Thursday, 18 March 2010

Paley Center reports: SyFy upfronts, Caprica screening, Q & A panel

Just a note to say that there are several really good reports from the SyFy upfronts on Tuesday and the Caprica panel at the Paley Center yesterday. The last two episodes of the first half of the season (the ones that air tomorrow and next Friday) were screened at both events and the producers (Ron Moore & David Eick) and cast (Alessandra Torresani, Magda Apanowicz, Esai Morales, Sasha Roiz) talked about what's to come when the show comes back after the break. Most articles contain mild spoilers for the rest of the season. Follow the links below for the full reports.

*** UPDATE: There is a short clip from the event, with Ron Moore and Esai Morales, on The Paley Center site and Hollywood the Write Way also has a report and a video interview with Magda Apanowicz here ***

First, here is a new interview with Ron Moore, from Digital Spy:

How long have you had the idea for Caprica in your head?
"A couple of years. It started when Dave, Mike and I discussed a spinoff. We said if we did one, it could maybe be about the creation of the cylons, and then completely separately, another writer approached Universal about doing a TV series having to do with artificial intelligence. Universal suggested we all sit down and talk. We did, and through those discussions, Caprica was born."

How important was it for you to get the cast that you did?
"Really important. Battlestar lived and died by its cast, and this will too. It's a character-based drama, so it was really important to get a strong cast. We didn't have the same sort of wish list that we had for Battlestar. We looked around to see who was interested rather than approaching directly."

Zoe had a turbulent start to the series. Where does her journey take her as the season progresses?
"She struggles to figure out if she can get out of the robot body and leave Caprica. She's the Zoe avatar so shes not the original. What's her place in the universe? What can she do? Where can she go? She certainly feels like a person, so what's the difference? She's gonna face struggles and self-discovery."

Daniel and Amanda have grown apart in recent episodes. Will they ever be able to put the past behind them?
"It's been a difficult time - they've gone through a really traumatic event. We'll see that continue a bit more for them. I don't wanna give it away, but Amanda's dangers are not over."

Is it likely we'll see Daniel and Joseph becoming friends?
"All I'll say is that their storylines will start to intersect quite soon."

SCI FI Wire:

Alessandra Torresani: "There's an accident, a car accident, but we don't know what happens. You never know, I might have been bad on set and they were like, 'Get out of here.'"

Esai Morales: "When we come back from the last episodes we just aired, it's the culmination of the first half (of the season). The first half tries to service almost all the characters equally, in a sense. The second half focuses on some, so you can get deeper into the storylines. Some of us will take a backseat and be seen in one or two scenes. And then there are other (episodes)... There's one we unofficially call 'Adama-rama.' It's called 'Dirt Eaters' and it shows the history of my brother (Sasha Roiz) and I on the show, our history when we were little, when he was actually shorter than me."


So what's coming up this season?
Morales: I can tell you this much -- this has been some of the hardest work I've done in my life, as far as emotion. When you have a daughter and you lose her, then she comes back, and you may or may not lose her again, that kind of thing, hooks are put into you. In the first half, first 3/4 of the [second half of the season], they will be ripped out. I don't want to give it away, but I have to say, I was exhausted emotionally at what happens. It's so mind-blowing, I don't want you to anticipate it. (...)

We've seen a little bit of Tauron, but will we see more, as well as more of the other colonies?
Ronald D. Moore: Definitely more of the colonies. You'll be seeing Gemenon, and you'll be seeing more of Tauron as well.

What's your favorite episode so far?
Eick: In the first half of the season, I have to say the best episode is the last, episode 9. It's the one where I feel like we hit our stride, and reached the Battlestar level of intensity and emotion and depth.

At the sendoff for Joseph's wife and daughter, the dirge that they sing is the show's theme song. Is there any significance to that?
Moore: Bear McCreary, who was our composer on Battlestar and remains our composer on Caprica, is always looking for ways to tie things together. You'll see in episode 9, which is the finale of the first half of Season 1, Daniel actually sits down at the piano and gets to play the theme song. So it's just sort of Bear's method of being meta about things. It's always a surprise to us, too, when he comes up with these things. In Battlestar, there's a great moment in the finale where you hear strains of the original old Battlestar Galactica theme song.(...)

