Saul Tigh

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Saul Tigh
Saul Tigh


Saul Tigh
Age Allegedly 71[1], actually 2,000+
Colony Original Earth; he has a fabricated background of being from Aerilon
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Miniseries
Death 1. Nuclear destruction of Original Earth, c. 2000 BCH (resurrected in orbit)
2. suffocated by Number One, c. 32 BCH (resurrected with false memories)
3. Eventually died after 4 ACH settlement on New Earth
Children Non-biologically: Considered a "father" of the eight humanoid Cylon models;
Biologically: Liam Tigh† (miscarried at four months) with Caprica-Six
Marital Status Married to Ellen Tigh in all three lives;
briefly cohabitated with Caprica-Six
Family Tree View
Role Executive Officer, battlestar Galactica;
Commander of New Caprica Resistance;
Civilian deckhand;
Engineer or scientist
Rank Colonel
Serial Number 219804[2], 245A-34DC[3]
Portrayed by Michael Hogan
Saul Tigh is a Cylon
Saul Tigh is a Final Five Cylon
Saul Tigh is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Saul Tigh is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
Saul Tigh in the separate continuity
[[Image:|200px|Saul Tigh]]

Saul Tigh is the Executive Officer (XO) of Galactica, and repeatedly serves as acting commander in the absence of William Adama. Before his service on Galactica, he served as Adama's XO on the battlestar Valkyrie. During the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, Tigh commanded the New Caprica Resistance.

A tough but troubled man with a long history of alcoholism, Tigh has false memories of having served in the Colonial Fleet since his teenage years, seeing action in the First Cylon War. He is married to Ellen Tigh, whose death was incorrectly (though logically) presumed to have been permanent. Believing himself to be a widower, he entered a sexual relationship with Caprica Six,with whom he sired a miscarried child named Liam Tigh.

Upon reaching the Ionian nebula, he and three others became aware of their nature as Cylons. Since then, he has sporadically regained memories and knowledge of his prior life.


Cylon past

Saul Tigh lived on the original Earth two millennia ago. Like all humanoids on that planet, he was a Cylon: a member of the Thirteenth Tribe. There, he was one of five scientists researching "organic memory transfer," a technology which had originated on Kobol, but fell out of use on Earth once the Thirteenth Tribe Cylons started to procreate sexually. His wife Ellen was the most gifted of the five scientists. When nuclear armageddon came, Saul found himself in the lobby of his apartment building. Hearing a voice crying out, "Saul!" from the floor in front of the tenants' post boxes, he finds his wife trapped under debris he cannot move. He pulls the lighter debris from around her, as more bombs detonate. Moments before they die, she tells him, "Saul, it's okay. Everything's in place. We'll be reborn... again. Together." (TRS: "Sometimes a Great Notion", "No Exit")

The organic memory transfer they were researching was resurrection technology, the same technology their ancestors brought from Kobol. When killed by the explosions, Saul and the other four downloaded into new bodies aboard a ship they had placed in orbit. Knowing that humanity would continue to create artificial life, they made their way the Twelve Colonies to warn them about the the need to treat their creations with kindness in order to prevent a rebellion and inter-species war. Lacking faster-than-light capability, the five travelled at relativistic speeds. From the planetary perspective, their journey took approximately two thousand years.

Saul and the other four found their fears were justified. Upon their arrival, the first Cylon War was already in progress between humans and the Colonial Cylon Centurions. Saul and the others made a deal with the Centurions: end the war against the humans, and the Five would help them build humanoid Cylons. They ultimately made eight models for the Centurions, and their technology was stored in The Colony. The favoritism which Number One perceived Saul's wife, Ellen, displayed toward Number Seven drove Number One into a jealous rage. In addition to permanently destroying the Number Seven line, he suffocated Saul and the other four Cylons from Earth. Blocking their real memories, Number One implanted false ones in their minds, and deposited them among the human population in an attempt to prove to them the "evils" of humanity.

False Backstory

Saul Tigh was supposedly born on the colony of Aerilon[4].

