Friday, January 30, 2009

Starfury Q&A - James Callis / Katee Sackhoff, Part 1

So, I'm very excited about this. I have been given the audio files of the Starfury Q&A's with James. Many thanks to my anonymous donator!

I have been working hard on these, and I'll be posting the transcript with commentary within the next couple of days. Since these are one-hour files, I realized that posting the entire transcripts with commentary at once might be, to quote James, "an almost Herculean undertaking", so I will do half and half instead. I'll post the first parts of both transcripts, then the second parts.

So this Q&A took place on the 7th of December in Heathrow, London, where the Starfury convention was held.

I've decided to transcribe everything Katee says as well, and might even indulge in a little Katee gushing. I like her, I think she is a great actress and she says some smart things here. James has a big-brotherly attitude on Katee here, and seems to constantly say things to reassure her or help her feel more at ease. Which was totally sweet. He also gave this incredibly sweet monologue about how much he likes Katee/Starbuck and how strong she is, but this will be in part 2.

So, applause, they come on and say hi. They remark on how cold it is, and I think Katee says the door in the bathroom was freezing. I have trouble hearing this very well, though, because the audience is still clapping and getting settled.

James: Did you all have a good evening last night?

Crowd: Yeah!

James: Did you all drink too much?

Crowd: Yeah!
Hee! He sounds amused at himself, and I'm wondering if he drank too much, because he did look much more tired in the second day photos than he did in the first day ones.

The first question is a bit unclear at first and Katee has to ask a few times what the person means. I think that in the end, it's about Starbuck being in competition with Kat, and how Katee had said it was a hard episode to play. So the question is why she found it hard.
Katee: I love the actress that plays Kat, it's a great girl. I found it hard to believe that Starbuck would ever be intimidated by another pilot. I didn't think that that was very true to form, and I also thought that if she was ever hit by another woman she would beat the shit out of them. And she didn't do it. So I kind of thought that it was an episode where... You know, and it happened a couple of times, but I think it was the first time I felt that... this isn't her. Um, and ultimately it ended up helping me find who she was at the very end. So yeah, it was difficult. It's always difficult to play those roles where you know, you... It's gotta be ? the the final five though, you play this character, you think you're one thing, you go four years playing this character, all of a sudden you realize that you're completely different. So then you start second-guessing everything you've done. So it was kinda like that.

What's interesting here is that James obviously had a lot of moments like that too, and he always contested them. Some of the scenes were changed because of his demands - "Baltar didn't just nonchalantly sign the death list in Precipice" being my favorite example that I keep bringing up. On the other hand, he did do the accent change in Dirty Hands even if he didn't really think that was true to form (more on that in the James/Mark Sheppard transcript). I'm intrigued by that "find who she was at the very end". What could that be referring to? I'm tentatively excited about the finale, and I think something very awesome might come for Starbuck - I loved that scene where she found herself dead.

[These next questions are transcribed partially based on the Youtube video file, which is why there's some commentary on how James looks.]

James is asked if he has "any desires to do a Hamlet", apparently because David Tennant is doing it. He sounds a bit like he doesn't have a real answer to this.

James: Um..uh.. maybe one day, I might... but I'm not, I dunno. I like Shakespeare, I haven't been on stage for a while. I think science fiction is a bit like, I remember somebody saying that Strek Trek is like bad Shakespeare, you had like these two [embassies] from either side, they've got a political debate, bla bla... Yeah, it's fascinating. I'd actually love to get a chance to see David Tennant playing Hamlet right now, but I imagine that... [someone says something from the audience] No, I mean that, but like totally sold out, so...

I'm not really sure if I'd like to see him do Shakespeare. For one thing, I wouldn't understand anything. I have actually read Hamlet, discussed it in class and seen a performance of it on video (as well as a modernized movie version), but I still don't feel like I really "get" it. James probably does, though.

James and Katee's singing voices are complimented, and I think the question is if they'd like to sing for the crowd today.

James: "Battlestar: The Musical. (?)"

Katee: "I always thought that would be kinda fun to do, like they did on Buffy."

They both look very amused, and the crowd laughs. It's a silly question, but it makes for a nice warm feel.(I'm glad BSG didn't do a musical episode, by the way. Those might be fun to do, but they always end up taking away from the reality of the show.)

The next question is asked for someone who couldn't be here, because they're having, and I couldn't catch this earlier, but it's "dirty weekend in Belgium". Which explains why people laugh and James says, "Great" looking and sounding like he finds this funny. Heh.

So on to the question: Speaking of David Tennant, would he be interested in being the next Doctor Who? If someone called him and said, "James, come to Cardiff, we want you to be Doctor Who, what would you say?"

James: I think it would be like that radio... phone-in hoax line, it'd be like... actually the guy from Canada who rang up Sarah Palin and pretended to be Nicolas Sarkozy. [laughter] And so... yeah, no, I um... Time travel... It's not... It's that on some level, the parts are similar in my mind, not that they are at all, but I have been a doctor or professor, whatever, in a sci fi drama. Being Doctor Who is not the right idea for me right now."

There's a ripple of (mock?-) disappointed "Awwww" in the audience. (James looks amused)

James: "Sorry. (laughter) Maybe, but I mean they could cast maybe a female Doctor Who? [Cocks his eyes meaningfully at Katee; laughter] A real kick-arse woman [like her]."

I don't have much to say about this; the Dr Who thing is really persistent and actually a lot of the James blogsearch results will always be "I want James Callis to be the next Dr Who!" Now that the next Dr Who has actually been announced, maybe this will die down a little. It'd be a cool role, but I can see why James doesn't want to do it at the moment (and I'm not sure if they've asked him either, but it seems feasible that they'd consider him in the future, if they look at the online discussions at all).

On a first listening, I thought he was saying, "Maybe they could cast me as a female Doctor Who?" That would have been funny. Kinda nonsensical, but funny. I love when James says "kick-arse" or "bad-arse". It just sounds amusing. I guess to my mind, American English is the norm and the other regional varieties are always a bit exotic.

And hee at the hoax bit! Always so self-deprecating. Somehow it feels funny that he'd bring up Sarah Palin - she's someone my girlfriend and I have often discussed (mostly mockingly), so it's odd to see the same topic come up in a James context. I realize we live in the same universe and all; it's possible he celebrated Obama's victory just like we did, but it still feels a little surreal. (I had another dream where James was elected president of the USA. Maybe it was because of writing that bit in the post.)

Katee is asked about Nathan Fillion and if there were funny pranks on set while she was filming with him.

Katee: That movie was shot simultaneously with Battlestar. So my days on White Noise 2 are filled with fog. I don't really remember much. It was also the paint episode with Callum. So it was all.. I was going from White Noise, Nathan dying, to painting with Callum. There was... he is a prankster, but the one thing I have to say is that he got me to quit smoking. So he told me a story that was so.. hard to hear about um.. I can't remember who it was about, a family friend of his who ultimately passed away from smoking, and told me the entire story from the diagnosis with cancer till the end. I felt... I couldn't smoke after that, I was like.. oh my god. So... anyway. I miss it though. (laughter)

James: And the funny story he told you was...?

