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Saturday, August 20, 2005
BSGblogging: Who’s a Cylon?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:13 pm

After lunch the other day, Dr. Scott “Wordhoarder? Nokes raised the question of “who’s a Cylon? (America’s fastest growing quiz sensation).

This builds from the revelation from Sharon that there were “eight? more Cylons in the fleet.

Now, it is possible that she was lying, however eight makes logical sense—as to that point we knew that there were 12 models and we (and the humans) had encountered only 4 at that point in the narrative. Further, it is wholly logical that there be one of each model in the fleet somewhere, so even without her revelation, the likelihood that there are 8 out there is pretty solid.

Here are the five Cylons known to the Fleet:

  • Shelly Godfrey (a version of Number Six) who appeared the episode Six Degrees of Separation and while never confirmed as a Cylon, the crew has to have concluded that she almost certainly was one.
  • Sharon Valerii - Battlestar Wiki. The crews is well acquainted with this model, in more than one incarnation.
  • Aaron Doral: fingered by Baltar, and confirmed to be a Cylon as the suicide bomber in Litmus.
  • Leoben Conoy. His susceptibility to radiation tipped off Adama in the miniseries, and another version was found in the fleet in Flesh and Bone (and was eventually dumped out of the nearest airlock—but not before appearing in President Roslin’s dreams).
  • To this list, a fifth model was revealed (and Starbuck has seen him), the Doctor(Simon) in The Farm. Certainly one of his model is in the fleet.

Ok, so are any of the regular Cylons?

Well, there are some who can’t possibly be Cylons:

  • Baltar: Since Six wants to mate with him, he can’t very well be a Cylon, now can he?

  • Helo: The whole mating with Sharon routine.

  • The Chief: same reason.
  • Starbuck: same reason (although not with Sharon).
  • Commander Adama: having procreated himself, it would be hard for him to be a Cylon.
  • Lee Adama: Having been the results of above-noted procreation, he, too, is above suspicion.

So, who are the other 7?

Some possibilities:

  • Billy Keikeya: if anything, because he has been pursuing a romantic relationship with Dualla. Further, he is just too good and he has lately seemed to have plans of his own. Of course, Dualla would have to be a suspect as well, but since Billy is the one who initiated the relationship, I think that he is ore likely.
  • Gaeta. It would appear that he is on the list of many (at least he is on Nokes’ list and the Battlestar Wikki notes that many suspect him. He could have been the one to plant the Cylon device in CiC that Baltar noted in the miniseries, however, I am unconvinced at the moment.
  • Either of the Tighs (Saul or Ellen)—they both seem far too human to be Cylons.
  • Ditto Tom Zarek.
  • Cally did shoot Boomer, which might have been to keep the Fleet from gaining info from her.

So, really, I am going with Billy for sure, Gaeta maybe, and more likely than not the rest are in position we have not yet seen. I think that one will end up being planted in Zarek’s cabal in some capacity.

Also, a question: when it is said that there are “12 models? is that inclusive of the Centurions and the Raiders? If so, that would diminish the number of humanoid Cylons.

My money is one 12 humanoids, however, to correspond in some way to the Twelve Lords of Kobol.

Also some speculation: there are 6 females and 6 males. So far we have seen only 2 females (Six and Sharon) and three males (Leoben, Doral and Simon).


  1. My vote would be Ellen Tigh, definitely. She all of a sudden is “found” among the fleet and Saul had not seen her in how long? She’s also goading him and made a surprise visit to the president in the brig and then vanished when the president turned around - with the guard sitting right there! He had no reaction.

    Comment by Mike — Saturday, August 20, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  2. While mating is one of their more important directives, I’m under the impression that it has become almost *the* number one way of determining who is and who is not a cylon. Take for example, your treatment of Billy Keikeya.

    Before the revelation that the humanoid cylons were a horny bunch, would we have thought that he were a likely choice? Everyone needs everyone to have babies now; what if Rosslin herself is one, what with all the “we need to make babies” obsession?

    There’s got to be more to it than the need to procreate; I think it’s fishy enough to be a red herring in finding out who the other 8 in the fleet are.

    Comment by O.F. Jay — Sunday, August 21, 2005 @ 8:24 am

  3. The events in the The Farm ratchet up the significance of what was already clearly a key piece of the puzzle–i.e, the procreation angle.

    It was what Sharon said on Caprica, that the Cylon were hypothesizing that the lack of love was the reason for their failures to reproduce that puts even more onus on the issue of procreation and relationships.

    Still, it well could be a red herring.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, August 21, 2005 @ 8:29 am

  4. On Battlestar Galactica and Cylons

    Over at Poliblog, Dr. Taylor has a post entitled “BSGblogging: Who’s a Cylon?” Now, before I start in here, you must remember that all this speculation is subject to change under the Laws of Bad Science Fiction Writing

    Trackback by Unlocked Wordhoard — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 7:15 am

  5. Ok, I’ve never seen the show, so I probably shouldn’t even be reading this post, but I’m confused. It seems that somehow, in your explanation, mating is both a reason they might be a cylon and why they couldn’t be one. I’m sure I must have missed something (or misunderstood something).

