NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM RICHARD
June 23, 2003
Well, it's been quite a while since I last talked to you and I'm sure many of you are wondering what the hell is going on! Well, Let me share what is going on in my world, especially with my battlestargalactica.com website and the upcoming Galacticon 2003. First off, there has been a change of webmasters at not only the battlestargalactica.com site but at all of my websites. I want to assure you that no one has been fired or let go for any reason. For personal reasons, Michael Faries has decided to withdraw from his duties as Webmaster for my battlestargalactica.com site, Magellan and richardhatch.com sites, and we are going to dearly miss him. He has contributed tremendously to the resurgence of Battlestar over the past several years and his talent, intelligence and love for this wonderful story have been invaluable to me and many, many fans and supporters around the world. We love you, Michael, and thank you for all that you have done for us. However, Michael is fortunately still involved as Webmaster for galacticonevents.com and is also continuing to work with us on producing the 25 th Battlestar Galactica Anniversary.)
As a result of Michael's departure at my other primary sites, we have had the good fortune to have Darrell Lawrence from ColonialFleets.com step in to bring everything back up to speed for us. He and his team of helpers will be working on updating and evolving the BG site, as well as my Magellan and richardhatch.com sites. I'm grateful for his willingness to step in at this critical juncture and dedicate his many talents and abilities to making these sites state of the art. Your feedback and suggestions for improving and modernizing these sites will be most appreciated. I just want to let you know that our new team and I are committed to creating a BG webpage that will serve and support the entire Battlestar Galactica network and community. Just remember, this website will be dedicated to all of you, the fans who have loved and supported this show for many years and are truly responsible for the resurgence of BG. We want this page to be a place for all of you to share your creativity, ideas and differing points of view. It doesn't matter what you believe or where your loyalties are- we welcome your diverse opinions, thoughts and ideas about what you would like to see with any new series or BG project. Open forums and the ability to embrace all points of view are imperative to a BG page that truly represents all of us.
In regards to the 25 th Battlestar Galactica convention: I just want to say that we are working overtime to bring you the most entertaining and memorable BG event ever. This event will include provocative and stimulating panels that represent the extremely diverse opinions and points of view of the entire BG universe. With that in mind, we are inviting not only the original BG actors and crews but those from BG 1980, as well as Ron Moore and David Eick, the producers of the new and re-imagined BG mini-series coming later this year on the Sci-fi Channel. We sincerely hope all parties will agree to attend. Regardless of your feelings about the new mini, either positive or negative, we think this will be a great opportunity for all of you to hear what the producers have to say, and a rare chance to share your own thoughts and feelings with them in return. Everyone's opinions and feelings will be honored and respected at this highly anticipated panel.
We have also extended an invitation to the BG CD rom game people, and hopefully they will attend and host a panel, in addition to presenting a demo of their new game coming out sometime this fall on both Playstation 2 and X box. (By the way, both Dirk and I did some of the voices for this new game. See if you can figure out which ones.) I personally love the artwork and design for this game and feel that the producers and writers really understand what the Battlestar Galactica story is truly all about. Thanks, guys, for getting it! Also, if you don't already know by now, myself and a few of the other principals, including series creator Glen Larson, are doing some of the commentary for the New BG DVD set. This set will include all of the original episodes, and will be coming out this year as well. As you can see we would love to include everyone in our 25 th BG celebration.
By the way I ran into Glen Larson while taping my commentaries for the DVD set and invited him personally to attend our event. He was very gracious and friendly and was taking a keen interest in all the new BG projects being completed at this time. We are doing a very special tribute to him as series creator in addition to honoring the late Lorne Green and John Colicos at our Saturday night mega party and celebration. We hope our invitation to Glen will be accepted, and that he will allow us to honor him for creating such a rare and heartfelt show that will never be forgotten. In addition, a 25 th Anniversary BG documentary is in the works, and the crew will be filming interviews and commentaries all this year, up to and including at the convention itself. This will include many fans and others who have been deeply involved in the BG universe. This documentary will be available sometime shortly after the Oct 24 th convention.
