Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore talks about directing Friday night's episode, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul," which will air at 10 p.m. ET/PT. He also discusses the audience's reaction to the suicide of Dualla (Kandyse McClure) in last week's episode. Moore spoke in a conference call with reporters this week.
"A Disquiet Follows My Soul" represents your directing debut. What did you make of being behind the camera?
Moore: I had a tremendous amount of fun. It was great to do it on a show that has been my show for several years. I knew the cast and the crew intimately, and there was a lot of support and a lot of people wanting me to succeed, and I got a lot of extra-special attention. They would help me figure things out. And it was an environment where I could just say, "I don't know what to do here" or "I'm confused about this terminology" or "What should we do here?" There were people that would help, and then things that I wanted to do, they would snap to and make it happen. It was an incredibly collegial and very welcoming atmosphere to step into.
And it was also really gratifying, because I had an opportunity to do the thing I'd never done, which was you write it on the page, and someone else realizes it. Then I'd edit it or be very involved in editing the pieces together. I was always missing that middle step. And now I've had the chance to shoot the movie that was in my head. Whenever I write scenes for a script I'm always playing the movie in my head, how I think this would play out, where they would stand, what they would do, how the scene would be blocked and choreographed and where you'd put the camera. All of that just flows through my head as I'm writing it anyway, and this was the first time I could actually go make that movie. And I found that really fulfilling. It was really fun, and I will be doing it again.
What can you tell us about the episode? What kind of story is it?
Moore: It's a character piece. It's a smaller show; I designed it deliberately to be that way. I wanted to take a breath after the events, the shocking events, of the past couple of episodes. Things were happening huge. Revelations were coming one on top of another. And now I wanted to do a smaller piece that was just about people on the ship and where they are in their lives before the next giant arc just sort of pulls them along into even bigger events.
Let's talk about the reaction to Dualla's suicide in "Sometimes a Great Notion." Some people were shocked. Others swear they saw it coming. A few condemned the killing off of one of the show's few faces of color. What was your reaction to the reaction?
Moore: Oh, I'm pleased. It got a huge response, and that's what you go for. You try to get a response out of your audience. Galactica every once in a while wants to reach out and grab you by the throat and say, "Feel something! Have a reaction! Get involved. Think. What does this mean for you? What does it mean for Dualla to blow her brains out suddenly, shockingly? What's that mean? Do you care? Are you paying attention?" I think that's great. People can have whatever their specific reaction is, and that's fine with me, as long as they have a reaction, as long as they're emotionally caught up in the show and it means something to them.