Written by / 2/08/2017 / No comments / , , , , ,

RICHARD HATCH AS APOLLO: HERO FOR THE ZERO GENERATION

Richard Hatch headlining on the opening credits
Alas to the forgotten, neglected and rejected Generation-X, who isn't lucky enough to be blessedly born into more realistic motion pictures and serialized cable TV shows, catered especially to the all-knowing Millennials... The Xers who are also completely lost beneath the shadow of the prior celebrated Boomer generation, who reared and then named them after basically, nothing...

Richard Hatch, Lorne Green and Terry Carter
After all, X means nothing, nada, zilch, zero, and hell, who knows, maybe that's what we are... And yet, for ourselves, we hold dear to the things we grew up on, no matter how simplistic and corny: Our memories are everything to us, and we still live in the past — the clouds we turned into dragons are still being battled upon by the knights of our childhood reveries...

And if what you just read seemed intentionally loaded with over-the-top sarcasm and forced pathos, you're right... After all, most of the wonderful looking new films and shows were created, directed by and star members of the pop-culture-loving Lost X Gen... So now, with all that jazz behind us, Cult Film Freak presents a memorial to one of the heroic and dashing figures of the past: the star of a series that for some gets sillier with age but to others, is still incredible: that being Glen A. Larson's pulpy science-fantasy opus, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA...

Poor Apollo, always getting blocked by Starbuck
A one-season wonder that seemed to have been created merely to quench the STAR WARS fans, dying of thirst a year after the groundbreaking blockbuster that hit theaters with an immense shockwave of epic reverberation... At that point, with a sequel nowhere in sight, a void needed filling...

With a few members of George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic team, the best thing about BATTLESTAR was the special effects, wonderfully embracing the same kind of grainy "used future" look with dog-fighting spaceships seeming as if they'd been around forever, battling a menacing, destructive foe called Cylons, whose own super-cool vessels are flat, sleek and formidable, looking downright fantastic despite one friend pointing out, as a group of us were watching a retitled VHS copy of THE LIVING LEGEND with Lloyd Bridges as an interstellar General Patton type: "They look like those... Jewish hats." And while this blunt cool-cat always knew just how to rain on the kitschy parade, we all cracked up: for our favorite spaceship would thereafter be referred to as Flying Yarmulkes.

The Cylon Raiders blasting away
And now to the point at hand — Richard Hatch passed away at 71... His Captain Apollo was the son of Lorne Green's Commander Adama, and was the straight-laced, good guy Luke Skywalker type, only with more an intrepid persona and inbred importance up-front...

The first episode he lost his brother, Zac (played by none other than rocker Rick Springfield) during a sneak Cylon attack based not so loosely on Pearl Harbor, and with this three-hour opening that has both a television version, SAGA OF A STAR WORLD in three parts as well as a far superior theatrical version, it all began: And in a podcast interview, Cult Film Freak had assumed, after having read a beautifully written Introduction by Richard Hatch on an oversized paperback of the first two episodic novelizations by Larson and his visible ghost writer, Robert Thurston, that  the man who played Apollo was ready to jovially ride the wave of nostalgia...

Rest in Peace Richard Hatch
Having done around 90 phone-interviews i.e. celebrity podcasts, one thing is always certain: You'll never know how things will go, and it's usually never as expected...

Turns out, not long after that Introduction, Hatch had gotten screwed in trying to revamp the old series into something new and more realistic, so the interview consisted of Richard talking for a rambling hour on the cons over the pros... but it was interesting. Having been in as many episodes as a side-character in the new series, which centered more on politics and was driven by an addictive serialization format rather than the standalone comic book vibe of the original, he summed up his thoughts on both shows... And no matter what, we're always appreciative to be given the green-light for an interview... So thanks, Richard Hatch, for providing the X-Generation a character to root for and, despite the fact the smart allecky, gambling, womanizing Han Solo type, Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), stole some of Apollos's fire (something that was still in Richard's craw as he was originally supposed to reign in the Starbuck episodes THE LOST PATROL and THE YOUNG LORDS), Hatch was not only the first-billed star but the most important anchor on a series that didn't last long, and that's been blasted by many, but still means something to the kids (now grownups) it was catered to: For a show that technically bombed, it sure hasn't gone away. And while it can downright suck getting old, it was great being young during that time.

The Original Battlestar Galactica leads Hatch, Green & Benedict
So here's Richard Hatch, in his own words, concerning the Original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA alongside the new...

"To create dramatic possibilities, you’ve got to throw these characters that you’ve grown to love into very challenging circumstances, where they get tested, and sometimes something happens between them, and then they fight, they argue, they separate, and then they find out that they did the wrong thing, or they wish they hadn’t, and they come back and they become even better friends... And that’s the whole story arc of drama: that you create controversy, you throw gasoline on the fire because you want to build the drama – so you’re always looking for conflict. But again, we [the original series] started out with the show developing characters that won you over, that had great relationships with each other, the father/son relationship, everything in there was a great relationship between these characters.

A Far Off Galaxy with a C&R Clothiers!
"The new show kind of had every character being complex, very flawed, morally conflicted, and it took a while to get into those characters and like them because they seemed to have so many issues and problems. But as the show went on, we got to see their humanity, we got to see a deeper part of who these characters were, and then we slowly bonded to these characters, and fell in love with these characters as well... So in a sense they started out making the characters very conflicted, and in some cases unlikable, and then we grew to love them, and we grew to love the relationships.

"Whereas the original show started out with us loving these characters, they were not so flawed, and we could bond with them immediately. But then I think had the show gone on, we would have had to go the direction of the new show and these characters would have to be put into edgier circumstances, because every show seeking drama is going to find conflict for their starring characters. Richard Hatch We just started on one side, they started on the other side, and ultimately we probably would have met in the middle.... Although both stories obviously had different mythology and backgrounds but, again, I love both shows." Rest in Peace to Richard Hatch.
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