Katee: (laughs) There's no but, there's no funny story. Nathan is a very very good guy. The pranks he pulled with everyone else, it was them more than me.

[End of video]
It's interesting that she was working on something else while doing the very intense paint scene with Leoben. That was one of my favorite episodes from season 3, and Katee was great in it, so maybe she had trouble focusing on a movie project at the same time. I could imagine that any BSG character, and definitely Starbuck, would take so much from an actor that it's impossible to do something else.

Katee is asked if Starbuck would have killed Cain, had Adama given the order. I liked this question, because it seems to go into Starbuck's personality, and also because I loved the Pegasus arc.

Katee: Of course. Yeah. Starbuck walked into that situation knowing that she wasn't going to walk out of it. She knew she wouldn't come back. And.. She is.. At the end of the day, she's a very good soldier. She always did what she was told. And I think um... even if she did it ? and whining and crying the entire time, she still did it. So she would have done it. I'm very sure.
And how would her relationship with Adama have looked after that? (A really good follow-up question, too.)

Katee: I don't think Kara would have made it out of there alive. There were too many marines? with rifles pointed at her. That was what it was, it was a suicide mission. And that's how Adama played it, that's how myself and Jamie played it. Jamie didn't go, but he was supposed to go with her, that was how we chose to play the scene, I don't know if that's how it looked, but that's kind of...

I hadn't really thought of that myself. It's true, they probably would have killed her, but as a viewer, I hadn't considered the possibility that Starbuck could die like that in mid-season (until she did die in season three, I guess). It's a very interesting point, and I like the way Katee talks about Kara here, you can tell she's given the character a lot of thought.

Silence falls for a moment, and James quips: "Do you know any good songs?" Hee. People laugh. I like James' ice-breaking little comments; he seems to be determined to put both Katee and the audience at ease.

[This, again, is partially from the Youtube file, but I've added a few things that I didn't hear there.]

James is asked about Gaius and Gaeta, by someone who met Alessandro Juliani and he had said he's not "against a romance between Gaius and Gaeta" (the audience laughs a lot at this one).
James: I just wish he'd told me, it's tragic that I found out through the grapevine now. (laughter) I think that that was something that he really had programmed into the background of his character. He's a very subtle, very clever actor, a brilliant actor. And for a while I think fell a bit... Oh, *I* felt initially that, you know, he had the rather thankless task of talking kinda technobabble in the CIC and stuff. He's quite brilliant to work with. And so really, again, totally taking his own lead. He said to me on several occasions, he was like, "You know, I just don't buy the ridiculous hero worship that you know, I'm going to..."

Because he was so clever very early on, he could have exposed me or found out that it was really... me. There's something about the computer codes and I ask him to erase them, in the miniseries, in the pilot. And I think he had the idea then that he'd have this fawning respect, based on maybe a kind of... a latent homosexuality, that would continuously blindsight him, and think about the better side of Gaius' qualities. Gaius being the rid... gargantuan egomaniac and narcissist that he is, is like.. has no idea that's going on on some level. He'd be very surprised. It adds elements to that. So I think it might have been... you know, not reciprocated on that level unfortunately."

This is a great answer. It proves that Alessandro had really thought of this from the start, and it's not just something the fans projected onto the character. There were some complaints about that recently at Skiffy, and I feel very validated now that this is obviously not just the fans' imagination running rampant. Gaeta loves Gaius! Squee!

To continue a bit on my original notes, the complaint at Skiffy was that people are "desperate" to see Gaeta as gay, and even after the first webisode spoilers and pictures came online, people were still saying this. Like, they were comparing to seeing the original Starbuck and Apollo as a gay couple. I think there's a huge difference, because in this case, the subtext is on the show itself, and not just "I want to see more gay characters on TV". (Not that there's anything wrong with that subtext either, but it does get tedious if all friends on TV are suddenly gay.)

I also like how James points out the "technobabble in CIC" thing. Yes. Thank you. I really like Alessandro as an actor; I think Gaeta's a great character, and I really think he was shortchanged in the first season doing those boring "dradis contact, sir" scenes. I've been glad to see him as the star of the new webisodes and hope for a more central role in 4.5. Addendum: his role in the season is still building up, but I'm intrigued that he seems to be going "evil" and joining Zarek. I just hope this doesn't mean he'll be dead by the end of next week's episode.

Which characters would they have liked to have sex with? (lots of laughter from the audience)

James: How long have you got? (laughter) Christ, oh. I don't know about Katee, but you know, our set was filled with just the most beautiful women all of the time. All of them happened to be, are, superb actresses as well. I was very excited to get a kiss out of Mary McDonnell. To be honest, it really wasn't written that way. It was just written that she blows a gun off in my head. We were saying, wouldn't it be... I think there was an idea about, you know, oh Baltar's kissed everybody, so [wouldn't it be funny] that in a dream... It's so unusual that Laura would kiss Gaius. And so that was the thing that we went on, cos we just shot that as a kind of thing that, oh we possibly weren't going to use that. But it was the... what was fun to me in that moment was the kind of thing about.. I knew it was a dream, because why would Laura Roslin ever want to kiss Gaius Baltar? Yes, lots of people... If only the show had gone on another year, I'm sure I could have accommodated several more. (laughter) Over to you, Katee. (laughter)

It was written as her shooting Gaius? Wow. Absolutely the right idea to keep it like this. So this is season 3, Collaborators, where Gaius has that dream where everyone supposedly forgives him and is all, "Water under the bridge", even frakking Tigh. HeadSix goes in angry conscience mode and Adama can suddenly see her. And then Laura Roslin suddenly says, "I've always wanted you" and leans over to kiss him. I thought it was a very Gaius dream - self-justifications and women randomly throwing themselves at her. In the third season gag reel, you can also see that Mary falls onto James' lap while doing the kiss, and they both laugh. It's very cute.

Katee: Um.. I don't know if there's many men on the show that I didn't have some [communal?] with... I was disappointed that they never talked about the fact that Kara and Gaius slept together, it literally just happened and was never brought up again! (laughter) I don't know if they had like a ratings dip in that scene or something? They went, "Well, that's not working!" (laughter) (chuckles) Um.. so I don't know. I always kind of thought that Michael Hogan is just a ... just a beautiful person and such an extremely good actor. And uh.. (laughter) He kinda makes me feel all special! (laughter) And of course I want to hear him go, (imitates the Saul Tigh laughter) Hoo hoo hoo! -in the middle of a sex scene. (laughter)

Heee! The famous Saul Tigh laughter! It's actually interesting that Lucy Lawless, too, mentioned in her Q&A that she's always had a thing for Michael Hogan. Maybe there's something particularly sexy about him when you see him in person. I'm not sure what Starbuck fans thought of the Gaius/Kara sex scene, but I always thought it was a good example of Gaius' ego at play: woman says someone else's name, you're wounded and driven to drink.

Asked if they read fan sites, forums or fan fiction. That's how I hear the question anyway. Katee starts to answer the question in a wider sense, like about forums and sites, and James tells her it's about fan fiction. I don't really blame him, because I have trouble hearing the person myself. (Why does James think Katee doesn't know what fan fiction is though?)

