SciFi has long been a leader in web content for their shows, particularly Battlestar Galactica. Last season I spent quite a bit of time listening to commentary podcasts by Ronald Moore, usually made available right after the episodes aired. In the latter half of the season, I was often wondering, “What the hell was he thinking?!” and was glad to get some insight into that right away. If the answer was sometimes, “Uh, well… we kinda screwed that up. We’ll try to do better in season 3,” that was fine with me. It was nice just to get some reassurance that he still had a clue what was quality and what wasn’t.
Spoilers and more beyond the “Read More” link.Then there were the behind the scenes video blog entries with David Eick. The entry “Billy Gets No Respect” gave me an early hint that the President’s aide would be biting the dust. Coulda been sad, but with that kind of lead in it wasn’t so much. Just now I checked and found new features about the Peabody Award and Lee Adama’s fat makeup. (Those who thought he looked a little porky in the flash-forward scenes at the end of last season were correct — Jamie Bamber was done up in prosthetic avoir du pois for some as yet unexplained reason.) All were funny and worth watching. In the past, I’ve always had to wait for the DVD sets for such extras.
Now they’ve outdone themselves. As a lead-in to season 3, SciFi has produced 10 “webisodes” to be aired through September on the web site. The first was made available this morning at 12:00 AM, so after work I went to the site to check it out. I was quite surprised to find that SciFi had replaced their entire front page with the new BSG content, which began playing automatically as I watched. This says a lot about their hopes for BSG as a money maker. (I’m too cynical to imagine that it’s all about the Quality. And I’m still smarting about how they treated Farscape.)
As a story I found the first webisode clumsy, but it was so nice to see those familiar faces that I was still happy. I’m interested to see how they develop this super-short format in the remaining 9. Maybe they’ll eventually figure it out. And in any case they’ve succeeded in getting me excited for the new season — even before I’ve been to Scotland!