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Battlestar Galactica (TV Series 2004–2009) Poster

(2004–2009)

Trivia

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Edward James Olmos had a clause in his contract that no strange aliens or monsters would ever appear on the show. He wanted to insure that the story stay focused on human drama.
The phrase "so say we all", which is used as a ceremonial affirmation in the series, was ad-libbed by Edward James Olmos in a speech given by Commander Adama in the mini-series.
The network expressed apprehension at the casting of Tricia Helfer in the pivotal role of Number Six. At the time, Helfer was known primarily as a model, and had virtually no acting experience. Later, network executives were so impressed with her performance that they based the entire marketing campaign of the show around her character.
Critical regard for the show was so high that the United Nations held a special symposium (unprecedented for a television show) to discuss the themes of race, gender, sexuality, religion and terrorism on the show and how they related to the modern era. Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos appeared on a special panel hosted by avowed fan Whoopi Goldberg for the presentation.
Paper (and photos, books, and even picture frames) in the series have corners cut off. It is said that director Michael Rymer did this during the miniseries as a reference to how he had to "cut corners" financially to make the miniseries work on a limited budget. The practice was continued into the series, although the producers have said on numerous occasions that although it seemed like a "neat idea at the time", having to cut the corners off every document seen onscreen became a nuisance for the weekly series.
Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek) is the only actor to appear in both this series and Battlestar Galactica (1978).
Commander Adama has a shaving mirror in his cabin. This mirror is made by IKEA, and is a model called "Fräck". This word is similar to "frak" which is the primary vulgarity in the Battlestar Galactica universe.
Lucy Lawless was originally offered the role of Ellen Tigh, but rejected it feeling that she was wrong for the part. The producers so wanted her for a role on the series, however, that they later wrote the role of D'Anna Biers with Lawless in mind.
When they created the sub plot with Helo and Boomer on Caprica the creators did not know why Boomer and the Cylons were interested in Helo. It was only about half way through the first season that they decided that the Cylons were interested in biological reproduction, an issue that has become very important to the series.
Bodie Olmos, who plays Brendan "Hotdog" Costanza, is the real-life son of Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama). Bodie was brought in during the first season for a bit part as a "nugget" (viper pilot trainee), and ended up being a recurring character through the end of the series.
To prepare for her role as Gina, the captive Cylon, Tricia Helfer viewed the film Two Women (1960) to give her a better understanding of a rape victim.
Because this series was based on the 1970's show he created, Glen A. Larson was credited as Consulting Producer on every episode of the new series, ensuring that he receives a significant residual income. However, he had no part in the production whatsoever.
Edward James Olmos initially refused to read the pilot script, assuming the show would gear towards the campier tone of the original series. At the insistence of his family, he finally read the script. After reading the first four pages, he decided to accept the role.
Kerry Norton, who plays recurring character Layne Ishay (Doc Cottle's medical assistant), is the real-life wife of Jamie Bamber (Lee "Apollo" Adama). Whereas Bamber had to put on an American accent to play Apollo, Norton is able to use her own British accent in character.
Both Ronald D. Moore and James Callis have said that all the lead actors were required to sign seven-year contracts when they were hired for the pilot miniseries.
Ranked #3 in "The Top 50 TV shows of all time" list by UnderGroundOnline.
The subplot set on Cylon Occupied Caprica with Helo and Boomer was not originally planned; after being left of Caprica in the mini series, Helo was supposed to never be seen again: the audience would be left to assume that he died. Only after seeing the audience's reaction to Helo did the show producers decide to bring him back, and introduce another Boomer, and the Cylons' experiments in creating a Cylon/Human Hybrid, which eventually became an integral part of the Cylon "plan".
The term "skinjob", used to describe any of the humanoid Cylon models, is a reference to the movie Blade Runner (1982), in which Edward James Olmos also starred (and suggested Tricia Helfer watch to help her prepare) and the Nexus 6 models are described by the same moniker.
Gaius was the actual name of the Roman emperor known as "Caligula", who was infamous for his extravagance and hedonism. The character of Gaius Baltar mirrors this, often engaging in self-indulgent practices with little concern for consequence.
The telephone handset used on the bridge of the Galactica is a US Army issues field telephone used since the Korean War, known as the TA-1.
Ronald D. Moore cites Peter Pan (1953) as a major influence on this show, specifically the phrase "All this has happened before, and will happen again." Moore found the notion both pessimistic and pragmatic, and worked it into the Cylon mythology.
Ron Moore said in a podcast commentary that though his initial intention was to bring the card game "Pyramid" and the athletic sport game "Triad" from the original Battlestar Galactica into the new series, he mistakenly transposed the names, which is why in the new series the sport is "Pyramid," and the card game is "Triad."
In the beginning of season 3, Jamie Bamber did not actually gain the weight for the role. Instead, a body double was used for some close-up shots of the rounded tummy, and Bamber wore a jowl-forming brace in his mouth. A few wide shots of his body were cheated out.
Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have said they adopted a largely improvisational style of developing stories for this series. Rather than plot out story arcs years in advance - a practice commonplace on sci-fi shows like Lost (2004) - the writers develop ideas for stories based solely on the themes present in current episodes, and try to take them in a totally unexpected direction.
Religion in the show started as a line said by Number 6 in the script of the miniseries, and the producers liked it so much that they decided to expand it, so Ronald D. Moore and David Eick related the Cylon religion to their terrorist acts.
Katee Sackhoff was able to continue wearing her thumb ring while shooting by explaining it away as Zak Adama's ring.
The season 1 finale, "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Parts 1-2", went through a number of changes according to the Podcast commentary for both episodes. Some of these early differences include:
  • 1. Part One was to conclude with the Raptor crashing and Part Two would end with Starbuck stealing the Raider to finish the finale with a season-ending cliffhanger. This was changed when the original pacing wasn't working.