Katee: "I don't. I made the mistake of doing that in the beginning and um.. you know, you can never... win everyone. You can never..."

James: "She was talking about fan fiction."

Katee: "Oh, fan FICTION, someone handed me..."

James: "So you know, like, that somebody's written about... projective ideas of...your character..."

Katee: "Yeah, yeah yeah. Someone handed me one about... me being a porn star." (laughter) "Um, and I was like, really offended. And so I don't."

James: "She gave it to me." (laughter)

James: "To be honest, I haven't read it. Uh... I know it's out there in the sense of on the internet, but I just feel that that takes um...uh... It's one of, you know, I play Gaius Baltar, I'm not really interested now in that kind of... What other people feel and see, it's like... My donation to the party is kind of... over, like that, and uh... So I haven't."

Katee: "I just want to add, mine was written about me as a person, not as Kara. That's why I was so mad. That's why. Sorry."
(shocked oooooh in the crowd)

I can see why they wouldn't read the fan fiction. I think James is trying to be really nice here, knowing there may be people in the audience who write fan fiction; he sounds a bit apologetic and tentative. What I assume he's saying is that it could never feel real to him because he's been inside Gaius' head. If the show is real to you as an actor, it might be harder to get in the mindset of enjoying fan fiction. Perhaps he's also referring to how many fans really misread Gaius. I mean, half the stuff in the forums is like "he's evil, has no remorse, no conscience, no empathy..." I don't know how much James has read of that, but it angers me on a regular basis that people refuse to see the good sides of Gaius' personality. I think the show needs subtitles for dummies: "Gaius is exhibiting empathy for another person." "Here, Gaius is feeling guilty even if he is also feeling horny. It is possible to feel both at the same time."

I have mixed feelings about fan fiction; I've loved some of it, but other times I've felt I could be reading a story about any set of characters, because it doesn't really have anything to do with BSG. I think James might enjoy some of the crack fic though, because it's just that kind of humor. You could even say that his own pages in the BSG book are like a crack fic written from the point of view of Gaius Baltar.

And a special message to the fan who wrote that fiction about Katee: You are a complete, utter douchebag and should be ashamed of yourself. Just because you find a star attractive, it doesn't make her your personal sex toy. Keep that stuff to yourself, dude.

Katee's asked if the fan response to her playing Starbuck affected her performance.
Katee: This is where it was... started to say before I understood it was fan fiction, I dunno... I did make the mistake in the beginning of reading the message boards, which was wrong. I should never have done it. Because... I think that people have such a love for the original series, they still do, that any... drastic change the character was going to um, kind of, you know, create this panic. And so I read that while we were shooting miniseries, I actually went to like a.. java page in Vancouver, I looked at, and um... and ultimately ended up playing Starbuck way too masculine in the miniseries because of the messageboards. Because people were convinced that I wouldn't be able to play Starbuck.

And I didn't really... I knew that I was doing it at the time, but I didn't think I would notice it when it came out. But I ended up watching it and it... I guess it worked in a sense because I think my insecurity from those messageboards came through as Starbuck's insecurity. So it ended up working, um.. but that was the last time I read the messageboards. So I just um... Like I said you can't, you can't make everyone happy. That was kind of the realization I came to was that... There's always going to be someone somewhere who thinks you are horrible. And that's fine. I don't need to talk to them.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's a shame if they don't read what the fans say about them, because there will be many people whose lives they have touched and who can't go to conventions for whatever reason. I think for them, for us, it would be nice to know that they also read what we write somewhere online. On the other hand, I can totally understand her reaction because forums can be huge and disorienting (Skiffy certainly is), and some stuff online is just plain mean. Some people don't really consider that the stars might be reading. Criticism is one thing, but you can be critical without being a complete jerk. (And you can watch the show before you start saying she wouldn't be able to play the role. Eye-roll.)

Every time I write a post, I try to keep in mind that James (or his family or friends) might find it one day. I write to the fans, but I want the blog to be a place that he would feel comfortable visiting too. If I want to discuss perverted sexual fantasies, I can do that in private emails. So my conscience is clear in that sense. (Not that I have any perverted fantasies, ahem.)

A question about Starbuck and Boomer being played by women. At this point, I can't hear very well what either the question of the answer is.

Katee: I kept reminding people that, you do remember that Boomer was a black man. And now she's a Korean female. That didn't seem to bother them much. People loved Dirk Benedict, they still do, and um... You know, had they cast a man, I think it would have been worse. So...

James jokes something which I can't hear, but that I guess is something like "Gaius would think so, certainly". People laugh. Katee says it's not "unfair", or it's not "an affair". Um, I'll edit this bit later. :P

James is asked about getting "pushed around by women". Is it him or Gaius?

Katee: He loves it! (laughter)

James: I dunno. No, I really wouldn't say it's me, at all. Um, but there's something about... uh... about that that's terribly funny and amusing. And uh...oh, dear! It's one of these things that's like .. I think a lot of people, a lot of actors would be very adverse to doing that. Because it's something about, you know, looking like a coward or being uh, being... you know, not strong, not physically strong, but in this light it's kind of uh.. I suppose I really get pushed around physically by.. Tricia Helfer, who is either an extraordinary, extraordinary robot, as the whole idea of... they push you, they can crush glass, they're cylons. Or she's a manifestation of something in my head which is equally strong, you know, you can't fight against it.

The only other woman that I'm constantly up against is Laura Roslin. And that very much is a battle of wills. And I've been on... in this series as well, they have another ? apart from playing Gaius Baltar. The way we see this thing is that Laura, she ? more than Gaius. She's right, he's not. And what we have, or what Gaius has for her, is tremendous respect. He actually likes her. Can't say that.. Cos Laura's ... more of an adult, I'm sure she doesn't like Gaius. [chuckles] It's not as mutual on that level. But yeah, being pushed around is totally... Being pushed around like that in that fashion... and being.. Are you familiar with the term "political buskin"? Buskin is a kind of... It's a shoe that apparently was worn by Athenian dramatists back in the Greek drama, ? and Aristoteles, back in the day, and the advantage of a buskin is it fits on either foot. So Gaius is a real buskin - He's like, "hey I love you, I love you", "I totally hate you"... like whatever the situation demands, I'm not uh... like that, you know.

Professor James teaches us about the buskin. (Which is a really cute word and has me in giggles, having to type it over and over. Heee, buskin!) I'm constantly learning new words and concepts - I don't think I've done a transcript yet where I didn't learn something new. Actually, this is something that's related to his profession, so it's slightly less amusing than something like "I was randomly reading a book about parallel universes..." But it still amuses me. It's true about Gaius, too. I think there are two characters on the show who have been politically playing both sides, and I'd say they're Gaius and Zarek. However, the difference between them is that Zarek has an agenda, while Gaius is just trying to survive and, if possible, get people to admire him. Of course, it looks like Gaeta is joining Zarek's side now, which will be very interesting.

What I'd like to sort of challenge here is the idea that Laura is "right" or a good person. Laura has done a lot of things that I felt were downright cruel (like taking Hera away from her loving parents). I think Gaius might have more empathy than Laura, in the end, for individual people (and definitely for cylons). Laura's actions have benefited more people and Gaius' have brought more destruction and suffering for more people. But that doesn't mean Laura is necessarily a kinder, better person than Gaius. She has higher moral ideals for sure, but I'm not entirely convinced that she's so caring. When Elosha got on her case, "You don't love people!" I was like, "WORD! Finally someone points that out!"

