On June 23, 2001 Richard Hatch shared the following update with all of us:
I just thought that I would share a few
thoughts and update all of you on whats going on with myself and Battlestar
Galactica. Its been a relatively quiet time after all the dramatic news
concerning the new proposed Battlestar Galactica series.
I have read a few articles from Bryan Singer and have heard little bits of heresay from various parties. However, the pipeline for breaking news seems to have been turned off for the time being. It seems to me that if we are not hearing anything, then either there is nothing to reportor they dont want us to know whats going on. After such a strong negative response from the fans concerning the direction the studios originally wanted to take Battlestar Galactica in, I would have to think that they must have realized that if they were going to follow their own agenda, they better do it in secret. Nobody wants to be second guessedand Im sure that they think that they know better than the fans what direction the show should go in.
They talk about honoring the original show, but everything I hear tells me that they have no real intention of following through on that promise other than in a token way, which is how the studios always try to appease the fans and at the same time take advantage of the marketing value of using a few characters from the original series. Who knows maybe they will come up with a great show and blow everybody away with their creative vision for Battlestar Galactica, maybe they wont. No matter what happens, I personally would like to see Battlestar succeed because its a great epic story with a lot of heartand it deserves a real chance to fly. My fear is, if Battlestar Galactica doesnt succeed, they will blame Battlestar itself and not the creative vision behind it. The studios will just say that if Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto cant make Battlestar Galactica successful then nobody can.
I still believe that the studios dont understand what is special about Battlestar, nor do they understand the vast and wide ranging fanbase that supports it. They are more excited about having Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto on board than in the show itself. Im excited about them, too. Theyre very talented, young guys who can bring a lot to the table. But the fact that nobody really believes in the show, except maybe Tom and Bryan, tells me that what the studios really want is a new show. It might have the Battlestar Galactica name (which they can use for relaunching it), but essentially theyre hoping Bryan and Tom will come up with an exciting new concept which while borrowing from Battlestar Galactica will in reality be a completely different animal. If one doesnt understand what is special about a show or what made it successful in the first place than how can one ever build upon it?
The fact is: The studios dont perceive Battlestar Galactica as having been successful. Period. So they believe they have to change it drastically to have any chance of succeeding. They also seem more concerned with building a new audience than pleasing the existing fanbase. What I dont understand is, isnt the existing fanbase (which spans generations) the one that is going to make a classic like Battlestar successful? Arent they the ones that have always made any sci-fi show successful? Why would anyone risk losing the majority of your fans just to gain a few new converts? Again it seems that they still dont understand that the core audience for a classic like Battlestar is the one that already exists, and that theyre the group they have to please if they have any hope of buying enough time to bond the audience to their new characters and storylines.
Moving on, I want to address an issue that really bothers me. They keep doing polls to get audience feedback and they always give the option of supporting me or the new team, or a new cast or the old cast. Ive never seen them ask if the people would like to see the original cast teamed up with new characters. They never seem to address the idea of a combination of old and new. Im sure the majority of people would like to come home to the show they have always loved, but at the same time, meet new characters and storylines along with an updated look to the show.
I also want to make the point that its not about Richard Hatch being in a new show. I believe that Battlestar Galactica is not Battlestar Galactica without all the core characters that made up the original show. I have always fought to bring everyone back. I believe in Tigh, Boomer, Starbuck, Sheba, Cassiopeia and many other actors who made the show special. Every ounce of my energy has been used to build a case for them and also creating a bridge between the past and the future. This would will unite the fanbase and generate the momentum needed to convince the studios and the world that Battlestar Galactica has always been successful and only needs a real and well thought out first chance to do what it was capable of doing twenty years ago. I believe there is room to serve the commercial, artistic and fan agendas without losing the integrity of the show.
I also believe the fans know more about Galactica than anyone. We all have to learn to listen more and talk less. That certainly is my agenda and I am working very hard to learn it. Hopefully the studios will, too.
