NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM RICHARD
22 February 2002
By now, many Battlestar Galactica fans have heard the wonderful
news that Vivendi Universal's Universal Home Video division is releasing
all of the original Battlestar Galactica episodes in a DVD
box set. Right now, only Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand and South
America) will be able to purchase these DVDs, based on their regional
(These DVDs won't be viewable in other regions. For example,
U.S./Canada DVD players are Region 1, not Region 4. Furthermore, the
U.S./Canada television screen format is NTSC, where Australia is PAL.)
I hope these Region 4 DVDs are given the best treatment, from clean
video/audio transfers, to quality extras, such as interviews, still
images, and voice-over discussions by those that participated on the
With regards to the planned Region 4 Battlestar Galactica episodes
on DVD release, DarkHorizons.com
published an article on 21 February 2002, stating the following:
"Battlestar Galactica (DVD): After the announcement of the "Battlestar
Galactica" Region 4 DVD set the other day, various sites in the UK & US
contacted Universal Home Video in their countries with the response
back that apparently the original US masters of the show were in such
bad condition that any DVD would require everything to be remastered if
they were to be released. I got in contact with Universal's Aussie
branch yesterday to try and find out what's going on. A rep confirmed
that things are still not entirely finalized, they're planning to use
Australian masters of the shows which were reviewed recently and are
apparently "perfectly fine" for placing on disc, though in a few spots
some elements were unusable and they may have to resort to
borrowingbits from the US copies for those pieces (indeed MichaelDVD
indicates the Aussie transfers are so good that Universal in the UK may
be using them when they release the set there). Nevertheless things are
"I asked about the possibility of the Richard Hatch-made trailer
appearing and as much as they'd like to include it the matter of cost
and approvals will probably prevent it. Universal has a big back
catalogue of series which they're really hoping to develop sets for and
titles like "The Six Million Dollar Man", "The A-Team", "The Bionic
Woman" and "The Incredible Hulk" just might be getting the disc set
treatment sometime in the near future."
I hope that Universal Home Video is watching the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/bsg2001b/
(available via BattlestarGalactica.com). Fans are indeed interested
in seeing the original Battlestar Galactica episodes released,
uncut and unedited -- and with quality extras -- on DVD around the
world, not just in Region 4.
All the best,
"Battlestar Galactica: The Final Battle"
April 10, 2002
"To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them?"
Do we lay down everything we believe in and allow the Sci-Fi Channel to have their way with one of the most beloved and underrated shows of all time? Or do we stand up and collectively shout from the rooftops? NO! We will not go quietly into the night. The answer is clear and even now reverberating powerfully throughout the world: we will never give up on what millions of fans from around the world have been patiently waiting for twenty four Yahren, and that is the re-emergence and long awaited return of the original story, characters and themes of the one and only Battlestar Galactica and its rag tag fleet!
The big question is, "Why?" Why are we going through this once again? How many times must we throw off the shackles of fear, threat and intimidation and cast our fate to the wind? How many times have we communicated from our hearts what we most love about Battlestar Galactica, why it touched us so profoundly some twenty-four years ago and why we refuse to see one more Sci-Fi Classic decimated by a few executives who seemingly do not care about what the fans (who pay their bills and provide them with a job) want to see?
For the past several years, fans have collectively made their voices heard from one side of the world to the other about the fact that they appreciate the Sci-Fi Channel's interest and desire in finally bringing Battlestar Galactica back to the screen, but are not interested in watching a "re-imagined" story without the characters that they have been aching to catch up with. They have communicated this message over and over in the clearest possible terms.
Is it too little to ask to give they what they're rooting to see? Isn't success based on SERVING the marketplace? Well, THE FANS are the market place. They are all ages, from all generations and backgrounds and cultures, and they were inspired by the Sci-Fi Channel's willingness to create a channel that not only brought Battlestar Galactica back to them, but also provided them with the opportunity to share their passion with now succeeding generations of dedicated fans. And now, these new young fans, together with their parents and their parent's parents, are patiently awaiting the return of the original Battlestar Galactica characters and stories they have all fallen in love with over the past twenty-four years. Does the Sci-Fi Channel really want to disappoint them by giving them something they don't recognize or care about?
A Classic is not just another remake, it's a show that the audience has taken to their heart. They care deeply about the original characters and theme of the story and they want to find out what has transpired since they last visited the Battlestar Galactica universe. And now, they are all finally standing together, mobilized by the Sci-Fi Channel's apparent attempt to recreate their beloved show into one of its own imagining without the elements that they care most about. What must the fans do to get some attention?!? Does the Sci-Fi Channel want to lose them? The powers that be want their money, time and energy, and yet they don't care to listen or pay attention to what's most important to them. It seems that no one really cares or values them - the customers... So, if the message is "go away, you don't matter," maybe they will. How can they support the Sci-Fi Channel when it has no desire to support them?
