|What is Battlestar Galactica?|
THE ORIGINAL BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SERIES
The creation of Battlestar Galactica is attributed to prolific television writer / producer / composer, Glen A. Larson, also known for creating such venerable series as Alias Smith and Jones, Quincy and Magnum P.I.. Purportedly conceived and pitched in the late 1960s as a project entitled Adam's Ark, Larson's space epic was met with lukewarm enthusiasm, possibly do to the languishing ratings of another science fiction series airing at the time, Star Trek. Glen Larson described the original concept as follows:
"Adam's Ark was sort of about the origins of mankind in the universe, taking some of the biblical stories and moving them off into space as if by the time we get them to Earth, they're really not about things that happened here, but things that might have happened someplace else in space. It was influenced by Von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods and some of those things... Adam's Ark helped bring a focus into what my concept had been. Ultimately, Battlestar Galactica is my original idea refined down to where I now have fixed on what my point of view is on how all humans throughout the galaxy probably evolved from some mother colony."
Then, in 1977, the extraordinary success of Star Wars opened up the floodgates for science fiction and space opera. Suddenly every major studio in Hollywood was combing their archives to see what property they had that could be developed into "the next Star Wars." For Paramount, it was of course, Star Trek. For Universal, it was time to take another look at Larson's Adam's Ark project, which was quickly placed on a fast track as a series of movies for television (or telefilms), which was now titled Star World.
With Star World as a working title, main characters named Skyler (Skywalker) and Lyra (Leia), there was no doubt Universal was trying to make Star Wars for ABC television. To avoid major lawsuits the initial pilot script that was pitched to the studios got re-titled into Galactica: Saga of a Star World and characters names like Skyler and Lyra were changed into Apollo and Serina.
Essentially, Larson's idea was a marriage of theological motifs and epic themes culled from many sources and arranged in a universally recognizable tale. Actor Patrick MacNee's voice-over narration at the beginning of the pilot set the stage for the audience:
"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. That they may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far, far away, amongst the stars."
From this lofty opening sprang the remarkably dark, but historically archetypal, premise: Somewhere out in space, an alien cybernetic race known as the Cylons launch a devastating, genocidal attack on twelve colonies of humanity. The survivors of this attack, led by the only remaining warship, the battlestar Galactica, set off across space on a kind of wagon train, searching for a legendary thirteenth colony where they can seek refuge amongst their brethren; a thirteenth colony known to their scriptures as Earth.
It's well documented that Glen Larson, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, added a liberal dose of Mormon mythology to Galactica. Take the exodus of Colonial survivors in the pilot, for example: In The Book of Mormon, it is stated that a remnant of the Israelite tribe of Joseph traveled from Jerusalem to America sometime around 600 BC, after the amalgamation of the original twelve tribes and during the period of the Babylonian conquest. (The remnant of this tribe are said to be the progenitors of the Mormon faith.)
In Battlestar Galactica "canon," reference is also made to the planet, Kobol, the mother world from which all humans originated before environmental disaster forced them to migrate to the stars and form the Twelve Colonies of Man (all prior to their conflict with the Cylons). The name "Kobol" draws its inspiration from "Kolob", which according to a volume of Mormon scripture called The Book of Abraham, refers to the star "nearest unto the throne of God."
The same ancient Egyptian influence of The Book of Abraham that informed Battlestar Galactica's mythology was also in evidence artistically. The helmets worn by the Viper pilots were a not-so-subtle reference to the headdress worn by Egyptian Pharaohs such as King Tutankhamun. And in the episode, "Lost Planet of the Gods," the structures on the planet Kobol are identical to the royal necropolis at Giza, replete with three pyramids and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Battlestar Galactica made use of other historical influences as well, including Phoenician and Hebrew -- for example, Commander Adama leading the Colonials in search of Earth has been compared to Moses leading the Israelites in search of the Promised Land. Less often discussed was the Council of the Twelve, who looked remarkably like a depiction of The Last Supper, or the obvious Roman aesthetic found in the design of the Cylon mechanized soldiers, perhaps predictably referred to as Centurions.
Last, but not least, was the inclusion of thematic elements borrowed from the works of Erich Von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods) and Zecharia Sitchin (Sitchin's theories from The Earth Chronicles being perhaps the more scholarly), both of which postulate the hypothesis that civilization on Earth was heavily influenced during ancient times by human ancestors who came from the stars.
From the start, Battlestar Galactica had a familial feel, anchored by Glen Larson's casting of veteran actor Lorne Greene as Commander Adama. Perhaps best known for his role as paterfamilias Ben Cartright on NBC's enormously successful western, Bonanza, Greene's benevolent but authoritative presence and wonderfully resonant voice lent Battlestar Galactica an immediate Sunday night familiarity, setting the tone for the series.
Joining Lorne Greene in the series' cast were Richard Hatch (The Streets of San Francisco) as Captain Apollo; Dirk Benedict (Chopper One) as Lieutenant Starbuck; Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Rich Man, Poor Man) as Lieutenant Boomer; Laurette Spang (Airport 1975) as Cassiopeia; Terry Carter (McCloud) as Colonel Tigh; newcomer Maren Jensen as Athena; Noah Hathaway as Boxey; and John Colicos (Anne of the Thousand Days) as the Battlestar Galactica's Judas-like nemesis, Count Baltar.
Due to Glen Larson's inexperience producing science fiction, he teamed with veteran Outer Limits producer Leslie Stevens, who was hired as supervising producer. [Recently, Stevens -- who is now deceased -- has been rumored to have been far more influential in the embryonic development of Battlestar Galactica than is commonly held. However, this assertion is still unsubstantiated.]
Battlestar Galactica was originally designed as a television miniseries, beginning with a three-hour premiere credited to Glen Larson, and then following with twin MOWs (Movie of the Week), the first written by Leslie Stevens. But after viewing the first part of the pilot, executives at ABC were suitably impressed and elevated the project to regular series status. This forced the producers to scramble for stories, and the cast and crew to adapt to the rigors of a weekly sci-fi series unprecedented in its complexity.
In a clever marketing strategy, several weeks later Universal released a two-hour version of the pilot in Canadian theaters on July 7, 1978 -- simultaneously releasing the film theatrically in Europe and Japan. It was a considerable success, and approximately ten months later, Universal released Battlestar Galactica as a feature film in the United States.