    Comment by Jan — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 7:49 am

  6. Cylons apparently wish to be able to procreate, and have been unable to do so themselves.

    It has been made clear (Six + Baltar, Sharon + Helo and the egg harvesting of Starbuck, not to mention the whole breeding farm business) that one part of their “Plan” is to reproduce naturally.

    Further, Sharon noted that one of the Cylon’s hypotheses in regards to their lack of procreation would be the need for love, hence all the relationship building.

    All more than you wanted to know about a show you haven’t seen ;)

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 7:53 am

  7. Well, if I didn’t want to know, I wouldn’t have asked, now would I? ;)

    Comment by Jan — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 7:56 am

  8. Fair enough ;)

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 7:59 am

  9. […] H?
    Filed under: Culture, Television — Paladin @ 8:50 am

    Poliblogger has this extended post about Cylons and whatnot in the new series of Battlestar Galactica. As a follow-up and res […]

    Pingback by A Knight’s Blog » BSG — WTH? — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 8:51 am

  10. Good post, Dr. T. The beauty of “BSG” is that it makes you think, compared to “Trek,” which in its final incarnations, only made us groan.

    I’m also thinking Billy, not simply for his wanting to get it on with Dualla, but also because we know little to nothing about his family or backstory and because his staying behind on Galactica during the President’s exodus meant he was better positioned to monkeywrench if need be.

    I also thought Cally could be a sleeper Cylon since her assassination of Boomer tied up some loose ends that could’ve jeopardized the Cylon master plan. Other evidence was her refusal to follow Crashdown’s orders on Kobol — Number Six knew someone would “betray” the others, maybe that person wasn’t Baltar or Crashdown — and her clear puppydog crush on Chief Tyrol.

    Gotta disagree with ya on Roslin, Jay. The dreams, the cancer episode, her wigging out on drug withdrawal — to make the Prez a Cylon would insult the fans’ intelligence.

    Another insult would be to take a character like Adama, Starbuck, or Apollo and have him/her turn out to be a Cylon. “Hey folks, the real Adama was killed and replaced! Bet you didn’t see it coming!” Moore cares more about his show than to let that happen.

    Comment by Matthew J. Stinson — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 9:42 am

  11. Know your current (and future) Cylons

    Steven Taylor asks for thoughts on who the remaining Cylons are; assuming Galactica Boomer wasn’t lying in “Resistance,? there are apparently seven human-form Cylon models remaining to be unmasked. The eliminated prospects all seem quite logical …

    Trackback by Signifying Nothing — Monday, August 22, 2005 @ 5:02 pm

  12. Poliblogger on “BSG”

    Over at Poliblogger, Steven Taylor has opened a thread speculating on who else might be a humanoid Cylon (aka Spylon) somewhere in the human fleet.

    Trackback by The Yin Blog — Tuesday, August 23, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

  13. […] 221; #Galacticaa actual on August 24, 2005 at 12:01am | Fan Opinion Over on PoliBlog, Dr. Steven Taylor makes some guesses about who the next human-looking Cylon will be: After lunch th […]

    Pingback by » PoliBlog asks: “Who’s a Cylon?” — Wednesday, August 24, 2005 @ 2:04 am

  14. Re:Billy — It was actually Dualla who initiated that relationship when she made out with him in the corridor. Also, his reason for staying behind was that the actor might have been leaving the show — not that that precludes a later decision to make him a Cylon. After all, Sharon wasn’t intended to be one until somewhat late in the writing of the miniseries.
    Gaeta is suspect for several reasons in various episodes, but why would the Cylons have assigned two models to the Galactica’s original crew?
    As for Ellen Tigh, I think she’s a human working with Zarek. But I could be wrong about that.

    Comment by Devin Clancy — Thursday, August 25, 2005 @ 1:57 pm

  15. I thought that the Dualla kis took place after Billy has shown interest.

    And I think Ellen work for Ellen, although she clearly tipped off Zarek in the one episode.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, August 25, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

  16. The important thing to remember about the Cylons is that “they have a plan,” as we are reminded at the beginning of every episode.

    Engaging in speculation about who the remaining “Spylons” are is meaningless. At this point I doubt if even the script writers know. But as long as the present series avoids descending into silly campiness the way the original “Galctica” did 25 years ago, I plan to enjoy the ride!

