Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gaius Baltar: Not That Evil, Part 1,000,000

James is featured as number 40 in EW's "Biggest Emmy Nomimation Snubs". I love that he's there, although he could be higher (like say number 1). I know James has said he doesn't care about the Emmys, and maybe he has a point, but still. He did a great job as Gaius and deserves some award love. 

Once again, I have to take objection to how Baltar is presented though. 

Callis' Baltar has worn so many masks, it's still hard to pin down who he is: weasel-like traitor, Iago-esque manipulator, power-hungry despot, broken political prisoner, crazed cultist?

I wouldn't describe him as any of those things. Well, maybe broken political prisoner. Weasel-like? Yes. Traitor? Yes, but he didn't know the stakes, so it's a bit debatable. Lago-esque manipulator? Absolutely not. Who did he manipulate and how? If anything, HeadSix manipulated him throughout the show. "Power-hungry despot"? That one made me laugh a little. I don't think he even cared about being president, in between the hookers and the drinking. He was just really miserable. "Crazed cultist"? That role was thrust upon him. He never really believed in the cult thing anyway, and secretly despised the women but was kind to them, because he had no choice.

But see - he was KIND to those women. He was kind to Gina, kind to Caprica (also bitchy at times, but that's part of a relationship), kind to Gaeta in the end, etc. He really did very little evil, and he wasn't consciously manipulative or scheming, ever. 

Did James Callis "redefine onscreen evil"? That's an interesting claim. I'm really not sure. On the one hand, he did give "evil" a kinder face, much kinder than the writers and producers would have. But was Baltar evil enough to redefine evil? Can you really put him on par with all the real baddies who have no conscience or heart to speak of? I don't think you can.

Callis drenches Baltar in such palpable fear and insecurity that his evil acts can actually make sense... making them all the more horrifying.

I agree with the first part, that's good writing and a good analysis of the role. But the second part? I just feel like they had to make it seem like Baltar is evil in the end. Maybe he did a few things that I thought were horrifying - almost killing the Chief to torture Sharon, for instance, and giving Gina the nuclear war head - but those acts didn't really make sense to me, and I don't think he was horrifying. He always seemed conflicted and guilty afterwards. 

What's horrifying about Baltar is how human he is. It horrifies me when I can relate to him, because it says something scary about my own personality: we're all weak and we could all end up in his position. That's the horror, not his evilness. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

BBC Merlin News Snippet

James' BBC Merlin role has been named: he will play "Borden, an old pupil of Gaius"! Digital Spy reports that James will appear in the fifth episode of the new season. The show will return in one month, which means James' episode will be aired in about two months' time. Exciting!

I must admit I've never watched this Merlin, but it's pretty cool he got to do a scene with Gaius of all names. Also, he will be riding a horse, which is exciting to me for some reason. (I'm not sure why - maybe I just like the skill of it? I've never done much riding.)

I don't have any other news about this, so here's the clip of him "climbing the wall" in "the rain", again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New James Callis Project(s?)!

Screen Daily reports that James will be in a British soccer-related film in Manchester. It's described as "Billy Elliot meets Bend it like Beckham". So will it be sappy or funny? Hard to tell from the description, but it's James working with children, so it should be awww material! Also, it promises to be "distributed in the UK in 2012", so this might be something we will actually see. What worries me is that James is mentioned sixth, so it might be another small part. Must stop hoping he'd always have starring roles.

There is an indie film too, A Little Place off the Edgeware Road. And while indies are never something we get to see, I'm kinda hoping he does this one. He's unconfirmed, but very much wanted in the lead, and it's based on a Graham Greene story. I'd love to see him do something literary. (Bridget Jones doesn't count.) It's very sweet if he does this, because he'd basically be working pro bono, but I'm not sure if the soccer film comes first.

Oh, James tweeted he's already in Manchester! The Jamesman flies on, never stopping long in one place. They say Tampere is the Manchester of Finland (I guess because it's an industrial city), a.k.a. "Manse", so by admittedly rather far-fetched logic, he and I are in the same city. O.o Cosmic!!

As a side note, I almost eletrocuted myself with my old hair dryer. (It wasn't really that serious, but I had to go to the emergency room.) It reminded me of this deleted scene from Meet Pursuit Delange, so I'm re-posting it:



"It was certainly food for thought, and I knew that for the rest of the day, my mind would be filled with personal mission statements, Campari-fueled incontinence nightmares, and concerns about badly wired home appliances." 

So you know what my mind's filled with right now. Well, apart from the incontinence thing.

Like they said at the hospital, my heart is in great shape, but I do suffer from very severe fangirl-itis. Modern medicine knows no cure, so I'm not gonna quit the blog anytime soon. More news as it comes in!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

News Splash

Firstly, some long-awaited news: Reuniting the Rubins has announced a release date on Facebook! 21st October, it will run a whole week in the UK cinemas, but the screens are still to be announced. I wonder if I could pester the local arthouse cinema Niagara to show this film. The previews seemed pretty promising.

Little birds have tweeted that we haven't seen the last of Dr Trevor/Charles Grant! The finale for Eureka was shot last week, and James Callis was in attendance. I'm quite excited about this! He was a no-show in the second part of season four (unsurprisingly, as we knew he was in Delhi while they were filming it). Dr Grant might just come to wrap things up neatly, or wreak more havoc. We'll see!

Edward James Olmos announced at Dragon*Con that he, James, and Ron Moore were going to Portland to shoot "an improv BSG skit"! :D This sounds awesome, and just up James' alley. I wonder what the skit will be like, with just the Admiral and Gaius Baltar. If it's anything like the Music of BSG segment, we're in for a treat. Edited to add: Oh, and it's apparently on a show called "Portlandia", which I had never heard of. So a guest starring role! Nice! Also something I can expect to see online soon after it airs. Watch this space!

Tricia Helfer, on the other hand, mentioned that she and James used to take shots of scotch before love scenes. Heee! They really needed alcohol to find each other attractive? I'm starting to wonder if Gaius Baltar's drink glasses contained actual scotch instead of some fake swill. BSG set was an openminded place...

During the past week, James has apparently managed to be in Vancouver, Portland, Z├╝rich, Delhi, LA and London. (Or at least all of the airports, if I deciphered his tweet correctly.) This will only fuel the rumors of Mr Callis being Jesus, or Santa, or an unknown super-powered entity. We'll keep watching him for signs of greatness and report as need be.

If indeed Mr Callis had flown through the air without the means of a plane, we imagine it would have looked something like this...

(Reconstruction of possible situation; not an actual photograph. All rights reserved.)