Apr 6, 2013

Battlestar Galactica: Star-Fighting Boyfriends

On Sunday nights in the fall of 1978, Boomer kids who were too young for All in the Family sat watching Battlestar Galactica, the beginning of a mythos that would last for three decades and rival Star Trek in scope and complexity.

The brief plot: in a distant part of the galaxy, the Twelve Colonies of Mankind have been destroyed by the evil Cylons.  A ragtag band of survivors, led by Commander Adama (Lorne Green) on the last surviving warship (the Battlestar Galactica), head out into space to seek the last human colony. . .Earth.

The beefcake was handled by the cute Star Wars uniforms. The bonding was handled by Commander Apollo (Richard Hatch, below) and Lieutenant Starbuck (Dirk Benedict, left).

In spite of their quests after girls, gay Boomer kids and the writers of slash fiction knew that they were romantic partners.

Teen magazines were content with gushing articles and semi-nude photos.

There were dozens of other characters. Ray Bolger, Fred Astaire, Randolph Mantooth, and Ed Beghley Jr. showed up.  Jonathan Harris of Lost in Space played Lucifer, leader of the Cylons (this was the heart of the Cold War, so good vs. evil were clearly drawn).

Ratings problems and howls of "plagiarism" from 20th Century Fox, owner of the Star Wars franchise, led to the cancellation of Galactica after just one season.  But it returned for Galactica 1980, set on Earth, with Kent McCord (left) and Barry Van Dyke (right) as the star-fighting romantic partners.

And in 2004-2009 as Battlestar Galactica, a re-imagined series with a female Starbuck.  And a prequel, Caprica (2010).

And feature films, comic books, a web series, over 20 novels (some written by Richard Hatch), video games, action figures, toys.

Just before the end of the 2004-2009 series, a couple of characters were outed, but not on screen, on a webisode. A bone thrown to gay fans, but more than they ever got from Star Trek.