Battlestar, You Will Be Missed


Sci Fi Channel announced this morning that Battlestar Galactica, their Peabody Award-winning flagship series, will shutter after the fourth and upcoming season.

I’m heartbroken but the news wasn’t unexpected. Executive Producer David Eick is moving on. His Bionic Woman pilot was picked up by NBC for the fall. Last March, executive producer/creator Ron Moore told Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette TV Critic, that they were close to making the fateful decision.

Also, ratings for the series last season were … how to say this … stunningly low for a show of this caliber.(iTunes sales, however, were always hopping.)

Said Owen at the conclusion of his aforementioned blog post — Rob’s call: The producers had better make the decision to end "Galactica" in these final 22 hours, because given the show’s low ratings, Sci Fi Channel isn’t going to give them more episodes. As it is, a fourth season of 22 hours is hugely generous. I hope Moore and company see that as the gift that it is and give the show and its fans the proper ending due them.

Looks like they took Rob’s sage advice to heart. No one wants another Farscape fiasco.

Battlestar went dark last season. Very dark. I wrote about this extensively from ComicCon in July 2006 where Moore and Olmos told a standing room-only crowd to expect a bleak season three.

Bonnie Hammer, the president of both Sci Fi and USA Network, once said the secret to successful science fiction television is: “Don’t go too dark. Taken was inspirational. It was about hope. The best science fiction isn’t apocalyptic.”

Sitting in that packed room at Comiccon, I wondered if the producers had gone a little too far, and if season three Battlestar would be too painful, too hard for some to watch.

Much has been written about the series’ gritty look and Moore’s commitment to verisimilitude.

But I loved the characters, especially the troubled, tough, cocky survivor Starbuck. She was one of the most compelling female characters on television. She kept me coming back to the series.

When all is said and done about Ron Moore, it’s his character development that rocks. Ron Moore does deep backstory and therein lies his genius. His characters flourish because Moore does his homework at the start and gives his characters fertile ground from which to grow.

In conclusion, in honor of Ron Moore and Edward James Olmos, I give you an unpublished, raw excerpt from a December 2004 interview with Moore. Moore riffs on the back story of Adama (played by Olmos) and talks about Olmos’ contribution to the famous So Say We All scene. This was great television. Battlestar, you will be missed.

“In the mini-series — at the end of the show, there’s a funeral scene — the priest is giving a prayer, the concluding line of a prayer ‘so say we all.’ The assembled officers then reply ‘so say we all.’ Well, the script was written as that Adama goes up to the podium and gives the speech and the speech talks about earth …  (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)