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Feature: Battlestar Galactica (2000s)

Battle Briefing

What Lies Ahead…

In a few months, we’ll discover what happened to the people of Galactica’s ragtag fleet during the missing year. Cast members give us a few hints about what’s to come…

Vancouver, British Columbia, is renowned for its beautiful snowcapped mountains, its lush green forests, and its deserts. Yes, really. Roughly an hour’s drive from the city is Richmond Sand Dunes, an adult-sized ‘sandbox’ that for years has served as a popular filming spot for movies and TV shows. The cast and crew of Battlestar Galactica have spent the past three days there filming flashback sequences for the third season story Unfinished Business. The metal framework of a building has been partially erected on a small portion of the dunes along with several large military-issue tents, a speaker’s platform, Colonial flags and futuristic ‘streetlights’. These are the humble beginnings of New Caprica City, the Human colony established in Galactica’s Season Two finale Lay Down Your Burdens.

Among those members of the cast working on location today is Jamie Bamber, who plays the Battlestar Pegasus’s commander Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama. The affable actor is looking his usual fit and handsome self, but when audiences last saw him in the season-closing jump forward of a year at the end of Lay Down Your Burdens, Apollo appeared much heavier than normal – one of many ‘What’s happened in between?’ mysteries the final scenes set up. “That was all thanks to a ‘fat suit’ that they had me in,” explains Bamber. “It included a full facial prosthetic which was used to flesh me out. I made one little appearance in it at the end of last year, so we had to continue with that when we began filming the third season opener Occupation.

“While I’m pleased with the physical changes they’ve made with Apollo, I must admit that wearing the prosthetic has been difficult. It’s like acting behind a mask, and there are only so many facial expressions you can make. Some days the prosthetic doesn’t work that well and under the studio lights it starts deteriorating. There was one day in particular where they couldn’t shoot me in close-up because of the prosthetic, which gets a bit frustrating. Again, though, it makes for an interesting acting challenge, and the fact that I have to drop a lot of expressions, I feel, might help with where Apollo is currently at.

“My character has grown rather listless and bored with this non-combative battleship he’s commanding. As a result, he’s lost his true direction once again, which is typical of Apollo. There are times when he feels energized and purposeful, and other times he ‘flips’ out, and this is yet another example of him doing that. Apollo has not only lost his sense of self, he’s been deeply hurt as well. In fact, we’re filming those scenes today and tonight that explain what happened to cause this, and I think viewers are going to be shocked when they find out.”

by Steven Eramo

Read more from the cast on
TV Zone #205

Photo © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #205
September 2006
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