December 22, 2006

GWC Podcast #21

We’re going into BSG withdrawal; Friday just doesn’t seem right without a new installation of the show. We recharge our batteries by chatting with famous online political organizer — and creator of FrakParty.com — Zack Exley about season three so far. Highlights: We wonder when Roslin will ever actually be elected by vote, speculate on the fate of Baltar’s future political career if he ends up with the Colonials (or stays with the Cylons), and ask the burning question, “Why do all these people in the BSG universe go to work? And what ever happened to the Chief’s labor union?”


34 Responses to "GWC Podcast #21"
  1. BoxytheBoxed says:

    if you listened to RDMs podcast that sayed what happens to baltar, sorta of

  2. Arktis says:

    I’m a Zarek lover too. Screw Tigh (sorry!), Starbuck (sorry!) and all the rest (sorry, sorry). Zarek is one of my favorite characters.

  3. Arktis says:

    If you ever have that guy on the ‘cast again, please tell him to SPEAK DIRECTLY AND CLEARLY INTO THE MIC. I dunno if you guys are using a phone, voip, or whatever, but please… think of the children.

  4. The 13th Cylon says:

    Well I have to wait until my next day at work, which is Tuesday, as it is my little treat to make it through the day, but I know this will be another great one considering the Roslin topic will be addressed. I think it’s kind of hilarious that Roslin, the show’s president on two different occassions has never directly won an election of any kind that we know of.

    And no screwing Tigh!! There’s a great thread at the dangerous waters of the Sci Fi board about character spin off shows and one person said Tigh would have “BSG: Law and Order”!! Great stuff!

  5. BoxytheBoxed says:

    Tigh P.I. comming soon

  6. Cavatar says:

    Loved the Podcast guys, I must say I never thought a posting I made long about Roslin never being elected would have been talked about on more than one of your podcasts. If you remember while the “back room deal” was going on, Adama made some comment about a Zarek presidency. Zarek then said something that it would be impossible for him to be president without the backing of the military. One could argue, even thought he seemed to be willingly giving his office to Roslin that he might also be having his arm twisted by the military. Could that be called a second military coup by Adama?

    To the lost technology part of the podcast, we are seeing signs of that already aboard Galactica. I did not think about it until Adama in the last episode said, “I’ll fire every nuke I got.” They can’t make any more. If the human survivors were to settle (like on New Caprica) before finding Earth, that is on technology that would be lost. I don’t know of any one the show that’s a nuclear engineer or whatever they are called. Here is another one, unless Cottle and the Pegasus Doctor (I assume they had at least one) are holding med school classes when off camera; there will be a lot of sick people when they die.

  7. Eyeless says:

    Hey guys, AWESOME show. Only problem was I had to keep dialing up the volume because Zack didn’t speak directly into the mic, and then blowing out my eardrums when one of you guys spoke. =D

    Also wanted to give a shoutout as someone adamantly opposed to Zack’s politics who liked him on the show.

  8. Zigdon says:

    Thanks for the podcast guys – it’s a great help in “bridging the gap” until the next episode!

    Cavatar: About the lost technology – it’s clear that there’s many things that they cannot currently manufacture (like nukes), but that doesn’t mean that the knowledge of how to do so is lost! I would expect that every ship in the fleet would have at least some kind of library, and most are likely to include encyclopedias. I would also expect that if you take a random selection of 50,000 people, you will find many of the basic skills would be amply represented in the crowd (even if they aren’t known to the military) and many of the less-than-basic as well.

  9. Abel Vargas says:

    Thirty-three – Looking at the reactions to act one of season three, I am interested in this idea of the lost mystery of BSG, especially about the Cylons. James Callis said in the roundtable podcast that “33” was his favorite episode, because the Cylons at that point were a complete unknown, and utterly terrifying. Like the shark in “JAWS,” they were almost a force of nature which acted according to rules we don’t understand, and every 33 minutes they appeared among us and tried to kill us.

