:soap:SCI-FI Readies Battlestar Galactica
SCI FI has signed director Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned) and actors Jamie Bamber (HBO's Band of Brothers) and Katee Sackhoff (Halloween: Resurrection) for the new four-hour original miniseries Battlestar Galactica. Production begins in Vancouver in March. Battlestar Galactica will air exclusively on SCI FI in late 2003.
For those that remember the television series about a ragtag fugitive fleet trying to make it back to Earth, this may seem like good news. For those that never let go of the series and have been pushing for a re-introduction, this is a nightmare.
Now for some background… Battlestar Galactica was created by producer Glen A Larson in 1978. Shortly thereafter the show was cancelled in 1979. The reason was ABC didn't think the show was profitable enough. While ratings initially were good, the episodes were expensive to film. After canceling Battlestar Galactica ABC realized they made a blunder. To fix it they hired back Glen A. Larson and released Galactica 1980. Now the premise was the fleet finally made it to Earth. Lorne Green (played Adama in Battlestar) was the only key actor that came back. Both Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict bowed out of the new series. They were smart. The show was terrible. After 10 episodes the new series was cancelled.
Thanks to the internet the fans of Battlestar Galactica were able to unite and keep the Galactica story alive. Glen A. Larson never let go of the story either. He wanted to see Galactica back on the air. At the time Star Trek: The Next Generation was in its early seasons and thriving. What better time than to release a new Galactica series! He wasn't the only person wanting to see this happen. Original series star Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo) reached into his own pockets and had a trailer made for his proposed Galactica motion picture called Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming. Hatch took his trailer to Universal Studios where they loved it but did nothing. Larson wasn't too thrilled with Hatch going on his own so he came up with a new idea, his version of Battlestar would be about the Battlestar Atlantis searching for the Galactica. The fans of the original series preferred the version from Richard Hatch but in the end neither went anywhere. Universal Studios had other things to work on.
As time passed the Galactica idea bounced from person to person and studio to studio. The original series is in syndication and more people are being introduced to the perils of the Galactica. Fast forward to today: Out of the clear blue you have the Sci-Fi cable channel (owned by Universal) interested in doing Battlestar Galactica. Before the fans could get excited, the Sci-Fi version is what they call a "reimagination." That means they are not going to pick up where the old series left off. They are going to re-invent the wheel and come up with their version of the Galactica going off in search of Earth. Of course that means a whole new cast and none of the original actors that were pushing for a new Galactica. Oh, and Glen A. Larson is not involved either.
This is met with serious resistance from the diehard Galactica fans. Some have been waiting 25 years for a new series. The younger fans started watching the reruns on cable and became addicted to the show too. Now there are five petitions circulating online, including one for people to boycott commercial advertisers on Sci-Fi.
I for one was hoping for a continuation of the original series (not the Galactica 1980 fiasco) with the original cast members. It worked for the original Star Trek series with motion pictures and even spawned off The Next Generation series. I think that if Universal were to follow the lead of films like X-Men, Spiderman, etc, they could release a motion picture of Galactica that would bring them a ton of money. Then they could either switch over to a television mini-series or even a full series. With what is on primetime nowadays, anything would be better than these reality shows.
I'll get off my soapbox now…
To check out a site for diehard Galactica fans click here
For the complete Sci-Fi press release click here