The BBC America co-production, Outcasts, is a new sci-fi series about the remnants of humanity struggling to set up a new home on a distant planet. It explores humans’ drive for power, politics and sex in a new post-earth era.
Production is now underway, in South Africa, with a cast that includes: Eric Mabius [Ugly Betty, Liam Cunningham [Clash of the Titans], Hermione Norris [MI-5, Wire in the Blood], Jamie Bamber [Battlestar Galactica], Daniel Mays [The Bank Job, Atonement] and South Africa newcomer, Jeannie Kietzmann. Details from the press release follow the jump.
“…You are one of a small number of trusted BSG enthusiasts with whom we are sharing a review copy.”
While that statement from the letter that accompanies the mid-season premiere of BSG [Sci Fi, Fridays, 10/9C], Sometimes a Great Notion, doesn’t exactly hurt my ego, it does come with some hefty caveats. I can’t give away a couple of HUGE plot points – like they’d have to tell me that in the first place – and then there’s the scene that has been withheld from screener in the interests of maintaining “the secrecy surrounding an extremely sensitive reveal” [which only guarantees that I’ll be in front of my TV for the premiere – but I’d have been there anyway, the ep is that good].
What’s left? Forty-two minutes of pretty frakkin’ awesome stuff! [Remember, I saw it without commercials.] Which means you should set your TiVo for an extra three minutes or so…
In the past, I’ve been known to complain about episodes that are way too talky and slow – episodes where it’s all about exposition, or recapitulation of themes that maybe didn’t need to be recapitulated – or about the Messiah Baltar [James Callis] and his harem. Well, Sometimes a Great Notion is a talky episode – the one burst of unexpected violence [not counting a fist fight in one of the Galactica’s corridors as a major character walks by] is one of things I can’t talk about – but even without the violence, so much happens here that it will be one of the best television episodes of 2009 [and that’s without the missing scene]!
The episode begins mere moments after the conclusion of Revelations with the various human and Cylon characters wandering about in a daze. The only one who is actively doing something, really, is Starbuck [Katie Sackhoff], who is looking for something. Before the teaser is over, there have been answers to at least a couple of major questions, including one about the Final Five – not to mention… but that would be too much to say here…
Essentially, Sometimes a Great Notion is about what happens when your biggest and best hopes and dreams are dangled before your eyes then ripped ruthlessly away. Some of the responses are dire [see HUGE plot point #2] while some are just there – a kind enervation. Then there are those who see the situation not as an invalidation of their hopes and dreams, but an opportunity to be completely free from any expectations, or prophecies. The characters who fall into these categories might not necessarily be the ones you’ll be expecting.
Written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson [they wrote Revelations – every resolution of a cliffhanger should be written by the same writer[s] who did the cliffhanger] and directed by Michael Nankin, Sometimes a Great Notion is an amazing example of how a mostly violence-free episode should be done. Nankin’s pacing is best described as deliberate – just slow enough that we can pick up on the many subtleties of the episode [watch the reactions of the crew in the background after the announcement is made about the state of the Earth] – even as we watch the main characters fall apart, go into shock, or buck up and decide to keep going forward.
The bleached palette of the bleak Earth scenes contrast with the much warmer palette aboard the Galactica [warmer tones that make that one burst of violence even more mind-boggling]. It’s partly because of contrasts such as these that we buy into most of the responses to the news about the Earth – though, as in real life, some will never be understood. Though I haven’t said much about the Cylons who allied themselves with the humans, they, too, are caught up in the situation with an equally wide range of reactions – especially Leoben [Callum Keith Rennie] and D’Anna [Lucy Lawless].
Because of the missing scene, I can’t give Sometimes a Great Notion an unqualified A+ – but it is close to perfect as it can be without that scene [and I can’t wait to see what it is!].
Finally, we will learn the fate of Earth; discover the identity of the Final Cylon Model and maybe even find out who wrote the Galacticaverse version of All Along the Watchtower – and what the infamous Last Supper, Galactica-style, means!
