If you can’t tell by our feature story this week (as well as this, this, this, this, and this), we at EW are pretty psyched for the April 4 return of Battlestar Galactica. (And if you’re not psyched, here’s a photo of Tricia Helfer, a.k.a. Number Six, for you.) So, of course, I had to watch Sci Fi’s recap video “What the Frak Is Going On?” and while I did, I found both the narrator’s voice and the curt, snarky style very familiar. (“Then she shoots Adama… Bad Boomer.”) Turns out it’s the same woman — and production company — that did the “Lost in 8:15″ recap video earlier this year, and that voice belongs to Mary O’Brien, senior writer/producer at Met|Hodder in Minneapolis, not a voice actor. O’Brien was the interim voice on the rough cut that the company sent to ABC. “We tried a real voice talent. We hired a guy, a real proper union dude, and placed him in and showed it to ABC again and they were like, we want to go with Mary’s snarky feel,” says O’Brien.
O’Brien co-wrote the summary with a video editor; the prose style comes from O’Brien’s personal log while watching the episodes. “You know, ‘Main dude tells drunk guy to cut the crap.’ Or like, ‘Apollo and Starbuck almost do it. And then they don’t. Bummer,’ that kind of thing because we’re watching hours and hours and hours of the shows and you kind of get that shorthand.” Battlestar‘s co-exec producer Ron Moore was apparently a fan of the Lost video and asked Met|Hodder for something like it. “And I was like, actually, um, that was us. And that’s me!” she remembers.
So what’s next for O’Brien? Well, she has enjoyed her oddly anonymous notoriety: “Someone on YouTube said that I sounded like I was from a mental institution,” she laughs. “But people have been pretty complimentary, ‘Oh, she sounds hot.’ And I’m like, Okay. Awesome!” And while she’s not quitting her day job to run off to Hollywood any time soon (Met|Hodder is actually working on a new recap for Lost‘s April 24 return), she does now have an agent and will be doing more voiceover work for Sci Fi promos. And she does have an idea of how to capitalize on this notoriety.
“What I really want to do is have my own booth at Comic-Con. And I can record people’s voicemail messages for them or something. And I’ll be like, ‘Where the frak is whoever?’ I think that would be funny.” So do I. Get in line behind me, PopWatchers. I call dibs on her first.
addCredit(“Battlestar Galactica: Carole Segal”)