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Herc Gives The 1st GALACTICA Since March FIVE STARS!!

I am – Hercules!! We’ve been enjoying those glimpses into Cylon-occupied New Caprica via the 10 webisodes provided to SciFi’s website, yes? Well, they’re nothing – NOTHING - compared to tonight’s main event. 3.1 brings us back to Baltar and Boomer and Roslin and Kara and Bill and Lee and Dualla and Cavil and D’Anna. SciFi was good enough to send along the first five hours of the third season. They’re all great, but tonight’s two-hour Ron Moore-scripted affair is easily the best of the lot. SPOILERS!! Some facts to know and share: * The season picks up four and half months after the Cylons first arrived on New Caprica, and about nine weeks since the events depicted in the webisodes. * The New Capricans are NOT freed from Cylon tyranny during the two-hour season premiere. In fact, the two hours ends in a dark and shocking manner. * About 2,000 humans managed to escape the Cylons along with Helo, Dualla and the Adama boys. At least one of the Adamas advocates leaving the New Capricans behind and starting the human race over with the 2,000 escapees. * At least one major character will die without escaping Cylon occupation. * There is no mention in the first five episodes of the Cylons allowing the humans to live only if they sacrifice some of their number to breeding experiments. * In 3.1 we learn both Tigh and Apollo have undergone shocking changes. * In 3.1 we’re going to meet a new character named Casey with an important connection to someone we already know. * Amanda Plummer turns up in 3.3, perfectly cast as a kamala-gulping soothsayer who has news for D'Anna. * Starbuck’s hair remains long and glamorous at least until the end of 3.5 Here are the titles and airdates of the next 11 hours of “Battlestar Galactica”: 3.1 “Occupation” (airs 10/6) written by Ronald D. Moore 3.2 “Precipice” (airs 10/6) written by Ronald D. Moore 3.3 “Exodus Part I” (airs 10/13) written by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle 3.4 “Exodus Part II” (airs 10/20) written by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson 3.5 “Collaborators” (airs 10/27) written by Mark Verheiden 3.6 “Torn” (airs 11/3) written by Anne Cofell Saunders 3.7 “A Measure of Salvation (airs 11/10) written by Michael Angeli 3.8 “Hero” (airs 11/17) written by David Eick 3.9 “Unfinished Business (airs 12/1) written by Michael Taylor 3.10 “The Passage” (airs 12/8) written by Jane Espenson 3.11 “The Eye of Jupiter” (airs 12/15) written by Mark Verheiden. 9 p.m. Friday. SciFi. BONUS!! Some interviews “Grendy” conducted with “Galactica” players Kate Vernon and Richard Hatch:
The lovely Kate Vernon has been in the acting biz for over 20 years and got started on Battlestar Galactica with the first season. You may currently know her as Ellen Tigh, Colonel Saul Tigh's alcoholic overly sexed-up, plotting and scheming and possibly treasonous wife. All right, that was a slight exaggeration, but she is a sexpot. The following is an interview I did at Dragon Con in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. "When season 3 starts we're in a terrible, terrible situation. Sacrifices are made, and unlikely people become heroes." - Kate Vernon G- Thank you for coming to this (Dragon Con) … did you expect this much of a fan reaction? K- This is my first Con. My very first Con. G- Wow. And this is a crap-ton of people to be exposed to. (Dragon Con usually has nearly 30,000 people that attend during the 4 days of the show) K- I am thrilled; so much is coming my way right now. The people who have come towards me and want to talk to me about my character, or where's she's going in the show… to get that kind of response actually shows me that what my character does reaches people. And that's what's important to me. G-Even if it's not in a pleasant way…? K- Oh, but they love to hate her. Or hate to love her. Ellen is not pure evil. She's not evil. She's complex. And frustrated. And she's a drunk. She's trapped, and bored. And she wants attention. She should live in a city, not on a ship. G- I kind of wonder, if she had a job, would she be less of a harridan? K- Well, I was saying to Ron Moore, let's create some kind of barber shop. The boys have to get their hair cut. The girls do as well. And Ellen will groom all these men… (Laughing and grinning) it would be a hotbed for gossip and manipulation for Ellen's character. But it didn't fly… G- I see Ellen somewhat as a Lady Macbeth, in that she's always pushing, and pushing. And the crew is like "We're all together." and you're like "I've got my own agenda…!" And I appreciate that they let you do that, as a character, and you're not in on the 'happy times' K- Yes…Ellen wouldn't be who she was if that was the case. She lives by her rules. To not follow the laws so to speak. She makes it up as she goes along. G- I know you can't really talk about season 3, but