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Cassiopeia, with Laser Gun Written By: Darrell 04-03-05
-- text by Ray Grant, excerpted from FRACK!, Issue #1, 2005

[Jack] Stauffer wasn't the only actor to meet with [Glen] Larson about expanding a role. Before "The Living Legend," Laurette Spang had grown dissatisfied with her character of Cassiopeia, the socialator turned med tech.

"I'd watched Cassiopeia settling into a place I wasn't sure I liked," she says. "Starbuck was out cavorting with space babes, then returning to good old reliable me on the battlestar. Jane Seymour was gone, and I felt a tad outnumbered by the men. Who could I complain to about the lack of female power and storyline?"

There was only one person, of course. "I took a deep breath and went to see Glen Larson. I was intimidated and more than a little fearful. This was the big guy. The creator. I let Glen know I was frustrated by the change in character and that if he saw no future in Cassiopeia, no challenges for me as an actress, then I would like to be released from my contract. I noticed his slightly raised eyebrows as I blindly blundered on. I told him he should at least give me a chance to do something more for the show. I was up to the challenge. Finally he smiled broadly, telling me not to worry. The next script he wrote would be 'The Living Legend'".

Spang regards the episode as a landmark both for her and the female characters in general, who were now joining the action on even terms with the men. "Cassie got to parachute into Gamoray with the guys and tote a laser gun." However, she considers the episode even more notable for the addition of Anne Lockhart, who became a fast friend. "We teamed up to tease Dirk and Richard whenever we got a chance, which was often. We also talked a great deal about our hopes that there would be more male/female relationships explored on the Galactica."

Indeed, exploring the relationship between Cassiopeia and Starbuck provided Spang with her favorite moment of the episode; specifically, the scene in which Starbuck lets her know that Cain is back. "This is the first time you see Starbuck vulnerable to Cassiopeia." It was a vulnerability that spilled over into real life when Dirk Benedict offered what might seem a strange confession.

"On a short break before shooting," Spang says, "Dirk muttered in his sweet, understated way that this all felt weird and he was actually jealous that Cassiopeia was going to be attracted to someone else. I told him I'd had to sit and watch Starbuck seductively puff rings of his cigar smoke around the heads of at least a dozen beautiful girls since we'd started the show, so now it was his turn. Ha."

She admits, "Dirk and I had a subtle, or not-so-subtle, flirtation going on. It was great fun and added to our on-screen chemistry. He made me laugh a lot, too."

Unlike Stauffer, Spang even had a good time wearing the parachute outfit. "We all looked so hot in our black leather with buckles, belts, boots and laser guns strapped to our sides. It was so much fun. We shot late into the night, and the whole experience had the feel of one of those summer nights when I was a kid, running from yard to yard with the neighborhood kids of all ages. This was the best part of being an actor. We were all playing together and getting paid for it. "The Living Legend?" Yeah, that was one great episode."
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