April 17, 2006

Richard Hatch Needs To Count His Blessings

No, not the guy from "Survivor". I mean Richard Hatch the actor who played Captain Apollo on the original "Battlestar Galactica".

Most of us over the age of 30...okay, 35...remember watching the show as a kid and over the years we've had nothing but good memories from it. When the network killed it after only one year, we were crushed. But we moved on.

Today, Ronald D. Moore has brought "Galactica" back to life as an updated "reimagined" series. While still retaining much of the plot and most of the characters, Moore has taken the concept to a new level and, in my opinion, it's one of the best shows on television today (behind only "24" and "Lost", in my book). The new series has been both a critical and ratings success and will be heading into its third season this fall. It has broken new ground, tackled controversial issues and attracted a wider audience than the first show ever did.

Now, Richard Hatch spent twenty years trying to revive the old "Galactica" - the "Galactica" that he was part of. He even went so far as to pitch a concept for a continuation of the series titled "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming", complete with a four and half minute trailer. It was all his baby and he was hoping to write, direct, produce and star in the series (I expect he also planned to be director of photography, production designer, best boy, etc.). But the idea fell on deaf ears. In a Hollywood that thrives on remakes, even this concept couldn't sell.

Then here comes Ron Moore with his fresh look at the series and it takes off, buiding a loyal audience. Poor Richard Hatch, right? Oh No. Moore goes and hires Hatch to play a recurring role on his show out of respect for star of the original series. He plays Tom Zarek, a former political prisoner that has since managed to insinuate himself into a position of influence with the newly elected President. It's barely a supporting role but it's a significant one that could have a lot of potential down the road. So you'd think after all of this Hatch would be grateful to Moore for allowing him to be a part of this venture, right?

Maybe to his face. But get a load of this quote from an interview that Richard Hatch recently did with Dreamwatch Magazine (as quoted on TrekWeb.com):

Hatch talked about how he continues to feel that a continuation of the original series would have been just as successful as the Ronald D. Moore's re-imagining.

"I don't think a continuation would have been any less successful than a re-imagining," he stated firmly. "A continuation would have evolved the original show: it would have updated the Cylons, brought new characters in and gone into equally provocative areas. We could have had Eddie Olmos as the Commander, Mary as President, Jamie [Bamber] as Apollo's son, and Katee [Sackhoff] as Starbuck's Daughter. And we would have loved to have brought Ron Moore onboard too."

"A continuation would have had the best of both worlds – it would have had the values and positives of the old show but would have updated them for today. It also wouldn’t have had the problems the new show had in the beginning, when fans of the original felt upset and disappointed."

Nice, huh? Oh, and I love that "we would have loved to have brought Ron Moore onboard too" crap. If it wasn't for Ron Moore, this guy would still be appearing at sci-fi conventions. Doesn't he understand that he's been seen on TV by more people in the last two years as Tom Zarek than he has during the entire time since the original show went off the air?

What balls! Here is a guy attached to the underbelly of a highly-successful project because the creative force behind it thought he'd be nice and throw him a bone. Talk about biting the hand!

Jeez. If I were Ronald D. Moore, I would make the character of Tom Zarek go the way of the red-shirted Star Trek guys.

Posted by: Gary at 02:30 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 699 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Geez..Richard Hatch has been a thorn in Ron Moore's side since the idea was announced to remake Battlestar Galactica. I remember all the controversy surrounding the premier of the BSG Mini Series. That same controversy is what piqued my interest to watch the mini series. It's been true love ever since....ahhh... Ron Moore has done a fantastic job of re-imagining this series. Despite our differing political views, I have to give Ron credit for offering an olive branch to Richard Hatch in the form of the character Tom Zarek. However, I'm still holding Ron personally responsible for breaking up the dynamic duo of Kara and Lee.

Posted by: Skyebuck at April 17, 2006 07:55 PM (CyqMo)

2 Aw, C'mon. You know the minute Lee and Kara hook-up the series will jump the shark. It'll be like David and Maddie on Moonlighting all over again. :wink:

Posted by: Gary at April 17, 2006 09:46 PM (AI6v2)

3 The original was one of the lousiest shows ever to air on television. Cheesy, stupid writing, stupid concept, stupid characters. The current show is one of the best, perhaps the best, sci-fi ever to air on television.

Posted by: rightwingprof at April 18, 2006 12:59 PM (hj1Wx)

4 I think you are being pretty harsh. If the original series had been without out merit it would not have been revived. Hatch has invested a lot personally in the series and I don't think there is anything in his statement that seems ungrateful. I think the Zarek character has a great deal of potential and I certainly hope that he doesn't go the way of the red shirts. Shame on you.

Posted by: zarek fan at June 20, 2006 09:57 PM (MtYJn)

5 As an actor, Richard Hatch had waaaaay too much invested of himself in a revival of that show. Even he has to admit that Moore has taken the concept to entirely new level. Most of the fans of this show are adults who loved the original as kids. We've evolved. The show needed to evolve. If they were to try and recycle the original, it would be a joke. It's like these fanboys who are all bent out of shape because the prequel Star Wars films just don't jack them up the way the first trilogy did. They were made primarily for kids, just like episodes 4-6. Except these guys aren't kids anymore. They've grown up even though the franchise hasn't. So things they think are stupid, they would have loved if they were twelve years old. Inviting Richard Hatch to be a part of this project was not something Moore had to do. Hatch needs to drop this whole "second coming" idea. No matter how hard he pitches it or how enthusiastic he gets about it, no one is interested. Plain and simple. He needs to go with the flow and make the most of the new "BSG" and embrace it - not express his disappointment over the demise of his pipedream.

Posted by: Gary at June 20, 2006 10:18 PM (Z0vta)

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