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Old February 12th, 2003, 11:41 PM   #1
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Stargate If changes to the BG remake script could be made WITHIN the existing script...

bsgviperman's post on scifi.com's BG bboard was very well-structured and contained terrific ideas about changes to the BG remake script. To add to his thread, in the spirit of changes (if stuck with this script and no other), I'm posting this:

I strongly believe in my heart that the right formula for a successful "Battlestar Galactica" show lies with the continuation of the original "Battlestar Galactica" series. Original series star Richard (Apollo) Hatch proved it; others within fandom prove it with fan fiction stories, web sites and online discussions; and even Tom DeSanto proved it (and Glen Larson approved, btw, of DeSanto's direction). The Powers That Be didn't buy into it, though.

Since last summer (when I started learning about the plot), I formulated thoughts of what I'd do differently. Those thoughts solidified further when I got to read the remake script. (NOTE: Which has been edited/modified since.) This is a good time to start sharing. I hope others do, too.

If there had to be a remake/re-imagining, then there's something fundamental within the remake script that needs changing (besides revamps of the remake characters -- or the entire script ):

* Our heroes and their situation. The added drama/tension behind their plight.

If I were given the chance to tear apart Moore's script and add re-writes, here's one of the many edits to the overall plotline that I would suggest. You can keep the dramatic elements; I disagree with the characterizations. They aren't likeable heroes. Chief amongst my plot changes, though: Scrapping the "Galactica as a museum relic/retirement" plotline.

I think there's more drama if the Galactica is unable to return to the Twelve Colonies in time to save the populace -- with Colonial Warriors, who live to protect, being unable to do anything. Then face the task of not fighting back, but being forced to shepherd their people in a mass exodus to the stars -- and the unknown. Show the Warriors as STRONG, NOBLE and ABLE... but unable to save their loved ones.

[On a side note: U.S. Military troops abroad face the same situation. They are based on fronts outside of the United States, yet they are unable to stay home and protect their loved ones, families, friends, etc. If there are attacks here at home, there is a deep, DEEP frustration that they cannot be here to help prevent it. I've talked with military folks about this very feeling. And the current remake script conveys some of it... but fails to make it a truly powerful, dramatic issue moreso than this script does.]

You can interweave elements from the current script into this story. Just imagine this within the framework of the existing script:
--------------------------------------------

(skip ahead to the introduction of the Galactica)

The battlestar Galactica, flagship of the Colonial Fleet, is returning from a diplomatic mission to Hassari space. (NOT retiring as an old, tired relic as an orbital museum.) The ship has been patrolling in deep space, too, on an extended tour of duty. This mission is the last one before the crew gets shore leave/new supplies.

The Galactica is the pride of the fleet, carrying some (if not THE) best-of-the-best Warriors in all of the colonies. Her Commander, Adama, possesses uncanny intelligence/savvy as a military leader (who has seen the warship through numerous encounters/battles with the Cylons). He also inspires tremendous loyalty amongst the crew. His extended family, in a sense, is the crew, although he deeply cares for his actual family whom he isn't able to spend much time with. He misses his wife (he is married, not divorced) and looks forward to seeing her during shore leave when the ship returns to Caprica for upgrades/overhauls. His XO, Tigh, feels the same. Privately, Adama has received promotion orders for Tigh as commander of the battlestar Atlantia; Tigh's leave on Leonis will be short, as will quality time with his wife (who isn't a slut, but someone raising their children and being neglected and needing his presence and support). Such is the life of military career officers. It is Tigh's chance to move out of Adama's shadow. (And in the series, a burden as Tigh will never be a full Commander, having to live in the shadow of his friend and commanding officer and missing out on his dream of promotion.)

[Letters from Tigh's and Adama's wives may prove an interesting backstory in a future episode as both men reminisce about loss and duty. And the details within one wife's letter sheds light on the other. (We'll assume Adama and Tigh's wives/families are close, especially as both men have served/posted together since academy days.)]

The Galactica is escorted by two or three Colonial military escort vessels, just as a 20th or 21st century aircraft carrier is.

We learn that the Galactica has successfully completely diplomatic negotiations with the Hassari, paving the way for a newfound alliance in the face of the ever-present Cylon threat. The Galactica was part of this mission to demonstrate the military might of the Colonies as a symbolic show of strength. A Colonial diplomatic attache has been left behind, along with consultants, to move the alliance forward. In the coming months, the Colonials may find the strength in numbers to successfully defend and protect their frontier against the Cylons, who appear to be building military might, as witnessed from surveillance.

Of note: The Galactica carries a former member of the Council of the Twelve whom negotiated the successful treaty.

