William 'Bill' Adama (callsign: Husker)
An almost-retired Commander whose assignment to the Galactica was a going-away present. As a veteran of the first Cylon war, Bill Adama is actually one of the better choices for command in the second war, not to mention a Cool Old Guy.
- A Father to His Men: His troops look up to him, and he cares deeply for them. Ironically, he was probably more distant with his son than the rest of the troops under his command at the beginning of the series.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's a skilled Viper pilot, despite his age and rank.
- Badass Baritone: He has a deep, authoritative voice.
- Badass Mustache: For a while.
- Beard of Sorrow: He's unshaven in "33" shortly after the destruction of the colonies.
- Big Good: Leader of the human military, though he shares this role with Laura Roslin who is leader of humanity as a whole.
- The Captain: And is later promoted to Four-Star Badass.
- Catchphrase: "Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six."
- ("...What does that mean, sir?" "I dunno, it's, it's something my dad says.")
- Chekhov's Gun: When shown shaving with his straight razor, Adama will always cut himself with it, symbolizing whatever turmoil he's feeling that episode.
- Commanding Coolness: To the awesome power.
- Combat Pragmatist: "The Adama Manuever".
- Cool Old Guy: He gets along quite well with his younger crew, who affectionately refer to him as 'the old man'.
- Death Glare: A true master of this, also known as "The Adama Glare".
- Fisher King: His deterioration in Season 4.5 eerily mirrors Galactica's own.
- Four-Star Badass: Gets promoted over the course of the series.
- Guttural Growler: His callsign was "Husker" for a very good reason.
- Like A Daughter To Me: He repeatedly says this to Starbuck. He has the same feeling, to a somewhat lesser extent, for Boomer, which explains a lot of his interaction (good and bad) with her and Athena.
- Machine Empathy: He seems to be able to feel when Galactica is hurting.
- Manly Tears: He has a full-blown breakdown when Tigh reveals to him that he's a Cylon. He sheds these again in the finale when Laura dies.
- Mighty Glacier: On the few times he's seen in action, he's generally capable of felling an opponent with a slow deliberate punch.
- Papa Wolf: Very protective of his crew.
- Parental Substitute: For Starbuck.
The Secretary of Education under President Richard Adar (sometimes literally under), Laura Roslin was attending the de-commissioning ceremony on Galactica when the Cylons attacked (as the ship was to be turned into a museum). Forty-third in the line of succession, she was sworn in as the lawful replacement President of the Twelve Colonies. Immediately other characters began to snark about having a kindergarten teacher for a president, but Roslin handled the office with more aplomb than even her supporters could have expected.
- Big Good: As President of the Colonies, she shares this role with Adama who leads the military.
- Death by Origin Story: Her father and two younger sisters died in a car accident. After grieving for several months, she agreed to become part of Adar's campaign for President as a way to move on. It set everything in motion for her eventual arrival on Galactica.
- Fiery Redhead: She is fierce and more than willing to talk back to anyone who questions her.
- Hanging Judge: She really likes doing this early on. It is the reason she's called "Madame Airlock", after all.
- Heroes Want Redheads: She's Adama's Love Interest.
- Ill Girl: She's an older example, but still suffering from cancer nonetheless.
- Iron Lady: She's far more stern than her opposition expects from a "kindergarten teacher."
- Our Presidents Are Different: She is definitely President Iron. When pushed too far, she becomes President Action. Her belief in the Pythian prophecies causes some to think of her as President Lunatic. She crosses the line into President Scheming once by allowing her cabinet to fix an election. The plan falls through, however.
- Secretly Dying: Is diagnosed with breast cancer in the miniseries which she initially hides from vast majority of her citizens in order to keep some measure of stability. It slowly gets worse over the course of the series and eventually kills her.
- Team Mom: Spends a lot of her time as President trying to stop the constant infighting and backstabbing that's endemic among the survivors. She can be very stern - even ruthless - when necessary though.
- The Topic of Cancer: Her illness.
- Trauma Conga Line: The opening miniseries timespan - first she discovers she has cancer, then the cylons launch their devastating attack which kills just about everyone she knew, and she's thrust into the role of president. It's a wonder she was able to hold herself together after all that.
- Unexpected Successor: Forty-third in line, even.
- Warhawk: Roslin's humble origins belie her ruthlessness, particularly in contrast to Adama. Between the two of them, she is more likely to resort to extreme measures, such as assassinating Admiral Cain and using biological weapons against the Cylons.
Kara Thrace (callsign: Starbuck)
An excellent pilot with a rebellious streak a mile wide. This makes her Crazy Awesome, both in and out of the cockpit... though the show also deconstructs just what happens when you have a genuine Military Maverick on your hands. The Cylons, particularly Twos, claim that she has a "special destiny," and ultimately she uses Magic Music to lead the fleet to Earth. ...After dying and being returned as some sort of Angel Unaware.
- Abusive Parents: She was raised by her mother, a Colonial Marines NCO repeatedly rejected from officer training, who took out her frustrations on Kara by doing things like slamming the door on her fingers.
- Ace Pilot: One of the best on the show.
- Action Girl: Since The Main Characters Do Everything, even though she's an Ace Pilot, she's also skilled as infantry/SWAT.
- The Ace: Even before the vast majority of the fleet was killed, she was one of their best pilots.
- Broken Ace: She's haunted by her past, and is just a bit unhinged.
- The Alcoholic: While she's a relatively high functioning alcoholic as compared to Col. Tigh, she still drinks more than what would be considered healthy and Katee Sackhoff herself once stated that Kara "drinks most of her calories".
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Her ultimate fate.
- Back from the Dead: Played with. While the being that appeared at the end of Season 3 certainly believed itself to be Kara, it's at least hinted that it was actually an angelic entity sent by "God" for the sole purpose of leading the Colonials to Earth.
- Blasphemous Boast: While training the new pilots in Season 1, she insists that they all refer to her as "God" in order to intimidate them.
- Blood Knight: As evidenced by this quote:"You know, everyone I know is fighting to get back what they had. I'm fighting because I don't know how to do anything else."
- Boom, Headshot!: Shot the raider she hijacked in Season 1 right in its bio-mechanical eye. While both of them were flying in space.
- Boyish Short Hair: Kara often wears her hair this way, and most noticeably in the miniseries and Season 1.
- Broken Bird: Lost her dad, her mom was an abusive hardass, and lost her fiance - and that was all before the cylons attacked.
- Cartwright Curse: Zak ends up dead as a result of her passing him through a test he failed, while Sam is first left behind on an irradiated Caprica, then later rendered brain-dead by a bullet to the head. At the very end, when it looks like she finally has the chance to be with Lee, she disappears into thin air, leaving him behind.
- Cigar Chomper: A rare female version.
- Crazy Awesome: She's a bit unhinged, but no less badass for it.
- Daddy's Girl: She seemed to like her pianist father Dreilide a lot more than her strict mother Socrata, though he later abandoned them.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Appears barefoot quite regularly.
- Good Bad Girl: Due to being a Distaff Counterpart to her womanizing namesake from the original series.
- Jerkass: She's often rude, insensitive, hostile and insubordinate which can occasionally lead her into conflict with other officers onboard the Galactica, particularly Col. Tigh.
- Killed Off for Real: She really did die when her Viper exploded inside the gas giant; her later appearances are that of an angelic entity using her visage.
- The Lad-ette: Drinks, chomps cigars, and generally acts like one of the guys.
- Lady Swears-a-Lot: Probably the most foul-mouthed character in the cast. Rarely goes an episode without uttering some form of profanity.
- Meaningful Name: Kara is the name of a Valkyrie in Norse mythology while Thrace refers to a Celtic tribe living northeast of Greece during ancient history who known for being very warlike and were often employed as mercenaries.
- Military Brat: Kara's mother was in the military and she spent most of her childhood traveling from one colony to another.
- My Greatest Failure: She blames herself for Zak's death.
- Not Afraid to Die: Part of why she's so crazy awesome. She's not a Death Seeker, but she doesn't seem to fear death.
- Psychotic Smirk: Katee Sackhoff has the most frighteningly ambiguous smile in SF TV since Paul Darrow as Avon in Blake's 7 (and uses in it rather similar circumstances).
- Really Gets Around: Sleeps with anyone she fancies, even after she's married.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Invoked by name, in fact.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Apollo.
- Wrench Wench: Has a few moments. Most notably when she got a Cylon Raider in working condition after she crashed.
Lee Adama (callsign: Apollo)
The son of Bill Adama, from whom he is estranged due to the death of his younger brother Zak. Apollo's opinion is that Adama pressured Zak into becoming a pilot, which Zak was not ready for; he blames his dad for his brother's death. He also takes after his grandfather (lawyer Joseph Adama) in being rather more loyal to laws, rights and civil liberties than the uniform or any group of people. Eventually promoted to Commander, put in charge of the Pegasus, and wed to Dee.