I must say that co-producing this convention with my very experienced partners, along with some very talented helpers, has been a rare opportunity for me to appreciate the incredible challenges that face all convention producers. I take my hat off to all of them. I hope you will help us publicize this very special event by telling your friends and spreading the word everywhere you go. We need your help and will be most appreciative of your efforts. I don't think most people realize what it takes to meet the economic demands and expenses of a convention like this, and how many people and booked hotel rooms it takes to offset the high overhead of a major hotel. We want to encourage you to please book your hotel rooms at the Sheraton Universal whenever possible, as it will tremendously help us in offsetting the high expense of the convention facilities. And besides you don't want to miss all the late night parties and special events that the BG fan club is creating. This will also facilitate late night conga lines. The BG fan club along with a little help from us is creating some very provocative and highly entertaining late night events on both Friday and Saturday that you won't want to miss. Any suggestions? Let us know! By the way- we're looking for Socialators! Any of you lady warriors interested in helping us out? Oh, and I almost forgot, we are talking to Jack Stauffer to see if he would be interested in co-hosting the Saturday night dinner/show. Music, bands, high and low comedy, mayhem and some crazy and unexpected surprises will greet you on this special night that is not to be missed!
For any of you that don't want to pay for their membership through Pay Pal and include credit card and check routing, you will be given an address this week for sending in your checks and money orders through snail mail. We apologize if you had any trouble doing this earlier, and we are currently fixing the problem so that this option will be available shortly. Please contact us if you have experienced any difficulty in obtaining memberships by mail. For all information and purchasing memberships for ĎGalacticon 2003, The Fans 25 th Anniversary Salute to Battlestar Galactica', please go to battlestargalactica.com or galacticonevents.com. We look forward to hanging out and sharing a lot of memories and ambrosia with you guys for four very special days and evenings this coming Oct 24. This will be an event to be remembered! For all you BG fans in California the American Cinematheque and Cinefantastique Magazine are sponsoring a screening of the Galactica 3 hour pilot at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. The Screening begins at 5 PM on Saturday August 23 rd and will be followed by a Q&A.
What else? Oh, yeah- my renamed company, MerlinQuest Entertainment, which is currently putting together our first Sci-fi series ĎThe Great War of Magellan', is finally completing the trailers for this space adventure epic! It's been a long journey, but we are finally putting everything together, and will be playing both the short and longer versions of the trailers for this epic space adventure series this coming summer at a convention near you. It's still a work in progress, with the final version of this trailer being readied for the 25th BG convention. One last note- my latest BG novel ĎParadis' is coming out this June. It's the fifth in my series of BG stories following the original characters and their children born in space 25 years into the future. I hope you enjoy it. I just want you to know that I will always love and support BG, and I will be a fan to the end. I will never give up on this wonderful story and will do my best to support and inspire all of you. Well, warriors, hang in there- this is going to be one big Battlestar year with something special for all of us! Just remember to help us round up Battlestar Galactica fans everywhere for Galacticon 2003, The Fans Salute to the Star, Producers and Crew of the one and only Battlestar Galactica. Let's rock Battlestar into the Stratosphere. All the best to you all and as always, keep the faith and never give up on your dream! You all deserve the very best that life has to offer.
February 2003 Newsletter
I hope you are all recovering from the sometimes crazy and hectic holiday season. I know that time of the year can be challenging for many of us, but the New Year always gives us a fresh start, and an opportunity to clear out the old and bring in the new! Thatís what Iíve been doing for the past several months. Iíve finally decided to face, embrace and let go of all the things that have caused me pain and unhappiness. I am honoring and releasing things that no longer have meaning or relevance in my life, and finally committing to making choices that serve my heartís greatest desire and fulfill my fondest hopes. Itís funny, but Iíve discovered that until we truly commit to what we really want to do or create in our life, we constantly defer to others, and let just about everything possible keep us from following through on what we most want to accomplish in this world.
One of my most difficult and challenging issues
to deal this past couple of years has been the
continuing - and exhausting - saga to bring
back Battlestar Galactica. Iíve never
seen anything like it! The drama just continues
to unfold with one set of players being replaced
by the next. On and on it goes, with seemingly
too many cooks in the kitchen, all trying to
impose their own will and vision on this beloved
story. In the beginning, when my team, Producer
Tom DeSanto and many others were trying to encourage
Universal to bring back this series, no one
there seemed to care. No one believed that there
were enough fans to support such a revival.
