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Battlestar Galactica's Richard Hatch Talks

On going from being the good guy (Apollo in the original series) to playing an antihero (Tom Zarek):
"There's nothing better than being an actor in a show they love. I've never played a character as much as I loved playing Tom Zarek. As an actor, you're always looking to play enigmatic, challenging, complex roles. Zarek--like many of the characters on this show--isn't black-and-white. We've all gone through some trauma at some point that changes how we see the world. Here we have a political revolutionary idealist that stood up for human rights and suffered for 25 years in prison because of it. I played Zarek as a flawed good guy. He's a damaged idealist with little faith in government and the powers that be.

"BSG was very much about dealing with a post 9/11-type scenario where democracy--a fragile institution--can easily be lost out of fear. I think BSG explored how easily that could happen and how even good people do bad things...but with good intentions."

On Tom Zarek's back story:
"One thing [the show] didn't do was give a lot of context and backstory for Zarek. There's a four-part series exploring that in Dynamite Comics. It filled in blanks about him losing his family, his friends, and how people were imprisoned on his planet. He really did grow up in that wartime environment, and I wove that into the character as time went on.

"You never got enough to know his motivation from the show by itself...he remains a bit of a mystery. But this is a show that only has 46 minutes and a huge ensemble cast with complex, interesting characters. In the three-and-a-half years they had, they fleshed out as many people as they could.

"I'm doing a new Battlestar comic for TokyoPop based on the stories of Tom Zarek when he comes back from new Caprica and he's been in prison. Basically, they talk about these long, drawn-out trials, but there' no back story. That's how these comics will fill in the blanks. You'll see the press coming out on that in about a month."

On keeping very busy after Galactica:
"I'm working on this show called, "Who the FRAK is the Real Richard Hatch?" which is covering my 40-year journey in this business. Everything from acting jobs to project pitches and the Battlestar-themed vacation Galacticruise.

"I'm also working on Great War of Magellan. It's an epic space opera that is incredibly deep. Honestly, I worked on this because it's the kind of story I want to see. I created a couple of trailers to promote this new story IP and concept. I tried this approach a couple of years ago when I was struggling with Universal to bring back Galactica. What I realized after that was I needed to develop something and create all these things around it. I've created an RPG, a graphic novel, a series of three novels--I wanted to be able to present it in many different forms and ways. It's probably only in the past six months that I started talking to investors. And taking it to the next level."

On the end of the journey:
"Why do so many other shows last so long and yet Galactica keeps leaving way too soon? It's better to leave them wanting, I suppose, but the potential...the story's potential is unlimited. It's sad to see a show as well done as this is ending its run. We've signed nondisclosure statements, so I can't tell you anything about the finale, but I will say that [Ronald D.] Moore did an incredible job with the ending. As a fan and actor in the show, it's been a life changing experience for me. A great cast. A great crew.

"This is an extraordinary journey that can't be repeated. Honestly...saying goodbye is tough, I'm going to miss watching it."

The 2-hour series finale airs Friday night on the Sci Fi Channel.

Need even more nerdity? Follow Casual Friday columnist and PC World Senior Writer Darren Gladstone on Twitter (gizmogladstone) for random reviews, odd links, and time-wasting tips.

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