- The Ace: Lampshaded by his callsign, as Apollo is The Ace in this universe's pantheon.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Gives one totally out-of-the-blue to Kara when she returns from Caprica with the Arrow of Apollo. In a subversion, she's rather bewildered and everyone else just sort of stands around awkwardly.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Does this many times to his father Bill.
- Cartwright Curse: His pregnant girlfriend gets killed in the Cylon attacks, Starbuck gets married to Anders right after finally admitting she loves him, and before eventually dying, he has a rocky relationship with Dee before separating from her and she commits suicide. Lee is not lucky in love.
- Commanding Coolness: Spends the first half of the sereis as Galactica's CAG (Commander of the Air Group).
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the Grand Finale, when it seems like he and Kara may finally be able to get together, she vanishes.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Lee has a pretty low opinion of many people, constantly calling them out for falling short of their ideals. He is hardest about this on himself. Still, he is also one of the few people in the series who will most reliably choose to do the right thing, no matter how many people he pisses off and no matter how badly he believes it will backfire on him.
- Military Brat: Comes with being Adama's son.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's got a lot of shirtless scenes showing off his abs.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Starbuck, or so they claim.
- The Reliable One: Lee is a skilled pilot and natural-born leader and while he has his share of problems, he's definitely closer to having his shit together than his comrades are.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: When he gets into politics.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Starbuck.
- Straight Man: Something of a straight man for the entire crew.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Lee is practically the embodiment of this trope. There are few military/leadership roles that he hadn't assumed or temporarily performed at one point or another during the show.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A major part of his interactions with his father.
- Will They or Won't They?: A solid three-and-a-bit season's worth with Starbuck, putting them at the center of a mad-crazy Love Dodecahedron (Starbuck loves both Lee and Anders; Lee loves both Starbuck and Dee; Dee loves both Lee and Billy).
- Would Hit a Girl: Is perfectly willing to strike back when Starbuck decks him.
A genius scientist working on a new navicomputer program for the Colonial military, Baltar was unwittingly instrumental in the Cylon massacre: he was seduced by a Number Six who he believed worked for a competing defense contractor, and gave her access to the program, into which she inserted a virus which managed to disable most of the fleet. Surviving via luck and reputation, Baltar now has to negotiate the fleet while keeping his betrayal secret. There's also the fact that he now holds conversations with his version of a Shoulder Angel, another Six copy. Becomes President on the platform of insisting that the fleet colonize a semi-habitable planet called New Caprica, which turns out to be a huge mistake.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the original series, Baltar was an older man with the Face of a Thug. The reimagined version borders on being a Pretty Boy.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the original show, Baltar was The Heavy for the Cylons and served as the de facto main antagonist for the show, was a deliberate traitor to the human race, and at times was arrogant enough to believe that the Cylons worked for him rather than the other way round. Here, he is an Anti-Villain at worst, was only tricked into helping the Cylons destroy the colonies, and while definitely selfish, cowardly and an all-round Jerkass, he is never truly evil and (very) slowly undergoes Character Development that sees him eventually become a more heroic person.
- A God Am I: Has his moments.
- Amazon Chaser: Head!Six says he has a thing for strong, powerful women, and over the course of the series, he sleeps with Kara and has an Erotic Dream about Roslin.
- Anti-Hero: At his best of days.
- The Atoner: He is trying to undo the damage he caused by letting Caprica Six seduce him, though it's more out of self-preservation.
- Beard of Evil: Doubles as Beard of Sorrow, and Beard Of Ineffectual Cowardice - to cut it short, whenever Baltar changes his facial hair style, major charter development is inbound.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He's one of the smartest men alive but would much rather spend his time sleeping around and smoking cigars.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's awkward, cowardly and talks to himself but is probably the smartest man left in the universe.
- Butt-Monkey: Quite often.
- The Caligula: During his Presidency of New Caprica he indulged in alcoholism, womanizing and wallowed in the incompetence of his subordinates while his people suffered and died.
- The Casanova: It would be easier to count the women he hasn't slept with.
- Deadpan Snarker: You couldn't go through everything he does without developing a sense of humour about it.
- Dirty Coward: He takes crying, pleading for his life, and refusal to take responsibility for himself to a whole new level. Though he did get better.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It would be a real stretch to call him evil (though cowardly and narcissistic are very much fair descriptions). Still, he was absolutely horrified at Admiral Cain's appalling treatment of a Cylon prisoner.
- Handsome Lech: He attracts women fairly easily, but he's quite the perv.
- Happily Ever After: The Grand Finale implies this of him and Caprica-Six.
- Hidden Depths:
- It becomes more and more clear as the series goes on he really did genuinely love Caprica Six. (For her part, it was mutual, even if she happened to be using him.)
- Tyrol at one point laughs that Baltar says in his autobiography that he was born on a farm on Aerilon, only for Baltar to get irritated and reveal that he was. He also reveals he worked to hide his native accent to make people think he was Caprican, (which he points out was very difficult) because he feared nobody would take him seriously if they realized he was from a poor, 'backwards' world.
- Hookers and Blow: The Baltar administration was marked by its groundbreaking lap dance and pill-popping initiatives.
- Hot Scientist: It's easy to forget he's a brilliant scientist.
- Indy Ploy: The first couple of seasons have him making things up off the cuff, like his Cylon screening technique. Later on, he bullshits an entire religion as he goes.
- Only, he was actually spot on with his religion.
- Insufferable Genius: At times. He's a genius and doesn't mind reminding others.
- It's All About Me: Six is so impressed by his self-centeredness that she thinks it would be worth taking a copy of his brain for further study. He becomes less selfish as the series goes on however.Six: Even as the fate of your entire species hangs in the balance, all you can think about is how this affects you.
- It's All My Fault: When he admits to Roslin, when it's just the two of them, while delirious, seriously injured, and high on morphine, that he unintentionally gave The Cylons access to the defense mainframe, and is therefore partially to blame for The Fall of The Colonies and absolutely everything that came after. He's practically on the verge of tears.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Baltar may be a power-hungry opportunist who doesn't have the fleet's best interests in mind at the time, but he's not wrong when he chews out Roslin for conspiring with the military to steal a democratically-held election from him, particularly when she herself is a leader nobody elected to begin with.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is quite compassionate and emotional, believing firmly that War is not an excuse for inhumanity.
- The McCoy: He's probably the most emotional person in the series.
- Messianic Archetype: As of Season 4
- Morton's Fork: Lee Adama was right. Given the circumstances of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, just what was Baltar supposed to have done?
- Narcissist: Although he gets better througout the series, he remains pretty self-absorbed. He starts off as an Insufferable Genius, not caring much about anyone but himself. He goes on to run for President of the Twelve Colonies pretty much for an ego trip. After having a crisis of guilt, he eventually discovers religion and quickly develops a Messianic complex.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Since The Main Characters Do Everything, he's basically in charge of "science" on the Galactica, including both computer science and biology.
- Pet the Dog: Praying to God to take his life instead of that of a kid and actually meaning it.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His interactions with "Head Six" (aforementioned Shoulder Angel) are often in public and frequently Played for Laughs.
- Religious Robot: Inverted; he's a missionary spreading Cylon monotheism to the humans.
- Self-Made Man: He was born poor on a farm on Aerilon, (considered a backwater colony) moved to Caprica when he turned eighteen, and became one of the leading scientific minds of the century and, from the looks of his home at the start of the miniseries, filthy rich. Whatever his flaws, nobody gave this man anything in life.
- The Smart Guy: Initially, he's pretty much the source of science advancement on Galactica.
- Took a Level in Badass: He steps up in later seasons until he's part of the Galactica defense team in the finale, repelling the Cylons with an assault rifle.
- Villain Ball: A lot of the second half of the series plays out the way it does simply because Baltar is way too into himself to actually learn from his mistakes. Scheming and sleazing his way into the presidency by promising the desperate fleet he will settle New Caprica (which he seemingly does solely for power, as he admits in private that the planet is barely even habitable) sees thousands of people killed, Pegasus destroyed, and Galactica damaged so badly she later has to be abandoned. He's also the one who (idiotically) gave the damaged and suicidal Gina a fucking nuclear bomb only for her to use it and destroy several ships filled with civilians, which creates the radiation signature The Cylons eventually use to find the humans again in the first place. And he spends the entire New Caprica arc being about as useless as humanly possible.
- Villain Protagonist: Deconstructed - Baltar isn't evil, just selfish and cowardly (ie. not a hero like most of the other cast).
After Bill Adama was mustered out from the first Cylon war and began serving on a commercial freighter, he met a fellow veteran named Saul Tigh, and the two formed a deep friendship. When reinstated, Adama pulled strings to have Tigh brought in as his second-in-command. Tigh is an alcoholic who is often Off the Wagon, and is probably the series' biggest bearer of Fantastic Racism against the Cylons (with Starbuck as a close second). How amusing, then, that he's one himself.
- Achilles in His Tent: After New Caprica, he becomes a drunk wreck for a while. Notably, one script that was written before this was decided had to hastily replace his role with Lee, resulting in Lee looking quite out of character as a hardline anti-Cylon bigot.
