Battlestar Galactica panels at Comic-Con

July 20, 2006 at 7:32 am | Events

This year’s Comic-Con will be another chance for many Galactica fans to see their favorite BSG cast members in person.

There are two panels of interest. On Thursday at 1:00 pm, Richard Hatch and Bear McCreary will give an informal talk about both Galactica series. And on Friday at 2:00 pm, Ron Moore and David Eick will join the cast for a one hour presentation.

I’ll be at Comic-Con this year — if any BSG fans want to meet up, drop me a line!


12:00-1:00 Richard Hatch: Battlestar Galactica Forum and Q & A

Join actor Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, new BG series, original Captain Apollo), and special guests Bear McCreary (composer and arranger, new BG series), Dr. Kevin Grazier from JPL (science consultant, new BG series), and writer Brad Linaweaver (co-author BG novels) for a provocative discussion of Battlestar new and classic, along with an intro to Richard’s The Great War of Magellan graphic novel and role playing game with Blam Ventures and DG associates. Room 6B


2:00-3:00 SCI FI: Battlestar Galactica “The #1 television show of 2005″ — Time magazine. “One of the most original and provocative programs on television” — New York Times. “The toughest, smartest show on television” — Rolling Stone. “A wildly intense gem . . . riveting . . . not to be missed” — TV Guide.

If you’re not watching it, you should be. See what the buzz is all about. Be sure to stop by the SCI FI booth for a chance to win the ultimate BSG prize packet! Panelists include stars Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), James Callis (President Gaius Baltar), and Lucy Lawless (D’Anna Biers), Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), plus executive producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore and SCI FI VP for original programming Erik Storey. Moderated by Lisa Chambers, features director, TV Guide

BSG Season 2 CD Release Party

June 13, 2006 at 9:15 am | Events, Cast & Crew

Official BSG: Season Two Soundtrack Album Release Show

I was lucky to be one of the very few fans that got tickets to Sunday night’s Official Battlestar Galactica: Season Two Soundtrack Album Release Show in Los Angeles.

I actually live in San Diego, not LA, but it’s close enough that I’d figure it’d be worth the drive up (and the more painful drive home… I didn’t get back until 2am Monday morning). And it’s Galactica, right?

The Mint

The party was held at The Mint in Los Angeles

So, let’s get to it. The doors were supposed to open at 7pm, so I arrived around 6:30. Initially, there were only half a dozen fans, but the line eventually grew to maybe 20 or 30 people before we started entering the club.

Sold out

The reason we all came

The Mint is actually a fairly small space on the inside. As you enter, there’s a bar to your immediate right, then to the left is the stage, a small open floor, and a few booths on either side of the stage.

Given the size of the venue and the makeup of the crowd, I’d say that most of the people who attended the party were friends of Bear McCreary’s and/or other people who work on Galactica. So fans who got tickets were pretty damn lucky.

BT4 starts the show up

Once everybody was settled in, the show got going. First up was lead singer BT4, backed by Bear McCreary, Paul Cartwright, and Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez with a set of five songs.


Bear McCreary and BT4

For those who don’t know, BT4 is one of several musicians who contributes to the BSG soundtrack, but he also happens to be the younger brother of Bear McCreary.

BT4’s best talent is his enthusiasm. With only one album so far, his sound is still a work in progress, but his voice is amazing and the last two or three songs in the set were strong. BTW, BT4 would like you to know that his website is — he kept shouting it out during the show, but in a funny way that didn’t annoy.

Surprise! Richard Hatch takes the stage!!!

When BT4 finished, Richard Hatch jumped up on stage to introduce the first set of video clips from the show. I’d seen him enter The Mint while we were all standing in line, but it was still an unexpected appearance on this part.

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch / Apollo / Tom Zarek

Richard was, as always, a complete gentleman. Once on stage, he revealed that Tom Zarek is really the original Apollo… after Galactica 1980, Apollo disappeared and wound up in a fleet prison barge. He rotted there for 25 years and eventually became Zarek. “What 25 years in jail can do to a man…”

Video presentation (Part 1)

The first video clip sequence consisted of many of the themes Bear has written cut against some of the more spectacular moments from Season 2. I didn’t have a clear view of the screen, so I wasn’t able to take any notes about what was shown. But it was a moving reminder of everything the Galactica crew faced during the 2nd season.

