Fans of the series will be glad to know that several of the cast members from the first season are back for the second season, but the show also adds several new characters.
The series has been compared to shows like Star Trek and even Battlestar Galactica, to which Sackhoff has a response to the latter.
We had the chance to sit down with the popular actor to talk about the new season of the series, if there will be a third season, her upcoming Hallmark Channel Christmas movie and her thoughts on the Battlestar Galactica reboot.
Pop Culture Principle – So far, the second season of Another Life is receiving overall positive reactions. How does that make you feel knowing people are enjoying the new season?
Katee Sackhoff – You know, Netflix gave us the opportunity to right the ship, pun intended, and to really see what didn’t work and what did work and gave us a second season. Whether or not we get a third season or more, I think there is something there and we set it up for that beautifully. I feel vindicated that we created something that we are proud of and that’s a good thing.
Pop Culture Principle – It seems like the show is much bigger and on a grander scale. Would you agree?
Katee Sackhoff – Everything is bigger! We got shut down two weeks into COVID and when we came back, we were concerned with all the COVID protocols and keeping all the people safe and people were worried to be coming back to work so soon. We knew that our budget was already exponentially higher due to those protocols, so for Netflix to increase the budget more for us to deliver the season that we were able to deliver was amazing.
Our episodes kept getting bigger and we kept thinking to ourselves how are we going to be able to shoot this season with eleven-hour days and no more time. We didn’t know if Netflix were going to continue to allow us to do the episodes that we wanted to do. We kept thinking that we were going to hear from Netflix to tone it down and pull it back, but we didn’t.
This season is a slow burn for the first six episodes. Last season, it was a rollercoaster, and you were getting punched in the face the entire time and there was really no reprieve from that. In this season, we are really setting up these new characters and we are setting up what’s happening, and we are allowing people to emotionally become invested in everything that’s going on and then we hit them with that pace that they are used to from last season.
Pop Culture Principle – In the first season, we saw Niko having to sometimes fight with her crew and prove that she was worth of being their commander. It seems this season that dynamic has changed and now we see a crew that trusts her and her abilities. Would you agree?
Katee Sackhoff – I think that when you are a leader, you know when you are wrong, and you admit when you are wrong. You don’t let your guard down as much as Niko did during Season One and it felt to me at times that she was a victim. One of the things I said this season to the creator and showrunner of the series Aaron Martin was that if Niko says sorry one time, I am going to cut it out and continue to cut it out and not say it.
Pop Culture Principle – What would you say is Niko’s greatest strength and what is her greatest weakness if any?
Katee Sackhoff – That is such an interesting question. I think that her strength is also her weakness. I think that the strength is that Niko cares so much, but her weakness is also that she cares so much. One of the strongest things that she ever did was leave her family behind. We see it again multiple times this season that she is willing to sacrifice herself for humanity and that is a strength and a weakness.
At times, she has a hero complex where she doesn’t let anyone else take control. I think that after last season, it makes complete sense that she needs to white-knuckle it at times. This is such a beautiful season and I love it so much. I am so happy with it and people seem to be really loving it.
Pop Culture Principle – In Season One, we started to see Cas really start to grow as a character and gain Niko’s trust. Will we see that growth continue in the second season and what can you say about working with Elizabeth Faith Ludlow this season?
Katee Sackhoff – I love Elizabeth and love collaborating with her! I think that she has so much talent in her little pinky, and we are just going to see some really wonderful things out of her. It’s beautiful to watch her as a performer grow with her confidence, but also see the character grow as well. She has one of the most commanding faces I have ever seen, and you just can’t take your eyes off of her. It’s a blessing and a curse right? It’s a blessing because she has that, but that’s a lot of pressure for a person to feel when the audience can’t take their eyes off of you and she’s learning to live with that. 😊
I love the relationship between Niko and Cas because it’s so much like Niko’s relationship with her daughter. It perfectly describes that Niko is very trusting of people that are capable and she also feels this sort of motherly/sisterly connection to Cas. Niko also sees that Cas needs it because Cas also has this insecurity and questions all her abilities as well. So, to see Cas lead this season is a beautiful thing and it’s nice to see that character come full circle.
Pop Culture Principle – We also see Niko’s husband and her daughter enter this artifact of the Achaia with the promise that they can save their daughter. Will the Achaia be using Niko’s family as a weapon against her in the new season?
Katee Sackhoff – Niko doesn’t know anything. What she does know is that when she goes over to the Achaian ship, she sees what might be her daughter. Now, what I love about Niko giving her the ring is that Niko does not trust it and so, I don’t think that Niko absolutely believes that that’s what she saw. I believe she has no idea with what’s happening with her daughter back on Earth and on Earth in general. I think she believes it’s a mind trick based on last season.