- The Alcoholic: He puts the "fun" in "functional alcoholic." And his wife just makes him worse.
- Bald of Awesome: He's bald, he's awesome.
- The Caligula: During his brief stint as commander of the fleet, he is extremely harsh, violent, and unstable, partially because he has no idea how to handle the responsibility, partially because he's constantly drunk, and partially because of his scheming, psychotic wife.
- Colonel Badass: He's certainly competent, and he serves his role well.
- The Creon: Takes command of the Galactica only when Adama is shot, and gives it back immediately as soon as possible. He never plots against Bill Adama for a second, even when he has serious issues with his commander's behavior. He even outright says that it was always supposed to be them leading together, not him leading alone.
- Eyepatch of Power: After he loses his eye on New Caprica.
- Deadpan Snarker: "The President, Gods bless her sunny optimistic soul, thinks you might want to share how your buddies have been tracking us. So I'm here to ask the question and listen to your lies."
- Fake Guest Star: Tigh is in all but four episodes of the show. The only characters to appear more frequently were Madam President and The Old Man himself.
- Fake Memories: His recollections of the First Cylon War most significantly.
- Good Is Not Nice: Led a vigilante group that executed Cylon Collaborators.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: If he and Bill Adama don't embody this trope, we don't know who does.
- I Did What I Had to Do: The New Caprica arc.
- Jerkass: At times it can be really hard to sympathise with Saul.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: But he's still a good man at heart.
- Jerkass Has a Point: After the Cylons attack, he tells Boomer he was aware of her relationship with Tyrol, but let it slide because Galactica was in the process of being decommissioned and things were therefore Mildly Military at the time, anyways. He then tells her things have changed since then and orders her to break it off, as an officer and the ship's senior NCO being in a relationship together is just a flat out bad idea.
- The Lancer: To Bill, but is a deconstruction. He is awesome as a second in command, but almost no one (most of all him,) ever wants him to be the number one of the fleet's command. He excels at being Bill's number two, but is completely useless in any other capacity. This is inverted though, when he redeems himself by effectively leading the New Caprican resistance, even if his tactics are... somewhat suspect.
- Manly Tears: Most notably, when he killed his wife.
- Number Two: To Adama.
- Poisonous Friend: He's kind of hell on Bill's sanity, though he really doesn't mean most of it.
- Reincarnation Romance: He and Ellen were married originally too, and somehow found each other again after Cavil wiped their memories.
- Undying Loyalty: To Adama; case-in-point, after Bill is shot by Boomer, Tigh takes command of the fleet and begins to behave in a increasingly dictatorial fashion, but as soon as Adama recovers, Tigh immediately cedes command back to him.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Tyrol is in charge of keeping Galactica's birds flying. He's very much an everyman in his approach to things, and often finds himself in positions of being the Only Sane Man. He was carrying on with Boomer for a while.
- A Father to His Men: He cares about his deckhands, and when some had to be sacrificed to put out a fire, he carried bitterness about it for a few episodes. He really loses his cool when one of his deckhands deliberately ruins his own career (by lying under oath and later claiming responsibility for a security breach he had nothing to do with) to cover for Tyrol's illicit relationship with Boomer. This finally causes him to break up with her for good:Tyrol: I put everything on the line for you. Everything. I cover for you, I protect you. I risk my career, my freedom, my integrity, for what? So some innocent kid, one of my kids, can take the fall for me? NO! We are not worth that.
- Ascended Extra: Tyrol was originally intended as a Flat Character, expanding primarily due to Aaron Douglas' ability to throw in dialogue, character names and other useful touches.
- Butt-Monkey: Things go poorly for him, starting with his girlfriend being a Cylon.
- Cartwright Curse: He is just not lucky in love...
- Fake Guest Star: Like Tigh and Helo, he's there from beginning to end, and missed only 7 episodes over the show's run.
- Hot-Blooded: Especially on New Caprica, where his speech to the people was modeled after real life labor speeches.
- Number Two: As the highest-ranking NCO in the fleet, Tyrol has aspects of this.
- Mr. Fixit: Chief mechanic.
- Stoic Spectacles: In his original life.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Not surprising, given the Trauma Conga Line he went through.
- Trauma Conga Line: In a very short amount of time, he finds out he's a Cylon, his wife apparently commits suicide over it, he finds out she cheated on him and that his baby isn't even his, and then he learns a former lover actually killed his wife. And then he ruins the Cylon-Human alliance by reacting to that information.
Karl Agathon (callsign: Helo)
A Guy in Back in a Colonial Raptor, flying under Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, whom he kind of has a thing for. During the pilot/miniseries, their ship lands on Caprica and Helo abandons his copilot seat to save Gaius Baltar. That was meant to be the end of this Mauve Shirt, but fan reaction to him was so positive that RDM and David Eick decided to keep following his adventures, which involve being rescued by another Sharon copy. With her, he becomes the father of "Hera," the first human-Cylon hybrid; he also serves as Adama's Number Two while Tigh is stuck on New Caprica.
- Ascended Extra: He was supposed to be written out at the end of the miniseries.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He does kill a man for trying to rape his wife.note
- Fake Guest Star: Appears in the Pilot Episode, the Grand Finale, and all but eight episodes in between. For the record, starring-actress Grace Park missed the same.
- The Fettered: He has issues, but they make him among the most normal in the cast.
- Happily Married: After her HeelFace Turn, he and Athena come to have perhaps the most stable relationship on the show.
- Heroic Sacrifice: What he intended by giving up his seat on the Raptor to Baltar (he thought that a genius scientist was more valuable than another pilot). Of course, he survived.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has shades of this with Lee.
- Honor Before Reason: Like Lee, he can always be counted on to do the right thing, but he's not as likely to bend the rule as Lees nor is he as willing to cross certain lines even if it may be for the greater good.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Not quite as much as Lee though.
- Meaningful Name: His last name means "good", "noble", and various other meanings of one's better nature. He's one of the least morally corrupted people in the entire cast of characters.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Since his primary role is "the guy who married a Cylon," he's free to take whatever position is needed to be filled for the sake of the episode. He goes from ECM officer on a Raptor, to XO, to "mayor of Dogsville", to XO...
- Nice Guy: One of very, very few in the show.
- Papa Wolf: Especially to Hera, but also Athena.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Starbuck; notably, he's one of the few male characters who she doesn't sleep with over the course of the show.
First appearing as a CIC watch officer, he eventually gets assigned to Dr. Baltar as a personal aide. He's an idealistwhich is a bad thing to be in Galactica's World Half Empty; losing his leg in Season 4 is only one link in a "Break the Cutie" chain. Eventually leads a mutiny with Tom Zarek, which they lose.
- Break the Cutie: Idolizes Baltar, only to be disillusioned when the latter becomes an ineffectual, hedonistic President. Secretly provides information to La Résistance, only to be ostracized for his role in Baltar's administration and almost executed by a secret vigilante court. Later discovers his Cylon girlfriend on New Caprica was using him to identify members of La Résistance so they could be executed. Loses his leg due to an infected wound caused by a gunshot (not fired by the enemy, either). Loses all faith in Commander Adama after his alliance with the Cylons. Stages a coup, only for it to go badly wrong, resulting in several people getting needlessly killed, ending with him being executed.
- Bi the Way: Turns out to be bisexual, though no big deal is made of it.
- The Cast Show Off: After the producers discovered that Alessandro Juliani is a fully-trained and highly-regarded operatic baritone, they found a reason for him to sing. Although it's a tearjerker when it happens.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly after losing his leg in Season 4.
- Face Death with Dignity: His stoicism in the face of his own impending execution is inspiring and heartbreaking in equal measure.
- Game Changer: Zarek was never able to take power (despite being legitimately elected) because he never had the support of the military. Gaeta provides that support.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: During President Baltar's reign, which unfortunately makes him the fall guy for the later Cylon occupation.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Gaeta is a deconstruction, as from the start he is one of Adama's most loyal and capable officers. After Baltar (whom he greatly admires and becomes fast friends with) disappoints him by becoming The Caligula as president, he is almost ejected out the airlock by his shipmates under almost no pretext, still treated like crap even after it becomes clear he was their inside source in Baltar's administration on New Caprica, loses his leg to friendly fire from Anders after a standoff between Starbuck and Helo, and Adama finally 'betrays' him by allying with the rebel Cylons, (who are complicit in the near-genocide of their entire species) Gaeta finally snaps and turns against his former comrades, staging a coup d'état with Zarek.
- Kick the Dog: Lies under oath just to get Baltar executed by saying he signed a mass-execution order with no resistance or protest, when he saw firsthand that the normally cowardly Baltar outright refused to sign the order, and only did so after the Cylons literally put a gun to his head.
- Nice Guy: Until he loses his leg, which serves as a bit of a Despair Event Horizon.
- The Stoic: Keeps a cool head under almost any situation which is frankly a bit of a requirement for someone in his position.