Escape Velocity opens with Chief Tyrol given a poignant eulogy at Cally’s funeral and ends with Gaius Baltar in a [for him] most unusual position. In between, this is one of Galactica’s most intense episodes – even though there are no great Cylon battles or even much action at all.
After a rather ho-hum premiere, Battlestar Galactica seems to be moving back in the right direction. Where He That Believeth In Me tended to rehash the season three finale without adding much to the running story – except for the development of the Starbuck-Roslin situation – Six of One is almost chockfull o’ stuff.
Battlestar Galactica may be the best SF series, start to finish, ever produced for television. Even so, after sleeping on it, I have to say that the final season opener left me cold. [SPOILERS beyond this point!]
Since I’ve been such a good little whore for all things Galactica this month, the folks at Universal gave me 1 hr, today, to come up with some questions to ask the great Ron Moore, creator/producer of BSG.So I shot these over to one of my contacts and he got Moore to answer, the interview went a little something like this. We talk about the Strike, Razor, Lesbianism and more! Be sure to check out our Razor DVD Giveaway!This is an EM Exclusive.
1) What was the genesis of the idea to do Razor? It came from Universal Home Entertainment.They had an idea of releasing a video version of Galactica in the fall.It had done well on DVD in the release of its seasons.We weren’t going to broadcast season four until spring of ‘08, so it made sense to have a BSG release in the fall.They would broadcast it once on Sci Fi and release it within a week on DVD.It quickly came about.We ended the third season on a cliffhanger, so that didn’t make sense to tie that in – we had to go back in time and do a story before the cliffhanger.We decided to revisit some aspect of the Pegasus/Admiral Cain storyline and see the original attack on the colonies and from Pegasus’ point of view with the original Cylon attack.The writers kicked around story ideas and went through it at my house.We have 10-15 minutes more on the DVD, including young Adama and the first Cylon War.There is more footage with young Helena Cain as a child during the first Cylon War, plus extended version of other scenes.It doesn’t predate the series.It just happens to take place around the original Cylon war – it skips around chronologically.
Hey, hey, we have another fantastic contest for you.Because we’ve been such good whores for all things BSG, the folks at Universal Home Video have given us five copies to give away.The DVD hits the street on Dec. 4 and will be a two disk extravaganza. This contest will run for the next two weeks. On Wednesday, Dec 12 shoot me an email with your full mailing address and User ID. That’s it.Post a comment about BSG, or the SCI-Fi Network for a chance to win, it’s that simple.
In the meantime check out some of these exclusive SFX shots! These shots are not your typical approved artwork, this comes directly from the pipeline of production at Universal Studios. Our source had a chance to meet with the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA editors, and they pulled this actual step-by-step visual effects sequence from the show. Warning, these are nice huge pictures. Continue reading Battlestar Galactica: Razor DVD Giveaway and Exclusive SFX Shots!!→
The story of how Kendra Shaw goes from raw rookie to battle hardened razor is set against the story of how the Battlestar Pegasus survived – from the first Cylon attack to its rendezvousing with the Galactica. In preparation for the airing of the Sci Fi Channel event, Battlestar Galactica: Razor [Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 p.m.], I had the opportunity to take part in conference calls with Jamie [Lee Adama] Bamber [posted on November 14th] and Stephanie Jacobsen, who plays the titular character, Kendra Shaw.
While we’ll have to wait until next April to rejoin Battlestar Galactica’s ragtag fleet in Season Four, in a week-and-a-half [Saturday, November 24, 9 p.m.], the Sci Fi Channel will premiere the two-hour BSG special, Razor. Razor fills in the gaps regarding how the Battlestar Pegasus managed to avoid destruction during the Cylon attack that kicked off the series. Recently, I was part of a conference call with Jamie [Lee Adama] Bamber. Bamber is a genial, voluble fellow and extremely eloquent. He addressed Lee Adama’s role in Razor and teased the fourth season, while also making known where he felt some of the program’s few flaws lay. It was the best teleconference in which I’ve participated in several years… So, ladies and gentlemen… Jamie Bamber!