is there going to be any sort of back story about Ellen and Saul, how they got together…? Since they're almost opposites, but in such a co-dependant relationship. K- I really don't know. That would be a good back story. Like how they did that with Tigh and Adama. The season opener is a killer. It's really, really sad. G- I have heard a rumor that Baltar gets kidnapped in the 3rd season…? K-I don't know about that. Baltar gets caught in a rock and a hard place, as does Ellen. G- Did you get to meet Michael Hogan (the actor who plays Saul Tigh, Ellen's husband and XO of the ship), and get to know him before you had such crazy-sexy love scenes? K- Michael is such an awesome man. A great actor and he's so supportive. We had great actor-chemistry. We were very very lucky. I didn't know what the frack was going on. My first scene with these guys was the dinner on Galactica. Where I basically had my foot on Apollo's crotch, my hand on my husband's inner thigh and I am staring at Adama…. And my husband and I were ripped. To stay with that playful energy for hours and hours was great. It's a fine line to walk to play drunk. It was very simple with Michael. She's an animal. An animal. She's forceful and uninhibited. G- I don't want this to come out wrong. But it's nice to see a woman in your age group who's not 20 years old, to have these feelings and getting jiggy with it on television. It's great. K- I agree. G- It's not desperate housewives, oh woe is me, kind of crap. You're not married to the older man as a trophy wife… K- Yeah. Some people thought I was too young to play Michael's wife. But, whatever. I love seeing women in their 40's as hot viable mature smart creatures. As we are. G- Not just a soccer mom. K- Oh, Ellen is not a soccer mom. (Smiles) Ellen will be the seductress, the sexual seductress 'til the day she dies. G- Very comfortable in her own skin. And I see that here as well with you. I mean there's hundreds of people walking by you in costumes, and you're not used to it. K-Well, honestly, I am a very private person. I do better on the one-on-one. If I didn't have someone sitting next to me I would want to run. To run. I want someone with me in a crowd. I just get uncomfortable. In my personal life it's the same thing. Some actors are really sensitive and we hide behind our masks. It's very good for me to get out and meet my fans. I am enthralled. It's a give and take. I work 18 hours a day, and if I don't meet my fans I don't know what effect I've had. It's very rewarding. Am I making them feel something? G- Is it to the point where you and the other cast members get more recognition since its 'cool' to watch the show now? K- I've been acting for over 20 years. So I get recognized for some movies of the week I've done, or from BSG. (P.S. Kate was in Pretty in Pink as James Spader's bitchy girlfriend) but some of the guys who are regulars on the show, or hadn't had as much success, they are so hit with it. And oh, my gosh, it's wonderful being on a series and being recognized for it. G- If you'd had your 'druthers would you have the show on a more mainstream network, like NBC (which owns Sci-Fi Channel)? Or you think it already pulls its own core audience and the other new people have to catch up? K- You know, the thing about being on a network like NBC you're perceived as more 'viable' or it's a 'real drama', or more eligible for Emmy nominations. There's a perception of the Sci-Fi channel they don't take it seriously. Because it's an awesome drama. A drama. The actors deserve the kind of resonations that we'd get if we were on NBC. But, we can do a lot more then if we were on NBC. G- Speaking of which…the abortion storyline. You'd not see it on TV 10 years ago, and you're certainly not going to see it on prime time now. I mean, holy cow… the decisions that are made in that episode (ironically echoing the recent South Dakota law that forbids any abortions at all, no matter what the reason. Though, at press-time I am unaware of a South Dakota worry over species-annihilation) and by a woman president….it was very affecting to me. I used to work in a women's clinic. And to see that choice taken away, it's disturbing. K- Absolutely. Absolutely. And to see that real issue, that's why the show's so hot. A human-istic issue. The only different is that we're dealing with it in space. And down hear on earth we can identify. They're not aliens with 5 eyeballs or orange tails. Humans are human, and it's very easy to put yourself in their shoes. To say… wow, that could be me up there… G- The episode where Sharon (v.2) was being raped on the Galactica (by some Pegasus crew and an officer)…I have a friend who'd been raped, and she thought it was handled with class. It's a weird thing to affect your audience in such a strong way. K- Unfortunately these are atrocities of war. Where people are taken advantage of. Look at Abu Ghrab. It just takes one person to make a positive