Richard Hatch, Battlestar’s Greatest Champion

February 7, 2017


If you’re reading this blog, I don’t need to explain to you who Richard Hatch was.  He died today, and the fan culture community is reeling with the loss of not just another icon but of a man who championed our culture, and our show in particular.  He wasn’t just one of the stars of the 1978 edition of BSG as Captain Apollo, he almost single-handedly kept the fan base going in the years before the re-imagined BSG hit the airwaves in 2004.  He tried to get his own version called “Second Coming” off the ground in the late 1990s but when that didn’t work, he was convinced to join the new series as Tom Zarek.  It may have started as stunt casting, but it was a role that showed many of us how truly good an actor he was. To soothe my own sense of loss, it is the Tom Zarek episodes I will be re-watching.

There will be many stories shared tonight that begin with the words “I was lucky enough to meet Richard Hatch at…” and continuing to describe a fond memory. Fans loved him.  He understood not just what fan culture had done for him, but what fans were.  He got it.  He got us.richardhatchbattlestar

I spoke to Richard on the phone about 10 years ago, attempting to apologize on behalf of a local group of fans that had inadvertently insulted him.  He was incredibly gracious in accepting my apology and assurances that there were indeed many local fans who were eager to meet him and would love to sponsor a subsequent visit.  We had a wonderful conversation about my city and it’s fan culture. We were never able to get him to make that return visit, but when I met him in Atlanta several years later he did recall the conversation.  Again, he was such a gentleman.

I’m going to have to dig my old Colonial Warrior uniform out of the box.  Raise a glass of ambrosia and toast a man I was lucky enough to have met.

RIP Richard Hatch (1945-2017)



Nuked Earth + Nuked Con + Nuked Food!

August 5, 2015

11822593_10153446643225605_4819691532515259297_nThe last week or so has been a difficult one for Battlestar Galactica fans.  Hopes had been high for the Galacticon IV convention in Seattle but were disappointed in the days leading up to the event.  While a much smaller convention did go ahead this past weekend, a lot of BSG fans were left with a bad taste in their mouths.

Had we been holding on for this as the last gasp of BSG fandom?

Hell of a way to let it die.

The debacle seems to have reinvigorated the fan base.  As anger fades, there are new ideas for another convention in 2018 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Classic version and others just saying we have to try again.  Will something positive come out of it?

I don’t know.

A bunch of 13th Colonists got together in Vancouver on the day after the convention to talk about it.  We even brought out our Cylons. We chose Centennial Beach, the site the “Nuked Earth” sequences in Season 4 of the newer version of BSG.  And we talked about what we loved about the show, and what we want to see happen in the future.

We’re not ready to see the fandom die just yet.  So in the coming months, there will be new 13th Colony Video files, a fan table at a local convention and perhaps even another location scouting mission.

Hang on fellow BSG fans.  We’re still out here…


10 Frakkin’ Years?!

January 14, 2015
They keep coming

They keep coming

Hard to believe it has been 10 years since the episode “33” first aired.

Tightly scripted, gritty and filled with magnificent performances, this episode delivered on the potential of the miniseries that had aired the previous year.  The whiteboard, the Olympic Carrier, “‘Good hunting’ is what you say!” all perfectly set the stage for what was to come. It still ranks as one of my favourite episodes of television ever.  So what’s the best way to celebrate #BSG10?


Join members of 13th Colony as we rewatch the reimagined series between now and the end of July of this year, just in time for Galactica fans’ big get-together in Seattle, Galacticon 4.

Our most active hub is on our Facebook page, so that is where you will find our REWATCH event, and discussions about it.  It’s also where we’re organizing our trip down from Vancouver to Seattle to join other BSG fans (classic, reimagined, or those of us who cannot choose) to celebrate from July 31 to Aug 2nd at Seattle Center.


See Classic BSG on the Big Screen

January 15, 2014

battlestarCanadian Battlestar Galactica fans really are lucky.  We were the only ones who got to see Battlestar Galactica on the big screen back in 1978 before it aired as the pilot of TV show in the US. Now Cineplex is giving us the chance to see it in theatres again, as part of their Great Digital Film Festival 2014.

