Monday, October 06, 2003

Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism

Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism I have always loved the 70s TV series, Battlestar Galactica. As a boy, I really did think that this was the best show on TV. I still like it a lot and rewatch the original TV pilot on DVD. The SciFi Channel has remade Battlestar Galactica and I look forward to watching it in December.

One aspect of the show which may or may not be incorporated into the remake is the extensive references to Mormonsim in the series. The blogged site of the day reads, "Religion and television directly influence one another. This often is made obvious when television programs openly talk about or are based on religious themes. The same is true when religious figures decry the influence of television on American culture from the pulpit. However, sometimes this connection is not always so obvious. This is made clear by the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints (popularly know as the Mormon Church) on the 1970s science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. The show was heavily based on similarities in plot with the Mormon Church and several of the church's doctrines were incorporated into the series. The topic of Mormonism and Battlestar Galactica has been previously written about (Ford 83-87). This paper will explore some of the issues raised in that article more closely and examine some other issues that were not written about. Ford's examination of the Battlestar Galactica series appears to have been based solely on the key episode "War of the Gods." His lack of knowledge of the series is evidenced by his misspellings of Galactica (as Gallactica) and the character Baltar (as Boltar). Ford also mistakenly places the events in the series in the far future when the series clearly places the story as being contemporary. (See episodes "The Hand of God" and "Galactica Discovers the Earth.") However, Ford's article is worth reading, in particular for his plot synopsis of the episode "War of the Gods." Ford's article also appears to be the only published scholarship on the Battlestar Galactica series. "

And reaches it climax with, "Ford wrote about the Mormon influences on Battlestar Galactica that, "these doctrines are generalized and 'philosophied' enough to lose any direct identification with Mormon theology" (Ford 87). However, this does not appear to be the case. No other Christian denomination teaches the doctrines of eternal progression or marriage for eternity. The Mormon belief in man having the potential to advance to godhood in the afterlife is a polytheistic belief that no other mainstream Christian denomination teaches. The elements of Mormonism in Battlestar Galactica are directly identifiable as Mormon. " Full article at: http://www.michaellorenzen.com/galactica.html.