On the small screen, Battlestar Galactica premiered on the ABC television network September 17, 1978, with a three-hour pilot movie. Scenes that had not appeared in the theatrical version were added to the pilot to further tease the audience. Count Baltar, that had betrayed the human race, was now spared (in the theatrical movie he was beheaded) to star in the series as the nemesis leader that helps the Cylons to hunt down the humans that had escaped the genocide. Over the next eight months seventeen episodes of the series were produced, resulting in a total of twenty-four hours of television, broken down as follows: The three-hour television pilot, four two-part episodes, one two-hour special, and eleven one-hour episodes.
Unable to sustain its initial ratings momentum, on April 29, 1979, Battlestar Galactica was canceled after airing its final episode, "The Hand of God." In retrospect, the cancellation seems premature, as the series was only beginning to find its legs -- common for fledgling television shows. Moreover, renowned science fiction author Isaac Azimov was set to join Battlestar Galactica as senior story consultant in its second season, which would doubtless have provided the series with some outstanding creative direction. But at a then record cost of approximately $1 million per episode, Battlestar Galactica's production overruns and complex weekly effects shots, coupled with what the network viewed as insufficiently high ratings, ultimately sounded the series' death-knell.
THE STAR WARS CONNECTION
Almost from the outset the inevitable, and largely unfair, comparisons to Star Wars began. This had more to do with certain resemblances in production design, art direction and visual effects, than with any legitimate story similarities.
When Battlestar Galactica went into production, veteran Star Wars names like Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Dennis Muren -- all of whom were available at the end of Star Wars and looking for other projects -- quickly became associated with Universal's new space epic, lending it their artistic sensibilities and recent Star Wars production experience.
Gifted conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie provided numerous designs for Battlestar Galactica, including the ship herself. For the Battlestar Galactica, McQuarrie drew his inspiration directly from nature. Look closely, and you'll notice that the battlestars bear a striking resemblance to an alligator, which was by design.
Though both McQuarrie and Johnston also provided the initial designs for the Cylons, it should be mentioned that the final look for the series' chrome-plated antagonists ultimately fell to a talented new conceptual artist, Andrew Probert, later known for his outstanding work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Cylon costume was made in close collaboration with artist / sculptor Ralph Massey (who also helped create the initial designs of the Ovion and the Daggit on the series).
Effects illustration and design (i.e. storyboards, scene layouts, and shot designs) were created by Joe Johnston. Other (non-Star Wars) conceptual artist involved were Dan Goozee, Martin Kline and Steve Amos.
To handle the complex visual effects that Battlestar Galactica demanded, Glen Larson turned to John Dykstra, a visual effects wizard who first made a name for himself working with Douglas Trumbull on Silent Running, and who served as the first head of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Dykstra was the visual effects supervisor on Star Wars, and together with chief miniature and optical cameraman, Richard Edlund, had pioneered a new and innovative form of visual effects technology called "motion control." This technology had revolutionized the photorealism of space shots for Star Wars and was quickly employed -- and in some respects further refined -- for Battlestar Galactica.
With John Dykstra serving as visual effects supervisor and producer, Richard Edlund was brought aboard as director of miniature photography (for which he later won an Emmy Award) along with miniatures cameraman Dennis Muren and a miniature workshop led by Grant McCune. Battlestar Galactica was now poised to deliver Star Wars level visuals to the small screen-and, unfortunately, to attract the ire of producer George Lucas.
Dykstra and his team began work on the visual effects for Battlestar Galactica using dormant effects stages willingly leased to Universal Studios by 20th Century Fox. The initial idea was also to keep the ILM team together during the production gap between the first and second Star Wars film. Yet despite assurances made by Glen Larson to Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz that Battlestar Galactica would avoid duplicating certain effects techniques, Fox-joined by Lucasfilm Ltd. -- sued Universal anyway. The reasons were allegedly to do with Universal's choice to release the film theatrically, and George Lucas' belief that there were simply too many similarities between the two properties.
This led to a series of acrimonious and largely groundless counter-suits back and forth between the two studios. Finally, on August 22, 1980, the original dispute was settled by a Los Angeles Federal court judge, who ruled that the two films were sufficiently different, subsequently defeating Fox and Lucasfilm's claim.
Nevertheless, it has been speculated that the relationship between John Dykstra and George Lucas was never quite the same again, perhaps evidenced by Dykstra's conspicuous absence from the Star Wars' sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and starting his own company called Apogee.
The original Battlestar Galactica was very much a product of the time in which it was made, and it is perhaps impossible not to place any television series within the historical context of its era. In the case of the original Battlestar Galactica, it was an era in which the United States was still recovering from the wounds of the Vietnam conflict, and thus still embracing larger-than-life heroes and heroics. A time in which the cold war had yet to thaw, and the former Soviet Union was still being characterized through propaganda designed for public consumption. (A review of the episode "Experiment in Terra" will quickly bear this out.)
A massive write-in campaign began with the cancellation of the original Battlestar Galactica. Because letter writing campaigns in favor of restoring cancelled television programs were uncommon in 1979, it prompted ABC to re-think their reasons for canceling the show. After some deliberation, they contacted Glen Larson to see about reviving the series, albeit in some modified and less-expensive format.
Both Larson and the network felt the show needed some major change of focus to re-launch it as a spinoff, and Larson and Donald P. Bellisario decided to set the new series five years after "The Hand of God", the final episode of the original series. This would allow them to weed out many supporting characters who were now considered superfluous. To bring down production costs even more, Galactica would discover "present day" Earth, completely unable to defend itself from the Cylons. This would avoid building expensive sets and the extensive use of special effects. Time Travel to alter Earth's history so its technology would develop more rapidly up to a Colonial level would become the main attraction of the revived Battlestar Galactica series. Episodes would feature a new "Time Mission" every week, generally with Apollo at some different time in the past, and Starbuck flying back and forth between "Now" and "Then" to give information and support to Apollo (much like Irwin Allen's ‘60s successful TV series The Time Tunnel that sadly also lasted one season). ABC approved this pitch, and gave the go-ahead to develop a pilot for the series.
