Mormon creator of 'Battlestar Galactica' dared to produce something profound

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  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 23, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    First, I am saddened by the passing of Glen Larson and wish his family well.

    I remember watching Battlestar Galactica in 1978 hoping that when they finally found earth, it would be the earth of the Star Trek milieu with the federation. Otherwise, I really didn't want them leading the Cylons to earth of our day. I fantasied about the encounter between the Galactica, its vipers, and the civilian fleet it led, meeting up with Kirk and Spock and the Enterprise as their first contact with the earth they sought.

    Merriam-Webster has the definition of nihilism as:
    1a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless
    b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
    2a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility
    b capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination

    I don't know. I had trouble watching more than the first few shows of the reboot.

  • LDS Aerospace Engineer Farmington, UT
    Nov. 22, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    Growing up in an anti-Science Utah Mormon culture,
    Glen A. Larson and his Battle Star Galactica kept my education and testimony in the Gospel solid during my college years...

    you CAN be Religious and Scientific at the same time...truth is truth.

    Godspeed you Brother Larson.

  • ktaylor Bremerton, WA
    Nov. 22, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    I did not know he was LDS....amazing....I loved those shows.....

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Nov. 22, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    I remeber both the original and the reboot. In the original, I couldn't tear myself away from the TV. The reboot was okay but I stopped watching after a few months. It just didn't have the same magic the original did. At least, that's how it was for me.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 22, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    I used to watch Battle Star Galactica sometimes. I didn't like it that much it was kind of boring. In my mind I was comparing it to Star Track and it wasn't nearly as good.

  • Anonymous100 Anywhere, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    I never knew Glen Larsen was LDS. I am not a Sci-Fi person, so didn't get into Battlestar Galactica, but I did watch Buck Rogers (don't ask me what the difference is, I don't know, I just liked it better) and Magnum P.I. was my favorite.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Nov. 21, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    “Battlestar Galactica,” in essence, was Mormons in space. - Jim Bennett

    Boy, am I glad they didn't call it "Mormons in Space."

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Nov. 21, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    Any true fan of the show will remember that comparisons were made more with Star Trek than Star Wars. I can't remember the magazine name, but I sure do remember the front page headline "Will Enterprise bump of the Galactica?" They were both TV series. Star Wars was not. Star Trek Phase 2 was in the works as a TV series. The motion picture came out instead.

    The ScyFy Channel version was interesting. But I would prefer to have seen a reboot based upon what Richard Hatch was promoting, which more closely resembled the original series.

  • Embarrassed in Seattle Redmond, WA
    Nov. 21, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    Glen Larsen was in our ward in Pasadena. He wrote the music and script for a roadshow that we did. He was also a song writer and had a successful singing group called the Four Preps. Also in our stake was the former head of the Pasadena Playhouse and a Hollywood set designer. We had some really fun and professional roadshows. Want to express my sadness of the loss to his family.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 21, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    @Johnny Triumph and Creaver

    Thanks guys. I’ll take your word and stand corrected on the original series (I do remember thinking it was cute, but I was around 8).

    But I stand by the comment about Jim’s not understanding what the word ‘nihilism’ means. And for a guy who apparently is quite familiar with the reboot, that is even more inexcusable. Again, if he doesn’t like it because it was a more realistic and ‘adult’ version, fine… just say that. But I’m at a loss to explain how, given what Creaver said, he thinks the reboot was irreligious and meaningless (again, look up the definition of nihilism).

    Have you guys watched the reboot? If so, what do you think of his characterization of it?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    @Creaver - I completely agree with you.

    @Tyler - You obviously never watched any of the original series if you think that there was no content that was morally or socially relevant...that was the whole point of the original show. Go back and watch a little and you'll see moral relevance.

  • Creaver Sandy, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Tyler D, at his blog at, Jim reviewed every single episode of the new Galactica series, including the finale. He's quite familiar with it, and reboot series creator Ron Moore even commented on much of what he wrote. However, your comment that the original is merely a "campy imitation of the George Lucas franchise" makes it clear that you are unfamiliar with the original series, something you admit you only remember from childhood.

    Maybe you ought to break out the old series on DVD and give ol' Jim a break.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Art imitates life. And the art was fiction.

  • MormonForever St George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Thank you jim for this article. I think the original Battlestar Galactica was a pretty cool show for its time. I also think what Larsen did with his references to Mormonism were very respectful of the religion he practice and not mocking in any way. A far cry from most TV's shows and movies that reference Mormons.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Nov. 21, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    I always thought there must have been a Mormon connection with "Battlestar Galactica." It's too bad good wholesome entertainment such as that can't find a sufficient audience to be commercially successful. Maybe Netflix can add those series to their offering.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 21, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    This is a lazy and confused article that perhaps can be forgiven in light of Mr. Bennett’s delight at seeing his not so concealed beliefs portrayed on television.

    But his throwing under the bus of the terrific and far superior reboot of what was originally a campy imitation of the George Lucas franchise is inexcusable.

    First, Jim is either completely unfamiliar with the BSG reboot or he’s confused on the definition of ‘nihilism’ (see definition). The reboot was steeped in religious themes and was anything but meaningless (he certainly missed the finale if he thinks otherwise). I suspect his confusion comes from the common misconception of conflating ‘gritty & realistic’ with nihilistic.

    I can understand anyone with G or PG sensibilities being turned off by the TV MA realities portrayed in the reboot, but in its four year run it was the most topical and meaningful show on the air (dealing with such relevant topics as terrorism, torture, privacy, government authority… the list is long).

    Granted my recollection is through the eyes of a young child, but I recall nothing socially or morally relevant in the cheesy original series.

    Nov. 21, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    Magnum P.I. - Enough said.