    I like the human Cylons, though. I’m glad that the show changed gears in season 2. Yes. BSG had this premise at first about enemy agents, and suspense about who they were and what they were trying to do (“How will they attack us THIS week?!”). But that kind of mystery is not sustainable. I look to X-Files as a cautionary tale. That show began with a handful of people, bravely pursuing the truth at social and personal risk, being ridiculed, against a great and powerful enemy in the shadows, trying to execute a long-term plan of incredible complexity with world-ending implications. You would be shown a little bit of truth, a glimpse, and then have it taken away. Friends would become enemies; no one could be trusted. Great.

    But someday the heroes have to see the enemy, and say “They are ours.” The man behind the curtain has to be revealed. The protagonists and antagonists have to meet and fight, shout, or reason their way to resolution. X-Files refused to let the curtain fall, bring the house lights up, and let everyone take a final bow, and it left a bitter aftertaste. The damned aliens were still out there, mysterious, ready to enslave everyone, which made the hero’s actions meaningless.

    By the time I saw “Eye Of Jupiter,” I had a sense again that Earth is getting closer. I don’t want to see an eighth, ninth season of BSG; the show should be done, and Earth won or lost by then. I don’t need everything wrapped up in a bow; you can over-resolve. It’s fine if I don’t know every last little detail about Cylon toiletry. But I am glad about the changes in season 3. I do see that there is a plan, where seeds laid earlier are starting to bear fruit (like the symbols in the Temple of “Eye of Jupiter” being identical to Starbuck’s paintings in her apartment on old Caprica, way back in the second ep of season two). I don’t think everything had been planned out in some sort of comprehensive outline, but that’s okay. The writers leave themselves room to wiggle, as long as they wiggle to a final act.

    POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: On the Nature of Earth – I noticed in the writer’s meeting podcast that RDM talked about his idea being that the fleet would find Earth in a primitive state, not with starfaring technology and etc. Then, the Lords of Kobol and heroes like Apollo and Adama (who is himself in the early stages of deification, more on that later) would be the foundation for the Hellenic pantheon and the various hero-stories that come to us from antiquity.

  10. Cavatar says:

    Zigdon,

    I agree that somewhere there is an encyclopedia, but (and I don’t remember if it is a Ron D. Moore podcast or a DVD commentary) there is a deleted scene from Pegasus where discs of the history of the Colonies are given to the Galactica because when they wiped the computers with the computer virus, and everything was lost

    Plus the majority of these ships were ships that were not designed to have people live on them, if you compare them to modern real life comparisons; I don’t of any airplanes or buses that carry encyclopedias. That is not to say there are none, but I don’t think every ship has a library.

    Also, as someone who spent over a year in automotive manufacturing production management I can that most people would be amazed at how much goes into the building of a car. I should also add that a single car has parts and components on it from many different companies, and just how many third party logistics companies are involved material manufacture, transportation, and sequence long before they are brought to the assembly line.

    It also should be noted that the procedures, standardized work processes, and everything else for complex manufacturing are not in your encyclopedia; and just because you worked in that field does not mean you can do teach others. I worked in it for over a year and I cannot go out and build a car.

    Anyways it was fun commenting with you; if I am missing something please post.

    Cavatar

  11. Zigdon says:

    I don’t think of the fleet as a fleet of buses, more of a fleet of cruise ships/freighters/transports. As vessels that would be out of port for weeks (months?) at a time, they would have a library – at least the current naval counterparts do.

    I agree that there’s certainly a lot more to building anything than just “knowing the steps”, or even “how it’s made”. There’s a lot of infrastructure required for *any* modern product – cars, computers, power plants, you name it. But if the knowledge is available, it allows the colonists to break the tasks into smaller pieces, that then can either be produced or approximated. Given enough time and manpower, they wouldn’t be building race cars (nor do they need to!), but a Model-T should be quire doable.

    Z

  12. Pike says:

    Great ‘cast guys. Way to bridge the gap.

    Cavatar, “Could that be called a second military coup by Adama?” I’ve mentioned earlier that I consider the current administration to be the result of a coup. I’m suprised that Zarek, considering his history, was so complacent in it. The fact that he got to be Veep again maybe smoothed his feathers, but they didn’t seem to be too ruffled originally.

