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BSG now with more MSG

(Warning: Very mild Battlestar Galactica spoilers, though nothing you won’t know if you saw the season 2 finale.) The TV show Battlestar Galactica returned for its third season this week and anyone watching might have noticed there was a whole lot more to love, specifically a lot more of Commander Apollo to love. I think he’s a commander right now. The guy got promoted twice in just one episode, which I guess is what happens when 99% of the human population gets blown up by killer robots. You might not be able to buy alcohol or coffee anywhere but the black market, but career advancements for everyone!

Last year Lee Adama a.k.a. Apollo, really lived up to the moniker of the Greek God of the sun that he takes his call sign from when he appeared wearing only a towel in this scene. Click here to see the image because it’s borderline not safe for work, unless you work in the porn industry. It truly was like looking at the sun in its brilliant glory, only without the permanent retina damage. Thank you cable television!

So, it makes it all the more shocking that after the show jumped ahead one year Lee now looks like this:

How would you like to be actor Jamie Bamber’s body double for that shot? Sure, you get to brag about being Jamie Bamber’s body double, but you might want to leave out the part about all the double shots you had to drink to be qualified for the position.

Apollo’s transformation is unique because it’s the only instance in TV or film that I can think of where I am not in some way offended by the use of a fat suit. Typically fat suits are used in comedies as a way to make fun of fat people, but here Apollo’s weight gain is an external manifestation of his internal feelings. In the past year the killer robots (the Cylons) have called a truce and most of the human race has started a colony on a barren planet. He’s a soldier without a war who’s started to go soft and this shows up in his appearance. Weight gain can be a sign of depression after all and his life has been pretty sucky lately. In the last episode his dad even called him a fat ass! Burn!

The only disappointing thing is how quickly fans are to break out the Porky Pig jokes about poor Lee. I don’t read too many fan forums, but I have stumbled upon the typical fat jokes. I don’t know if people think it’s more acceptable to make fun of Fat Apollo because the actor isn’t really fat or if they’d be just as mean even if Jamie Bamber had spent all summer in a bed of Twinkies and Cocoa Puffs.

Either way, I have to give props to one of my favorite shows for using weight gain as a legitimate character trait and not just as an excuse to get someone to disco dance in a fat suit.

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Debbi • October 11, 2006 at 11:17 am

I’m not a BSG fan at all; in fact, I’ve never seen a single episode. But it was worth reading about it just to click that link. Hubba hubba!


Karina • October 11, 2006 at 5:24 pm

Yummy link!

Does it bother anyone that on this show fat is being used as a negative consequence?

Your life sucks so you get fat???

Please do not bash me if I am not considering all the facts b/c I do not watch the show.

Just found it interesting….


Javajabber • October 11, 2006 at 7:05 pm

I do watch BSG … religiously (Sunday mornings … get it? lol). I watched the “So Far” show first, then the 2-hour episode.

I can’t help it. I love good scifi. I also watch the Stargate stuff.

And oh my, I felt my heart skip a couple of beats. I’d get a poster of that but I don’t think hubby would appreciate it.

Well, maybe I could put it in my craft room. He never goes in there!


ugh • October 11, 2006 at 10:33 pm

You know, I **might** like that show if it didn’t have the budget of a Kazakhstani cable access show.

I mean, the sets suck worse than anything I’ve ever seen –dark rooms, locker rooms, that hideous ship. And the film is muddy and cheap-looking. It gives me claustrophobia. I like my tv with pretty stuff to look at –aka Lost, aka high definition.


Sara • October 11, 2006 at 10:51 pm

My hubby and I were wondering if that was a fat suit, or if he actually gained weight. Guess that answers it.

I do sympathise, and I’m sure many people do with emotional eating issues. I think though, part of his gain was because he just didn’t know what to do, how to help free the people from the “toasters” (btw, I wouldn’t exactly call what they cylons are doing a “truce”!). But who doesn’t get depressed and then eats more than they should?


