(Science fiction writer Chris Bunch, along with his writing partner Allan Cole, story-edited Battlestar Galacticas illegitimate offspring, Galactica 1980. Several years ago I ran into Bunch on CompuServe and asked him a few questions about his work on G80. While I dont normally cover G80 here on the Battlestar Zone, I think Bunch sheds a great deal of light on some of the things that were clearly a problem with the original as well as with the unlamented G80.)
Allan and I were unfortunate enough to be story execs on Galactica 1980, anything
involving accuracy on that show was foredoomed. First, Glen DID NOT WANT to do the show,
and Universal DID NOT WANT to do the show. ABC threatened them into it for some unknown
reason. Larson, as hes in the habit of doing, whored for the money with a bad
attitude. We were literally blackmailed into the gig because of ostensible expertise in
Glen Larson wrote every single episode either from his place in Hawaii or from his place in Malibu. We wrote for just about every show Larson created, worked for him for twenty weeks, and to this day HAVE NEVER MET HIM.
Actually, Im wrongthere was one other episode written by Bob McCullough, which aired simply because Glen has the wonderful habit of rolling paper into the typewriter, whackin away, and sooner or later coming up with a plot. In this case, he came up with a plot about page 56. So he simply wrote on and at page 62 typed END OF PART ONE. The turkey ran three parts before he finished, and was shown with Bobs script in the middle. It didnt matterno one was watching the dog anyway.
The show was on at 7 pm on Sunday, as you recall, and that means youre in the depths of Children Hour programmingits either that or documentaries, which means 60 Minutes. ABC at the time was doing all of their T&A shows, and to get the bible belt off their butts put a member of BSAP (Broadcast Standards & Practicesthe censors) on the networks Board of Directors, so you can figger just how far an argument with the censors got.
Anyway, we sat in our trailer getting paid astronomical amounts of money and doing dangerous drugs, and every now and then somebodyd say, Hey, you hear Glens script just came in.
Yeh. So what. We didnt even read it, since of course Larson wasnt about to ask our advice and we surely werent gonna volunteer it.
One storythe censor, an utterly braindead woman named Susan Futterman, questioned a line that said there were more than X number of stars in our galaxy (this was in a planetarium sequence, and one of the kids heard the lecturer say this, and she giggled and said, boy is he full of hamhocks. Dumb little joke, very dumb, very little). She called and said where did we get the facts. We said, the new edition of the Britannica which wed just sprung for a week earlier (true). She said, thats not good enough. Now, ignoring the fact that the Britannica does, indeed, contain some whoppers, we tried to restrain Major Hilarity and asked her if she minded putting that in writing. She may be dumb, but she wasnt THAT dumb. We couldve had such a nifty thing to frame .
Another neat Futterman story--Larson dumped a REALLY dumb joke about meatballs into one episode. Futterman swore it was dirty. It wasnt. She said the show wont get on the air unless that lines out. Larson put in THREE MORE meatball jokes, even stupider (theyre in the episode the way it aired) and said it goes like this or it doesnt go. Since hed delivered the edit TWENTY MINUTES before it went up to the bird from Universal to New York and then on the air, it went out .
Any stories you hear about Larson, Galactica, or anything at that time might be true, might be false. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you let logic judge whether they happened or not.
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