The Sci-Fi Channel possibly thinks that the existing fans don't really count and that it is going to discover and access a whole new group of younger fans out there who will make the reinvented enterprise successful. However, the results of the polls taken all over the world speak loud and clear: the majority of the marketplace and new fans it wants to reach are already established! They are also bonded to the original show, characters and themes, and need to be pleased if it is to succeed. And I don't need to tell the Sci-Fi Channel this, because their own polls have confirmed it! They're professionals and it's their business but unfortunately we sometimes get so wrapped up in wanting to do something new that we end up destroying the very thing worth saving. Battlestar Galactica was about family and generations of Humans struggling together to survive against all odds, just like its fans.
And that is why the many generations of fans today feel such a common bond between them. They all share a common vision - including their love of quality Science Fiction - and want to preserve the integrity of their beloved Sci-Fi classics and support the revival of their favorite shows, including Battlestar Galactica. I do not think they will not go quietly into the night and allow someone to possibly ruin what could be the beginning of a major Sci-Fi franchise that would rival all others. They will shout from the mountain-tops! They will speak to anyone who will listen. The message will go out to the world that the Sci-Fi Channel really doesn't care about those who are its bread and butter. If that is what the powers that be desire, then so be it! Countless millions of dollars of revenue, free advertising and mass fan support that could have ignited a new Battlestar Galactica series to great economic and artistic success will now be lost. The Titanic was big and grand, but unfortunately, they didn't listen either...
To be or not to be, that is the question - whether to have the courage, insight, strength and heart to give the core audience what they truly deserve and desire or to risk losing what could have been the Sci-Fi Channel's greatest success. The decision, as always, is theirs to make. I hope they do remember that while they may still own Battlestar Galactica, it truly belongs to the fans, who have believed in and supported this wonderful story for twenty four years.
Keep the faith!
July 23, 2002
Well, here we are, once again, having to wait and see what Universal and the powers that be will do with our beloved Battlestar. I don't know why it's so painful, but it seems that like every story, novel, movie, etc. we have ever grown to love in this world, we CARE what happens to our favorite characters and the underlying themes that support and motivate them.
I have always said that there are many viable ways to explore the basic premise of "Battlestar Galactica" and it's endearing characters. And that can be attested to by the many wonderful stories written by fans around the world for the past 25 years. The fact is: Everyone has their own idea about what should happen in the story and how the characters should develop -- and they're all equally valid.
The problem is: No one is going to satisfy everyone. I'm sure we would all agree that our deepest hope is whomever ends up creating a new "Battlestar Galactica" series will at least honor the original story and characters that we all fell in love with many yahren ago. Where the story picks up and where the characters are now is of *prime importance* to the vast majority of the fans who want to see what has happened for the past 25 years. The risks with re-imagining a classic like "Battlestar Galactica" are that the producers are essentially saying (to the now-three generations of fans who have bonded to the story and actors) that they and the original story and characters don't count. I know in the producers' minds they truly believe that they are still paying homage to the original show. They are trying to stay true to the underlying original theme of "Battlestar Galactica." Unfortunately, on a physiological and metaphorical level, they are still (by all accounts) throwing away the very elements the fans of all ages fell in love with -- and deem most important to the integrity of the show.
It's difficult for any television show to become successful these days. No matter how well produced, it is due to the fact that programs rarely have the time to build an audience before they are yanked from the schedule and replaced by yet another unknown entity desperate for instant success. It's even more difficult when you take a classic like "Battlestar Galactica" with a well-established story and characters that is still very much alive in the fans hearts... and just throw it away for no apparent reason other than to seemingly put one's own stamp on it. Now you are running the risk of alienating the very fan base that you need to keep you alive while you try to build a new audience and bond them to your show and unknown characters.
One of the arguments I've heard over and over from the studios is that they want to appeal to a new and younger audience for their programs. I understand the commercial agenda, but in the case of a classic sci-fi show like "Battlestar Galactica," the bulk of the audience they supposedly want to discover is already defined, established and crosses all cultural ethnic, age and genre demographics. Three generations of fans, ranging from the teens to the thirties, forties and fifties are waiting to see the show they fell in love with over the past 25 years.
