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Old November 27th, 2019, 07:49 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Default Richard Hatch and DeSanto

Today, I decided to dig into the archives and try to relocate something that for many years stuck in my memory as the smoking gun reason for why I didn't think the DeSanto project, when it was being rumored in 2001, was going to be "true" to the series and a worthy project. My memory blamed it on something Richard wrote on his website which I didn't read regularly but he said a lot from a negative standpoint that I remember made everyone at the time in the Galactica forums I was part of (and I was not yet a member of Fleets) have no enthusiasm for the news. It was after DeSanto went under and that other entity emerged and the news of what the DeSanto script was about surfaced that I felt a bit blindsided because it didn't jibe with the low expectations I remember having and for that I blamed what Richard wrote on his site even though I never went back to relocate what he wrote.

Well, eighteen and a half years later, I found what he wrote back then. Amazingly it's still up because his site is still up so you don't even have to use the Internet Wayback machine. It's his column from June 23, 2001.

http://www.richardhatch.com/news_ins...ne23_2001.html

Was my memory accurate or had I done him an injustice all this time? Finding it again, I have to say, no I didn't do him an injustice regarding my memory of what he wrote in this piece. These were the key passages my mind never forgot.

I have read a few articles from Bryan Singer and have heard little bits of heresay from various parties. However, the pipeline for breaking news seems to have been turned off for the time being. It seems to me that if we are not hearing anything, then either there is nothing to report -- or they don't want us to know what's going on. After such a strong negative response from the fans concerning the direction the studios originally wanted to take Battlestar Galactica in, I would have to think that they must have realized that if they were going to follow their own agenda, they better do it in secret. Nobody wants to be second guessed -- and I'm sure that they think that they know better than the fans what direction the show should go in.

They talk about honoring the original show, but everything I hear tells me that they have no real intention of following through on that promise other than in a token way, which is how the studios always try to appease the fans and at the same time take advantage of the marketing value of using a few characters from the original series. Who knows maybe they will come up with a great show and blow everybody away with their creative vision for Battlestar Galactica, maybe they won't. No matter what happens, I personally would like to see Battlestar succeed because it's a great epic story with a lot of heart -- and it deserves a real chance to fly. My fear is, if Battlestar Galactica doesn't succeed, they will blame Battlestar itself and not the creative vision behind it. The studios will just say that if Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto can't make Battlestar Galactica successful, then nobody can.

I still believe that the studios don't understand what is special about Battlestar, nor do they understand the vast and wide ranging fanbase that supports it. They are more excited about having Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto onboard than in the show itself. I'm excited about them, too. They're very talented, young guys who can bring a lot to the table. But the fact that nobody really believes in the show, except maybe Tom and Bryan, tells me that what the studios really want is a new show. It might have the Battlestar Galactica name (which they can use for relaunching it), but essentially they're hoping Bryan and Tom will come up with an exciting new concept which while borrowing from Battlestar Galactica will, in reality, be a completely different animal. If one doesn't understand what is special about a show or what made it successful in the first place, then how can one ever build upon it?

The fact is: The studios don't perceive Battlestar Galactica as having been successful. Period. So they believe they have to change it drastically to have any chance of succeeding. They also seem more concerned with building a new audience than pleasing the existing fanbase. What I don't understand is, isn't the existing fanbase (which spans generations) the one that is going to make a classic like Battlestar successful. Aren't they the ones that have always made any sci-fi show successful. Why would anyone risk losing the majority of your fans just to gain a few new converts? Again it seems that they still don't understand that the core audience for a classic like Battlestar is the one that already exists, and that they're the group they have to please if they have any hope of buying enough time to bond the audience to their new characters and storylines.


But having said that, Richard did write some more columns that I know I never read and fairness required me to look them up to see if he had changed his attitude a bit before the whole thing was cancelled. This one from October 29, 2001 I have to say shows not a whole lot. There is still an underlying tone of, "this isn't what you the fans really wanted to see" even as he expresses his respect for DeSanto and Singer.

http://www.richardhatch.com/news_ins...ct29_2001.html

My own opinions are well documented and now I think it is time for all of you to speak your minds loud and clear. Itís not about me, or my vision for the show anyway. Itís about "what do you want to see? What is most important to you?!" Once again I have done everything in my power to bring this show back as have many of you and Iím thankful for all your love, support and tireless efforts. The issue is now that Universal has decided to bring the show back with Tom and Bryan at the helm it is only appropriate and honorable for me to leave the fate of the show to the only people that can make a difference in itís outcome and that is you and them. Iím not going away and will always support Battlestar Galactica in every way that I can because I *believe* in it and want the *best* for it.

