Saturday, January 24, 2009

mo ryan's interview with ron moore on "a disquiet follows my soul"

Read Maureen Ryan's full interview with Ron Moore here. I've included the bits concerning Tyrol and Cally, mostly because I think they have one of the more engaging relationships on the show. Tyrol was with Boomer, Boomer shot Adama... Tyrol beats up Callie, one year later and Tyrol's married to Cally and they have a baby together... Cally gets airlocked after going crazy because she learned her husband's a Cylon... and then, with Cally's death, one of the most annoying characters on Battlestar became well-loved and lovingly remembered.

Why did you need to establish that Nicky is not the Chief’s baby?

Well, we’re starting to sort of resolve some of the plot threads and provide answers to things and one of the questions was, “Is Hera the only hybrid, the only Cylon-human child, or not?” If Nicky was a Cylon-human child, what does that mean? Now there’s two of them. It was important to the mythology of the show that only Hera be the only one. We had always sort of said that.

So you had to sort of retrofit...

Yeah, we had to retrofit that. We knew that was going to be a problem back when we decided that Tyrol was a Cylon. We said, “OK, how are we going to deal with that?” And [someone] said, “Well, maybe at some point we just find out Tyrol’s not the father.” And we all kind of laughed. And then we said, “Actually, that’s a very elegant solution to it.” We just say, “Tyrol’s not the father,” and we move on.

And that’s kind of how the show is. We take these gambles, then we take time to make sure it fits in with what we’ve got. Or we try to at least address it and make it fit into what we’ve got, so the mosaic is still consistent.

You know what, honestly, I would feel bad if, retroactively, Cally was a cheater. She went through enough.

I don’t think she was cheating. The intention was not that she was cheating on Tyrol. It was that she had some kind of relationship with Hot Dog, you know, before or concurrent with, as she and Tyrol were getting together. In my mind, Tyrol, like, in a moment, proposed to her. And she was stunned and said yes, but she had probably slept with Hot Dog three weeks before or something like that. It was one of those kinds of circumstances.

Got it. Because, you know, the Compendium of Bad Things that Happened to Cally ...

[laughs] I know.

I’ve been re-watching the earlier seasons, and I developed this theory that you guys would sit around and go, “What’s the worst thing that happens in this episode? Can it happen to Cally?”

[laughs] I know.

Just switching gears completely, does Laura want to die? I mean, obviously, she’s got this post-meds euphoria....

I think she’s embracing the fact that she’s gonna die. And in “Disquiet,” she’s just decided, you know, “I want to live a little before I die.” And she just doesn’t want to spend her remaining time caught up in fleet politics and responsibility and all the rest of that [expletive]. She’s just checked out.

She led them to a place that turned out to be false and in her mind, she has nothing more to offer. She was going to take them to Earth, and she did take them to Earth and it was all for naught. OK, now what? Now she’s still dying. She still has cancer. And she doesn’t have any of the answers for anybody else, and she just wants to live her remaining days the way she wants to live them, and “Leave me alone.”

I sensed some anger in Mary [McDonnell]’s performance too, you know, Laura’s angry at herself, the world, the circumstances, the universe. And that’s part of the reason she’s like, “I’m done.”

She was the face of the search for Earth, she was the voice. She was the president. She was the one saying, “It’s all going to be OK. Believe in me. Believe in the prophecies. Believe in Earth. There is a better tomorrow. Come on people, get up. Let’s go.” She was that person. And when it turns out not to be true, I think there’s a huge amount of guilt, of anger, of just incredibly conflicted feelings for Laura.

Baltar’s scene is getting very dark. Is that meant to evoke a Jim Jones/People’s Temple sort of thing, like, “Something bad is going to happen here?”

It’s certainly coming right up to the edge of that, yeah. It felt right that, again, with Earth turning out to be nothing, Baltar has invested in this idea of God, that God will protect His children and take them somewhere. “We all have to give ourselves over to God.” And then God takes you *here*. And Baltar’s response is, “Well, [expletive] God! Maybe he should come down here and apologize to us!”

I thought he was maybe advocating some position like, “We have been unworthy children. What sins have you committed, what have you done wrong?” That kind of thing. Is there that element of it too, perhaps we brought God’s wrath down on us?

There’s a bit of that, but mostly he was saying that, “Is this your fault, what dark thoughts have you had, what evil thoughts have you had? Nothing? Then maybe it’s not your fault.”

So... atheism! It’s Baltar’s new thing!

“Atheism! [laughter] Let’s go back to that!” Because this God thing isn’t working out so well either.

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