Inside 'Battlestar Galactica'

A Whole New Galactica

A Viper Mark VII makes a three point landing.
A Viper Mark VII makes a three point landing.
Photo courtesy NBC Universal, Inc.

Moore found the miniseries experience invaluable in terms of learning what worked and what didn't. "That year off gave us a lot of time to refine and work out the kinks. We found problems with certain sets and different angles and lighting schemes but it was mostly just tweaking. We changed the way we light the sets and, I think they're lit better than they were in the miniseries in certain ways. We aged down the Galactica quite a bit in between. We've gone much more strongly into a hand-held arena with the cinematography -- very few steadicams, truly hand-held. The show looks better when it's more free form."

One key difference between the miniseries and series is that the former was shot on 35mm film and the series is shot on digital video. "The savings are significant, and it looks great. I forget it's not film," Moore says. "We've crossed that threshold where the distinction between the two is gone."

A fan of the original series, Moore wanted to preserve two iconic elements. "The Vipers are nearly identical. It's classic good design. The design of the Galactica herself is fairly similar; it still looks like an alligator on skis. But we got rid of everything else. We pretty much said we wanted to have a different esthetic. We wanted it to be more gritty, more real, feel like a real place where people live and work. But at the heart of it I tried to preserve the mythology and the basic premise. It is Battlestar Galactica. I just wanted it to be a different take on it."