Now that the character of Tom Zarek is dead, I think this is an appropriate time to honor the multi-talented Richard Hatch.
Richard, as most know, was the actor who originally brought the character of Apollo, son of Adama, to life on the original BSG.. brilliantly, I might add. Apollo, in the original shared many qualities of his counterpart on this series. He was strong, noble, and very much bound to a high standard of morals, and concience. Hatch's Apollo never had a first name, though. None of the original's characters did. He was simply Apollo, by name.. not call sign. In temperment, though, he ws pretty much a choirboy compared to the kick ass qualities of our Lee. But as hokey as the original series could be, Hatch's acting in the part was, I felt, a tether of realism that the series very much needed to bring it down to earth when the plotline called for it.
Even before the series was cancelled, when it was still thought there would be a second season, Hatch brought a few storylines to the writers attention, which eventually became story outlines. These included, among other things, human model Cylons.. which could, and might infiltrate Colonial society. This was never brought to fruition, and Hatch never sought writing credit. It was his love for the characters, and a vision for what the series could become , which was important to him. When the original series was cancelled, Hatch labored to have it brought back in it's original form. The executives,and the network felt otherwise, and it was ressurected as Galactica 1980.
Galactica 1980 was a farce, and save for Lorne Greene as Adama, and Herb Jefferson Jr, as Boomer.. none of the other regulars were used. I don't know wether they were aproached or not. I know Hatch thought the whole premise was laughable, and the whole Galactica spirit was pretty much transformed as a joke. A last ditch attempt was made to save the show by bringing regulars back, starting with Dirk Benedict's Starbuck.. but it was too late. Galactica was dead.
But Richard Hatch never forgot the spirit of the show, and the character of Apollo. He wrote several novelizations.. excellent storys, continuing storylines of the series, and inventing new ones. For those who wish to check them out.. they are listed by title and year in the wiki page for Mr. Hatch.
For many years, he spent much of his free time and money to bring Galactica back. He wrote a pilot called "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming ". He assembled many of the original actors, and using his own financing, made a trailer for it to show what the returning series would look like. It had a harder, grittier, more realistic edge.. much more like this show, then the original. This trailer does exist, but has not been seen by many.. having only been shown at a few conventions. You can see a very poor quality posting of it on You Tube.
For various reasons, it never got done, and instead.. Universal sought out other avenues.
When Hatch heard about Ron Moore's re-imaganing, he felt angry and betrayed. He became very vocal, and rallied many fans to stop Moore's BSG from reaching fruition. It was to Moore's credit, and Hatch's intelligence and class.. that the two men met, and Hatch began to warm to what Moore was trying to do .
Writing the role of Tom Zerek, and giving it to Richard, was pure poetry. Zarek could not be more of a contrast to everything that Apollo was. And to my surprise, Richard has pulled it off beautifully. He had brought to life a very complex, confusing, and dangerous character. He was a joy to watch as Zarek, and always left the viewer guessing, and ever vigilant as to what the man would do next.
Zarek's death was a neccesity in the current plotline, and he had, as many pointed out, reached his darkest depths in this revolution. Now Richard can sit back like the rest of us, and watch the series play out to it's conclusion in the last six episodes to come. I wonder what's going through his head? He's been in this thing since the beginning, and played out his own revolution behind the scenes, surrendered with grace, and participated in the re-birth in ways, I'm sure, that he never dreamed.
So, anyway.. that's my little tribute to the man. I felt he deserved it.
Indeed, I would venture to say, had it not been for Richard's persistance of vision, we would not have been able to enjoy the last six years, and we would not have this forum to connect and discuss our love for this wonderful show. I think we owe him more than most of us realise.
Farewell, Tom Zarek. And thank you, Richard Hatch for your participation in what has been a long, strange trip for you, and us all!