Some guy starts with how there are strong female characters on the show and Laura Roslin can be president and stuff (there are actually female presidents in real life too, like the one in Finland..), then goes on to suggest that Kara and Lee are a "great gay couple on TV". Um, what? I'm a bit annoyed by this question. Do people really have such old-fashioned gender roles still? People can have both masculine and feminine qualities without being gay, right? Right?

Katee: In a sense, I think... Yeah, I dunno. I think that Kara's very feminine. We were talking about this. I do think she's very feminine, she has a lot of feminine qualitites, and... I don't really... I mean she also has a lot of masculine qualities, and Jamie has... Or, you know, Lee has a lot of masculine qualities, but also some feminine. So I dunno... I think that's what's interesting is that they could have made Starbuck a man and Apollo a woman. It could have, I think that both roles could have been played either way. So I don't know. I don't uh.. I think that they very much heterosexual.
Yes, me too. Thank you. It's a good answer, and it's an interesting point that Lee could be played by a woman as well. I noticed that, at this point of the transcript, I had started writing "Kara:" instead of "Katee:". Not that I equate the actors with their characters or anything! The next question, which I can't hear, is about Lee and Kara.

Katee: I think it's just because they're kindred. You know, I think they have a relationship that transcends... physical relationship. They are emotionally... ? Lee is... Lee knows her better than she knows herself and vice versa. It's like they just.. they just are one and the same, they're almost the same person, kind of. So um... I think that's... you know.

I don't much care about Lee/Kara to be honest, so I have no comments.
Next question: Starbuck and Tigh, despite their disputes, have many similarities. How much is Kara emulating him? I loved this question, very perceptive.

Katee: I think that um.. I think that Kara is her own person. I think that Kara isn't ? ? some other person. I think she's influenced very much by the men around her she respects. Um, and.. so in that sense, I think that because she does have a respect for Tigh, which we got to see on New Caprica - it was never really explained, but she kinda regretted. They kinda, you know, she is desperately seeking someone to parent her. And she gets that from Adama, he's like the good parent, Tigh's like the bad parent [chuckles]. And then they both love her. And they both protect her in different ways. I don't know if she's channeling them purposefully any more than... I look in the mirror in real life, as much as I don't want to do that, I do. I'm my mother in a lot of ways, and the more you try not to be them, the more you become them. So I think that's kinda... why she is very much like a lot of people around her.

[Asked about the rumor that Starbuck is actually Tigh's daughter. The fan uses the phrase "child of Tigh", which amuses me.]

Katee: I thought she was for a while.

The fan: You did?

Katee: I did, until I had the...the... the stuff with my mother in the flashbacks. That's when I realized that she wasn't.

[There are some extra noises here so I can't hear what comes after this. It's not a very long bit - I'll edit this post if I hear it better.]
I think it's a very interesting point about Kara. Tigh and Kara are initially set up as enemies, but as the show goes on, you can see more and more of Kara's sensitive side, Tigh's kindness under their respective gruff/hardass exteriors. It's something that I've found both consistent and surprising about these two characters.

And I think it's really intriguing that even Katee had the idea that Tigh might be Kara's father! The fan sounds very surprised that Katee actually thought so, and so am I. I always thought it was a bit of a silly fan rumor. I apologize to those who believed it, even if apparently it didn't turn out to be true.

For James: How much did he watch the original show and base his Baltar on John Colicos' version?

James: I haven't seen it since I was eight. I didn't watch it, revisit it. I was just surprised um.. that they you know, that I would be up for Baltar, and I didn't want to play that role at all. That was very much in my mind from the very beginning. But I didn't mean to... I haven't seen it since I was a young kid.

[Something about Baltar sitting on a throne]

James: yeah. Uh... ? Do I want my own throne? No, thanks. Thank you so much for asking.(laughter)
It's interesting that he hasn't revisited it. I wonder if it's because he wanted his Baltar to be truly his own, or because, when you've seen something as a child, you are sometimes very disappointed when you finally rewatch it as an adult. I doubt the original show would be my cup of tea, from what I've heard, but I won't comment on it as I've never seen it.

To be continued in a few days!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

James Callis, Insane Genius

"I saw the end of the World
I designed the end of the Human race
And when the Armageddon came,
I found myself on my arse
With black plastic knickers on my face."
-James Callis

No, really. This is insane and brilliant - James' two pages from the Battlestar cast & crew book! Many thanks to tracy_loo_who at Livejournal:

Page 1
Page 2

What's in his head? Is it just a constant fireworks of random verbal brilliance? Because that's how the Spooky lyrics (what I could make out) were. If he wrote a book, would it be like this? Because I would totally buy that book.

...Cuttlesbreath Wash? :D

Also - I thought I overused dashes. But even I would never - use 80 (!) of them - in a two-page - text. James should - seriously consider - dash rehab.

If you're interested in seeing what Jamie, Katee, Grace, Aaron, Tricia, Tahmoh, Michaels Hogan and Trucco, or Alessandro wrote, see the full page here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inside the Secrets of the Behind the Making of the Music of Battlestar Galactica Revealed

So, I have obtained the Bear McCreary mockumentary, full title in this post's title. It. Is. Brilliant. It's on Youtube, but might be taken down soon. Watch it now. James appears at about 8 minutes and on.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

I might have whined here about how little of it was on Youtube earlier, and how I craved to see the rest. I was a bit worried though. When you wait for something so long and build up expectations, it's often disappointing to see the whole thing, no matter how funny it is. But this time, the whole video was better than I had expected. It's so much funnier than the Youtube clip, which was already hilarious. Even the Gaius Baltar theme song is funnier when you see the whole thing. So now I'm glad I wasn't spoiled more than that. I cannot praise this thing enough. Funniest. Thing. Ever.

Bear McCreary himself blogged about it here. You can tell he had a blast filming the James bits!

So here's my transcript of the James part with commentary. Special thanks to M for all the awesome screenshots!

The basic premise of the video is that no one knows who Bear McCreary is. Throughout the "documentary", Bear tries to get invited into the BSG wrap party, with no success. Some writers and crew members are interviewed about the music, and there are many confused "there's no music on BSG" comments. The insanely long title shows up on screen one word at a time, to the rhythm of drums. There's also a nice parody of the "one year later" cut in the season two finale. It's all hilarious, but I will only transcribe the James bits.

James appears with his real name, but he's really playing a role here. Basically he plays Gaius Baltar - completely arrogant and rude, self-obsessed, childlike in a bad yet amusing way. And no, this isn't his real house either. While James pretends to be super rude, Bear plays the James part, being uber-nice and accommodating to his whims. I'm not sure how much of this was scripted and how much was improvised, but it's awesome. They have a great comedic timing together.

Also, I have never heard James swear this much. Just for the record: he says "fuck" 9 times and "shit" 6 times within ten minutes. Awesome.

