Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starfury Q&A - James Callis / Mark Sheppard, Part 2

Previously on the Baltarstar Blog: this Q&A part 1, in February last year. Ahem. When you interrupt something for such a long time, it becomes really hard to finish it. I had some trouble with this Q&A, owing to both sound quality and lack of context. I don't know much about Mark, and it makes it harder to guess what he might be talking about. I also didn't get all of James' references, but that's nothing new. If you have this file or were at the panel and want to correct some bits, please comment or email me (swanjonasAThotmailDOTcom), I promise I won't bite your head off.

In the beginning of the show, did they believe the fleet would eventually find Earth or did they think "Earth was just a frakking joke"? (laughter)

Mark: I dunno. I mean, I loved the show. Before I was ever on the show, I loved the show. I loved Ron and... I knew Ron reasonably well and I just... The hope that I had as a viewer was that there was there was a beautiful resort, that there would be somewhere a beautiful resort that makes all this terrible devastation and this idea of genocide and fear and pursuit and all these things... I always hoped there was somewhere beautiful ?.

James: Um... I didn't necessarily believe it, but I think that's because I was really ensconced in the mindset of Gaius Baltar, and Gaius Baltar on a day-to-day level, didn't know if he's gonna make it thru lunch, (laughter) didn't know if he was gonna make it thru a scene. I always used to joke that, you know that voice in Big Brother, he's like: "Gaius Baltar is now officially the most unpopular person ? ?" (laughter) So uh.. I never thought about the end or that manifestation of where it might be going, because in my own mind, Baltar's story was gonna have a full stop. [?] before the end, so he never saw it, I don't know.

Mark: It was like survival mode, continuous survival.

James: Yeah, I just never saw the.. what's it, the promised land again at the end of or something like that.
I've tried to imagine the show without Baltar, and I think I would have lost a lot of my interest for it. Baltar and Six added something to the show, another level of... psychology? Sexual tension? Something that made the show infinitely interesting for me. I think Baltar was really the most interesting character, and it would have been a huge mistake to lose him. Baltar is rare in that we see into his mind, but we still don't learn a whole lot about him. He didn't have much backstory until the very end. If you think about it, all the other characters had some backstory before the third season. Baltar was the only major character whose story sort of began in the miniseries, and I'd argue his backstory was hidden even from him in some way, because he had tried so hard to rebuild his identity as a Caprican scientist, as opposed to the son of a farmer on Aerilon. A narcissistic mind is, in some ways, a closed book. As the narcissism unfolds a bit and he starts to see other people (and cylons), he also starts to open up to the viewers in some way.

Mark: See, for me, as a viewer, before I ever met you, as a viewer... That played so well, because that was the manifestation of guilt. That's what I saw as the manifestation of guilt, on a conctinuous basis, is that you get literally, any moment the game was up. What for wasn't necessarily gonna be... determined. But that's what sold me the character so much... [?] So wonderful to play. (laughs)

That's interesting because my girlfriend and I debated over this a lot, especially in season one. I agree with Mark that that was the manifestation of guilt for Baltar, while my girlfriend feels that he was just worried about being caught, which is not the same as guilt per se. I still maintain that if you're that scared of getting caught - especially when it's that unlikely - it's the sign of an underlying feeling of guilt. But if the debate was about morals vs. survival, I'd say Baltar is definitely more about survival than doing the right thing. It's an interesting debate, I might want to write more about that later.

Mark sounds fascinated with his own character, but I get the feeling he's even more fascinated with Baltar.

A question for Mark:
"At the last convention, you said you felt Romo was the last sane person in the universe."

Mark: "Absolutely!"

