Emily S. Whitten: The Dragon*Con Experience Part III – Battlestar Galactica, or On Your Feet, Nuggets!
One great thing about Dragon*Con is that sometimes it inspires me to check out new shows or genre fiction, and sometimes it inspires me to re-visit a past favorite. After this year’s Battlestar Galactica panel I had a super-cravi ng to go back and watch the show again; thanks to Netflix I’ve been re-living the intensity that is BSG.
What I love about the show, as someone pointed out in the panel (BSG – Bright Shiny Futures Are Overrated) is that it uses the harsh situation that the few remaining members of the human race find themselves in to explore numerous complex themes that resonate with real world conflicts and historical events. Along with plenty of action and drama, it’s an intellectual show that challenges viewers to think about the choices being made, and highlights the complexity and imperfections of the main characters as they constantly make difficult decisions that will affect the whole of humanity. It’s also sometimes exceedingly grim – so much so that the first time I was watching it, I found that I had to take a break for awhile about half-way through the series and go watch something a little less bleak. But that is a testament to the way the show tries to confront the cruel realities that must be faced in times of war; and is balanced by the way it also celebrates the kindness and heroism that can be drawn out by the same intense situations.
Another thing that’s great about the series is that since it appears at first to be set in a far, far distant (though not technologically unrecognizable) future, it’s aged well. Also, in tune with the recurring theme that “all of this has happened before; and all of this will happen again,” the stories and interactions follow cycles of our own human interactions that we can identify with, so they do not seem not dated, and the themes are still relevant. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend giving it a try. Even if you have, you may not have known (as I didn’t, the first time I watched) about the tie-in material like Razor and the webseries, so you could always check those out as well. In the meantime, here are a few words from some of the stars of the show, who I got to talk to while at Dragon*Con (although I sadly missed getting to chat with Katee Sackhoff).
While discussing film projects, James Callis (a.k.a. Dr. Gaius Baltar, who looks and sounds uncannily similar to his character in person, but is thankfully much nicer) shared with me the interesting tidbit that his favorite TV or film character – not one he wants to play, per se, but one he loves – is Frank-n-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (as played by Tim Curry). I can’t deny that he’s a fascinating character! And Callis’ favorite part of the con? “Meeting all of you guys.”
Jamie Bamber (a.k.a. Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama), who was wearing a fantastic “My Other Ride is a Viper” shirt, told me he’s currently involved in a new series based on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s novel Monday Mornings (also starring Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina). The show will be produced by Gupta and David E. Kelley and is centered around the Monday morning morbidity meetings at a Portland hospital, where the doctors reflect on what went wrong the previous week. Bamber says, “I’ve seen the pilot, and it’s really the best start to something that I’ve ever done.” High praise, considering how awesome Battlestar Galactica was! And Bamber’s favorite part of the con is “catching up with old friends, like the Battlestar Galactica group and everyone.”
Michael Trucco (a.k.a. Sam Anders), who is super tall in person, let me know that next on his agenda is at least six episodes of season eight of How I Met Your Mother… “and I can say that my character takes a turn that’s… ‘ironically comical.’“ As for what he loves about Dragon*Con, that’s pretty much everything, i.e. “the panels and the Walk of Fame, as well as the interactions with the fans.”
Richard Hatch, (a.k.a. Tom Zarek, and also Captain Apollo on the original 1978/80 series) and I chatted about a number of upcoming events in his life, including (alert, alert!) a Battlestar Galactica con from May 23-26, 2013 in Houston, Texas, with actors from both the original series and the new series. And we just re-launched battlestargalactica.com, which is sort of like a Facebook for fans.” Also he recommends fans check out whothefrak.com. “We’re developing it into a reality show with me and some industry friends. I’m also hosting a cruise to the Mediterranean next year, and will be teaching my seminars and everything during the cruise.”
There’s also an album out called “From Apollo to Tom Zarek: The Battlestar Galactica Memoirs,” regarding his career in both of the series’.”And I’m also working on a big epic sci-fi series that’s in development called The Great War of Magellan, for which we are developing a game and a novel.” Whew! Busy times in the life of Richard Hatch! But he still has time for the fans, and at Dragon*Con, says “I love the Battlestar party and the steampunk ball and the panels.”
Thanks to the stars of BSG for their time and awesomeness! And that’s it it for this year’s Dragon*Con experience, but stay tuned, because Baltimore Comic Con, which is next up, was just as fun!
Until next week, Servo Lectio!
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis Goes Back To High School
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold and Archie’s Sex Change