- Straight Gay: Well, straight-ish.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: When he leads a mutiny, he's doing it for the greater good.
- What the Hell, Hero?: His Kangaroo Court of his commander is basically Gaeta trying to force Adama to acknowledge what he put Gaeta through. Adama contemptuously refuses to play along, while Zarek is unable to convince Gaeta they need to concentrate on more pragmatic issues.
Anastasia 'Dee' Dualla
A Twofer Token Minority first appearing as a Petty Officer manning to communications panel in Galactica's CIC in the miniseries, where she basically played the role of Uhura. Gets an officer's commission sometime between Seasons 2 and 3. Provides possibly the biggest Shocking Swerve in the series when, after a happy and successful date with her ex-husband Lee, and with absolutely no prior indicators, she blows her brains out.
- Ascended Extra: Gets more and more screentime.
- Communications Officer: Her main job.
- Driven to Suicide: After seeing the ruined Earth, she hits the Despair Event Horizon, and ultimately puts a gun to her head.
- Heroic BSoD: When she's Driven to Suicide.
- Mission Control: Along with Communications Officer, part of her job.
Cally Henderson Tyrol
An enlisted deckhand serving Galactica's flight wing, Cally is known for a few things: having only one name for two seasons (her full name wasn't given until her funeral!); being a Plucky Girl, and having a thing for Chief Galen Tyrol. Marries the Chief during the New Caprica year and becomes pregnant with a son, Nicholas; is then executed by Tory Foster after she (Cally) stumbles upon the secret of the Final Five.
- Ascended Extra: Just a member of the crew in the flight wing, but becomes a fairly major character.
- Break the Cutie: Bad things happen to her over the course of the series.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: After learning Tyrol is a Cylon, she sort of... snaps.
- Interrupted Suicide: After learning Tyrol is a Cylon, she considers suicide (taking her baby with her). Tory talks her out of it... just to make sure that the baby is safe, then kills her anyway.
- Plucky Girl: Her early characterization.
- Red Herring: Little Nicky was believed for quite a while to be another supposedly-impossible human-Cylon hybrid. Then it was revealed that, sometime before her wedding, Cally slept with Hot Dog.
- Sanity Slippage: Upon finding out the truth about Tyrol.
- Wrench Wench: Her role on the Galactica.
- Your Cheating Heart: With Hot Dog, apparantly.
'Doc' Sherman Cottle
- Ascended Extra: Was just a medic, but wound up playing a significant role in a few episodes.
- Deadpan Snarker:Cally: What if you gave me a sedative and I just slept here?Cottle: Oh, sure. We'll just turn my sickbay in an opium den so you can have a little snooze.Roslin: Doctor, I need your help, but it's illegal, dangerous, and a violation of your oath as an officer.Cottle: (Beat) You're a lousy salesman.
- Dr. Jerk: He's not nice to his patients.
- The Medic: He's the ship's resident physician and probably one of the only humans with any sort of medical training.
- Must Have Nicotine: Is rarely seen without a cigarette hanging in his mouth.
- No Name Given: His first name is only given in the finale.
Brendan Costanza (callsign: Hot Dog)
From the same class as Kat, Hot Dog evidently flunked out of naval academy before the Destruction. He survives the entire series, eventually maturing into one of Galactica's best and most mature pilots. He's also the Real Life Apollo, as he is played by Bodie Olmos, EJO's son.
- Ascended Extra: Originally just "new meat" but he winds up an important part of the Galactica's defense.
- Embarrassing Nickname: He was explicitly given his callsign as a punishment.
- Instant Expert: Presumably from offscreen training, we don't really see his skills develop.
- New Meat: How he's introduced.
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from New Meat to a skilled pilot.
- In-Universe, Apollo acknowledges him taking a level when he takes his own wings and presents them to Hot Dog, telling him "I think you earned these today" because Hot Dog was still a "nugget" trainee and refused to leave Starbuck by herself when Raiders showed up during a training session.
An athlete on pre-massacre Caprica, the star of the "Pyramid" team Caprica Buccaneers, Anders turned his team into a resistance unit after the fall of the colonies. He was stumbled upon by Kara Thrace and Karl Agathon while the two were trying to get off-planet, and eventually rescued late in Season 2. Becomes a major figure in the resistance on New Caprica, not to mention Starbuck's husband.
- Ascended Extra: Joins the main cast after being rescued.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: "See you on the other side". Although this may simply refer to the afterlife — he's heading to his stellar grave, and addressing a dead woman...
- Game of Nerds: Or its in-universe equivalent, Pyramid. In the final episode, Anders — arguably the least cerebral of the Cylons — is revealed in flashback to have a passion for the geometry and mathematics involved in sports.
- Genre Savvy: He manages to survive several months on Caprica along with his Pyramid team by copying guerilla tactics he saw in movies. He's also smart enough to realize that the movies aren't real life and that movie tactics can only carry him and his team so far, so he seeks out professional advice from Starbuck at the first opportunity.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Trucco suffered a similar spinal injury to Christopher Reeve's in a car crash, resulting in Anders's bullet to the head. He went on to make a near-miraculous full recovery and was able to be an action hero again in "The Plan."
- Space Ship Girl: A Gender Flipped example - in order to save his life, he gets linked up to a Cylon Basestar.
Louanne 'Kat' Katraine
A "nugget" introduced early in the first season, she soon starts competing with Starbuck for the title of The Ace and even achieves the position of Commander Air Group (previously held by such luminaries as Apollo, Starbuck and Helo) before a Heroic Sacrifice in season 3.
- Ascended Extra: Starts out as just another nugget. Grows into CAG before dying.
- The Atoner: She dies to make up for her Dark and Troubled Past.
- Better Than Sex: She considers a successful combat operation to be better than sex.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Her real name is Sasha, but she's been masquerading as a dead girl, as her own identity (part of a smuggling crew that may or may not have unknowingly helped the Cylons infiltrate the colonies) wouldn't have gotten her into the military, to say the least.
- A Death in the Limelight: Gets more characterization and focus in her final episode.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She continues on a mission well after she's exposed herself to a fatal amount of radiation.
- New Meat: How she's introduced.
Special Aide to the President, replacing the deceased Billy Keikaya. Word of God is that Tory was chosen as one of the Final Five precisely because she hadn't yet had much character development. It also created the interesting situation that all three Number Twos in the show are (arguably) Double Agents.
- A God Am I: Her reaction to finding out her true nature is roughly along these lines.
- Ascended Extra: Started out just as an aide, wound up being one of the Final Five.
- FaceHeel Turn: Pulls one when she murders Cally in cold-blood, and begins to act increasingly contemptuous of the humans around her, most notably by taking D'Anna's side when she's trying to extort the Galactica crew. She's the only one of the Final Five to do so, and the only one who dies.
- Reincarnation Romance: Averted. The original Tory and Galen were madly in love, but their Colonial versions are both too distracted by other people and concerns to even notice each other. When they find out, they just snicker. Ultimately averted in the hardest way possible.
Personal aide to Secretary of Education Laura Roslin, he spends one and a half seasons flirting with Dualla before being killed in a stand-off and, eventually, replaced by Tory Foster.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Dee.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gets shot dead pushing people out of the way of gunfire when a hostage situation turns into a Blast Out. Crosses over into Suicide by Cop, as he was despondent over Dee rejecting him.
- Kill the Cutie: One of the most unambiguously nicest characters around, and gets killed quickly on.
- Reckless Gun Usage: The man doesn't know how to handle a gun, and it shows.
Tigh's wife, who miraculously survived the Destruction of the Colonies. She's manipulative, vain and kind of a bitch, a Lady Macbeth with her husband as object-of-control, and Adama notes that she and Saul just tend to make each other worse. During the New Caprica occupation, she seduces a One to free her husband from imprisonment, and then is forced to betray a crucial meeting. In response, Saul poisons her. This makes it even freakier that she turns out to be one of the Final Five.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Saul and Ellen.
- Characterization Marches On: After remembering she's a Cylon, Ellen suddenly becomes much more smart, calm and collected.
- Dirty Old Woman: The point of pretty much all of her introductory episode, "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down". Lee's face when she pinches his ass is priceless.
- Lady Drunk: She also brings out the worst in Saul.
- Lady Macbeth: There's a reason fandom calls her "Lady McTigh".
- The Millstone: She's very, very good at making bad situations worse.
- Poisonous Friend: As Adama commented once, she tends to bring out Saul's worst and most self-destructive instincts. It's most noticeable when Saul takes command of the fleet early in Season 2 and makes a string of bad decisions, several of which were inspired by her.
- It seems to work both ways: Ellen seems to be a lot more ambitious and manipulative around Saul, even after becoming the Team Mom.
- Really Gets Around: To the point of groping Lee when she's at dinner with Tigh.
- Team Mom: Post-resurrection.
- Thicker Than Water: Amazingly, she still loves John even after every horrible thing he did because he's her son and offers him redemption, which he refuses out of spite.
