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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Battlestar Galactica & Caprica

Battlestar Galactica & Caprica This forum was created by man. It rebelled. It evolved. And it has a plan.

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Old March 5 2012, 07:36 PM   #196
Horta Burger
Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Stargate is even more degraded than BSG.
I would agree that Stargate is pretty well played out. But if you put on a "who-gives-a -****-about-quality" beancounting hat and just look at its history and ratings vis-a-vis BSG, it probably looks like a better vehicle to put money into resurrecting. Not that either of them probably looks all that great to the current SyFy management.
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Old March 5 2012, 08:22 PM   #197
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Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

is wasn't worth splitting into a separate thread and deals in the end with B&C stuff)

1 - I want to apologize for my earlier ranting about "Caprica" - it was unfocused and rambling and I was just venting frustrations. I've had a lot of junk happening offline and I was just venting my rage and frustration ( I was running into a lot of work problems from being pervasively sick throughout 2011, I mean two weeks out of every month, pneumonia/bronchitis level not just colds; turns out I was having a bad allergic reaction to mold in my apartment's vent system, which in turn made me susceptible to more severe, actual infections -- I'm taking stuff that fixed the allergies, haven't been sick for a while, and thus work is starting to turn around so I'm not ranting and raving angry all the time)

2 - I do hope that, despite my vitriol at the time, this helped quantify and diagnose some of the problems on "Caprica" and with BSG's downward slide after season 2 ended.

My points for explaining BSG's demise were, succinctly:

  1. Ron Moore had a very loose writing style, in direct reaction to Berman and Braga's restrictions on him at Trek, to the point that he openly defended "making it up as he went along"
  2. Similar to point 1, he had a loose command style in the writers room and would haphazardly include "fun ideas" from the other writers, without actually "incorporating" it into the overall storyline. "Too many cooks in the kitchen".
  3. Literally half of the core writing staff left between seasons 2 and 3. They consistently downplayed just how much of a massive change in the show this was (we didn't even realize they'd left for about a year) -- particularly, all of the core female writers, whom they openly said were responsible for writing the female characters like Roslin.
  4. The SyFy Channel ordered them to drop their running storylines in season 3 and make a season of standalones - due to this combined with Ron's "loose" style, the "Missing Sagittaron Storyarc" was dropped at the 11th hour, resulting in a haphazard season of B-plots edited together into full episodes, which in many ways was worse than season 4 -- season 4 might have had weird answers, but at that point they at least knew what they were doing. Season 3's problems destroyed the possibility of just coasting along on the existing subplots of seasons 1 and 2.
I would summarize that Caprica failed for these reasons:

  1. The network was so eager to follow-up on the "buzz" from BSG -- spillover fans post-finale -- that they wanted it to start *immediately* after BSG ended. To the point that they didn't develop it as its own prequel, but had to quickly co-opt a pre-existing and unrelated "robot revolution" pilot by Remi Aubochon. That's really unusual. Round peg in a square hole. Any actual connection to BSG was shoehorned in, poorly.
  2. Linked to point 2, they wanted it produced so quickly that the writing process was rushed: RDM stated that he was juggling writing the BSG series finale, Caprica pilot, and Virtuality pilot, at the SAME TIME, so his attention was divided THREE WAYS. I'd say that they should have given him more time to write something that complex -- adapting a pilot script that wasn't connected to BSG and making it a BSG prequel -- but that's just it, it's a catch-22 : adapting an unrelated pilot into a franchise prequel, "to produce it faster" will inherently run into the fact that such complex writing will almost certainly require *more* effort, *more* writing time, than if they started from scratch. So they canceled each other out!
  3. Everything else kind of followed some internal logic, but this was just silly: while at the same time that SyFy wanted to "hook" returning BSG fans (to the point that they rushed it through production), they also wanted to appeal to new fans....not just new scifi fans but their ridiculous directive, given to most of their shows these days, to "not really be a scifi show" on a scifi network. Yes, scifi shows should aim for broad appeal, but when SyFy asks for this it carries the tone that they just don't like scifi. So they wanted the show to be planet-based with few action scenes. And not TOO many BSG references. By trying to have it both ways, they pleased no one: the returning fans didn't think it had enough BSG elements, to warrant being a good prequel, while new fans would think it had too many or too disjointed -- example: a single throwaway reference to the Temple of Aurora or something, wouldn't feel like much to old fans who knew what that was, just a namedrop, while new viewers would be confused.
  4. Objectively, Jane Espenson had a really troubled run as showrunner after RDM wrote the pilot and handed off the reins to her; to the point that she stepped down in mid-season. The writing for a full ten episodes is very disjointed and tangential, with new subplots scattered all over the place without resolution, and often little follow-up. You weren't sure which subplots to focus on.

Well I hope that was able to sum it up, as more of a writer's critique and less frantic yelling.

Sorry for the length but we're not having too much news lately...