Bear: (rings the doorbell) We're at James Callis' house, we're gonna talk to some of the cast and find out what...
James (through the door): Who is it?
Bear: James, it's Bear!
James: What?
Bear: It's Bear!
James: Who?
Bear: Uh, McC...
James (opens the door angrily, wearing sunglasses and a black bathrobe. Tries to control himself when he sees the camera.)

Bear: Bear! Bear McCreary! We, uh, we're doing the interview today about the music.
James (takes off sunglasses and stares): Music of what?!
Bear: Battlestar! (points to a Battlestar logo on James' chest)
James (looks at logo, then looks around annoyed) Umm...
Bear: We spoke on the phone about an hour ago?
James: (calm but threatening voice) How did you get my address? (forces a grin for the camera) Who gave you my address?

I must say, the captions make it look like a "serious" documentary, which makes me laugh even more. James really sounds threatening with "who gave you my address". He has this forced grin on that gradually fades off his face. I'd be scared to go in after that, but Bear's pretending to be a gleeful optimist here.

Cut to: sunny back yard, James' face as he looks incredibly bored. He's changed to his now famous suspenders outfit. Hee, suspenders! That certainly adds to the comedy.

Bear (setting up, walking around him): I'm actually quite a big fan myself.
James: (uninterested) Are you. How long is this gonna take?
Bear: Um, I'm not sure...
James (inaudible)
Bear: I really appreciate you taking a second to do this, James.
James (annoyed): Mmyeah.

Cut to: both sitting by the table. James tries to sound a lot more chipper and interested in Bear, but it comes off as fake. (Of course, he's only pretending to be uninterested, so uh.. this is gonna get really meta before I'm done with this transcript!)
James: OK, so it's Beer?
Bear: Bear.
James: (emphatically, to the camera) Bear. Bear. And you have something to do with the music of, mm, this show. You're involved in some...
Bear: I write the music of the...
James: YOU actually..?
Bear: I'm the guy behind the music, yeah!

James: Shit! (removes sun glasses to take a closer look)
Bear (nods proudly) Yeah!
James: Who'd have thunk it? You don't, uh, you don't look musical at all, do you? (chuckles) Isn't that funny. It's funny only because I actually, um, I think that that would be something I would be very good at.
Bear: I didn't know you played an instrument.
James (smoking): No, I don't play an instrument.
Bear: You must read music then.
James: Why would I bother with that shit?
Bear: What's your musical background?
James: I have no musical background. (leans closer) When you've got something inside of you, something...primitive, something... atavistic, your tubes are banging together, you've got something to give out, haven't you?

James: I was in bed with Tricia, and I thought of this great theme that would be (looks at camera) just... a knockout...
Bear: Wait... A theme for Battlestar?

James: Fuck Battlestar! -Actually, why not Battlestar! Why not! When you... Why not Battlestar, because you've got another... (lights cigarette) ...six or seven episodes to do, and this is (looks at camera) killer, I mean you would love it! (gets up) No, listen, listen!
Bear: You know what, I... (grunts)
James: Stop, listen! It's gonna change your life! Come on! (walks inside)
Bear: Aghh...

"So it's Beer?" Why would it be Beer? :D Nice little touch there, showing how little the meeting means to him.

I heard "not Battlestar" but it's apparently "fuck Battlestar", which is a lot funnier and works well with "James"' attitude. Who cares about Battlestar, he's so much better than that show! Great touch.

I remember James saying before that if you told Gaius, "I was in a car accident", he would reply with, "Actually that happened to me..." He has to relate everything to himself, and James is clearly doing that here. Of course, he's the natural talent in composing, nevermind that he never did any of that. I think he's also mocking the idea that art is all about inspiration and no hard work or training is necessary. And of course, as soon as Bear asks if it's a theme for BSG, he takes it as an offer.

The casual "I was in bed with Tricia" kills me every time. I'm not sure which is funnier:
a) that they were supposedly in bed outside the show, or
b) that it was as Gaius and Six, but the "egomaniac James" thinks it was real for her.
Maybe b), coming to think of it.

He even smokes cockily here. As usual, I'm fascinated by his smoking, and it seems like a pack of red Marlboro there. That felt really cosmic and meaningful when I first saw this late at night.

Also: atavism. Thank you, professor James. I love that even as he plays a clueless arrogant ass, he still defaults to big words.

"nnngaaaius baaaltaaar..." He both looks and sounds like he's having indigestion. It's... :D

Cut to: Inside, Bear is playing chords on the piano, James is "singing".
James: OK so... (terrible-sounding falsetto) Gaaius Baaltaaar... and then something really strong.
Bear: Like..? (plays a strong chord)

James (screams like a madman): HE'S THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT!! HE'S THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT!!!!!!! (pumps his fist)

Bear (shocked): I...really don't think you can... say that on TV, James.
James (leans head on hands and looks pissed off): Motherfrakking shit, how about that, again. So start over here. (forces Bear's finger on a key) That's the one, that's the one, do that one.
Bear: Oh, OK. (plays a chord in major)
James: That's like, that's far too happy. I need it sad, tragic!
Bear (plays the same chord in minor)
James (looks at camera excitedly, points at the keys) That... that's it there! Whatever it is. The black notes... they're sad notes.
James: (testing the keys) What's... Why are the low notes down here... What kind of a fucked up piano is this? The high ones... Well how are you ever gonna do anything like that?

Bear: James, look. The bottom line is, your theme is nice. I mean, your theme is very pretty, I don't mean to, I just, I just, I just don't think Ron would ever let[?] something like that in the show.
James: Ron loves it! I've already spoken to Ron!
Bear: You what..?
James: Ron is gonna put it in the show! Ron is gonna, Ron is definitely gonna put it in the show! If not this show, then another one of his shows when I change the lyrics! Cos I just made up these lyrics cos, you know, cos you're here, you know. But let's just try it one last...
Bear: It's gonna be...on the show?
James: Yeah. Yeah.

I think James has a childlike quality to him, and the "James" he plays here does as well. It's a different kind of childlikeness though. The real James is amazed at the world and curious about things. The fictionary James here thinks everything revolves around him and that he can do anything he sets his mind to, with minimal or no work at that. And just as soon as he comes up with a theme (and all by himself too!), Ron already loves it and is totally willing to put it on the show.

James: Let me get my pitch, please?
Bear (plays the chord)
James: Stop messing around there!
Bear (stops)
James: (focuses hard) Thank you. (falsetto) Aaaa... OK.
Bear (plays the sad, tragic chords)
James: (falsetto) Gaaius Baalt..aar..
(shouts) HE'S THE MOTHERFUCKING SHI... You're too late, your time's out...
Bear: Oh, alright.

James: Gaaius Baalt..aar.. HE'S THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIIITT!!

James and Bear (in unison):
Best president since Jimmy Carter,
Banged more blondes than JFK,
Well not that many since they're all the same!

"Best president since Jimmy Carter"

"Banged more blondes than JFK"

"They're all the saame!"

James (forces Bear's hand to another key) Saame.. saame... That one!! Whatever that one is. For fuck's sake!

