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Tigh the Cylon

People have been asking about how Colonel Tigh can be a Cylon so I thought I would provide some background on that. To me it was not a surprise, but to many viewers it was a giant shock.

For some time, the show has been telling us that the "Final Five" Cylons are quite special and different from the 7 humanoids we first met. Indeed, the first thing we find out is that according to Six, none of the 7 have seen the Final Five. We learn that they do not talk about them, and to even be curious is forbidden and seemingly there is programming against it. We watch Three (D'Anna) follow a quest to see them, first killing herself hoping to see them in "the place between life and death" and eventually risking (and losing) all to be in the Temple of Five when it activates. There she sees them, recognizes them and apologizes profusely to one. That the 7 had never seen the 5 was the first big clue that these were a very different class of Cylon. Not clear to everybody was the fact that they must not have participated in the war -- otherwise they would have been seen, of course. They are tied to the Cylon God, and are tied to the 4,000 year old Temple of Five, built by Earthlings. Indeed, while one can imagine they stole the temple, the more direct explanation is that they built it, and are themselves at least 4,000 years old.

Why is that more direct? Well, the temple was built to activate when a predicted nova would explode in 4,000 years. It seems the five who appeared when it activated should be connected to the builders. And those builders, it turns out were also five in number (there are few coincidences in TV drama) and they followed a special God who felt he was the one true god.

Now I was actually expecting this, because I never felt the Cylons could have "evolved" the way we first see on the show. Their biotech is incredibly advanced, and yet they don't seem to have much of a grasp on it. They're unable to breed and obsessed with breeding. They manage it once. It would not make sense to have developed such technology from scratch in just a few years, to be able to grow a body in a tank -- that's impressive -- but not be able to do it the old fashioned way. This told me they got the biotech from elsewhere. And what better place than an earlier generation of Cylons? After all, like in Peter Pan, "All this has happened before." How can that be if there were not Cylons before? This society has had advanced technology like interstellar travel for 4,000 years. Indeed, their ancestors on Kobol and Earth had even more advanced technology, with holo-projection chambers and the works. Of course AIs (Cylons) have been made before.

So you put it all together -- ancient Cylons and a secret F5 that are ancient. These Five have been around a long, long time. Infiltrating both humanity, and the Cylons, for a long time. They (or their god) helped the other Cylons "evolve" and programmed them to know there were 5 other models, with numbers assigned at random, but that they should not be curious.

So they've been part of the tribes since before they left Kobol. And their biotech is much better than what they gave the first 7. They can breed reasonably easily (Tyrol gets it first try.) They can resist the virus that killed the others. They can age.

Moore confirmed it in his interviews, "A very different kind of Cylon." He also confirmed, in a roundabout way, that Tigh did fight in CW1, he didn't just have false memories.

So of course Colonel Tigh can be one. Adama could be one. Anybody can, except the 7 Cylons we met first, and, apparently, Starbuck, who has her own destiny.

Now we know a lot less about their agenda, and I provide some analysis of that in other messages. However, they didn't directly get involved in the genocide, so it is not the simple hostile agenda we've assumed for the 7. They are manipulating both the 7 and the colonials to their own purpose, or that of their god. It goes back a long way -- they fought in the war, they may have even been involved in the development of the metal robot Cylons. Their reasons for all this, we'll learn in the future.


Sooo.. If these 4000 year old cylons exist.. did man really make the cylons? doesn't really fit, imo. One premise of the show is that man made cylons. Nevertheless, It would seem that if CW1 was against toasters, and was in living memory of the current folk, there is no way (sparing the possibility of 'time travel'.. eww..) that 4000 year old cylons could exist. my 2 cents anyways :)

Humanity has been technological, engaged in interstellar travel for over 4,000 years in this show. In fact, back then they had even higher technology than now - there has been a fall and rise. So why could not man have made the cylons 4,000 years ago, or even further back than that?

Tigh and his wife are the two original cylons? They created the other 10 and ALL of them have lived for thousands of years ... at least the final 5 have, is that correct?

So when 'man' (colonists) made the robotic cylons 50 years ago (when William Adama was a boy and his father was opposing the idea - the premise for the new 'Caprica' series) it would seem that there were some 'skinjob' cylons living among mankind who were the creators of the robots, or the skinjobs hacked into the robots and used them for their own purposes (to turn on man and start a war), the same way they hacked into the computer systems to take control of the ships when they were attacking.

Does this all fit? Or am I still missing something?

And the Kara alive/Kara's dead body/recreated Viper thing is BIZARRE and I'm not even trying to start wrapping my head around that. What's the bet that issue won't even be addressed until the movie?

When is the movie set for release btw?

