I was seven years old when Battlestar Galactica debuted. It was one of the first shows I can remember watching religiously with my dad, and being old enough to mostly follow the show. (We watched a lot of Six Million Dollar Man and Rockford Files together too, but that was mostly just me sitting with him.)
Captain Apollo, Commander Adama’s eldest child, was the heart and soul of the show. He was good with a gun and a fine pilot too, but he was also the Galactica’s moral compass. Whether it was reining in Starbuck’s brashness or being one of the only ones who could ever dare question his father’s judgment, he showed the way much more often than not. He was one of the first guys I wanted to be on TV, beating out Bo and Luke Duke by a few months and Michael Knight by a few years.
Richard Hatch embraced his association with the show, and in fact went on to have a significant role in its reimagining. Though I never met him, I exchanged email with him a time or two. I followed him on YouTube, through fan sites, and so forth, and he was always gracious and wonderful with fans. He respected that Battlestar Galactica mattered to people, never trying to shed it for some imagined greater or more important fame.
The stories that are emerging in the wake of his death all tell of a man who valued his friends and family in that same genuine way. God be with them as they mourn his loss.
Thank you for everything, Captain Apollo. RIP.