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JULY 1, 2020 - 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT ALL-CON DALLAS 2020

Some time ago, I read that the Cylons were originally designed and built by a dying reptilian race called the Cylons. As much as this race hated humans, they found the human design the most efficient to serve them. Recently, a link appeared on this site about the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica ( http://www.moviematics.com/2010/08/27/the-cylons-on-battlestar-gala... ). This post claims the humans designed and built the Cylons. Obviously, this is a contradiction. I can see merits in both storylines.
1 Where the Cylons and the humans had a less than cordial meeting which caused the Cylons to hate the humans so much that they would build a robotic race, complete with series from workers to managers to warriors to serve the dying race and annihilate the humans. In the time that the wars went on, the reptilians died off and the Cylon war machines continued self replicate. (Klingons meet humans theme)
2 Where the human built the Cylons for performing menial and dangerous tasks and the Cylons becoming self aware and rebelling. (Planet of the Apes theme).

As I go over these scenarios, I am more tempted to go with the latter theme since Planet of the Apes was very popular at the time.

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I honestly can say that I don't remember hearing the scenario with the reptilian race before... Was this conceived in one of the paperback book series, or was this mentioned in the original series?
(You've got me curious now) Some of the following is my own supposition.
The reptilian race senario is obviously not the senario of the reimagined series - in that series the original cylons were bread to be soldiers and workers for the humans (as also described in the series Caprica, a prequil to the reimagines series). Those boxy-looking cylons gained sentience and rebelled against the human race to fight their status as slaves. Living isolated from the humans, they continued to evolve and improve thier efficiency. Eventually they began experiments on adapting living tissue and ended up creating cyborg-like races (the fighter ships, for example. The fighters were described by Sharon "Boomer" Velarii as "pets" in the episode Six Degrees of Seperation indicating that they may have been sentient animals before being adapted into the fighters. I have always assumed that the new cylon soldiers in the reimagined series were a hybrid as well as they had devices to block thier higher brain functions - referred to "higher brain inhibitors" in the episode Six of One). Realizing the complexities, efficiency, and capabilities of the human mind, they began experiments on creating human-hybrids. Initially using humans to operate thier core systems (turning humans into a slave race for the cylons) they began creating working on full human clone-hybrids (what the humans called "skin jobs").
With nothing but time and the efficiency of machines, they were able to use the first human-cylon war to gather prisoners to use in these experiments. Once perfected, the skin-jobs were able to devise a plan to wipe the emotion-flawed humans from existance. Only later do they come to realize that these emotions were a part of themselves as hybrids, and they had to choose to embrace their humanity or die.
Sorry Jonathan, don't recall where I had read it. I kinda liked the reptilian race scenario though. In my opinion, the re-imaged series just went too far with having Cylons create the androids and find that they actually had human traits, which was eluded to from the beginning as I remember. There are so many possibilities they could have gone through but we go back to the humans being so superior that even artificial life forms would inherit their "soul" for a lack of a better term here. We see this over and over again in so much of modern Sci Fi and that gets old. Give me some Borg, Dalek and Cybermen type aliens any day!!
Oh well, which ever way you like em, the fact is that we all love BSG and no matter how they came to be, Cylons as well. (although for advanced computers, they usually had lousy aim!! ;8-)
I hear you... I have always wondered about the "soul" issue, but I file that under sci-fi "doesn't matter" catagory...
Remember, even the Borg, Dalek, Cybermen and even Shadow Telepaths (Babylon 5) all had emotions and individual conciousness once the machine parts were either pushed aside or deactivated... :-) just sayin....
Oh yeah, I have ALWAYS had issue with the poor aim of robots - especially when they fight humans (unless they are red-shirts)...
if i remember right, in Classic BSG the Cylon robots were built by a reptile-like race, but in the re-imaged the Cylons were built by man and rebelled then evolved into the human-like models.
Yep, you have it right. Appolo explained the origens of the Cylons to Boxey while looking for fuel on the planet carolon. He also said the reptilian Cylons died out thousands of yaren ago, I think that was before their war with the humans.

In the Original BSG the Cylon race was Reptilian and created the cylon robots as workers but then the mechines turned on their masters and wiped out most of the race save a few thats where the Imperious Leader comes from all be it he is a high bred, in the Galactica 1980 series the cylons had created a few humanoid cylons.

In the reimagined series is where the humans created the cylons as robots to serve them but they rebeled and that was start of the first cylon war then the cylons disappeared for many years and then when they came back they were humanoid.

 

hope that helps

In the Original series, we actually see some of these true Cyclons in the Basestars. They are often seen sitting on a very high seat (as we see Baltar sitting at often as well) but we don't get told much about them that I remember. I also remember having the action figure of the alien Cylon as well. This was one of the points that upset me with the new version wherein the humans created the Cylons.

