David Eick on ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome’ And The Future of ‘BSG’
CraveOnline: What are some of the other further adventures of young Adama you’ve discussed?
David Eick: Very few. It’s still in an embryonic stage and until we know more about what our parameters are going to be, there’s a lot that may drive the story in one direction or another just based on what our resources are and how fast they want us to go and all that kind of stuff factors into it. It’s a little bit of the tail wagging the dog.
You’d like every project to be some masterpiece someone sat on a mountaintop writing, feeding their muse and going through a lengthy healthy process and then finally finding a home, but oftentimes it’s the other way around. You know where you’re at but you need to know what your resources are and you kind of cut the suit to fit.
CraveOnline: Could Lili Bordan come back as a skin job?
David Eick: I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
CraveOnline: How hard was it to cast Luke Pasqualino as Adama?
David Eick: Extraordinarily difficult because we were looking A, for the best actor. We were willing to make either a literal or a very sort of figurative connection to Edward James Olmos the actor, which is to say we want the best actor and we would do whatever tweaks necessary to make him more or less look like he could age into Eddie.
So it was very difficult and we just got lucky, because I think we found the best actor who happened to have a look, you can squint your eyes and say that could be Edward James Olmos in 30 years.
CraveOnline: Was the ice planet they crash onto a world you would have wanted to visit on “BSG” or were saving?
David Eick: Oh, for sure. We talked about it. We didn’t have the green screen technology then that we do now, so our only options were to go a location that had that kind of weather. We did discuss it because there were times that our production overlapped with the skiing months up at Whistler, which was the closest place we felt like we could go to create that look, but it was high season for them and always too expensive for us to realistically [pursue].
I even remember trying to cook up an idea, Kara and Lee stuck on a mountaintop or mountain cliff, and one of them’s got a broken leg and the other has to decide whether to stay and die with them or go and try to find help. I’d say, “Can’t we just do that? A little bottle show on a snowy peak?” But it was just impractical.
CraveOnline: You guys must have gotten good at doing Cylons. How much easier are they to do now?
David Eick: Well, no easier. They’re always hard because we’re always changing them. We never stick with the same old model. We’re always advancing them or we’re regressing them or saying, “Here’s what they looked like 20 years ago.” So they’re all new characters. That kind of animation is by far the hardest in my opinion. I’m not an animator but I remember having meetings about how the biped mechanistic Cylons walked, into season three we were still discussing it, trying to refine it. It’s just a hard thing to do.
CraveOnline: All your “Battlestar” cast has gone on to do great things. Jamie Bamber’s on “Monday Mornings,” Katee Sackhoff’s on “Longmire” and I saw James Callis in Austenland at Sundance. How proud are you of your cast and have you kept up with them?
David Eick: Yeah, in fact I just made sure I Tivo’ed Jamie’s show. I was just e-mailing him, telling him how proud I was of him. Same with Mary [McDonnell] on her new show on TNT. Actually, Ron and I just hooked up with Eddie for dinner, so it was fun to grab Tricia [Helfer] and ask her to do the voice piece for the end of “Blood & Chrome.”
We all kind of live in the same general area. Not all of us. Ron’s in Pasadena for God’s sake, but a lot of the cast I tend to bump into at movies and cafes and stuff, so it’s always nice. Yeah, I always keep track of what they’re doing. I know this sounds pompous and arrogant, but it’s a little bit like watching your kids go to college or getting their careers starting. I see their names, I think I have all their names on Google alerts.
CraveOnline: Syfy is now doing “Defiance,” which is a game and a TV show. Did they ever have any ideas like that when you were working with them?
David Eick: I think we did make “Battlestar” a game. It’s a different division of the studio, so I remember talking to people and consulting and looking at stuff, but only in very spotty ways. I don’t get involved in that kind of stuff.
CraveOnline: But this is developed concurrently and it’s an open world online game. As a television maker, what do you think of these new avenues and opportunities in the industry?
David Eick: I think they’re good and they’re complicated. Most of the time, and this is a statistical reality, your pilot’s not very good and they don’t make it. That’s what happens. They’re really, really hard to get right. The best, most prolific, successful guy out there is batting below .500, so it’s still really hard to get right.
So to get that right and a game right at the same time seems daunting to me, but as a business model, I’m sure it’s perfectable, if that’s a word. Whoever figures out how to perfect that system of one hand feeding the other, I don’t know how it works, will be a gazillionaire, but good idea, really hard.
CraveOnline: I think you’d have to be crazy to let the game affect or alter the show.
David Eick: I guess so. It depends on what’s the tail and what’s the dog. Which side of that division is bringing the resources and which side’s in charge? All those things will determine who goes first, who gets that call.