However, Dirk Benedict (Starbuck) was apparently unavailable at the time of filming and Richard Hatch (Apollo) turned it down since he wasn't sure what his part in the series would be now that all the characters had changed. It was then decided the series would take place thirty years after the end of the original series, and that Boxey would be renamed Troy and take Apollo's role, while a character named Dillon would take over the Starbuck part. President Baltar was written out entirely, and Commander Xavier or Doctor Xavier was created to take up his role as the resident bad guy.
After the pilot was completed, the network was unhappy with the time travel aspects of the story, and agreed to pick up the series only if that subject was dropped. Larson and Bellisario reluctantly agreed, and the series instead became focused on Troy's and Dillon's attempts to protect some Colonial children on present-day Earth. Bellisario later re-tooled the original time travel concept and re-used it as the basis of the considerably more successful Quantum Leap.
The low-rated show was canceled after only ten episodes (due to fierce competition from CBS's 60 Minutes, the highest rated program at the time), many of which were multi-part stories. The final episode shown was "The Return of Starbuck" which featured a guest appearance by Dirk Benedict from the original series. Larson even began to develop a sequel to this episode, but the series was canceled during production of episode 11, "The Day They Kidnapped Cleopatra", which remained unfinished.
Following the series demise, a feature called Conquest of the Earth was stitched together from sections of the three "Galactica Discovers Earth" episodes and the two "The Night the Cylons Landed" episodes. A scene of John Colicos, playing Baltar, was also spliced into this release. The latter footage was actually taken from an episode of the original series -- Baltar makes no appearance in any Galactica 1980 episode -- and is partially dubbed, so as to make the speech sound relevant to the Galactica's new situation. Several early scenes involving Adama and Dr. Zee are also partially dubbed, to add more explanatory detail and to explain why two actors appear playing the role of Dr. Zee (they're now brothers). The feature was released in cinemas in Europe and Australia and on home video elsewhere.
THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA REVIVAL ATTEMPTS
The core premise of Battlestar Galactica endured. Despite airing for only one season, syndication of both the original and Galactica 1980 series (which was given the same name as its parent program) in the mid '80s breathed new life into the property, ultimately spawning an ongoing series of books, periodicals, comics and assorted merchandise. There are countless websites devoted to the original series and a dedicated fan-base around the world.
This emerging groundswell of support would ultimately lead to one of the most fiercely active revival campaigns in the history of television. Moreover, it has also engendered one of the most hotly contested disputes in fandom over which direction the franchise should take.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE SECOND COMING TRAILER
As Battlestar Galactica began to enjoy a resurgence of popularity thanks to syndication, former star Richard Hatch (Apollo) realized that there was still life in the property. Putting together a treatment for three movies that evolved the original story, he had a series of meetings with executives at Universal Studios. In the end, he was offered a contract to write storylines for Battlestar Galactica comic books and novels. He also attempted to put together a deal for a CD-ROM adventure game and a DVD.
It was after overwhelming fan response to his appearance at a Star Trek convention in the mid '90s, that a flash of inspiration struck Hatch. More certain than ever that Battlestar Galactica and its characters were far from forgotten-and indeed, fondly remembered-he gambled that this army of fans could perhaps resurrect the erstwhile space opera cinematically with the aid of a catalyzing event.
That event came in 1998, when Hatch embarked on a $20,000, four-and-a-half minute "proof of concept" trailer that illustrated his ideas for a new Battlestar Galactica motion picture and/or television series/telemovie. Raising the money himself, Hatch engaged a variety of young CGI effects wizards and nascent filmmakers eager to donate their time pro bono. He also employed the talents of former series stars Terry Carter (Col. Tigh), John Colicos (Baltar) George Murdock (Dr. Salik) and Jack Stauffer (Bojay), who, along with Hatch, reprised their original roles.
With no help (or blessing) from the studio, the result was Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming. The first original Battlestar Galactica footage seen in 20 years, the trailer was an unprecedented private effort filled with impressive CGI shots, operatic grandeur, sweeping heroism, and perhaps most significantly, Richard's fervor for a continuation of the pioneering characters and themes.
In his version, a number of the original characters mentor a new generation of Galacticans born in space, some of whom are offspring of our beloved heroes.
Though the trailer has only ever been seen at sci-fi conventions, it has become a cult favorite, always playing to cheering crowds. And though never achieving its intended goal-support for an extension of the original story -- it should be credited for raising awareness and helping to facilitate a rebirth of the property.
GLEN LARSON/TODD MOYER ABORTED FEATURE FILM
In the spring of 1999, it was announced that Glen Larson was making plans to bring Battlestar Galactica to the silver screen. Impressed with the visual effects and style of the independently financed film Wing Commander, Larson paired with its producer, Todd Moyer, on an estimated $40-50 million film that was to shoot later that year in Luxembourg.
The story picked up where the series left off, but followed the exploits of Commander Cain and the battlestar Pegasus (made famous in the original series episode, "The Living Legend," guest starring the late Lloyd Bridges). In the concept, Commander Cain's search for the lost battlestar Galactica leads him to contemporary Earth, which, according to the story, was settled by humans who arrived here during prehistoric times on the very first battlestar, Atlantis.
Special effects were to be handled by Moyer's company, No Prisoners 3DFX, utilizing several of the artists who worked on Wing Commander. Moyer planned to update some of Battlestar Galactica's ships, including giving the Vipers the ability to morph into mechanized walkers -- à la The Transformers -- when on planet surfaces. Moreover, he and Larson planned to expand the Battlestar Galactica franchise to include an Imax film, a theme ride, and a new line of merchandise.
Then, as quickly as it had been announced, the project vanished from the radar screen. It has been suggested that Larson and Moyer ultimately found themselves at odds over significant creative issues. It has also been suggested that the film rights to Battlestar Galactica were still in some dispute. In either case, the project disappeared into the ethers.
THE BRYAN SINGER/TOM DESANTO PILOT
On February 22, 2001, the writing/producing/directing team of Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer declared plans to bring back Battlestar Galactica with the cooperation of Studios USA (Vivendi Universal). Suddenly, the studio/network were enthusiastic about the property again, unquestionably due to DeSanto and Singer's proven bankability with such hits as The Usual Suspects and X-Men.