Heee! I've seen this so many times now, and the song and James' facial expressions still crack me up. It seems like they used slightly different footage for the final version, and James' crazy expressions can be seen better here. The second time he sings "Gaaaius Baalt...aar", his voice falters a bit, as if he's about to laugh. I do wonder how they got thru this and how many takes it took! On the other hand, it could just be that his throat was tired from screaming!

In reality, James actually composes music and plays the piano a lot. So this is just two talented guys fooling around with the worst possible song ever. I find it hilarious that he would have a piano, but never have used it enough to know that the low notes are to the left. I can see why the distance between high and low notes would be a problem with a song like this - his voice jumps an octave lower within "Balt...aaaar".

Bear: You know what, actually I think that works pretty well.
James: (bored again) Getting somewhere, okay. That's uh...
Bear: And Ron has heard this already..?
James: Ron is in love with it! Ron actually listens to this to get himself to bed...
Bear: In that case, I...
James: ...and to motivate himself in the morning to go running.
Bear: I think we've got a hit.
James: We've got a hit in our hands. Great, well... (glances at watch) Uh...
Bear: Now if you don't mind, can we talk about my music for a second?
James (looks at the camera)

Cut to: James pushing Bear out the door.
Bear: Well, sure, but I also wanna say...
James (to the camera) You as well. Thank you.
Bear: ...on a personal note, what a big fan I am of your work, I really appreciate what you bring to the show...
James (rolling eyes, closing door): Yeah, yeah.
Bear:... and I look forward to seeing you at the wrap party, my friend!

James: (shocked) What, you're going to the wrap party?
Bear: Yeah!
James: (rolls eyes) Right. Uh, yeah, I may see you there.
Bear: Great...
James (slams door in his face)
Bear: Uh... (excited, to the camera) James Callis, everybody!!

Bear is still so starstruck after James treated him like crap. James really nails the "arrogant actor" thing here with the eyerolls and looking at Bear with such contempt. Basically he has two moods: grumpily bored and childishly excited (over his own genius). Brilliant.

In the next segment, James walks around with a handheld camera and tries to interview other cast members, who all pretend they never heard of Bear McCreary. In this part, he's himself again - he's friendly, he's got that smile in his voice that he always does in interviews, and is very polite and calm with people. It's sort of in contrast with the other part, but it doesn't disrupt the "reality" of the mockumentary that much. It's a different comedic role - James goes from being the funny one to the straight man.

First up is Jamie Bamber. Their names are confusingly similar, but I hope it's still readable.

James: What do you think of the music in the show?
Jamie: We don't really have any music, do we? We've got those drums..
James: No, there's like a soundtrack all the way.. all the way htru.
Jamie: It's like documentary style, we don't do score.
James: Bear McCreary.
Jamie: Um... Irish bear.. big Irish bear.. McCreary.
James: Um.. he's, he writes the music for the show.
Jamie: Music? Mu...
James: Yeah.
Jamie: Oh, the Bob Dylan thing.
Jamie: So pretend like I met him..?
James: Like you really love him...
Jamie: So this is gonna be shown at the concert to all the six people that come?
James: Yeah, actually it's sold out, just so you know.
Jamie: Small venue?

James: And here we go! Jamie, go!
Jamie: (awkwardly) Bear! Bear, Bear, Bear! Listen, congratulations on the concert. You rock! You rock! Love those drums. (waves) Hi! God, I can't, I just don't know what to say.
James: (with contempt) That is just fucking pathetic. That is like...
Jamie: Let me try again. Bear! Thank you for all your hard work on Battlestar. We love... you, we love this show, you make this show, uh...thank you Bear. How was that, did that work? Oh, breakfast, lovely. Thank you. God, I'm so hungry.
(camera pans to "Troy Scott, 3rd assistant director" - it's too dark to really see his face though.)
James: Hello.
Troy: Hi.
James: You good?
Troy: I'm awesome.
James: Okay.
Troy: What is this for?
James: Um, this is for Bear McCreary.
Troy: Who's that?
James: Yeah, exactly!

I'm not sure which one of the guys says that last line. Both are off camera and both are British, so... I can usually tell apart their voices, but I had trouble with it here. Edit: Both M and Nicole hear James, so I'll go with that.
The Jamie bit seemed awkward in the brief Youtube clip, but it actually makes sense in context - he's just naturalistically pretending to be awkward, which actually works well.

Next, a brief bit with Mary McDonnell.

Mary: What is his name, Bear?
James: His name is Bear, and he is gonna do a concert.
Mary: He's doing a concert?
James: Yeah, I just wanted you to give like a little message to him and say you know, 'great concert and have a great time' and...
Mary: Okay. I want to wish you a great.. concert to... (puts her hand in front of the camera) I'm sorry, what was his name?
James: Bear, his name's Bear, yeah.
Mary: Bear... (smiles charmingly) Bear! I... I just hope it goes well. Is that enough?

I love how everyone keeps forgetting his name, even if Bear should be easy enough to remember. Actually, rewatching this, I've come to wonder if James isn't playing a role here also - a well-meaning, but bumbling guy who has no idea how to interview his castmates.

Katee Sackhoff is having makeup done (apparently that tattoo in Starbuck's arm isn't a real tattoo, they seem to be painting it on). James can be seen in the mirror, holding a camera. She laughs and points at something, I'm not sure if it's the camera or James' hair (which is cutely scruffy on top).

James: Wanted to ask you about um.. the music in BSG.
Katee: (confused) Oh, the drums? The drums!
James: Well, the I mean...There's more going on than just um, the drums..
James: You get into character listening to those drums...
Katee (looks confused)
James: Um... Basically, just lie. I mean, in that sense, I can cut out this...

Katee: (smiling sweetly) I love Bear's music. He's great, his music is fantastic. He's been such an instrumental part of this show for five years that we couldn't... We couldn't do without him, I love him. (blows a kiss at the camera) I wish I was there.
James: That's beautiful, that is, that is beautiful. Thank you. Happy, happy birthday...
Katee: Thank you. It didn't look too much like I was lying on that one?
James: No no no, I mean listen, none of us have heard the music, none of us care.
Katee: Cos in all honesty, I thought it was just Eddie, like, beating on shit on set.

I think "Eddie beating on shit on set" is one of the funniest lines in this video. I do wonder about EJO, because he seems like such a character. I don't know if that line would work with anyone else. And no matter how many times I see this, I still crack up at "basically just lie, I can cut out this..." and the cut there. :D Like James, Katee's really good at this sort of naturalistic mockumentary style (see the first David Eick video blog).

There's another camera in this bit, so you briefly see James walking with the camera. Jamie is having makeup done now.

James: That was pretty good, but I mean I'm just gonna.. you know, that's kinda got a bit more ... that's real here.
Jamie: You know, it's fucking hard talking about shit that you don't know...
James: You're supposed to make it up! That's what we do as actors, you're just making up, isn't it! You know...
Katee: It's really putting people on the spot, asking everyone to do this!
James: Well, I mean, but you know...
Katee: No one knows who the fuck this guy is!
James: I know! But that's whatever... Listen, it's just a favor to me, you know who I am, don't you, for fuck's sake?
Katee (looks at camera with disdain)
Jamie (unenthusiastically) Yeah...

I love how they're pretending to not even really like him. It's like "yeah, we know who you are..." You can tell James has a great chemistry with both Jamie and Katee though.

