brokenmnemonic was fortunate enough to attended the Serenity Complete convention. His LJ is, mostly, Friends Only, but he kindly gave me permission to copy and paste his recap of Jamie's panel here.
Star Fury: Serenity - Part Four (Sunday Afternoon)
First panel after lunch was the panel I'd most been looking forward to; Jamie Bamber, Michelle Forbes and Mark Sheppard. The panel started with the three of them coming in and shuffling the chairs around slightly; it wasn't until Mark was settled comfortably on the far right hand side that the others spotted he wasn't handing the microphones out. "It's all about… me." That was his announcement to open the panel; he promptly teased the others with the microphones, before pulling them back and following up with "no, it's still all about me."
Eventually, they managed to get the microphones off him, and the Q&As started; I was a way back in the queue behind the world's most talkative Scotsman. I can't remember exactly what the question was that was asked by the guy in front of me, but it went on quite a long time and involved making Mark Sheppard paranoid. It might've been the question about when he was a band performer, or it might've been a question about what makes up art but I remember it got a good answer.
Ok, I can't remember that much of it, but I have this thing about hating speaking in public and I was trying to remember what the hell I'd got up to say, so go easy on me, ok?
I started out by saying it wasn't a question about pudding, but I might make Mark Sheppard paranoid by not talking about him even though it was all about him. I then proceeded to ask a question far too complicated for that time in the day, trying to regain control of what the hell I was saying while the actors looked at me with increasing degrees of bemusement.
Ron doesn't talk about Lee and Kara in the podcasts any more in their scenes; he talks about the weather, and the lighting and the previous scene, and the next scene coming up, and pretty much anything else. Cue Jamie saying "Ron doesn't talk about me in the podcasts? Now I'm paranoid!"
Ron has thrown out the idea a few times that the Kara/Lee relationship is an emotional barometer for the fleet, but that's about as much as he's ever said; naturally, the shippers on skiffy have debated that one to death, and one of the more enthusiastic ideas is that actually the two of them are walking metaphors for the current generation of humanity in each generation. They've got the previous generations mistakes to deal with, no sign of a future, the previous generation hanging around still making decisions and telling them what they can and cannot do. Their lives are severely limited, and between the two of them they combine pretty much every kind of conflict possible, between loyalty to duty, to service, to society, to self, to family, the conflict between atheism, predestination and faith… and yet when they are working together, they tend to be capable of great things, holding out the potential belief that maybe there is a positive future possible after all. I was curious to hear what his thoughts were, because he's one who's talked often before about how the show should show more of the socio-political drama that goes on, rather than Cylon threesomes, and he's been critical of some of the dodgy storytelling at times.
As you can tell, it was definitely more of a pub debate question than something to stand up and ask at a convention; if it wasn't for the fact that this was the only time I'd ever get to ask the question of him, I'd never have got out of my chair, but my immediate response as silence reigned was to wonder if I could just kind of rub my head and have the world disappear. Luckily, Jamie seemed to take it in good part, saying that "I never thought of that, but it sounds spot on to me." (He also said I'd asked the question very eloquently, but I can't remember exactly what it was he'd said, because I was busy dying of embarrassment.) He then went on to play up the audience with a joke, that the Starbuck and Apollo relationship was a bit like incest – very pleasurable initially, but ultimately always tinged with guilt. That got a round of laughter from the audience…
I can't remember the exact order of questions that came up, but Michelle took another question on her show that became the most watched show you'll never see, Global Frequency. There was some exchange of opinions between her and the person asking the question about other fringe comics with a similar impact, and Michelle repeated her story about traveling on the London Underground and realising that she and everyone else were walking on copies of the London Metro, a tiny daily newspaper pushed out for free around the city that had Global Frequency as the cover story. She spoke at some length about comics like the one the series was based on, and how it challenges people to think about their governments, about the people being elected.
Jamie confirmed that he doesn't read comics because they aren't really his thing, but Mark spoke about them at some length – he's a big fan of comics, he loves the way that they're continuing the storytelling traditions, the mythology of tales that human society grew up with. The guy asking the question actually had some inked comic pages there as a present for Mark and presented them to him as a part of the question, and Mark seemed absolutely over the moon with it – although he didn't hesitate to add "see, I told you it was all about me."
There followed one of the strangest questions I've ever heard – I'm assuming the woman asking was either drunk or stoned, but she literally sashayed up to the mic (I've never seen anyone sashay before) and slurred "hi Jamie" before staring at him. And kept staring. The actors were exchanging glances; I had the impression Mark might've recognised her, because he asked "this isn't going to be about iguanas, is it?"
At this point the woman, giggled, and said "have you ever…" at which point there were more confused looks from the actors, and then she followed with "owned one?" The actors seem to have lost track of what's going on completely, until Michelle prompts Mark with "I think it's 'have you ever owned an iguana?'" Mark looked completely nonplussed and said "no."