"How do you explain the cat?" (laughter)

Mark: I was lying! (laughter) Besides, the cat... I dunno if you're going to like that explanation, but I think it was all bullshit. I think pulling a gun on Lee was about something else. I don't think it has anything to do with my cat. I don't think Romo loses his mind over a cat. I think Romo loses his mind over whatever Romo chooses to lose his mind over. Always felt that way... it's just kind of, some sort of historical ? of my mistakes... Um...
James: I didn't understand that episode. I just remember watching it going, "What do you mean dead cat?" (?) Like, I don't know, and then, because of the way it was cut, there was this thing about, "I've lost my cat..." I was like, the cat's right there... And suddenly, "No, that's a flashback! The cat was alive for years (?) Didn't you watch anything?" I'm like, "It was right next to him." Romo goes, "Where's my cat?" and we see the cat. Like it's there all the time. "No! It's dead!"
(laughter; their voices are drowned out)
Mark: It didn't mean a lot to me. I love the scene with Eddie on the bridge, I think that's what the show is all about. The show had nothing to do with my cat. That episode had everything to do with whether Adama gets on that.. on the ship or not. Just think of it that way. It was fun to have me in it, with the conversation about sine qua non on the bridge and he decided to go, that's what that show is about... We'll see, there's more to come.

That's actually my pet peeve about that episode. Well, that and there being no Baltar in it. I didn't like that they brought Romo back just to convince Adama to do something and talk Lee into something. Romo is a great, strong character, and I thought it was a letdown to see him depressed and mainly just propping up the Adamas. I think the character is better than that.

I'll confess that I didn't watch Sine Qua Non that much, because it had NO BALTAR. I don't think I really followed enough to get the dead cat either. *bad BSG fan*

"I think Romo loses his mind over whatever Romo chooses to lose his mind over" is pretty classic. As is "Romo is the last sane person in the universe." The dead cat was a bit off character. I often feel like the actors know their characters better than the writers. The more input the actor - James, AJ, etc. - has had on the character, the more they stay on character. It's a problem with changing writers, I think.

About the accent James did in Dirty Hands:"Whose idea was that?"

James: That was their idea that they wanted a different accent. I thought at the time... Both Aaron and I didn't really particularly want to do the scene, as written. I didn't want to do it because I was like, 'Listen, all of the things that you're saying are absolutely wonderful. The idea of poor boy make good, somebody having to hide their real personality and all these kind of things... why are you putting it in the mouth of Gaius Baltar? I've got a hundred and one different things right now I could be talking about: about my cult, or about science, or about trying to find out who the final cylons are, or... but class struggle as well? I mean gimme a break! Find somebody else to do that!'
And then Aaron was like, (hoarse voice) 'Why would I even be here listening to this shitbag? (laughter) I don't wanna listen to this, why would I be...' I'm like, you're not even listening, why am I even gonna talk? I think it was Wayne, actually, Wayne Rose who was directing. He was like, 'You talk, you listen!' (laughter)
He's right, there are many other things Gaius Baltar could be talking about. The Aerilon accent kind of came out of nowhere, but it gave him his first hint of a backstory, and it worked so well with the flashbacks in the final episodes. Also, I thought it went some way to explain why Gaius is so arrogant and narcissistic. Someone had a great theory on that over at Sci Fi, here. baltarsloveslave - hee! - writes:

1. Baltar is rejected by his fellow Aurelions, particularly his peers, at an early age because of his intelligence because it is so far beyond theirs, just like kids today that are gifted are often shunned, harassed, teased, and bullied. Also, to make it worse, if what Baltar is saying about Aurelion "culture" is true, he may have been rejected not just because he was super intelligent but because that wasn't seen as a good thing...kind of like how there is a belief among some, and I stress SOME, African Americans in the U.S. today that to do well in school and show your intelligence is "acting white." (I used to be a teacher in a predominantly African American school and I did hear this quite often and found it very disturbing.)

2. Then, not only does Baltar find that he is rejected by his fellow Aurelions, he finds that he is rejected by other colonies because of the stereotype that goes along with Aurelions. Therefore he feels very alone, isolated, unloved and rejected by everyone.

3. Baltar then goes about distancing himself from his Aurelion roots and adopts a non-Aurelion persona, preferring to think of himself as Caprican. He distances himself both because of the treatment and rejection he received from Aurelions because of his intelligence as well as from non-Aurelions because of being Aurelion.

