Just as SCI FI’s acclaimed series Battlestar Galactica enters its final episodes, Universal has quietly entered into negotiations with original series creator Glen A. Larson to write and produce a big-screen version of the franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie would reportedly have no connection to the SCI FI series and would relaunch the story in a new medium with the characters Adama, Starbuck and Baltar.
Larson produced the original Battlestar, a kid-friendly ABC show, in 1978, in the wake of the success of Star Wars.
SCI FI’s series, under the direction of executive producer Ronald Moore, took the premise but completely changed the franchise into an adult drama with themes of politics, war, religion, torture and destiny.
If you read the comments at the bottom of the page, the battlelines have been drawn between the “old” and “new” series fans. I know that any comment I make on the subject will get the “new show only” fans on my case because I’ve admitted to never having seen it. (And after the bust of Saturday Night Galactica, I probably won’t.) However, I do know enough about it to counter this comment by “Milodog”:
Lorne, im sorry to say but the original story line was a failure only to be relaunched brilliantly by Moore. And using the “wasn’t Galactica” argument doesnt work, thats like saying the new Batman isnt Batman. I am like everyone else out there that craves anything Galactica, but come on this doesnt even make sense to go back to a failed show in the middle of a successful one. Plus how does this show fit in with Caprica in the midst of launching? like I said earlier, have some respect!! we like our new toasters not the old ones
Ignoring the fact that he cares little about those of us who like our “old toasters”, and the fact that show wasn’t a failure (as one commenter noted, the show was hurt by it’s large budget and typical network shenanigans. (There are also reports of George Lucas throwing a fit about the show, but that’s another discussion.) However, this show is as much Battlestar Galactica as the Tri-Star movie was Godzilla. In other words, not at all.
It should be noted that Godzilla is in my movie library alongside the “real” Godzilla movies. There are reasons, though, why the Tri-Star movie Zilla is referred to by fans as “GINO” (Godzilla in name only). And that’s core concept. At it’s core, New Galactica, like new Godzilla, bear only trappings compared to the original. A few names (which go to completely different characters, and some of the character names are “re-imagined” as call-signs) and the occasional Easter Egg (one flashback of early Cylons resemble the old series design) are not enough to call the series Battlestar Galactica. The heart of the classic show was replaced with Ronald Moore’s, and Glen Larson’s was taken out entirely.
The result is a completely different show from what was created. In fact, if the character and planet names had been changed, folks have thought it was merely inspired by Galactica. Not only might that have brought them a few more fans and less critics (that used to be a good thing before the “bad press is still press” mentality of some PR hype men), but they could have done whatever they wanted, and that might have brought the movie out sooner, or an actual remake.
This isn’t to say that fans are wrong for enjoying the new series. I’m sure that, had the internet been around at the time the 80’s Buck Rogers had come out, fans of the original would have complained about all the differences. That’s understandable. However, they would also have a point, and I would still be a fan of the new series. (At the same time, I’m worried about what Frank Miller will do with the series once he gets his hands on it. I’m sure it will be as far off the mark as his Spirit movie.)
Maybe the new show is better. That’s really up to the individual. However, just because it looks vaguely like a duck, it could still be a platypus.