As the Galactica gets closer to the colonies, the catastrophic events begin. Reports come in. The Colonial fleet is shut down, as in the script, and hunted and destroyed. The nuclear weapon sabotage takes a toll on each colony world. And the Galactica learns that the Hassari are no longer communicating either... as members of the diplomatic staff/consultants must have been Cylons... and the Galactica had unknowingly transported saboteurs to Hassari planet. Adama orders the ships to full speed, but they are too distant to make a difference. The entire ship is notified of events; Warriors feel helpless. They can be battle-ready; they cannot join the battle or defend their worlds.

The Cylons have started a "Hail Mary" style offensive which sweeps through Hassari and will eventually reach the Colonies. Galactica's tactical reports on this. The other portion of Cylon forces have already moved on Colonial outpost worlds/stations where the Colonial fleets are. Ships traveling to combat the Cylons are shut down.

The Cylons are attacking the Hassari harder than the Twelve Colonies, as it is figured out later, because the Hassari do not have the "upgrades" which the Cylons were able to put into Colonial ships/tech. The Cylons require more numbers to eliminate the Hassari.

Outpost reports show the Cylons decimating the Colonial fleets... as Adama and Tigh realize that whatever "upgrade" is due for the Galactica upon her return would have likely destroyed her in their next encounter with the Cylons.

The drama for the Adama/Apollo disconnect can come from Adama's reservations about mobilizing to fight the Cylons, the fact that Adama's wife/Apollo's mother is being sacrificed to the Cylons by their absence, about his frustrations that the Galactica could have done more than "cruising speed" and might have had a chance to be there to save the colonies. (Apollo = hot-headed, passionate.)

During the course of the Galactica's return to the colonies, it is determined that the Galactica will reach the inner planets while the faster escort vessels cruise the outer planets. Their goal: In the face of the complete loss of the military fleet, to gather as many survivors and ships as possible and rendezvous elsewhere (Ragnar anchorage, if that must be kept in the script). The Galactica reaches Caprica first as Tigh stays at his post, dutifully, while the escort ships reach other colonies, including Leonis.

[To understand how everything fits in, combine the elements above with the remake script. Starbuck, Baltar, Number Six, Laura Roslin, etc. I would have Sharon Valerii/Boomer as a survivor from another battlestar, giving pause to some, "How did SHE survive?" The same Boomer/Helo landing on Caprica could apply, where Baltar is brought back to the Galactica. When they meet up with the Galactica, the story of how the Colonial ships were disabled could be used. Her fighter's upgrade was faulty and wasn't affected. In actuality, she's still the same "person" from the script.]

Laura Roslin's shuttle is saved by Apollo as patrols seek to escort ships to the fleet. She is met and sworn in by the former council member (who negotiated with the Hassari); he takes her under his wing and educates her further on her role/responsibilities. Adama and Roslin are introduced by the council member; to Adama's shock, he realizes this is the new Commander-in-Chief, someone whom he knows nothing about, yet must listen to. The council member is Roslin's greatest ally, promoting the fact that she is their leader and protocols exist for her continued role. Adama, faced with the near-extinction of their race, feels military protocols outrank such acts. Potential conflict brews; Roslin is the appointed leader. The Galactica continues to gather survivors; they share this belief. The destiny of their people remains a different matter -- to be sorted out at another time.
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Old February 12th, 2003, 11:41 PM   #2
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Default Continued...

As the Galactica makes a sweep of the final innermost Colonial world, one of the Colonial escorts near the outermost planet is destroyed by approaching Cylons. (Tigh realizes that if he'd joined that ship to venture to Leonis, he'd be dead, too, although he feels tremendous guilt for living and not taking more action.) The remaining Colonial escort ship reports attacks by Cylons. It endeavors to lead Cylons away while civilian ships move out.



At some point, Adama deals with leaving slower ships behind as the Cylons encroach on the colonies, awakening Roslin to truly tough life-or-death decisions which must be made by any leader.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Jumping ahead to the post-Ragnar station scene, the Galactica is faced with attacking Cylon basestars. The Galactica is about to be hit hard when the surviving Colonial escort appears, bearing down on the ships. The damaged vessel rams the Cylons, destroying one ship and damaging another, which the Galactica is able to finish off.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Believe it or not, that's a brief summary of some changes I'd recommend. The Colonial Warriors MUST be the best-of-the-best, and admonished by the civilians for their absence. They carry the burden of being worthy defenders -- and unable to provide salvation for their nation. And they've lost virtually all of their ranks to the Cylons in the destruction of the Colonial fleets, outposts, and homeworlds.

Michael
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(Hi Ron)
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Old February 13th, 2003, 12:01 AM   #3
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Default And...

Apologies to some, who might be confused by this posting. It does require that you've read the BG remake script, or possess a strong understanding of it's contents. Most of the scenarios above require you to combine aspects of the current script with these ideas.