Not quite. The skinjobs lived on the 13th colony up until the end of the first cylon war (the one Adama fought in). They had nothing to do with the war. In fact, they ended it by making a deal with the robotic cylons, who are referred to as Centurions.

And there were five of them, not two: Ellen, Saul, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders.

I was under the impression that Saul & Ellen were the 'parents'. Are Tyrol, Tory & Anders their contemporaries and are they also 'parents' of Cylon models 1-8?

Lots of backstory was revealed in 'No Exit'. Some of the things we learned are:

1. The first life of Saul, Ellen, Tyrol, Tory, and Anders was as scientists on 'Earth'--that is, the planet found at the end of 'Revelations'. As a group, they rediscovered "organic memory transfer", the process referred to as downloading by present-day colonials and cylons. All 5 died their first death when 'Earth' was nuked by forces unknown 2,000 yrs in the past. They downloaded into new bodies on an orbiting ship, and departed for the 12 colonies, a voyage that took nearly 2,000 years due to traveling at sublight speeds. When they died their first death, they died as contemporaries.

I think the main reason you might think this is that Saul and Ellen were the oldest members of the team rebuilding resurrection. Ellen also provided the key insight that got it going. Tyrol did a lot of important work. That's all we know. Strictly, we can't even be sure of the ages of Anders and Foster back then as we never see them. We don't know anything about what Saul did as the oldest person on the team. He might have been an administrator. He might have been along for the ride with his wife being the brains. He could have been the secret genius or the biology expert or any other thing.

We probably will never know. Though we are learning a few things, like when Ellen talks about Tory's past personality in Daybreak.

I only started watching this last I get confused...I'm watching Razor right now which jumps all over the place, and then with Daybreak having flashbacks too I forget who is where and when! :-O

Was earth ever supposed to have been inhabited by humans or were the 13th tribe only humanoid cylons?

Was earth ever supposed to have been inhabited by humans or were the 13th tribe only humanoid cylons?

The 13th Tribe left Kobol and settled on a planet they called "Earth," which their Centurions later destroyed.

The only facts we can accept about Tigh's past are ones that can be verified by other humans. For example, anything W.Adama remembers having happened with Tigh would be true. But if there are no witnesses, then we can't know if its fake or not.

I just read a Wiki that said the F5 didn't programme the 2-8's not to be curious about the F5, it was in fact Cavil. He killed the F5, and at their resurrection, erased their memories and had them sent among humans to experience how bad the human existance was. Based on other resurrections that Cylons are downloaded in adult form, we must assume that Cavil implanted memories about their pre-resurrection existance. Cavil then programmed #'s 2,3,4,5,6, & 8 not to be curious about the F5 so they wouldn't find out what he did.

Haven't seen the ep myself where this was revealed, so can only go by the Wiki.

My own theory is that Tigh (and the other "final five") are not really Cylons in the true sense- but they are related to the Cylons, and the Cylons (meaning the 7) believe that they (the 5) are Cylons. Perhaps the Cylons (7) are being deceived themselves, and they only BELIEVE that the final 5 are Cylons?

The producers have told us that we would "change our definition of what it means to be a Cylon."

So yes, Tigh is a Cylon, and that is not altered by the fact that the old definition most viewers used was different and, as it turns out, wrong.

Tigh is not a Cylon in the sense of "descendant of one of the robots built by colonists 50 years ago." But it's been made abundantly clear that that is just one example of what a Cylon is. To me it seems likely the humanoid Cylons like #6 are also not strictly descendants of those metal units.

This whole issue with Tigh being a Cylon poses a couple of interesting questions that I'm rather interested in seeing how on earth they explain. First of all, as much as I LOVED LOVED LOVED the season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica, I'm not really thrilled with the fact that they just sort sprung these 4 being cylons on us.

Yes, there have been hints about the Chief being a Cylon ever since season 1 (and they really hit us with it by the way he found the temple earlier this season), but come on... all the rest of them were just BAM out of the blue.

They all raise questions... but Tigh in particular. Here are some of my questions and thoughts about him:

1) PROBLEM - The Cylons technology for making skin jobs (human looking Cylons) is supposedly new. Tigh fought in the original Cylon wars before the Cylons had such technology.

2) POSSIBLE SOLUTION - Tigh is not the ORIGINAL Tigh. Perhaps the real Tigh was replaced by a Cylong a few years ago.

3) POSSIBLE SOLUTION - We already know that the other 5 are somehow fundamentally different from the other Cylon skin jobs. Hints have even been given that they perhaps have an agenda of their own. Is it also possible that these 5 pre-exist the other skin jobs by decades? Perhaps they existed in secret during the original Cylon wars?

