The notorious fracking L.A. traffic did its best to derail the 35th Anniversary Battlestar Galactica panel that kicked off WonderCon 2013.
Thankfully, star of the original and re-imagined BSG Richard Hatch, scientific advisor Kevin Grazier, and Producer Michael Taylor soldiered on even without Ellen Tigh and Lili Bordan (who arrived about halfway through — just in time for the favorite episode question). Right after a special encore showing of the 30th Anniversary tribute, Hatch and crew went straight to audience questions which ran the gamut from the nostalgic to the technical.
Below, check out a few of the things we learned from the panel.
7. WonderCon 2012 was a controversial year for the BSG folks
Hatch told the audience: “We got into a lot of trouble last year. We kind of debuted the trailer last year for Blood & Chrome and we weren’t supposed to. The trouble is they didn’t know quite what they were going to do with it and they thought you might like it too much.”
6. The movie version of Battlestar Galactica…
It’s still in progress, according to Hatch. Bryan Singer is still working on it.
5. What were those “angels” in the last episode?
According to Grazier, “those were the beings of light from the original Battlestar.”
4. Was there ever a redemption story planned out for Tom Zarek?
Hatch said, basically that there probably was, but that if they had that thought, it went the other way. “There was a perversity about our thinking and plotting process on that show which I think goes to the credit of why it became such a huge show,” Hatch said. “Tom Zarek is such an interesting character who made so many turns. Not for reasons that were hard to understand in any way.” He added: “By the end, we were as surprised as you were.”
3. Apparently there are different theories behind the glowing spines
“I always thought it was the Cylon g-spot,” said Taylor. Grazier clarified that it was a data transmission system. “You’ve got a lot of data going one way and a lot of data going the other way, where’s it going to go to? The spine!” Taylor teased that sex must just be data for Grazier.
2. The difficulties of the original Battlestar
Hatch recounted stories of how time-consuming it was to get into costume — especially for the Cylons — and that anytime anyone needed to use the bathroom, it proved to be a big problem. “We also had problems with our little dagget dog,” Hatch said. “It was three little monkeys sharing this suit and it wasn’t the easiest thing. We used to call it monkeys in bondage. They would freak out sometimes and run out of the suits and into the rafters and we’d spend hours trying to get them down,” he added.
1. BSG takes its commitment to reality seriously
Taylor explained that it was just a great idea for a new kind of science fiction show. “I was just a fan for two years before I joined the show. Ron [Moore] wrote a kind of manifesto about the kind of show it wouldn’t be. That, you know, as much as I love Star Trek and we all love Star Trek, there would be no aliens with rubber makeup on this show. Just hot chicks in red dresses,” Taylor joked. “But it would be based around a reality that’s recognizable…the characters would be real and flawed. Some of these folks are really f—– up.”
Bonus: The panelists’ favorite episodes
• Kevin Grazier: The climax.
• Richard Hatch: “The original episode that I had to play with the other Apollo.”
• Kate Vernon: “The dinner table scene!”
• Lili Bordan: “The Raptor. That was really the most tangible piece of set that I had. I think it was the original.” Taylor added: “we actually had to rent it back from the museum because the network auctioned off everything else.
• Michael Taylor:”The first episode I did on the show. It was a boxing episode…a fight club episode. It’s called ‘Unfinished Business’.”