In early September 2001 (the 23rd anniversary of the original series' debut), a deal was struck to air a two-hour back door Battlestar Galactica pilot on the Fox Network.
Planned from the inception as a continuation of the 1970s series, the DeSanto/Singer version picked up the story 23 years later, with a return of various original cast members in concert with new characters and situations. In this version, Adama is deceased, Apollo has been captured by the Cylons and presumed dead, and Apollo's stepson Boxey has assumed command of the battlestar Galactica. After almost 20 years without Cylon contact, and weary of their extended search for the mythical planet Earth, the "rag tag" fleet decides to establish a new colony in a secure asteroid field. Perhaps predictably, the Cylons return to launch a massive assault -- and in a "Locutus of Borg" plotline unabashedly borrowed from Star Trek: The Next Generation -- are now led by a cybernetically modified Apollo.
With a budget of $10 million, writers Dan Angel and Billy Brown (The X-Files, Goosebumps) were hired to flesh out Tom DeSantos' story concept. DeSanto also had a series of meetings with Glen Larson who offered his guidance on the project. The production was scheduled for three months: November 2001 to January 2002. Postproduction was to continue through spring for a May 2002 premiere. Former ILM art director Guy Dyas was hired to produce a new design for the Cylons. Several visual effects companies such as Foundation Imaging and Eden FX started work on effects illustration and design. And set construction began at a warehouse across the street from Mammoth Studios in Vancouver.
Then, on September 11, 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center in New York changed everything. "It was devastating," DeSanto recollects. "No one was able to function. It was difficult to focus, and we lost about a month, and that caused the schedule to shift."
By November 2001, with the Battlestar Galactica project now falling behind schedule, Bryan Singer's contractual obligation to direct X2 (X-Men II) forced him to leave Battlestar Galactica. In a last ditched effort to save the project, Tom DeSanto approached other directors, including Stephen Hopkins, Gary Fleder and Brian Henson. It is also believed that Star Trek alumnus Harve Bennett was solicited.
Nevertheless, despite DeSanto's best efforts, with Singer's departure Fox lost confidence in the project and pulled the plug. By December 2001, production offices in Los Angles and Vancouver were closed and the sets were demolished. Just like that, the production had moved from front-runner to footnote.
SCIFI CHANNEL'S BATTLESTAR GALACTICA MINISERIES
The previous revival attempts, particularly Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto's abandoned project, had an unexpected side benefit: they reversed the inertia that Universal had maintained with respect to the Battlestar Galactica property. Finally aware that a resurrected Battlestar Galactica could be viable, Vivendi-Universal -- who also own Studios USA and SciFi Channel-began looking for someone amongst their ranks who could take the reigns of the franchise. The person they chose was David Eick.
Eick's production background in television was formidable. During the mid to late '90s he held several positions at Renaissance Pictures where he had been instrumental in the development and production of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. In 1995, Eick also served as a producer on CBS' critically acclaimed series, American Gothic.
David Eick then spent more than two years as senior vice-president of original series development for USA Cable. There, he was responsible for overseeing the creation and production of all original series for USA Network and SciFi Channel, including Cover Me, The Huntress, Manhattan, AZ and The Invisible Man. By September 2001, Eick had been signed to a multi-year development deal with Studios USA to develop programming with the network's producers.
From the outset, David Eick was clear about one thing: he did not want to do a sequel to the original Battlestar Galactica. Instead, he wanted to break with the previous approaches and reimagine Battlestar Galactica for a new audience living in a new era. He wanted to resuscitate space opera; a genre that he believed had become, for the most part, formulaic and predictable.
"I'm a tremendous fan of the genre," remarks Eick. "When an opportunity like this comes along, you have to ask yourself, 'What can you do that isn't being done perfectly elsewhere?' And we decided to take this existing mythos and reinterpret it without being married to any preexisting formula or template. We said, 'Let's borrow from this rich tapestry and then find ways to reinvent it tonally, visually and editorially.'"
Eick immediately realized that in order to succeed in his goal of reinventing Battlestar Galactica, he would need an experienced collaborator who was intimately familiar with the science fiction genre.
Enter Ronald D Moore. As a veteran writer/producer of more than a half-dozen shows -- including more than a decade with the Star Trek franchise -- Moore first entered the business in 1989 with a spec script sale to Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled, "The Bonding." A second Next Generation script entitled, "The Defector," landed him a coveted position on the writing staff. Proving to be one of The Next Generation's more prolific and gifted writers, Moore soon found himself being elevated to producer-which ultimately led to his joining the writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a supervising producer in 1995, and shortly thereafter, advancing to co-executive producer.
After a stint as an executive consultant on SciFi Channel's critically acclaimed series Good vs. Evil in 1999, Moore's proficiency with television science fiction was further honed that same year when he joined the series Roswell as an executive producer, penning ten episodes of the aliens-in-high-school drama.
Prior to serving as show-runner and executive producer of HBO's one-hour drama, Carnivale in 2002, Ron Moore was approached by David Eick about writing a new Battlestar Galactica. As Moore recalls: "David Eick made the initial approach. David and I had a relationship that went back a couple of years when he was a network executive at USA Network and I was consulting for GvsE (Good vs. Evil). We kept in contact over the years and always wanted to work together. He called me and said, 'The Bryan Singer/Tom DeSanto version has gone away, and we're looking for someone to come in with a new take.' I thought about it over the weekend and watched the pilot again. My first instinct was I wanted to remake it. And I knew David wanted to remake it. The studio was definitely open to it, if not encouraging it. It was just sort of a confluence where we were all on the same page. The challenge from the beginning was in deciding how much of the original to keep and how much to let go."
REINVENTING A GENRE
While adhering to the basic premise, ultimately the project would depart significantly from the original in a number of key respects. In addition to starting with a clean sheet of paper and retelling the story over from the beginning, Moore also opted to make controversial gender changes to the characters of Starbuck and Boomer in order to more accurately reflect the male/female dynamic of today's modern military.
