Battlestar Galactica was a science fiction series from the '70s that received a reimagined remake in the '00s. The new Battlestar Galactica started out as a miniseries that eventually evolved into a full series, to the point where it became one of the most beloved science fiction shows of all time.
The 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica followed a fleet of ships that was were being chased across the galaxy by the Cylons, who were a race of robots that could look just like humans. Battlestar Galactica became known for its incredibly dark tone and its lack of fear when it came to killing off important characters.
Battlestar Galactica promised a smart story that was planned out from the beginning. Whether it delivered on this promise or not is up for debate by the fans, as the later seasons had a reputation for spinning their wheels and going on plot tangents that never solved anything.
We are here today to look at the darkest secrets behind the production of one of the grimmest science fiction shows of all time.
From the truth concerning the crew of the Olympic Carrier to the secret behind the Cylon's plans, here are 15 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets You Didn't Know About Battlestar Galactica!
15 Edward James Olmos destroyed a Toy Ship Was Worth More Than The Galactica
It's not unheard of for actors to delay production due to causing unnecessary damage to the set or themselves while ad-libbing. An example of this happened when Al Pacino delayed the filming of Scarface by grabbing his machine gun without waiting for it to cool down first and injuring his hand.
Edward James Olmos almost cost the production of Battlestar Galactica thousands of dollars during an ad-lib that went wrong. It happened at the end of "Maelstrom" after Adama learned that Starbuck had died.
Olmos picked up a model boat and smashed it in a fit of rage, which wasn't in the script. He wasn't aware that the ship was a special piece of artwork that had been rented from a museum and was worth a lot of money. Luckily for Olmos, the ship was insured.
14 Paul Campbell's Character Was Written Off Because He Was Looking For Other Work
The 2004 reimagining of Battlestar Galactica started out as a miniseries that acted as a proof of concept for a larger series. There was no guarantee that the Sci-Fi Channel would pick up the show, which meant that none of the actors were locked into a long-term contract when Battlestar Galactica was first being developed.
Paul Campbell played Billy Keikeya throughout the first two seasons of the show. The lack of a long-term contract meant that Campbell was seeking out other work while Battlestar Galactica was being produced.
The producers didn't like this, as they felt he wasn't dedicated to the show and they couldn't form storylines for him. It was for this reason that Billy was killed off during the second season of the show. This came as a shock to a lot of fans, as Billy was a prime suspect for being a Cylon.
13 Palladino's Fate Was Changed Because It Was Too Dark
In order to maintain order within the fleet, the military imposes martial law upon the citizens aboard the ships. This led to protests, which resulted in marines opening fire upon citizens aboard the Gideon.
This mission was led by Joe Palladino, who would go on to blame Colonel Tigh for the incident. Palladino would later take Tigh and his wife hostage within their quarters, but the situation was eventually resolved peacefully.
The fate of Joe Palladino was changed on behalf of the network, who were worried that the script was becoming too dark. The episode was originally going to end with Palladino taking his own life in front of Colonel Tigh. The ending was changed due to the original plot already being very dark.
12 The Fate Of The Olympic Carrier Crew
The truth about what happened aboard the Olympic Carrier is one of the big unanswered mysteries of Battlestar Galactica. The Carrier misses a jump and then mysteriously reappears three hours later.
The high-ranking officers aboard the fleet think that the Carrier was compromised by the Cylons, so the order is given to shoot it down. It's unclear whether any humans were still aboard the ship.
Ronald D. Moore confirmed on the Battlestar Galactica DVD set that it was originally going to be clear that people were still alive on the Olympic Carrier and that Apollo would see them before shooting the ship down.
The network forced the producers to change the story so that it was more ambiguous as to whether anyone was still on board the ship.
11 Gaeta Originally Had A Date With An Airlock
The fleet finds a temporary home and settles on a planet that is dubbed New Caprica. The Cylons eventually catch up to humanity and enslave them. This leads to some humans collaborating with the Cylons in order to save their own lives, while others joined the growing resistance movement.
When the fleet departed for space, the people who had collaborated with the Cylons were held accountable through secret trials that ended with the guilty being thrown out of an airlock.
It was originally planned for Felix Gaeta to have his life ended through one of these trials, as he was suspected of working for the Cylons when he was actually working for the resistance.
He was planned to pass away at the end of "Collaborators" but the writers decided to let him live, as the idea of the heroes killing traitors was already considered to be too bleak.
10 Edward James Olmos Had A No-Alien Policy In His Contract
It might seem like a waste of a setting, but there have been plenty of space-faring science fiction shows that haven't included aliens. This is usually done in an effort to show how desolate and empty the universe is, as mankind is all alone with its creations.
Battlestar Galactica only featured humans and robots. This decision was enforced within the contract of the biggest star of the show: Edward James Olmos.
Edward James Olmos had it written into his contract that he had the right to quit if dumb looking aliens appeared on the show. He would have only shot a scene where his character keeled over, leaving the writers to come up with an explanation as to why Commander Adama dropped dead in his office.
9 The Secret Behind Number Six's Name
Number Six was one of the most prominent Cylons on Battlestar Galactica. This was the model that allured Gaius Baltar and gained access to the defensive systems of the Twelve Colonies, while other versions of Number Six climbed the ranks in other parts of the military, such as the one that became romantically involved with Admiral Cain.
Number Six's name was actually a tribute to The Prisoner. This was a show about a spy who was being kept trapped in a mysterious town, where the locals were constantly trying to brainwash him. Number Six was the codename given to the main character, whose real name is never revealed in the show.