There's more but I won't quote the entire thing. I think this theory works really well, also considering the final episodes. Back to James' response:

James: And what happened was is that essentially they said... This is a difference between us in America... uh, them in America and us over here. They were like, 'Listen, we want to show that Gaius Baltar has come from a very rural and poor colony. And one of the things in the States where people have... what's the word, something that is emblematic of this struggle, is people who are dairy farmers here in the States. It's a very very rough and poor living, it's like, you're not government subsidised', and they were like, 'What that's like in England?' I was like, I don't think dairy farming is the same kind of.. it's more like being a miner in Yorkshire certainly. (laughter) And so...

Mark: There are poor? dairy farmers.. (?)

James: Yeah, oh dear. I said, 'Well, if you want dairy farming, what you should have is Dorset, really.' (in his Dorset accent) and I pu' on an accen' like that,(laughter) tryin' to do a Dorse' accent! David Eick, he jus' looked at me and went, 'Bugger off, (laughter) you can't do that. You're making an idiot of me on national television, I know what's going on buddy, I know why you talk like that. It's stupid, you just wanna make the show look ridiculous!' He said, (changes accent) 'No I mean, I'm thinking more about you know, uh, Michael Caine, can you do a Michael Caine?'

Mark: You said "I bloody can't!!" (laughter)

James: I said Michael Caine is not like... a horny-handed? son of toil. He's got a voice like it's East End of London or.. you know, it's very London and you know... no' a lo' of people know that. (laughter) Anyway, so I plumped for Yorkshire only because I went to university in York and I just remember the first role, [thick accent] when I first were at York .. Being in the chip shop and there were several students who were like... if ? was in the queue getting their chips, then five people would come in all, "Can I be in your order as well?" So, you know, people who were waiting would have to wait slightly longer, maybe 3 or 4 more bags of chips until they got theirs. And I saw this guy who went,[angry voice] "'appens every Friday night! These students come in 'ere taking our chips!!" (laughter) OK, um... and there certainly was a thing about, you know, very affectionate but they're also, you know, quite tough. And that's where that voice came from. I thought it kinda (?) it to suit me because simply because it was an accent I knew.

Mark: The poor, oppressed chip farmers. (laughter)

His York and especially Dorset accents are a huge hit with the audience, who probably have much more of a cultural background to get the joke. "Bugger off" gets a huge laugh, obviously because it's a very British thing to say. It's nice to hear James doing the accent to a British audience for that very reason. You can just hear the delight in the laughter, because they get the joke. The whole "students takin' our chips" voice is hilarious.

I do wonder if James likes fish and chips, because I tried it when I visited London in 2006, but it really wasn't that special. It was essentially fat and ... well, more fat. The fish didn't taste like anything. I wonder if it was just particularly bad fish and chips. Maybe it's good when made the right way? A bit disappointing after all the hype. But I digress.

The same fan asks if Baltar is just faking it and the accent isn't real.

James: Oh, no. Funnily enough, what I think... I was totally wrong about it. And it's essentially like.. I made such a fuss over this thing, and I didn't want to do it and I thought it was a stupid idea and everything. The first thing that came back was, 'Hell, maybe it is a stupid idea, you're playing a manipulative character.' This is the whole point of the story, I don't want the audience to necessarily know if it's true or not. You will find out if it's true or not, and that's all I'm gonna say.
I think it's actually a convincing idea that Baltar had a different accent as a child, because he doesn't sound like the other Capricans. It would make sense that he's trying to sound like the other Capricans and yet it comes out a bit different. Kinda like UK/US accents. There's got to be some reason why he sounds so different.

The fan asks, I think, if there's going to be a scene with Baltar milking...something. Milk in his hat? James seems to hear it wrong and the audience laughs, but I can't really hear what James or the fan say, so this part is useless to transcribe.
James: Right, well, no. Not exactly like that, but it's like... all will be revealed. (laughter)
And he's talking about the flashbacks, of course, which were still unaired and spoiler territory at the time. He was asked something about the flashbacks at this year's Starfury, and he seemed impressed by them and the idea of getting back to where the character came from. I absolutely loved the Julius Baltar scenes; the father/son dynamic was deliciously frakked up.

Asked about the person he based Baltar on, who's a bad liar. The guy asking the question thinks it's someone from his school, and asks if "this poor fool" knows about this.

