Sci Fi TV Trifles: Before the 2003 Reboot, Richard Hatch Spent Years Trying to Revive Battlestar: Galactica




Tidbits, trivia, anecdotes, little-known nuggets and more from the worlds of sci fi and fantasy television.

In 2003, the Sci Fi Channel rebooted the late-70’s camp space opera Battlestar: Galactica as a dark, gritty series that tackled grand philosophical issues and topical stories.  But did you know that for years prior to that, original series star Richard Hatch tried to revive the show and even produced a proof-of-concept film for his idea?

battlestar-galactica-second-comingHatch–playing Commander Apollo–was originally considered the series lead, receiving first position in the credit intros (though Dirk Benedict was more of the breakout star), and has long been associated with the show.  Following its cancellation after one season, Hatch went on to many guest appearances and recurring roles on television (though he did not reprise his Apollo character in Galactica: 1980), but never found another lead role like the one he had in BSG.  By the late 90’s, Hatch had developed an interest in reviving his previous series (probably inspired by the success of the Star Trek sequel series) and he even wrote or co-wrote several books that acted as a continuation of the story.  During that time, he also engaged in a full-fledged effort to revive the television show and funded a short pilot film titled Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming that he hoped would convince Universal (owners of the property) to bring it back.  It takes place twenty years after the events of the original series (and ignored the Galactica: 1980 diversion) as the remaining fleet finds itself once again threatened by destruction from the Cylons.  It had a darker tone than the original series, though it did not venture into the same territory as the 2003 reboot.  Hatch reprised his role as Apollo (and also directed the film) and several other stars from the original series returned such as John Colicos and Terry Carter.  He took the film around to several conventions and it received mostly positive feedback from fans, but apparently not from Universal as they showed no interest in greenlighting his revival.  BSG was eventually re-imagined by the Sci Fi Channel, starting with the 2003 mini-series then proceeding into the ongoing show.  Hatch was at first disappointed in the direction of the the new series, but eventually decided to bury the hatchet (no apologies for that one) and joined up in a recurring role as Tom Zarek.  The actor would also continue to write BSG novels based on his own timeline, with seven completed through 2005.

Yet another reboot of the franchise is allegedly on the way (which we definitely do not need), and this one will not follow the direction that Hatch spear-headed either.  The actor has since moved on to other projects, likely leaving BSG in the past, but you can see the trailer for Second Coming below (unfortunately the full film is not available anywhere currently that I am aware of).