It didn't end there, though… because the woman asked "would you like some ketchup?" and then walked away from the mic, twirling one of her pigtails. As she was walking away, Mark asked "Ketchup? Your question is ketchup?" All she did was wave at him and carry on walking. And I thought my question was a bad one for that time of day…
I think the next question was to Jamie again; someone stepped up to talk about reviews of Archie from Hornblower in the press, and Jamie said "there weren't any articles about Archie!" When the woman asking insisted that there were, Mark interjected with "she wrote them!"
Her question turned out to be asking whether Jamie was planning to do any more period pieces, so that he'd have an opportunity to wear tight trousers again. He chuckled at the question, but said he wouldn't… and then followed up with some comments about filming Hornblower.
He said again how great working on Hornblower was, how lucky he was to get that role and how much fun it was; the days were long, all shot on board the ship and with him having no idea what he was supposed to be doing; I remember him saying something about the difference between acting on the stage and acting on TV, about not knowing how loudly he should be talking, where he should be directing his voice and so on, and having to go straight into the first day of shooting with loads of dialogue to work through. Despite that, he enjoyed himself, and it was the best kind of job you could imagine – he got to wear a sword!
The hotel he was in was something that reflected the times the country was going through there and then; the top floor of the hotel was basically owned and run by mobsters, and filled with prostitutes. Definitely a strange experience.
I think the next question was from Bamberiffic, who stepped up to ask about the internet, and whether the actors read the forums; she didn't specify skiffy, but I think that's what she was thinking of. Jamie was the first to answer, and said that when he started out with the mini-series, after filming there was no indication that there was going to be any more work, and he read everything he could find online about the miniseries… and whereas the press was overwhelmingly positive, everything else was 85% negative. Now, as time's gone by he's ended up reading less and less online, but what's online has become steadily more positive until what people are saying is now much closer to what the press has been saying. While he doesn't read any of the forums about who ships who, he does read the episode reviews after each new episode has reviewed, to find out what people are saying about it.
Mark on the other hand reads his thread on the skiffy forum a lot; if he's online doing something, he loves to just drop in and chat with the people there, because over time between that and the people he's met at conventions, he's come to recognise people and loves the social aspect of it all. He doesn't go into any of the deep thought threads, though; for him it's about the social interaction with people.
Michelle hadn't answered yet, so Bamberiffic prompted her, and Michelle responded with a smirk and the firm comment "Cain was not a bitch! She just had some bad days." That led to a certain amount of amusement from the audience, and the actors exchanging comments among themselves culminating in Michelle pointing out that people in power today were taking the same actions Cain had done, but without the situation being the same, and without the public knowing what it was they were doing.
That led to a question from one guy who I think was one of the regular stewards or staff, who'd been stepping up and asking a lot of questions during the panels; he directed his question at Michelle, and talked about how in his local constituency (which happens to be Jack Straw's seat, for those who know who he is) there had been protests during Condelezza Rice's tour of the UK, but when it came to news reporting it drew almost no attention, and the bulk of the tv time was devoted to two Asian youths near the front of the crowd, not the overwhelmingly white majority of the rest of the crowd; he then went on to ask about how the media and politicians were spinning the news to suit themselves, and how this was perceived in the US.
That led to the longest answer of the day, one which must've run for a good twenty minutes between the three actors, and I can't begin to hope to remember it all. Michelle spoke first, and was very passionate in what she said, very outspoken about how people in power are lying to everyone, and how the general public is starting to realise just how much they've been lied to about a lot of important things. She spoke about how important it was for people to keep challenging what it is they've been told, and how while the internet has it's flaws – there are only so many videos of cats playing the piano you can watch – it had given people an unprecedented ability to report what they say, what they heard, and to let people actually learn for themselves.
I can't honestly remember what Mark said as a part of this – I lost track pretty quickly after Jamie started speaking. He talked about being a US citizen for over a year now, and how there was this feeling that Obama's message was starting to reach people, that people were questioning what they'd been told, questioning the decisions made by those in charge. He talked about how difficult it is to avoid corruption, how endemic it is within western society at the moment – and gave himself as an example, sitting her talking about corruption while working for a show on a network that's one of the subsidiaries of GE, possibly the biggest company in the world. He talked about how people are questioning how they live, what it is that we're doing to the planet, the rate at which we consume resources, how we're literally all shitting where we eat… it was quite the impassioned response he gave, and when he finished the audience responded with a round of applause that lasted a long time.
That's pretty much all I can remember from that panel, although I do know it finished with a round up of who was doing which autograph questions and when, because Jamie attending had rather thrown their schedule out somewhat.
A few write ups for the Emerald City Comic Con:
quirkybird's recap can be found here.
nodazzle's thoughts are here.
sara_eliza has posted a few photos here.
And Comixtreme.com has Stupid Questions at the Emerald City Comic Con. Jamie's responses are at the end of each list.
hobbitofkobol posted a huge batch of 'To Do' icons and there were several Lee Adama icons I thought you all might like. ;)
Over at battlestar_blog, pancake_susi has posted that the Fed Con DVD's are a go! If you expressed your interest in ordering a copy, expect an email sometime this week.
And, finally, it also looks like Mineville is a go in...Mineville, New York. Pre-production is expected to begin in July with September 22nd still the start date.