ByJames M. Tate, writer at
Top Shark Cinema Writer at and Now a Movie Pilot Remora...
James M. Tate

Richard Hatch played the heroic Captain Apollo in the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, an iconic 1978 science-fiction/fantasy television series that, combining STAR WARS style outer space dog fights with pulpy, adventurous daring-do, was a lot of fun and very popular, even though, mainly because of high production costs, it lasted only one season... And then, years later, Richard had a smaller role on the far more serious and much longer-lasting GALACTICA reboot playing a political-minded character named Tom Zarek...

What were some of the differences between the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the reboot?

To create dramatic possibilities, you’ve got to throw these characters that you’ve grown to love into very challenging circumstances, where they get tested, and sometimes something happens between them, and then they fight, they argue, they separate, and then they find out that they did the wrong thing, or they wish they hadn’t, and they come back and they become even better friends...

And that’s the whole story arc of drama: that you create controversy, you throw gasoline on the fire because you want to build the drama – so you’re always looking for conflict. But again, we [the original series] started out with the show developing characters that won you over, that had great relationships with each other, the father/son relationship, everything in there was a great relationship between these characters.

Richard with James Edward Olmos on the newer series
Richard with James Edward Olmos on the newer series

The new show kind of had every character being complex, very flawed, morally conflicted, and it took a while to get into those characters and like them because they seemed to have so many issues and problems. But as the show went on, we got to see their humanity, we got to see a deeper part of who these characters were, and then we slowly bonded to these characters, and fell in love with these characters as well...

So in a sense they started out making the characters very conflicted, and in some cases unlikable, and then we grew to love them, and we grew to love the relationships. Whereas the original show started out with us loving these characters, they were not so flawed, and we could bond with them immediately.

But then I think had the show gone on, we would have had to go the direction of the new show and these characters would have to be put into edgier circumstances, because every show seeking drama is going to find conflict for their starring characters. We just started on one side, they started on the other side, and ultimately we probably would have met in the middle.... Although both stories obviously had different mythology and backgrounds but, again, I love both shows.

By James M. Tate


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