Edward James Olmos - who I will refer to as "Eddie", because everybody else does and it's contageous - and Michael Hogan are standing around an empty stage. Hogan is smoking. They're not looking particularly busy.

James: Guys? Guys, hi! Hi! Um, Eddie, Michael, um... Uh, sorry to bother you, um.. I'm doing, um, a little...
Michael: What?
James: Bear McCreary...
Eddie: Excuse me, who? Who's that?
James: Bear.
Michael: Bear Curtis?
James: The music of Battlestar Galactica.
Eddie (laughing) There's no music on Battlestar Galactica! Enough of you, get out of here!
Michael: We don't need no frakking music!
(James lowers the camera)
James: (in a low voice) There's a guy called Bear on the show. There's a guy called Bear, he does the music for the show.
Eddie: There's a guy that does the mu.. (empathically) There's no music in the show.
James: No there is, Eddie, there is!
Michael: Can I get a toke of what you're on?
Eddie (laughs)
James: (laughs) Yeah, very good. Listen, no, listen, OK? What I mean to do... He's doing a concert, this guy, and..
Michael: Oooh, I've seen his picture on the album cover, Bear. He's that... bluegrass guy.
James: OK, he's doing a ...

Eddie. But the guy's name is not Bear. What is it spelled, B-E-A-R? Is that how you spell that, B-E-A-R?
James: All I need you to say is like, Bear's doing a concert, you love this guy, and...
Eddie: Hah! (laughs)
James: ...good luck with the concert, Bear.
Eddie: Hey Bear! Rrrrrr! All the best at you! Rrrrr!
Michael (laughs)
James: (laughs) Uh... yeah.
Eddie: If there's anybody seeing this, you've been taken for a ride!
James: Genuinely, you've never heard the music on the show?
Eddie: I'm sorry man.
Michael: There's sound effects.
Eddie: There's sound effects.
Michael: Like kshhhhhh! [imitates shooting a gun]

Eddie: You know, once in a while there'll be a radio, there'll be source, but...
Michael: Yeah, yeah. There's radio, like...
James: No, cos there's like...
Eddie: Does he look like one?
James (laughs) You know he's...Yeah...
Eddie: He's like seven foot, rrrr! Like a grizzly?
Michael: Anyway, man, we were talking here so if you...
Eddie: We were doing stuff, alright? Get out of here!
James: Thanks. Sorry, man. Thanks. Thanks very much. Thanks.

Eddie's just hilarious here, especially when he does the bear impression. Also - "You've been taken for a ride"? Hee! I love how James is politely trying to keep this on topic, while the two guys keep going off on tangents and laughing, like they can't focus on such a simple thing.

The following bits are from the credits. These are obviously stuff they cut out. First, we see James and Bear at the piano again. This would be from the "can we talk about my music" part.

James (mockingly) Bear! Bear, go on Bear! Show us what you got... let's see, let's see...
Bear: You wanna hear some music? I'll play you some music!
James: Whatever.
Bear (plays the cylon baseship theme, sways to the rhythm) You hear that James? Yeah! This is music!
James (gives camera a hilarious look of utter disdain)

James: That is awful.
Bear: Awful?!
James: That is like dog poop being stuck down my ears. Don't put that on the show mate, nobody's gonna want to watch the show if you put it in...That's awful...
Bear: (incredulous) That's already in the show!
James: What?!
Bear: It's in your scenes! Have you ever watched the show?!
James: (puts hand on face) Oh god almighty, this is getting worse and worse by the minute. I could, whatever... I've worked with more musical cats!

Dog poop *dies* Actually, looking at the picture, he looks like he's about to laugh. And when he says "dog poop", it sounds a bit like that too. I wonder if they burst out laughing after he said the last line, and that's why there was a cut. I do think it works better the way it's cut - "can we talk about my music" - cut to James walking Bear to the door. But it's still fun to see this little bit here too, especially with James so proud of his poor taste in music. Incidentally, this theme is one of my very favorite pieces. I'm not sure if it's because I love Baltar and the cylons, or because it's just so beautiful and atmospheric.

There's another very brief clip in the end, where James points the camera at himself and says, "Yeah, I was gonna tell them that I was..." and then suddenly breaks into this incredibly cute giggle like he's being tickled: "ehehehehehe... no!" The camera shakes and you can see a few brief clips of him laughing. M was able to get these screenshots from those couple of seconds (Edited slightly by my girlfriend) :

You can see Michael there grabbing him. You can hear Eddie saying, "He's just frakking with you guys! There ain't no Bear! There's NO BEAR!"

Every time I watch this, I just get so happy. I was just incredibly happy all week because I've seen this. I'm so glad it's on the US DVD's (also booo to the Euro DVD's for not having it). I'd like to thank Bear, James and everyone else involved. This was just awesome.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Definitive Baltar Moments: Empathy

This is my banner at the Sci Fi forums. The reason I picked this one is that it emphasizes Gaius' skill for empathy, something that a lot of viewers tend to overlook. The banner is by khyron40k3, and you can see all of the banners by this poster on this page of the James Callis Appreciation Thread.

When I first saw the Pegasus episode and Baltar's reaction to Gina, I had this... epiphany, if you can all it that. It was a moment when I suddenly realized that I had misjudged Baltar. I had thought he's a complete narcissist with no empathy whatsoever. But what selfish motives can there be in helping a woman who's so wounded, so helpless?

Yes, it's a model Six and Gaius obviously can't really tell her and HeadSix apart. Yes, he later tries to kiss her when she's obviously not ready for it yet, and she has to bite him to get him off her. But still. After seeing him "not take sides" in the cylon war and look out for his own interest in everything, it means a lot that he cares about her plight and wants to help out. He's willing to risk his own position to show her love. I think it's a point where the character grows a lot.

I also think this shows that Baltar is not cruel. He caused for a lot of people to suffer, but we must remember that he hasn't seen a lot of suffering first hand. The kind of torture that Starbuck and Lee can casually bring on a stubborn prisoner is probably something Gaius "the bad guy" would not be able to do. When he sees a prisoner hurt, even before he sees who it is, he's appalled and filled with compassion. Compare this to Kara and Leoben in Flesh and Bone or Lee and Kara trying to get answers out of the prisoner in Colonial Day. Would they have helped Gina? Would Baltar have airlocked Leoben like Laura Roslin did?

So suddenly Gaius is very warm and able to feel real empathy for someone. I had to adjust my view of him a little. It's fun to mock his selfishness, narcissism, and overall self-love, but in the end, he grows as a character and becomes more likeable when he's compassionate. It makes him more complex and makes you question your idea of a "bad guy".

Also see this part of Nicole's Baltar/Six picspam. Baltar is so touched by Gina's plight that he's in pain himself.

Some of this is probably James Callis being the warm, compassionate person he is and bringing that into the role. I blogged about the Sci Fi Q&A earlier, but just a few quick quotes:

"What I really enjoy doing is showing Baltar who has compassion. Playing this.. I was gonna say, rather revolting man and at the same time being allowed to show, sometimes, the window to his soul...which shows that he IS thinking about these things and he DOES care for people, is... I'd say it's quite cathartic."