The BSG Band

When it finished, the full Battlestar Galactica band, orchestra, group — whatever you want to call them — came on stage. This was basically everyone who played with BT4 plus some of the other musicians who work on the show (many of which were formerly members of Oingo Boingo.)

BSG Band

Bear McCreary, BT4, Steve Bartek, Chris Bleth, Raya Yarbrough, Paul Cartwright, and M.B. Gordy

Bear McCreary, BT4, and Steve Bartek

Bear McCreary, BT4 (is he a Cylon?), and Steve Bartek

Steve Bartek

Steve Bartek

Chris Bleth and Paul Cartwright

Chris Bleth and Paul Cartwright

Chris Bleth, Raya Yarbrough, and Paul Cartwright

Chris Bleth, Raya Yarbrough, and Paul Cartwright

M.B. Gordy

M.B. Gordy (also a Cylon?)

Two other guys I should mention are John Avila and Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez. These guys are awesome, but I wasn’t able to get good pics of either of them. (There are bios and pics on Bear’s website, though.)

The 1st set

For the first set, the group played five tracks. Since they didn’t have the full orchestra on hand, the songs naturally tended towards the percussion side.

1. Baltar’s dream (from Valley of Darkness)
2. Pegasus (from Pegasus)
3. Roslin and Adama (from Resurrection Ship, Part 1 and 2)
4. The Cylon Prisoner (from Pegasus)
5. Lords of Kobol (from Pegasus)

Video presentation (Part 2)

After the first set, the band took a break and the videos returned. The second video show featured Bear talking about his process a bit, and then short, funny interviews with each musician. BT4 played a funny song about working in outer space. Paul Cartwright appeared to accept cash for saying good things about Bear. Avila, Fernandez, and Gordy also appeared.

The 2nd set

1. Standing in the Mud (from Black Market)
2. Something Dark is Coming (from Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1)
3. A Mess of Me (Raya) — Raya’s version of the ‘Roslin and Adama’ theme
4. Gina escapes (from Resurrection Ship, Part 2)
5. Black Market (from Black Market)
6. Wander My Friends (from The Hand of God — Season 1)

The 3rd track was a reworking of the Adama/Roslin theme by Raya Yarbrough. It was slower, more emotional, and had lyrics that more directly addressed the long-suspected love affair about Adama and Roslin.

CD signing

At the end of the set, Bear thanked everyone for coming and the band left the stage. Soon after, the band grabbed a table next to the stage and began signing CDs. The Season 2 CD isn’t actually on sale yet, but pre-release copies were available for $15.

Signed CD

As you can see, I got my CD signed by everyone who was there.

So, yeah, it was a pretty awesome night. If they have another party next year, I highly recommend going. (Hopefully, they’ll have a bigger venue next time.)

For those who are interested, I’ve uploaded all of my party photos to Flickr.

(And special thanks to Ken Charlson and his wife for hanging with me all night!)

UPDATE: Bear McCreary sent me a copy of the official set list, so the track names are all correct now. Thanks, Bear! (I’ve also added links to the Battlestar Wiki page for each episode).

BSG marathon on the SciFi Channel

December 20, 2005 at 10:09 am | Events

To celebrate the release of the new Season 2 DVD, the SciFi channel is running an all-day marathon of Season 2 episodes.

The episodes will be shown in their original order and will air from 8am through 4pm. Every episode from the 2nd season will be shown, except for the first two episodes (Scattered and Valley of Darkness).

Here’s the complete schedule:

BSG marathon on SciFi

Galactica Calendar updates

October 20, 2005 at 10:26 am | Events

I’ve made a number of updates to the Battlestar Galactica events calendar on Eventful. (It also shows up in the sidebar on the right of this page.)

Mostly, future appearances by members of the BSG cast and crew. Creation Entertainment’s Grand Slam XVI summit, Timeless Destinations 2006, and next year’s official BSG Convention.

So, if you’d like to meet Helo, Tom Zarek, Chief, Baltar, Apollo, Starbuck, and others, this is your chance. Find the event nearest you and go have some fun!

Galactica panel at Comic-Con

July 15, 2005 at 3:10 pm | Events

BSG panel

We’re attending today’s Battlestar Galactica panel at Comic-Con. We’ll be blogging this event in real time, so reload often for live updates!

3:10 pm — The panel starts in 2 minutes!

3:12 pm — David Eick and Ron Moore are here!