  13. Cavatar says:

    Pike,

    I still contend that Baltar, as horrible an idea as this is; is still there legal President. All the “backroom deals” were done while they thought he was dead. There is even a line in what I think is the Virus episode when Roslin or someone says he’s still alive. Since they thought he was dead they didn’t think he needed to be removed from office and thus never did. Also as Zarek said, they had to elect a new Quorum. So there was no way he could have been removed even if they wanted him removed.

    So not only would her second term be a sham, but everything she did. Including the amnesty for all those to helped the Cylons on New Caprica would not be legal as well. That also means that Zarek would still be the Vice President. For even thought he resigned the Presidency, he could not resign an office he did not hold.

    Cavatar

  14. Cavatar says:

    Zigdon,

    Yes I know they are not traveling in busses, but I wonder how many real life cruise ships on our oceans have libraries with engineering schematics on them.

    Yes some things they could build, they already said they started to replace the lost Vipers. However look at New Caprica, they had tent homes and who knows what the labor union was building, but they didn’t seem to be to high tech.

    It goes back to what was said in the podcast, if farming is your main concern. Then learning how to make nuclear weapons is a low priority. It would only take a generation for large amounts of knowledge and technology to be lost for thousands of years.

    Cavatar

  15. eric-michael says:

    I love how everyone thinks this is a real society with real laws. Roslin may have never been elected, but the people in this fleet elected Baltar … they’re idiots. They have terrorist who blow up ships so they can make peace with the Cylons. There must be some people who aren’t idiots in this fleet, and it is them that Adama and Roslin are trying to protect. The idiots who were merely riding around the solar system at the time of the attack need someone to protect them from themselves, and the remaining ones need them for sperm and eggs for the human race to continue. I’m sure that most of the people in the fleet are fine with Adama commanding the fleet. I would be. In a time of war sometimes you need to give a little to get a little. Zarak is someone I just don’t get right now. Is he a good guy or a bad guy. Just fyi guys, next time you bring on a guest, make him a little more savy to the Battlestar universe. At times this guy sounded like he never even watched an episode of Battlestar …

  16. Arktis says:

    Hmmm. I’m going to have to agree with eric-michael on at least one point. This guest was disappointing.

    I didn’t want to mention anything at the risk of being singled out as the badguy, but now that the line has already been crossed I might as well take my side.

    I know there’s going to be the occasional lemon. This was just one of them, whatever the reason was.

    Now everybody rush to defensive postures.

  17. Cavatar says:

    Arktis,

    I do think that the guest made up for some his not so spot on knowledge in other ways. However I will agree with many he needs to speak into the mic/phone or whatever he was speaking in.

    Cavatar

  18. BoxytheBoxed says:

    i aggree, Martha was awesome (centurion as a car lol) no noise problems, but with zach it really pissed me off PS i hope starbuck dies soon

  19. Arktis says:

    “PS i hope starbuck dies soon”

    Hahaha 😀 Nice. Thanks for the belly laugh.

  20. Arktis says:

    Oh yeah, Cavatar: Martha WAS awesome.

    Anyways, that guy should get on the podcast again sometime. I have the feeling he’ll get it right the 2nd time around and make for a good listen. Not that there weren’t some good parts in this ‘cast, because there were.

  21. Lt. Slingshot says:

    The cast just provided a nice break from all the madness around the house. It was a welcome break to slip on the headphones. I know you guys try your best and hopefully you can clear up the sound issues for the next guest. I appreciate Exley giving his time but it didn’t sound like he was prepared to apply his political knowledge to the BSG world. I was a slightly disappointed but hey, it’s just a podcast. So on to a couple of quick thoughts before I get back to family.