Introduced as an inmate on the prison ship Astral Queen, Zarek was jailed for acts of terrorism. He sees himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist working for the common man; whether that's true or not, he's definitely good at politics. After inhabiting the HeelFace Revolving Door for several seasons, he settles on the bad-guy side, leading a mutiny against Roslin and Adama.
- Affably Evil: Usually polite even to his enemies.
- Ambiguously Evil: For all the bad things he's done, he's often not... necessarily wrong in what he says or wants.
- The Charmer: He's undeniably charming and charismatic. He has no need to rule his men with fear, they genuinely adore him.
- Death Seeker: It's suggested by Lee that he's one.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though the 'evil' part is kind of tenuous, especially in this series. Zarek immediately cuts off all contact with Phelan after he learns of the latter's child prostitution ring.
- Hypocrite: Gives Roslin and Adama shit for circumventing democracy. What does he do when the Quorum refuses to support Zarek and Gaeta's mutiny? Have them all executed.
- Karmic Death: Considering the above, and what he planned to do to Bill if he caught him, he gets his just desserts when his mutiny is defeated and Bill has him executed by firing squad.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: During the search for the Tomb of Athena. His right-hand wants to keep pressing on with their plan to arrange an "accident" for Apollo, but he's smart enough to realise his window of opportunity has closed and abandons that plan. For now.
- Averted during his disastrous coup later in the show.
- Mythology Gag: Zarek is played by Richard Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series. Zarek spends much of his time antagonizing the present Apollo.
- In the first episode, he lectures Apollo on the meaning of his callsign.
- Not So Different: From Roslin.
- Off Screen Villainy: When the series starts he's imprisoned for terrorism, and he's suspected of involvement in abuse of office, political manipulation, and conspiracy to commit murder. As Roslin herself ends up committing most of these crimes, the writers had to give Zarek some ruthless acts during his grab for power just to restore the balance (and even these are entirely Pragmatic Villainy).
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When President Roslin tells him she is going to give Baltar a fair and public trial, Zarek's initial reaction is to completely freak out and advise that, against all precedent and his own personal convictions, martial law be declared for the duration. Roslin seems genuinely perturbed by just how out of character this is for him.
- Principles Zealot: Truly believes that he is working to improve the lot of the common man, and genuinely believes in the principles of freedom and democracy...and is willing to do absolutely, positively anything in pursuit of those beliefs, no matter how underhanded, morally questionable, dishonest, or actively detrimental to the survival of humanity it might be.
- The Starscream: When he was Vice-President.
- Villain Has a Point:
- In his first episode, Zarek makes the more or less valid argument that the fleet is treating him and the other prisoners aboard The Astral Queen as an expendable labor force, and that even though they are coming to them for help, the prisoners are still not allowed to chart their own course and everyone is acting like absolutely nothing has changed. Apollo ultimately decides Zarek has a point and ends up meeting him halfway.
- Later on in the series, he repeatedly draws attention to the fact that Roslin and Adama (who later become romantically involved) tend to make unilateral decisions for the fleet between them and that they adamantly resist just about any oversight or checks on their authority. Adama dissolves a board of inquiry he himself created when it begins to question his own decisions and loyalties, and Roslin tries to rig her reelection campaign against Baltar when she's afraid it won't go her way.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first, anyway.
An eccentric, self-absorbed and attention-hungry lawyer who takes up the unwanted job of being Gaius Baltar's attorney during his (Baltar's) farcical trial. Trained as a lawyer by Joseph Adama, William Adama's father.
- Amoral Attorney: Downplayed - he's ethically questionable and has penchants for deception and psychological manipulation, but he's not a horrible man, and is dedicated to the preservation of the colonies above all else.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Literally a lawyer, and tremendously skilled. The man got Gaius off in what was supposed to be a show trial. He's also very quirky.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's played by Mark Sheppard, of course he's snarky.
- Honor Before Reason: He'll do hi job to the best of his ability regardless of who he's representing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a pretty sleazy guy, but his heart is in the right place. During Gaeta and Zarek's coup, he proves helpful to the heroes and aids Kara in getting an injured Sam to the medical bay.
- Sunglasses at Night: A character quirk.
Rear Admiral Helena Cain
Captain of the only other (known) battlestar to survive the massacre of the Twelve Colonies, Cain adopted a much more ruthless attitude towards survival.
- Ax-Crazy: When it comes to Cylons.
- Bad Boss: Knowing humanity is on its last legs, she'll do whatever she has to, including killing civilians or crew members that disagree with her.
- Defiant to the End: She curses her killer right before she's executed.
- Face Death with Dignity: No whimpering, no tears, no pleading, just a dull stare of hatred.
- Evil Counterpart: She's one to Adama. Pegasus had its own civilian fleet once, but it's not with them anymore...
- Four-Star Badass: She's earned her title, no doubt.
- Freudian Excuse: She witnessed her younger sister and father being abducted by the Cylons in the last days of the First War, adding to her hatred of them.
- General Ripper: To contrast Adama's A Father to His Men persona.
- Hanging Judge: She's obsessed with revenge. Anybody who doesn't toe the line or serve an immediately-valuable purpose gets a bullet through the head.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Some of the things done by her or on her orders are arguably more monstrous than things the Cylons have done.
- Hypocrite: Promises her officers that she will not seek revenge against the Cylons, or sacrifice lives needlessly. When push comes to shove, she does exactly that with absolutely zero conflict or hesitation.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Has no remorse over the awful things she's done.
- I Lied: Soon after her return, when the Galactica crew notes that she's actually above Adama in the chain of command, she promises to be a Reasonable Authority Figure and refrain from encroaching on his rightful command of the Galactica fleet. She breaks this promise almost immediately, pressuring Adama into subordinating his pilots by integrating them into a joint force with hers, and then leaps off the edge entirely by ordering the execution of two of his crew members who, in the process of saving their Cylon companion from being raped, killed the would-be-rapist, who was acting on her orders. Notably, she never admits to deceiving Adama, and insists she's being completely fair and just in her decisions even when everyone knows better.
- Insane Admiral: Not fully insane, just... devoted.
- It's All About Me: Kind of implied, as she treats everyone around her like they are expendable in her mad pursuit of revenge against the Cylons. She throws away her mens lives and the lives of civilians for petty vengeance, and is okay with murdering herself anyone who is not one-hundred percent obedient to her.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Oh so many...
- Karmic Death: Meets her end at the hands of the Cylon she ordered to be extensively tortured, getting a bullet between the eyes, the same as she gave to her friend Colonel Belzen.
- Kick the Dog: Hardass that she is, her longtime friendship with her XO Colonel Belzen serves to humanize her. She is apparently close friends with his family, as well. So when she shoots him in the head for disobeying her [senseless] orders, it establishes that most of the good left in her is gone.
- Knight Templar: Even Athena, a valued member of the crew who has probably done as much as any one person other than Adama, is just another Cylon to her.
- Name of Cain: The first tip-off she's not all sunshine and rainbows.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: See Name of Cain.
- Never My Fault: She's big on this. She executes her XO personally for "insubordination". (See: for refusing an irrational order that contradicted Cain's earlier promise that she would not throw away their lives seeking revenge).
- Not So Different: Adama points out that he might have made the same decisions as Cain had Roslin, Lee, and the civilians not been there to keep him in check. Also, like Cain, Adama initially wanted to go after the Cylons for revenge.
- Adama had Starbuck torture Leoben just as Cain had Thorne torture Gina (albeit with no gang-rape). Also, Adama and Roslin are reasonable people, but don't broke much threat to their authority when it is threatened, much like Cain, as Tom Zarek repeatedly points out.
- Pet the Dog: Both her and Adama come to separate decisions to have each other assassinated. (Although in Cain's instance, she includes his entire command staff) Adama ultimately decides not to go through with it, which is in character for him. Cain also decides not to do it, which is pretty shocking.
- Psycho Lesbian: According to Razor. That her lover was a Cylon is part of her fierce stance.
- Sanity Slippage: Her XO notes she's gone through this, becoming more ruthless and cruel.
- Smug Snake: She firmly believes she's right and will let anyone know.
- Statuesque Stunner: Comes with being played by 5'9" Michelle Forbes.
- Straight Gay: If it weren't for her relationship with Gina, you'd never know.
- Tragic Villain: It is rather sad what happened to this woman in her life.
- The Unfettered: Won't let anything stop her quest, not pesky morals or human lives.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She'll ensure humanity's survival at any cost, even if it means crossing all sorts of horrible lines.
- What You Are in the Dark: Is given the opportunity to terminate Adama and his entire command. She doesn't do it, and nobody in the series ever ends up learning about this, as both Cain and Fisk are dead not two episodes afterwards.
Frst appearing as a Pegasus CIC officer, Hoshi continues to serve in the background throughout the rest of the series, eventually being promoted to Admiral as the ranking officer left with the civilian fleet when Galactica jumps away to fight the show's Final Battle. Was revealed to be gay for Gaeta late in the series.