Then, when the SCI-FI channel and Universal
finally decided to move forward with a new Battlestar
Galactica series, they said that the fans
desire to bring back the original series and
stars didnít count or was unimportant. Now,
finally, theyíre saying that they are targeting
their new "re-imagined" Battlestar
Galactica series to the 18 to 25 year olds
- a message, which basically gives the impression
that the rest of us either donít count, or wonít
really make a difference in the ultimate success
of the new series. Is it really possible that
25 years and now three generations of dedicated
fans of the original series donít count, or
won't make a significant difference? Regarding
18 to 25 years olds, how weird to be as young
as 26 years old and already considered irrelevant?
Now I understand that the commercial agenda
is to reach the youngest market possible in
order to bond them early to their products and
services. However, common sense would tell you
that in the case of the Science Fiction genre,
the vast majority of fans are between 21 and
55 years old. Science Fiction, unlike Horror,
has always attracted a slightly older and more
sophisticated audience. This audience, by the
way, is also highly computer literate, and has
the most disposable income of just about any
other age or genre demographic. So my question
is: why are they turning a science fiction series
like Battlestar Galactica -- which has
always been an epic story about three generations
of Colonials struggling to survive against impossible
odds -- into a series for younger people only?
Even FOX has discovered that their family shows
are the most successful. In fact, they have
just green-lighted several new family dramas.
The majority of fans and families want to see
stories that fairly address the concerns of
all generations. It seems to me what made Battlestar
Galactica so special is the very fact that,
just like the highly successful Lord of the
Rings, Battlestar Galactica did exactly
Iím so tired of the commercial priorities, which while important seems to have gained far too much control over what is produced currently on TV. This has left the vast majority of the viewing audience frustrated, angry and wanting something better. Thatís why fans are turning to cable - so they can watch more intelligent and mature themes that concern all of us. This especially applies to the Science Fiction audience, which has rarely had anyone who understands their love and passion for an intelligent story with complex and interesting characters of all ages, races, and creeds. Too much bang and glitz with too little substance, heart and vision seems to be the order of the day. Well I, for one, want to create stories that reach out to all generations and cultures. Stories that are highly entertaining, but confront, challenge and explore our personal, social and philosophical agendas and issues. Weíre all in this together. We will not succeed as a race until we learn how to communicate and work together to solve the problems of this world.
Great movies, and especially great Science Fiction
stories, explore these concepts in the most
dramatic and exciting way possible. I, like
most Science Fiction fans I've met, personally
love cutting edge and provocative themes that
are not only highly entertaining, but expand
and inspire our mind, heart and spirit. We love
intelligent action stories and themes that evolve
seamlessly out of plot and character. Yes, we
also like a little cheese and a lot of humor
thrown in on occasion. However, most of us want
something that is more moving and mind expanding
than what we are currently being presented with.
Battlestar Galactica has the rare potential
to do that in a way that few science fiction
It will be a shame if the powers that be decide to focus on only a very narrow target, and disregard those who many believe, are the vast majority of the potential Battlestar Galactica fans. Itís unfortunate that most executives in the business consider sci-fi fans to be quite odd, and in most cases extreme. Of course there are a few of those (and weíve all met them), but as a fan myself, I can only say that the majority of SF fans Iíve known are highly educated, intelligent and successful. They are also very tired of badly made SF movies. Many of them believe that few executives, writers and directors really understand their needs and desires, especially when it comes to SF classics like Battlestar Galactica.
I can only hope that someday soon, weíll have channels and studios that truly understand and respect the wishes of the multi-generational and broad-based Science Fiction community. In return, I believe this will create the huge success and mega profits that great Science Fiction stories, series and movies are capable of generating. In any case, I truly wish the new Galactica producers, writers and director all the best. I know they are gifted people and truly believe in what theyíre doing.
However, in closing, I can only hope and pray that they do the one thing that has for the most part escaped their predecessors - to have the humility and wisdom to listen to those they need to serve if they are to achieve the mega success that they and Battlestar Galactica are capable of. P.S.: Just remember that there has never been a more important time to stand up and communicate your feelings and wishes for Battlestar Galactica. Donít be limited or controlled by polls, lack of choices or other points of view. This is the time to speak your own personal message for Battlestar Galactica, and to stand up and be counted, or forever hold your peace. And please know that I support you in whatever choices you make. My life has been about empowering people to speak their truth in the world, and to realize that our voice has a greater impact and resonance than anyone in any position of power would ever want you to know.
My love, honor and support to you all!
Keep the faith!