10 Most Notorious Battlestar Galactica Urban Legends
Was Caprica always meant as a spin-off? And just how many colonies are there really?
Battlestar Galactica, running from 2004-2009, is an iconic piece of noughties television and a revered science fiction classic. To call it the darker, grittier cousin of Star Trek is at once accurate and also a gross oversimplification. BSG is celebrated for its mature themes, performances, visuals, and sharp political undertones, all wrapped up inside an absolutely mesmerising storyline (even if writer strikes took the shine off the final two seasons). The New York Times includes BSG in their list of the 20 greatest TV shows since The Sopranos, or the so-called 'golden age of television'. It makes for hypnotic, engrossing storytelling.
Like all seminal classics, BSG comes with a slew of rumours and myths attached to it. Many of them have been addressed down the years, and the upcoming revival offers a chance to address even more, but a number of them persist. Some are fairly easily debunked. Others have been allowed to remain relatively unchallenged and are now just accepted as fact. Several of them can even trace their origins as far back as the original BSG series from 1978.
Here are ten of the most notorious BSG urban legends, and the truth behind them all.
10. Was Caprica Always Meant As A Spin-Off?
Caprica, a prequel set 58 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, ran for one season in 2010 before being cancelled due to low ratings. It charts the creation of the first Cylons by humans, before the androids turned against them and very nearly wiped them out. Given the obvious connections, you could be forgiven for thinking that Caprica has never been envisioned as anything other than a loyal spin-off.
The truth however is more complex. In 2006, 24 screenwriter Remi Aubuchon was already working on a film about artificial intelligence for Universal - completely unaware of any plans for a BSG prequel series. While the film proposal was ultimately rejected, Universal put Aubuchon in contact with BSG showrunners Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, who had begun thinking about a wider BSG universe. A meeting between the three men resulted in the basic outline of a show.
Had that meeting not occurred, it is possible that what became Caprica would have been a show completely unrelated to BSG. As it was, Caprica ended up in 'development hell' following disagreements between the Sci-Fi Channel and Moore, before a two-hour pilot was finally greenlit in March 2008.