As you know, I have fought long and hard for what I believe are your wishes which include bringing back the original cast with a new generation born in space, plus an updated storyline. That may not be the direction they decide to go in. To tell the truth, even if they decided to just use me or Dirk, or a few of the other stars, I donít know if I would be still be happy, because in my heart, I would still feel as if the real Battlestar still had not come back. Maybe thatís just hanging on to the past, but I donít believe so, as I have seen time and again fans of a particular classic cheer loudly when they see their favorite stars back in their roles again. But who knows? Even if they decide to go in another direction and leave the original cast out entirely they may still come up with a great show -- and I have to respect that. It wonít be the Battlestar that I and many others love, but it could still be a great show in itís own right.

Itís just sad to me that the studio couldnít have decided to give the majority of fans what they really want with the original cast -- then do spin offs, like Star Trek did, later on. In my mind, one would have laid the groundwork for the others and have created a more fan-friendly bridge to the future. Well, itís truly in your hands now. Sooner or later, they will have to listen to you and take your feelings into account.

Just know that no matter what happens, I am very pleased that Battlestar Galactica is finally coming back with such talented and visionary artist at the helm. Iím not going to go into any additional explanations right now about some of my feelings as I am going to answer a lot of questions that have been given to me by the fans in a special Q&A section on my web sites. By the way, as far as I know, they are planning to begin shooting the pilot for a new series on or about December 11 for a period of two months


So all in all I have to admit, that my 15 year old impressions based on what I'd remembered from what was then a three year old column, are probably at most 10% off. Richard offered a few qualifiers but what he wrote in the June 23, 2001 *really* had a negative impact I think on a lot of people in terms of not thinking there was anything to look forward to in the DeSanto project before it got killed.
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Old November 28th, 2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Richard Hatch and DeSanto

Having worked with Richard some things are accurate and some are not that's for damn sure.

Nothing was ever good enough for the man. His visions were always a spectacle. He was always against DeSanto and Singer and never liked the direction they were going to take it. I met Tom DeSanto only once but over the years i have had multiple conversations with the man and he always was a believer in the original premis of Galactica. From my understanding Richard did not like the direction that his character was going to take with the new series. My question would have been if he didn't like that direction what the hell did he think of what GINO did? Again hollywood is based on money and when you need work you sometimes have to swallow your pride. As the man did.

9/11 was the general excuse as to why DeSanto's and SIngers project supposedly died but in my eyes it was the very excuse they needed to pan the whole project for there own twisted version of the series.

I'll never forget Galacticon when Moore pumped out his chest and said "hey i killed off Kirk". That's all i needed to hear and one of the major reason's i no longer wish to work in that town again.

I have an enormous cg library of DeSanto's concept art that was given to me early on by the man himself off of his own server. It's archived away but i built a ton of models in cg including his vision of the new cylon basestar. Maybe someday....
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Old November 28th, 2019, 02:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Richard Hatch and DeSanto

What might have been. Would it have been perfect by the standards a fanfic author like me would bring to the table with my own creative prejudices of how I would have personally liked to have seen things happen? Certainly not. But I would have given it a fair shake and regarded it as the true vindication of what he hoped for.

Richard in one of those columns insisted that his feelings were not about what was in it for him as an actor, but let's face it, that was a crock. It was all about him and Moore ultimately figured that out and knew how to buy him off. I don't blame Richard for doing what he needed to do to get work, but some more honesty and candor from him from the get-go would have been welcome.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 07:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Richard Hatch and DeSanto

Eric,

Honesty and candor do not exist in hollywood. I was also sold a bill of goods concerning Galactica's resurrection. We were told think of Galactica 50 years into the future. Nothing of what we initially were told revolved around Moore's vision. We were asked for TOS models and i signed the NDA.

At the time you swallow your pride, like Richard, and you work. Having a paying gig was bitter sweet since your working on something you have loved only to discover it's been fully twisted into something completely foreign to you. To see your work in the very opening scene of a tv show is nothing short of spectacular. But for me it didn't last long.

Hollywood to this day still can't get out of there own way. It want's to "tell us" what we should like and not like. Even when they keep failing they still keep pushing there own agenda's.

Like i said i only met Richard once and came away with serious distrust. I began doing somethings for his Great War of Megellan concept but grew tired of his constant changing mentality. Like i said it was never good enough. At the time i was not the greatest of artists but when you working for free with hopes of something bigger it's hard to keep artistic focus. The project never materialized. In the end it was never about making something great but it was Richard trying to reinvent himself and was in it for the cash. As he should be.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 07:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Richard Hatch and DeSanto

All I'll say is I had a totally different experience with Richard than what Titon recounts.

My work with Richard was in the context of audio books, a niche market and projects with no financial pressure, so working on something that was homegrown rather than part of the Hollywood machine.

We worked on an audio book of his BSG memoirs, You can see more details here: http://www.colonialfleets.com/forums...ad.php?t=18327 and discussed another project (a story for another day).

I'm not doubting Titon's word, but the Hollywood context may change everything.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Richard Hatch and DeSanto

Ernie,

I am just expressing the things that happened with me. I did not hate the man i just couldn't work with him. Not saying that other's could not.

In the end it still doesn't matter. The man has passed and should let him rest in peace.

That being said i still love him as Apollo!

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