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The Major Influence Battlestar Galactica Had On HBO's Avenue 5

"Avenue 5" is a show that clearly knows its science fiction and knows it well. Like any modern sci-fi series that involves a space captain standing at the bridge of a ship, it's hard to not see the influence of "Star Trek." However, just because the series is sci-fi, that doesn't mean it is satisfied with repeating the same old tropes of the genre. In combining his comedic sensibilities with the world of sci-fi, series creator Armando Iannucci brings in elements that are not typical of your average space-set TV series. We can see this plainly in the show's core concept, which focuses on a commercial space cruise rather than a military or scientific journey.

However, that doesn't mean the fingerprint of classic sci-fi isn't there. On the contrary, "Battlestar Galactica" serves as one of the major influences for "Avenue 5." However, this isn't reflected in Cylon-clones or any of the other iconic elements we would immediately think of from the legendary series. Instead, the influences are a little more subtle, a little more thematic, and a bit different from a lot of other entries in the genre.

Avenue 5 and Battlestar Galactica both explore recognizable real-world issues

In an interview with SyFy Wire, Armando Iannucci described the various influences that inspired him while creating "Avenue 5." Among them are the works of H.G. Wells, as well as "2001: A Space Odyssey." That list also includes the iconic "Battlestar Galactica" reboot series, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

"I wasn't interested in anything with hover boots or silver space suits or teleportation or any 'Star Trek' stuff," Iannucci told SyFy Wire. He went on to add, "The reboot of 'Battlestar Galactica' I really liked, because — again — it kind of kept away from aliens, apart from the Cylons. And I like that for its exploring issues, non-sci-fi issues, like exploring terrorism."

From this, it's clear why "Avenue 5" digs into different kinds of subject matter than your typical sci-fi fare. Rather than specifically focusing on space-age technology, it uses space as a way to reflect life on Earth. Topics like the flaws of capitalism and bureaucracy, the stress of a life or death situation, and various social pitfalls, such as groupthink, all come into play. Thankfully, it seems as though this approach was successful, as "Avenue 5" gears up for its forthcoming 2nd season.