James: No, he doesn't actually know who it is. And it's not a contemporary of mine. But this person who I know is ridiculously smart. He's so ridiculously smart, he writes.. I would say something like 30-50 books a year. Somebody who's been published all of the time, and has done a number of.. I would say groundbreaking exposés into psychoanalysis, pscyhotherapy. I mean, this guy's a genius. He is the worst liar I've ever met, (laughter) and it's really funny, because there is some breakdown on that level about being so brilliant and writing all of these things... yet being... um, what... Like when you try to tell somebody something that's not the truth, it's so transparent. So yes, he doesn't know.
James sounds like he really admires this person. I'm always curious about what James admires in another person - if they are the same qualities that I admire in him. From his comments about others, I'd say he admires kindness, intellect and talent (maybe especially at arts). Those are also the things I admire about him. It amuses me to hear James praise someone else, perhaps because in my hackneyed view, he's the best of the best. I know I'm projecting. *fangirl blush*

The same fan turns to Mark and asks about Romo's Irish, "Joycean or Peckish", nature. Did Mark bring it into the role or was it the writers?

Mark: It's Michael Angeli. Michael Angeli [went to Catholic school?]. There's a definite echo of... You know, we're looking at [?] It adds a dark inside to everything that was written. And it's Catholic thing, it is. It's a romantic, sad sense of loss.
Mark speaks beautifully about the characters. It's very poetic, how he describes Romo here. I'm sorry about all the question marks, I tried.

"Did you have any input into this?"

Mark: Actually, the greatest that input that I had into it was being able to do it, that's the point. It was so beautifully written, it was so absolutely beautifully written, that it became the framework of everything else that I did from that time. And I remember.. I mean I remember the dialogue to this day, it was effortless to do. There were pages and pages and pages of the stuff, but it's effortless because it had meaning, it had depth, and it did have an intrinsic sadness, but it was... It worked, I just thought it was beautiful. I mean, who the hell gets to say, "Does your love hurt as much as mine?" to anybody in speech? I was like, you don't get to do this on network television very often. I loved it, I worshipped it, I tried to honor it as best I can, and I'm so grateful to Michael Angeli for giving me that to do.
Beautiful. And I totally agree. Romo rocks and more could have been done with him. I was a bit annoyed they were bringing in a new character at that point, but I ended up loving Romo. The way to build up a character that quickly is to give him kickass dialogue that is his own and doesn't sound like everyone else in the show. That was great.

James: He won, like, one of the best screenwriters or something, didn't he?

Mark: He was nominated this year for an Emmy.

James: The best episode.

Mark: Six of One. When I got Six of One, Six of One came out... The first time I...

[I'm not sure about this bit - could James have forgotten what episode that was? :D But it's pretty funny if I'm hearing right:
James: Which one is that?

Mark: Season four...

James: Oh, I was in that one.]

Mark: First three lines in, I knew it was Angeli's episode. Because you can just...

James: That was Angeli who wrote that?

Mark: Yes.

James: [Good thing you told me.] (laughter)

Mark: The thing was that it became criminal (?) to Michael Taylor and Mark Verheiden had to write for me, writing the same character that Angeli.. all of his dialogues. and it's... there's a special place in that.

Six of One rocked (Baltar meets Head Baltar!). I think I've liked all Angeli episodes. He writes Romo really well, and he also writes a good Cavil and Baltar. He and Jane Espenson are some of my favorites. I know now that James ad libbed a lot of the HeadBaltar thing, so maybe I should credit him rather than Angeli.

(Mandatory grumble that James was, once again, not nominated for an Emmy. I know he said Emmys don't matter, but he frakking deserves at least a nomination!)

Mark: And the cane is mine. Ron(?) comes up to me and says, what do you want to do? (?) I'm like, I dunno. Wheelchair's a bit too much, a bit Ironside... I don't know. He said, 'What about a cane, do you want a couple of canes? I thought you could be walking around with sticks for a while, wouldn't that be cool?' I said it's gonna look really stupid, walking around. It ended up that I had this cane, and this cane became this amazing thing. We left you in the cell, me and Jamie left you in the cell. [?]

James: You left the cane.

