THOSE WHO REFUSE TO LEARN FROM THE PAST ARE DOOMED TO REPEATS: With the serene ignorance unique to those tasked with TV programming, the execs at the Sci Fi network are pondering splitting the next and final season of Battlestar Galactica into two parts, according to a story in TV Week.





The show is Sci Fi’s biggest buzz show, and while it has a few related projects waiting in the wings to keep the Galactica franchise on its feet – Razor, a one-off TV movie set to air this fall, and the Caprica spin-off that’s been rather unconvincingly called dead more than one – showrunner Ronald Moore is definitely done when the last Galactica episode airs, and the time to strike is now if the network wants to maintain audience interest.





With this in mind, they’re on the verge of making the inexplicable decision to split the final season into two halves, starting after the first ten new episodes start airing in January. This is considered exactly the sort of bad decision that the big networks suffered for in the last season, most particularly with CBS’ Jericho, which squandered its initial audience with a long lay-off, got cancelled and then renewed after a fervent fan campaign.

 




Moore was the voice of resigned wisdom when asked for a comment. “It doesn’t affect my job either way since we’re shooting it straight through,” he said. “It might be better to get it all done (in the same year) for the fans so they don’t have to wait.”





Since episode ten is rumoured to end on a dramatic cliffhanger (“When people see the ending … they’re gonna freak out,” said one breathless source), Sci Fi execs had best think hard – even The Sopranos suffered bad press and audience backlash when they stretched their last season over two agonizing years.





Everything apparently hinges on the success of Razor; if it does well, Caprica will likely get a go-ahead with what TV Week presumes would be a two-hour pilot, and if the pilot doesn’t take off, Sci Fi parent company NBC/Universal could recoup some of their losses with a standalone DVD release a la Joss Whedon’s Serenity.





As for Moore, he’s handed in his script for a remake/sequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of the sci-fi classic The Thing, and has a further four projects in development for NBC. It sounds like Moore’s ready to move on, in any case, which brings us to Plan B: NBC leaves the Battlestar Galactica brand fallow for another twenty years, by which point it’ll be kitsch to some future generation just entering high school now, at which point they can remake it again in whatever passes for “edgy” in 2031 – Admiral Adama will probably be a hermaphrodite who’s both mother and father to Apollo, Starbuck will be an intelligent kitchen appliance, and the Cylons will be Mormons who travel in pairs. Just don’t wake me up for the series premiere, please.



rick.mcginnis@metronews.ca

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