R&D TV is the vanity plate used for the 2004 version of Battlestar Galactica. The company was set up by writer/developer Ronald D. Moore (who would later go on to form his own sole company, Tall Ship Productions) and producer David Eick (who would also later go on to form his own sole company, David Eick Productions).
(October 18, 2004-October 27, 2009)
Logo: In a black-and-white office environment with many things in it (a poster with the pre-2009 Syfy logo on it [which was eventually changed into a filmreel with film over it in a Universal-like fashion], a Battlestar Galactica poster, a basketball hoop, a window showing the Hollywood sign (which says "HOLLYWEIRD" in later episodes) near a road, and much, much more), we see funetti-style versions of Ronald D. Moore, who stands to the left, and David Eick, who stands to the right. The logo varies depending on the episode, but the format is generally this: either Ronald or David will get an idea, as a lightbulb appears over their heads. They announce their idea, sometimes spouting out random gibberish or being interrupted by one or another. Then, either one of them will be cartoonishly beat up, massacred or eaten up in some way. After this occurs, we zoom up to a mahogany clock that features the text "R&D", with "TV" below it.
Variants: Notably, this logo varies depending on the episode. Here is a exhaustive list of variants:
- "33" and The Plan: Ronald gets an idea and says "I think we should blah blah blah, etcetera and so on. Blah blee blah blah--". David gets an angry look on his face, brandishes a baseball bat, and whacks Ronald in the face several times with it.
- "Water": David says "Get this! Blah blah blah, flablatterdablatteradatter! Ha-ha!" Ronald then pulls a chained gorilla and bolts out as David gets attacked by the gorilla.
- "Bastille Day": David says "Get this!". Ronald interrupts him, saying "No. Get THIS!", squeezes David into a ball, and throws him into the basketball hoop. As we zoom in on the R&D TV logo, a cheering audience is heard.
- "Act of Contrition": Ronald speaks gibberish much like in the "33" variant, before David gets a scornful look on his face and pushes Ronald out the window, where he is ran over by a passing car.
- "You Can't Go Home Again": David says "Check this out!" before blowing a raspberry. Ronald slaps him across his face, causing his head to spin and him to literally cry like a baby.
- "Litmus", "Fragged" and "Rapture": Ronald says "I've got it!". David whistles with his fingers, summoning up a toy shark that eats Ronald up. Ronald yells "MAKE IT STO-O-OP!!!".
- "Six Degrees of Separation" and "The Farm": David quips "Major brainstorm." Ronald pulls out a toy wand and casts "No bones!". David's body flashes like an X-ray as we see his bones crumble, and he melts to the ground like the Wicked Witch of the West as his right eye pops out.
- "Flesh and Bone": Ronald pulls out a microphone as the office darkens up, has flashing lights all over like a roller disco, and sings "I've got an idea! Blah blah blah blah blee!". In a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 2004 Super Bowl incident with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, David tears off part of Ronald's tuxedo and exposes part of his chest.
- "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" and "Home (Part 2)": David says "Ha-ha! This'll kill ya." Ronald gets a playful look on his face, and brings in a knight in shining armor. David says "Oh my Gooo--", and is cut off by the knight, who whacks his head down with his mace. David tries talking through the crack in his skull.
- "The Hand of God": Ronald says "Hey! Check it out." David grabs a piece of paper and waves it around Ronald's face. A few seconds later, Ronald's face starts bleeding, and he says "ow" in a nonchalant way.
- "Colonial Day": David suggests "Rock-paper-scissors?" and Ronald replies, "Go". Ronald leaves and David makes the rock, paper, and scissors hand signals (in that order) and his fingers become the blades of the scissors. Then, Ronald returns, carrying a large rock in which he throws, and David gets crushed by it.
- "Kobol's Last Gleaming (Part 1)": Ronald says "This will shock you!". David smirks, and shoots lightning out of his hands at Ronald, whose head turns into Martha Stewart's. (S)he then yells "NOOOO!" in a girly voice.