At a number of Cineplex theatres across Canada, the classic Battlestar Galactica starring Lorne Green, Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch will play February 2nd at 12:30pm. This will be the 2 hour pilot “Saga of a Star World” that launched the one and only season of BSG’s first incarnation.

Here in Metro Vancouver, home of 13th Colony, there will be two participating theatres, the Scotiabank Downtown and Colossus Langley.  There will be members of 13th Colony at both screenings, including a few dressed as Colonial Warriors, so come on up and say hello!

If you want to revel in the old sci-fi film goodness, other treats the same day include Tron, Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes and Logan’s Run.  Tickets are $6, available here.  Price reductions are available if you are seeing more than one film.  Note: you have to search for the film by day, February 2nd, to bring up the proper result.


Adventures in Classic BSG Costuming

August 22, 2013

jacket ad2Since ONE Battlestar Galactica costume is never enough, I embarked on a project to get myself a second BSG costume, this time from the original incarnation. I was an avid reader of Starlog magazine in the 1980s, and I remember the ad showing a little girl wearing a Colonial Warrior uniform jacket. I think I’ve wanted a jacket of my own since then.

As the organizer of a very large BSG club, I knew there would be others interested and we would all benefit from buying as a group. It was a three month coordinated effort of several people that came to a very cool result.

The Standard

There is an established standard for Colonial Warrior costumes. Blackstar Squadron is the main classic BSG costuming group, and you can find their standard here.
Colonial Fleets also has a nice resource list.  I’m not planning for official recognition of my costume, but some members of our group may do so, and it is possible that further customizing is required to meet the standard.


The uniforms (jacket, tunic, pants and belt, with all pins) were ordered from battlestargalactica.org We did get a fair discount for placing a large order, and the guys went to great lengths to ensure our product shipped on time, about 8 weeks after ordering. A pleasure to deal with.


The uniforms come in standard male sizes. Many of us had to order one size larger than normal just because the waist measurement was small. Of seven ordered: two fit very well, three fit with minor alterations and two weren’t even close. Mine required major alterations to fit a female frame. I ordered to fit the bust and hips, but had to cut a great deal out of the waist, and large chunks off the arms and legs. Since I’m short, my jacket will always be far longer than it should be. Alterations to the length of the jacket cannot really be done due to the detailing.


I have to give great thanks to the folks at Glendale Parade Store for going above and beyond to ship a large quantity of heavyweight pistol belts with brass hardware. Since they only ship in the US, we had a very short window to ship to a location I was visiting. One incorrect item was packed, so they went to even more heroic efforts to get the final item to me in time. Amazing customer service!  We bought white belts and used iDye fabric dye in Navy to match. We got a reasonable color, but the process was laborious and the ends didn’t absorb the dye so I had to colour them with a sharpie. In hindsight, I would have just bought the AF Blue belts to begin with.


Only one source we could find for the correct chocolate brown kydex holster….katarra8’s store on ebay We bought the flat blanks and used a heat gun to shape them when they arrived. Very satisfied. Warning: someone did get a little impatient with the heat gun and broke one of the blanks, so be careful.


Exact boots are tough to find. The originals were Sidi Full Bore motocross boots, painted brown. Occasionally pairs do come up for sale on ebay but the price is often very high…and quite frankly, who wants a 30 year old pair of boots someone else wore? Half of our group spent $10 a pair and got reasonable knock off boots at Ardene.


This is one area where I will remain mostly silent. I was extremely unhappy with the customer service I got from the place I ordered a solid resin replica, so I will not be recommending them here. We found another way.

Now, we’ve got our own squadron of Colonial Warriors here in Vancouver, and you’ll see us out at conventions around town and maybe even further afield.  Come by and say hello!


Colonial Cause at Cos & Effect

August 7, 2013

Cos_&_Effect_LogoThis weekend is Cos & Effect, Vancouver’s annual costume, cosplay and alternative fashion event.  Running from August 9-11, 2013 at UBC, this year’s convention has a Space theme.  That means 13th Colonists are sure to be on hand!

