'Battlestar's' Olmos Bids Farewell to Galactica

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Adama Edward James Olmos, who plays Admiral William Adama on Sci Fi Channel's space epic "Battlestar Galactica," which has its big finale (That is, if you don't count an upcoming TV-movie, directed by Olmos, the "Caprica" prequel or rumors of a possible feature film, but why quibble?) on Friday, March 20, has seen the end.

And he liked it.

"I've been privileged enough to be able to see it,"
Olmos says, "and I've got to tell you, I'm very, very happy with what it ends up doing for the show and for the viewers who've given it five years of their lives, watching the story unfold.

"This is the best usage of episodic television that I've ever seen in my life. I don't even think anything gets close."

The only parallel Olmos can come up with is another project he starred in, proving that either Edward James Olmos is one of the luckiest actors ever or simply has incredibly good taste in science-fiction projects (and, considering he did "Miami Vice," he's not too shabby at picking cop series, either).

"What ('Battlestar') has done for television is really wonderful,"
Olmos says, "and for feature films. 'Blade Runner,' I can only compare it to that. It's the only thing that's on the level of the show.

"They are both moments of usage of the medium, one being film, and the other being television, but both being storytelling. That's remarkable. But I don't think that even 'Blade Runner' can encompass what 80-plus hours of this story unfolding in your face leads you to understand. It's magnificent.

"This is the gift of a career so far, in working on storytelling. I'm very grateful."

Asked how he felt when he read the finale script, Olmos says, 'I was hurt. Yeah, it hurts. When you get there, you'll see. There's no way you can take the journey and really do all that you've experienced and not come out the other side and say to yourself, 'Wow, this was a tragic story.'

"It doesn't stop here. It's going to resonate stronger in ten years or 20 years, just like 'Blade Runner.' That's what happens. You start to realize what you're watching and what has happened and how much more prolific it becomes as the years go on -- it's like great wine. It gets better as it ages.

"How will it resonate? I think the planet will probably grasp at it more and realize how poignant it is."

Regarding his on-screen interplay with Mary McDonnell, who plays President Laura Roslin, Olmos says, HoganMooreandOlmos "She's such a consummate artist. It's beautiful to watch her work. That's really the beauty of this whole five-year period, working with her and Michael Hogan" -- who plays Col. Saul Tigh -- "who's a really fantastic human being. He's really funny, but he's also very pragmatic with his humor, so it becomes really, really intense.

"We both have a really good time with it. It's fun."

That's good to hear, since there doesn't seem to be a lot of fun on-screen.

"No," says Olmos, "there is not. That's why it's such an extraordinary journey. Adama's arc is really quite different than anything I've ever seen done in this kind of an environment, where he's supposed to be a hero, and he's turned into an alcoholic.

"No one ever calls him on it."

Does Olmos consider Adama to be ultimately an heroic figure?

"I think that, basically, yeah," he says. "But also, he's been given a really one-handed deck. There are not enough cards to play the fame. He's kind of stuck. You want to be able to find a way, but there's just no way.

"He was lucky in being able to live a full life (before the Cylon attack), but how many kids were born during that five-year experience? How many of the young people were on their first journey? There are a lot of rookies on the ship.

"So they really didn't have a basic idea of how to deal with any of this. They had to grow up real quick. That was really fantastic for the young artists who came on board (as actors). They were MooreandOlmos just as novice and green."

And, as to what he plans to do the night of the big finale, Olmos says, "I probably will be able to do down to either Ron's (executive producer Ronald D. Moore) house or somebody's house. Somebody's showing it."

He may have to attend two parties, since the three-hour finale stretches over two weeks, with the first hour airing in the show's regular 10 p.m. Eastern time slot on March 13, with the final two hours starting at 9 p.m. Eastern on March 20 (preceded by a rerun of the March 13 episode at 8 p.m. Eastern).

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