What We Know About Peacock's New 'Battlestar Galactica' Series
What the frak is going on with that Battlestar Galactica “reboot”? Producer Sam Esmail has been dropping intel on the Peacock show these past few months, and fans of the Syfy version of Battlestar Galactica will be glad to know he has no intention of ruining the franchise’s legacy. (So say we all.)
Scroll down to discover everything we know about the upcoming sci-fi series.
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Sam Esmail is onboard as executive producer
The Mr. Robot creator, who’s also an executive producer on Homecoming and Briarpatch, is developing the series as part of his overall deal with Universal Content Productions. According to Deadline, Esmail told NBCUniversal execs that BSG was one of the properties he was most interested in—and he’s a big fan of Ronald D. Moore’s 2004 BSG remake, which aired for four critically-acclaimed seasons on Syfy.
“It was this sci-fi show that didn’t feel incredibly sci-fi-y,” Esmail said of the predecessor series in a Hollywood Reporter interview this past October. “It was grounded. I felt like I was watching a war film—so allegorical because it really was talking about 9/11 and the post-terrorist attack environment in a really human way. It was groundbreaking television in how serialized it was before that became popular among the other dramatic shows.”
It’s inspired by the 2004 series but is not a remake
“BSG fans, this will NOT be a remake of the amazing series @RonDMoore launched because... why mess with perfection?” Esmail tweeted the day the project was announced. “Instead, we’ll explore a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar. So say we all!”
It’s not strictly a reboot
From Esmail: "The word ‘reboot’ was used when we were first talking about it, and I cringed. Ronald Moore, he just hit it out of the park with his series, so why would I even want to touch that? I talked to him and said, ‘A, are you OK with this? And B, if you are, how do we proceed?’ He said he was OK with it as long as it wasn’t a reboot—which was in line with what I was thinking. But the world of Battlestar Galactica is so rich, the mythology is so interesting, that I think there is a lot to pick from and explore."
Michael Lesslie will write and produce
The creator and showrunner of the AMC spy drama The Little Drummer Girl is tackling the scripts for the new BSG. “I am beyond excited to be taking on this iconic and inspirational show,” he said when the news was announced earlier this month, per Deadline. “As a lifelong devotee, I know that the possibilities of Battlestar Galactica’s world are infinite and that each iteration has raised the bar for epic and intelligent sci-fi storytelling. The teams at Esmail Corp, UCP, and Peacock are second to none, and I already know that we are going to honor Glen A. Larson [creator of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series] and Ronald D. Moore’s landmark series and break new boundaries with our own vision. It’s a dream come true—one I just can’t wait to share with fans, new and old alike. So say we all.”
It won’t be a limited series
Esmail confirmed this month on THR’s TV’s Top 5 podcast that the new Battlestar is being developed as a long-running series. And after shirking television convention by making Homecoming a half-hour drama, Esmail said that the form of the new BSG will follow its function: “There might be episodes that are longer than others. There might be a three-arc episode that could stretch along three episodes. There might be a standalone episode that’s a half-hour long. We want to play around with all forms. We don’t want to put any guardrails at all. We want to just tell the best story possible for each episode. … What we’re doing here is, every episode, you have the opportunity to change up the tone, to change up the point of view, to tell a different story, to dissect one thing or to go massively wide on another thing, so we are going to lean into that, not shy away from it.”
It will be a political allegory, like its predecessor
Just as the 2004 BSG mirrored the post-9/11 world, the new version will have something to say about the political climate here on Planet Earth. “Mike just had this great take, and I’m not going to go into it because obviously I don’t want to spoil it for fans, but you kind of see it in The Little Drummer Girl, where politics plays a big part in it but without comprising the entertainment value,” Esmail said on the podcast. “Because in my opinion, you gotta have that. That’s [the] number one priority. I want people to be excited and emotionally invested and on a thrill ride, but at the same time, I think Mike is going to bring a lot of depth and parallel or mirror what’s going on in the world right now.”
No casting has been announced
The new BSG might be a long ways away. In the May podcast interview, Esmail said the team was “just focused on writing” and had “no casting updates” to share. Still, that hasn’t stopped former BSG actors from throwing their hats into the ring…