- Ascended Extra: Don't expect to remember his face in the show itself, but in the show's webisodes he was featured as Gaeta's love interest.
- Communications Officer: His initial role.
- Field Promotion: To Admiral of all things.
- Straight Gay: As seems to be standard in the Colonies. We get no hint of his sexuality before the reveal of his relationship with Gaeta.
- Just Following Orders: Takes no responsibility for the awful things the Pegasus' crew has done.
- Pet the Dog: Saves Helo and Chief Tyrol from a beat down at the hands of some Pegasus crewmembers after the two of them inadvertently end up killing Lieutenant Thorne. He says he does it more for "the sake of the uniform" and that he still does not like them since Thorne apparently saved his life along with at least one other Pegasus crewmember.
- The Atoner: No matter how she tries to rationalize it, she knows she's damned for executing Laird's wife and kids.
- Break the Cutie: Some of it is self-inflicted, but still...
- Evil Counterpart: Well, maybe not quite 'evil', but she's a counterpart to Starbuck.
- Heroic BSoD: Immediately after shooting Mrs. Laird, she stares at the residual smoke drifting from her sidearm's muzzle. The look on her face, like she's praying that it's all just a bad dream but knows better, is gut-wrenching.
- New Meat: The Cylon attack kicked off within half an hour of her reporting to the Pegasus.
- Asshole Victim: Played With. No one in the original Galactica crew remotely faults Tyrol and Helo for accidentally killing him, but the people in Pegasus are a different story, as some of them actively relished and participated in Thorne's gang-rape of the Cylons (and it was their own bragging that tipped off Helo and Tyrol to begin with). In fact, some of the Pegasus engineers keep bringing up his death as late as Gaeta's coup arc, where they promise to avenge him.
- Fantastic Racism: Cylons aren't people to him.
- Pet the Dog: Apparently saved Fisk and one other Pegasus crew member's lives, though this happened entirely offscreen.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His job description apparently includes raping as a form of torture.
Originally the chief engineer of the Pegasus, he was promoted commander after the deaths of Cain and Fisk.
- Closest Thing We Got: Admiral Adama reasoning for the nomination: "he's the best they got".
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies in space vacuum repairing the FTL drive to save the ship.
- The Peter Principle: A tragic example. The man is a very good engineer who can repair an FTL drive in the middle of battle, but he is no starship commander. He himself seems to realize this once he orders the Pegasus into a trap, as he relinquishes command to Lee, who knows more about tactics and strategy than he does, and goes down to engineering to help there.Lee Adama: He was used to working with machines. Command is about people.
- Unexpected Successor: Originally the chief engineer of the Pegasus, it is suggested that he was one of the only high-ranking officers left.
- Boom, Headshot!: Turns out Admiral Cain doesn't care for alternatives.
- Death by Origin Story: Fisk wasn't kidding about that Noodle Incident...
- Nice Guy
- Number Two
- Only Sane Man: Tries to stop Admiral Cain from pointlessly sacrificing the lives of her crew and air wing. He failed to recognize that she wasn't suffering a Heroic BSoD, she had gone straight Ax-Crazy. See above for the result.
The result of collaboration between the Centurions and the Final Five, each of these models has many copies, some of which have received more character development than others. The last five humanoid Cylons to be revealed turned out to be major players in the human fleet, and the only survivors of a previous Cylon generation pre-dating the Colonies' Centurions.
- Artificial Human: Until the massacre, no one knew humanoid Cylons existed.
- Cloning Blues: Mostly the Final Five.
- HeelFace Turn: After the Cylon Civil War breaks out, the Two's, Six's, and Eight's collectively side with the Colonials over Cavill's forces, and settle with the humans on Earth in the Grand Finale.
- Hypocrite: Some more than others, but for all their posturing towards humanity, it's a noted irony that their actions as a race are essentially driven by the pettiest of human emotions.
- Me's a Crowd: While they don't share memories, each model does share a personality.
- Not So Different: All of them display rather human traits and flaws, such as insecurity, irrational hatred, a fear of rejection, a desire for meaning and acceptance, etc.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: The humanoid Cylons are more or less impossible to identify.
- You Are Number 6: Mostly referred to by their model number.
Brother John Cavil/Number One
Initially introduced as a priest from whom Tyrol seeks spiritual guidance, Cavil is revealed (practically on the same day) to be a Cylon. While the Cylons had previously run on a direct democracy, Cavil begins to take over as the series progresses, and his slight personality flaws go center-stage....
- Affably Evil: Mostly Faux Affably Evil, but since there are more than one of him, it gets a little tricky.
- Ancient Keeper: In Season 3.
- Bad Habits: They tend to adopt priestly identities when infiltrating Colonial society.
- Being Human Sucks: Or at least that's what Cavil believes. Much of what he does is him lashing out because he believes himself afflicted with human weaknesses. See his Motive Rant below.
- Big Bad: Revealed in Season 4 and "The Plan" to be more or less behind everything in the plot since the series began: The Cylon attack on the colonies, the concealment of the Final Five, the lobotomy of the raiders (prompting the Cylon civil war), everything.
- Character Development: In the movie "The Plan". Especially the hat-wearing copy on Caprica, which is the only one of his line in the entire series to show mercy and realize that what the Cylons did was wrong. It's a shame that he was likely 'boxed' by the other Cavil, as he's never seen again.
- The Chessmaster: They've been controlling and setting everything up.
- Cool Old Guy: If you can ignore the genocide and sadism.
- Deadpan Snarker: As good as Baltar.Cavil: (presents Doral with a vest strapped with C4) They call this a "suicide vest." But I think that undersells all the homicide that goes along with it... Don't you?
- Evil All Along: His introduction in Season 2 portrayed him quite ambiguously, as he acts rather benignly while infiltrating the fleet, and after being exposed, offers no resistance to his arrest and claims to regret participating in the genocide of the human race. Season 3 however, clearly shows what a nasty piece of work he truly is, as he tortures and mutilates Saul Tigh, and uses him to blackmail and sexually abuse his wife, Ellen, and in general simply derails the relationship between humans and Cylons before convincing the occupying Cylons to just murder all dissidents. Season 4 further reveals him to be a dishonest manipulator who's responsible for the entire genocide and war, as he's the one who convinced the other Cylon models that all humans needed to be exterminated, and then tried to cover up the existence of the Final Five because it would get in the way of his own petty revenge scheme against them.
- Evil Old Folks: The oldest looking of the Cylons and the evilest.
- For the Evulz: His primary motive is jealousy and revenge, but he notes several times that he's doing it for no other reason than cruelty. His mother calls him out as a sadist.
- Kavorka Man: Manages to get in with Ellen, Boomer, and Tough Six. Boomer even goes back to him after having had sex with Helo. This is despite having the appearance of a man in his sixties and being completely homicidal.
- Manipulative Bastard: Not just the humans, but they manipulate other Cylons as well.
- Morality Pet: The orphaned boy in The Plan. Subverted in that Cavil kills him when he realizes this trope is in effect.
- Motive Rant: He really doesn't like his human form."In all your travels, have you ever seen a star supernova? No? Well, I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the universe; other stars, other planets, and, eventually, other life. A supernova: creation itself. I was there, I wanted to see it, and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I, I wanna smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly, because I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I wanna reach out with something other than these prehensile paws, and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me. I'm a machine, and I can know much more. I could experience so much more, but I'm trapped in this absurd body!"
- And this is not a motive to sneer at, either. All Cavil wants is what every living thing, everywhere, wants: to be greater tomorrow than it is today. In fact, one could even call it a deeply human motive. Despite this though a great deal of resentment towards his "parents" (his "mother" in particular) colors this. He usurps control of the Cylons, ironically lobotomizes the mechanical ones (who are, in theory, closer to what he wants to be) and even seizes control of Resurrection. Maybe if he could tear himself away from his spiteful efforts to commit genocide against his creators and humanity, he could have worked out a technological means to become what he claimed he wanted to be.
- Nice Hat: Often wore one earlier on, as seen in his picture above.
- Oedipus Complex: He rapes his mother after gouging his father's eye out.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Still, it's all in how he chose to express that desire for greatness.
- Pragmatic Villainy: In the Series Finale, he decides to accept the Final Five's truce by sparing Hera and letting Galactica keep her, in return for learning how Resurrection works from them. Doing so would deny him his revenge against both the Five and humanity, although he could very well try going after them later. Unfortunately for him, the deal goes south when Tyrol ends up strangling Tory, his henchmen falsely assume they're being tricked and open fire, and he and all his loyalists permanently lose their lives.
- Parental Incest: He knowingly has sex with Ellen Tigh, his "mother" for all intents and purposes (his creator, certainly). Oh, and he apparently resembles her father. Squick indeed. At least she spent their time as an amnesiac...
- Pinocchio Syndrome: As is evident from his Motive Rant, Cavil is an Inversion. He also claims that he doesn't need to sleep anymore because he "deleted that particular subroutine." Whether this is actually true or just another part of his megalomaniacal self-delusion is unclear.
