Nicholas Meyer Can't Save 'Battlestar Galactica'

By Caillan
November 16, 2001 - 1:49 PM

One of the most highly anticipated new sci-fi series, a revival of 70s cult classic Battlestar Galactica, has been shelved after director Bryan Singer jumped ship to direct 'X-Men 2' and even the involvement of 'Star Trek II' director Nicholas Meyer couldn't save the project.

Together with producer Tom DeSanto, Singer was one of the integral creative forces behind the project, which was intented to debut on the Fox network in Fall 2002. After Singer said he wouldn't be able to direct the pilot episode, Fox withdrew its support, according to Variety.

In last-ditch attempt to save the Battlestar Galactica revival producers brought on board writer-producer Nicholas Meyer. Meyer has a long association with Star Trek, co-writing both 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' and 'Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,' and directing 'The Undiscovered Country' and 'Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan.' However, even the addition of such a high-profile director failed to reverse Fox's decision.

Singer was a driving force behind the Galactica revival, enlisting help from Studios USA to produce the series. Owing to Singer's success with 'X-Men,' starring Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), the Fox Network agreed to air the series, which was intended to air concurrently on the Sci-Fi Channel.

The pilot was originally scheduled to be shot early next year, but Singer's departure has put the entire project in jeopardy. Executive producer Tom DeSanto still remains at the helm, but there is currently no network committed to airing the series.

A petition to support DeSanto's efforts has been set up at Currently, over nine thousand fans have signed the petition.

Richard Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series, has thrown his full support behind the revival. "I believe in Tom DeSanto, whom I have come to know both as an extraordinary human being and a very courageous producer," he wrote at his official web site. "He is, in fact, the only high profiled producer I know who has not only recognized the inherent potential of Galactica, but more importantly, has had the guts to take on the extremely challenging powers that be; to accomplish what most in his field believe to be an impossible and fruitless task."

Created by Glenn A. Larson, the original Battlestar Galactica ran for 22 episodes between 1978-1979. The series was eventually cancelled because of high production costs - each episode cost $1 million to make, an astronomical figure for the day. A short-lived series entitled Galactica: 1980 followed, but was universally panned and cancelled after six episodes.

Any decision about the future of the Battlestar Galactica revival will depend on the current behind-the-scenes talks between Singer and Studios USA, and whether a network can be found to air the series. Interestingly, Enterprise home network UPN was said to be in the running for the project back in March (story) but there are as yet no indications it would still be interested in the show.

The original Variety article can be found here.

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