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(Science fiction writer Chris Bunch, along with his writing partner Allan Cole, story-edited Battlestar Galactica’s 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 don’t 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.)

spacer.gif (836 bytes)“Since 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 he’s 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 SF.
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“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.
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“Actually, I’m wrong—there 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 Bob’s script in the middle. It didn’t matter—no one was watching the dog anyway.
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“The show was on at 7 pm on Sunday, as you recall, and that means you’re in the depths of Children Hour programming—it’s 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 & Practices—the censors) on the network’s Board of Directors, so you can figger just how far an argument with the censors got.
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“Anyway, we sat in our trailer getting paid astronomical amounts of money and doing dangerous drugs, and every now and then somebody’d say, ‘Hey, you hear Glen’s script just came in.’
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“Yeh. So what. We didn’t even read it, since of course Larson wasn’t about to ask our advice and we surely weren’t gonna volunteer it.
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“One story—the 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 we’d just sprung for a week earlier (true). She said, ‘that’s 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 wasn’t THAT dumb. We could’ve had such a nifty thing to frame….
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“Another neat Futterman story--Larson dumped a REALLY dumb joke about meatballs into one episode. Futterman swore it was dirty. It wasn’t. She said the show won’t get on the air unless that line’s out. Larson put in THREE MORE meatball jokes, even stupider (they’re in the episode the way it aired) and said it goes like this or it doesn’t go. Since he’d 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….
spacer.gif (836 bytes)“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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