Inside 'Battlestar Galactica'

Budget Smarts

Luckily, the crew had the foresight to save the sets created for the 2003 miniseries. "We did the miniseries with a series in mind, and constructed all the sets that would be standing sets including the entire Galactica, the Vipers, the Raptors," explains Moore. "We have three soundstages in Vancouver and we go on location in the surrounding area. With the Canadian dollar, it's cheaper to shoot there because costs are lower. Right now the exchange rate is not so favorable, but it's still a savings," he notes.

New construction is always a huge budgetary line item in a sci fi series. Some new settings in the scripts still required new building projects, including the planet Caprica and the prison ship. Visual effects using green screen also add to the bill. "We do some shows that are light on visual effects work and save the money to blow it later on a big, heavy visual effects sequence," Moore notes.

He has, however, made a point "to not make the show about the gadgets or gee-whiz scientific things," and uses the Galactica back story as justification. "Part of the premise is that this society got in trouble because they were too high tech and they created the Cylons. Now they've pulled so far back. They don't have network computers anymore. They don't have cell phones. They have run away from technology because it bit them in the ass," Moore explains. "So the phones have cords on them and people use grease pencils on tabletops. They obviously have advanced technology but they've chosen not to use a great deal of it."