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Old June 5th, 2003, 08:41 PM   #1
ravesholpulsar
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Default My Letter About The New Galactica

A letter to the fans of Galactica old and new…

What goes around comes around. I’ve stood by and watched the tirade of arguments for and against the remake of Galactica. If the Hatfields and McCoys were alive today one wonders which of them would be fighting over which is the more valid show, “classic Galactica” or “New Galactica” or as I prefer to call it: New Coke, old Coke.

I’ve remained what’s called a “lurker” in the internet world lingo and although my time could be best suited in giving my opine on children starving in Africa to the massacre of millions in countries whose names I can scarcely pronounce, I’ve stumbled on this website and was astonished to find the battle of the millennium. Those who profess a love for an old television show and those who can’t wait to embrace a remake (or in corporatese the “re-imagining“).

Well, I’ve seen “Old Galactica” when it first appeared back in the late 70’s. Glen Larson’s legacy showed up on the small tube and reaction was swift: The show looked like it was squeezed out of the sphincter of Star Wars. It was as though network television executives said “You like this sci-fi crap?? Okay then, we’ll give you dump truck loads of the stuff!” And the programming dam broke, unleashing a wasteland of sci-fi shows whose quality swung between thought provoking and just plain insanity. Television executives figured all they needed was outer space, space ships, a few glitzy action sequences and viola! Hit show. Television executives were shocked the so called formula didn’t always work. In fact, it never worked. But let’s be truthful: It was what early pioneer television visionaries would call today “a pretty ****ed up formula if you ask me.”

Let’s fast forward 20+ years. Television and movies went from telling a story to make money to just making money. The bottom dollar has also eclipsed the top. In fact, the phrase “book end dollar” is more appropriate since it’s money at the start and at the end. Everything else in between is just that creamy stuff you find in a Twinkie.

So, now, Galactica which was abandoned on the doorstep of the sci-fi orphanage was given a roof over its head and fed three meals a day was pretty much ostracized by the other orphans of sci-fi and fantasy like Buck Rogers, Holmes and Yo Yo, The 6 million Dollar Man and Fantasy Island only to name a dismal few.

But Galactica, having been created by a producer who was more famous for churning out shows as fast as unbridled Catholics churning out children didn’t expect this “orphan of sci-fi” to garner the attention of a few people who thought this show got a bad rap.

Richard Hatch managed to spend years trying to resurrect a show written off by everyone. And by everyone we’re talking about any species which breathes oxygen. So that narrows down the fans to a few. Who’d want to admit to liking a show that had pyramids, and catchy phrases like Lords of Cobol, The Book of The Word, Felgergarb and Frack???

Poor Glen. Poor poor Glen. He was a producer of the puerile. A purveyor of the putrid. But he was BIG in television. He created the Rockford Files! He even created that show which was on the verge of curing all known diseases like Automan with Desi Arnez Jr.! God bless you Glen. Galactica 1980 was a fluke just like New Coke. Or was it? In fairness to the Glen-meister, he stated ABC tv would have made the show without him. His artistic ethics were teetering between loyalty to his own work and craft or having to pay for the Olympic-size swimming pool in his back yard. Needless to say the fans got Galactica 1980 and Glen got a kick-ass size pool.

So now the sci-fi channel has decided to adopt the adult orphan “Galactica” and give it some spiffy clothes and a Jaguar thanks to Bonnie Hammer of Sci-fi Channel/USA. Battlestar Galactica is an enigma in that it truly fits nowhere but had a compelling story premise: Machines hell bent on wiping our humanity and humanity making a desperate run for its life across the vastness of outer space. It’s a pretty big ass story by any standard. Add Earth’s past history to the mix and suddenly you’re flying high with story potential. And that’s a word you should remember: STORY. A story (even a half decent one) should make you want to turn the page, stay tuned to that channel and hang on the word of the one telling the story. Galactica, wasn’t great television. It wasn’t even so-so television. But it’s idea, its premise was all-too powerful to ignore. In an age of CGI-driven stupidity we are left with so called storytellers like the Michael Bays on the high end and Kevin Smiths on the low end. If Edward D. Wood had been given 100 million dollars to make Pearl Harbor you’d still have the exact same movie you have today. Well, there’d be a few transvestites but it would essentially the same movie okay?

