Universe Guide

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica first appeared on our screens in 1978. The premise was simple, colonies of humans living on the twelve colonies of kobol were attacked by a robotic alien race known as the Cylons. The survivors only hope is to find Earth and hope that they are advanced enough to help us defeat the Cylons. The series was Universal Pictures response to the 20th Century Star Wars film that was had whipped everyone into a frenzy.

After years of war between the inhabitants of the twelve human colonies of Kobol and the dreaded Cylons, a peace treaty is agreed. The human races of the twelve colonies genuinely believed that the Cylons want permanent peace, however it is a ruse to attack and ultimately defeat the humans once and for all. All the battleships except Battlestar Pegasus and Battlestar Galactica are destroyed in the Cylon attack. The survivors take to space ships and follow the Battlestar Galactica as it heads for Earth which they believe can help them fight off the Cylons. The Cylons are led by a human traitor called Count Baltar, who does it in the vain hope that his colony will be spared.

The original idea had been to have the Cylons as lizard like aliens but they thought the audience might not stomach the aliens being shot. Between 1978 and the 2003 series, there was an attempt in between to reboot the series but all that is left is a trailer which is hard to track down. The actor who plays Lt. Starbuck is also known for his womanising character Face in the "A-team". In the credits for the "A-team", you see a Cylon walking past Face as part of in-joke of the program. After the series finished, there were three films, all of which were amalgamated parts of multi-episode storylines. One film showed how the nightmare began, another showed them finding the Battlestar Pegasus and the third, finding Earth. They made a sequel series in 1980 where they found Earth but it is not as advanced as they had hoped, as a result they had to do whatever was needed to prevent the Cylons finding it. In the original series, there was a purple headed creature called Lucifer who would advise Baltar on the best course of action?

The series borrows heavily on Greek Mythology with references to Cassiopeia, Pegasus as examples. The twelve colony names are influenced by the signs of the Zodiac, for example there is Picon which is a nod to Pisces, p.s. the author is not a Piscean, the star sign chosen because it is the last sign of the Zodiac .

Battlestar Galactica lasted one series although it was popular, a sequel series which some deemed inferior came about a couple of years later. The sequel series had Galactica find Earth and protect it from the Cylons.

In 2003, they re-imagined the original Battlestar Galactica series. An re-imagining is about taking the original and changing aspects of the series. One of the major changes that they did was to change the genders of the original Lt. Starbuck and Lt. Boomer from male to female which upset a lot of purists. They also changed the races of Boomer and Col. Saul Tigh from black to Korean and Caucasian respectively. It would have been preferred to create additional characters, instead of having a female Starbuck, they could have increased the appearance of Lt. Athena, the main female warrior in the original series.

Battlestar Galactica 1980

After the cancellation of the original series, a campaign was started to get the series up and running again. Eventually the producers capitulated and brought the show back with a new series. The series is set after the events of the original. Only Commander Adama was the character link between this and the original series. The lead characters of Lt. Starbuck and Capt. Apollo were replaced by Capt. Troy and Lt. Dillon.

The fleet has now found Earth but are disappointed to find that Earth is not as advanced as they should be. The series was short lived and starred Kent McCord as one of the new main characters. Kent would later go on to play Jack Crichton, the father of the main protagonist John Crichton in the series Farscape.

The series didn't last long and was cancelled mid way through the series as there were only 10 episodes made. At the end of the series was an explanation of what happened to Lt. Starbuck through the visions of one of the council elders. Starbuck crash landed on a planet where he used his skills to make a Cylon work for him.

The Re-imagining

The premise remained the same, the Cylons have annihilated the twelve colonies of kobol and the survivors are fleeing to find sanctuary on a planet called Earth. In the original series, it was said that the Cylons were a race of lizards who wore the metallic suits for environmental protection. In the re-imagined series, the Cylons are robots who have rebelled against their creators, the humans and wish to destroy it. It could be said its The Terminator in space. In this series, the humans had fought and won the first war against the Cylons forcing the robots to flee the twelve colonies and find a world of their own to colonise. We never see the planet and don't know if one ever existed. During the peace years, nothing is heard of from the Cylons until one day, they attack, first attacking the peace station where Humans and Cylons were supposed to meet and contact one another. In the mini-series, there are a few nods towards the original series, the Cylon walking toasters are put on display and the original music is played for a fly past in a hand over ceremony.

The Cylons

With high production costs to computer generate the robot Cylons, the decision was made to make the Cylons evolve to look human. There are thirteen models but we only see twelve of those models. The seventh model was discarded by the Cylons before it went into production. When a Cylon model dies, its soul can be reborn into another version of that model if a Resurrection Ship is near by. If the Resurrection Ship is not nearby, the Cylons memory will die for ever. Cylons have evolved so much that they can reproduce like humans can and one Model 8 does have a child with Lt. Helo.