The Number Six name was chosen for the Battlestar Galactica character to represent how she was the one performing the manipulation, rather than receiving it.
8 Saul's Original Name Was Changed Due To Legal Issues
Battlestar Galactica was a show that faced constant scrutiny from its own network. This was due to the incredibly dark nature of the show, as mankind was always on the brink of being wiped out in a gruesome fashion.
The producers and writers of Battlestar Galactica were constantly forced to make last minute changes, in order to lighten the tone.
One of the most unusual changes made to Battlestar Galactica involved Saul Tigh. The early versions of the script for the Battlestar Galactica miniseries listed his name as Paul Tigh, which was kept until late in production.
Ronald D. Moore has since claimed that the change from Paul to Saul was one demanded due to legal issues surrounding the name.
7 The Random Jump Number
Fans of Battlestar Galactica would often dissect each episode after it aired in order to find answers to the mysteries of the show, such as the Cylon's plan. This meant that every scene was scrutinized, in much the same manner as Lost or The X-Files.
Battlestar Galactica fans wondered why the Cylons initially waited thirty-three minutes before pursuing the fleet during the early episodes of the show's run. Speculation was rampant as to the secret meaning behind the numbers and how it affected the Cylon's plans.
Ronald D. Moore has admitted that there was no meaning behind the Cylons waiting for thirty-three minutes and that he chose the number at random. He felt that this was just long enough to allow someone to perform one or two basic duties before being able to face a life or death situation.
6 Boxey Originally Had A Different Character Arc
It's usually never a good idea to add a child actor to a prominent TV show. This has been done on numerous occasions as part of a misguided effort to attract a younger audience but has almost always backfired.
Battlestar Galactica almost fell into the same trap when Boxey was introduced to the show. Boxey was a young boy who lost his family in the Cylon attack.
The plan was for Boxey to form a family with Boomer and Galen, but this idea was phased out over time. Boxey was introduced to the show but was forgotten over the course of the first season, as the numerous other storylines on the show were deemed more important.
A lot of Boxey's scenes were cut from the first season of Battlestar Galactica, though they can be found on the DVD box set.
5 Thorne's Extremely Evil Deed
"The Pegasus" revealed that the crew of the titular ship had captured a Number Six model Cylon and had been torturing her ever since the Cylon invasion had begun. The crew was planning on doing the same thing to Boomer, but Helo and Tyrol are able to stop them, which resulted in the accidental death of Lieutenant Thorne.
The scene that we saw in the episode was the same that was in the script, but the actors and crew actually fought for the scene to go even further.
An alternate take was made where Thorne forces himself upon Boomer before she is rescued. The producers decided that they liked their version of the scene better, and the more graphic take was saved for the extended cut of the episode on the Battlestar Galactica DVDs.
4 Producer's Loved Nicki Clyne so much that she was given a better arc
It's possible for an actor to give such an impressive performance that their role in the project is increased, to the point where they can cheat the death of their character.
This happened with Julianna Margulies in ER, as her character took her own life at the end of the pilot episode. The reaction to her performance was so positive with test audiences that Margulies' character was brought back.
The same thing happened with Nicki Clyne, who played Cally in Battlestar Galactica. The plan was for Cally to die during the miniseries, but the producers loved Nicki Clyne's performance so much that Cally became a full member of the cast.
Cally remained on the show for four seasons, before perishing in "The Ties That Bind".
3 The Censored Ad-Lib
The early seasons of Battlestar Galactica featured a running number of the remaining surviving humans that was kept by the fleet. This number would often go down after a Cylon attack or major incident that took place on the ships.
Edward James Olmos originally ad-libbed a line during the episode "33" that concerned the remaining amount of living people left among the fleet, which was cut during post-production, as there were fears that the line was too disturbing.
When reading from the duty reports given to him by the ships, Commander Adama originally stated that ten people among the fleet had ended their own lives following the Cylon attacks.
This line was removed due to the network already pressuring the producers over the series being too dark.
2 The Secret Firefly Reference
It's quite common for popular spaceships from famous science fiction franchises (or parodies of them) to have cameo roles in other projects. The Doctor's TARDIS has appeared in numerous British TV shows over the years, while the Enterprise has popped up in as many American shows.
Battlestar Galactica featured a cameo from a spaceship in its first episode, as the Serenity from Firefly briefly appeared outside of the doctor's office that Laura Roslin visits. There is a shot where we see through the windows of the office and the Serenity can be seen in the sky.
No one bothered to ask Joss Whedon for his permission to use the Serenity design. The special effects team were lucky, as he was cool with the cameo after he had heard about it.
1 The Cylons Have A Plan (Except When They Don't)
"The Cylons were created by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan." This sentence appeared on the title card of almost every episode of Battlestar Galactica. It was intended to spell out the premise of the show and make the audience excited for what was to come.
It was also a huge lie that was meant to prey on the expectations of fans.
The Cylons of the early seasons of Battlestar Galactica were terrifying. Their ability to move undetected among the civilian population made them an ever-present threat. As time went on, the Cylons became far less scary, as their supposed grand plan never seemed to go anywhere, as they just kept chasing the fleet every week.
Ronald D. Moore has admitted that the Cylons had no plan and that the statement in the opening title was created by one of the executive producers because it sounded cool.
All of the theories and speculation that the fans had about the show was based on a big lie, with the only plan being the one to fool you into tuning in every week.
Can you think of any other secrets behind Battlestar Galactica? Let us know in the comments!