In a packed room last Sunday, fans could hear the pleading, cajoling, and whimpering of other sci-fi enthusiasts as the Emerald City ComiCon staff turned them away from the Spotlight on Battlestar Galactica panel. Those inside breathed a collective sigh of relief that they made it in.
When actors Michael Hogan (Col. Saul Tigh), Tahmoh Penikett (Cap. Karl "Helo" Agathon), and Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol) entered the room, they were met with applause and cheers. Aaron Douglas greeted the excited crowd first. "We're not here for questions." Erupting into laughter, the BSG fans were primed for an hour of questions and answers.
The whole hour almost had the feel of an actual BSG episode. The emotions in the room ebbed and flowed with each question, prompting stories of heartfelt moments on the set that were peppered with humor. Aaron Douglas, true to form, commanded the room with his irreverent sense of humor, often breaking in with an impression of Edward James Olmos (Adm. Adama) and of Michael Hogan himself. "Gods fraking dammit. These are my people!"
Several of the audience members asked how the actors felt about the end of the show and how their characters' stories concluded. The thespians all agreed that it was Executive Producer and head writer Ronald Moore's opus and one of the best series endings in the history of television. Commenting on his character, Michael Hogan said, "Many people thought there was no final goodbye between me and Adama. That goodbye actually happened when Adama tells me we're abandoning the ship over a drink."
The ever-thoughtful Tahmoh Penikett commented, "I protested the original ending for Helo. He was going to die. But I thought the fans would expect that. I wanted his story to be more surprising. But overall, I felt good about the end of the show. It's like the end of a great book."
"The last time you see these characters is the last time you want to see them," Aaron Douglass said to the crowd. "I would not come back to do more Chief. I love the fact that he went to the mountains to be the King of Scots."
Just then, Tahmoh received a text message from Grace Park (Sharon "Boomer/Athena" Valerii) instructing Tahmoh to say "S'up kids" to the audience.
An audience member wanted to know, of all the scenes the actors played, which would always ring out in their minds. Aaron Douglas spoke up first. "The ending of the episode 'Dirty Hands.' I was sitting across from Mary McDonnell and she just looked through me, past my soul. She is the loveliest, most amazing human being - stunning. I'll take it to my grave."
Tahmoh Penikett took his time to judge. "There were so many with Grace Park that were so emotionally intense. But the scene on Pegasus when I have to go in and rescue her from being assaulted was just so heavy. For six hours, I was on an emotional edge."
"The flashback scenes where I was laughing and had two eyes," quipped Michael Hogan. The crowd laughed along with him.
Penikett commented about his recent work on the new television series "Dollhouse." He acknowledged that a lot of people had a hard time getting into the show during the first half of the season, and that creator Joss Whedon fully expected it. Penikett encouraged people to stay throughout the rest of the season, guaranteeing the show becomes great. When pressed if he would be in any future Whedon productions like "Dr. Horrible," he responded, "I will gladly dress up in spandex and sing. But I don't know if anybody wants to see that."
Several whoops from women in the crowd answered him.
After receiving their fourth signal from the ECCC staff that things had to wrap up, an exuberant young man dressed as the character Space Ghost shouted "Can we get a 'Frak' from Col. Tigh?"
"Frak!" yelled the actor. More cheering filled the room.
Penikett then assisted with their exit. "And on that note: So say we all!"
As the actors left, the room exploded with the chant, "So say we all! So say we all! So say we all!"