Michael
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Old February 13th, 2003, 06:22 AM   #4
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Michael
I like a lot of ideas, only had time to skim but there are some interesting elements. I must go back and fully read tonite
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Old February 13th, 2003, 08:12 AM   #5
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Ok, now THAT is reason to read the thing through.

Michael, those are wonderful ideas, so much better than what was written.

Will have to take my own look at it. My rewrite would definitely throw out the museum thing & give us back the officers we respected and looked up to too. And throw out that hallway interchange btwn Adama and Kara, the armistice station--well maybe could redeem that: bye-bye Cylon woman. Number 6 could be a lot more subtle and therefore much more seductive without actually engaging in *those activities* on screen.

Oh, instead of Hasari, they could be called back or be returning from a mission to reach the Delphian empire (Gomoray). Called back before reaching Delphi would allow consistancy with Living Legend and 2 yahren of Pegasus raids on the Cylon base that replaced the Delphian capital after its destruction. (No knowledge of this devastation would reach the rest of the Colonials until Galactica and Pegasus meet after the destruction of the colonies).

Thanks for the idea starters.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 09:43 AM   #6
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A first rate peice of work there Michael.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 04:45 PM   #7
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I am hoping for more of a prequel. But for the sake of discussion, this outline does contain some good ideas. The people relationships are more real and the basic plot plausible.
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Old February 14th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #8
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Actually, since it covers from the Backstory to the Evacution, It would not be duplicating Saga of a Star-World. There are intriguing elements to it, the character relationships are more genuine and the sequence of events make more sense.
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Old February 14th, 2003, 01:07 PM   #9
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Default Just rambling...

I'm definitely not a fan of the BG remake script, as everyone knows from my review. It was interesting to learn last year that the script had to be dumbed-down (not the word used) for mass appeal. Apparently, complex scripts cause viewers to tune out and change the channel. Nice thinking, eh? (groan) I guess that's why the sex was added into the remake script: Keep the viewers tuned in.

How about entertaining the viewers and offering a rich story? Gee, it works for "CSI." (Although the "CSI" production team does inject the occasional lurid tale/visual into the stories.)

I have heard: If a continuation had been done (or gets done), sexual elements would still be ever-present. The original script had it's sexual follies, but not outright pornographic visuals.

And don't get me started about the dysfunctional aspects. How about healthy relationships for once? I was watching the commentary track on my TNG Season Seven Region 1 DVD set last month. Ronald D. Moore contributed to the interviews. I think I got a glimpse of the mindset when he discussed "All Good Things...." and how the Picard/Crusher divorce equated to good drama.

Divorce never makes for good drama.

Give us a worthy script if a remake must be done, with healthy characters that can be multi-dimensional. Multi-dysfunctional, well, that's not drama to me. That invokes pity. Or something akin to gawking at a car wreck out of morbid curiousity. I'd like to see Commander Adama married, not divorced. Same with Tigh. I'd like to explore their relationships and the fact that they hold such love for their mates, but are "bethrothed" to their military duty.

And for God's sake: Make our heroes into noteworthy heroes. This script lacks that fundamental concept; they're all flawed. You need people to look up to. Hell, do you know how many e-mails we've received at BattlestarGalactica.com, RichardHatch.com and BattlestarPegasus.com from military personnel who were inspired by Richard, Dirk, Herb and Anne?? (I bet Tracy has similar experiences via her dirkbenedictcentral.com web site.) I've argued this with Ronald D. Moore directly; we definitely don't see eye-to-eye. C'est la vie.

It's water under the bridge, just as both Richard's and Tom's efforts would have done more to show heroism than this current endeavor. And that's no bias: That's the truth.

Michael
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Old February 14th, 2003, 01:08 PM   #10
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Btw, even Mark (SeoulWind) can testify (and has) to the inspiration of the original BG series by U.S. Armed Forces in Korea. I guess an era has come and gone.

Michael
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Old February 14th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #11
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Michael,

Great ideas!!!

I think you should give script writing a try. What's great about your approach is that the overall story arc is logical and the character interactions and reactions are realistic. This would make for compelling drama. What's really amazing is that you were able to do this without sex, divorce, and serious drinking. Hmmmm. On second thought, maybe you should not try script writing. I mean, have you watched television lately? I would hate for you to have to read all those rejection slips.



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Old February 14th, 2003, 04:05 PM   #12
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LOL! You've got that right. He's too good for TV. Who knows, maybe soemday there will be an alternative science fiction channel out there for good science fiction, based on what the fans want, and Michael can write up a few series.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 03:19 AM   #13
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Well I'm new, registered because I wanted to talk about this reimagining.