Back to Galactica. A NextGEN Trek producer is in charge. He has been given the reins and as I write this poetic tirade, creating a sleeker, sexier, sweatier, sultrier Galactica. Female pilots sweating. Oh yeah. To hell with The Lords of Cobol and a compelling story. I’ll take the Traci Lords of Cobol and compelling bikinis any day.

And that’s my point.

The days of telling a story to make money died years ago. It’s now a corporate media world we live in. Flashier visuals used to add to the story. Now, it’s flash followed by well, like I said… the stuff they put in Twinkies. I like the creamy stuff too but only in a Twinkie. The new Galactica will certainly have banality. The old show did too. But the difference is that the new Galactica will have newer, better, flashier effects. It will have Colonial Pilot Chicks sweating and mouthing off to their superiors while saving their hormonal driven male counterparts. It will be a banality of a higher budget.

There will be no originality. When confronted with originality, television is like a cornered and wounded animal. It will attack and tear you to pieces.

So while you wait for the creation and unveiling of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – THE NEXT GENERATION remember one word. It’s a word that doesn’t need CGI effects. It’s a word that can make you laugh, cry, and change your life. It’s a word in the visual and literature world that has driven humanity to create great works of art and inspired music which feeds the soul. And that word is: Drama.

The new Galactica will have neither. Not because it cannot. But because those who have chosen to re-create this show are after “A demographically targeted youth audience”. The show must reflect that. Although it’s Show Business, a business cannot survive (or a tv show or movie or a painter) without first having something to say, believing it and presenting it to illicit a reaction from his or her audience. The new Galactica will suffer as the latest Trek incarnation Enterprise has. Watered down, low quality writing living off an established and recognized name which still generates hundreds of millions of dollars for its studio. Galactica is no different. But it does have the advantage of not having expensive stars and has a potential of creating another franchise for the SCI-FI Channel/USA.

So in plain English, will the RE-imagined Battlestar Galactica suck? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: You betcha.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a Twinkie.
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Old June 5th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #2
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I think Athena was pretty.
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Old June 5th, 2003, 10:51 PM   #3
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So how many Battlestars were at Cimtar again?
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Old June 6th, 2003, 11:13 AM   #4
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About 2 dozen maybe three.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 11:20 AM   #5
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Corn is yummy.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #6
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Did I miss something is there a reason why the "letter" that started this thread is being blown off?
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #7
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Sept17th, no big reason. It was just that after reading such a long-winded letter and still not really understanding what the point of it was or why a lurker would suddenly de-lurk to basically say, "It will suck like everything else on TV," I just thought it deserved a short non sequitor. I guess everyone else did, too. Nothing against the poster, btw.
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Old June 6th, 2003, 02:04 PM   #8
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Answer: Path already travelled.

Condensed Version: (my interpretation of the author's remarks)

"New One Sucks; Old One Sucks, Too"

:confused: :confused:
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Old June 6th, 2003, 02:18 PM   #9
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Heya ravesholpulsar.
Dont mind the ones lampooning your letter.
I dont share your opinion about the new show but I wanna welcome ya to the forum.
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Old June 7th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #10
ravesholpulsar
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Default RE: MY LETTER

Dear Hito:

Thanks for the welcome. It's appreciated. As far as my letter being long winded, I stated I was making a "tirade". Tirades are generally long winded in nature.

My point about what constitutes a story and how today's profit and demographically driven media has caused television (which already was in toilet) to go down even further was the issue I expressed in my letter.

