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Craig Reardon Battlestar Galactica Alien Designs
Written by Marcel Damen   
Sunday, 10 April 2011

Craig Reardon is a makeup and VFX makeup artist, known for his work on An American Werewolf in London, E.T, the Extra Terrestrial, Poltergeist and received four Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for his work the Alien Nation television movies Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World" he worked on several aliens in the Casino on Carillon. The porcine character was later reused for the masks of the Boray.



Makeup team for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

Makeup team for Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



Above: Some of the people who are part of the very talented team of artists in the Universal makeup dept. From left to right are: Gunnar Ferdinanden (one of the best mold-makers in the business), Chris Mueller (a consumate sculptor and highly respected in the industry -- recall the beautifully sculpted detail on Capt. Nemo’s pipe organ aboard the Disney Nautilus), Rosalind Mercier, Dan Angier, Werner Keppler, and David Ayres.

In the summer of 1977 Craig Reardon was hired by Universal to produce some ideas for the embryonic Battlestar Galactica (at that time the working title was Star World). He spent the first week sketching aliens. “I drew fanciful things, insectoid things, large fearful monsters that looked like they might be capable of intelligence or conversation."



alien sketch by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

alien sketch by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



alien sketch by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

realized alien by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

sketch and realized alien by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica



Though there are no images and there is no footage of the alien above being used on the Battlestar Galactica pilot "Saga of a Star World", it does appear in the background of a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode, as can be seen below.



alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century



"My best alien sculpture was a cat-woman that I liked very much. Originally, we were told they would use 'her' in the bar, and that her tail would pick up empty glasses, or deliver full glasses to patrons, a cute idea. She was also multi-breasted, and I sculpted a breastplate with three rows of [certainly human-type] breasts, which was very popular up in the lab, I must say! Not used, though."



Craig Reardon with the cat-woman's breastplate for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

Craig Reardon with the cat-woman's breastplate for Battlestar Galactica



"I'm not pleased with the way my sculptures were finished, as far as painting, and the way they're costumed. Looks cheesy to me. However, I was unable to stay at Universal past Christmas of 1977, for union reasons, at that time. So, I was not able to be involved in the final fabrication of the pieces (masks, headpieces, etc.) used on-set. The later episode which reworked the porcine character was also as far removed from what I originally did the thing for as possible. The pilot had something to do with insects breeding other aliens for food, rather like H.G.Wells' famous "Morlocks" and their cannibalism. That's the way I remember it, anyway. That "pig" character was something I did on my own volition, as a background item, to show a fattened-up, hapless, worried alien. The worry is sculpted right into its features!"



porcine character as sculpted by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as sculpted by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica



"That's another reason I don't like to see this character lounging around in a bar, much less portraying something supposedly fierce, in a later show. I'm a great believer in instilling some attitude and character into a mask, not making it neutral (like the Creature From the Black Lagoon, e.g., done by Chris Mueller by the way! -- although for that, it worked very well) However, this has been the story of my life: constant misinterpretation on the part of the people I've worked for, and I might add, constant disappointment at things being misused or dropped entirely. Hard to understand. Some of my friends love many of the things I've done which were never in the least appreciated by the producers for whom they were originally done. That's the frustrating aspect of films. It's like you're speaking a different language, sometimes, or even from another planet, appropos of Battlestar Galactica!"



porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

close-up porcine character as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



In the image below we actually see the actor that was in the porcine alien costume as a Casino table dealer. Notice how he's now wearing his porcine alien head mask as a hat!



actor wearing his porcine alien head as a hat on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

actor wearing his porcine alien head as a hat on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



On the Battlestar Galactica DVD set there is a deleted scene where Boomer and Starbuck are greeted by the porcine alien when they first enter casino. This video can be seen below.



You can view the video by clicking on the "PLAY" button below to start.



deleted scene of the porcine alien on Battlestar Galactica's "Saga of a Star World"



The reuse of the porcine character that Craig Reardon is talking about, is the use of it as Boray warriors in "The Magnificent Warriors" episode. Notably a lot of hair was added to Craig Reardon's original design. The actor playing the Boray leader Nogow isn't wearing the mask, but more likely he's wearing some sort of appliance make-up influenced by Craig Reardon's original design.



reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's "The Magnificent Warriors"



reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

reused porcine character as Boray on Battlestar Galactica's "The Magnificent Warriors"



appliance makeup for Nogow based on Craig Reardon's alien design on Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors'

appliance makeup for Nogow based on Craig Reardon's alien design on
Battlestar Galactica's "The Magnificent Warriors"



In Profiles in History Auction #16 a hero Boray costume was offered with a $2,000 - $3,000 estimate. The costume didn't sell at the auction itself, but was later sold to a private collector.



Boray mask from Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors' on Profiles in History Auction #16

Boray mask from Battlestar Galactica's 'The Magnificent Warriors' on Profiles in History Auction #16

Boray mask from Battlestar Galactica's "The Magnificent Warriors"
on Profiles in History Auction #16



Like many other aliens from Battlestar Galactica's "Saga of a Star World" also this alien (in the form of the Boray mask) appears in the background of a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode, as can be seen below.



alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century



"Another sculpture I did for the show in the Universal lab and which wasn't used as I intended it, was the large-eyed, simple reptilian creature. In "Saga of a Star World" it appears in two costumes (a hooded cowl, and a kind of 'jumpsuit')."



simple reptilian creature as sculpted by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

simple reptilian creature as sculpted by Craig Reardon for Battlestar Galactica



simple reptilian creature in jumpsuit as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

simple reptilian creature in jumpsuit as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

simple reptilian creature in jumpsuit as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

simple reptilian creature in jumpsuit as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



simple reptilian creature in hooded cowl as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot 'Saga of a Star World'

simple reptilian creature in hooded cowl as used on Battlestar Galactica's pilot "Saga of a Star World"



Again also this alien appears in the background (and foreground) of a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode, as can be seen below.



alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

alien by Craig Reardon in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century



Special thanks goes out to Joerg Zimmermann for adding several images and also spotting the alien on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and making screenshots.

 
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