In the meantime Im not holding my breath. If they had any intention of using the original stars in any significant way they would have said so by now. What a PR statement that would have been. I dont know about you but when I saw the original stars of Star Trek back on the screen I cheered along with millions of other fans. The same with Star Wars. Thats what was missing from Star Wars: Episode One.
We all have to move on in our lives. I know only one thing: Ive spent too much time doing things I dont care about or believe in. I want to be part of a team and a vision I can be proud of. And sometimes it seems that the only way to accomplish that is to go out there and create it. Ive met so many talented and underused artists and performers in our industry who are burnt out from sacrificing their abilities at the feet of companies that dont care about the quality of their product, only their short term profits. We get lots of sizzle, but very little steak.
Thats why Im building my company to create cutting edge, heart centered entertainment. Im making lots of mistakes, falling down, failing and making a fool of myself. But Im learning and growing. The trailer for my new sci-fi show, The Great War of Magellan, is almost completed and I hope to share it with you soon. My behind the scenes making of the trailer is finished and we have been playing it at conventions. Ill be all over the world this year again promoting the third book of the Battlestar Galactica trilogy (Resurrection), in addition to The Great War of Magellan, and, of course, Battlestar itself.
Ill always believe and support this wonderful show regardless of what happens. Im a fan just like the rest of you and Im also hungry for betterand more excitingsci-fi programing. My God, there are so many wonderful books and stories just waiting to be produced!
In closing just remember its not about me, Universal, Tom or Bryan, its about you and what you want. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Your power lies in letting them know what you think. The ball is in your hands now as it should be. Theyre not interested in what I think but what you, their audience thinks.
In regard to the upcoming third Battlestar Galactica book, Resurrection, I have been struggling with sharing what a difficult journey it has been finally getting this book out. After book two (Warhawk) was completed, Byron Preiss (the publisher) closed down his company and reformed under a new name. The third Battlestar Galactica book was put on hold and we were all frustrated about not being able to complete our Battlestar Galactica book trilogy in a timely manner.
By the time Byron came back to me with a book proposal, over two years had passed. Unfortunately, they didn't seem interested in completing the trilogy. They reluctantly gave us a chapter to wrap up the original story before starting fresh with a new story concept. I fought to complete the third book of the trilogy first and finally after many months of negotiations they agreed. I still found myself waiting for months to see a contract. By the time I received one, there was very little time to write the story. I immediately dug in and wrote a 40 page treatment which I sent to my new co-writer, Stan Timmons. We worked feverishly on it. While we were still working on the second draft of the book, we were asked to turn in the rough first draft for Universal's approval. We were told that we still had time to complete all our rewrites. We tried to contact our publisher with the rewrites, but we continued to wait for weeks for a reply.
During that time, we completed a second and third draft of the book which we were waiting to turn in. We were finally told, much to our surprise, that they had printed the first draft, due to time constraints. Stan and I were extremely disappointed and felt betrayed as we had been promised the opportunity to complete our rewrites.
I'm still proud of the story and the book, but feel a little sad and angry that we were not able to refine and fully develop all the story and character elements that make a book special. Hopefully we will be permitted to turn in the final draft for the paperback edition. I'm sure you will still enjoy the book asthis third story is part of what I was saving for my series proposal, The Second Coming. I decided that maybe this would be my last opportunity to share part of my vision for where I would like to take the series. It seems that Universal in the past has not cared that much about creating quality Battlestar Galactica products. Hopefully now that a new series is in development, that attitude will change and we can look forward to a renewed interest in creating top notch Battlestar Galactica products. I'm sure the new caretakers for Battlestar Galactica, Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer, will ensure that happens.
By the way if youre still interested in getting the paperback version of Warhawk, then let Bryan Preiss know. Maybe they will get the message and finally print enough books to serve the demand. Thanks for listening.
Take care until next time. I look forward to seeing and hearing from all of you again this year.
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