  • 2. Originally, the ruins on Kobol were supposed to be a huge temple that was mirrored on Caprica. This was abandoned due to cost constraints.


  • 3. What Baltar and Number Six experienced inside the ruins on Kobol went through a number of changes. Originally, Ron D. Moore proposed to the other writers that there was supposed to be a bright corridor of light. In a later version, there was to be complete darkness punctuated with music from a song recognizable by both the audience and the two explorers. Then, Dirk Benedict (Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica (1978)) was supposed appear and say something like, "Hi. I'm God." followed by TO BE CONTINUED... However, the other writers quickly disparaged the idea as implausible, and Ron D. Moore reluctantly agreed.


  • 4. One concept that the writers liked, but were forced to abandon was the idea that the interior room of the ruins was to be located in "otherspace" or in a different spatial or dimensional location.


Susan Hogan, who plays Captain Doyle Franks (captain of Prometheus, one of the civilian fleet vessels), is the real-life wife of Michael Hogan (Col. Saul Tigh). The Franks character has appeared several times, most notably as the lead judge in Baltar's trial.
Though other actresses were considered, the role of Laura Roslin was written especially for Mary McDonnell.
The characters Tarn and Selix, who first appear in "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2", were named at the behest of Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Petty Officer Tyrol. Douglas noted that the two were originally listed in the script generically (Technician 1 and 2) and, recognizing the potential of the two characters, consulted with others in the cast to give them proper names. Douglas then inserted their new names into his lines on every take.
Sam Shepard, Ed Harris and Harrison Ford were all considered for the role of William Adama.
During the show's first season, it consistently remained Sci-Fi Channel's top-rated program, pulling in more than 3 million viewers. Its 10pm viewing even finished ahead of UPN's Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) which aired at 8pm on Fridays on a non-cable/satellite network.
Number Six (Tricia Helfer) was named after Patrick McGoohan's character in the television series The Prisoner (1967).
The Cylons look nothing like the original series Cylons, but if you look at the Cylon Raiders ship, the center of it is in the shape of a head, that head is a replica of the original Cylons face, roving red eye and all
In Hebrew the name "Adama" (last name of William, Lee and Zak) actually means "ground" or "earth" and pronounced almost exactly: "ada-ma". Hardly a coincidence since finding Earth is the main theme of the series.
Filming of the final season was disrupted by the 2007-2008 WGA strike. Unsure if the show would continue, the episode "Sometimes a Great Notion" was written as a de-facto series finale. When the strike resolved, the Sci-Fi Channel allowed the series to continue to Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore's desired end.
The first season was aired in the United Kingdom on SkyOne months before it aired in North America. This resulted in an increase in North Americans downloading episodes on the Internet that were made freely available by British viewers of the show. Fearing that this widespread "previewing" of the series would diminish the show's ratings once it aired in North America, executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick made a written plea to fans to stop downloading episodes and wait for them to air in the United States and Canada.
Adama's lighter was actually purchased at a garage sale.
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In 2007, ranked #2 by Entertainment Weekly in their list of their list of best 25 Science Fiction of the past 25 years.
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For the first season in the U.S., the opening theme was an instrumental piece. When broadcast in other countries, the opening theme was a completely different composition, a song with vocals, the same length as the instrumental theme. After the first season, the U.S. broadcasts used the same theme song as everywhere else. The vocals are a famous Hindu mantra, the Gayatri Mantra, taken from the Rig Veda; the words are "OM bhûr bhuvah svah tat savitur varçnyam bhargô dçvasya dhîmahi dhiyô yô nah pracôdayât", which may be translated in various ways but means approximately "may we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the God / so May he stimulate our prayers".
"Kobol" in the ancient Persian language means "Heaven". It is also an anagram of "Kolob", the name of the planet/star nearest the "throne of God", according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) - Glen A. Larson, the executive producer of the original television series, was a church member and incorporated a number of themes from Mormon theology into the show.
The Battlestar Pegasus set is actually the recycled set of the Jupiter 2 from The Robinsons: Lost in Space (2004). The set was purchased when the latter's pilot failed to generate a series.
Doc Cottle is named after Michael Rymer's childhood pediatrician, who was actually a very nice person unlike his fictional counterpart.
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The phrase "By Your Command" has only been said twice by the Cylons: at the end of the mini-series, uttered by the "skinjob" Cylons and in Battlestar Galactica: Razor (2007), by Cylons from the original Cylon war. The latter appear in the same design as the Cylons of the original television series.
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Edward James Olmos recommended Kate Vernon for the role of Ellen Tigh.
