On Saturday afternoon, fans of Sci-Fi’s "Battlestar Galactica" packed the IGN theater for a panel featuring three of the notorious final five Cylons at New York Comic Con. The panel featured Michael Trucco (Anders), Rekha Shara (presidential aid Tori Foster) and Michael Hogan (Colonel Ty). Sci-Fi Channel executive VP of programming Mark Stern was also in attendance.
The actors were asked how they reacted upon discovering their nefarious origins. Hogan first heard it as a rumor on set, which he dismissed outright, before finally being told by the show’s creator, Ronald D. Moore. When the news was verified he was in disbelief. And while in the past he’s disagreed with some of the decisions made by the powers that be behind "Battlestar," he’s sticking by them.
Trucco and Shara, whose characters were far less prominent leading up to last season’s finale, had slightly different reactions. "I was so excited," said Shara. Trucco, whose character was originally supposed to be featured in only two episodes before he was brought back, responded: "I guess I’m coming back."
Hogan went in depth on what it takes to be a Cylon. He described it as if developing schizophrenia, or hearing loss. A switch doesn’t just go off in your head. Most of all you’re afraid. "I am dangerous," he said. "I am the oldest man, probably alive. I am scared. I have to watch out."
On why Anders stays with the often abusive and unbalanced Starbuck, Trucco responded, "I have a thing for angry sex." Clarifying, he added, "My character, not me."
When asked if the show ever felt too on the nose for them, the actors unanimously supported Battlestar’s decidedly political nature. Hogan stated how proud he was of that fact, and Trucco reaffirmed that, saying that if people were offended by the show’s politics, then "too bad." It’s a show that provokes.
Receiving a question aimed at him, VP Stern was asked what it will be like to lose such a high profile show after the last season ends. "It’s going to really suck," he replied. He remarked that it was a strange experience having executive producer Moore pull the plug on his own show. Moore chose to end the series after only four seasons, despite it being a ratings and critical success. But Stern assured viewers that Moore and company were doing it the right way. He also reminded viewers that the Battelstar spinoff Caprica, focusing on the creation of the original Cylons, is still on the horizon.
The panel then took questions from the audience. Many were attempts to pry knowledge, or at least hints, about the remainder of the season, on which the cast was tight-lipped.
Lastly, the cast was asked what their favorite moments were on the show. For Hogan, it came all the way back during the original miniseries. At the end of a speech delivered by Commander Adama, he delivers a rallying cry of "So say we all" over and over. Edward James Olmos, the actor who plays Adama, improvised this line on set and took the whole crowd by surprise, actually rallying them to the cause.
Shara cryptically responded "You haven’t seen mine yet." For Trucco it was the very first moment he stepped on set, and the realization that he was part of something truly special. And Stern said the upcoming midseason cliffhanger for season 4 blew him away, and will do the same to viewers.
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