The story contains spoilers for the “Battlestar Galactica” episode “No Exit.”
So who is this 13th Cylon, and will we ever see him again?
Speculation on the Internet is running rampant, just when the days of trying to figure out who the final Cylon seemed to be at an end. But there is a possibility — and a strong one — that this could be the end of the Daniel discussion just as it begins, at least that’s what “Battlestar Galactica” executive producer Ronald D. Moore shared with fans during his weekly episode podcast.
“This little mystery we were able to mine out of the [Cylon] numbering system,” Moore said. “We always said there were 12 Cylon models, but we had posited Sharon as a Number Eight. That was before we came up with the idea of the Final Five, and five plus eight does not equal 12, so how could that have been?”
That prompted discussions of whether or not there should be a 13th Cylon, and maybe just one more reveal. But Moore didn’t want to turn the franchise in that direction.
“We put a pin in the idea of the 13th Cylon as I didn’t want to create another, ‘Who is the final Cylon?’ and create false mysteries on that front,” he said.
But what that bit of retcon created was some backstory for Dean Stockwell’s John Cavil, and allowed the entire “Battlestar” mythology to borrow more from Biblical passages and ideas.
“Cavil wiped out an entire model, creating a Cain and Abel moment of this myth,” Moore said. “Creation, exodus and all those Biblical themes. This is Cain vs. Abel, and slipping that in there to understand Cavil’s character a little more clearly.”
Bringing Kate Vernon back to portray Ellen as the final Cylon seems to work for Moore, especially that she now possesses the knowledge she didn’t quite have before on the history of the Cylons, and the history of the Final Five.
“I liked the idea we were going to see a different Ellen,” Moore said. “We didn’t want her to be a completely different Ellen Tigh. She likes to drink and smoke and fuck. She’s a slightly different person, she’s not some idiot. She really is one of the Final Five Cylons. She has their knowledge and the intelligence we haven’t had before.”
That insight also seems to be garnered about how her “children” like Cavil turned out.
“There’s something dark at the heart of John Cavil,” Moore said. “What does that say about Ellen and Tigh and the rest of the Final Five? The seeds of their own destruction seems to be carried in all the characters that will ultimately harm them in some way.”
And the cracks in the ship? It’s going to take more than some biological resin to fix it, Moore said.
“The cracks in the hull, the cracks in the ship, is one of the threads that will take us to the end,” he said. “This is definitely a sort of beginning of the end. This storyline will continue quite some time, and how it impacts the rest of the show is fascinating.”
Moore’s full podcast, which is recorded in real time with the episode, can be found here.
“Battlestar Galactica” airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on SciFi Channel.