I didn’t watch the previews for next week – didn’t want to spoil it. But I’m glad that one soldier let Kali go. I felt so bad for her and her family.


Annika • October 11, 2006 at 11:57 pm

As it happens, I *do* work in the porn industry. :)


crankybee • October 12, 2006 at 1:16 am

Hmmm…I have NEVER seen this show, but looking at his face, are you sure that’s a body double? It always amazes me that actors can put on and drop weight for roles – I don’t know if you’ve seen Murial’s Wedding, but Toni Collette put on 20kg (50 pounds?) for that role! AND took it off! Maybe I should act…lol


PastaQueen • October 12, 2006 at 9:39 am

crankybee – Yeah, it’s a double. If you go to scifi.com one of the behind the scenes videos is about him having to get the fat face make-up put on.

ugh – I don’t think BSG is low budget. Have you ever seen any of the original Dr. Who or the old Star Trek series? Now *that* was low budget. You could sometimes see zippers on the aliens costumes. The BSG sets are indeed dark and industrial looking, but that’s on purpose because it’s a post-apocalyptical society where resources are scarce. The Battlestar Galactica in particular was so old it was being prepped to become a museum, so it’s supposed to look old. I think the producers would be happy to know it made you claustrophobic because that’s how a spaceship would feel, like today’s submarines.


crankybee • October 12, 2006 at 9:42 am

Hey, do you lot know Jamie Oliver (PUCKAAAAA!)? He just did a fat suit thing for school lunches. Let me know if you don’t and I’ll muster up a link. That face must have taken hours. I’d have just eaten the cake. Did I type that outloud? ;P


PastaQueen • October 12, 2006 at 9:46 am

crankybee – I don’t know him personally :) But I have seen his School Dinners series and I remember seeing him in the fat suit somewhere.


crankybee • October 12, 2006 at 5:52 pm

Ok, so you know the lisping fool does good things for crappy school dinners but there’s some parents who object so much to his efforts to save their children from obesity that they are passing junk food through the school gates at lunch! Unfortunately, I must confess I know this because I am addicted to on-line British tabloids, and just in case it’s a slow day in your life today, here’s a link. http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006430142,00.html Anyway the point about Oliver was that I knew the fat suit existed, but I never realised you could do the face and arms too! I saw him in it on a promo on his website. Anyway this is enough pointless chatter, I’m off to the gym God save my soul!


K • October 12, 2006 at 6:44 pm

I don’t watch it either – I have no clue whether it’s available over here, although frankly, it sounds like exactly my kind of thing.

But I have no problem with the idea of someone’s weight gain being portrayed as an aspect of otherwise unrelated negative stuff going on in their life. That just seems, well, realistic. Stress + boredom often does equal weight gain.

That looks like a lot of weight for the character to have gained over the course of just a year, though.


jae • October 13, 2006 at 3:03 am

I thought that gut looked more like a beer gut than an a fat gut. Those tiny love handles, but poofy tummy…maybe that character is drinking due to stress? Did it say how he gained the weight??


ugh • October 13, 2006 at 7:35 am

I get the dark industrial stuff, but sometimes i just wish there was a dream sequence that was beautiful to look at! like, even the sets w/ the imaginary gf look like pottery barn crap. They are always having scenes set in the gloom. It is tiring.


hmmm • October 19, 2006 at 10:44 am

I think Jamie Bamber’s hot at either size, if one of you could let him know i’m free…


nerd • November 7, 2006 at 7:15 pm

BSG is great. I love the dark thing, it’s gritty.

and I love how things don’t work out just the way you want… sometimes it makes you feel uncomfortable…

long live BSG and thanks for the link



Elise • November 26, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Jennette, you are not going to be believe this: I’m currently on Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica and just remembered to Google whether Apollo – call sign “Fat Ass” – actually gained that weight. Your blog is the NUMBER 2 result, meaning you are my new authority on all things Galactica. Also, watching Apollo and Sam share a scene is just…good gods.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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