What’s interesting about the relationship between Eric and Jana and his storyline on Earth is that we have all been in a situation where we have seen someone suffering where we would do anything for one more day or more time. If we did meet an alien race that was willing to offer people prosperity and time, I mean, who wouldn’t take that? It’s an interesting question as space exploration is becoming a real possibility not only for trained people, but everyone.
Pop Culture Principle – Another interesting plot point from Season one was the relationship between Niko and William. He creates an AI that looks and behaves like Niko, but when he tries to delete the AI, he’s unable to. Will we find out if this new AI is linked with the Achaian or is it something else?
Katee Sackhoff – I don’t think anyone knows if we can trust this new AI or trust anyone period. It’s that question and one of the things that we touch on is trusting anything that isn’t like you. Do you blindly give that trust and that faith into something that is unproven or do you trust because they facilitate and serve a purpose that you need. It is an interesting question right? I don’t know if I would trust her. 😊
That is the thing that is so fun about this show. I told people in Season One that if you are watching this because you want to see Starbuck and Battlestar Galactica, you are going to be sorely disappointed because that is not what this show is. Not every single show on television has to be a metaphor for the human condition. Sometimes you can just watch a fun show and I think that is something this show did really well in Season One and I think we found a happy medium for in the second season. There are still the questions and there are things that make you doubt humanity, doubt what is out there and doubt yourself. All of those things and bigger questions are still there, but we still created a show that is popcorn. This is not Battlestar Galactica.
Pop Culture Principle – In the second season of Another Life, fans will be treated to a Battlestar Galactica reunion with the additions of Rekha Sharma and Kate Vernon. Can you talk a little bit about their characters and what it was like being on set with them again?
Katee Sackhoff – So it’s really funny. As a producer of a show, there is only so much you can do and only so much power that you actually have. In Season One, there was a mandate that we were not allowed to hire anyone from Battlestar Galactica, and I was so frustrated because they make up a bulk of the really great actors in Canada. I mean, we used every actor in Canada, at least in Vancouver and to say you can’t hire any of them was not only difficult for me, but as a creator, I was so frustrated because those were some phone calls I could have easily made for our show. So, when that mandate was lifted this season, I reached out.
With Rekha Sharma, she submitted a tape, which frustrated me. I watched her tape and thought it was genius, so I sent the tape to Netflix myself. With Kate Vernon, which was just a phone call. She actually looks like Niko’s mom which is amazing. To be able to play multiple versions of herself and fine the nuance so that you can actually see the difference with the sternness, and the softness was really great. She is such a great actor.
Katee Sackhoff – There has to be a bigger plan right? I think that Niko and her team have found one of the big baddies in space and what is their ultimate goal? I think it is interesting. I think we explain it really well at the end, so you understand what they want. The last four episodes are so good, and we find out what the Achaia want and why they want it and if it’s actually the Achaia which is interesting to. It seems that wherever humanity goes, we do sort of leave destruction behind us. What’s to say that if we did colonize Mars or some other planet we wouldn’t do the same thing. If I was an alien out there and I saw humanity coming, I might do everything in my power to stop them.
Pop Culture Principle – It’s still early, but has there been any talk from Netflix about a third season?
Katee Sackhoff – No. This is a hard one. There were 781 days between the launch of Season One and the launch of Season Two. I saw that a reporter figured that out online; that is unprecedented. How can you expect an audience to hold on for 781 days is beyond me. Do I think we will get a third season; I don’t know. I think the show was wrapped up beautifully. I think that we left it in a really great place to go out and go again. I don’t know if it will happen, but I think we would have to do just as well as the first season.
Pop Culture Principle – On another note, you have a new film coming up for the Hallmark Channel called Christmas Sails. What can you tell us about this project?
Katee Sackhoff – I love Hallmark Christmas movies! I remember watching those movies with my dad when I was in high school. They are a staple in our house during the holidays. If I call, my dad is usually watching them. The name of our movie is Christmas Sail, and it comes out on Sunday, October 31st.
To be able to collaborate with them and to have them trust my husband Robin and I as first-time executive producers over there at Hallmark was just beautiful. They really gave us the freedom to create a story that we are very proud of. It’s beautiful and it’s very Hallmark. It was a dream come true to collaborate with them and we are so excited.
Pop Culture Principle – As you are aware, Peacock announced they were doing a reboot of Battlestar Galactica. What are your thoughts about the reboot?
Katee Sackhoff – I am supportive of the project. I think that people don’t realize that there were only twenty years between the original Battlestar Galactica and our remake. We have to allow people the same opportunities that we were given and benefited from ourselves. You know that story and that world our vast and with the person that they chose to lead that charge, it’s going to be incredibly interesting and a potentially very dark show. I am excited to see it.
A huge thank you to Katee Sackhoff for taking the time to talk with us. The second season of Another Life is currently streaming on Netflix!
**All photos courtesy of EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2021**