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Introduced War of the Gods, Part I
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Portrayed by Patrick Macnee
Iblis is a Cylon
Iblis is a Final Five Cylon
Iblis is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Iblis is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
Iblis in the separate continuity

Count Iblis is the Colonial version of the Prince of Darkness, who almost tricks a majority of the Fleet's citizens to follow "him".

He was previously a Being of Light who fell from grace after using his powers for evil purposes. He is known as Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, Mephistopheles, "The Devil", and Diabolis.

Discovery by the Fleet

Captain Apollo and Lieutenants Sheba and Starbuck come across this manifestation of evil itself while they are about to investigate the wreckage of what once was a fairly large vessel. Iblis manages to trick them into believing he is a confused survivor of the crash, also fooling Apollo's instruments into believing that the ship had a high radiation level. Sheba appears to be quite taken by his charms.

They take him back to the Fleet, initially believing that he is benevolent. Sheba, much to the ire of Commander Adama, shows him around the sensitive areas of the ship, revealing that their technology is being interfered with by Iblis, though this is unknown at the time. Two medtechs attempt to gather readings from the newcomer, however nothing is recorded from their scanners; Cassiopeia also attempts to do a scan of him, however again it is in vain.

Iblis' true form revealed.

Iblis begins to influence people to turn their backs on Adama and the mission, promising anyone who would pledge fealty to him that they would be protected. He also has the ability to read minds, influence those that follow the ways of evil or pledge fealty to him, take control of those who allow him to do so, and even kill those within his dominion. He must, however, convince people to follow him and not force them to do so. In order to convince people to join him in his pursuits of evil, he performs feats such as providing food aplenty from the Agro Ship Nine and bringing Baltar, humanity's traitor, to them. This causes celebration throughout the Fleet, and for people to suddenly decry Adama. He also takes possession of Boomer's body in a Triad game on the Rising Star when the Warrior comments that he would do anything to beat Apollo and Starbuck. This happens with Boomer's consent, though he does not explicitly know that he has done so at the time.

All of this further cements Iblis' position within the Fleet. Yet, ironically, when battle stations are called, and the pilots are too tired to respond, he severely chastises and threatens them.

Of course, those who oppose the ways of evil and hatred watch such a being, and spheroid-like specters appear and disappear at random. Iblis instills what people would call "the fear of God" into people who see the lights, including Sheba, who stays close to this incarnation of evil itself.

Adama, on the other hand, opposes him, joins with Tigh and a few others; essentially a minority, though still threatening to Iblis' power. For the time, the majority supports Iblis, since he seems to do more than the mortal Adama can.

Had it been discovered that Iblis was the one who helped foster the Cylons that destroyed the Colonies, he would be cast out by a majority of the Fleet. This was discovered, in part, by the captured Baltar's recognition of Iblis' voice being the same as the Imperious Leader's.

Apollo and Starbuck's Uncovering of Truth / Iblis' Punishment

Iblis in his true form sans special effects.

When Apollo informs Adama that he is going back to the planet to find out what is in the wreckage, Adama informs him that he would do his best to avoid being scanned by Iblis. Iblis, however, feels something is wrong and goes to Adama, who attempts to block out Iblis by thinking of other things, playing music in his head, and other methods he was taught at the Colonial Military Institute in Telekinetics. His mental abilities much more powerful than the Kobollian's, Iblis finds out that Apollo and Starbuck are en route back to the planetoid. Sheba, presumably influenced in some manner by Iblis, follows in her Viper and attempts to stop them.

After Apollo and Starbuck discover the demon in the wreckage of the leviathan vessel on the unidentified red planet, Iblis is revealed for who he truly is. Laser discharges from Apollo prove ineffective to Iblis, although it does cause him to reveal his true appearance - into a horned-creature of purple-color with red-eyes.

When Starbuck and Apollo haphazardly manage to convince Sheba to reject Iblis, he attempts to make an example of her. Apollo steps in the way of the blast of light and is killed in the process.

This act causes the Beings of Light to deal with Iblis, as he is not permitted to kill anyone outside of those that gave him dominion.

As Apollo was not meant to die, the Beings of Light restore him from the death by "primitive measures" and send them on their way while Iblis is, despite his threats, being dealt with (War of the Gods).

The Mystery of the Crashed Ship

What Starbuck and Apollo found inside the crashed ship.
"When Starbuck and Apollo look into the wreckage of the ship, this is exactly what they see: A piece of metallic surface, highly scorched but out of which portrudes a foot-like extremity, except that its tip is clearly in the shape of a cloven hoof. (Then they lift the metal and toss it aside) They grimace in horror... Under the wreckage is the figure of a devil... a demon."
  • Footage of the demon was shot but left out of the final cut. There are conflicting accounts as to why. Some believe the censors removed it due to its possible satanic implications. Anne Lockhart stated at the GoMainline Galactica Convention in September 1999 that it was left out because the demon "looked like a dead sheep." Interestingly, the footage does not appear in the Battlestar Galactica DVD box set which has deleted scenes from the episode.
  • The image on the right is from Battlestar Galactica Vol. 1 #4 of Maximum Press comics in which Apollo recalls what he saw inside the crashed ship.
  • A popular myth over the years is that the crashed ship is the Battlestar Pegasus. In An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica, author John Kenneth Muir argues that the crashed ship is in fact the Pegasus despite the script for the episode saying otherwise. To be fair, because the episode never shows us what is inside the ship, the answer to the mystery is open to interpretation.
  • In the aforementioned Maximum Press comic series, the writers play off this myth in issue #3 when Count Iblis returns to Sheba and teleports her back to the crashed ship where she discovers the body of Commander Cain inside. It turns out to be an illusion.


  • "Iblis" is pronounced "ib-lee". Iblis is the name of the Devil in the Koran. In Islam, he is the original jinn who causes destruction and presides over places where activities of evil occur in Muslim writings. These writings tell of Iblis casting out by God for refusing to worship the first man, Adam.
  • Interestingly enough, this similar instance occurs in "War of the Gods" where he is cast out for killing Apollo, who intercepted the bolt meant for Sheba.
In the Book of the Word, Iblis is described as a "fallen Angel (sic), known variously as Diaboles (Diabolos|Devil) or Mephistopholes [who] repeatedly attempts to lead the humans astray, but is bested always by the intervention" of the Beings of Light. Folktales apart from the Book describe Iblis as a "comic prankster, half man and half beast".[1]

In the Re-Imagined Series

Q: "There's speculation that Count Iblis' counterpart in this series is the as-yet-unseen Cylon God. Is there any possibility that elements of the original series "War of the Gods" storyline may weave themselves into the new series?
RDM: While I have thought of incorporating the Count Iblis/Ship of Lights mythology from the original show into the series, I've pretty much decided not to go there for now. The theological construct we've been establishing seems more interesting to me at this point and I don't think Iblis will be part of the current show."


  1. Kraus, Bruce (1979). Encyclopedia Galactica, p. 21.