The World of Science Fiction According to Richard Hatch


30 Sep

Richard Hatch will be appearing at Island Fantasy Convention (Oct 31 – Nov 1) in Victoria, BC, Canada. Fans can get to meet this icon and hear about what he’s doing now. VIP Ticket holders can attend a special actor’s workshop he will be teaching Sunday morning.

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Richard Hatch is more than just an actor these days. In addition, he’s a writer, director, producer, and humanitarian. When traveling to pop culture conventions, he sees it as an opportunity to explore the city. He likes to check out the local high schools, colleges and universities and sometimes a special program may manifest. Usually these pay-for workshops impart to a new generation his experiences. These self-improvement and acting classes he offers are just one of the many things he now does. And what people can leave with is in knowing the future is bright and there’s no need to wear shades.

“I’m interested in helping humanity to grow, to heal and be forgiving,” said Hatch. “I like appearing in projects that will touch people’s hearts, open their minds and help them move beyond their bias and prejudices.”

Hatch believes he’s tapped into what’s going on socially and politically. He’s concerned about what’s ahead and sometimes these manifest in the roles he’s played. As Dan Robbins in Streets of San Francisco, he was a health food advocate and he enjoyed getting back to Nature when not on the job. When contrasted to more recent roles, especially when he played Tom Zarek in the re-imagined version of Battlestar Galactica, some wondered what sinister past this character had buried. In the web series The Silicon Assassin, he’s a gangster of sorts. In the upcoming short film Cowboys & Engines, he’s a farmer turned cowboy. In the prelude trailer to Star Trek: Battle of Axanar, he’s certainly showing his diversity as a philosophical Klingon who just may rival Japanese warlord Katagiri Katsumoto (famous for the battle, Seven Spears of Shizugatake) – of whom Hatch took inspiration from.

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“To me, it comes down to what kind of complex character I get to play. I like characters that’s more layered – the more complex the better,” said Hatch.

As audiences have discovered in the 2004 Battlestar Galactica series, nobody is all good or all bad. These individuals are human beings struggling with demons. There’s a dark side within humanity and it can emerge when one least expects it. Win or lose, that’s the game being played within this series.

Although the attempted 2009 theatrical film reboot is in limbo due to Glen A. Larson’s untimely death, maybe something will happen if Bryan Singer decides to revisit it. But as Hatch revealed, “I don’t know what the time line is or if they have a script everybody likes. That’s the big challenge. But I’m hoping they find a way to not only develop it as a movie but also have it cover new ground so it’s not the same as the original or re-imagined version. The producers [whoever owns the rights now] have to find a way to go into new territory.”

According to The A.V. Club, screenwriter Jack Paglen (Transcendence) still remains attached. Scholars like Michael D.C. Drout, English and Communication, M.A. (Wheaton College) argue great science fiction can reveal interesting things about the human condition in his audio lecture series “From Here to Infinity: An Explanation of Science Fiction Literature (2006).” Hatch believes in the same thing. As an avid reader of science fiction since the age of 8, he’s read all the greats and finds “all” of Isaac Asimov‘s works to be the most influential. Although he does not read as much these days, this futurist tries to keep up.

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“What I like the most today are visionary and prophetic material written by authors who look into the possible mysteries of the world,” said Hatch. “Especially inspiring are those who look at where we come from and where we are going. Great science fiction does that.”

Hatch also enjoys what’s popular too. A partial list includes Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Outlanders. To understand why these franchises are appealing to the masses may require looking at Margaret Atwood‘s treatise in “Maybe In Other Worlds: Science Fiction and the Human Imagination (2012).” Kevin Barry, book reviewer of the Telegraph, wrote, “Atwood suspects that the appeal of comic books, sci-fi and the hyper real lies deep in the human psyche. They satisfy our primal need for myth.”

When Hatch reflects on his own work and the programs he’s been in, he believes great sci-fi drama has something to say about the world. Just as important, and when possible, he likes to weave world history and mythology into the projects he’s involved in. One such passion is his original and ongoing work with The Great War of Magellan, which he started a decade ago. He sees this series as a vehicle to explore very deep complex questions and issues about who we are and it taps into some pretty powerful themes explored in films like The Matrix.

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This creative mind behind GWoM believes that as a species, we will continue to evolve and start to move beyond the superficial and we will start to see the end of the line. We will understand how Creation works and we will understand our role in it. The spiritual messages he wishes to insert into the narrative will have readers curious when new material comes out. In a story of survival about a young boy, Akillian, navigating the ruins of a once mighty empire, the Confederation of Planets. A war fractured this world. The survivors can’t stay divided over trivial issues and have to unite against a new threat. Hatch reveals that a novel should be available next year along with a high-end web series.

“I find any kind of situation where we see cultures clashing is always an interesting insight into the human nature of why we do these things. [In the case of Star Trek: Battle of Axanar] why do we go to war? What happens in the aftermath of war?”

Both Hatch’s role in this latest fan film project and in his own work tries to answer. As many veterans will tell a new generation, war is hell. At Island Fantasy Convention, fans can ask this actor about what’s next as momentum builds for both projects he’s involved with when they go into full production.

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