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Donnelly Rhodes auditioned for the role of Col. Tigh before landing the role of Doc Cottle.
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Starbuck, who is played by Katee Sackhoff, was a man in the original Battlestar Galactica (1978) show, played by Dirk Benedict. It's also the name of the first officer aboard the Pequod in the book Moby Dick.
The Battlestar Galactica and the Viper fighters are similar in design to the old show, but were revamped for the new show. The Cylon Basetar, Cylon Raider, and Cylon Centurion each had a completely new design for the new show. Also, there are only four ships that appear in the remake but not in the original: "Colonial One" (the transport used by Laura Roslin), the Olympic Carrier, Cloud 9, and Zephyr (the ringed passenger liner).
Rekha Sharma's father, a Hindu priest, objected to his daughter's sex scenes on the show. Sherma, however, laughed off his criticism.
Characters carried over from the original series: Adama, Starbuck, Apollo, Boomer, Tigh, Baltar, Boxey (in only the miniseries and a brief appearance in one episode), Admiral Cain, President Adar, and Zak. Adar and Zak (Zac in the original), both of whom appeared (and died) in the pilot of the original series, were mentioned (but not seen) in the remake miniseries, and each later appeared in series flashbacks. Also, in the remake miniseries, during a dogfight, a pilot with the callsign of "Jolly" is mentioned, and later in the series, the Number Eight who marries Helo takes the callsign of "Athena".
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When the writers' strike happened, eleven episodes of season four had been filmed. Not knowing how long the strike would last or whether the show was going to return after it, the network and Ronald D. Moore decided not to wait and aired the first ten episodes, taking advantage of the cliffhanger that ended episode ten because it worked as a series finale. When the strike ended, the remaining nine episodes were green-lighted and the show could finish on Moore's terms.
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Richard Hatch, who plays Tom Zarek, played Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica (1978). He appeared in all 21 episodes of the original series, and in 22 episodes of the new series.
Jane Seymour was offered the role of Admiral Helena Cain. When she turned down the offer, Ronald D. Moore offered the role to Michelle Forbes and she accepted.
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Sci-Fi Channel ordered six scripts for a second season of the show before the first episode even aired in the United States. It ordered a 20-episode second season a month after it began to air in the United States.
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The rank structure for the officers serving in the Colonial Fleet are as follows: OFFICERS: Admiral, Commander, Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, Lieutenant (junior grade), Ensign. ENLISTED: Master Chief Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Petty Officer (1st, 2nd Class), Specialist, Deck Hand, Recruit. There are also Marines aboard Galactica which conform more closely to the traditional enlisted Marine ranks, with Sergeants, Sergeants-Major, etc. Unresolved is the question of whether the Marine officers would also adhere to the mixed rank structure.
It was planned to start Season 2 with a flashback about the life of the characters before the Cylon attack, but finally they just continued where Season 1 ended.
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Many of the weapons used in the series are actual modern firearms, and not custom props. The Marines often use Heckler & Koch G36 rifles and Beretta CX4 carbines, Anders frequently carries a Heckler & Koch UMP submachinegun and a Desert Eagle pistol, Helo sometimes carries a South African Protecta drum-fed shotgun, and Starbuck sometimes uses a pair of Skorpion vz 61 submachineguns. The fleet standard issue side arm is also a Five-Seven pistol with fake grenade launcher.
Occasionally, the main musical theme from The Deer Hunter (1978) can be heard. For example, in the final scene of "Scar" (episode 2.15).
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Original series star Dirk Benedict has refused to participate in this revival series.
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Both this show and the original feature a game called "Pyramid". The original was a card game similar to poker, while the one on this show is a team sport that combines elements of basketball, squash, and lacrosse.
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Jon Cryer auditioned for the role of Baltar.
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The theme from the original Battlestar Galactica has appeared a few times in the remake series, where it is considered to be the "Colonial Anthem".
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In the original Battlestar Galactica (1978), Viper weapons fire was red lasers and the Cylon Raiders fired blue lasers. In this version, both ships fire actual bullets. However, both sides fire the correct color of bullets.
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Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore maintained an ostensibly weekly blog on the Sci-Fi Channel's official Web site, talking about different aspects of the show and answering fan questions. Ultimately, updates were far less often, due to Moore's busy schedule. As a replacement, Moore began recording podcasts for each episode (starting during the third season), and Anthrax's Scott Ian wrote an ongoing blog series for the site.
