Monday, March 20, 2006

Battlestar Galactica's Mission Statement

Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonell both said that Battlestar's "mission statement" written by Ron Moore is what convinced them to do the show. It was inadvertently (or, rather, without Moore's knowledge) stapled to their copies of the miniseries script.

I was wondering what the statement said and luckily was able to find a copy thanks to It wasn't quite what I expected. Here are some excerpts:

Battlestar Galactica: Naturalistic Science Fiction
or Taking the Opera out of Space Opera

Our goal is nothing less than the reinvention of the science fiction television series. We take as a given the idea that the traditional space opera, with its stock characters, techno-double-talk, bumpy-headed aliens, thespian histrionics, and empty heroics has run its course and a new approach is required. That approach is to introduce realism into what has heretofore been an aggressively unrealistic genre.

Call it " Naturalistic Science Fiction."


We will eschew the usual stories about parallel universes, time-travel, mind-control, evil twins, God-like powers and all the other clich├ęs of the genre. Our show is first and foremost a drama. It is about people. Real people that the audience can identify with and become engaged in. It is not a show about hardware or bizarre alien cultures. It is a show about us. It is an allegory for our own society, our own people and it should be immediately recognizable to any member of the audience.


This is perhaps, the biggest departure from the science fiction norm. We do not have "the cocky guy" "the fast-talker" "the brain" "the wacky alien sidekick" or any of the other usual characters who populate a space series. Our characters are living, breathing people with all the emotional complexity and contradictions present in quality dramas like "The West Wing" or "The Sopranos." In this way, we hope to challenge our audience in ways that other genre pieces do not. We want the audience to connect with the characters of Galactica as people. Our characters are not super-heroes. They are not an elite. They are everyday people caught up in a enormous cataclysm and trying to survive it as best they can.

They are you and me.
Most of the statement concerns itself with the visual style of the show and its production, however.

Read the full mission statement.

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