Tigh began his military career as a deckhand[5]. By the second year of the First Cylon War, he was serving as a gunner's mate onboard the Brenik. His ship was boarded by the Cylons, where he and others fought in hand-to-hand combat, during the bloodiest period of that war. It was during this battle that he saw his first dead man, Duncan Rafferty, who was violently vivisected by Centurions ("Valley of Darkness", deleted scene). His ship was subsequently destroyed, but he survived. He was transferred to another unnamed ship, which succumbed to a similar fate as his original ship. Having borne witness to many a bloody combat, he became emotionally scarred, which had, among other impetuses, led him to alcoholism.

Tigh and Adama's first meeting.

Tigh eventually achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. When Viper pilot numbers began running low in the war, Tigh was selected for Colonial officer candidate school, and was reassigned as a Viper pilot.[6] As a pilot, he demonstrated considerable skill, earning several medals while posted aboard Battlestar Athena.[7] After the cessation of hostilities, he was dismissed from service.

Inter-War Years

Tigh eked out an existence as a deckhand aboard a commercial freighter. He clearly experienced signs of post-traumatic stress disorder; he commented that every time he smelled grease or machine oil, he would nearly vomit, as this smell reminded him of the "stink" of Centurions ("Valley of Darkness", deleted scene). While onboard, he drowned himself in alcohol and, after a time, about 20 years after the war, encountered William Adama, who had not seen as much combat experience as Tigh himself. They became fast friends, and remained in touch after Adama was recommissioned into the service. Two years later, Tigh found himself reinstated into the Colonial Fleet at the rank of captain, thanks to his old friend, and now major, Adama.[8] His alcoholism has led many in the crew to view him with contempt (TRS: Miniseries, "33").

Second Cylon War

Following the Cylon attack, Tigh recovered some of his old verve, and attempted to give up alcohol. However, this, combined with the initial stress of flight from the Cylons, caused him to overcompensate as a martinet, frequently driving the personnel overly hard, and berating where encouragement would prove the better option (TRS: "33"). He excused this by his view that the XO is supposed to be the "hard face" of command.

"If the crew doesn't hate the XO, then he's not doing his job."

With his drinking problem relatively under control, Tigh settled back into his role as the Galactica's Executive Officer, though he still treats the ship's personnel relatively inhumanely. Apart from Adama, he seems unable to utter a sentence without cursing, or to leave any differing opinion unsneered at.

During Cylon attacks, Tigh has proven himself to be a good battle-manager and tactician. His quick actions sometimes save the ship and the Fleet from damage or destruction ("Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down", "Scattered", "Valley of Darkness").

Tigh is uneasy around President Laura Roslin (TRS: "Water"), and resents what he sees as her interfering with Adama's command (TRS: "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down") - something born out of his deep respect for Adama, which even the most heated of disagreements between them (TRS: "You Can't Go Home Again") cannot disrupt, or his general inability to accept differing viewpoints.

Tigh personally loathes Kara Thrace, one of Galactica's pilots. While grudgingly conceding she is a fine pilot, Tigh does consider her an an egotistical, insubordinate youngster, and even tries to end her active service. Tigh criticizes Adama for having a soft spot for Thrace, ignoring that his whole existence in the fleet is based on a similar soft spot (TRS: Miniseries).

Outside of Adama, Tigh has few others he regards as confidants aboard ship; and since the initial Cylon attack, he has withdrawn from interacting with the crew during off-duty hours, making him perhaps more isolated than even Adama - who is at least held in awe, and respected by the crew.

Wife's Return

Tigh and his newly returned wife, Ellen, making a toast: "To starting over" (TRS: "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down)".

Some three weeks after the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies, Tigh is stunned to discover his wife, Ellen, had not been killed as he had thought, but was rescued from Picon, and carried aboard the Rising Star as an unconscious "Jane Doe" by an unknown person. Later, it is revealed that the person who did that was a John Cavil-model Cylon.

Despite the emotional implications from the destruction of the Colonies and life aboard the ship, Tigh is reluctantly thrust further into politics, as his wife plays her schemes. Much to his disdain, his wife attempts to procure photo opportunities with the likes of Tom Zarek - a person Tigh views with the utmost contempt (TRS: "Colonial Day"). Additionally, Ellen seems to re-establish Tigh's alcoholism with gratuitous drinking.

Despite this, Adama sends Tigh with a squadron of Marines to arrest Laura Roslin after Adama discovers that she convinced Kara Thrace to Jump back to Caprica to retrieve a historical artifact called the Arrow of Apollo from the Delphi Museum. This action deprives the Fleet of a military asset - a captured Cylon Raider, intended to have been used to plant a nuclear warhead aboard a basestar in orbit around the planet believed to be Kobol - and convinces Adama that Roslin is abusing her authority.