decision and then another. And then we can affect change. G- Do you think Ellen will ever get what she wants? Will she be satisfied? I hope not. K- Ellen is driven. By demons. By a mission, by frustration. By a sense of class. Ellen's probably terrified about her feelings. G- Did you film whole season or the 1st half of the 3rd season and then you'll do the rest? K- We've shot 10 episodes, and then we'll go back and do the rest soon. G- I don't know if you have any feelings on this, but someone wanted me to ask… the fact that there was a nuclear warhead stolen… did anyone investigate the nuke? I mean, it's been a year. Is that sloppy writing? I don't want to get you in trouble by answering (if it's sloppy writing)… K- No, I don't really know. G- You'd think there'd be a whole lot of investigating, you know, this wanted tall blonde woman and a bomb are missing…? K- I've not heard anything. - At this point, a mother with a boy about 9 years old comes up to Kate to ask for her autograph. She said, "My son knows who you are, but he's not allowed to watch the show." and I said "In a few years, you're going to love this show, kid." We then went into a discussion with the woman about the appropriateness of violence on television and films. Kate remarked how she's got a list of things she won't let her 5 ½ year old daughter watch. Including, of course, BSG.- G- Not only being a woman, but being a woman in a certain age group, I would think you'd be pleased with the general equality of the sexes on the show…a lot of women's character roles are mom, worker or sexpot. And you're character manages to combine a lot of those together at one time. (She laughs at this) Maybe not the worker part. Or the mom part. Okay, just sexpot. I mean worker in the sense of having a mission and getting what you want. I know that Katee Sackoff has had to deal with the whole "being a girl Starbuck" issue, but I kinda feel bad for Herb Jefferson. I mean, no one gives a damn that there's a girl-Boomer on the show. Have you worked on a show or a film where you felt there was a similar equality of the sexes? K- Well, you're dealing with the military, which has been a man's world for so many years, and so for Starbuck to be in there, Boomer, Kat or Callie, they are very strong roles for women. I have played lawyers, and other such roles, though not a doctor… I don't really know how to answer that one. G- Are there going to be further incarnations of Cylons that we already know? Like a Sharon v.3? K- No, I don't know. Nobody tells the actors anything. We're the last people to find out what's going on. Well, Saul is… (And she sort of made a motion to her eye) G- So it's not just injured, because I've seen previews with him in the eye patch…? His eye is gone? K- No, not injured. I think 'they took it out' It's disgusting. The makeup is amazing. (So start yer Tigh the Pirate jokes now, kids) G- I would love to see some back-story on her, not just how she and Tigh got together, and I don't want it to be the cliché of "I am the poor girl who never got enough.", …because it's easy to go that route. And maybe make it interesting to you as an artist, where you'll go, yeah…that makes sense. K- I don't think if they were going to do a back-story, it would not be easy. G- I like how they (the writers and showrunners and producers) don't take the easy way with the weekly invented-device. Or we've made water out of air. Or going around the sun to go back in time. K- No, it's not gimmicky. Life isn't gimmicky. That's why it's so appealing as a character. When season 3 starts we're in a terrible, terrible situation. Sacrifices are made, and unlikely people become heroes. G- Wondering about the opening of season 3, it seems that maybe Ellen will be some sort of 5th columnist. Maybe she'll pretend to work with the Cylons, but really work against them…? Or maybe she really does work with them, and that causes a schism between her and Tigh? K- Well they have these people who I forget what they're called… there's humans who leave to go be with the Cylons. These people choose to leave to go with them thinking that they'll be protected. And they are keeping an eye on the rest of the colonists. And then they have to deal with the humans who stay and it backfires. There's some of that going on. G- Much like the Hitler Youth. You know, watching everyone. K- Right. In a sense they're ass-kissing the Cylons, and that doesn't work out. And that, my friends, is that. I spoke with Kate for about an hour, and since I had originally told her it would be only about 10 minutes, I really appreciated it. I did remark, upon leaving that if she weren't so damn interesting, it would have been a lot shorter. I hope you find her insights to the world of BSG and Ellen Tigh to be just as interesting as I did. ~GrendyKhan Richard Hatch interview For those who don't know, Hatch was the original Apollo on the original series, and a few years