The Cylons are no longer the ambiguous alien antagonists of the original series-rather, they are an evolution of human engineering run amok; a contemporary parable illustrating what can happen if technology is allowed to advance unchecked. The prologue at the start of the Miniseries sets the stage:
"The Cylons were created by man. They were created to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies. And then the day came when The Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared. The Cylons left for another world to call their own. A remote space station was built......Where Cylon and Human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations. Every year the Colonials send an officer. The Cylons send no one. No one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years."
In this new version of Battlestar Galactica, humanoid Cylons wreak havoc upon their human creators-believing with an almost ecclesiastical fanaticism that they are the next evolutionary step and that dispatching humans is their "manifest destiny."
If the newly discovered religious zeal of the Cylons or the terror of mushroom clouds depicted during the destruction of the Twelve Colonies seem somehow familiar, they should. The events of 9|11 lent an authenticity to this new Battlestar Galactica that the producers of the original series could never have contemplated. On that fateful day in September 2001, everything we knew, or thought we knew, changed irrevocably-a fact not lost on Ron Moore, who knew as he wrote the script that a reworking of Battlestar Galactica's inherently dark premise would be experienced in a whole new light.
From the beginning, Moore was committed that this new Battlestar Galactica would be a radical departure from what fans of the genre had become used to. His mandate was well-publicized: No more clichéd characters, no more aliens with putty-headed foreheads, no more "thespian histrionics," no more "planet of the week" stories-no more clinging to the conventions of the genre. Instead, Moore stated unequivocally that the new Battlestar Galactica would throw real people, with real problems and flaws, into the traditional space opera mix. This juxtaposition, he believed, would shake up the tired and stale sci-fi genre, and give fans-not to mention the demographically attractive non-sci fi audience-the opportunity to enjoy stories with all the complexity and resonance of mainstream dramas such as The West Wing or The Sopranos.
After reworking the original plot into one which was grimmer, more serious, and of greater import in a post-9|11 world, Moore then set about altering the disposition of the major players. With the Cylons now the disenfranchised product of human technology, Moore next turned to the Colonials, often eschewing the motivations of the original characters in favor of more present-day human problems and idiosyncrasies. For example, unlike the original series, Commander Adama and his son Captain Apollo have an estranged relationship. Baltar is no longer a moustache-twirling megalomaniac, but rather, a self-absorbed egotist. The new character of President Laura Roslin discovers she has breast cancer shortly before the Cylon attack.
Much like the original Battlestar Galactica, the new show was cast with a small complement of veteran actors to anchor the series, along with several fresh faces to round out the ensemble. For this outing, the producers chose Edward James Olmos to play the role of Commander Adama. Nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the film Stand and Deliver, Olmos was also famous for his portrayal of the taciturn Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the hit '80s television series, Miami Vice. Olmos brought a new take on Adama. Less the patriarchal, quasi-religious leader, and more the tightly-wound, ruminative war veteran, Olmos' depiction of Adama is, again, very much rooted in our 21st century world.
Olmos was not the only Oscar-nominated actor to join Galactica. Mary McDonnell, who plays the new character of Laura Roslin, has been nominated for an Oscar twice: the first time in 1990 for Best Supporting Actress in the Kevin Costner epic, Dances With Wolves; the second time in 1992 for Best Actress in the film, Passion Fish. As the newly appointed President of the Twelve Colonies-dealing with both sudden responsibility for her people and the revelation she has cancer-McDonnell's character provided an interesting counterpoint to Adama's traditionally militaristic approach.
Joining Olmos and McDonnell in the major cast were Jamie Bamber as Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama, Katie Sackhoff as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, Grace Park as Lieutenant Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, James Callis as Doctor Gaius Baltar, Tricia Helfer as Number Six, Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh, Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol, Alessandro Juliani as Tactical Officer Lieutenant Felix Gaeta, Kandyse McClure as Petty Officer Second Anastasia "D" Dualla, and Paul Campbell as Billy Keikeya.
With the story elements, characters and cadence locked in, it was time to turn to the project's aesthetic and visual signature. Noticeably absent from this Battlestar Galactica's "look" are the not-so-subtle references to ancient Earth civilizations. "We don't have the very strong design elements that were in the original," offers Ron Moore. "But we have retained the core idea that mankind on Earth are brothers to the tribes of the twelve in Colonial society, and that all thirteen sprung from a parent civilization on a planet called Kobol. So it's perfectly possible that there are things that relate to the Egyptians and the Mayans and the Aztecs, etc. that we might eventually discover within the Colonial society."
Former Stargate SG-1 production designer, Richard Hudolin, was hired to revamp the look and feel of Battlestar Galactica. "We set out to make it spectacular and make it something that people have never seen before," he recalls. "We wanted to portray a different kind of reality. I mainly looked at things relating to World War II. Battlestar Galactica was supposed to have been designed a number of years earlier. It's out of date and about to be mothballed."
Beginning with the Battlestar Galactica's interiors, the production team thus developed a look more akin to today's ocean or space-going vessels, as opposed to a fantastic craft set in the far-flung future. Moore elaborates: "The design was started in a very Das Boot kind of world, where it was very mechanical, very claustrophobic. very used kind of machinery with Apple II levels of technology everywhere. that kind of interesting juxtaposition. SciFi Channel ultimately didn't want to go that far with the look, so we all compromised on a more NASA-like feeling to the space interiors. It's a little bit closer to Skylab and the space shuttle, where it's still a relatively low level of technology, but it's not quite Das Boot, where it's cramped like a tin can, it's sweaty, and there's dirt on the walls. So we took from the aircraft carrier, from NASA, from 2001, and created a blend of those ideas."
"For the interior, there's a lot of old technology mixed with the new technology," says Hudolin, "but nothing that takes you into the state-of-the-art, or even the modern day. You'll see some somewhat retro items like the old-style telephones and old style maps alongside computer screens, and other elements that would take you into the 1980s and 1990s.the idea that the Battlestar Galactica is out of date [is] in focus all the time."
For the exterior ship designs, the producers wisely elected to retain some of the original series' feel, so as to help aid the audience's transition from old to new. To this, they added entirely new designs.
"We wanted to stay with the old Viper," Hudolin states, "because it's something everyone recognizes as Battlestar Galactica, and is the link to the past."
"The Viper still looks like the Viper, with some modifications," Moore adds. "The Galactica herself was modified, but not radically so, so it still retains the basic shape. Beyond that, the launch tubes are very similar, we used the old Cylons in little pieces, the basestars and Cylon raiders are influenced by the original designs. Otherwise, we pretty much started with a new page."