Sunday afternoon is capped off with the “Space Party & Charity Fundraiser.”  More details here. If you have ever wanted to see a stormtrooper face a viper mechanic in a dance off, this may be your only chance to do so!  Entry fee is for the party is by donation and proceeds go to BC Children’s Hospital, so you do not need to be attending the convention to go to the party!

Good luck and Good Hunting!


She was a good ship

May 17, 2013

We built her, and then we solemnly watched as she went up in flames.smokenosecrop

In the summer of 2010, members of 13th Colony built a 10 foot long Viper Mark IV, mostly out of cardboard, PVC and poster stock.  It came out remarkably close to specs, made a great display model and yet fit in the back of an economy car.  Alas, as every group that builds things has discovered, storage was an issue and one winter in a shed was too much for our creation.  The next summer, we decided to give the old bird a good sendoff.  It wasn’t entirely a solemn occasion.  We had a BBQ, on the beach.  The very same beach where the Nuked Earth scenes were shot in the new BSG, and very close to the exact same firepit they used to build Kara’s funeral pyre on the same planet.  We already blogged about it here but now you can watch for yourself!  Announcing Episode #4 of the 13th Colony Video Files  – A Decommissioning Ceremony.

RIP Viper Mark IV.  She was indeed a good ship.


Fan Expo Vancouver 2013

April 2, 2013

13th ColonyFan Expo is returning to Vancouver April 20th and 21st and once again, 13th Colony is thrilled to be playing a part!  Vancouver’s Battlestar Galactica Fan Club will join local chapters of the 501st Legion (Outer Rim Squadron), the Ghostbusters of BC and Can’t Stop the Serenity Vancouver to offer con-goers a glimpse into Vancouver’s fan scene.

And we’ve got another reason to celebrate! After having to cancel late last year, Michael Hogan (new BSG’s Saul Tigh) will make it up to the Vancouver fans by appearing this year.

We’ll have plenty of Battlestar Galactica (classic and reimagined) items and costumes on display. We’re out to meet and greet fellow BSG fans who might not be aware we’re here and we’re awesome!


2013: The Year of the 13th Colony

January 1, 2013

2013 bsg yearIs it too early to predict that 2013 will be our year? It’s been a dark time for Battlestar Galactica fans. A very long wait for the release of Blood & Chrome is now followed by more waiting to see if the downloads and DVD sales will lead to anything more. Yet with no new content on the horizon, our ragtag fleet of fans is hanging on.

In Vancouver, 13th Colony is starting the year off with a bang. We’ve got some BSG fans visiting from the USA and plan to show them some West Coast Cylon hospitality. On January 11th we’re hosting a Frak Party at our old hangout, La Fontana, to view Blood & Chrome in its entirety on a big HD screen. February will no doubt see us all truck off to our local DVD retailers to buy the DVD. April brings Fan Expo back to town, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that Michael Hogan will return after having to cancel last year. May will have a bunch of us looking south for the Galacticon III party in Texas.

Honestly, has anyone told the BSG fans there is no more show? Maybe that doesn’t matter. We are the survivors and we keep the dream alive.


Colonial Coffee at Caprica City Hall?

November 19, 2012

Blood & Chrome has got BSG fans talking all over the internet.  Now, at least a few nuggets are going to get together in person to share the enthusiasm for a new slice of our favourite show, Battlestar Galactica.

If you find yourself in and around downtown Vancouver — or as we like to call it, Caprica City –this Saturday afternoon, November 24th, between 1 and 4pm, drop in at the Blenz just inside the Robson doors of the Central Library.  Keep your eye open for a couple of knuckle draggers.  If they’re out of uniform, listen for words like “frak,” “toaster,” “cylon” or my personal favourite, “felgercarb.”  Pull up a chair and join in.

We’re working on a full-on Frak Party to celebrate the complete story of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome sometime in January, so stay tuned for more details.