The Best Battlestar Galactica Characters

Published: November 22, 2013

So say we all! Here is a list of my three favorite Battlestar Galactica characters. Each character plays an integral role throughout the series. Needless to say, spoilers abound in this list. You have been warned. If you've never watched Battlestar Galactica, put down what you're doing and watch it on Netflix or something.

  1. Karl 'Helo' Agathon

    Besides having a facial structure similar to that of Major League Baseball left fielder Andy Dirks, Karl Agathon is the epitome of the "bad luck" hero in Battlestar Galactica. From being somewhat mildly naive in general to being fooled multiple times by different Number 8's, you can't help but feel bad for the poor fellow.

    What defines Helo as a character is his willingness to take a stand for what he believes, whether it is on behalf of his wife, Sharon Agathon, or for the crew of the Galactica against mutineers. He is definitely the unsung hero, although William Adama personally ensures that Helo is given the best.

  2. Gaius Baltar

    Gaius wears many caps throughout the series. First, he's the traitor hiding in the Fleet, worried that someone knows his deep dark secret. Then he becomes a trusted scientist on behalf of President Roslin and Commander Adama. At some point his dealings with the ethereal version of Number Six provide some comedic relief in the show. He then becomes President of the Colonies, public enemy number one, and finally some sort of religious leader.

    There's nothing not to like about Gaius Baltar. He is the "tragic" hero of Battlestar Galactica. Viewers can scoff at his absurd selfishness, but quietly also understand that he is an integral part of the Galactica crew. Initially I considered leaving him off this list, but then realized I disliked Baltar's fanatics rather than Season 4 Baltar himself.

  3. Sharon 'Athena' Agathon

    One of the greatest travesties that Fantasy Flight has commited when printing the Battlestar Galactica board game was leaving off Sharon Agathon until the Daybreak expansion. A likeable mother that works hard for the safety of her child foremost, Athena takes the first steps into building a bridge between Cylons and humans.

    Given the fact that Athena spends most of Season 2 in the brig, it's surprising to see the sacrifices she makes in order to save the Galactica. Although I personally would have liked her to forgive Boomer, she remains one of my favorite characters in the show. 

  4. Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace

    There are a lot of fan theories swirling about to this day arguing who Kara Thrace really is. Did she really die in Season 3? Is she some sort of Cylon? Well, I can say this about her: she is one cool customer.

    Starbuck is the one hero you will rally behind in the early seasons. She has a fiery temper, a quick wit, and is the best pilot in the Fleet. This is largely offset by her post New Caprica persona.

    After meeting her death in the middle of Season 3, she returns at the season finale to lead the fleet to Earth. She goes just a little bit crazy at some points in Season 4, and many figure her to be the fifth member of the Final Five. Overall, you'll like Starbuck so much that you'll allow her bad moments throughout the show.

  5. Galen Tyrol

    At this point I've realized that most heroes in Battlestar Galactica are horribly tragic heroes. Galen starts as the Crew Chief in love with someone who is a Cylon. After disowning her, Galen has said Cylon (Boomer) die in his arms after she is shot by Cally, who he eventually marries and has a child with. At the end of the third season, after bitterly fighting the Cylons tooth and nail, he finds out that he was a Cylon the entire time.

    When you watch Battlestar Galactica for the first time, episode after episode, you wonder whether Tyrol will finally stop having the rug swept out from under him. The short answer, really, is no. He's a very likeable character and stands for the laborers within the Fleet. He also just can't catch a break.

  6. John 'Number One' Cavil

    If Gaius Baltar were about 10 shades more evil, he would be John Cavil. If Mr. Rogers had an evil twin, it would be John Cavil. The show doesn't really make it clear which Number One takes the glory of being the Season 3 and 4 villain but it's highly suggested that it is the same Number One that was pretending to be a religious leader in the Fleet.

    Cavil is smart, articulate, and cynical. He represents all of the bitter emotions that Cylons feel towards humanity. From his acerbic humor to his deadpan wisdom, Cavil comes in as the 5th best character in the show.

  7. Saul Tigh

    Saul Tigh, the second in command to William Adama throughout the series, is a frequently misunderstood individual. He undergoes a massive amount of character development throughout the show, culminating in his realization that he is a Cylon.

    When Number 3 sees the Final Five in the Eye of Jupiter, it was pretty blaringly obvious that Colonel Tigh was a member of the Final Five. However, he remains loyal to the Galactica and to humanity, and for that, he is a commendable character throughout the show. His loyalty to Bill Adama knows no bounds, and that plays a key factor in his character development.

  8. William Adama

    Commander, and later Admiral, Adama is the face of the Battlestar Galactica. Then he falls in love with President Roslin. Adama leads humanity through countless trials and obstacles, and is even shot twice by one of his closest crewmembers. Then he falls in love with President Roslin. Adama fearlessly helps the humans stranded on New Caprica off the planet and towards the hope of finding Earth. But he fell in love with President Roslin.

    If Battlestar Galactica has a fault, it would be that Adama, as cool and heroic as he is, made for some cringe worthy romance scenes with President Roslin. The overall romance was worked fairly well into the storyline, but I didn't like it. You can't leave Bill Adama off the top 3 however, no matter what.

  9. Romo Lampkin

    Yes, Romo Lampkin is my second favorite character in Battlestar Galactica. Aside from being an adept kleptomaniac, Lampkin is one of the few characters to set himself far above the preconceptions regarding the guilt of Gaius Baltar. He is not a major character, but his role has drastic consequences in determining the future of not only Baltar, but also Lee Adama. He urges Apollo toward the presidency and has a keen interest in justice. Any episode with Romo Lampkin in it is sure to be a good one.

  10. Lee 'Apollo' Adama

    Lee Adama plays a key role throughout the entire series. Aside from being assigned the role of CAG early on in the series, his views on justice keep the crew of the Galactica humane. After being an outstanding fighter pilot for most of the show, Apollo turns his sights toward law and poltics at the end of season 3. Soon thereafter, he becomes the de facto leader of the Colonies.

    Lee's views on truth and justice are a key element in preserving humanity, and although he starts off as a son estranged from his father, he develops into a strong individual always advocating justice.

There are many fantastic characters in Battlestar Galactica. Obviously, my favorite character was going to be one of the Adamas, although I believe that each character had a lot to bring to the show as a whole. Overall, the series was absolutely fantastic, and one of the best science fiction shows on air to date.