Battlestar Galactica Interview: Mark Verheiden on Cylon Amnesty and Finding Earth
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, Mark is answering questions about Episode #10 of Season Four, "Revelations," which aired June 13, 2008 and is BSG’s mid-season finale. Note: These answers may contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.
COMICMIX (from reader Erica): Is it true that the online streamed version of the episode is longer than the one that aired on Sci-Fi?
MARK VERHEIDEN: As usual, I have to plead ignorance, I simply don’t know, and guess whose TiVo went to the wrong channel when the episode actually aired Friday night? I’m sure the eagle-eyes in the audience will let us know soon enough!
CMix (from reader Erica): Are we to assume that, in the show’s final shot on Earth, that is Caprica Six who walks up to Tigh and reaches for him? Was she freed from the brig as part of the amnesty policy Lee announced?
MV: That is Caprica Six and yes, Lee’s amnesty encompassed her as well.
CMix (from reader Avery): Was that the Brooklyn Bridge in the background of the final scene? Are they on Ellis Island?
MV: Anything I might say or not say about that last sequence could be construed as a spoiler, so I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait until the next bunch of episodes. Given the other questions I’ve been receiving since the episode ran, I may have to put that particular demur on a hot key, since it will be my standard answer re: anything involving the next episodes.
But as long as we’re discussing the last scene, may I give a shout out, as usual, to the incredible FX team who once again pulled out all the stops for this episode? And for that matter, the props and play-back guys. Kara’s discovery in her Viper plays because the visual information is so clear and dynamic.
CMix (from reader Leah): Does the fact that Laura Roslin made it to Earth mean she’s not the dying leader?
MV: Well, she’s still dying from cancer, so she’s “the dying leader” of the fleet no matter how you parse it. I don’t think the scrolls specified “dead” leader. As for where that particular prophesy eventually takes us, I can only preach patience.
CMix (from reader Avery): Will we see further ramifications of the revelation of the four in the second half, specifically regarding the Adama/Tigh relationship? Adama’s breakdown was heartbreaking.
MV: Poor Adama has certainly been through a lot this season, and it’s not over yet. Eddie Olmos’ performance was as raw and powerful as anything we’ve done, and I don’t think it gives anything away to say that yes, there will be tests and challenges for the Admiral and all in our rag-tag fleet when the show picks back up.
CMix (from reader Avery): Can you tell us about any webisodes that are coming out during the hiatus? Or any potential movies?
MV: At this writing, no, I can’t. Doesn’t mean these things won’t happen, but various issues are still being mulled. And there is the possibility of a SAG strike looming out there as well, bringing a queasy and unfortunately familiar feeling to those of us who went through the WGA strike earlier this year.
Anyhow, if and when decisions are made re: either one of those ancillary projects, I’m sure Ron Moore, David Eick and/or the good people at NBC/Universal and Sci-Fi will let everyone know.
CMix: Is it really Earth, or is it perhaps just one possible version of earth?
MV: I feel like I’m on the stand during the Watergate hearings. I’m pleading the fifth. Drinking a fifth, since I’m as eager to discuss all this as anyone!
CMix: What was your favorite part of this episode?
MV: Where to start? David Weddle and Bradley Thompson’s powerful script, Michael Rymer’s amazing direction. Michael is also directing the show finale. All the performances.
in an episode that I could drown in superlatives, I really enjoyed the back and forth stand-off between D’Anna and Lee, Tigh’s torturous decision to reveal himself, and finally it was a rare treat to see joy erupt across the fleet as Earth beckoned.
For more on Battlestar Galactica, including full BSG episodes, as well as info on other programming on the Sci-Fi Channel, visit www.scifi.com