- "Kobol's Last Gleaming (Part 2)": Ronald and David are about to say something before a mailman interrupts them, comes into the frame, and hands them a box for each. The boxes play "Pop Goes the Weasel" briefly, before they explode, revealing the mailman's head on springs with sharp teeth. The springs eat the men each.
- "Scattered": Ronald says "I've got an idear!" in the style of a cowboy and puts a cowboy hat on. David knocks Ronald's face off, revealing he is a robot (a reference to Westworld), prompting "Ronald" to break down and fall.
- "Valley of Darkness": Before David even says anything, Ronald exits the room. Then, several Cylons appear out in the window. As David's expression changes from an "Ugh, what's happening" face to an "Oh no..." face, they blast through the window and shoot David with lasers.
- "Resistance": Ronald says "This is hot." David remarks "So is THIS!" and presses an iron to Ronald's face. It melts as he tries to speak.
- "Home (Part 1)", "The Captain's Hand" and "Unfinished Business": David says "Jot this down." or "Write this down." Ronald says "Okay", grabs a pen, and stabs the word "THIS" into David's forehead. David says "Geez."
- "Final Cut": David is about to speak when he is interrupted by a telephone. Ronald picks it up and says "R&D T--", and David knocks the phone through his head. Referencing a Verizon ad campaign, he says "Can you hear me now?!", which is amplified through the phone very loudly, and Ronald yells "YYYEAH!!!!".
- "Flight of the Phoenix": David says "This'll make your jaw drop." Ronald then hits him across the face. The punch seemingly has no effect on David, who says "Let's jo--", but just then the lower half of his facial skin falls down.
- "Pegasus" and "Sacrifice": Ronald says "Here's a good one." David stuffs a football between Ronald's arm, who gets tackled by a football player so hard that his head comes off. David yells "Fumble!"
- "Resurrection Ship (Part 1)": David is about to speak, but is interrupted by Ronald who picks up a paper and says "This just in...", as the background changes accordingly to a weather news one. Ronald then places a thundery cloud icon over David's head. Lightning strikes him, causing him to split into half. He then says "Lightning".
- "Resurrection Ship (Part 2)", "Precipice" and "The Passage": Ronald says "I need your verdict on this one." David's hair suddenly transforms into one resembling a stereotypical judge's, and he whacks Ronald with a gabble, before saying "I HATE it!".
- "Epiphanies": Ronald says "I think we--", and David pinches him on the back. Ronald says "Cut it out!". David is about to pinch him again, but not until he grabs a sword and slices off his arm. David says "Testy!".
- "Black Market": Ronald says "Monsters." David suddenly transforms into a huge, grotesque one with crab legs, a springy neck and other features, prompting Ronald to yell "HOLY FRAK!".
- "Scar": David says "Valentine's episode." Ronald grabs a jack-o-lantern and beans it over David's head. Jack-o-David says "Yeah". Ronald nonchalantly eats a candy bar as Jack-o-David bleeds.
- "Downloaded": Ronald says "I know!". David pulls out an apple and Ronald takes it. Before he can even take a bite out of it, however, David then pulls out a bow and launches an arrow at his face, parodying William Tell.
- "Lay Down Your Burdens (Part 1)" and "A Measure of Salvation": David says "New scenery!". Ronald snaps his fingers, and the background changes into a prehistoric one. He bolts out the frame just as a velociraptor attacks David. The moon in the sky replaces the R&D TV clock.
- "Lay Down Your Burdens (Part 2)": As David pulls out a flute, Ronald says "And now, a moment of zen as we reflect on season 2." Before he can finish his sentence, a giant cobra bursts through the window and attacks Ronald. David mutters "Payback."
- "Occupation" and "The Woman King": Ronald says that he is gloomy. David says "Okay!" and changes his clothing style to resemble Robert Smith of The Cure. He begins strumming a post-punky riff on a guitar as the background changes into a deck with a view of the moon near it. Ronald takes out a razor blade and slits his wrist with it, yelling "OH MY GOOOOOD!". David winks at the viewer.