Mark: And we left, the cane was there. "Oh! We'll do the cane, oh! we'll do this." And then Ron walks past, I'm like, "Can we put the cane down? Can we put the cane down?" He goes,"...yeah." (laughter)

There comes this thing, but it all comes from the original writing. Everything that we've done, that I was there, that I saw.. the sense of it, the beginning of it, it was this wonderful phase? of writing that we got to play. We got to have fun. Really good writer, really really really good writer. Great to read, great to watch.
Not much to add, except: it's great to hear an actor talk about a role he really loves, especially when it's a role you also love. Romo rocks.

To James: was it hard to keep a straight face when "Tricia was almost permanently superglued to you"? (laughter)

James or Mark - maybe James? - says, "Hours of practice." (laughter)

Did he need to have a cold shower? (I can't hear the fan very well, not sure what he's trying to ask.)

James: No, I had... um... (laughter) I'm not sure that I had to have a straight face.
He sounds a bit like he doesn't know what to say to the question. The fan says something about quivering, and James is in his own element again, making a joke about it:

James: Quivering. That was very easy. (laughter) Honestly, I just... I enjoyed it so much. (laughter) I think that there's.. What I mean to say about that is that you know, having a beautiful woman even pretend that you know, so attracive that they've got to, you know, that they're in love with you, does something inside to you as an individual. It's like, you're not acting, you're obviously... (laughter; James' voice is drowned out)

And it gives you ... it gave me a certain liberty and freedom in the sense of really, I'm not just doing a scene with Eddie - let's say that you're Eddie - I've got my friend who's like by me, it's two against one. It was always two against... you know. So... no, it wasn't hard to... Yeah, sometimes it was terribly hard to keep a straight face. But these are normally things about like when you, halfway thru the scene, somebody slipped over, or I smacked the door into somebody, or took the door off its hinges, things like that which... didn't go according to plan, were amusing. Otherwise it was uh... Yeah, it was fine.

It's interesting, because the audience laughs, but James sort of makes his voice more serious there with "What I mean to say"... I think he wants to express something serious, but the fans are always ready to see it as a joke about sex. It's problematic. There's a lot more to Six and Gaius than just sex, but especially in season one, they played on the sex angle so much that it's very easy to joke about and sometimes hard to take seriously. I think it's an utterly serious thing with HeadSix on some level. It's not meant to be the comic relief. It's meant to be about psychological torture and guilt and fear (at least the way I see it). Well, some scenes are obviously meant to be comic relief, but their story arc itself is not about comedy.

Mark is asked about the Irish band Light a Big Fire. "Were you in the band or a roadie?"

Mark: Yeah, I wasn't a roadie, I was the drummer. (laughter) Great band.
So then he says "banging on a set of (?) and orgasming". Or "section 31 in the road" something. Or something else I don't catch. :P Eh. My Irish accent interpretation needs a lot of work. Either way, he was in that band, as I learned from Wikipedia, and he was a drummer, so it's not a joke. I'm actually kind of impressed learning about this.

I don't really understand the next question. I don't think James does either, since he asks for that clarification.

James: Is this like in drama school or just people you work with?

Fan: Well, I'm thinking of people who were already famous when you were still students.

James: Oh, like that. Like that. [takes a thinking break] You know, for example, the people reading the Bible have got to... If you had met them in real life you're like, oh dear! (laughter) If you waited maybe another century (laughter) or never... That would be, you know, a fold was taken away from my eyes.
I'm not sure what he's saying or what this has to do with the question. I think it's a "joke while I think of a serious answer" sort of moment, which shows his ability to control the situation and make the panel flow naturally even when he needs a moment to think.
James: Luckily enough I can say no, I've... no, for example actually, one of my heroes, I rarely say this cos I don't really have... You know like people fall in love with a film star or they.. I've never had that, but more like falling in love with the person down the road.. Cos on some level, I've got more of a chance of going out with the person down the road than...a thing on the screen.

