Even The Battlestar Galactica Writers Weren't Sure Who Would Be A Cylon

You know, as much as I loved "Battlestar Galactica," it's funny to learn how much the writers didn't know where the story was going when they were writing the show. I mean, it's funny and it also feels completely correct (especially when you consider that ending, but let's not dwell on that). In a series that was filled to the brim with twists and turns, the reveal of the "Final Five" Cylons were highly anticipated. And not just by the fans, it turns out: the reveal was also a bit of a surprise to the writers.

You have to remember, "Battlestar" premiered in 2005. It was a simpler time when everyone was watching the same TV show at the same time. Hell, this was a part of the "LOST" era, when shocking season finales and drawn out mysteries were de rigueur. You were supposed to throw your remote at the TV and call your friend after finishing a season of TV, that's just what we all did back then.

The final four

In an interview about the magic that was "Battlestar" (I may clown on it, but that's all love — the show rules), executive producer Ron Moore went all in on the process of figuring out which characters were going to be revealed as one of the androids, and it sounds like it all came together on the fly:

"I mean the final four came up literally in a moment in a writer's room where we were struggling with the end of season three. And trying to figure out certain things ... I said, I just wish that there was, we had some bigger revelation here. I just said, you know, I just got this image of like four of our people walking from different areas of the ship and all ending up in one room together. They all close the doors and they look at each other. And they say, okay we're Cylon. And then we just reveal like four of them, you know, in one fell swoop."

And what a swoop it was. When Galen Tyrol (Aaron Douglas), Samuel Anders (Michael Trucco), Tory Foster (Rekha Sharma), and Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan) all walked into that room and discovered that they weren't humans, it was a turning point for the series. 

The big reveal

Sure, "Battlestar Galactica" had its fair share of shaky plot points, and I actually think using "All Along the Watchtower" to activate these four felt kind of lame, but it was still a deeply fun and thoroughly surprising reveal. And clearly, the rest of the writer's room agreed:

"Everyone was kind of taken a back in the moment. And then we, the more we talked about it, it just became well let's, well why not. Why don't we really do that? Then we just talked about who they — who those final four would be with an idea of holding out the last one for the last season."

And that last Cylon was of course Ellen Tigh, who was thought to be Saul's long dead wife, which was (again) another fun-as-hell twist. While Moore made it sound like the writer's went back and forth on who would be the final Cylon, but at the end of the day, I think they made the right call:

"We kind of had a good idea going into the last season who the final Cylon was. And, but we were willing to sort of, you know, look at other candidates and see who it could be and which one makes the most sense in the mythology. Ultimately we stuck with the original choice because it just made the most sense in terms of the history of the show and what it means for the characters."

The way the show went may have been as much of a surprise to the writing team as it was to the viewers, but that's okay. At the end of the day, it's not about landing the finale, it's about the friends we made along the way. And finding out those friends are androids. You know, normal stuff.