    Comment by Lugosi — Thursday, August 25, 2005 @ 3:14 pm

  17. Are there really 8 cylons in the fleet? Refresh my memory here, didn’t Baltar give Tyrol the drug and then say he had 10 seconds to live. Sharon responds she doesn’t know how many there are. Baltar counted down 10…9… and then Sharon blurted 8, there are 8 cylons (paraphrase). So, I ask again, are there really 8 cylons or was Sharon trying to satisfy Baltar to save Tyrol

    Comment by Steve — Thursday, August 25, 2005 @ 4:22 pm

  18. […] n Taylor and Scott Nokes about the Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica series (see here, here and here), so I thought I’d check it out. I rented the 2003 miniseries which started the who […]

    Pingback by A Knight’s Blog » BSG — Curse You, Nokes And Tayor — Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 7:10 am

  19. Leobon does not lie. Adama is a Cylon. Not Commander Adama because that is the automatic suspicion. He also, as you said, had two sons, and he was aboard Galactica for years. Lee, however, would have been easy to replace.

    What about Dualla? Billy knows nothing about women, but she seems to know everything about men. How Cylon.

    Due to recent developments, we see that Six does not, in fact, want to mate with Baltar. “Their child” is being borne by Sharon. Us-them talk leads directly to a Cylon red flag.

    Comment by leeadamaisacylon — Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 11:26 am

  20. I don’t see how it can be stated that “Leoben doesnt’t lie” rather he struck me as a specialist in mind games.

    What better way to play with Laura’s head?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 11:38 am

  21. Also: I am starting to subscribe to the the theory tht Baltar Six isn’t a Cylon.

    What she is, however, is another issue.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 11:40 am

  22. I just finished the miniseries last night, and haven’t seen the first regular episode. But I think I have enough of a handle on the situation to speculate thusly: Dualla essentially initiated the relationship with Billy. In fact, she was a bit suggestive in their first meeting (in the unisex head), but their second meeting consisted of her running up to him in a corridor, kissing him for no apparent reason, and then moving on. Rather suspicious, huh?

    I find it interesting that the storyline has developed in such a manner that any real, potential or imagined romantic relationship automatically results in the participants becoming suspect. If romance comes to equal suspicion, that would tend to cut against the cylon’s goal of procreation, especially if they see love as an intergral part of that process.

    Comment by Scott Gosnell — Wednesday, August 31, 2005 @ 8:54 am

  23. I was leaning toward Ellen Tigh due to her slinking away quietly (and her sudden reappearence). It convinced me of her role to undercut trust and morale. However, after “Final Cut” we see that the agenda of the Cylons is not merely to hamstring the fleets trust. In fact, the cylons assisted Adama in “putting a human face” on the soldiers protecting the fleet. This brings up the possibility that different factions of Cylons are at cross purposes for their plans for humanity. We have already seen signs of that (Number six choking back tears, her quote “that model has always been weak”.)
    I am also more convinced that the Cylons know exactly where the fleet is at all times. It cost two raiders to transmit the footage back to “Cylonia”. Which implies they knew there was intelligence to be gathered. They even knew to jump to opposite side of the fleet (away from the CAP) to ensure enough time for the upload.

    Comment by Mad Dog — Saturday, September 10, 2005 @ 9:55 pm

  24. […] ten: Die Reporterin D’anna Biers (gespielt von Lucy Lawless). Jetzt sind, wenn ich (und andere) das richtig verfolgt habe, sechs Modelle bekannt. Die Spekulationen über die weiteren sechs kann […]

    Pingback by webseeings » Blog Archive » There are many copies — Wednesday, September 14, 2005 @ 7:22 am

  25. I disagree with the assessment the that Baltar can not be a cylon. He is obviously connected to the Cylon mother ship some how, perhaps number 6 is simply a manifestation of how the cylons communicate. Did he ever do a cylon test on himself?

    Comment by bg — Sunday, September 25, 2005 @ 11:14 am

  26. BG,

    Perhaps. However, if Baltar was a Cylon, why would they need Number 6 to seduce him so as to gain access to the defense grid? If Baltar was a Cylon he could have been directed, even without his conscious knowledge (a la Sharon in “Water”) to damage the grid.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, September 25, 2005 @ 11:21 am

  27. Doc Taylor,

    You are assuming that all cylons are built alike, number six made a comment about how Sharon’s model was weak (inferring she was different). This series does not give us enough information so we are forced to make assumptions. What I love about this series is that they will sometimes play off those assumptions to increase the shock value when our assumptions are proven wrong.

    Comment by bg — Sunday, September 25, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

  28. Ellen Tigh was revealed as a Cylon. Can’t remember which episode it was, but it’s very subtle. Yet also obvious once you pay attention.

    Also. NBC did a preview of BSG before Season 2 premiered, and in that preview there’s a clip of Baltar saying, “How many Cylon’s are left in the fleet?” Right as he says it, we see a clip of Ellen Tigh and Billy K, before the camera snaps back to Baltar. And, incidentally, the clip of Billy is looking kinda sinister. And then there’s the whole deleted scene from 2.02 with him and Roslin….

    Another subtle hint, but I think Billy will turn out to be a Cylon as well….

    Comment by Khaled — Tuesday, January 3, 2006 @ 2:06 am

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