The fact that a few fans considered what I wrote long winded and pointless(there was a point in the letter and someone actually did in fact "get it"), proves my point conclusively.

The VAST majority of movie goers and yes, television viewers really don't consider plots, characterization in a show or movie of vital importance. The studios churning out the fodder respond in-kind.

But the real lethal killer has becomes the global audience. To paraphrase a studio executive: IF I MAKE A MOVIE OR TV SHOW FOR AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE, IT DOESN'T TAKE A MATH WHIZ TO KNOW THAT I HAVE TO MAKE THAT SAME MOVIE OR SHOW FOR A FOREIGN AUDIENCE AND MAKE A BIGGER PROFIT GLOBALLY. THAT'S WHERE THE MARKET IS. WE NO LONGER CATER TO AMERICANS AT HOME.

The reason movies and shows are at their worse is BECAUSE the global market dictates content and quality. Galactica: The Next Generation is not immune.

The original Galactica had a profound impact on me in terms of its premise. it was a show which imprefect as it was and interfered with as it was became something more.

We tend to ignore the studio politics and appreciate the work of artists. But I'm humbled when I see someone create art and know the birthing pains it took to get it there.

Ronald D. Moore (like any producer) has to be part businessman. However, I've witnessed countless shows with his name in the Star Trek universe and I realized this was a writer who at best is weak when it comes to writing some exciting material. In my "wishful thinking" list, I imagine Rod Serling, Harlen Ellison, J Michael Stryzynski and directors like Milos Forman, Terry Gilliam and Akira Kurosawa being involved in the new Galactica. Instead we have a producer whose vision is so limited he can't see the scale or scope dramatically of the Galactica universe.

There are as many talented artists in hollywood working alongside the untalented who have somehow managed to achieve a career in spite on their mediocrity. To Ronald D. Moore I tell you this:

You don't need a massive budget for great storytelling. Twilight Zone and Classic (yes, Classic) Trek was able to do it. More people remember classic trek phrases and it's cast and story and that the old so-called cheapo show did it in three seasons. You had YEARS of Next Gen and the non sci-fi general public can't remember anything except that that bald from Star Trek:TNG is in the X-Men movie.

You got lucky. You were given a show whose premise as I stated is massive. It involves earth's history. It's about the human spirit and overcoming overwhelming destruction and obliteration and when your enemies have rallied together and are virutally indestructible and whose sole purpose is your extermination. The enemy has no soul. The are cold. Their red, single glowing eye strides ominously back and forth because the Cylon's designers knew the color red was intimidating to the human psyche and created something that would frighten a humanoid enemy. It is classic military strategy but it also art.

THAT'S what Galactica is about. Not about sexy pilots. Not about GQ looking actors flying CGI driven models. actors that aren't handsome and a dirtier grittier look for the show along with Galactica's storyline would have made it a hit. Instead it will resemble sci-fi channel's other debacle DUNE. Bewildering and uninspired.

Rich r
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Old June 7th, 2003, 02:24 PM   #11
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Default reality is a slap in the face

Rich,
Your tirade was an accurate description of the state of entertainment today. I wish it did not have to be that way but the name of the game is to make $$$.

Perhaps someday we'll see an independant Galactica film, available only on the internet. A film where the maker is driven by passion and not the almighty dollar.
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Old June 7th, 2003, 07:05 PM   #12
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I like the second tirade better. TV stinks because of a loss of creative talent and the dumbing down of civilization on a global scale. I understand this. I even agree with it.

After all the insults hurled at Galactica and the people who enjoy it, I don't think "long-winded" was a very cruel or exaggerated comeback, do you? "Squeezed through Star Wars' schincter," "not even so-so TV," "puerile," "putrid," "written off by all oxygen-breathing species"...those were insults. "Long-winded?" That's nothing.

As for this:

"My point about what constitutes a story and how today's profit and demographically driven media has caused television (which already was in toilet) to go down even further was the issue I expressed in my letter.