ago, (before the miniseries aired in '03) advised any and all who would listen to not watch it and that it was shite. He had gotten together the money to do a new BSG modeled after the original, going so far as to even have costumes sewn, sets built and people cast. A week from starting shooting all of this was pulled out from under him for the Sci-Fi BSG miniseries. He was very bitter in public at the time, but is much changed now. There's a great deal of humble-ness to him in general, and I imagine it must have taken a great deal of personal fortitude to not only take the role on the new show, but tell fans of 25 years that they should give the new show a chance, and that he was wrong. For that alone I respect him. For his honest rapport with the many fans who kept coming up to his table to talk, or take pictures or get an autograph, even remembering certain people who he sees only once a year… for that, I like him as a person. G- Concerning getting a lot of flack for 'defecting' to the new BSG…. Is it bad still? R- Not so much now, but it's still out there. I understand. No one was more disappointed then me that the BSG that I was working on did not happen. When they didn't decide to do a continuation of the original Battlestar. I had put energy, time and money into it. I can only say that sometimes the people that really… we tried to get people to come to the 25th anniversary of the original show, and tried to get a petition going, and sometimes the people who judged the harshest did the least amount of work. I do understand their frustration and pain at it not getting a chance. It deserves to be updated and continued. Like the star trek universe, there's room for both versions. Maybe even an animated version of one or both of them. I think that both series' could feed each other, much like how the new one has cast a light on the original. The original came first, and generated a fan base, and a groundswell that was needed to make the remained series come about at all. G- Those folks who were kids then have money now. R- As a writer and director and actor, I love the areas we can go now, the subject matter we can tackle. To have deep, profound writing. Artists live for that kind of stuff. G-Can you tell me how many episodes you're contracted for in season 3? R- I am not annually contracted. Last year it turned out to be 9 episodes. First season it was 2. I've done 3 so far. And will be going back up to do more. I don't know how many it will be. It's just kind of free-form. Zarek kind of comes in and out in interesting times. He's a raconteur. He shows up, and is used in interesting ways. I never know when I'll be called; sometimes it's only a week ahead of time. I'm sure it will be at least several episodes, if not more. G- I loved the episode that took place on Kobol (where they find the tomb of Athena, and Zaire's former political prisoner decides against assassination to further his cause after seeing the actions of the crew of the Galactica) where Zarek sort of sees how the wind is blowing, politically, and calls off the murder. R- I see that as sort of an epiphany. I actually thought my character is going to die. I thought this was then end of Zarek G- There was all that talk in the 'scriptures' about someone going to die on Kobol… R- I thought it was all over, here it comes…! My glorious exit. I was pleased on one level to learn something. First of all Zarek had learned something in his 20 years in prison. He realized he had a choice to go down in flames. Or, maybe reconfigure his agenda. To find a way to work within the system. To bring forth with his beliefs about a freer, more responsive government. G- To be accountable… R-An accountable government. And then here's those that say Zarek is a 'bad guy' who actually fought for greater freedom, to relieve the oppression of the populace that was going on in his planet. And unfortunately there's this belief that governments, especially our government has our best interest at heart. But he is a good guy. And the truth is, there are good people and bad people in government. We need to realize, that "we the people", unless we get involved in the process, unless we take the time to research the issues… that the people involved have their own agendas, a self serving agenda. And we the people get taken advantage of. You know you can blame everybody for all the ills of the world, but ultimately it is us. We just need to be more informed and engaged and make our leaders more accountable. And Zarek was put away because he challenged governmental authorities, good people have been hanged, good people have been burned at the stake. This has happened because they challenged the powers-that-be. I mean, Nelson Mandela would have been called a 'bad guy' in South Africa. G- I mean, it took the church in Rome like 400 years to apologize to Galileo (after excommunicating him for the heresy to say the earth was not the center of the