3:13 pm — Mary McDonnell (the President), James Callis (Baltar) , Grace Park (Boomer), Tahmoh Peniket (Helo) are all on stage!

3:15 pm — Preview clip of Season 2 is showing.

3:18 pm — Ron Moore talks about “going for broke” near the end of Season 1. David Eick adds “we’ve got to get the two of them in a fight” (Starbuck and Six), so that was the motivation for the season finale.

3:20 pm — Question about similarities between BSG plot points and current events. Ron Moore: “the show isn’t really trying to be ripped from today’s headlines.”

3:24 pm — Question to Baltar: is Six real or not? James Callis talks about Schrodinger’s Cat. “It is both alive and dead at the same time.” She is real and not real. “She is all of those things and slightly more.” Starts pretending to speak with Six (who isn’t attending this event.)

3:28 pm — David Eick talks about how James Callis nailed the role of Gaius Baltar when he first met him. He considered other people for “about 2 minutes”.

3:29 pm — Jamie Bamber (Apollo) describes BSG as “West Wing meets 24 meets Little House on the Prarie”. Complains about never being able to see the show (due to his active schedule and returning to the UK during hiatus).

3:32 pm — Moderator jokes about how in the previous version of BSG one never asked when Apollo and Starbuck would hook up. Jamie Bamber: “that’s because it was never in doubt.” And, then adds, how Dirk Benedict (the original Starbuck) had long hair and a cape, so the character was nearly female to begin with.

3:35 pm — Moderator turns to Grace Park, mentions Maxim Magazine’s designation of Park/Boomer as the world’s 82nd most beautiful woman. “How could there be 81 babes in the universe cooler than you?” 2nd question is about Park’s spirituality and how she interprets the religious aspects of BSG. “Am I allowed to say this? I think the Cylon/Human hybrid race is going to the chosen one.” Ron Moore and David Eick pretend to be outraged (that she’s spilling the beans about future plot points).

3:39 pm — Question for Tahmoh Peniket (Helo) about his character’s journey. Mentions how tough it must be “coming to the realization that the woman you’ve fallen in love with is a robot.” Moderator says “been there, done that.” Huge laugh. Other cast members second the moderator’s experiences.

3:42 pm — In response to a question about will humans ever stop running from the Cylons, Ron Moore: in Episode 10, the humans meet up with another Battlestar (the Pegasus) and “start kickin’ butt!” (Web rumors suggest ST:TNG’s Michelle Forbes will reprise Lloyd Bridges’ Commander Cain character.)

3:43 pm — Mary McDonnell thanks the fans, mentions attending the first BSG convention and discovering how wonderful BSG fans are. “I thank you deeply. You’re great.”

3:45 pm — David Eick talks about how the passion of fans forces the show to be better. James Callis: “the show is a dialogue. It becomes… what is all this about? Why? What’s the point in fighting? What’s the point in life?”

3:47 pm — Ron Moore: “Is the show planned out years in advance? Yeah, I’m on vacation.” Laughs. “No, it’s not.” Moore and David Eick had a rough idea of the show before it begun, but it’s since evolved, and become more ambitious. And… “I have a rough idea of what the end of the show is.” But it’s an organic process. “If you try to maintain the ideas you had at the outset, it’s very restrictive and the show doesn’t breath.”

3:49 pm — Question for James Callis: “Is Baltar a villain, hero, or sex maniac?” Definitely a sex maniac. “Baltar wants to be a good guy, but he’s just made mistakes.”

3:50 pm — Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) has arrived!

3:53 pm — Will Cain and Sheba be on the show? Ron Moore: “Cain, yes. Sheba, no.” Audience expresses disappointment that Sheba won’t be in this version of BSG. “You win some, you lose some.”

3:55 pm — The cast is giving Sackhoff a ribbing because she’s so late to the panel. They keep referring questions to her. “Isn’t that right, Katee?”, etc. She seems slightly embarrased.

3:57 pm — Ron Moore says he will try to get back to the blog and podcasts. He’s enjoyed doing them, but finds it hard to do on top of producing weekly episodes.

3:58 pm — Preview of the new SciFi show from Bryan Singer and Dean Devlin: “The Triangle”

4:00 pm — Panel ends. The cast stays on stage for a few moments, then heads out (presumably to fly back to Toronto).

Update: we’ve uploaded a photo gallery of today’s panel to Flickr.