    The labor union was relevant until the Cylons showed up. After that… I think survival of the race trumps health care and how many hours a week you work. I can see the argument that this still has relevance in the ships of the fleet and how people could be disgruntled and band together but a quick speech from Adama would shame anyone back to their job. Besides I think there are plenty more interesting story lines to touch on. They touched on it, let Tyrol give the Cesar Chavez speech and that was enough. I felt the same way about Lee loosing weight; I didn’t need to see 10 eps with him getting a little thinner each one. They’ve got better ways to use screen time.

    Three talked about how the hybrid perceives the universe differently. They aren’t just beings in a tub of goo, they are the SHIP. Three attributed her babblings as being a ship moving through the expanse of space and having a very different perspective from us and maybe that also a different perception of God. Which reminds me I think we’ve heard Chief, Three, Baltar, Racetrack and Starbuck as possible chosen ones. How about Caprica Six? She walked in right when the Hybrid was going off. Maybe she sensed her coming.

    I have to disagree with Exley on his ‘project’ opinion. Human form, love and procreation are not a project for the Cylon, it’s central to their religion. They do what they do to serve God and fulfill his will, at least they way they interpret it. Religion is not based on logic and that’s what has been shown repeatedly to drive them. At least that’s the show I’ve been watching.

    Finally I had a dream (or was it prophecy?) that Cally is one of the final five. Think about it, we know Chief is into to Cylons and they have a kid now. Could be part a plan (wait now they are just winging it right Pike?:) ) assign ones like Athena to consciously pursue a human to love her and have others be oblivious to who they are and find love and children that way. Maybe Athena telling Chief to make sure Cally never lets Nick out of her sight meant a little more than we thought. Then again maybe I shouldn’t have ate Indian food that night.

    Well I’ve been at this too long. Time to get back to family and football.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanukah, and Good Kwanzaa to all!

  22. Chuck says:

    All: Sorry about the audio quality this time ’round. Zach had to call in from a frustratingly-quiet phone and we were faced with the choice in post of hearing blasts of static every time he spoke or leaving him a bit quiet. At the time, quiet seemed the way to go, but I might have been wrong in hindsight.

    We’re still learning how to handle guests to get the maximum bang for the ‘cast, and this week’ll be a challenge. While Dr. Rev. Wichelns is a certified expert in mythology, religion, and philosophy, he knows nothing at all about Galactica. We hope to bring the Galactica while he brings his knowledge — hopefully meeting in the middle with some new insight into the cool theories we’ve all been pushing ’round this season. Like I said, it’s a challenge — but we think it’ll be worth it. And if not, it’s probably our fault. 🙁

    Think of this as our getting-up-to-speed period for the loooong break coming between seasons 3.5 and 4. We’re hoping to learn enough by then to give you your fix for the twenty or more weeks in the travel through the desert…

  23. The 13th Cylon says:

    Oh no! I can’t find this one on iTunes… hmm…

  24. Lt. Slingshot says:

    Chuck,

    Could I make one small suggestion that before the good Reverend takes the mic you at least give him a short primer on the religions of BSG? Seeing that he’s not a fan and probably doesn’t have time to study in detail, at least provide him a brief synopsis from the battlestarwiki for reference.

    http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Cylon_Religion

    http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Twelve_Colonies

  25. Lt. Slingshot says:

    Chuck,

    Could I make one small suggestion that before the good Reverend takes the mic you at least give him a short primer on the religions of BSG? Seeing that he’s not a fan and probably doesn’t have time to study in detail, at least provide him a brief synopsis from the battlestarwiki for reference.

    http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Cylon_Religion

  26. The 13th Cylon says:

    Alright, I just finished this podcast. Yes, it was difficult to hear, but that happens. I’m just thankful to have a morsel of BSG in this time of famine. Just an idea, but during the long summer break (assuming it’s picked up for season 4) it would be fun to do retro episodes for some of the season 1 and 2 stuff.

    And my real question is again: At the Tomb of Athena, how did they get back!?

    And about the old series, I’m in the middle of the old show again on Netflix. I’m trying to watch it again since I quit about 3 episodes in before. It’s snazzy in theory, but I’m always looking at my watch about 20 minutes in. Of course, I’m always watching my watch in the new one, but it’s because I’m sad it’s about to be over already.