That new page saw the creation of a whole new craft, the Raptor. "The Raptor is the Galactica's reconnaissance ship," Hudolin says, "and I wanted it to look nasty. One of the coolest looking ships is the Apache helicopter. So we basically took the Apache and adapted it and enlarged it."
"The Raptor wasn't just computer-generated," Hudolin goes on, "we actually made the Raptor, so that we could effectively get it to fly using a crane. We built a frame into the design of the plane, which could be lifted by a crane and swung around. Apparently the actors were quite surprised by that, because they were expecting to just have to move around [and fake the ship's movement]. So when this thing lifted them up to about 80 feet, everyone was going, 'Oh my God! How well did they build this thing?'"
"NATURALISTIC SCIENCE FICTION" THROUGH CINEMA VERITE
Ron Moore believed that the dramatic underpinnings of his more "naturalistic" story would be best advanced using the cinema vérité, or documentary style of filmmaking. "This was in the original pitch. It was one of the first things I said: Look, we're going to do this cinema vérité, documentary style."
Largely avoiding television's ubiquitous "master, two-shot, close-up, close-up, two-shot, back to master" pattern, Moore chose instead to treat viewers to a more frenetic style of cinematography; one that provided an organic relationship to the story itself. Hand-held camera work and extended takes are thus in evidence throughout the miniseries-pulling the audience into the narrative and making them feel as though they're part of the action.
For perhaps the first time in science fiction, the production team elected to break with the visual effects paradigms first established in the Star Wars films-and often imitated. Again, Moore references the documentary style: "Our ships [are] treated like real ships that someone had to go out and film with a real camera. That means no 3D 'hero' shots panning and zooming wildly with the touch of a mousepad. The questions we will ask before every VFX shot are things like: 'How did we get this shot? Where is the camera? Who's holding it? Is the cameraman in another spacecraft? Is the camera mounted on the wing?' This philosophy will generate images that will present an audience jaded and bored with the same old 'Wow -- it's a CGI shot!' with a different texture and a different cinematic language that will force them to re-evaluate their notions of science fiction."
Visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel was immediately on side with grounding the visual elements of the series in reality. An 18-year VFX veteran who had worked as visual effects supervisor on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Hutzel was thoroughly familiar with the conventions of the genre and what he wanted to see changed.
"David [Eick] and [director] Michael [Rymer] really embraced my ideas of taking the Battlestar Galactica technology back a couple of steps and having them deal with the real physics of space, the real physics of rocket engines," remarks Hutzel. "This was something I was looking to do as far as the type of space work I'd done in other shows, particularly in Star Trek, where primarily, everything is motivated by magic engines; [i.e.] we don't know how they work, we just go real fast whenever we feel like it. [In Battlestar Galactica] we take into account what needs to happen [physically and mechanically] before you get into your Viper and fly away."
Since Star Wars, audiences have become conditioned to watching space fighters maneuver through the stars the way aircraft maneuver through the air-à la The Battle of Britain. "When they need to turn to the right, they bank to the right and then go to the right," says Hutzel. "Obviously in space, no such thing would exist. There's no wind blowing on you, there's no lift. [In Battlestar Galactica] everything is motivated by small rocket engines firing, rotating the ship, and bringing the mainline onto an axis that you want to fly on. There's an intellectual level to what the [ship's] pilot has to do."
Hutzel worked with a talented group of visual effects artists at Zoic Studios, including Emile Edwin Smith (Firefly) and Lee Stringer (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Director's Edition) to bring the Miniseries' startling effects shots to life. In the end, the team succeeded in creating visceral combat sequences with a "you are there" feel to them.
THE RE-IMAGINED BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SERIES
David Eick and Ron Moore had set out to reinvent the genre of space opera by breaking the mold and turning Battlestar Galactica into an epic, yet recognizable allegory; a study of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. They succeeded beyond their expectations. In December 2003, the audience voted with near unanimous commitment to the effort: Battlestar Galactica attracted approximately 3.5 million viewers, making it the third-highest rated program in SciFi Channel's history. In the end, the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries pays homage to the original series while presenting a 21st century viewpoint, aesthetic and visual effects.
The re-imagination was not without its share of detractors, however, chiefly die-hard fans of the original series who had fought for several years to see a continuation of their beloved classic story. Vehemently opposed to Moore's iteration at every turn, they felt disenfranchised overnight. Ironically, this polarized realm of fandom is partly accountable for Battlestar Galactica's longevity.
Battlestar Galactica continued from the 2003 Miniseries to chronicle the journey of the last surviving humans from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol after their nuclear near annihilation by the Cylons. The survivors are led by President Laura Roslin and Commander William Adama in a ragtag fleet of ships with the Battlestar Galactica, an old but powerful warship as its command ship. Pursued by Cylons intent on wiping out the remnants of the human race, the survivors travel across the galaxy looking for the fabled and long-lost thirteenth colony: Earth.
Unlike most space opera series, Battlestar Galactica has no aliens (the antagonists are man-made Cylon robots), the primary armaments used by both military forces utilize bullets, rail guns and missiles instead of lasers and the series intentionally avoids technobabble. Instead, most of the stories deal with the apocalyptic fallout of the destruction of the Twelve Colonies upon the survivors and the moral choices they must make as they deal with the decline of the human race and their war with the Cylons. Stories also portray the concept of perpetuated cycles of hate and violence driving the human-Cylon conflict and religion with the implication of a "God," whose angelic agents intervene on behalf of the main characters, most notably Gaius Baltar.
Over the course of the show's four seasons, the war between the colonists and the Cylons takes many twists and turns. Despite the animosity on both sides, the Cylons and humans slowly turn away from their hatred for each other. Part of this is due to a growing schism within the humanoid Cylons, led by the disgruntled Cylon "Number One" named John Cavil. Cavil's obsession with hiding the true genesis of the humanoid Cylons (the "Significant Eight" created by the "Final Five," who themselves are humanoid Cylons from Earth, who had their memories erased by Cavil) leads to a civil war among the Cylons, with a faction of the robot race forming an alliance with the humans.
