Jamie Bamber sait se servir de sa plume…
Salve, mes bons amis, salve.
Déjà, je tiens à vous tenir informés de mon état de malade : en voie de guérison, même si on ne peut pas dire que les matins chantent. Je reste donc sur mes gardes, d’autant que la Bête guette. Elle a pris hier la forme de nombreux coups de fil en provenance du boulot, ce qui m’a valu quelques vertiges de stress.
Désormais totalement libérée du joug professionnel (croisons les doigts), je compte bien profiter des *regarde sa montre* quelques cent trente heures de répit qu’il me reste. Enfin, en slalomant allègrement entre les hypermarchés surchargés et la confection de la bûche de Noël qui me revient de droit depuis environ 13 ans.
En préparant ma valise mercredi, j’ai beaucoup réfléchi à ce que j’emmènerais. J’ai opté pour Deadwood, Twin Peaks, la saison 7 de The West Wing (déjà bien entamée, je suis insatiable), la saison 5 de Sex and the City (malgré tout) et… et je me suis dit qu’il me fallait ma dose de BSG, j’ai donc enfourné l’Official Companion de la saison 3.
Bien m’en prit.
J’imagine que dans la salle d’attente de l’aéroport, j’ai dû avoir l’air d’une vraie débile mentale en me bidonnant devant mon iPhone (« Chief, get your fat lazy ass up here ! »), puis en déballant cet ouvrage bénit. On s’en tape.
Adoncques en ouvrant la chose, quelle ne fut pas mon heureuse surprise. Cette fois, l’auteur du préambule n’est autre que… le Bamber de ces dames, il Bamberino himself, l’homme qui tire plus vite que son ombre, celui qui en un regard vous met trois fois enceinte.
Je me suis délectée de sa prose. Pour sûr celui-là n’a pas fait des études de chimie quantique, pour cela, il écrit mille fois trop bien.
Je ne résiste pas à l’envie de vous la faire partager. Enjoy.
Et ne pleurez pas, les filles. Rien que l’idée que ce genre d’homme puisse exister rend notre vie ici-bas bien plus douce, non ?
This is my first forword. I have experience with four letter words… but I don’t suppose that will help here. Frak. Or perhaps it will. .. I must just say how thrilled I was when David Bassom called me and asked me to introduce this latest Official Companion to my adored (évanouissement) Battlestar Galactica.Titan Books have shared every step of this incredible journey with us. These pages document not only what it is to watch this show and follow these rich characters on their quest for a new identity, but they also capture what it is to make this show, to live it.
When I am old and foggy, I will always be able to stagger to my bookshelf and in one arm-stretch I will be back in Vancouver 2006. I will be back in season three, our best and most ambitious to date, which saw the Fleet try to settle in a nex home, which brought us into the Cylon mind for the first time, and which ends in courtroom denial and revelations of enemies within. (C’est ça, essaye de semer le trouble dans nos esprits, darling. La TdF-brigade veille !)
The beginning of each new season is about questions. Mainly these questions concern how Ron Moore, David Eick and our tireless writers have made sense of the mess they invariably left behind when the decided to let the cliff hang or in this case the year jump at the end of the previous season. But among the Galactica family, of cast and crew there are other recurring intrigues ; for example which continent will James Callis fly in from ? Will Eddie Olmos’s moustache need counselling before its further demise ? How much more miserable can success make David Eick ? How many kids will Bamber have now ? (gros gloussement sorciéresque)
In essence, it is back to school.
Telling a story in series television forces you to experience changes in your own personal life parallel to the fictionnal changes your character undergoes in his dramatic life. And when that fictive story is Battlestar Galactican each of those lives unfolds in near to real time. In effect these last four years I have been on two odysseys ; one of them describes the tumultuous saga that Lee Adama has been thrown into and the ohter the more mundane progress of Jamie Bamber.
Doing a play on the stage one live an entire life in a single evening, on the big screen it might take a few months, but with a true televion epic like Battlestar Galactica, the character ages and grows apace with the actor. And that is what has happened to me and to Lee, to Mary and Laura, to James and Gaius, to Eddie and Bill.
When I watch the miniseries, which as of writing we shot four years ago, I see a sequence where a young viper pilot lands for the first time aboard the Battlestar Galactica ; he is apprehensive, ill at ease and walkes with a forces confidence. I watch the character and I describe the actor I remember landing in Vancouver in the spring of 2003 desperate to hide the sense of intimidation I felt at playing my first lead role on American television. I so wanted my accent to fit, my walk to swagger and to own the call-sign I had somehow inherited. If Lee is shrill and reactionary when he first encounters Adama, it might have something to do with the feeling of dislocation Jamie felt when first confronted with the deep conviction of Olmos in the makeup trailer. So when at the end of this third season Lee is able to lock his father’s gaze in his witness-stand paroxysm it might be because the actor, like the character, has found his voice. In the time it has taken Lee to understand his father, I, Jamie, have become a father three times over (Jesus Christ) and, I dare say, have come to understand my own father one heck of a lot better.
But it is not just the actors and characters that have been in a strange dance through time. The colonial fleet we depict has been waltzing and stumbling with the wester society we inhabit. together we have elected new leaders, gone to war, contemplated our ow destruction and often contributed to it.
In this third season in particular I have been so proud of the boldness with which our stories have taken the hardest of new stories and found the truth that only fiction provides. We watched beloved characters and friends decide to turn themselves into human bombs just when our most feared ennemies were doing the same on London’s buses. On our news networks we watched as a dictator was put on the stand and executed by his former subjects, whilst on Galactica a collaborator-President was similarly tried but surprised to be acquitted by his. It is only by empathizing with those we would otherwisefind abhorrent that we can ever hope to understand the situation or hope to find the path out.
And that’s what good drama lets us do. It allows us to see and to feel things we otherwise would not. And great dramas allows us to do that on every level : the psychological, the personal and the political. I am proud to say in the paired down world of Battlestar Galactica there is no plot, no character and no relationship that does not breathe the oxygen of all three levels at once.
If this journey has been both personal and epic, real and fictional, there are thanks to those who made it so : firstly to Ron Moore and David Eick for turning empty space into the richest human petri-dish on screen and for allowing actors and directors the space to create and to grow. To our amazing writing staff for keeping the corridors of Galactica winding and surprising. To the deepest cast on television. To our Canadian crew who make it happen. To our LA based post-production team who make it shine. To Anthony and Resho for making it delicious. To Bear for giving us goose-bumps. And to Harvey Frand, the genial ringmaster of this astral circus.
Special thanks go to my friends Michael Rymer, Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos who set the collaborative tone and to whose enthusiasm, integrity and talent our young has always aspired. They more than anyone have taught me who I can be in life and in this craft and I love them for it. A heartfelt mention too to James Callis, my fellow Londoner, for pinching me when it seems too good.
But perhaps most of all I thank Paramedic Ishay and my three characters at hom, Buckets (tropmimiiii), Bava and Paalump, for living every step with me.
Thank you Battlestar Galactica : a lesson in life.
(Comment il parle trop bien de ma série préférée !)