I'll be honest and say that I think a remake (NOT a reimagining) is the best way to go, because the gap of time between the end of the old series and the start of the new one would have to be so long. That said, I do not like this script at all.

I like your ideas Michael, but to be honest I think you don't call for enough changes. I agree that the characters should be, for the most part, less flawed. All characters should have a flaw or two, but having every character be so flawed that all relationships are dysfunctional is absurd. That's a good change, but there remain these other things which annoy me:

I strongly dislike the gender reassignment of established characters. Yes, the original's division of labor would not go down too well with a modern audience, but the need for greater diversity should be met by adding characters, not changing existing ones. Casting Starbuck as female is pathetic, and putting her in charge of Boxey is just a gutless decision in my opinion. It is pandering to the public's view that the single father is always a suspect figure, it is the easy answer and I hate writers who take the easy answer. Moreover, the Apollo-Boxey relationship was an inspiring model of father-son relationships and it's lack lessens the story.

The fact that the new script is a vessel for the author's obvious luddite leanings also offends me. For one thing it's been done to death (Terminator, The Matrix, any number of cheap one-off evil robot movies). It's a knee-jerk theme that goes back to "Frankenstein". The Cylons make far more sense as the servants of an extinct race running rampant because they have no masters.

The sex and coarse language are way over the top and dysfunctional relations are omnipresent. I'm not a fundy, I honestly have no problem with any of these things in their proper context, but the script makes it clear that they exist in this work purely for purposes of making it "darker" or "grittier" rather than because they actually need to be there. The work should dictate it's requirements, not the other way around. I agree that there should be a certain amount of dysfunction involved, but the draft of the script we have makes me feel like these people deserve to be annihilated, I mean, it's obvious their society is an abject failure, they can't get along with each other in the slightest.

And does anyone else get the strong impression that the "look" of the series will be changed? I dread seeing Trek style leotards or some more real world but equally modern costuming. Part of the appeal of Battlestar was the greek/romanesque/hippy quality of the costuming... It added to the mythological/mystical/spiritual element of Battlestar that is what set it apart from the mass of science fiction. The fact that this was a people seeking its past, preserved by the spiritual is what truly drove the series for me, personally. That is utterly lacking in the script as we have seen it.

To sum up, if it were me handling the property, I would choose to remake it, yes, but stick to the plot as it was originally laid down, changing only the things absolutely necessary to make it accessible to a modern audience. I would get as many members of the original cast as possible, not to play their original roles, but to play the parts of the commanders, the older roles. They would bring continuity to the project. Have Richard Hatch play Adama and Noah Hathaway play Apollo, something like that. I know Hatch isn't really old enough looking to fit the part, it's just a for instance, something like that would preserve the sense of connection to the original.

You could follow the plot of the original as far as possible and then just continue it along. I think it would work.

But that's just me.

-Musashi
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Old February 18th, 2003, 05:39 AM   #14
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Great post Musashi and welcome.

I find myself agreeing for the most part with it. Though I am FOR a continuation. I think a remake in the full sense of the word is more valid than Moore's reimagine.

Regards,

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Old February 18th, 2003, 08:16 AM   #15
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Yes welcome
I agree with a lot of that too but I'm also for a continuation.
I feel that a remake is trying to better something that already exists and in my mind the original can't be all that bad if it has all these fans.

All shows on the most part are a sign of the times and even though Star Trek only had about 10 years between it's first run on TV and it's first movie, It was updated and reflected on the time it was made. Every show has its flaws and if we went back and remade every one because of that, no story would continue but I guess thatís a personal preference and I totally understand that this is what it comes down to. A personal preference.

Personally I can say that one of the most annoying things for my viewing dollar is when I see a Sequel with another actor playing the same part that went to a different one in the first. I don't mind different actors playing younger or older versions as we all change over time and because of that, to me it's expectable.

To me, if I want to watch a badly flawed society, I will tune into CNN.
I like a show that leaves me with a good feeling inside and Galactica did and still does that for me but a butchered up remake is something that I have no interest in what so ever.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #16
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Thumbs up

You could shoot the above scenario (maybe leave Boomer a guy and write another female character) with the new faces in the Continuation playing the roles of Apollo, Starbuck, etc. Then as the story ends with the line "to be sorted out later..." you hear the voice and the camera pulls back to reveal Richard Hatch as Apollo re-telling the tale to the Young Warriors over a friendly game of Pyramid. Starbuck of course cashes in a Pyramid and wins the pot. But Kara collects on the loan she made at a substantial interest rate to Dad. Starbuck mutters that he should have done the genetic test before he adopted.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 12:35 PM   #17
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On the other hand if the young warriors are hearing the tale and we are veiwing it through their eyes, and one of them is a young woman who would fit the Boomer part and then The real Boomer turns up at some point in the Continuation, no harm is done.
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