4) PROBLEMS WITH MY SOLUTIONS - In the case of a cylon replacing the original Tigh at some point... that would mean the Cylon would have already had to look exactly like him (Nothing in the shows up to this point has ever suggested that the Cylons are shape shifters). With the idea of the 5 pre-existing all the way back to the original Cylon wars... that would mean Tigh would have to age like a normal human. From what we understand... Cylons don't do that.

I guess the real point of this post is to express that even though I have a couple of working theories about how on earth Tigh could be a Cylons... I really don't know. So open up and share any thoughts or theories you have about it.

Submited by : Caballos

I believe I have answered most of these above, or in my master posting on possible backgrounds. But I'm pretty sure Tigh is the original Tigh, that Cylons had bio-technology thousands of years ago (ie. the 5 priests) not decades.

And yes, they admit they only decided who would be Cylon (other than Tyrol) fairly late in the game.

Adama only meet Tigh after the 1st war, when they were working on that freighter ship. So tighs memories of the 1st war could be falsifications like boomers, all the final five could have such memories.
I think the reason why the final five cylons are different from the others, and as it seems wished not to be cylons and integrate themselves into colonial society. The reson behind this is that the cylons may of found DNA of the five priests and used them as the basis for these models, and coz this show has a spiritual part in it, the final 5 cylons held some or all of the memories from these priests, whom had a very good track record at predicting the future. And with the addition of being a cylon, they may of had these ability's increased, and put into motion a plan to reunite humanity, and the cylons. So they set out to do this by being in places they knew would survive the destruction of the 12 colonies, and gave themselves false memories to help further their plan, and activate the cylon within when the time was right.

Well, one of RDM's offhand comments was that Tigh fought in two wars. It is just possible to stretch it to interpret it as meaning that Tigh thinks he fought in two wars, but it's really hard to reconcile the Cylons (in the conventional sense as we see them) going from just working out the prototype Hybrid at the very end of the first war to suddenly having a fully human Cylon like Tigh, with implanted memories, full intelligence of Colonial operations and the ability to age, yet with secret implants for the future. I only see this as possible if Tigh was a construct of pre-colonial Cylons (prior to the Cylons made on the colonies) -- and in that case, why not have him be somebody who fought in the first Cylon war?

Well, RDM said he fought in two wars, he didn't say it was on the same side both times!

In his podcast, yes, he means on the same side. The point is that Tigh is highly confused. He knows he fought in two wars for the colonies. Yet he also has learned he is a Cylon and that's darned confusing. The Final 5 are, aside from numbering, completely apart from the 7 we've seen -- much older, and with a different agenda. There is no reason revealed to us why they would be on the Cylon side (or the colonial side) in any conflict. They do have an agenda, but we don't know it yet.

The revelation that Tigh was a cylon floored me. It didn't make sense in the limited timeline of cylon existence. How could he be a cylon when he fought the cylons in the first war? Given that the seven do not know his face or the faces of the other four, I would not say his memories have been falsified.

"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again."

In my opinion, this often repeated phrase is the key. The known timeline is that 4000 years prior, the Thirteenth Tribe left Kobol; 3600 years ago, Pythia makes her predictions, and 2000 years ago, the Twelve Tribes leave Kobol, and after a time, they establish the Colonies.

The Twelve Tribes left Kobol because of an ecological collapse, and it is assumed that the Thirteenth Tribe left for the same reasons. What if the didn't? If everything has happened before, is there not a contemporary parallel in the history of the Twelve Colonies? I elude to the cylons leaving the Colonies at the end of the first war.

I believe the Thirteenth Tribe may be cylons. This would certainly explain the Temple of the Five revealing the remaining five cylons forms. It also gives a new twist on the history of Battlestar. The original cylons a.k.a. the Thirteenth Tribe are created over 4000 years ago. They have their own war with the humans. They leave, and then after 2000 years, they deal their own final blow to the humans compelling the exodus to the Colonies. They realize their mistake and try to correct it. In so doing, they create a new breed of cylon that initiates the cycle all over again.

Just my take on events, but food for thought.

that makes a lot of since

I think fenrir here may have it nailed.

Considering how they have shown 'rebirth' after death for the Cylons and how suddenly the four newly found Cylons (Tigh, Anders, Chief, the presidential assistant) woke up to their circumstance, it reminds me a bit of parts of how generational other memory and the Atlotxl tanks were used in some of the Dune books especially the later ones.

It may be a bit of a push, but I would not be surprised if they use something like this in an explanation of the current situation.

