Lost Opportunities: The “Secret Pitch”

In June 2011, while looking at eBay listings centered around all-things Galactica, I came across a number of listings for storyboards from a Battlestar project that was neither the classic, original series, the newest one, the Bryan Singer/Tom DeSanto project, Richard Hatch’s “The Second Coming”, or even the Glen A. Larson/Todd Moyer movie proposal.

A battalion of Cylons attack Colonial Warriors on the surface of an asteroid, during a funeral ceremony for Commander Adama. In the proposed pilot, Adama was to be buried in an Egyptian-inspired tomb on an asteroid, which had become part of the rag-tag fleet – a floating mausoleum. At this point in the story, Adama had almost reached the point of mythic figure to his people. In this storyboard, the Cylons and Colonial Warriors have exhausted their firepower and resort to sword fighting. The colonial viper helmets were to have drop-down lenses that permitted the warriors to endure the harshness of space.

With each auction item, it was stated:

So, let me reiterate, Hatch’s pitch was in 1998, BUT also in the same year a SEPARATE group also proposed a TV series CONTINUING the original series from 1978!

The proposed sequel series:

…would have starred the original actors from the cult-classic TV series and picked up 20 years after the original show ended in real time. The actors older ages an important part of the script.

In the story, the Battlestar Galactica has been severely damaged (as has much of the rag-tag fleet) through countless Cylon Raider attacks [see the completely missing Viper Landing Bay in the illustration below].

The fleet has suffered from limited rations of food and water, a space plague and broken morale. A longhaired Starbuck is leading a faction of Viper pilots on raids on various planets to steal food and medical supplies that creates a rift between him and Apollo as the rag tag fleet struggles to continue to find Earth.

 Adama has died and Apollo has become the leader of the fleet.

A Cylon battalion rips through a hull wall, blowing away a Colonial Warrior.

In the listings it stated that Tony ‘Tone’ Rodriguez, a versatile and talented commercial illustrator, drew the storyboards for this pitch.

Mr. Rodriguez has illustrated a number of comic books through the years featuring such luminaries as KISS, ShadowHawk, Lady Robotika, Mayhem!, John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken Chronicles, Masters of the Universe, Violent Messiah and characters from The Simpsons and Futurama for Bongo Comics.

Astounded that as an original series BG fan, I had never heard about this continuation pitch and amazed by Tone’s artwork (Dynamite should have hired him to draw their two TOS comic book mini-series, instead of the artist they did choose!), I contacted the artist at his website: http://www.tonerod.com/.

Mr. Rodriguez was both friendly and forthcoming about his work on the storyboards for the TV series pitch, stating:

A Cylon infantry soldier brandishing two, two-barreled laser rifles.

[Author’s note: Icons has long since ceased trading.]

So, there you have it, the BG continuation pitch that never was. Maybe some day, more information and fantastic art will come to light.

Thanks to Tone Rodriguez for his help, which without, this article would not exist, and Jim Chlubna.

Drop by his website linked above, for more examples of his art. He also does commissions and has been known to draw the odd Cylon!

 Written by Peter Noble