Wondering where the religious themes in Battlestar Galactica came from? A newly-released video of executive producer Ron Moore introducing a screening of an episode to a group of students explores the importance of the mythological and religious elements to the series, as well as how one throwaway line can change the direction of an entire story.
Moore explained the more corporate origins of the strong spiritual undertones to the show:
When I was writing the miniseries, there was a scene in the miniseries between one of the Cylons that we call number six and a character called Baltar. And he was talking with her about something insane and, as I was writing it, I just had her say "God is love." And I, I literally stopped because it was an interesting thing for a robot to say. And I didn't know what it meant, and I didn't really have an understanding of what larger place this could go, but I really liked it, because it wasn't something that I was used to seeing in science fiction when you're dealing with androids and robots. So I kept it. But it was just a small reference in the show. I turned in the first draft to the studio and the network and I got back a note from a network executive at the time named Michael Jackson - no relation - who fixed on that line. He said, "Well, that's a really interesting thing for a robot to say," and said that, you know, there were a lot of parallels and allegories in the script already to the war against terrorism and Al Quaeda and the 9/11 event and said, what if you took that further and made the cylons, gave them more of a religious fanaticism, gave them a fundamentalism as driving their reason to wipe out humanity. And I grabbed that, because you're not used to getting that kind of note from a network executive and said, sure, I can do that. And so, from that point on, the show took a fundamental turn where that became part of our myth.
Ron Moore Lecture [Galactica Sitrep]