The fact that a few fans considered what I wrote long winded and pointless(there was a point in the letter and someone actually did in fact "get it"), proves my point conclusively."

You have to realize that I haven't read a book since "The Hardy Boys Meet Dracula at Pirate's Cove," and the longest things I've ever read are my horoscope and the comics. I don't like to brag, but experts theorize that I'm responsible for 14% of all global dumbing down. !6% on weekends.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #13
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RGrant is one of our resident satirists, btw. That could be why he is green this week.
Welcome Ravesholpulsar.

I liked the way you said it the second time better, but the 1st tirade was an apt portrayal of the state of TV....TV execs.

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Old June 9th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #14
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Edit:

After posting a rant here, I realized I had totally misinterpreted ravisholpulsar's initial post.

My apologies.

Welcome, ravisholpulsar!

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Old June 9th, 2003, 01:44 PM   #15
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Default ABOUT MY LETTER

Dear Jewels:

Your comments are appreciated. My first tirade was more of a "blow up". I've had to pitch movie ideas to agents and producers and I am ASTONISHED at the lack of vision most (yes, MOST) have.

Terry Gilliam said that (paraphrasing): "The small, handful of people in Hollywodd who can actually get a movie made have such a limited view of not only the world but of life that that's
why movies have little or no soul."

I'm always humbled when I see refuse disguised as entertainment. Because THAT'S an art unto itself. Battlestar Galactica: The Next Generation has only ONE thing, I ONE thing only going for it: Edward James Olmos.

A fine character actor. He will literally be carrying this show. As for what the final product will look like, here's what the sci-fi promo should look and sound like:

1. CYLONS ATTACKING VIPERS, EXLPOSIONS ETC...
2. ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND
3. PILOT SCREAMING "EEEEEHAAAAAAA!" WHEN THEY KILL CYLON SHIPS

4. ANNOUNCER SAYS (SOMETHING LIKE THIS):

COMING TO THE SCI-FI CHANNEL, FROM STAR TREK'S PRODUCER RONALD D. MOORE, COMES AN ADVENTURE OF HUMAN SURVIVAL (ROCK MUSIC STILL PLAYING DURING THE PROMO BY THE WAY)

ANNOUNCER CONTINUES:

HUMANITY MUST FIGHT TO SURVIVE (SWEATY PILOT CHICKS PRANCE COOLY AROUND DURING THOSE WORDS)

ANNOUNCER CONTINUES: AND THEIR ONLY HOPE IS MAN'S ONLY MEANS OF SURVIVAL. COMING IN DECMBER: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

ROCK MUSIC CONCLUDES.

NOTE: I truly hope that i'm only half right about what I've just written. I would LOVE a lush orchestral score for the promo and the telefilm itself.

Here's my nightmare scene taken from the ORIGINAL PILOT of Battlestar Galactica from 1978. The scene is between (and you guys remember) when Adama and The presidnet played by Lew Ayers speak regarding the enemy's true intent. Here's a re-write based on current events regarding the new show:


INT. PRESIDENT'S QUARTERS

The quorum of 12 have now left. THE PRESIDENT steps over to Adama who glances with little optimism at the fleet of battlestars outside the window.

PRESIDENT: I see th remake of Battlestar Galactica is not a success with all my children.

ADAMA: What awaits the fans out there is what troubles me.

PRESIDENT: Surely, you still don't cling to your suspicions about Ronald D. Moore's remake of Galactica? Ronald D. Moore and Bonnie Hammer asked for this remake. They want quality.

ADAMA: Forgive me, Mr. President but they hate the Galactica fandom with every fiber of their existence. We love character driven writing, drama, stories that make you feel.... it is an alien way of existing they will never accept.

PRESIDENT: But they have. Through Ronald D. Moore. The Sci-fi Channel WANTS to do a remake of Galactica.

ADAMA (RELUCTANT SMILE): Yes, of course... you're right.


---END TRANSMISSION

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