I stumbled upon this blog as I was searching Google for discussions on why Colonel Tigh couldn't possibly be a Cylon. I was convinced that as he fought back in the CW1, he was around before the invention of the skinjobs. Of course his history and memories could have been fabricated, but not as easily as Sharon's, Tyrol's or Tory's. Sharon, Tyrol, and Tory could have easily flown under the radar because of how young they are and that perhaps no one looked too intently into their backgrounds as they integrated themselves into the Colonies. And now that the Colonies have been destroyed, looking into and confirming their background information is nearly impossible. Tigh and Anders would have found it a little more difficult.

COLONEL SAUL TIGH - Tigh is supposedly a third-generation Colonial soldier. His father was a decorated fighter pilot killed in combat and his grandfather served under President Mueller. Also, Tigh was a published military historian until personal problems became apparent.
These are things that would be hard to fabricate as they are publicly known. Being that Tigh's father was killed in combat, it was probably during CW1. That means that it would be common knowledge who Tighs father was, and that fact could easily be checked for its validity. If Tigh's father was killed in combat prior to the CW1, most likely he would have still been well known at the time of the war and would have had many former military men that served withy him still on active duty; and for Saul to claim to be the son of this decorated veteran, he'd better have his ducks all in a row. And I can't believe that this is a replica of the real human Tigh because that would mean a total memory transfer from a human to a Cylon and I think even that is above the technology that the Cylon's posses (they can't even reproduce).

SAMUEL T. ANDERS - Samuel T. Anders was the captain of the professional pyramid team known as the Caprica Buccaneers. Think of him as the "Payton Manning" of the Colonies. He was a sports hero on twelve planets. Even Admiral Adama knows him and has seen him play. His history would have been scrutinized like crazy. How many sports fans can tell you the stats of every game their favorite player has played? Or where he went to school, or even his favorite color. Being such a big sports star, I would imagine the media in his "supposed" hometown would have interviewed his high school pyramid coach, his schoolyard friends and perhaps even his family. So would he have been an orphan so no one could interview his "parents" or what?

Initially I couldn't understand how these two people, whose backgrounds were so public could be Cylons; and I thought that their revelations were wrong and that they really were humans. Then I read this blog and things made sense. The aging Cylon model makes sense for both Tigh and Anders. It has to. That's the only way these two could have survived so long undetected. I also like the idea that the skinjobs are much older than we were initially led to believe.

So if this is the case, there are a couple of things I still don't understand.
1. Why? If the Skinjobs are much older than we were initially led to believe, and are more advanced physiologically than humans, why bother attacking the Colonies? Why not just set out in search of their own "colony" to inhabit. Why fight the humans in the CW2? Avenging the enslavement of their metal toaster ancestors? And they want Sharon's baby to help them with their reproductive problems. If they need help from the humans to reproduce, why try and exterminate them all?
2. In addition to #1, what's up with the toasters from CW1? These were the Cylons that were "supposedly" created by man. How are they connected to the Skinjob Cylons? I never felt that they were smart enough or technically advanced enough to have created the Skinjobs by themselves. Perhaps the Skinjobs are older than the toasters and are the ones who planted the seeds of revolt instigating the CW1. So after armistice, when the toasters leave to find a colony of their own, the Skinjobs then take the place of the humans and use the toasters as their own slaves (remember #6 mentioning that they are still around and have their uses). The Skinjobs then improve the toaster design to what we see now and dumb them down some so they can't start their own war. Yet the Cylon Raiders seem to be fairly inteligent (Scar anyone?). So then the Skinjobs who aren't really Cylons at all become Cylons in name only (adopting the name of the toasters they helped "liberate" in the CW1). So this brings us back to the first question, Why?

Understand that the final 5 and the original 7 are two differnt types of Cylon. The F5 were not involved in the war (or rather they were on the colonial side if involved at all.) They are even more different from the 7 than the toaster models are from the 7.

We have not been told the story of how the 7 came about. It is suggested that the centurion models started experimenting with biotech and built the first hybrid, and flew away with him to hide. Results of their research were used by other centurions to make the 7, into whom we expect some of them downloaded.

But we don't know a lot about this. Meanwhile, the background the F5 were watching. I personally believe they and the Cylon God played a role in all this, guiding the centurions into making the bio-models, perhaps even giving them the technology.

The F5 are still a mystery. All we've seen are 4 of them which were on the fleet not aware of who they were until they hit a trigger at the Ionian nebula. We also see them in visions of the Kobol opera house, in white robes. We don't know if there are multiple copies of each F5 member -- some always aware of who they are and visiting people in their visions and manipulating events, and some in sleeper mode -- or if there is only one at a given time, and they deliberately recreate themselves in sleeper mode for some purpose. The latter seems unlikely to me. Or it could all be a plan of the Cylon god who keeps the F5 in sleeper mode among the colonies.

"Initially I couldn't understand how these two people, whose backgrounds were so public could be Cylons;"

You're correct, the explanation for me is that the writers jumped the shark.

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