Monday, May 23, 2011

Ronald D. Moore And SyFy Channel Failed to Create a Television Empire Together, But They Did Get On Everyone's Nerves While Setting The Quality of Televised Science Fiction Back a Good 50 Years

I have yet to come across anyone who has acknowledged the partnership of Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel as being a good thing for televised science fiction as a whole, or a good thing for the "Battlestar Galactica" property. What people have said however....and repeatedly....that not only did Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel wreck "Battlestar Galactica"...but they also set the production quality of televised science fiction back a good 50 years. And they simultaneously failed to create a television empire for themselves in the process.

In the 1950s and the early 1960s, you had these low budget science fiction television programs consisting of a wardrobe borrowed from the movie "Forbidden Planet." You had cast members with all of the acting chops of high school freshmen. You had stock footage special effects shots borrowed from other movies. These low budget television series were nothing more than one or two room (sets) melodramas with outdoor footage once again....borrowed from other movies.

What have Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel offered the viewing public together in their series ("GINO", "Caprica", and inevitably "Blood & Chrome?") A contemporary wardrobe borrowed from any department store. (Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel couldn't even afford to purchase (wholesale)...the wardrobe from a contemporary science fiction movie.) Cast members with all of the acting chops of high school freshmen (Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber), and green screen sets instead of physical ones. Yes, the special effects have been good but one virtue does not grant Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel a pardon.

It comes as no surprise then in the midst of this entire embarrassing mess....that Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel failed to build a television empire together. No newly founded production company between the two of them, no discernable record of professional growth during the almost decade they were together, no successful branching off into other types of shows. "The SyFy Channel - Ronald D. Moore partnership" (from day one)...has been a laboratory example of arrested success. To be quite blunt, only the truly talented people in the movie or television industry can build television empires.....branch off into other areas....and grow their success one inspired idea at a time.

The quality of televised science fiction really began to evolve beginning with "Lost in Space" in 1965, and continuing with  "Star Trek" and "Time Tunnel" in 1966, "Land of the Giants" in 1968, "Space: 1999" in 1975, and the rebooted "Star Trek - The Next Generation" in 1987. All of the subsequent "Star Trek" series in the 1990s and early 2000s reached the peak of art direction, production design, wardrobe, and visual effects. Science Fiction on television never looked so convincing. Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel took all of that progress made in the visual depiction of science fiction on television...and set it back a good 50 years. And it only took them eight years to do it. Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel wiped out all of that progress made by Irwin Allen, Gene Roddenberry, Gerry Anderson, and Rick Berman. They wiped it all out partially due to laziness in art direction and production design....and partially due to lacking imagination and inspired thinking.

Thank God we will always have the DVD reruns of these classic, fabulous order to allow us the escape route from anything Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel have done together.

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