Now – to be fair to Mr. Ruditis – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Little by way of scholarly work has been written about Glen Larson’s original late 70’s series (and he’s followed up that trend by really not offering up much fresh or new here) especially when compared to the media’s fawning reaction to David Eick and Ronald Moore’s post-9/11 reboot (of which there’s been plenty). Perhaps Ruditis surmised that throwing in some facts, tidbits, and asides to both Galactica 1980 as well as the Caprica spin-off series would represent something a bit different than what came before: well, the problem there is that most die-hard fans are more likely to wish those ventures forgotten.
To his credit, the writer scored some interview time with Larson, Eick, and Moore, though based on the reactions within I’m not all that certain their respective dialogues were all that frank or all that long. Basically, Larson recounts a few passing blurbs about the original – in fact, I’m not convinced he divulged anything ‘fresh’ in here as there was nothing that this enthusiast hadn’t heard or read else. It’s Eick and Moore that get the lion’s share of the attention, and why not? It’s clear that Ruditis has bought hook, line, and sinker into their spiel that they not only re-invented ‘science fiction’ but also ‘television.’ That kinda/sorta spins the truth a bit, but no doubt their fans will lap it up approvingly.
I guess what I suspected here would’ve been more behind-the-scenes details about what monumental effort it took to take such risks on these respective terrific series.
Of course, I don’t mean to imply that VAULT wasn’t worth the time. For the casual fan or even those of us who rarely follow the industry trades it reads just fine. It’s brisk and – despite the packaging – is relatively lightweight. As a plus, it does follow that publishing trend of throwing in two jacket pockets full of show-related reproductions suitable for hanging or merely impressing your friends. I’m a slow reader, but I soared through this coffee-table-sized tome in under two hours … and that just underscores how little precious jewels and/or hidden bonuses had been secreted away in this vault.
Lastly, methinks Ruditis could’ve explored in greater detail the number of failed reboots or restarts that Glen Larson has tried throughout the years. Having followed Science Fiction closely since the mid-70’s, I know that the man has said publicly on several occasions that he was actively engaged in these reboots; while the Bryan Singer attempt here gets some passing mention in the text, that’s all it gets. Is there nada in the vault about why it failed? I would think so … but I’m not the author.
RECOMMENDED. Not awful though sometimes composed with almost fawning admiration as opposed to a recounting of production facts, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA VAULT: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE SERIES, 1978-2012 is a brisk read. It’s a largely uncritical assessment of the franchise, though there were a few barbs (understandably) about the lukewarm Galactica 1980. It certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but there are a vast assortment of sketches and some behind-the-scenes photos that detail the work it takes to bring the saga of a star world to stunning visual life.