Other plotlines involve the mysterious destiny of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, who is the subject of a prophecy involving her as the "Harbinger of Death" who will "lead humanity to its end", as well as the redemption of Gaius Baltar through the Cylons' monotheistic religion, after he becomes a pariah within the fleet (after being forced to collaborate with the Cylons).
In the final episodes, a resurrected Kara Thrace leads the surviving humans and Cylons to a new planet, which is revealed to be Earth, with the first colonists landing in Africa. Adama names their new home planet "Earth," as a tribute to the "real" Earth of legend, which had been originally sought by the survivors. The original Earth was revealed to have been a different planet, one which had become an uninhabitable wasteland by a nuclear war waged by its Cylon creations thousands of years before.
The new Earth is found to be inhabited by early humans, who are genetically compatible with the humans from the Galactica and the rest of the fleet but who possess only the most rudimentary civilization. Human beings had apparently naturally evolved on Earth and Kobol, the original home world of the humans who settled the Twelve Colonies. The surviving humans and humanoid Cylons decide to live on the new planet and discard all technology, destroying the fleet by flying it into the Sun. Kara Thrace, apparently an "angel" since her purportedly fatal crash on the "Earth" of legend, disappears. The surviving Cylon Centurions are given possession of the remaining Cylon basestar and proceed to jump away from Earth, never to be heard of again.
The series finale concludes with an epilogue set 150,000 years later in contemporary Times Square of New York City as two "angels" in the form of Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar, muse on the origin and fate of humankind and on whether or not the cycle of violence between human and machine will repeat. It is revealed that humans on Earth are in some small part descended from the half-human, half-Cylon girl named Hera Agathon who lived out her life in Africa, becoming Mitochondrial Eve.
The series has won widespread acclaim among many mainstream non-genre publications. Time and New York Newsday named it the best show on television in 2005. Other publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Review and Rolling Stone magazine also gave the show positive reviews.
The show has received a Peabody Award for overall excellence, several Emmy Awards for Visual Effects, and Emmy nominations for Writing and Directing. Time Magazine named it one of the 100 Best TV Shows of All Time.
REFERENCES TO MODERN SOCIETY
Time described the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica as "a gripping sci-fi allegory of the war on terror-reign of terror, complete with monotheistic religious fundamentalists (here genocidal cyborgs called Cylons), sleeper cells, civil-liberties crackdowns and even a prisoner-torture scandal". The show has attempted to maintain its realism by referring to familiar elements of contemporary history -- Laura Roslin's swearing in on Colonial One directly "cited the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson after the Kennedy assassination" -- and the developing political situation since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Many people have drawn parallels between the Cylons and Al Qaeda" and according to The Guardian "Battlestar Galactica is the only award-winning drama that dares tackle the war on terror". The show delves into the emotional rationale of terrorists who act out of rage and vengeance in the aftermath of their oppression. The show has also tackled issues regarding terrorist sleeper cells with stories involving the reality and fear of Cylon suicide attacks,
Cylon Number 5 (Aaron Doral) in the episode called "Litmus", sneaks aboard the Galactica and blows himself up in the middle of the corridor and 'sleeper agent', Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii activates after destroying a Cylon basestar at the end of Season One and shoots Commander Adama. Similar themes are revisited in Season Three (Episode "Occupation") with a far different perspective with the humans, rather than the Cylon 'enemy' becoming the suicide bombers. It has been suggested that these plotlines extensively "hinted at war-on-terrorism overtones".
The show also quotes civil liberties crackdowns during Season Three when the 6 members of The Circle after the Exodus from New Caprica become judge, jury and executioner of the people who were accused of aiding the Cylons during the occupation on New Caprica. They also touch on prisoner torture during Season Two when Cylon 6 is attacked, raped and tortured by Lt. Thorne from the battlestar Pegasus. After 9/11, the original series' "broad premise - the human military's struggles in the wake of a massive terrorist attack -- suddenly gained resonance" and let the show tackle issues like suicide bombings, torture ("evoking the darker side of the war on terror") and "civil liberties crackdowns".
Executive producer Ronald D. Moore points out that the Cylons and Al Qaeda are not necessarily intended to be allegorical: "They have aspects of Al Qaeda and they have aspects of the Catholic Church and they have aspects of America" and in contrast, with the New Caprica storyline the show's humans have been discussed as an allegory not for an America under attack but for an occupied people mounting an insurgency and turning to suicide bombings as a tactic. There is a consensus that with "its third season, the show has morphed into a stinging allegorical critique of America's three-year occupation of Iraq" as the "cameras record Cylon occupation raids on unsuspecting human civilians with the night-vision green familiar to any TV news viewer.
The reasoning of the Cylons is horrifically familiar, they would prefer not to be brutal but they won't accept the failure of a glorious mission." According to Slate "If this sounds like Iraq, it should", and "In unmistakable terms, Battlestar Galactica is telling viewers that insurgency (like, say, the one in Iraq) might have some moral flaws, such as the whole suicide bombing thing, but is ultimately virtuous and worthy of support." The "really audacious stroke of this season was showing us a story about a suicide bomber from the point of view of the bomber and his comrades... because the cause of this terrorist was unquestioningly our own. We sympathize with the insurgents wholeheartedly." If the Cylon occupying force is an allegory of the Coalition Forces in Iraq, then some of the other references are equally controversial; the "scene of the shiny, terrifying Cylon centurions (a servant class of robots that actually look like robots) marching down the main road of New Caprica while the devastated colonists looked on was the Nazis marching into Paris."
Although David Eick has said the production staff "don't need to say 'OK, let's do the episode where we're gonna do the Abu Ghraib scandal'" and points out that events depicted on New Caprica "are as much a story rooted in political tales like the Vichy France or Vietnam" rather than current events, he acknowledges that they "do gravitate in those directions when it comes to the storytelling"
Ideas about a prequel series to the Re-Imagined Battlestar Galactica originated during production of its second season. Series developer Ronald D. Moore and production partner David Eick speculated about a phase of the Battlestar Galactica universe prior to the Cylons, naïve and self-absorbed, leading to the fall. As Battlestar Galactica's creators were unable to dedicate serious time to the notion, it remained in the concept stage of development. Then in early 2006, screenwriter Remi Aubuchon, unaware of the ideas about a Battlestar Galactica prequel, proposed a film about artificial intelligence to Universal Pictures Though Universal Pictures turned down the project as a movie, Universal Television executives felt Moore and Eick might be interested in Aubuchon's take on the subject and arranged a meeting. Merging the existing thoughts for a Battlestar Galactica prequel with those Aubuchon brought to the table, a general outline for a series and production set up emerged.
