The coolest opportunity ever to watch "Battlestar Galactica" has to be watching the show while orbiting the planet called Earth.
Each astronaut gets to select about four different television programs to watch while living aboard the International Space Station, and "BSG" was one of my choices.
There was some downside to watching the show in space, however. First, after seeing battlestars equipped with faster-than-light drives and bristling with laser cannon you can't help but feel your space station is kind of lame. Second, after a few episodes you start getting the sneaking feeling that at least one of your crewmates is really a Cylon.
Still, there was nothing like watching "BSG" while floating along in zero gravity. First I'd go through the modules turning off all the lights that I could. There would still be a few blinking lights and LEDs on the comm panels and the other equipment, and when the window shutter was open occasionally the earthshine would light up the room with a faint blue glow.
Then I'd float up to the laptop which we used to watch the show. Holding on gently with my thumb and index finger I'd lose myself in the drama of the struggles of the humans and the Cylons. Surrounded by the sounds of the space station, the humming of the pumps, the whirring of the fans and the clicking of the valves it was easy to blur the line between science fiction and science fact.
...when I got back to Earth, Ron was kind enough to invite me up to Vancouver to visit the set. As my visit approached I was cautioned that there would be some limited nudity on the set that day. I replied that I was perfectly fine with that as long as Dean Stockwell was not involved.
Meeting members of the cast and crew was fantastic and it became immediately clear that the "BSG" team was as closely knit as the team of astronauts and cosmonauts that I had the pleasure of working with in space.
But the coolest part was getting to be a Colonial Marine.
I can't tell you about the story arc of my character or the complex development of his psyche because -- spoiler alert -- I get blown to bits about 10 seconds after first appearing onscreen, (but not before one of the other Marines vomits all over me). It was some of the most fun I had ever had!