"The thing perhaps that Baltar has from me, that he did not have in the script, is warmth. He's quite warm. There are quite a lot of cold people on Galactica. And that warmth makes him sympathetic in some way, and gives him an understanding into...people, when he can be, if he can possibly think about them for one second, other than himself or his own reflection. So that's something that I think I've added."
I like that he brought this up, because I often feel that the military characters are a bit cold and distant. Even Adama, who admittedly cares more about people in general than Baltar does, easily comes off as gruff, unfriendly, and harsh (perhaps most of all towards his own son).

Baltar may be narcissistic, annoying and amoral, even "revolting" - but he's not completely without compassion. To me, this is one of the things that saves him a little and puts him on the side of "decent" people. It may be deep down, but he has a side to him that genuinely cares about other people.

Tricia Helfer talks about a Gina scene in a video courtesy of Forksmoker:
"At one point I just broke down and I just... It was one of the scenes where I reach for the apple and I pull it. Something just kinda... I just started heaving sobs at the end of the scene and I remember when they cut. They can't just let that go! Something came up from..somewhere, I don't know. I remember James coming up to me, and he just held me for a couple of minutes after the scene. And everybody in the crew just kinda... was giving us some space."

Awww, James! This quote speaks volumes of the emotional intensity of the scene and how much James and Tricia support each other. That really shows in their interaction as Gaius and Six and makes their scenes that much more enjoyable.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Naughty Gaius And the Soul-Breaking Guilt

The children!! Will someone please think of the children?!
Well, we at ACB - Appropriate Children's Books do. We want to tell it like it is, teach children about the world before they learn themselves and accuse us of sugar-coating things. The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica is a great and fun tool for teaching kids. We put the sci back in sci fi!

New in the Naughty Gaius series:


This massive 700-page opus will not only entertain, but also teach your child the essentials of the following themes:

-Conscience and guilt
-Sex and seduction
-Nuclear holocaust.

Age target group: 8-12.

Synopsis: Naughty Gaius' narcissism* and nymphomania* cause the destruction of mankind as the cylons decide to blow up the place and use him as a pawn. To punish him, Gaius' conscience sends him on a trip with no return - into the depths of a soul-breaking guilt.

* See Naughty Gaius Is a Nymphomaniac Narcissist.

"Did you know?" (tm) -footnotes will guide your child's reading experience throughout, explaining the difficult words and concepts. Who knows - maybe even the parents will learn something new!

Colorful pictures will show the child the varying stages of Gaius' psychosis*and mental devastation*.
* these words will be explained in the book!!

"How would YOU feel?" (tm) - tools to build the child's empathy level. How would YOU feel if you had unwittingly caused the destruction of mankind? Discuss with the whole family!

Learn from this (tm): Spelling out the lesson in each chapter helps your child frame his or her thinking. This technique is based on many studies*.

* We'd link to some, but you wouldn't understand. Trust us, we're experts.

Excerpts from the book:

Naughty Gaius is having the time of his life. He's a successful scientist, very famous and rich. He has a lot of girlfriends (a LOT). One of them is especially important to him. When Gaius is too lazy to do his own work, she will do it for him. And she's great in the sack*. For some reason, she doesn't have a name, but as Gaius will soon find out, she goes by a number instead: Six.

Gaius and Six are reaching orgasm* together. Look how happy they are! Wouldn't you also like to feel this happy?

Did you know? (tm): In the sack means in bed. While having sex.

Orgasm is when you feel really really really really really good after touching yourself or being touched by someone. Have you ever felt it? No worries if you haven't - you can reach it with the help of our easy guide! Girls, look at page 21 and boys, read page 22. If you don't know which you are, you can read page 23.

Learn from this (tm): If you're too lazy to work, you can hire others to do it for you. Sometimes, instead of giving them money, you can pay for it "the natural way".

Did you know? (tm): The natural way means with sex.


After learning that he caused for many, many people to die horribly, Naughty Gaius suffers from a guilty conscience*. This almost never happens to him; usually he just doesn't listen to his conscience. He's too important, rich, and famous to do that - he can always buy his way out of any trouble. This makes his life easier and helps his brain focus on science. In fact, Gaius believes that guilt is something small people feel when they run out of excuses for their behavior - and Gaius is very good at thinking of excuses. But this time, none of them work. Gaius gets brutally tortured* by his conscience.

Did you know? (tm): A conscience is a little voice inside you that tells you if you're doing the right thing or the wrong thing. If you do the right thing, you feel good. If you do the wrong thing, you feel bad, or guilty. But do you know what? People often disagree on what is right and wrong. It might be impossible to tell what is right in a new situation.

You may have seen funny conscience characters on Disney films, but in reality, it's pretty dull. There's no cartoon violence or singing Jiminy Crickets. You're just gonna feel miserable if you do something wrong. It's best to just ignore your conscience and try to get by doing what you feel is best. You'll only feel it if you do something really wrong, just like Gaius did.

Torture happens when someone hurts you and you feel really, really strong pain. They won't stop until you're almost dead. See page 550, chapter Demonic D'Anna and Her Terrible Torture Chamber.

Learn from this (tm): If you're feeling really happy, something awful is bound to happen soon. Life just isn't meant to be easy.


Suddenly, Six is there again! And she looks as sexy as ever. But wait - no one else can see or hear her. Is she an angel sent by an unknown God, or a cylon chip in his brain, or a hallucination*? Either way, she can still give him a good frakking*. But she also helps Gaius remember the terrible things he has caused, loves teasing him, and won't leave him alone at all. And she's always touching him when others are looking! This makes Gaius very nervous and worried that others will find out. No matter what he does, he can't escape her. He's trapped on Colonial One, and with her.

Did you know? (tm): Hallucinations are like nightmares, but you see them when you're awake. You can't escape them by waking up. Hallucinations are really scary. If you have them, don't tell anyone because they will put you in mental hospital and you'll never get out.

Frakking - you guessed it, it means sex. It's close to another, more common word that we weren't allowed to print here. Hint: replace "ra" with "u". Hint 2: It rhymes with "ducking". Try it out - a good word for many purposes! :)

How would YOU feel? (tm): If Gaius doesn't tell anyone about all this, he will feel really bad and be all alone with it. If he tells someone, the others will hate him and kill him. How would this make YOU feel? Discuss with Mommy/Stepmommy and Daddy/Stepdaddy and/or Grandma/Grandpa/Other Legal Guardian.

Order the book TODAY. What are you still waiting for? Do you want to deprive your child of the joy of discovery and education? Don't be as selfish as Gaius - give your child the gift of learning NOW*!

$ 500 + shipping fee.

* in 5-10 weekdays.

Have you read these yet?:
Naughty Gaius Is a Nymphomaniac Narcissist
Naughty Gaius Is a Sex God

Crafty Kara Gets Drunk and Disorderly
Crafty Kara And the Mysterious Mandala
Crafty Kara Is the Harbringer of Death

Little Leland: Why Doesn't My Daddy Love Me?
Little Leland Has a Death Wish
"Little" Leland And the Treacherous Treats

written by Deniselle
cover by Deniselle
screenshots by Sidestepping