"Battlestar Galactica" has always been about family and when you replace known characters and actors with people you've never met you've than lost that sense of family and continuity that is so hard to establish and than have to start all over again. The question is why? What is the reason that they want to start over again and how does it limit the risk and serve their financial and commercial agenda?
It seems to me that the larger risk for the studio is, in fact, starting over. Instead, they could so easily bridge the past with the future by simply evolving the characters and storyline than by adding new characters and a new generation of our children born in space carry us into the future. Would this not equally serve both the commercial, financial and artistic agenda, and at the same time, honor the fans of the show that will in the end ultimately determine the success or failure of the new series?
The fastest way I know to bond new characters to the fans is to have the characters they love and respect... and introduce them and be related to them. Studios these days are trying to minimize their risks by mining the past for successful shows and titles that they can remake because they feel they have a better chance of succeeding with a format that worked before. What they have difficulty understanding is that "Battlestar Galactica," like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" has developed a vast and continually growing loyal fan base reaching into all generations. These fans are emotionally involved in the stories and characters and will feel slapped in the face if the studios just take the title and re-imagine the story to their own liking. I and many of the fans all over the world have done our best to convey this message but the powers that be seem determined to go against the polls and overwhelming fan support for the original show and do their own thing. My quandary is what do we do at this point? We don't want to see the show fail but how do we support their efforts when they seemingly care little about our feelings and continually disregard our feedback and ideas. In spite of all this, I still truly want the new "Battlestar Galactica" series to succeed.
I have talked to the producers of the new show recently. They appear to be talented and caring people who believe in "Battlestar Galactica" and want to create a quality series. But it's very hard for the fans and I to understand how they can love the original series and still want to re-imagine it instead of updating it. Someone at the top obviously doesn't love this show or understand it as so often happens with sci-fi classics. I do understand that opinions are personal and everyone is entitled to them.
Regardless of what I feel about the direction the new "Battlestar Galactica" series is taking, I believe "Battlestar Galactica" deserves a real second chance to do what it could have accomplished so very long ago when they ripped the show's heart out by replacing the one and only original "Battlestar Galactica" with "Galactica 1980." Stay tuned and please continue to make your voices heard. Everyone of you count more than you know. And believe me when I say to you that no matter what they, the powers that be, pretend to say or do in the future, YOU are getting through to them. Sooner or later, they will be forced to pay attention if they want to succeed.
You are the ones with the power and when you speak as one they have to listen. This is not about me but what you feel and believe. "Battlestar Galactica" belongs to you; I sincerely hope that they have the foresight to bring you the show that you deserve and can believe in.
In regards to my new "Battlestar Galactica" novels, including the newly released "Battlestar Galactica - Rebellion": I want to thank the many fans of the series for their positive support and feedback. Unfortunately, you can't please everyone, but we have done our best under extremely difficult circumstances to bring you the most entertaining and meaningful story possible. For those of you who may be disappointed or don't agree with the direction we are taking, I can only say: I honor your feelings and feedback, but as in all cases with a story like this, if you try to please one faction, you end up displeasing others. There are many fans out there with extremely different points of view and ideas concerning "Battlestar Galactica." Eventually you have to follow your own heart and run the risk of criticism.
I can only say that everyone who has their own ideas of where they would like to see "Battlestar Galactica" go should write their own stories and post them on the web. There's room for all of us out there, so go to it and let's see what you can come up with. My only agenda is that we continue to explore the original characters and themes while a new generation of their children joins them on their epic journey to find Earth and the mythical Thirteenth Tribe. May your endeavors be blessed and I wish you all the best.
As to "The Great War Of Magellan" project, we are finally completing the trailer. It has been one of the most challenging, fulfilling undertakings in my life. I thought making the "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" trailer was difficult, but this has been one epic adventure into the unknown. The first version of the trailer will finally debut at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of August 2002. (We will be playing the behind-the-scenes/"Making Of 'The Great War of Magellan'" trailer at Comicon in San Diego, California the first weekend of August 2002.) We hope to see you all there.
It's so nice to be able to work on something you own -- and don't have to beg permission for. I will always love, support and believe in "Battlestar Galactica." I must say I love the journey of creating my very own heart-felt story. It's been extremely painful and frustrating sometimes, but the joy of waking up in the morning to devote my energy and resources to what I truly believe in is the most exhilarating adventure of my life -- and I wouldn't exchange this opportunity for all the money in the world -- and I also wouldn't change working together with fans and artists from all over the world to create the "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" trailer.
Every dollar I spent and all the time and energy we all committed to bringing back this beloved story was well worth it. I still hope in my heart one day that maybe there will be a way to help bring back the original series intact. I pray for that! Just remember, your dream is not just a dream. It's your life. That's what I have discovered! Go for it!
