DeSanto/Singer: The Battlestar Galactica

When the DeSanto/Singer project approached the design of the Galactica herself, they planned on using the classic design modified to incorporate improved weaponry and defenses.  As the production was canceled prior to filming, images from the 2003 video game may well represent the best idea of what the Galactica would have looked like.

The Battlestar Galactica (Video Game Image)

In this pre-production drawing, the updated design of Galactica’s landing bay seems to show elements resembling the hangar of the Death Star in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.  The ranks of Viper fighters, the troops welcoming the dignitary ship (President Mara) do evoke the scene showing the arrival of the Emperor.  In addition, the landing bays now sport weapon turrets in the ceiling, and the external view includes a perspective of Galactica’s engine housing.

Galactica Landing Bay

Politics would have played a major role in the DeSanto/Singer story; this is a concept drawing of the chambers of the Council of the Twelve.

Pre-production Drawing of Council of the 12 Chambers

The re-design of Galactica included the interior sets.  This drawing of Commander Orin’s office takes into account bulkheads and other structural supports that would be visible, and would add to the look of an operational warship.

Orin’s Office Concept Drawing

Additionally, since in any enclosed environment space would be at a premium, even the personal quarters of the Commander would be more functional than luxurious.  We see Orin’s personal cabin includes office, seating, and sleeping spaces within one room.

Orin’s Bedroom Concept Drawing

When drawing up the bridge design, not only was the effort made to remain faithful to the original, the plan was to expand the set to make the control center of the vast ship even more impressive and state-of-the-art.   

Pre-production Painting of Galactica Bridge

Set construction was well underway before the production was delayed and, ultimately, canceled.

Battlestar Galactica Bridge Set

The bridge set would have been faithful to the original series set, but larger and updated.  As with the original set, the new bridge would have been centered around a raised, circular command platform.

Galactica Bridge Console

We can see from this photograph how the wall sections would integrate into the bridge set as in the preproduction painting, above.

Galactica Bridge Wall Panel

As with the Viper mock-ups, when the DeSanto/Singer project was canceled, these almost-completed set pieces were placed in storage.  A Universal accounting executive reportedly noted that storage space was still being used for a cancelled production, so terminated payments for the storage fees.  Everything being stored was then smashed apart with hammers and tossed into a landfill.

– written by John Pickard