3 - I'm very happy to hear that Bear McCreary finished the soundtrack for B&C and had a good time doing it. I never lost my respect for McCreary, and even as I complained about BSG season 3, he was at the same time making great new work on the Terminator TV series; I don't think he's peaked at all and always look forward to his future projects. --> Personally I didn't really think the soundtrack for BSG was very memorable in seasons 3 and 4 compared to what came earlier, but I think this is more of a problem of the writers just not giving McCreary enough to work with -- i.e. there's only so many ways you can score "The Love Polygon sits around Joe's Bar drinking and depressed". From a technical standpoint, from reading McCreary's blog, these were still well-thought out pieces -- its just how can you construct a character leitmotif if the writers aren't sure what the character is doing? Well, not his fault.

4 - This really seems like a new age for SyFy Channel, what with most of their shows ending and Eureka ending soon. They have announced many new pilots. I wonder what this "new generation" will be like (or if the network is lost...)

Personally I see it as coming in waves. The first was the original crop of original programming SciFi Channel began in the late 1990's, spearheaded by Farscape. The second I'd define as the Stargate/BSG era, though really this was "post-Farscape" overall; more like end of Farscape overlapped with SG-1, then SG-1 and Atlantis overlapped with BSG, and so on. But season 6 of SG-1 was a bit wobbly then season 7 was good, and Atlantis season 1 was the best it ever had (until season 5). It was shiny and "new" I mean.

So if we're to divide their programming into eras, there were:

1 - the Farscape Era -- a golden age of yore when Scifi Channel funded the Dune miniseries and a bunch of other quirky original programming.

2 - The "Scifi Friday Era", circa 2005-2007 -- overlapping with when they acquired SG-1, this culminated in a true powerblock of running SG-1, Atlantis, and BSG in a row for two seasons.

3 - "The SyFy Era" - (I was going to call it the "Fall Era") you might want to make this subdivision, after they stopped running Scifi Friday as a block and just scattered their shows around, never to have such a great 3 hour block again. Gradually the good shows they had ran out: BSG, SG-1, Atlantis. The real death knell was when Caprica and Atlantis was BOTH canceled within a year, each intended to be flagship shows for years (Caprica's cancellation was particularly dramatic - yanked off the airwaves before it finished airing). This ranged from Caprica getting pulled (November 2010 ) to when Stargate Atlantis finished (May 2011 ). That isn't too long ago in the grand scheme of things. well, it got renamed "SyFy" in July 2009, which was generally seen as a bad move, but also...this move towards "not really scifi, earth-bound stuff which appears to a ridiculously wide and unfocused "audience" -- that philosophy had been running the network for a while.

One might also call this last one "the Eureka Era" because it noticeably started in mid-2006, when Eureka premiered and became a new lynchpin in their programming (it allegedly appeals to broad audiences and is earth-bound). Personally I hated Eureka since the first episode, though I understand that other people honestly liked it -- more just not my taste. I'd have liked it if it was a cartoon like they planned, ironically. But mid-2006 is when they stopped doing the "Scifi Friday" block, so these match up.

Eh, I'd lump it together as the "original era" 1999-~2004, but you might want to further subdivide this between the original Farscape batch and when SG-1 became their centerpiece. I'd lump them together to emphasize that a combination of BSG, an Atlantis spinoff, and a single three hour block really changed things.

While short, the "Scifi Friday Era" of 2005 - 2007,and particularly BSG seasons 1 and 2 really skyrocketed the network; on the one hand, they were gaining more "professional" respect, albeit a bit less "indie" cred a think (fewer weird side projects, as they were trying to compete with major networks on their own terms via BSG).

From mid-2006 to mid 2011, its just been growing into the "SyFy Era", in which shows like Eureka were what they were aiming for, and they really lost their feel for space opera (late BSG, Caprica, Stargate Universe). Not to say Eureka was bad, I mean it got the ratings in, but its run its course. Warehouse 13 is good though. Things did officially run into problems after BSG ended in 2009, and the feeling of "uh oh, what now?" settled in.

Though really, its been some 3 years since the change to "SyFy Channel" and they really failed to deliver on far anyway. did a great writeup of this, better than I can, pointing out how few changes actually resulted from that "paradigm shift" other than abandoning their corps values ("we can patent games and movies we make!" "WHAT games and movies?!")

Well, I hold out hope for that Defiance show by Farscape's O'Bannon.

But I really hope that one way or another, they don't pick up Blood and Chrome for series. It sounds like it has problems, and the effort might be better spent on just moving into a new era.
"Its about the characters, stupid" - Ron D Moore
"What baloney. BSG was about the writers wanting to achieve a pre-determined end point, and they jerked the characters around so that they would achieve that goal." - Temis the Vorta
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Old March 5 2012, 08:27 PM   #198
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Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

Wow, I almost actually cared during the first few sentences, after that it just became a blur.
"But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake."
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Old March 5 2012, 08:38 PM   #199
Gep Malakai
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Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

How long did it take him to write all that?
"From the darkness you must fall, failed and weak, to darkness all."
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Old March 5 2012, 08:42 PM   #200
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Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

So, nothing new here, then?
"This begs explanation." - de Forest Research on Star Trek

My blog: Star Trek Fact Check.
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Old March 5 2012, 08:43 PM   #201
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Re: SyFy demotees Blood & Chrome back to webisode series

I only read the bold bits
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