Battlestar Galactica Showrunner Reveals Sci-Fi Has A Specific Problem

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Battlestar Galactica sex

When it first came out, one of the things that separated Battlestar Galactica from other sci-fi series was all the sex. In his quest to tell a more realistic story about human beings driven into a desperate survival mode, showrunner Ronald D. More centered many stories around sexuality, and that ruffled the feathers of more than a few fans. Responding to one such fan on his old SyFy blog, Moore claimed the sex in his show only “gets the kind of attention it does is that we’re not used to seeing sex treated maturely in science fiction.”

More Than A Joke

While the Battlestar Galactica showrunner didn’t spend many words discussing sex in sci-fi, his few words were very powerful. According to him, “nine times out of ten, any sex is either something to snigger at or to make fun of.”

Moore had experienced this firsthand from working on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, two shows often guilty of turning sexuality into a silly punchline.


To understand Moore’s point, it’s relatively easy to juxtapose some of Battlestar Galactica’s sex-related stories with some of Star Trek’s. For example, Gaius Baltar is a character for whom women and sex are weaknesses, and we frequently see how this leads to destructive decisions even as it opens him up to manipulation and corruption.

On The Next Generation, women and sex were basically weaknesses of Reginald Barclay, a plot point turned into a punchline when we discover that the neurotic officer is basically having sex with deepfake versions of the crew on the holodeck.

Starbuck Vs. Riker

Furthermore, fan-favorite Battlestar Galactica character Starbuck is very promiscuous and isn’t afraid to use sex as everything from a weapon to a coping mechanism. The show dives deep into how she is driven by past traumas and personal motivations that contextualize her bed-hopping and deepen her character.

Compare this to Riker, whose sexual interest is merely a surface-level character trait that leads to humorous scenes where he and Picard compete over a holographic woman’s affections or where he tricks Picard into telling all of Risa that he is sexually available.

Forbidden Fruit

Battlestar Galactica sex

Battlestar Galactica was also very realistic in its portrayal of seemingly forbidden sex, like when Tyrol and Boomer are secretly shacking up. On TNG, meanwhile, forbidden sex was dramatized in episodes like “Sub Rosa” where Dr. Crusher hooks up with a ghost that lives in a candle.

It’s also worth noting she only did this excitedly reading her grandmother’s highly erotic journal entries about hooking up with the same candle spirit.

Red Spines

Battlestar Galactica sex

Believe it or not, we’ve barely scratched the surface of how weird sex was treated on the different Star Trek shows Moore worked for. DS9, for example, had Quark becoming a woman so he could seduce a powerful businessman, and an amorous Lwaxana Troi once provocatively offered to swim through Odo when he was completely liquid.

And while Moore only worked on Voyager for two episodes, that’s a series that proved that the effects of going warp 11 include turning into a weird lizard man and creating a scaly brood with your captain.

Compared to all of that silliness, Battlestar Galactica really did treat sex seriously, and that’s just one more reason why we loved it. Moore set out to create a show that gave us what most sci-fi was missing, and an honest treatment of sex and sexuality is just one more way that he did so.

The final result is a show we loved so much that our spines are still glowing red, all these years later.