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Feature: Battlestar Galactica

A Man for All Seasons

Jamie Bamber – adventures in Space…

Jamie Bamber plays fighter pilot Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama. He tells us about the challenges of the new season…

In Season One of Battlestar. Captain Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama Lee puts his expert fighter pilot skills to good use and helps defend the Galactica and its fleet against the Cylons. In doing so, he earns the respect of those around him, including his father, Commander William Adama, from whom Lee had previously been estranged. President Laura Roslin even asks him to serve as her unofficial advisor and he accepts. Ironically, Lee’s wish to once again do right by his fellow Humans is what lands him in hot water in the show’s first season finale Kobol’s Last Gleaming.

“It’s a strong decision that he makes and I feel it’s the right one for the character, and don’t think he regrets it, either,” notes Jamie Bamber, who plays Lee Adama. “There are certain things you can and can’t do as a military officer and, yes, you’re supposed to obey orders. However, when those orders ask you to remove the democratic representative, then those orders are unlawful, so in a way my character has no choice but to step up to the plate and do something. Whether or not you agree with the way he goes about it is another matter. I think what Lee ends up doing, though, is great for the character. It really gives him a sense of his own role in the scheme of things and makes him and the viewer realize that he doesn’t just listen to orders. It’s at this point that Lee defines himself as his own person and not just a uniform or advisor to the president. Not even as Adama’s son.”

In Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Lee disobeys Commander Adama’s orders to arrest President Roslin after she sends Lt Starbuck on a covert mission. Lee ends up in shackles and facing his father’s wrath on the Galactica command deck. However, before Adama can deal with his son, the commander is shot by a Cylon sleeper agent. Bamber experienced a sense of déjà vu earlier this year when he and the rest of the Battlestar cast and crew filmed the first scene for the second season opener, Scattered.

The actor explains, “Year Two picks up literally seconds after the end of the first season. You’re right back in that predicament; Adama had just been shot and Lee is cradling his father in his arms. So it’s the same moment, and as an actor that was sort of weird on many levels. We’d been away from Battlestar and each other for a few months. I’d been home in the UK doing different things, and then this past March I found myself back at the exact moment where we left off last year. It was an extremely emotional as well as a traumatic moment and a neat start to the season. That first morning when we began filming, my character was whisked off to the brig straight on the heels of seeing his father shot. Acting-wise it was a bit of a challenge to tap into Lee’s feelings at that particular point in time, but once I was able to do that I just went with it and it felt right…”

by Steven Eramo

Get the full interview and much more on Battlestar Galactica in
Starburst Special #71

Image © Visual Imagination, Battlestar Galactica © Sci Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Starburst Special #71, see below for ordering options
Starburst Special #71
Battlestar Galactica 2005
ships from Aug 11 2005
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UK £5.99 / US $9.99

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