universe and that the sun rotated around it.) R- Exactly! G- The colonial government has made some decisions that seem like dictator-like and there's repressions (I am thinking of media access and demands for supplies or else as examples) that are morally questionable. The act of skewing the elections that put Baltar into place as the V.P, for example. R- When you have a catastrophic event like September 11th, you have to struggle with that line. Fascism happens when you no longer can challenge the government, you just have to accept. My thought is that after September 11th no on could challenge the government. So you know, Battlestar struggles with that. When you have the events that took place in BSG happen, you have people who gain a lot more power… G- Because they're willing to take it, also. R- But sometimes there's a need for someone to step up to the bat, to help civilization regroup, and sometimes it crosses into a dictatorship, of absolute authority. But if the people who are in those positions of authority aren't careful and they cross over into fascism … it's a very delicate place. And I find that fascinating. And I think BSG explores that on multiple levels. So again, I don't look at Zarek as a bad guy. I don't play him as a bad guy. I look at him as a fallen idealist who struggles with his distrust of this government and this society. He's paid a huge price for his ideals. (20 years in prison) but he's capable of doing horrible things, but that the same time I think deep down inside he's got good intentions, but they get lost. Because, again, this man is a deeply wounded man. I mean if I spent 20 years in a horrible prison I don't know what kind of man I would be. I mean Nelson Mandela blows me away. To come out of prison, after so many years, and not carry rage, anger, judgment… G- A benevolence… R-A benevolence and an eloquence that enabled him to bring together his country to make the transition from the supremacist government to open it up as he did. An again, the Mandelas, the Anwar Sadats, the Ghandis, I have been blown away by these people. G- I find it ironic, of course, that original definition of Tyrant meant "benevolent dictator" which was a good thing initially. R- Wow. I didn't know that. G- A tyrant was initially good, but the corruption of the Roman governments was such that it fell into chaos and fell apart. And on BSG, with Baltar becoming president, he's now a tyrant. And I think we'll see more of that as the season progresses. R- I think that my character realized that he…Mary, the president, stopped him illegally… from becoming Vice President G- Well, that's the Florida elections right there… (We laugh, but then sigh) R- He realized that the PTB would not ever let him have a shot, so he found another recourse he went for Baltar to put him in a position and have a greater voice in the movement processes. And not have his past get in the way. And Baltar of course, turned out to be a more deeply flawed character then probably… well, I think Tom Zarek recognized Balart's shortcomings and also his limitations and his assets. He underestimated maybe what Baltar was capable of doing. And so, ultimately you'll find out more about that in season 3. G- I'm hoping! We also talked quite a while about his upcoming graphic novel series, The Great war of Magellan. R- It has been in development for 5 years so finally we had made deals for the graphic novel series. But we got set back by the loss of an artist. So finally we've got the first 32 pages of the intro done. For me I guess art has always been a powerful doorway to help challenge people's thinking and expand their way of looking at the world. I think art is a place where people can meet and share their ideas and creativity and collaborate and build together. The best movies and the best games find a way to engage people. To do more then just watch something passively. You creatively engage in that world and participate. Magellan gets into all of that. Not only is it to be a graphic novel series, but there was some beta-testing for a role-playing game in that universe that went very well at Dragon Con. It's about this ancient star mariner who's discovered on the moon of Titan. And it tells the story what happened on Magellan. It goes into maybe what's happening on this world, and sharing the story of these people. The graphic novels will be out in March, and are titled I- Legacy, II-Myth and III- Fate. It is produced by Blam! Comics. You can find info at and for all your BSG news and info: So, it turns out I need a digi-recorder that is more then 4 hours long. I ran out of room on my recorder and didn't even know it until I went to transcribe this. I apologize to Richard as well as you guys, because he said a lot more great stuff both about BSG and Great War of Magellan. ~GrendyKhan

Girls Starting to Like You Too Much?? Time To Nerd. It. Up.
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