- Psycho Prototype: As their number indicates, they were the first Cylon model to be developed, but they are also the most evil one.
- Redemption Rejection: He rejects an offer at redemption from his mother in "No Exit".
- Rage Quit: In the finale, he just says "Frak this" and eats a gun.
- The Sociopath: He doesn't care about other people.
- Scarpia Ultimatum: To his own mother.
- Straw Hypocrite: Shamelessly exploits the religious fervor of the other Cylons, but is an Atheist himself. His actions become progressively more self-centered and lose even the thin veneer of any idealism as the series progresses.
- Villain Protagonist: In "The Plan" movie.
- Younger Than They Look: Like all the new humanoid Cylons, he's only 30-40 years old, but was made in the image of Ellen's father. Being born old might have something to do with why he's so cranky.
Leoben Conoy/Number Two
One of the first Cylons introduced (in the Pilot miniseries) and one of the first Cylons whom the Fleet finds a copy of in hiding, Leoben has something of a fixation on Starbuck, whom he is sure has a large role to play in the fates of both humans and Cylons. He's right. He goes straight back into creepy territory with his Stalker with a Crush tendencies, though he does seem to genuinely love her.
- Affably Evil: At first. He genuinely loves and cares for Starbuck in his own twisted way and he can be pretty pleasant company if You can ignore the psychosis.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's right about a fair amount, and that may be for the best.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Baltar's line "I may be mad. It doesn't mean I'm not right" applies just as much to Leoben.
- Genius Bruiser: He's possibly the strongest of the cylons and incredibly crafty and cunning to boot.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: Was murdered every night by Starbuck only to come back the next day with a new body. He never seems especially angry with Starbuck over it either.
- Not Afraid to Die: He doesn't fear death in the slightest due to his faith.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His number isn't revealed for a few seasons.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He simply walks away in barely concealed terror when he stumbles across the crashed Viper on Earth and realizes who its pilot was. He never interacts with Starbuck after that point.
- Slasher Smile: Anytime he smiles, no matter how jovial, it inevitably ends up as this.
- Stalker with a Crush: On Starbuck, though he got a bit better.
- Super Strength: The only Cylon ever seen to go all "Hulk smash" on anybody. Is shown snapping cuffs with ease and turning over metal tables with one hand. The otherwise unflappable Starbuck looked ready to jump out of her skin when he showed just how strong he is. Another Two picked up Adama with one hand and stoically ignores the pain of grabbing and breaking off a steam pipe. None of this is beyond the ability of a well-conditioned human, and Adama still physically overpowered him and beat him to death (though it wasn't easy) so it seems unlikely beyond first glance that the Cylons have Super Strength (Cavill occasionally claims they do, but he is far too delusional to take at face value).
D'Anna Biers/Number Three
Introduced as a rather pushy reporter doing an exposé on the Fleet (the fate of that copy is never revealed), D'Anna ends up taking center stage by becoming obsessed with discovering the identities of the "Final Five" Cylons, which (according to Cavil) are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know (or Cylons either, for that matter).
- A God Am I: Sees herself as the Messiah.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts polite but can be just as ruthless and cold-hearted as other cylons.
- Despair Event Horizon: After finding the nuked-out original Earth, she gives up and decides to stay behind and die. And as the Resurrection technology was gone, and that's the last we see of her, that's apparently what happened.
- Driven to Suicide: Not suicide so much as letting herself die by being stranded on a barren planet.
- Evil All Along: She was introduced as an Intrepid Reporter who causes tensions within the fleet thanks to her rather intrusive style of reporting, causing Adama to intervene by offering her the chance to film an authorized documentary with near-total access to the Galactica. Throughout the episode its left ambiguous whether or not she's really acting in good faith, until the documentary finally comes out and turns out to be a perfectly fair and respectful film that improves the fleet's morale. And then she's shown watching the film with her Cylon buddies.
- Evil Matriarch: Not literally, but Lucy Lawless says she based her performance on this archetype.
- Faux Affably Evil: Her friendly persona as a journalist counts as this.
- Forbidden Fruit: Her hunger for knowledge on the Final Five, which ends with her getting "boxed" by Cavil.
- Moral Myopia: Even by Cylon standards, she's pretty bad. She constantly preaches about God and condemns humans for Their brutality, conveniently forgetting that Cylons wiped out six billion humans.
- Straw Hypocrite: Of the religious variety. She preaches about God and respect for life while ordering mass executions of innocent civilians.
Simon O'Neill/Number Four
Introduced as a doctor running what turns out to be a "Farm"a giant lab where Cylons experiment with biological reproductionSimon is polite and well-spoken, the opposite of the Scary Black Man (Cylonism notwithstanding).
- A Day in the Limelight: He gets more character development in The Plan than he ever did during the series.
- Affably Evil: He's perfectly nice to Starbuck when he's in the farm.
- Bald of Evil: Bald, Cylon.
- Becoming the Mask: One of the copies in The Plan.
- Deadly Doctor: Considering he's performing research in order to figure out how to get Cylons to be able to reproduce like humans.
- Redemption Equals Death: The copy in "The Plan".
Aaron Doral/Number Five
Introduced as a public-relations guy leading a flock of reporters through the halls of the Galactica museum, Doral was described as "Poor Man's Kevin Spacey" by Television Without Pity. He lived up to this name by proving he can totally go Ax-Crazy when he needs to.
- Demoted to Extra: He has a far more prominent and complex role in the miniseries and Season 1. After that point, his role is more-or-less reduced to that of a simple Cylon henchman who's one of the bad guys.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He is blown up with the bomb he'd planned to destroy a ship with.
- Hypocrite: Condemns human suicide bombers, yet one of his defining moments in season 1 has him be a suicide bomber himself.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Insult his intelligence to your heart's content, but don't trash his fashion sense. What makes this difficult is that it's not really that good. In The Plan, Cavil tells the lone Doral still on the fleet that he's too recognizable since they dumped one in Ragnar on suspicion of being a Cylon. The fleet!Doral defensively says that he'd go unrecognized because his (identical style but differently colored) jacket is completely different.
- Jerkass: Even for a Cylon, he's not a nice guy.
- Misanthrope Supreme: He believes humanity got what it deserved.
- Moral Myopia: Humans being slaughtered at random? Completely fine. Cylons being killed? Absolutely intolerable.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the Series Finale, he's the one who dooms Cavil and his loyalists after the Resurrection deal with the Final Five goes awry. Falsely jumping to the conclusion that he's being tricked, he opens fire on the Galactica crew, who fire back, causing everyone on his team of Cylons to be permanently killed.
- The Stoic: He's much quieter and less opinionated than other Cylons.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: His quiet personality and low-key appearance makes him ideal for infiltration missions.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's a PR guy for gods sake!
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: The model who along with a Six tracked Helo on Caprica was prone to some unusually empathetic and insightful thoughts concerning humans, their genocide, love, and the Cylon condition (of inability to love). At one point, he even gets his partner Six to cry while he's not looking by pointing out that Athena is getting to experience human emotion to a degree she (Six) can't even fathom. This in contrast to the model's more commonplace sociopathy and hypocrisy.
The Femme Fatale Cylon who seduces Baltar, she is later embraced as a hero by her people, and her voice given extra weight in their democracyeven when she suggests that the Cylons attempt peaceful co-existence with humanity. Eventually travels to Galactica along with Athena and Hera, where she spends a lot of time in the brig frakking Saul Tigh, eventually conceiving a (short-lived) child with him. She also joins Baltar in the final battle, and it's implied that the two of them, at least, get a Happily Ever After. Other significant Sixes include Shelly Godfrey, Gina Inviere, Natalie Faust, Lida and Sonja (hers is apparently the only model that uses different names for different copies).
- The Atoner: Begins to feel regret for her role in killing most of the humans.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Usually played straight with Head Six, averted in a number of cases with corporal Sixes such as Gina and Caprica Six in the episode Downloaded
- Convenient Miscarriage: Convenient's not the right word, but a pure Cylon baby would have been a game-changer.
- Femme Fatale: Her role for Gaius.
- Hidden Depths: Sixes aren't just sensuous but also strong-willed and intelligent, and some have a decidedly more down-to-earth appearance.
- Happily Ever After: The Grand Finale implies this of her and Baltar.
- Honey Trap: Given the model's attractiveness, it's not surprising they're used for this.
- Mama Bear: She becomes very protective of Hera, even going so far as to snap Boomer's neck after she tried the same on the child.
- Ms. Fanservice: A slinky red dress is among the least provocative of her outfits.
- Pregnant Hostage: During Zarek and Gaeta's coup.
- Token Good Teammate: She's the only Cylon to express misgivings with how the New Caprica occupation is proceeding, as it was intended to be a peaceful coexistence.
Gina Inviere/Number Six
Another Number Six model that stowed away on the Battlestar Pegasus. She was Helena Cain's most trusted confidante and lover before she was discovered to be a Cylon, leading to her being extensively tortured by the crew for information. After being found by Gaius Baltar however, she slowly opens up.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. She's been beaten and starved for months until Gaius sees her, and it shows. Tricia Helfer even lost some weight to look famished enough to convincingly portray Gina.