Onboard Colonial One, Tigh's men and Roslin's personal security agents are at a standoff when Lee Adama aims a weapon at Tigh's head and attempts to thwart the coup. Attempting to defuse the situation, Roslin agrees to be arrested and Lee Adama is arrested on charges of treason (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II").

Tigh in Command

Tigh realizing he's in a bit over his head (TRS: "Scattered)".

Tigh is present in CIC during the attempted assassination of Adama by Sharon Valerii. As guards restrain Valerii, Tigh attempts to stop the bleeding from the torso gunshot wounds Adama sustained in the attempt (TRS: "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II"). He keeps Lee Adama from tending to his father and throws him into the brig. However, the need for reliable officers, forces Tigh to grant Lee a parole from his arrest. After his daily duties as CAG are done, Lee promises to return to the brig when off-shift.

With Adama incapacitated and with Roslin arrested, Tigh tries to maintain order. However, his irrational and gruff command style displeases many crew members. Morale and ship efficiency began to suffer. Ellen Tigh becomes a private adviser to her husband, frequently questioning his power to command while also suggesting ways of usurping more power and quashing his opponents. Ellen Tigh's advice only exacerbates an already-deteriorating situation.

Tigh's interrogation of suspected Cylon collaborators or infiltrators is brutal. After beating, then nearly shooting the Galactica copy of Valerii, other issues in the Fleet divert him from further interrogation. He orders a special cage made for her for later interrogation. Tigh also savagely interrogates Valerii's former lover, Chief Galen Tyrol as a possible humanoid Cylon himself. Tigh would have left him with Valerii in the newly built Cylon cage if Gaius Baltar did not intervene to prove medically that Tyrol is not a Cylon himself.

With Roslin in prison, uprisings begin as civilian ships refuse to supply Galactica until Roslin is released. Worse, the Quorum of Twelve demand to see Roslin. Knowing of Roslin's hallucinations in the brig, he intentionally invites the Quorum to see Roslin in her poor state in hopes of disillusioning the Quorum. However, Roslin recovers sufficiently from her Chamalla withdrawal after getting a supply smuggled to her by Corporal Venner, her guard. Tigh believes that the accounts within the Sacred Scrolls weren't to be believed, and teases Roslin in front of the Quorum on her visions. Roslin not only is able to speak to the Quorum, but decisively reinforces her decisions as well as her role in the search for the location of Earth as told in the Pythian prophesies. This act greatly impresses the Quorum, and infuriates Tigh; fearing a larger civilian government uprising led by the Quorum. Tigh institutes martial law throughout the Fleet - a move he earlier had disclaimmed - in an attempt to maintain order in a rapidly chaotic shuffle of power between the civilian and military governments (TRS: "Fragged").

The supply situation leads Tigh to deploying Marines in forcibly retrieving supplies. On one ship, a riot leads to four deaths and many injuries due to the pilot's inexperience in managing such a situation. Unlike Adama (who likely would have taken direct responsibility for the "Gideon Massacre"), Tigh places blame solely on the pilot, absolving himself from the incident.

Fleet Factioning and Adama's Return

The shootings, Tigh's decision for martial law, and his unwillingness to discuss anything with anyone except Ellen Tigh (and the unconscious Adama) becomes the dividing point of those wanting to press on to finding Earth, and those wanting to settle on Kobol (Season 2). Tigh's drinking spirals further out of control, leading to more erratic behavior and causing great concern regarding his ability to effectively command, particularly among the CIC staff. The situation comes to a head when Roslin, tacitly aided by other officers and crew on Galactica, escapes the brig in an attempt to hide amongst the many ships in the Fleet with the aid of Tom Zarek. Tigh chases down the escaping Raptor using the CAP, having the Viper fire across the bow of the fleeing Raptor to persuade it to return. The Raptor brazenly continues onward, leading to a crucial decision for the Colonel. Tigh allows the Raptor to escape rather than shooting it down, which would have killed Adama's son and the President and could have destabilized the fleet.

Tigh and Adama share a knowing smirk at the commissioning of the Blackbird, Laura (TRS: "Flight of the Phoenix").