But I actually bumped into, literally bumped into John Hurt in Covent Garden about... a year ago. And I think that he is one of the most phenomenal actors I've ever seen. [someone starts to clap but no one joins in] Whatever he's on in everything, I just can't... I can't take my eyes off that man, he's legendaric[?]. He's something... he's got something that very few other people have. And I had the opportunity, like a fan, to say, (funny voice) "I love you" (laughter) and... I literally couldn't say I a word, I was uh.. nervous and... I don't know... I just stood there like an idiot... (laughter) He kinda looked at me and walked on! (laughter) So, I think that the people who you respect or whatever, you always have (?) them. I can't say that I met people who... you know, have [turned it] on in that way... luckily.
Hee! I can imagine my meeting with James might be something like this. It's just the idea of him really being there in the same room... It's just so HUGE in one way, even if I realize he's just a person. I'm amused that there are actors who have this effect on him, it kind of makes me wonder if he'd understand a nervous fan's reaction better because of it. Also, M was really excited he mentioned John Hurt, because she sees a similarity between his and James' acting. I must admit to my utter ignorance on John Hurt films, but I think I must check him out.

Mark: I got to play with (?) He cast me in In the Name of the Father. I got to play in the royal court, it was great to play in the royal court. It was kind of a boring play, I didn't really enjoy it. We were having a drink afterwards. I was like... Yeah, I was kinda bored, I was leaving. He's like, "Oh, I'd like to introduce you to somebody." We went to a table and there was another actor there and he said, "Oh, Peter, this is Mark, I cast Mark in In the Name of the Father. Mark, this is Peter." And I stick my hand out and I'm like fuck me, it's (a character name?) (laughter) I said, "Oh you were wonderful in that". And I went... (laughter; he probably shows some funny movement?) He says, (frail voice) "Thank you very much!" (lauhgter)

James: That's beautiful. Funnily enough, that's interesting, because I have also met Peter O'Toole, but it was in slightly different circumstances, cos we were all in a Biblical film together in India. He was there for like two days. And I was terrified, I was playing the evil baddie. But I mean, evil baddie that really does make Gaius Baltar look like (naughty something?) (laughter) Gaius Baltar is such a beginner in the evil baddie stakes. And this person I was playing was like.. he was a genocidal lunatic. And I.. in that way, I look upon it.. My hair was jet black and I had this jet black beard and I was always in this black velvet costume, it wasn't very subtle. (laughter) I had lots of people going, "Oh dear, I mean, everyone's gonna know that you're the baddie!"And I was like, it's not that kind of film where you want the people come out, having looked at the genocidal maniac, going, "I finally understood that guy." (laughter)

Mark: Getting all the people he's killed.

James: Exactly. So um... and this is, again, in terms of respect for people who you've seen. Peter O'Toole was... utterly incredible. I don't actually know how old he is now, but like somebody whose mind is (digital?) still. So there was actually a big conversation at the table and it was all about... uh... going into Iraq, actually. And one of the members around the table said that uh... I'm trying to remember the exact words, but it was something about a goodness of cause, um... righteousness. "We're going in and it's righteous." And Peter O'Toole was like, (imitates) "Define righteous for me right away. (laughter) Define righteous! No, I'm sorry, but that was not the definition." And then he went into a definition. It was like listening to the OED. (laughter)

And I was (?), because I looked kinda bad, "bad arse" as they say, it sounds silly, "bad arse" for "bad ass". (laughter) The thought it was funny (?) He called me a tiger, and I was like... I just remember calling everyone I know on the phone: "Peter O'Toole. He called me - me?! - a tiger?!" (laughter) So ... there it is.
Oh dear, I also have to admit to my utter ignorance on the movies of Peter O'Toole. I think Mark says a character's name, but I can't see it on the imdb list, so it must be a theatre thing. However, since I can check imdb, I can show off by knowing how old Peter O'Toole is. He is 77. Wow. (And another thing James admires: life experience and wisdom.)

It's really amusing and endearing to hear them talk about actors they felt squeamish with. Even Mark, who seems so confident and blasé at times; James I can imagine being a bit shy or humble, Mark not so much. It's a nice reminder that even famous people are just people.

I love how psyched James is about being called a tiger. I also love how he admits the role wasn't subtle or anything. Haman is probably the worst cardboard baddie he's ever played, they even had him do this gravelly voice that kind of ruined it for me. I actually laughed when he rode in on town on a black horse, wearing a black cape, his hair dyed black... If it were in Monty Python, it would have a caption saying HERE COMES THE BAD GUY. (I wasn't able to see most of that film because Youtube deleted it just before I saw the rest, but ... maybe it wasn't such a loss, ahem.)

