INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas, The Human Side Of Battlestar Galactica

Aaron Douglas, The Human Side Of Battlestar Galactica
By: Lisa Christensen
Date: June 28, 2007
Source: MediaBlvd Magazine


SCI FI Channel held the first ever Digital Press Event this past week, inviting 26 journalists from 21 websites to the Vancouver sets of their most popular shows. The highlight of the two day extravaganza was a tour of the Battlestar Galactica sets at Vancouver Film Studios, and a panel discussion with the cast of the show, including Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), Jamie Bamber (Lee “Apollo” Adama), Michael Hogan (Col. Tigh), Grace Park (Athena/Boomer) and Tamoh Penikett (Helo). SCI FI Channel Executive Vice President of Original Programming Mark Stern moderated, and Network President Bonnie Hammer was on hand as well.

Aaron Douglas has been part of the MediaBlvd family from the early days of the network, hosting his official website there, and moderating his own community forum. His generosity and accessibility to the fans (not to mention his amazing comedic timing) has made him a fan favorite on the convention circuit, though the character he plays on the show, “Chief Tyrol” started out in the mini series as a rather small and minor role. He did have a memorable scene in that pilot where he depicted the angst and soul of a crew boss distraught at the death of so many of his men in a fire aboard the ship. It was this, and many other such “human” moments over the next 3 years that made the story of this character so compelling. The writers’ choice to include him as one of the “Final Four Cylons” revealed at the end of the season 3 has been much debated on the web.

The entire production crew has been very tight lipped over what can be expected in the upcoming fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica, but Douglas did let it slip at the panel interview that over the course of the season it will be revealed that the final 4(or 5) Cylons are different from the other 7 models, they are not part of the other group. “The final 4or5. We are the gods, we are the originals”] During the panel interview, Aaron also described how he discovered that the writers had decided that Tyrol would be one of the final 5. “I actually found out months in advance (accidentally) when I found a piece of paper lying around that I wasn’t supposed to read, but I read it anyways and I said, what the *(&%! is this!” He went to Michael Rymer and asked about it, and was told that he wasn’t supposed to see it, and shouldn’t tell anyone.

When the news officially came out to the cast, Douglas phoned Ron Moore to plead his case against Tyrol being marginalized in this way. “You’re taking a fan favorite and character that is very identifiable, very human, that the fans really like and marginalizing him, taking away all the human stuff.” After an extensive discussion with Ron, he was eventually won over to Ron’s vision, believing that this new revelation about his character would serve to enhance the show in this final season”But now I’ve embraced it, I wouldn’t mind going down in history as one of the Cylon gods, and one of the 12 Cylon human forms”

Later in the evening, Aaron met with MediaBlvd Magazine for a casual conversation, over drinks, about the show, conventions, and what he would like to do after Battlestar. Aaron says he would really like to try a comedy series. With his quick wit, and comedic banter it doesn’t take much of a leap to see him in that type of role. Aaron has honed his stand up routine at the many fan conventions he has attended as a guest in the last 4 years. This year alone he has been to conventions in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. He describes them as “Pants Off” events (yes ladies, he wears a kilt in the traditional way) and a chance to meet and interact with what he describes as the best fans in the world.

Douglas is off to Comic Con next month to launch the sale of the Chief Tyrol action figure (shown at the left) by Diamond Select Toys and will be signing them for fans. He is quite pleased with how they turned out. The face was modeled at last years Comic Con. Those on his Christmas shopping list should expect to see them under the tree Christmas morning. He also talked about where they currently are in the filming schedule, and although he isn’t allowed to give out spoilers, he did say that they just finished filming an episode, and signed the cover page of the day’s script for a souvenir, promising to send the full script once the episode airs. The cover page say’s “Six of One”, Yellow Revisions, June 12, 2007 Written by Michael Angeli, Season 4/Episode #4.

Aaron also leaked an insider’s tip, that the hotel that was chosen for the journalists attending the online press event was also the hotel that many actors, writers, producers etc… stay in, while working in town. The previous night, nearly the entire cast and crew of BSG had been hanging out in the bar, while the visiting journalists slept in anticipation of the very early start for the press tour the next morning.

Aaron announced that he was meeting the writer and director of the episode they had just finished in the bar shortly, and suggested that MediaBlvd join them for a few minutes, and have them sign the script cover page as well. Michael Angeli also wrote several episodes from other shows that MediaBlvd features, and will be the subject of a future feature in this publication. Douglas also provided introductions to the director of “Six of One”, Anthony Hemingway.