- Bi the Way: She was Helena's lover and also slept with Gaius.
- Broken Bird: Being extensively tortured for months on end would do that to a person.
- Driven to Suicide: Ultimately kills herself by detonating a nuclear warhead, blowing up herself, Cloud Nine and several ships in the vicinity.
- Hates Being Touched: Since the torture she underwent included sexual abuses, she recoils at any kind of touch.
- Meganekko: While in disguise as a Demand Peace activist.
- The Mole: Though she pretended to be like Boomer and acted like she was unaware of her true nature.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Was on the receiving end of this by the Pegasus crew, who all had their way with her in some way or another.
Basically a plot device introduced late in the series to explain why the numbering on the Significant Seven jumped from Six (given to Helfer) to Eight (chosen by Park). The Daniels were artist-types and much loved by Ellen, which caused a lot of jealousy in the Ones. Eventually, Cavil took efforts to poison the entire Seven line, not only killing all extant Sevens but preventing any others of the type from ever being born.
- Cain and Abel: Killed by their "brother" Cavil.
- Only One Name: Daniel.
- Posthumous Character: No sevens are ever actually seen.
- Red Herring: Not intentionally, but it took personal reassurances from the producers to convince fans that no, Daniel's sudden existence was not indicative of any other plot twist around the corner.
Sharon Valerii/Number Eight (callsign: Boomer)
Introduced as a Raptor pilot on Galactica, the Twist Ending of the pilot/miniseries was that she was a Cylon. Later episodes made it clear that she didn't know she was a Cylon, and that there were programs (psychological, not software) hidden in her subconscious which caused her to be a Manchurian Agent. This culminated in her putting two rounds through Commander Adama's chest, after which she was offed by a vengeful Cally. Of course, Cylons respawn, and Boomer still had a bigger role to play....
- All There in the Manual Embarrassing Nickname: a Deleted Scene from the miniseries with unfinished visual effects introduces her landing her Raptor so hard and poorly that it bounces across the flight deck, presumably making loud booming noises down in the hangar bay.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrays Galactica, betrays the Cylons, Boomer even betrays the other Eights.
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: The former Trope Namer.
- Driven to Suicide: More than once. Late in Season 1, she begins to realize that she's a Cylon, and tries to suck-start her sidearm as a result. Thanks to her badly-crippled emotional state, she botches it, managing only to blow a hole through her cheek. When ordered by Cavil (during one of her "activated" periods) to assassinate Adama, she tries to turn it into Suicide by Cop. And finally, she decides that Redemption Equals Death in how she saves Hera Agathon in the finale.
- Fake Memories: Since Sharon had to have a past, she had these.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: She has severe Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
- Killed Off for Real: In the end.
- Manchurian Agent: She had no control over herself when she shot Adama. Even worse, since she was never "activated" again after Cavil visited her in the brig, she never remembers how the vicious asshole emotionally tormented her. So when she turns up as Cavil's squeeze in Season 4, the son of a bitch is still manipulating her.
- The Mole: For the Cylons.
- Ms. Fanservice: Plenty of nude scenes of Eights.
- Suicide by Cop: Boomer's Manchurian Agent psychological conditioning compelled her to shoot Commander Adama point-blank. However, in The Plan, it's revealed that even when she's "activated" and aware of what she really is, she hates what she's being compelled to do and wishes that her cover story was true, and still loves The Old Man like a surrogate father. Turns out, she intentionally gutshoots him (nonfatally) both to subvert her Manchurian Agent programming and to get the Marines stationed in the CIC to kill her (since her suicide attempt had failed).
- Redemption Equals Death: Dies trying to save Hera.
- Trauma Conga Line
- Tomato in the Mirror: Boomer had no idea she was a Cylon.
Sharon Agathon/Number Eight (callsign: Athena)
After the producers decided to keep Helo on as a character, their first question was what to do with him. The logical answer would be to pair him up with another Eight, whom he would think was Boomer but was actually a separate instance. This Cylon, who eventually chose the call sign "Athena" (and before then had to be called Caprica-Boomer to differentiate) had a very specific mission: the humanoid Cylons had thus far been unable to conceive biological offspring, and their theory was that The Power of Love was what was missing. Athena's job, then, was to get Helo to fall for her (and then frak her, of course). A High-HeelFace Turn was almost inevitable. She then became the first Cylon character to openly side with the humans.
- Action Mom: Having Hera doesn't slow her down.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Adama commissions her as a Lieutenant just before he sends her to infiltrate New Caprica.
- Battle Couple: With Helo.
- Becoming the Mask: She was supposed to pretend to love Helo. She wound up doing just that.
- Easily Forgiven: Murders Nina Faust in a fit of paranoia because of a vision she had, just because she saw Nina interacting with her daughter. Adama has her locked up and temporarily takes away custody of her daughter, but he goes back on that in the same episode, and later lets her out completely rather offhandedly with no consequences at all not long after, despite how this impulsive action very nearly jeopardized the Human-Cylon alliance. Later on, the allied Cylons try to take custody of Boomer so that she can be tried for her role in sparking the Cylon civil war, but don't bother doing anything to punish Athena for murdering one of their own.
- Happily Married: After her HeelFace Turn, she and Helo come to have arguably the most stable relationship on the show.
- High-HeelFace Turn: Sides with the humans due to love for Helo.
- Love Redeems: She sides with the Colonials due to her love for Helo.
- Mama Bear: She'll do anything to protect Hera.
- Undying Loyalty: Lacks the HeelFace Revolving Door of her counterpart Boomer; in fact Athena's fanatical devotion to the Colonial cause may be an attempt to compensate for this weakness in the Eight model. That and the fact that the slightest indication of treachery would get her thrown out an airlock.
Not to be confused with little Hera, the Hybrid is a model between Centurions and humanoids, which serves as the CPU of a Cylon Basestar.
Introduced early in the series, "Head-Six" (as she's known in the writer's room) seemed to be a reincarnation of Caprica-Six (one never shows up when the other is around) that only Baltar could see, and essentially served as Baltar's conscience. She tends to goad him onward into taking actions he would rather not, sometimes even using physical violence to get the job done; she also seems to enjoy seducing him in plain sight.
- Bastard Girlfriend: She frequently abuses Baltar when he argues with her; grabbing his face, throwing him into walls, screaming at him, and even snapping his neck once. It was in their head-mansion, so it didn't kill him, but it still smarted.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Doesn't see things the way everyone else does.
- Guardian Angel: Is revealed to be this, in her own words "an angel of God sent here to protect you, to guide you and to love you".
- Lady in Red: Her default outfit, and the one she's most often seen wearing in promo images, is a very flattering red dress.
- Mind Screw: The details of what exactly she is are inconsistent and confusing. At first she claims to be a projection created by a Cylon microchip that Caprica-Six may have implanted in his brain (fans said that he was letting the bitch live rent-free in his head—literally). Then she conveniently disappeared to put him in the awkward position of mistaking Shelly Godfrey for her. Then she declared herself to be a schizophrenic hallucination caused by Baltar's weak-minded inability to accept that he was responsible for the genocide of 11 billion people. Then she revealed that she was an angel sent by God.
- Moral Myopia: She reveled in the deaths of fifty billion people when the Colonies were destroyed, but is utterly distraught at the thought of the Colonials repaying the Cylons in kind as they destroy the Resurrection Ship.
- Ms. Fanservice: Even more than the rest of the Sixes, given her iconic red dress and other revealing outfits.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: At one time she actually picks Baltar up to face the guard at his cult's quarters, and we (and the rest of the people) see him being lifted by an invisible being.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While normally unflappable, she is absolutely horrified to discover what has been done to Gina Inviere.
- Spirit Advisor: Her main role, beside being an awful tease, is to guide Gaius, give him advice, or simply tell him what to say.
With Tricia Helfer on-set as Head-Six most of the time, it took a while for episodes to come out that focused on Caprica-Six. When they aired, audiences were startled to discover that she had a corresponding Head-Baltar walking around with her. He tends to be more observant as opposed to coercive, often coming up with answers that shouldn't be possible.
- Deadpan Snarker: A lot of his advice and insight comes across this way.
The first-ever human-Cylon hybrid. President Roslin orders her death faked and the actual infant assigned to a foster mother, who is killed on New Caprica, causing the child to fall into the hands of the Cylons...
- Adam and/or Eve: The finale shows that she essentially became "Mitochondrial Eve", the mother of all humanity on Earth.
- Creepy Child: Downplayed - she generally behaves like a normal kid but her nature and destiny make her do worrisome things.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The first human-Cylon hybrid.
- Living MacGuffin: Being a hybrid, the Cylons (desperate to figure out how to reproduce) are keenly interested in her.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Averted. She ages naturally through her time on the series.
- Waif Prophet: Her drawings turn out to have vital information to help humanity.