HBO News Blog

How Battlestar Galactica Might Work on HBO

By Hans Ericsson on Mar 20, 2012 to HBO News

Today we’re excited to publish a guest post from Hans Ericsson, a freelance writer who enjoys several HBO programs on a regular basis but also would love to see the Battlestar Galactica series on his favorite network as well!  Just to clarify this is not a news article confirming the existence or even the rumors of a BSG series on HBO.  It is simply Hans’ own speculation on how and why that would work!  Sorry BSG fans.  Hans enjoys traveling and being outdoors with his dog in his spare time. As far as he knows, he is not a Cylon.

By the numbers, the 2004 re-boot of Battlestar Galactica on the SyFy Channel may not have seemed like a big deal. It started strong, but by the end, on paper at least, the interest had faded by the time it ended. There are quite a few theories as to why this may have happened, and while the series finale may not have pleased everyone (I loved it for the most part), it didn’t disappoint fans in the way that say, Lost did.  Many, including myself, consider BSG to be the best science fiction television show ever made (sorry, Firefly). With an amazing ensemble cast, character driven plots and high production value, it had, and still has a serious impact on the way that sci-fi could, and should be done.

After an attempted to expand the BSG universe with the short lived Caprica (canceled after just 18 episodes), SyFy announced Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome would be going into production.  The story, set to take place in 10th year of the First Cylon War, would follow the adventures of a young William Adama (the eventual main character in BSG).  For those not familiar with BSG, Adama is a hardened badass by the time we get to know him in BSG. I’d like to think this means his back story is should be filled with a mix of heroics, heartbreak, and internal conflict.  This show should be SyFy’s chance to get some serious ratings, as Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome could be a truly fantastic show, but I don’t think it will ever see the light of day on SyFy.

The pilot was filmed in Vancouver over a year ago, and there’s no mention of any up coming trailer or release date from a credible source. There’s been talk that this potentially awesome show may turn into a web series, which is the equivalent of having your movie go straight to video. That’s not the only thing that could potentially kill the show before it starts.  Apparently the filming was done in front of green screens and the pilot was set to use mostly digital backgrounds.  I may not be a fancy Hollywood executive, but is this really a better approach to filming than building an actual set?

It’s not a matter of how Blood & Chrome would work for HBO.  The question is, why wouldn’t this work for HBO?  Take a moment and think about the elements that make the original programming on HBO stand out. Now try to imagine applied to a show like this. Conflicted and interesting characters with emotional depth, plots that are complex yet intriguing, and high production values used to create worlds where good and bad aren’t always so clear are just some of the things HBO does well that would apply here.  Add to that the bit names that HBO attracts. The roles in the show could be filled with high quality, well respected actors faster than an Irishmen on St. Patrick’s Day.  If the day should come when SyFy decides to sell the rights to Blood and Chrome, I hope HBO is there to pick up the pieces. Once that happens, all they need to do is take equal parts Band of Brothers, Boardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones, toss in some of HBO creativity,  and baby, you got a stew going.

UPDATE: Last night a trailer for Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome hit the net!  What a coincidence!  While not on HBO, it’s still cool!  Here it is:

  • don

    a good plot would be this: what if the centurions came back to earth… and battlestar galactica was not really led to destruction in the sun by the cylon anders.

  • Tara

    I am a huge fan of BSG even to the point I bought Season 4.5 even though I thought the writers had lost there way by then. I have had many discussions with fellow BSG fans about when & if the series went off kilter for them. (SPOILER ALERT) For me the return of Starbuck ended up being their downfall in my opinion. I would have loved to see BSG on HBO because I think HBO would have been all for keeping Starbuck dead and that would have given the writers more to work with…unfortunately they backed themselves into a wall that they had to explain and by the finale I felt that the writers lost their mojo on that front. Even though the finale was well intentioned and beautiful in an esoteric way, I feel it was one of the biggest letdowns in television history. I don’t think HBO would have let that happen, it has too much integrity as a network compared to Scifi. I also think if BSG was on HBO it would have been nominated for Emmy awards and gotten it’s due for the wonderful cast and crew that made up this great series!

  • Dreamlife

    I am a huge BSG fan and truly believe it is the only good thing that came from the network formery known as Sci Fi. I don’t even want to think about what it would look like on a network like HBO. Part of the fun of the show was how the creators got around network restrictions (“frak” being used as a replacement for the f-word comes to mind). On HBO they would’ve just said f*** and gone nuts with sex scenes and violence.

    I even liked Caprica, though I understand why the ratings weren’t good. It was very cerebral.

    I would love to see a well-made space opera on HBO, but I think it might be time to let BSG rest. HBO should start a completely original scifi series OR do as they did with Game of Thrones and adapt a really good scifi book series.

  • Carl

    I think the Battlestar Galactica finale IS generally seen in the same company as the finales of The Sopranos and Lost. Or at least the final part of it is. Before that, I thought it was rather brilliant.

    But I don’t want it on HBO, and I doubt it’s even realistically feasible. I want HBO to make their own sci-fi show. In fact, my number one dream show would be a sci-fi show on HBO created by Joss Whedon and starring Nathan Fillion. Not necessarily a space opera, then it might feel a little too much like Firefly (and much as I LOVE Firefly, that probably wouldn’t be in it’s best interest). But HBO + sci-fi + Joss Whedon + Nathan Fillion = orgasm.

    Soon as Whedon’s done with Marvel and Fillion’s done with Castle, make it happen HBO. I’ll love you forever for it.

  • I’ll admit it–havent seen BSG even though DS9 is my favorite show of all time (sorry HBO, Game of Thrones is a close second and might win out eventually!)

    I DO see potential for a high budget, awesome science fiction show. It’s never been done before! Even Star Trek was done on a relatively small budget and no one else has even come close. If HBO could get some of the greatest minds together or use something already established as awesome (such as BSG or The Foundation series or Ender series) then I think it would totally work.

    Science Fiction on HBO! That might be the 2nd best day of my life right after the Game of Thrones on HBO announcement.

    Great write-up Hans!

    • Jefd

      Welcome Hans,

      SCIFI certainly has its fan base. A well done series of that genre would cleary add subscribers . All number of stars would have to be aligned to make it happen though. And HBO comes across as a more literary based channel not a pop culture destination, so only the right concept would fly with them.

      Could that type of show be BSG? Anyone’s guess really, but if the right production company was behind it, like Playtone, than the sky’s the limit.

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