March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Dust off those brown uniforms, conventioneers — Battlestar Galactica, which starred Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict and first aired on ABC in 1978, is trekking back to TV, courtesy of Studios USA. X-Men director Bryan Singer will executive-produce the series, and barring an actors’ strike, episodes could begin airing by January. Singer and Co. are being vague about how much of the old show’s plot they’ll incorporate. ”Bryan wants it to be about geopolitics and the machinations within complex societies in crisis,” says USA exec David Kissinger, cryptically. And the intergalactic politicking has already begun. ”There’s a certain responsibility [to the fans],” says cast member Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo and of late has written Battlestar books, manned the fan website, and lobbied Hollywood for a film version. Hatch (no relation to the Survivor champ) hopes he and costar Benedict (also of The A-Team, another old TV show in redevelopment) will rejoin the crew. A source close to Singer doesn’t rule it out. Says Hatch, ”You can’t just throw away things without seriously damaging your franchise.”

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