- "Exodus (Part 1)" and "A Day in the Life": David says "This'll mark new territory!". Ronald changes the background into the surface of the moon, has an astronaut suit put on him, and exits the picture. He comes back with a flag with the R&D TV logo on it. David says "Don't do it!" and Ronald stuffs the flag through David's stomach.
- "Exodus (Part 2)" and "Dirty Hands": Ronald says "More religion." The room darkens as David's face spins and morphs into Regan's from The Exorcist. He yells "YOUR SOUL IS MINE!" and pukes all over Ronald.
- "Collaborators" and "The Son Also Rises": David says "More rebels." The setting changes to a mental institution as Ronald becomes a thug and David becomes a nurse. Ronald says "Wanna watch the baseball game?" and shakes David back and forth, in a reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- "Torn" and "Crossroads (Part 1)": Ronald begins speaking gibberish (Blahs, bloos and blees). David says "He's doing it again!", prompting a cyclops to come in and whack him. Ronald says "thanks" prior to being whacked again.
- "Hero" and "Taking a Break from All Your Worries": Ronald says "Backmasking!". David then snaps his fingers and is seen in a Sgt. Pepper outfit across many people behind him and a large R&D TV sunflower. He gives Ronald a large "9", and he faints. David quips "Turn me on, dead man!", referencing a supposed backmasked phrase uncovered when The Beatles' song "Revolution #9" is played in reverse.
- "The Eye of Jupiter": David says "Slapstick!". The color becomes sepia as Ronald speaks silently over piano music. The scene changes to a card reading "Why, certainly!", parodying silent movies, and we cut back to Ronald beating up David, who gains a Charlie Chaplin mustache, with his cane.
- "Maelstrom": A Cookie Monster-lookalike pops up from behind the desks and says "I'm a Ronnie Monster!". Ronald says "What's a Ro--" before the Ronnie Monster jumps up on Ronald, eating him up. As we zoom in on the R&D TV logo, we can hear a boy chuckling.
- "Crossroads (Part 2)": Ronald says in a deep voice, "Kill him." David says "No way!", and fights off a skeleton with a sword (a reference to Jason and the Argonauts). The skeleton stabs him and wins the battle, before looking at the audience.
- Razor: David sings "Me, me, me!". Ronald squeezes him and his eyes and ears briefly pop out and squeak, much like a Bug-Out Bob stress toy. Ronald says "Big head!".
- "He That Believeth in Me": David says "I'm just blabbing about absolutely nothing!". The background changes to a train station as the R&D TV clock becomes a railroad crossing sign and Ronald yells "ALL ABOARD!". David gets hit by an oncoming train and Ronald does a maniacal laugh.
- "Six of One": David says "Ultraviolence!". Ronald is suddenly dressed like Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange and knocks David in the crotch with a cane. David punches Ronald in the nose as he bleeds and cries. A flash of frame can be seen throughout the variant.
- "The Ties That Bind": David says "Cuddly furry animals! We could boost the ratings!" Ronald, clearly disgusted by the idea, knocks David in the head several times. He continues to speak as his head repeatedly disintegrates from every blow (even mentioning a "family series spin-off", a clear knock to Galactica 1980).
- "Escape Velocity": Ronald says "Mafia!". The background changes to a mafia-esque one as David becomes Vito Corleone from The Godfather, who proceeds to go "Blah blah blah". Ronald is knocked out by a guy in a white tank-top and suspenders, who yells at him "Come up with an idea again AND I'LL KILL YOU!".
- "The Road Less Travelled": David is about to say his idea when suddenly, Ronald puts on a gas mask. David says "You DIDN'T!" as the room fills up with noxious fumes.
- "Faith": David says "Scientist!". Ronald becomes Brundlefly (from David Cronenberg's version of The Fly) and David knocks him in the face with a swatter. As he falls to the ground, he says "Heeeelp meeeee!".
- "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?": Ronald suggests "Corporate spies!" before a white liquid drains from his head and he begins to short-circuit (note that this is a reference to the movie Alien). David knocks his head off and yells "I KNEW it!" before being attacked by the headless robot.
- "Sine Qua Non": Ronald hands David a baby. David says "Aww, how cute" before the baby is revealed to be a demon and he viciously attacks David.
