons hold"? Is it really the reason he gives Adama?
MV: I think Tigh’s explanation, that he had no idea why he called it, is correct as far as it goes. I mean, he IS a Cylon, so that might have something to do with it, but he can’t tell Adama that.
CMix: What was your favorite part of this episode?
MV: The entire staff got goose-bumps the first time we saw the dailies of A.J. (Gaeta) singing. Michael Angeli’s lyrics and Bear McCreary’s music are perfect and it’s such a nice touch. I also like Hera’s plaintive “bye bye” to Athena as she goes off to find the ill-fated Six.
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