More accurately ...is it based on Mormon themes?
When confronted by things I don't know, rather than say "I don't know" or "It's all based on conjecture" I try to see if I can find the truth. This is merely a thought exercise - can I find the truth? Did Glen A. Larson, a prolific writer and TV series creator, make this particular project based on elements of his religion, Mormonism?
In my gathering of research material, I found one interview with the new Battlestar Galactica executive producer that clinched the whole deal:
- "Glen Larson, creator and producer of the first show, is a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints. He based much of the first series on Mormon cosmology. Was there a concerted effort to move away from that in this version?"
- Ron Moore:
- "Not specifically, no. I looked at the original series as mythos and the way it dealt with religion as sort of a global sense. I was aware that Glen had used Mormon influences and how he had created the cosmology, but I'm not that familiar with Mormon belief or practice. To me there were things that were sort of obvious, the twelve tribes, the twelve tribes of Israel."
- Unless Ron Moore is lying, he's acknowledging that the old series was, indeed, based on Mormon themes, and that while the new series is not expressly based on Mormon themes, no effort was made to change the mythos of the old show.
So it is safe to say that the new series, however based on the mythos of the old, is going its own direction. It is also safe to say that the old series really is based on Mormon themes.
- Research Material
- Battlestar Mormonica - Deals directly with whether or not the series is based on Mormon themes.
- Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism - another article.
- Battlestar Galactica Frequently Asked Questions - First created: May 24, 1994, Last modified: November 26, 2002 - this means this FAQ is a good snapshot of "Before the new series"
- Articles and Interviews about the old series - lists "FORD, James E. “Battlestar Galactica and Mormon Theology” Journal of Popular Literature. A Professor at BYU takes a close look at Mormon ideas in BG." Also cited as: Ford, James E. “Battlestar Galactica and Mormon Theology.” Journal of Popular Culture 17 (fall 1983): 83–87.
- The Souls of Cylons - Ron Moore, executive producer of Battlestar Galactica, talks about the theology behind the Sci Fi Channel series.
- Observations on the correlation between Battlestar Galactica and the LDS Church - this is what first clued me into the question.