Daniel Was Battlestar's Biggest Fiasco, Says Ron Moore

Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D Moore prepared us for tomorrow night's season finale, by explaining how it went down. Plus, the backstory to the most mysterious name drop in BSG's history, the missing Cylon Daniel.

When did you figure out what you wanted to do with the ending? Because I heard with President Roslin, you knew about her tragic family backstory almost from day one, but waited to show it. Was it like that with the finale?

That was in the show bible, actually. That was in the original show bible that I wrote up. I wrote all these these character bios, and that was in the character bio and we just never played it or had a point to it. The focus of the flashbacks was sort of to say, "This is where the character's ending," and to [help us] understand where they ended and why. [And to do that, you need to] understand who they were, and see that it's all connected together. That story of losing her sisters, and the subsequent events that you see in the finale, really are the connective tissue that took Laura to Galactica, which also mean that's why she is where she is.

When did you know when you wrote the finale that this was what you wanted to do?

It came much more naturally. Over the years, David and I had lots of ideas about the finale. When we were plotting out the fourth season, that was when we in earnest started taking about how it was going to end. And it changed several times over the course of the fourth season. It wasn't really until we were in the room, breaking the final episode, that the flashbacks came in and we started talking in concrete terms about exactly how it ends, and the specific ends of each character, and exactly where Galactica is going to end up.

Let's talk about the fan reaction to the final episode. As with all things in this genre, there will be people that love it and people that speak out against it. How will you address those who may leave unsatisfied?

Well, all I can say is: We're happy. This is what we wanted to do, this is the story I wanted to tell, and this is the end of the chapter. You get to the end of the book and you may not like the ending, but this is what the author chose to tell you. I'm very proud of it. We were all proud to do it, and so we just hope the people share this feeling. But [for] the people that don't, there's nothing we can do about it.

How about fan theories over the show, like mention of a missing Cylon named Daniel? After his name was mentioned, the fans just went wild online. Did you intend for that to happen, and was he supposed to inspire this big fan-driven backstory?

You know, the Daniel thing is going to be one of the great fiascos of the show, in terms of what fans thought and what the truth was. Because Daniel was not intended to be anything more than an interesting bit of backstory in that episode. And that's how we approached it. It was just a story that Cavil and Ellen tell each other, that sort of goes to the idea of who Cavil was and how deep his resentments were, and his jealous nature - and [we wanted to] do a Cain and Abel allegory. That was all it was.

And then after the show aired. I started picking up all this stuff about how fans were obsessing about Daniel and how [people thought] Daniel was Kara's father, and he was the big surprise. I started thinking, "Oh shit, slow down people, I don't want you to really get invested."

I usually don't like to go out there and say, "Oh, that's a bad theory," because part of the enjoyment of watching the show is coming up with ideas. But this was gathering such momentum, I didn't want people to be going into the finale and really be waiting for the Daniel shoe to drop, when there's no shoe. It's one of those things where you're inside the show, [and] you look at it, and go one way. And then it's broadcast, and an audience sees it, and then they seize on this piece that you never really anticipated, and then you're sort of amazed. And you're saying, "Slow down, no - come back."

Well we listen to every single thing you put up there, because they usually do come back at some point, so I'm not surprised that name-drop took off.

Yeah, I kind of feel bad about that. It's like, "Oh man." [Laughs]