Battlestar Galacitca (Reboot)- Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos)
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Credit: SYFY

Director Edward James Olmos wanted equal nudity and flaming stuntmen on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Plan'

Dec 15, 2020, 8:00 PM EST

Bonus! We have one more special episode of the Battlestar Galacticast podcast, and co-hosts Marc Bernardin and Tricia Helfer (Number Six) appropriately talk about BSG's final TV movie, The Plan, with the film's writer and producer, Jane Espenson.

Edward James Olmos (aka Admiral Adama) directed the companion film to the series (note to newbies: The Plan is not the best place to start your BSG watching experience), which follows the path of two Cavils (Dean Stockwell) in the lead-up and aftermath of the initial Cylon attack on humanity. For BSG fans, the TV film is a walk down memory lane, a chance to revisit favorite scenes from the mini-series and the first and second seasons, albeit from a Cylon point-of-view.

On the podcast below, Espenson takes us through the movie and shares anecdotes about the production process, including the struggle to make sure that when The Plan added moments to well-known scenes from earlier in the series, the set and the actors looked the same even though different elements of the scenes took place five years apart in real time. Some of the most interesting details, however, come from Espenson and Helfer sharing their memories of Olmos directing.

“This pile of bodies on Caprica,” Espenson says when describing a scene after the first Cylon attack, “this was Eddie’s [Edward James Olmos] favorite thing. He found out there was a flammable gelatin that you could put on stuntmen so they could be on fire and you wouldn’t have to immediately put them out…he really fell in love with this notion that we could do this fire pit where you could see writhing stuntmen in the flames.”

Check out the fiery podcast below:

Even though the content was dark, Espenson also shares that Olmos had an enthusiastic appreciation for the material. “Eddie really loved pain and darkness. He was like, ‘Life is pain and hard.’ As bright a light as Eddie is, there was something he loved about trying to capture genuine darkness on film. I wrote a line for him [when he played Adama] that referenced going off to the bathroom to take a crap, and it was his favorite thing, because he was like, ‘People do! It’s real!’”

Credit: SYFY

Espenson goes on to praise Olmos’ attention to detail as a director, and how much she enjoyed working with him. She also shares how much she appreciated Olmos advocating for equal nudity in certain scenes of The Plan. “I had been saying for years that we shouldn’t just be seeing naked women, we should see naked men too — let’s get some equality on this. And Eddie was right there with me. We had signed up an equal number of male and female extras who were willing to be naked. But then, as often happens, all the males at the last minute got scared and said they weren’t going to take their trousers off, except for one…and Eddie was like, ‘We have to get that one on film.’”

Olmos was so intent on the inclusion that, in a funny moment remembered by Espenson, Helfer, and undoubtedly by that poor extra, he repeatedly yelled at the cameraman to capture the male extra’s private bits.

Helfer and Espenson’s retelling goes into more detail than we'll share here, so definitely listen to the podcast in its entirety if you’re interested in this and other choice details from the making of the film.

The Plan, as well as the rest of Battlestar Galactica, are now streaming on Peacock.