So when do we finally see Gemenon?
Magda Apanowicz: We see Gemenon for the first time in episode 114, which is such an incredible episode. I think it's actually one of my favorite episodes of the entire season.

Oh, do you and Zoe make it there?
Apanowicz: I can't tell you! I can tell you that there's a lot of Gemenon, and you're gonna see a lot more of Gemenon and you're gonna see how that world works.

Do you see yourself as the innocent of the show?
Apanowicz: For me, the way that I look at it is that all Lacy wants to do is the right thing, and she keeps not being given these chances. She keeps getting these really hard decisions put in front of her, and none of them are good options, so what she basically has to decide is, "Which one is the lesser of all evils?" So that's where the conflict happens, she keeps making these really bad decisions.

Attention Deficit Delirium:
This year’s Upfront took place at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, where the Tim Burton exhibit is currently being held (and which Syfy is a proud sponsor of). It was a great location for this sneak peek into Syfy’s forthcoming year, not only because of the chance to see the Burton artwork but also because of the large space where the party was held afterward. Syfy President Dave Howe, Blake Callaway (SVP, Brand and Integrated Marketing) and Chris Czarkowski (VP, Sales, USA and Syfy) kept the official presentation moving along fast and furious with good wit, and they were quite accessible afterward, as were the stars.

Speaking of Caprica, let's get to the fun part of the night - the party. I intercepted Magda Apanowicz (Caprica's Lacey Rand) talking to Real Worlder turned wrestler, The Miz and freed her from the full nelson he had her in to talk Caprica. Just kidding about the full nelson part.

Turns out Magda is a huge Buffy geek so obviously she was thrilled to work with James Marsters (Barnabus Greely). Which brought up an interesting point, with Caprica being a BSG spin-off. Magda, who was nervous about the BSG fans' response to the series, likened it to fans of the Whedonverse's apprenhension about Angel. I copped to sharing that attitude when BSG itself was originally broughy to the table for a reboot and not only am I huge fan of Ron Moore's reimagining but I'm also hooked on Caprica.

So will we be seeing more of Spike and Lacey? Yes, indeedy. But what does that say about Lacey's involvement with the STO? Is she really an uncompromising religious fanatic, bent on forwarding a montheistic spirtual agenda at any price?

"No," said Magda. Lacey believes in the cause but not in the current means to its end. Obviously, we're heading towards some sort of showdown. According to Magda, things are gonna get frakkin crazy with Lacey in episode twelve. Can't wait.

We don't know when we're going to get picked up, so my choices are limited – I can't go out for pilots, but I don't want to because I really enjoy [Caprica]. I enjoy doing television for people with brains. I'm sorry, I'm not saying that most of it isn't [but] this medium is supposed to be the Great Communicator. The great way that human beings as a species can identify with each other, and it's become, sad to say, The Great Appetizer. If I'm going to advertise, I might as well be open about it. I don't want to do television shows where it's really about silly things that are just there to pump products and commercials. I like that the show makes you think, and it sells ideas. It sells questions. It sells perspectives. Do you believe in one god or many or none? There's no good or bad – there's good or bad deeds. As they say in the Bible, God loves the sinner, not the sin. […] I don't understand how fundamentalists, whether STO or otherwise can want to kill, exterminate people who have not "evolved" to their level of understanding or maybe evolved past. That's what I like. This show makes you think. If you want to scratch the surface, you'll get something more than backdrop.

Galactica Sitrep:

A couple of highlights gleaned at the panel:
- No one would say exactly when the second half of CAPRICA season one will air (although SyFy has apparently told the press October 2010). And despite the rumors from earlier this month, no one mentioned CAPRICA getting renewed, or any other new BSG spinoff ideas. Keep your fingers crossed.
- Ron Moore confirmed that we will visit two other colonies in the next set of episodes after the hiatus: Gemenon and Tauron.
- When asked if an ending has already been worked out for this series, Moore and Eick say they have not done that yet, it is too soon. They see around six organic endpoints, each is a landmark event within the timeline between the current present on the show through to the events of the BSG miniseries.

And there are some more details from yesterday's panel on The Paley Center's Twitter account.

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