“I promise not to reveal any of the spoilers I see here tonight.”
That was the oath administered Monday evening by Ron Moore, executive producer of Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica, and recited by me and three dozen or so others–right hands raised–who attended a sneak preview of this Friday’s two-hour series finale.
The screening, held at The New York Times building’s TimesCenter wing, was presented by Sci Fi Channel as a sort of thank you to the TV journalists and fans–often one and the same–who supported BSG over four seasons and helped it become the network’s flagship show. (The screening preceded the network’s upfront presentation. Click here for complete coverage of the upfronts.)
Echoing the comments of Mark Stern, Sci Fi’s executive VP of original programming, Moore and fellow executive producer David Eick expressed their gratitude to the audience for providing the “rocket fuel” that kept the showing going. (See Video Q&A With Moore Below)
So in that spirit, you’ll get no spoilers here. Nope–nothing about what/who Kara “Starbuck” Thrace really is or whether Gaius Baltar will ever be redeemed or where all those sleek, bottomless bottles of booze come from or whether Bob Dylan is really a Cylon.
But in the Q&A that followed the screening, Moore and Eick, along with the show’s stars Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama) and Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), spoke generally about the series’ end and offered some fun tidbits about its run.
Asked about the decision to declare the show’s end-date after its third season–much as the creators of ABC’s similarly serialized Lost did–all agreed that it provided the necessary focus and energy to bring the grand narrative to a close.
After completing Season 3, in which the writers explored the Cylon back story, Moore and Eick said they asked themselves: If that was the series’ third act, what would the concluding fourth act look like?
“In the writer’s room,” said Moore, “I can tell you that it really helped to focus us.”
Olmos said that when the decision was announced, “everyone got very, very, very depressed. I don’t think any of the actors wanted it to end.”
But he and McDonnell agreed that the decision helped them as actors to pace themselves. Olmos recalled a conversation he and the other principals had in his trailer–”he had the biggest trailer,” joked McDonnell–back when they were shooting the miniseries that launched the show.
“We agreed that if we were going to do this [as a series long term],” Olmos said, “we had to pace ourselves.”
While McDonnell likened it to the experience of doing a play and the need to conserve energy for the final act, Olmos compared it to a marathon.
“You have to start out fast in that first mile; it has to be really strong,” he said. “The next 25 have to be consistent. The final mile has to be the strongest mile of all.”
So tune in Friday to watch BSG cross the finish line.