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Feature: Battlestar Galactica

Only Human

A souvenir of the gods!

Star Katee Sackhoff has been busy battling Cylons and the elements – and nearly catching hypothermia. She chats to about suffering for her art, and what her character of Lt Starbuck will be getting up to in the series’ second season.

Typically, it’s postal workers who brave the rain, sleet, snow and dark of night to do their jobs. That adage also applies to actors, as Katee Sackhoff, who plays Battlestar Galactica’s Lt Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace, explains as she starts work on the show’s second season.

“The story that we’re shooting right now, part one of Home, is when Starbuck returns to the Galactica from Caprica after having travelled there to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo,” says Sackhoff. “She has the arrow, which the audience already knows, and our heroes have to now go to Kobol and the Tomb of Athena where they will supposedly find the directions to Earth. There’s a huge group heading down to the planet, including Starbuck, Apollo, President Roslin, Tom Zarek and a couple of Zarek’s men.

“We’re on location for most of this episode, and our first day out, the 1st of June, it poured and was extremely windy. I was purple and shivering, and at one point our first aid guy came up to me and said, ‘You stopped shivering about five minutes ago’. I was like, ‘So that means I’m not feeling the cold anymore,’ and he said, ‘No, sweetie, it’s actually the warning signs of hypothermia’. I was like, ‘Oh, really’. Believe it or not, we had to come back the following day to finish shooting. Happily, I’m no longer purple, but I do have a wicked cough and I’m not exactly feeling my best. To top it off, it’s going to rain more over the next two weeks. So it’s been a little tough, but Starbuck and I are hanging in there.”

Like her fellow Viper pilots, Lt Starbuck risked her life more than once during Battlestar’s first year to protect the Galactica as well as its fleet of ships carrying the last Human survivors from a Cylon massacre. The job took its toll on her both mentally and physically, but she kept that well-hidden up to the very end of the season.

“I was really impressed with how my character’s story arc unfolded last year,” says Sackhoff. “Starbuck learnt a great deal about herself, and at the end of the season we see her crack. Prior to that she’d been sort of ‘Super Starbuck’, and always did her job and saved everyone. She was perfect, spot on, and then lost it completely. I enjoyed that, and, in fact, have asked the show’s producers and writers if we could keep that up this season. I really want to drive home the point that Starbuck is human and has flaws. She’s probably one of the most flawed characters on the series as well as one who’s extremely scared. There are quite a few skeletons in her closet and some of them are going to be coming out in year two, which I’m excited about.”

by Steven Eramo

Get the full interview in
TV Zone #191

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

Taken from
TV Zone #191, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #191
July 2005
ships from Jun 23 2005
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