- "The Hub": Ronald suggests "More dogfights". But then, David's head turns into a dog and attacks Ronald, yelling "Not that kind of dogfight!"
- "Revelations": David says, "No, I want your opinion. Be Frank." The background changes to a laboratory as Ronald turns into Frankenstein's monster and chokes David, who cries "Ron! BE RON!".
- "Sometimes a Great Notion": When background changes to the Wild West setting with Ronald and David becomes cowboys, David says "Smart.", and Ronald says "Fast." After David leaves, the people are shooting Ronald while they shouting "PILGRIM!!!" to him.
- "A Disquiet Follows My Soul": David says "Foul language!". Ronald makes a bird call and flees the scene. Birds swarm the room and proceed to poop on David, who says "Ah, crap!".
- "The Oath": Ronald says "Talent show!" and juggles some pins with his eyes closed. David just shoots Ronald.
- "Blood on the Scales": David says "Conspiracy!" The setting changes to ancient Rome, with David dressed as Julius Caesar and Ronald dressed as a senator. Ronald makes a whistle call and a group of senators gang up on David and stab him multiple times, with Ronald joining in.
- "No Exit": Ronald wants to rewrite, but the whole room reveals to be a stage as he knocked by a wood. David says "Oh my god". The R&D TV logo appears on the shirt of the stage crew and this is the only variant where the logo appears on the left rather than the middle.
- "Deadlock": Ronald and David get interrupted by Edward James Olmos (known for his role as William Adama in the show), who asks "Where's my check?" Ronald bails, with David telling Eddie that he doesn't know. However, Eddie punches David in the stomach, causing a check to fly out. Eddie grabs it and says "Gracias!"
- "Someone to Watch Over Me": Ronald says "Monarchy." The background changes to a medieval-esque one as David becomes a queen, who proceeds to go "Blah blah blah". An executioner comes to chop Ron's head with his scythe, then he faints for David's delight.
- "Islanded in a Stream of Stars": David complains about the script of the episode, saying, "This is the pits! Why can't we hire--" He gets cut off when Ronald presses a button on the desk, causing David to fall through a trap door and into an (unseen) pit of death.
- "Daybreak (Part 1)": David blurts out "Superheroes kill the Cylons!", however Ronald tells him "Give me a break. You have no idea what you're talking about", before David snaps Ronald's arm in two, causing Ronald to cry out, "MOMMY!"
- "Daybreak (Parts 2 and 3)": Ronald and David are sitting along a dirt road, dressed like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper from Easy Rider. Ronald says "Hey man", and David says "Peace". They are then mowed down by a pick-up truck with a Confederate flag tailgate and a bumper sticker saying "Hicks Rule!", and it skids to a halt. The evil delivery man from the "Kobol's Last Gleaming (Part 2)" skit riding in the truck bed exclaims "Frakking hippies!"
- There is an unused variant where Ronald suggests "Athletes!". While this occurs, the room changes into a ice hockey stadium. David turns into a hockey player with a "chainsaw massacre" mask and chases Ronald down. While this occurs, the infamous "Charge" fanfare is played. After David kills Ronald, the crowd cheers. The scoreboard reads, "RON 01" and "DAVE 00". The scoreboard for David killing Ronald turns into "DAVE 01".
Technique: Contrary to popular belief, this was not done with CGI, but rather a different and far more creative process; the bodies of the men were made with models playing their parts against a green screen. After the footage was completed, the models' heads were erased using Photoshop and After Effects, necks were added, and then the heads were replaced with pictures of Ronald and David's heads, which are then given different facial expressions and mouth movements. These were done by Jerry Hultsch, a close friend of David Eick.
Music/Sounds: A "ding" sound as either one of the men get an idea, and sound effects and dialogue correlating to the variant. The voices of Ronald and David are actually provided by impersonators, though they are so spot-on most people who aren't aware of that fact usually can't tell the difference.
Availability: Seen on all episodes of Battlestar Galactica. The unused variant (which was not on the Battlestar Galactica webisodes) can be found on the now defunct CharWebArt.com website.