The next question is about "kleptomania" - if they took away anything from the BSG set. Then everyone's laughing and clapping, so I assume they showed something. (Maybe James points at his jacket?)

James: To be honest about this, normally when we're on set like.. I actually got this jacket. This was not kleptomania or stolen or ? in that fasion, this was given to me. I wanted to wear a trench coat when I was on New Caprica, I had this idea of you know, loking like.. some faded mafia boss and.. I constantly had this idea that it was cold and I was cold. I bought this jacket. And then they were like, "Oh listen, take this away again, cos you brought in your own jacket to wear." I went, "No no no, this is your jacket that you've given me." And they still, anyway, they gave it to me. Normally on a set, we're on the DVDs, we're in the... It's like we got so much off the show, I never really want to take anything from it. I'm like, all I need to do is reference points, see the thing on the... Having said that, I wonder what you've taken. (laughter)
Mark: I got a pair of glasses which I actually paid for.

James: Ridiculous, isn't it. (laughter)

Mark: (?) I mean I (?) chair (?)

James: That's not stealing! They give you those, they can't use them on anybody else. Unless you're like... (?)

Mark: (?)

James: So I haven't really, and I'm trying to think of what.. You know, there was a joke that we were talking about costumes and they gave certain costumes, and now we find out that Tricia's red dress is being auctioned off. Like, she's not allowed to have the red dress.

Mark: I remember seeing that online a couple of days ago, the whole catalogue is now.. They're selling my glasses and both my coats, all this stuff...

James: They're selling a few of my acolytes as well apparently. (laughter) (???, more laughter)

I had real trouble with this bit and I'm still listening to it and I can't hear even James properly here, let alone Mark. The voices are somehow distorted. I'm not sure why Mark would have to pay for the glasses (did they cheat him with those?)

It's odd to think that ten years ago, there would have been no DVDs, no way to keep the show other than on some tapes at the TV station. You would have had to wait for the reruns. I'm so glad we can have that memory of the show and rewatch whenever we like. My BSG DVDs are some of my most watched.

It's a bit sad that Tricia wasn't allowed to keep the red dress. Maybe she declined it? Would it have attracted too much attention to her? I know James mentioned having been offered the HeadBaltar costume, but he didn't want it. (Admittedly it doesn't seem like he could use it that much.) Tricia's own style is very down to earth, so I can imagine her not being too keen on wearing the red dress of doom.

"Is there anything you wish you had taken?"

James: I actually... I love books, really. And Adama's quarters were just st... you know, stuffed with so many interesting books, so I wish I'd taken one of those.

Awww! I was really excited about this, because I love books too. I knew James reads a lot, but it still feels nice and fan-gushy to hear him talk about it like this. I can spend hours at the library or at a book store, just looking through the books, wanting to have them all. Maybe James felt similar in the Adama set?

Mark: Maybe the dead cat? (laughter) Seeing that they actually made the dead cat, it was frightening and... I don't think they wanna auction that off. (laughter) You know, I had a real luck taking the feeling I had being there. Cos I wasn't there all the time, and I got to travel away and I got to come back. This sense of.. being a part of something, that's what I'd like to take.
Hee, the dead cat! I saw some con pictures and someone was dressed as Romo with the sunglasses and the coat, and he had a cat toy in a bag. It was hilarious. I guess the dead cat was intended as some sort of a serious thing, but it's turned into a joke, as you can tell from this Q&A.

I like how Mark talks about the atmosphere on set. It seems like everyone who was on the show just had this great feeling of coming together and doing something amazing, and I'd say that feeling does come through in the show and maybe is part of the reason why fans love it so much. It's obvious they all loved doing this and believed in what they were doing. That's not necessarily true of every show.

James: Listen, we're being told to wrap up. Thank you very much for being uh.. (applause)

He doesn't have to think of what to say, because he's drowned out in applause and cheers. I think he says "See you over the weekend".

What a great panel. Okay, I am so posting this now, even with the gaps. I won't take another year.

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