Tom Zarek and Political Situations

The actor who played Capt. Apollo in the original series, Richard Hatch returns in this series as a new character. Richard plays Tom Zarek, a Sagittaron who survived the massacre as he was onboard a prisoner transfer ship at the time. Zareks character goes from being a terrorist to being a political leader. The series was never one to shy away from difficult situations. In some episodes they covered suicide bombings when the survivors had been captured by the Cylons on New Kobol.

Baltar Betrayal

In the original series, Count Baltar was a colony leader who sided with the Cylons in the hope they would save his colony from destruction. The re-imagined Baltar is a weaselly scientist who inadvertently helped the Cylons access the defence computers. He had been under the impression his girlfriend was an industrial spy and so helped her gain access to the defence computer network. The girlfriend was a Number Six clone who passed the information onto the Cylon battlefleet to launch their attack. Dr. Gaius Baltar survives the initial attack on Caprica and manages to get off the Caprica when he is given a ticket off the planet by Lt Helo. Baltar becomes the lead scientist on the Galactica but works his way up to being president. He oversees the surrender of the survivors on New Kobol to the Cylons and is seen as a traitor to the survivors. When Galactica rescues the survivors, Baltar is put on trial but is found not-guilty of betraying the human race. After the trial, he is whisked off to another space craft in the fleet where he is treated as some sort of Messiah figure amongst his followers. Before the attack on Picon, the Cylons were able to plant a device in Baltars brain which makes him hallucinate nearly all the time.

Helo's Survival

Near the end of the mini-series, Lt. Helo gives up his place on an evacuating Raptor for Dr. Gaius Baltar who Helo reveers. For the whole of the first series, Helo is seen trying to survive on an empty Caprica whilst avoiding the metallic Cylons. He is discovered by Boomer and the two try to make the most of it. During their time avoiding the Cylons, Helo and Boomer made love. Its not before long that Helo discovers that Boomer is a Cylon but after soul-searching decides to trust her. After discovering Boomer is a Cylon, Boomer reveals to Helo that she is pregnant with Helos child but as she's walking robot, how can that be? When Starbuck returns to Caprica, she finds Helo and takes both him and Boomer back to the Galactica.

Battlestar Pegasus

Like in the original series, the Battlestar Pegasus makes a return with a female now in charge. The leader of the Pegasus is Admiral Helena Cain, a woman who is known for her ruthlessness and is known to have ordered her soldiers to get onboard survivor crafts and remove supplies from them for the soldiers. Admiral Cain ends up being killed by a Number Six clone which was released from prison by Baltar. Commander William Adama assumes control of both Battlestars and appoints a captain within the ranks of the Pegasus first. When the replacement captain of the Pegasus is killed, Capt. Lee Adama ( Apollo ) assumes control of the Pegasus. The Pegasus is destroyed whilst rescuing prisoners on New Kobol.

Twelve Colonies Star System

In the original series, the twelve colonies lived on twelve planets around one star. For the re-imagined series, the star system became a multiple star system which had four stars (Helios Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) in two pairs rotating around a central point. In addition to the twelve colonies, there were other uninhabited planets such as Persephone and Troy. Regulus is an example of a real star which is double double star system.


Religon plays a part in the series but not as much as it does in the prequel Battlestar Galactica Caprica series. The Cylons believe they are humanities descendants and they must wipe out the humans. The Cylons believe in One being whereas the humans believe in many gods. Gemonens, the people from the planet based on the Gemini constellation are said to be religious fundamentalists amongst all the people.

The humans believe in multiple gods but the Cylons have an unwavering belief in the one god. The belief of one god comes from the religious order, Army of the One that appeared in the Battlestar Galactica Caprica series led by Sister Clarice Willow. It was her terrorist actions that prompted the creation of the Cylons and ultimately led to war.

List of Cylon Humanoids in Battlestar Galactica

NumberCharacterPlayed By
1Brother John CavilDean Stockwell
2Leoben ConoyCallum Keith Rennie
3D'Anna BiersLucy Lawless
4Simon O'NeillRick Worthy
5Aaron DoralMatthew Bennett
6Six, Shelley Godfrey,Gina Inviere, Natalie, SonjaTricia Helfer
7DanielNever Seen
8Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii, Sharon 'Athena' AgathonGrace Park
9Samuel AndersMichael Trucco
10Galen TyrolAaron Douglas
11Tory FosterRekha Sharma
12Saul TighMichael Hogan
13Ellen TighKate Vernon

Copyright: Vivendi Universal

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