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February 2003 Newsletter

Hi everyone,

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 that.

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 stories can.

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!

Richard Hatch


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