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The Original Apollo Richard Hatch Discusses Battlestar Galactica‘s Finale

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The original Apollo, Richard Hatch discusses his role in the new Battlestar Galactica and the possibility that he’s the Final Cylon.

Q: Does the resurgent popularity of Battlestar ever surprise you?

A: It’s rare to get a really truly wonderfully written, acted and produced scifi show, period. Most remakes or re-imaginings turn out to be crap; the people that make them very rarely understand the fans or scifi. This is, honestly, a rarity. Despite the fact that it’s quite different in tone, it still has the heart of the original Battlestar at its core.

Q: You’ve been a proponent of making a continuation of the original series with the original cast. Would you still want that?

A: If it was viable and I was able to do it, I would love to. There’s a million ways to do Battlestar right. Tom DeSanto is a huge fan. He produced Transformers, X-Men, and his dying passion is to bring back the original Battlestar and do a continuation 30 years into the future. I would love to see that done, whether I was part of a production team or if I was asked to be in it as an actor.

Q: What was your reaction when Ronald Moore asked you to play Tom Zarek?

A: I have to sit down and talk to Ron — I want to find out if he created it with me in mind because it fits the formula perfectly. I had written all these scathing letters putting down the network for not listening to the fans who wanted to see a continuation. He e-mailed me and said, “Would you be open to coming in and discussing some options?” Ron said he had this Nelson Mandela-style revolutionary, and it was right up my alley. I love revolutionaries who have the courage to stand up against the status quo. They’re always misunderstood, but they’re the ones who are standing up for human rights.

Q: Now he’s a top candidate for the Final Cylon.

A: With Battlestar, nothing is what it seems. Because these writers always go in directions nobody ever thought of. But when you see it, you’ll go, “Oh of course!” It’s right below the surface, right in front of your face and yet most people miss it because they’re always looking for something far more complex. And yet the very thing that is the most logical, makes the most sense, is right in front of you. Really step out of the box and take a leap of faith; maybe you’ll come up with the right answer.

Q: Are you happy with the final episodes?

A: Ron was very smart — although I have to say I’m very sad because I think this show deserved at least another year or two — but SciFi almost canceled it last year, and I think the fear was that he didn’t want to go season to season. So he said, “OK, if you can’t give me a confirmation, I’m going to take one more year and wrap it up.” And that allowed him to write the stories he wanted and really tie up all the loose ends. This show should be on longer, but it is going to have probably one of the most powerful endings of any show I’ve ever seen.

Q: As the original Apollo, do you agree with the decision to take the new Apollo out of the cockpit?

RH: [Laughs]. You know something? Ehh. I think that because of the circumstance of life and death, even if he was taken out of the cockpit because there was something he felt a call to do, somehow, someway, the uniqueness should be that Apollo never gives up the cockpit. Once you’ve been in that place, it’s like a drug. When I first got the original Battlestar script, I didn’t even want to do it. But the stupid part of it was, looking at the script with all the Ralph McQuarrie art, and seeing the character flying through the universe in one of those Vipers, the little boy in me wanting to fly through the stars ultimately said yes. When we watched the original Star Wars, didn’t we all fall in love with getting in those X-Wings? So when it comes down to it, it’s the little kid in us that usually wins out.

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