May the Lords of Kobol guide and support you. All the best,
December 2002 Newsletter
Well, hello everyone and welcome to the holiday season. I just want to wish you all this year the very best that life has to offer. I wish for you that your deepest and most heartfelt dreams would finally come to fruition this year! I don't know about you, but I just love Christmas. I know it can also bring up a lot of sadness, unresolved emotions and agendas. I find that if one can just take this holiday season as an opportunity to heal old wounds, forgive ourselves and those we love, then this can be the most meaningful and life affirming time of the year for everyone. Just know that we at BattlestarGalactica.com, including Michael Faries and myself, believe in you and send tons of love, honor and respect your way. We wish you sincere thanks for all your support and contributions to our continuing effort to resurrect and evolve the “Battlestar Galactica” that we have all grown to love and cherish over the past 25 years.
I know that many of you out there are dismayed and anguished at what you're hearing from the powers that be about the direction the new Battlestar Galactica series is taking, but please, don't give up hope! Life is full of miracles! I've seen things turn on a dime! My heartfelt wish this Christmas is: Those who are deciding the fate and direction of Battlestar Galactica at this very moment would just take a long and deep pause to reflect about a particular story, movie or series that they might have fallen in love with, oh so many years ago, and remember how profoundly it touched their hearts, minds and souls.
And then I would ask they put themselves in the minds and hearts of the fans they once were, and think about how betrayed and violating it was to see a story they fell in love with altered and rearranged to someone else's liking.
Once again, it is beyond belief to me and makes no business sense whatsoever to slap and step on the very fans one should be serving, especially if one truly wants to succeed! I know the Star Trek fans are both grateful and beholding to Paramount for being insightful enough to remember where they came from. They honored and paid homage to those that helped support their success and maintain their jobs. I know the new producers and writers have a daunting task ahead of them. I can also hope that a Christmas miracle would open their hearts and remind them that all of us in show business are all here to serve, entertain and uplift the public -- the public that has made our very jobs and quality of life possible.
Onwards and upwards: I know many of you have been asking about the 25th Yahren fan anniversary of Battlestar Galactica. Well, I'm here to tell you that a wonderful team is finally in place and moving forward in that regard. Confirmations, date and location will be forthcoming. We're asking all of you to help us locate all the stars, guest stars, extras, technicians, producers, writers and directors of the original series. We know you're out there, so please contact us at BattlestarGalactica.com and BattlestarPegasus.com for the time being and give us your information, or help us find those that participated in the show in any way so we can invite them to come on board and help us create the most memorable, fun and moving Battlestar Galactica convention event ever!
The event team is also asking for help in putting out the word for this mega event, so tell your friends, family members and fellow fans. Spread the good news! Again, do let us know what your skills and abilities are and what you might be able to contribute to this event so we can get in touch with you. We're also looking for artists, editors, entertainers, etc., to help us put on a mega super show on Saturday night. (In fact, Michael, myself and others are working on a few top secret fan projects of our own, so you won't want to miss the event! We definitely encourage many more contributions, too!)
This is one event you will want to make plans ahead for. This may be the largest-ever turn out of Battlestar Galactica stars, production people and crews ever, so get in and sign up early because this is a limited one-time only event.
When details are available, including the hotel listing, we're going ask all of you to please make reservations to stay at the hotel, even if you live in the surrounding area. There will be many exciting late night events and parties which you will definitely not want to miss! We also don't want anyone driving home a little juiced and getting into any accidents!
Stay tuned to BattlestarGalactica.com for further details and updates on this wonderful event.
As to the next Battlestar Galactica novel, “Paradise,” both myself and my new writing partner, Brad Linaweaver, are putting a lot of effort into bringing you the most heartfelt and exciting story ever. This is a continuation of the ongoing storyline and holds many revelations and surprises about the destiny of the colonial fleet, and it's profound journey to find the mystical 13th tribe and Earth! It will be coming out spring 2003. My web site, RichardHatch.com, will have information on ordering your very own Gold signed edition. Order them early as these novels have sold out extremely quickly in the past.
Last, but not least, I have been working very hard this past two years putting together my new production company to produce quality and cutting edge sci-fi series, games and movies. Our first project entitled Magellan is well into pre-production and a theatrical style movie trailer of Magellan will be completed early this coming year. We will finally be screening this trailer at a convention near you, so please stay tuned for locations and times. You can presently view this exciting new series at greatwarofmagellan.com.
Until next time keep the faith and remember all for one, and one for all. We're all in this together!