    Oh yes! Laura “The Airlock” Roslin is totally going to catch on! You just know that she was Adama’s ringside manager at these boxing matches.

  27. eric-michael says:

    I have asked this question over and over again, 13th Cylon (how did all this information get back?), but no one ever even addresses it. I think this is something in the battlestar world that falls under the “this is a job for suspension of disbelief man!” Other jobs that fall under SofDMAN is how on earth does the hybrid know all this information? How come the cylons are so different their backs glow during sex, and you can plug them into the galactia’s computer and send out turn off switches to other cylons, but there is no scientific way to tell them apart from humans … human’s, by the way, who’s medical knowledge is so great that they can identify a virus that’s 2000 years old? They can run out of food, but no one has ever addressed how they get food in the first place! I remember like the second episode Apollo saying that they needed like a ca-gillion pounds of food a week to feed all these people .. where in fact does this food come from (SofDMan of course!) Where do all these base-stars keep coming from anyways? Brother Cavil said that they were leaving the humans for greener pastures, so it would stand to reason that these cylons were on their own hunting the humans, but how come they keep getting new base-stars when sooooo many have been destroyed already, and do these guys ever get far enough away that they’re out of range of anything? I mean can the cylons still just jump this far? Just some food for thought …

  28. Largento says:

    Is it just me being anti-political, or does it strike anyone else as almost belittling to assign political statements to BSG? I believe that BSG has its own reality and although there are echoes of current or past events, their sense of what’s right or wrong is based entirely on their reality. I’ve been extremely impressed by the BSG’s writers ability to step outside of the political party lines and look at all sides of an issue as it applies to the BSG situations without giving lip service to either side. BSG is more mature and complicated than that. The abortion episode is a perfect example of this. What they did in that episode was much more complex and interesting than a simple political statement cloaked in scifi. To me, it’s insulting to try to simplify what they are doing on BSG by calling it making political statements… and even more than that, it would make the show unrealistic if they did do that. You can’t take current political issues and directly overlay them on a different culture and time period. BSG has created its own reality and I refuse to give Democrats or Republicans credit for it.

  29. Lt. Slingshot says:

    Largento,

    I agree that the writers try to stay apolitical in the sense that they don’t interject their personal politics into the show in a one sided way and I applaud them for it. That being said, it would have been interesting to hear from someone who swims in the shark infested waters of politics and get their take on the dealings of BSG. You brought up the abortion issue and that’s a perfect example. There were backroom deals going on there much like our own reality. I find the maneuverings that go on behind the scenes more interesting than the story that makes the paper. Politics is like an iceberg and the public only sees the 10% above the water. That’s the kind of analysis I hoped Exley would bring to the table not anything to do with Democrats or Republicans. Politics is politics no matter what label you put on the parties. Guess I was hoping for a bit too much from the guest.

  30. Elspeth says:

    I have an entire hour left of work before I can go home, so here I am even if everyone else has moved on. On the library topic, I seem to remember Adama giving Roslin (or vice versa) a book, but it was more of a special gift as opposed to something that is in abundance. And is there any particular reason the ships would need a library? Today, a library is more than just physical. I see no reason there couldn’t be a virtual library of some type in the fleet. And while we don’t really know in what time BSG is (in relationship to us), there seems to be no real reason I can think of that there wouldn’t be some equivalent of the internet. So while Galatica’s systems were not networked together, they could have a virtual library database. If they can pass coordinates to the rest of the ships, there is no reason (prob except that no one would care) not to be able to beam the contents of the library to other ships.

  31. Cavatar says:

    This may be old new to some…But I read that Tricia Helfer will be in January’s playboy Issue.

  32. BoxytheBoxed says:

    “This may be old new to some…But I read that Tricia Helfer will be in January’s playboy Issue.” so we all understand Blatar’s “point of view”

  33. Cavatar says:

    Sorry…it wil be February for Tricia Helfer. Sorry I forget that they mail out one month ahead sometimes.

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