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Amanda Plummer's role as Dodonna the oracle was meant to be a recurring one. Scheduling conflicts, however, prevented Plummer from returning, so the character appeared only once.
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The executive officer was named Paul Tigh in original scripts, but this was changed to Saul Tigh in the final filming for legal reasons.
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The combat helmets worn by the Marines are actually Giro "Bad Lieutenant" snowboarder helmets. They're made out of plastic, not Kevlar.
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The large scopes used on the Marines' rifles is an Elcan M145 optical sight. They're in current use by the US military, but they're designed to be used with machine guns, and not rifles. They're commonly mounted on the M240 Medium Machine Gun.
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In the original scripts, Admiral Cain's first name was Nelena.
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Brad Dryborough, who plays Lt. Hoshi, also auditioned for the roles of Col. Fisk and Lt. Thorne.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The writers created Daniel/Number Seven, the "lost Cylon," from an accidental plot hole. When the series began, the writers had not established the concept of the Cylon Final Five, only that 12 Cylon models existed. With the Final Five subplot, the writing crew realized that they had designated Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and Number Eight (Grace Park) without naming a Seven. Noticing this plot hole, show-runner Ronald D. Moore came up with the idea that Number Seven had been permanently boxed, a plot point that later became vital to the series.
In earlier drafts of the series finale, the fleet's population were supposed to settle in ancient Greece, where they would form the basis of Greek culture and Mythology. This was eventually scrapped because the writers felt it would be better to have the fleet population spread out amongst the entire planet and contribute to the creation of various civilizations throughout the world, not just Western civilization.
The concept of the "Final Five" Cylons came about from the writers wanting to depict Baltar living on a Cylon baseship. Since the identity of only seven Cylons had been revealed up to that time, Ronald D. Moore came up with the idea of the remaining five as sacred beings, and selected the four characters - Tigh, Tyroll, Tory Foster, and Anders - who would be revealed at the end of the third season. Moore also selected the identity of the Final Cylon as Ellen Tigh, and informed only Kate Vernon of his decision. Vernon and Moore had to keep the secret from the cast and much of the crew for nearly two years before shooting the episode which would reveal her identity.
The number of humans in the fleet is constantly updated in the opening credits. The count does not include Cylons (it did not diminish when Galactica's Boomer was killed, and only increased by one when Helo and Caprica's Boomer arrived). The arrival of the Pegasus increased the count by 1752 souls, one of whom was subsequently killed during the course of the episode. Similarly, at the beginning of episode 2.17, "The Captain's Hand", the count on President Roslin's "White Board" is 49,584 early on in the show but is 49,579 toward the end of the show, indicating that during the Pegasus' battle with the Cylon Base Stars, five people were killed.
Cavil's suicide in the series finale was suggested by Dean Stockwell. In the script, Col. Tigh (Michael Hogan) was supposed to kill Cavil during the final battle. Stockwell, however, said he thought the character would shoot himself, realizing that his Cylon faction had lost the war. Writer Ronald D. Moore and director Michael Rymer agreed.
Despite improvising the story in ten episode arcs, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick always intended for the characters to reach Earth in the final episode, albeit thousands of years before the present day. They also conceived the epilogue with "Fantasy" Six and Baltar discussing the fate of humanity in Times Square very early on, to make the fate of humanity ambiguous.
The writers introduced the concept of Cylon "boxing" so that Number Three (Lucy Lawless) could be written out of the show, with the possibility of her return. Lawless had appeared as regular character on the show during most of the second and third seasons, but always received "Special Guest Star" credit. When she left the show to pursue other offers, her character had become integral to the "Final Five" Cylon subplot, and Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore insisted that her character have a way to return to the show, even though he was unsure at the time if Lawless would ever be able to do so.
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Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore plays the man in Times Square that "Fantasy" Six whispers to in the series finale. He has since commented that he wished he hadn't played the part.
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In an earlier draft of the series finale, when Laura Roslin asked Kara Thrace where she had taken Galactica to after entering the jump co-ordinates, Thrace was supposed to reply "Along the Watch Tower", a reference to the Bob Dylan song "All Along the Watch Tower", which was featured prominently in the fourth season.
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In the earlier drafts of the series finale, both Karl 'Helo' Agathon and Sharon 'Athena' Agathon were supposed to have been killed, and Hera was to have been raised on Earth by both Gaius Baltar and Caprica Six.

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