New York Comic Con: How I learned to stop worrying and love hosting 'Battletar Galactica' panels

Battlestargalactica_lOn Saturday afternoon, I moderated my second panel featuring an assortment of stars from the Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica — which is, now that The Wire is over, officially the best show on television. (That kind of smoke-up-the-hoo-hah blowing is precisely why they keep asking me back. Because they mustn’t be reading my occasionally scathing TV Watches.)

It went much better than my first, which was "The Women of Battlestar Galactica" at last year’s San Diego Comic Con. Why? Because last time, I Freudian-slipped up and introduced Lucy Lawless as a man. Which, if you couldn’t surmise, most women and all former Xenas don’t take kindly to. (If you care to see Ms. Lawless flip me the bird in front of 7,000 people, just scan about 20 minutes into this — and pay no attention to the idiot behind the mic. Bounce over here for the explanation as to why I called her a man. There’s totally a legitimate reason. Honest.)

Moderating a panel like this is more than just avoiding boneheaded gaffes. It’s not a time for hardcore investigative journalism. Whoever is on the panel — and this time, I had three of the final five Cylons (Michael Trucco, Rekha Sharma, and Michael Hogan, pictured) — can’t answer the tough questions. And the last thing I want is for them to get stone-lipped and reticent in front of a packed house. Silence is deadly. So I’ve gotta offer them questions that they can answer at length while being both interesting and non-revelatory. In other words, cheat the crowd without them being upset about it.

Click through the jump for some of my favorite questions.

addCredit(“Michael Trucco, Rekha Sharma and Michael Hogen: George Napolitano/Getty Images”)

Did the writers create an elaborate backstory for Tory, or did you get to fill in the blanks? Like, does she always cry during sex, or only with Gaius Baltar?
Rekha: They did not create a backstory for Tory besides herjob. I spoke to Ron Moore at a party. He said he would love to knowwhat my thoughts were. I got to be part of a collaborative experienceof creating my character’s backstory so that’s really fun and reallyexciting.
Michael Trucco: Who did the crying during sex part?
Rekha: [Director] Michael Angeli is responsible for that. Apparentlythere is some person he knew through someone… this is a true storyapparently. So he wanted me to carry that torch.
Michael: You didn’t cry when you were with Anders?
Rekha: Hell no…

What is it about Starbuck that keeps you coming back? It’s the sex, isn’t it? It’s the sex.
Michael Trucco: Yeah, I have a thing for angry sex. I mean Anders.It’s a survival instinct, isn’t it? Think about this: I probably hookedup with one of the most powerful women left. There are only like 40,000of us left, so I’m kind of hedging my bets. If I’m going to hook up withsomebody there’s not a lot of options out there. She treats me likes— but my survival instinct matters more than me. To be living isprobably best secured being in the company of Starbuck and Galactica.There is a survival aspect to that. Yes, there’s a love and a loyalty,but the relationship has been tumultuous to say the least. Now we’veadded this newfound layer. I think the beginning of this season Ithink we saw Anders’ need to relate. He’s looking for a kindred spirit.Anders has this secret that he desperately wants to tell her and hopesthat she already knows it. I think there’s a certain attraction to thevolatility.

Why aren’t there more curse words than frak? I’d think that just having the one would limit one’s freedom of expression. It’d be like only being able to describe buttocks as "firm."
No one had a good answer for that one. I just really liked the question.

Read nothing into the fact that most of my questions revolved around sex.

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • Eric

    “Best show on television” is becoming an even more useless and hackneyed internet expression than “lol.”
    And no, BSG is not the best show on television.

  • BSGnewbie

    Can you take out the spoiler as to who the Cylons are? I am still in season 3 – UGH!

  • joopiter

    Marc, I was at your panel on Saturday and it was really enjoyable. I even brought a few newbies along with me, one of whom was intrigued enough to borrow my dvds of the show. Now if only I had left after the high note that was the BSG panel instead of sticking around for the snoozefest that was the LucasArts panel….

  • lisa

    Sorry Marc, didn’t you hear? Gossip Girl is the best show ever.

  • Erin

    Frakkin cool, hopefully the video will pop up online somewhere so I can watch.
    I think that EWs responsibility to season 3 spoilers was done when season 4 started, so catch up already!
    And, yes, it is the best show on TV.

  • t3hdow

    Hahaha Marc, you called Xena a man? Ah, the perils of being a journalist (and caught on video, no less). Just be fortunate she only flipped you the bird instead of something more brutal or Adam B. Vary will have to sub in every week for BSG TV watches.
    P.S. BSG needs to stop using frak, because it’s just ridiculous now. Hearing Starbuck beg Anders to ‘frak me like there’s no tomorrow’ is damn near impossible to sit through without laughing.

  • Tom Strong

    BSG is the BEST show on TV. The Office is second, and Lost is third. Nothing else comes close.

  • Joy

    Michael: You didn’t cry when you were with Anders?
    Rekha: Hell no…
    ________________________________
    Hahaha! That is totally my favorite part of the interview. Amen, sister!

  • Carrie

    Sweet Lawd, could Trucco be any hotter? Angry sex… *daydreams*

  • Anne

    Normally I try not to complain about spoilers since well, don’t read about a TV show if you don’t want to know what happens – but please don’t post things like 3 of the last 5 cylons on the front of a post! I have not gotten through season 3 and well, I’m quite sad that now I have fewer secrets to uncover. This seems to happen over and over on EW.

  • spoilerphobe

    Boo!!! on the cylon reveal. Thanks for spoiling three of the final five for me.

  • Snarf

    Marc read the story on your blog. You must get a T-shirt that says
    “Xena flipped me the bird” it’s a story for the ages.

  • Nix

    “Crossroads, Part 2″ has been out for at least a year. How is it possible to be a fan of BSG and not know the identities of the four revealed Cylons? Different country with different scheduling?

  • AAR

    Holy Frak people, it has been a full YEAR since Season 3 ended. The DVDs came out over a month ago. Quit complaining about “Spoilers.”

  • Snsetblaze

    Mark,
    I was at the panel. You did a nice job. Boy Michael Hogan looks a lot younger in person. And Michael Trucco is tall! I was wondering what happened to Grace Park and Tamoh Penikett who were supposed to be there. I also thought the Reika’s answer to the question about what she thinks about people who dislike sci fi and the sci fi network but think BG is cool and not sci fi.

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