Panel photos courtesy of Bleeding Cool’s own Bill Watters; press room photos from Mary Anne Butler.
It’s been 10 years since Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica jumped into the scene via SyFy network (back when it was still Sci-Fi), and its lasting reverberations can still be felt across the universe today.
The show, at its core, was a drama about broken people and their struggle to survive after their entire existence was challenged — in a very Philip K. Dick-ian sense — by Cylons (humanoid sentient highly evolved robots). And while this all happens on massive ships in space with the occasional airlocking of antagonists, making it a science fiction space opera masterpiece, BSG is always listed as an “Action/Adventure/Drama”.
Many consider Battlestar Galactica to be one of the few truly successful TV franchises to be rebooted, considering it has now known life as five different series, and is currently in development for a much-talked-about but not-yet-realized full-length film.
At San Diego Comic Con 2017, there was a much publicized BSG reunion panel, although much smaller than the Austin, Texas reunion in June. Cast members Michael Trucco (Anders), Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol), Tahmoh Penikett (Lt. Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon), Grace Park (Boomer/Sharon), Mary McDonnell (Madam President Laura Roslin), and Tricia Helfer (Caprica 6) were on hand, as well as the creative development team of David Eick and Ronald D. Moore. The Thursday panel was hosted by Variety’s Mo Ryan, and completely packed the entirety of Ballroom 20.
As you may expect, the panel started with a video — one that showed bits and pieces of the influence of the series across TV, film, and other forms of media during and after its original first airing of the two-hour miniseries on December 8th, 2003. Yeah, what? Two anniversaries are celebrated as the “first airing” of the show, because why not?!
Everyone touched briefly on how they came to the show, their amazement on the still-lingering impact it’s had on fans, and in Aaron Douglas’s case, how emotionally impacted he was by the show’s “final five” twist. If you’ve ever seen him on a BSG-centric panel, you know the story.
The thing that really hit hard was the final video shown, which was a tearful message from Edward James Olmos (who was filming in Spain and unable to attend SDCC this year) talking about the loss of original Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch, who also played an impactful role on the reimagined version. Richard was an amazing man, generous of spirit and light, whose sudden passing earlier this year left a large empty space in the autograph alley of fandom.
Something about Battlestar touched its fans in a way that cannot be easily quantified, and continues to live on as one of the best examples of what a true human experience science fiction can be. The scripts, performances, and tonality put BSG in a category of art all its own, epic and enduring.
Thank you to San Diego Comic-Con for giving fans this experience, and to SyFy for the announcement of a full series marathon starting sometime this fall.