While the Sci-Fi Channel management was enthusiastic, they were engaged in a plotting struggle with Moore about Battlestar Galactica. The show, though it was lauded by critics, was not pulling in the Nielsen ratings that the network wanted. Sci-Fi was convinced that the show's long storylines kept new viewers from joining, and pressured Moore into retooling the second half of the third season to consist mostly of standalone episodes. The measure backfired, garnering negative criticism from fans and press alike, and Moore revealed in the Season 3 finale podcast that the network had grudgingly admitted that standalone episodes did not work within a story-arc format. Still, with the proposed prequel series to have a story-arc-heavy format like its predecessor, the network was reluctant to greenlight the project, and as a result, a possible prequel series got stuck in "development hell".
With David Eick and Ronald D. Moore's announcement that Battlestar Galactica was going to end with its fourth season, and after a drawn out pre-development cycle, on March 18, 2008, the Sci-Fi Channel announced that a Battlestar Galactica prequel series, named Caprica, had been picked up as a two-hour backdoor pilot event, indicating a possible commitment to a series, contingent on ratings. On July 20 of the same year, Sci-Fi announced it was considering picking up Caprica directly as a weekly series, and would make the pilot an extended season premiere. Finally, on December 2, Sci-Fi gave the go-ahead to expand the project into a full series. Production was resumed in July 2009 for a series premiere in January 2010.
Caprica differs significantly from its parent series, for both creative and commercial reasons Ronald D. Moore had strong feelings on the matter, explaining that his starting point was, "...you don't try to repeat the formula," and going on to say, "...everything about Caprica was designed specifically to not repeat what we had done in Galactica." Although a critical success, Battlestar Galactica had a predominantly male audience, and both Moore and the network felt the "war in space" backdrop was a major deterrent to female viewers. With these considerations, and Caprica's storyline already focused on events taking place prior to the two Cylon Wars, the series has a different tone, content, and style. While Caprica contains references to elements of the Battlestar Galactica universe, the series was intended to be accessible to new fans.
Whereas the dark, post-apocalyptic reimagined Battlestar Galactica series revolved around a final struggle for survival, Caprica is concerned with a world intoxicated by success. Ronald D. Moore states: "It's about a society that's running out of control with a wild-eyed glint in its eye." The Twelve Colonies are at their peak: self-involved, oblivious, and mesmerized by the seemingly unlimited promise of technology. Framed by the conflict between the Adamas and the Graystones over the resurrection of loved ones lost in an act of terrorism, the series was meant to explore ethical implications of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics.
Caprica is grounded in urban locales rather than in space, and focuses on corporate, political, familial, and personal intrigue, similar in approach to a Greek tragedy. With the troubled relationship between two breaking families at its center, Moore himself has likened Caprica to the 1980s prime time soap opera Dallas," Like Battlestar Galactica, Caprica had a story arc format.
Universal Media Studios developed the show, in conjunction with Aubuchon and the executive producers of Battlestar Galactica, Moore and Eick. Aubuchon co-created the show and worked on the pilot, then left to become executive producer of Persons Unknown. The pilot was directed by Friday Night Lights veteran Jeffrey Reiner Battlestar Galactica's Jane Espenson, Michael Taylor, and Ryan Mottesheard, Pushing Daisies' Kath Lingenfelter, and Friday Night Lights Patrick Massett and John Zinman joined the writing staff. Moore ran the writers room initially, but handed off to Espenson, who expanded into executive-production and was Caprica's showrunner until November 15, 2009 when it was announced that Kevin Murphy, who had joined as co executive producer in October, would assume the role.
On October 27, 2010, Syfy canceled the show, citing low ratings, and pulled the remaining five episodes of the series from its broadcast schedule. However, the series continued to air as scheduled on Space, finishing with the series finale on November 30, 2010. The remaining episodes were released on DVD in the US on December 21, 2010 and aired on Syfy in a burn off marathon on January 4, 2011.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA CONTINUATION
Ron Moore and David Eick and the entire amazing creative team who did bring Battlestar Galactica back to television managed to not only get a new show on the air, but they completed their run and geared up the studios for the Caprica prequel. As a result, Universal seemed to feel that there's more life in the property, and that there is room for another interpretation. Before the Caprica series aired (or was even taken into production), in February 2009, the announcement was made that original series producer and Battlestar Galactica creator Glen Larson had signed a deal with Universal to develop a Battlestar Galactica film that was not tied to any previous version and would have key characters like Starbuck, Adama and Baltar.
Director / producer Bryan Singer was long rumored to be a part of the production. On August 13, 2009 it was confirmed that Singer was indeed.onboard to helm a complete re-imagining of the original 70s lore created by Glen Larson. Experts said that by abandoning Ron Moore's take on Battlestar Galactica when it's not only so fresh in our minds, but the defining take in our minds, it's almost dooming Larson/Singer's version to failure before he's even started production. As of November 2011 this version isn't spoken of in the media anymore.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD AND CHROME
The series was first mentioned by Syfy executive Mark Stern on March 15, 2010, who said that Syfy was working with Ronald D. Moore to develop a second spinoff of Battlestar Galactica, which would "mark a return to the franchise's space-opera roots" and "not necessarily be a traditional series." Michael Taylor compared the series to The Hurt Locker in how it would depict the war and its reactions, and said that it would possibly be filmed in 3D using reconstructions of the Battlestar Galactica sets scanned before they were dismantled after the end of the show.
Syfy greenlit the two-hour pilot of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome and production began on February 10, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia
Blood & Chrome is set during the First Cylon War, which takes place between the shows Caprica and Battlestar Galactica and the end of which was depicted in the 2007 webisode series, Razor Flashbacks. The main character will be William Adama, and one other character from Razor Flashbacks will also be featured. The rest of the characters will be new.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet... the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.