Just want to throw my $0.02 in here and add that all of the Imperious Leader scenes we see in TOS are not actually the original Cylons, but are IL-series Cylons (like Lucifer and Spectre) that have been elevated to the "post" of Imperious Leader. We can derive this from some tidbits dropped in the show:

1. When Count Iblis meets with Baltar, he mentions that his voice was encoded to be the voice of Imperious Leader, which Baltar remarks happened over 2000 yahren ago. Now, this is a nod to the fact that Patrick McNee *did* supply the voice of Imperious Leader, but the fact that he mentions that it's his voice that's used by the Imperious Leader suggests that Imperious Leader himself is a machine.

2. In the first episode of the series, Imperious Leader tells Baltar he is to be spared because he, unlike his predecessor, was *programmed* in a more tolerant time, and could afford to show mercy.

3. IL-series..."I"..."L"...Imperious Leader....hmmmm...

Originally, the Cylons were suppose to be hybrids, "half" reptilians-"half" machines (they actually had brains - the higher rank the more brains), but ABC decided that having heroes killing living creatures every week would be too violent, and ordered it to be changed so they would just be machines, created by the original reptilian Cylons - as Apollo explains to Boxey in the pilot.

Cylons created by humans, that fits only in the NeoBSG universe, not here. ;)

@David: I don't believe that Impy was a IL Series, but that can be just the way I imagine it. I seem to remember someone saying that IL actually stands for the company that provided the special effects, ILM - some sort of homage to them. ;)
As for Baltar recognition of his voice, has always meant to me, that the "Devil" (Count Iblis) had once, long long time ago, visited the Cylons and maybe that's how the fall/extinction of the original Cylons had come to happen. They listened to him, and Imp. become a "programmed" version of Count Iblis. But we don't get much on the social hierarchy and the Cylons to figure out much more. We can only speculate, and that's part of the fun. ;)

I remember reading - maybe in the novelization? - that the original Cylons had three brains, and that Imperious Leader was supposed to be one of the few remaining reptilian Cylons left. The fact that the bubblegum cards show a close-up of a very reptilian face, not to mention the action figure is squarely organic, supports the theory that some organic Cylons were left around. 

But I agree that ABC probably threw a hissy over this and made Larson change certain details from Saga to the series (including the infamous profession change for Cassiopeia). The reason I believe that Imperious Leader is a IL-series is based on dialog from Young Lords where, IIRC, Baltar makes an offhand comment about Spectre's performance that he could potentially be in line for Imperious Leader, as well as a close-up of Imperious Leader's procession on Molokai in Living Legend Pt 2 where his "afro" is see-through and it looks (at least to me) like an IL-series head underneath. Now maybe this was them cheaping out on the special effects, but given that this was one of the few episodes that had sufficient star power to get stuff done the way they wanted, I doubt it.

(I recall an anecdote about ABC getting so cheap that they wanted the cast to start paying for Kraft Services. Messers Greene and Bridges were so livid that they both marched in to the president of ABC's office to give him a piece of their mind. I don't know specifically what was said, but the Kraft Services table went back to being gratis.)

You can find it on the battlestar wiki plus I read it years ago in a starlog magazine which I may still be able to get my hands on

Actually, you're all right in the origin of the Cylons.

In BSG: TOS the Cylons were reptilian and they developed the robotic in three basic categories. 1)The Centurion -Silver: Warrior/Pilot, and Gold: Commander. 2) The I.L. Series - Lucifer. 3)The Imperious Leader. There was a fourth series not mentioned, but seen on TOS 2-part episode The Living Legend that seemed to depict a "civilian" category of robotic Cylon. Now, on the Glen Larson BSG books your standard Cylons had 1 brain, I.L.-Series had 2, and the Imperious Leader had... well, 3. Go figure. (Not sure if the Imperious Leader was a Cyborg, hybrid, or otherwise).  Between BSG canon and FanFic there's been many interpretations, oppinions and speculations; but, most of what had been discussed - like all rails leading to Chicago - points in the right direction. The same probably wold apply to their reptilian predescessors. The Cylons carried their masters' original plan: Universal domination. They did attack the Hasari, and their neigbors from the 12 Colonies of Man came to their aid thus begining the "Thousand Yahren War".

 

On SyFy's rendition MAN made the Cylons, yes. If CAPRICA hadn't been cancelled (thanks to low ratings) the reimaged's version would have likely cleared out any doubts or speculations as to how the rebellion started. This man vs machine war was much-much shorter and the Cylons were shoved into the depts of space.

 

However, I do have a bone to pick about Ron Moore's idea of the infiltrator version of Cylon: their cyborg series, that is. For one, I'm surprised that TERMINATOR's James Cameron didn't sue him for plagerism behind cyborgs killing people. Or, Riddley Scott for the use of the term "Skin Jobs" which was originally used on BLADE RUNNER. Granted, Moore has every right to tell his version of the BSG story, but to some Science Fiction buffs that doesn't sit too well. Needless to say, "his plan" worked. Everybody watched the show and it kept us glued to the tube (or flatscreen) on every season.

Now, on BSG:1980 there were a few Cylons which were human in appearance; but, they were NOT cyborgs. Instead, they were prototype-Androids.

Anyway, there's going to be many discussions and arguments about this subject... no doubt about it. I just wonder what Bryan Singer's take is going to be on this when his BSG project is complete.

 

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