Impeccable sources tell me that Battlestar Galactica‘s fourth season, put on hold for three months by the just-ended writer’s strike, will not be truncated. The SciFi Channel has told Ron Moore that they want to complete the entire 22 episode season four order! The network will be giving Ron Moore, David Eick and their embarrassingly good writing
staff a lot of hours to wrap up the show’s story without rushing or trimming.
When the show shut down three months ago, there were some worries as to whether it would start up again. Battlestar is expensive, and other expensive shows that weren’t burning up the ratings found themselves axed during the strike. Getting BSG a 22 episode fourth season order was seen as nothing short of miraculous at the time, so people wondered if SciFi wouldn’t just ‘cut their losses’ (in their shortsighted eyes) and end the season at the 12 or so episodes in the can, maybe giving Moore et al the chance to finish everything up in a TV movie.
Thankfully that didn’t happen, and there’s more good news: the entire writing staff is back. They gathered this week to rewatch the completed season four episodes to get back up to speed, and now that the strike is completely and officially over, they’ll be revisiting the outlines of future episodes and break those stories. There are still some details that will need to be ironed out – actor’s deals may need to be renegotiated to get them secured past when their season four contracts end, for example – but the sets in Vancouver were never struck and the behind the camera types are raring to go and finish their epic story. I’ve heard that the show is firing on all cylinders in the season four episodes filmed to date, and I hope that three months away has given everybody new energy and perspectives to match the first half of the season.
The one mystery that remains is how SciFi will air the final season. Currently the feeling is that they’ll split it in half and we’ll only get ten or eleven episodes now, with the rest following as late as 2009. Here’s to hoping that they wise up and give us the complete story in a more reasonable time frame.