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HiFi-SciFi: Battlestar Galactica/Caprica Paley Festival Panel

BSG and Caprica:  A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Battlestar Galactica and Caprica cast and producers at the 26th Annual Paley Festival in Los Angeles, CA.  Copyright 2009, Getty Images
Battlestar Galactica and Caprica cast and producers at the 26th Annual Paley Festival in Los Angeles, CA. Copyright 2009, Getty Images

On a recent sweltering evening in late April, the ScriptPhD ventured out to Los Angeles’s majestic ArcLight Cinema Dome, which was playing host to the tenth night of the 26th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival, a preservation and celebration of the very best the small screen has to offer.  Each year, a handful of select shows are selected by the Paley Center for Media to screen an episode and engage in a question and answer session with onscreen and production talent.  This year, writers, producers and actors from the recently completed epic space opera Battlestar Galactica, and its forthcoming prequel Caprica, delighted a small audience with a sneak peek at the Caprica pilot and a candid behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind both shows.

Fans in queue for the Caprica screening and BSG/Caprica Q&A at the ArcLight Cinema Dome in Los Angeles, CA.
Fans in queue for the Caprica screening and BSG/Caprica Q&A at the ArcLight Cinema Dome in Los Angeles, CA.

Fans at the beginning of the line had queued up as early as 11 AM to witness what may be the last gathering of BSG cast and crew for quite a while, while others paid thousands of dollars for VIP after-party access to the cast and crew.  Echoing the diverse fanbase that Battlestar Galactica was able to reach and appeal to, the crowd around me was composed of all ages, races, and genders, of the geeky, the giddy and the gaudy.

And speaking of geeky and gaudy, the evening’s festivities were moderated by actor Seth Green, sporting a rockin’ blue Mohawk and more than a tad bit of fanboy revelry.  At times starstruck, at times nonsensical and at times spot-on hilarious, but always a bit too verbose, Green came across as a genuine, appreciative fan.  Like yours truly, Green came onboard after two obsessivethrilling catch-up seasons on DVD, provided a two minute monologue about all the reasons to love BSG and why it rocked his world, and then, the evening really began.  (I kid Seth Green, with love and affection.  But seriously, for comparison’s sake, Kevin Smith, who moderated last summer’s Comic*Con BSG panel, infused the perfect mix of humor, awe and order into the Q&A while still allowing the panel to be front and center for the fans.)

As a preamble to the screenings and panel discussion covered below, the heart and soul of Battlestar Galactica, producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore (I’ll let you decide who’s who), thanked the two people responsible for the success of bringing Caprica to the attention of Sci-Fi network, writer Remi Aubuchon and director Jeffrey Reiner.  They then brought an always-refreshing bit of mayhem to an otherwise dignified event by kicking off Caprica’s first major screening with a few good-luck tequila shots from a flask (ohhhh these are MY kind of people!).

When the event planners said “A Look Back and a Look Ahead”, they weren’t kidding folks!  Perhaps for the sake of nostalgia, or for the sake of making us appreciate just how far science fiction has really come, Caprica was pre-empted by a clip of the 1963 sci-fi series Outer Limits.  The series, with a rotating cast each week, tackled everything from hard science, space travel, time travel, and human evolution as it tried to answer the question, “What is the nature of man?”  Remind you of something?  Thankfully this trip to Cheesy Bad Production Land was followed by a savory preview of Battlestar Galactica:  The Plan, the Edward James Olmos-directed 2-hour movie event set to air in November of 2009.  If you missed it during the series finale (like some of us who don’t subscribe to cable!) here’s a link to the YouTube version:

Finally, we were treated to a pre-DVD release screening of the Caprica pilot in its entirety.  My pilot review may be found in a separate post.  Caprica will start airing on the Sci-Fi channel in 2010.  The pilot is available on DVD.

Click “continue reading” to find the only full, unedited, word-for-word transcript of the BSG/Caprica panel to be found on the internet.  Until the Paley Center releases the DVDs of the event next year, the only place to truly find out what happened without missing a beat?  ScriptPhD.com!

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