Monday, 17 November 2014

Loss of a Giant

Glen A. Larson, one of the great television producers of the 1970s to the 1990s died on Friday.  He was responsible for creating and/or producing some of the most loved and influential programs of my generation: The Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Magnum P.I., Knight Rider to name a few.

Those who knew him recognized his unique type of creativity, although it garnered him an unfortunate reputation for stealing concepts from blockbuster films of the day and using them in his own shows.  Instead I choose to believe that he adapted existing concepts in a more unorthodox way that wasn't always appreciated by critics or audiences.  The show Automan was a prime example: although it was clearly inspired by Tron, Larson went so far as getting the producers of Tron to act as consultants on Automan to make it appear that he wasn't plagiarizing them.

Many of Larson's productions were also noteworthy in that they combined science-fiction elements with action and adventure but had limited violence.  This formula had varying success, with some shows only lasting one season, but all of them have loyal fans to this day.  A select few were revived for 21st century audiences, and it's my opinion that other Larson works deserve the same treatment.

Had I the chance to speak with Mr. Larson I would have thanked him for his worlds of imagination that inspired me during my teenage years.  And if not for that, I wouldn't be privileged to know actor Chuck Wagner and writer/producer Larry Brody today.

Rest in peace.

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