Galactica or GINO?

Interesting follow-ups to my last post:

1. Apparently, Anonymous is pretty good. I don’t know if that means it’s good history, but it seems to be good entertainment. I hope people can recognize the difference between the two.

2. Anonymous is being pulled from wide release. Apparently, market research shows that there’s not a whole lot of interest on whether or not Edward de Vere use the name William Shakespeare as a pseudonym. Five minutes on this blog could’ve told you that.

3. The writer of Anonymous is moving on to his next gig: a big-screen adaptation of Battlestar Galactica.

Initially, when I heard this, I was rather excited. Bryan Singer, the guy who dropped Battlestar like a hot potato about a decade ago when he was in the middle of staging a faithful revival thereof, is slated to direct, and all indications were that this was going to be based on the original series, not GINO (Galactica In Name Only.) I’m a RINO, yes, but not a GINO fan.

The first comments I saw from John Orloff, the writer in question, had me very excited.

“I have wanted to write this movie since I was 12 years old, and built a Galactica model from scratch out of balsa wood, cardboard, old model parts and LEDs… I love BSG, and I would pass on the job rather than frak it up.”

That’s not quite as impressive as my own story, which involves baking a cake replica of a Colonial Viper for a Cub Scout cake cookoff. But it seems sufficient. This guy seemed to get it. Maybe we’ll see a faithful revival of Battlestar Galactica after all.

Then again, maybe not.

This quote was brought to my attention. Same guy, different take:

“I’m a huge fan of the original series and of the second show, too. But I always thought the first show was a little too heavily reliant on ‘Star Wars,’ you know? Whereas I think the second show was really original and really cool. And I think I’ve come up with a way to write this movie that won’t f–k any of that up. I’m not sure how much they want me to talk about it. Let’s just say it’s not what you expect. It will all work in the universe that exists. It will not conflict with anything Ron Moore has done. I don’t think you can compete with what he’s done.”

Once again, we have all of the same tired elitist tropes on display. In order to show appreciation of Battlestar Galactica, the enlightened soul has to praise GINO and bash the original series. It’s hard to imagine this guy having so much affection for the original show if he’s naive enough to believe that all Galactican brilliance lies in Ron Moore’s heavily bastardized version. It makes you wonder what it was he was building in balsa wood.

Still, for those of you glass-is–half-full original series fans out there, these statements do offer some glimmers of hope.

My guess is that the entire premise will hinge on Moore’s tired cliche that “all this has happened before, and all this will happen again.” In other words, oblique references will be made to Moore’s universe, albeit shrouded in myth and legend. Under that premise, the original series could have taken place in Moore’s universe, too, either thousands of years before or thousands of years after. (Or millions, depending on your timeframe.) Consequently, we could get a version that is still true to the original series that doesn’t undo Moore’s dreck.

The problem with that, of course, is that Moore’s series has a definite timeline. His GINOids arrived on Earth in the distant past and formed the basis of modern humanity. Given GINO’s final shots in modern Times Square, it would be hard to create any anticipation around a search for an earth that has clearly already been found. One of the tantalizing aspects of the original series was that you never knew when it was taking place. Was it the future? The past? Or Galactica 1980’s puerile present? In order to do a show that will “not conflict with anything Ron Moore has done,” it has to take place in a timeframe unrelated to ours, and their search for Earth won’t have anything to do with us.

I just hope Dirk Benedict’s Starbuck is in it, and that Richard Hatch isn’t.

De Vere Goes Hollywood

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