Friday, March 02, 2007
Wondercon - Battlestar Galactica's Richard Hatch
I wasn't going in to WonderCon today. But then I found out that Richard Hatch was going to be there on Friday, talking about his new series, Battlestar Galactica.
They allotted a small room for Richard's talk. But soon after he started, the little room filled with more than 100 fans, all wanting to hear about Battlestar. Of course, Richard Hatch was the original "Apollo" in the 1978 series that only lasted one year. Since then, he has tried everything imaginable to get a new Battlestar off the ground. He managed to get a small but recurring and powerful role on the new series. And he's reveling in it.
I can't count the number of times I've seen Richard. He has come to many conventions over the past 25 years, selling his autograph, selling his motivational tapes, offering himself to companies as a speaker. He is always upbeat, always believing in the power of yourself to get something done. I took note that he wasn't wearing that same old outsized football shirt he seemed to wear to all conventions; he was in an old sweater, old jeans and running shoes. He might be in the money, but he wasn't wearing it.
The first thing he said to us was, "What, you have nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon? No school? No job?" and laughed. He then asked one spectator what he did, and upon finding out he was an art student, he told the rest of us: "If there's one thing you need to know, marry your art to business. You need to learn about business as much as you need to know about your art. Otherwise, you'll get screwed. Believe me, I know."
There were some technical difficulties setting up his DVDs. He wanted to show us some scenes from Battlestar, most of which was on a 20-minute short about the BSG composer. So in the meantime, he answered questions about the series.
It was kind of amazing. He obviously didn't know the answer to many of the questions, but answered the questions anyway. I was the first to venture a question: why only 13 episodes for 2007? He said it was obviously a money thing. It's an expensive show. They produced 13 for the first season, 20 for the second (which they released in two DVDs), and now they've obligated for 13 more. There is no guarantee that Battlestar will continue on, as executives don't "get" science fiction, Richard said with disdain. If they had patience, he continued, they would realize that they'd make up whatever money they had spent on the DVDs in the future. "Science fiction movies have long legs," he stated.
While waiting for the techies to figure out why the DVD player wasn't working, Richard made a shadow puppet on the giant screen, shouting, "Here's a viper!" which made us all laugh.
They finally got the DVD player to work, but most of his time was up. We watched about five minutes of incredible scenes of Starbuck and Apollo in their vipers, with wonderful music created just for this series in the background.
I came out of the room inspired to watch more Battlestar when I can get a chance. I ducked into the bathroom in preparation for my long trip home to Oakland.
I heard a voice coming from the next stall. "Hey, I'm sorry, I'm calling you from the bathroom. I wanted this call to be private."
I had to laugh. I recognized that voice. As I was getting up from the seat and pulling myself together, I took a look at the shoes. Yep. Black pumps, 3-inch heels. Now, who else would wear heels to WonderCon.
As I left, I watched Chase Masterson come out of the stall, still on her phone, conducting business. Chase is the hardest-working actor I have ever met. And I'm in her fan club. She was in a recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and currently she's in a new movie called, "Yesterday Was a Lie," some sort of film noir with perhaps a sci fi bent. She will be appearing on a panel on Sunday to promote the movie.
I'll wait to say hello to her on Sunday. She's obviously busy today.