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So I'm reading a collection of Phillip K. Dick short stories, and I got to one called "Second Variety," the plot of which is that autonomous, self-replicating military robots learn to imitate humans and then break from the control of human military command. Only a few models exist, and within a model there is only the one exactly identical kind of robot--so thousands of "Davids" for instance. The title derives from a major paranoia-inducing plot point, in that the humans have found models labeled "I" and "III", but don't know what the "second variety" looks like. This means that everyone's always accusing each other of being robots, etc, etc. There's even conflict between the different models, as it's mentioned that they do not coordinate due to each coming from a different factory.

So, the similarities to the arising of humanoid Cylons in numbered models is obvious, and if you google "BSG second variety" you get several website noting the similarity. But has RDM ever talked about it explicitly? Just curious.

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    Well spotted! I hadn't thought of this, even though I'm a PKD fan and have re-read Second Variety multiple times. There definitely is a resemblance. I also read -- I forget where -- that Second Variety was an inspiration for The Terminator, but I think that's stretching it... – Andres F. Mar 18 '15 at 0:13
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    (PS: Second Variety was adapted into the B-movie Screamers, in case you didn't know it.) – Andres F. Mar 18 '15 at 0:15
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    The main thing that got me is the numbered models. You're right, of course; some ideas just pop up twice. – zeldredge Mar 18 '15 at 0:23
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    Hmm... self replicating machines that being to look human? Where have I heard that before? What do you think Teal'C? Indeed. – user16696 Mar 18 '15 at 17:23
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In a word, no. As far as I'm aware, Ron Moore has never credited the works of Philip K. Dick as being the genesis for the new BSG series.

When asked to cites the inspiration behind the reimagined BSG, Ron Moore has consistently stated that his intention behind the human-cylon hybrids was to reflect the post 9/11 paranoia that gripped America; The initial attack, the shock and horror that it caused, the feeling of "who can you trust?" but played out in a science fictional universe, one that paid very significant homage to the original 80s BattleStar Galactica TV series.

You can watch a Blastr interview here where he talks about his early thoughts about rebooting BSG


That all said, given the substantial connections between the two of them (through Star Trek and through the actors in the BSG series) it would be highly surprising if Moore hadn't read at least some of Dick's major works.

  • I recall them mentioning Blade Runner a few times in the commentary. That is sort of PKD by way of Ridley Scott. – Boelabaal Jun 11 '15 at 23:40
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From what I can tell between the two series is that he took all the elements he could work with in the original and expanded on them.

Case in point would be the skinjob Cylons. In Galactica 1980 they were introduced in "The Night Cylons Landed" episode.

  • The ship of lights in the original series is possibly where he got the idea for the Cylon resurrection ships because in an original episode Apollo is brought back from the dead by John (Edward Mulhare) who I believe was the inspiration for the Brother Cavell aka John in the reboot.

  • In the original series you had Lucifer, a 6000 series Cylon who was Baltar's assistant who I believe he got the idea for Caprica 6 who was Baltar's love interest and mental guide in the reboot.

It can go on and on with the elements used from the original that were used in the reboot. Personally I think Ron Moore did a great job at what he done and what he had to work with.

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Moore may never have commented on BSG's links to PKD, but some one else did... Edward James Olmos!

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    And what did he say? Note that if the video-link goes dead (which they often do), then your answer becomes useless.... – Valorum Oct 11 '18 at 5:22

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