Fortunately for the fleet and Colonel Tigh, Commander Adama regains consciousness shortly after the escape and asks what had happened during his absence. Tigh confesses that he has "frakked things up good", but Adama reassures his friend, saying, "I never had much use for people that second-guessed my decisions, especially if they've never held a command. They don't understand the pressure to make a call that affects the lives of thousands, and you have no one to turn to for backup." Despite all the serious problems that Tigh created, Adama doesn't blame him, telling Tigh that whatever bad calls were made, they would pick up the pieces together (TRS: "Resistance").

Both Adama and Tigh underestimate the number of ships that secede from the main fleet to join the faction that sought the Tomb of Athena with President Roslin (TRS: "The Farm"). Tigh backs up Adama while he maintains a similar official position on Roslin and the separated ships as Tigh has. However, after Adama realizes that survival of the entire Fleet would only come if everyone held together, Adama begins to prepare a journey to Kobol to retrieve the remainder of the Fleet and reach out to Roslin (TRS: "Home, Part I"). At first Tigh seems to believe that Adama is retrieving the faction by more military means, and scoffs at Roslin's religious views on the quest until he realizes that Adama is beginning to follow Roslin's information, taking her reports and visions seriously. Tigh is left in command while Adama successfully reunites the Fleet and reconciles with Roslin (TRS: "Home, Part II").

After Adama's return to command and Roslin to the presidency, for a moment the Gideon incident is almost forgotten. Before she is invited to Galactica, reporter D'Anna Biers prepares a story about the incident, which could destroy the public's view towards Tigh, and eventually Galactica. However she drops the subject in favor of a Galactica documentary. Lt. Joe Palladino, the pilot in charge of the boarding operation to Gideon, blames Tigh for the discredit to his reputation. He begins to terrorize Tigh and his wife, but Tigh later manages to subdue Palladino (TRS: "Final Cut").

Pegasus Discovered

Things once again turn on their head when Galactica has a chance encounter with the battlestar Pegasus, a modern type of battlestar and the flagship of Admiral Helena Cain. Cain, being the superior officer, assumes complete command of the Fleet. The naturally suspicious Tigh is wary about this mixed blessing, but takes it in stride like everything else up until now. When he begins to regularly speak with Pegasus’s own XO Jack Fisk, his suspicions slowly prove to be well founded.

Fisk's conscience-clearing sessions with Tigh reveal that Admiral Cain was responsible for a set of atrocities, the most damning being the pillaging and stranding of a small civilian fleet in open space. When Tigh relays this information to Commander Adama, Adama reminisces about their own questionable activities, particularly their actions regarding the Olympic Carrier. However, Adama keeps Tigh's warnings in mind and they help him in his decision to stand up to Cain later on (TRS: "Pegasus" through "Resurrection Ship, Part I").

The Election and New Caprica

When the presidential election arrives, Colonel Tigh is charged with overseeing the vote tallies on Galactica. When it appears that Baltar would win the vote, Tory Foster, President Roslin's aide, approaches Tigh and Dualla to conspire to steal the election for Roslin, foreseeing certain disaster in a Baltar presidency. Tigh, never a fan of Baltar's to begin with, organises the counting of fraudulent ballots in order to keep Baltar out of office. The plot is overturned when Lt. Gaeta reports irregularities to Tigh, who all too obviously tries to sweep the affair under the carpet. Gaeta then informs Admiral Adama, who lets Tigh and Dualla off the hook and the official vote tallies are "revised" without the public learning of the Roslin campaign's attempt to steal the election.

One year later, after the fleet settles on New Caprica on the orders of President Baltar, most of the military staff have all but retired from active service. Col. Tigh is one of the few officers still serving aboard Galactica, but the day eventually comes when Admiral Adama discharges his friend and XO from his duties to let him return to civilian life with his wife. On the surface of New Caprica, the couple run into Kara Thrace at Galen and Cally Tyrol's union rally. The former colonel and captain share an unusually warm embrace, having put their differences behind them at some point in the preceding year. However, their reunion does not last as a large Cylon fleet appears in orbit over the planet and the Cylons occupy New Caprica without firing a shot. Tigh and his wife are last seen watching in utter shock as Cylon Centurions march through the streets of New Caprica City (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").

Occupation and Resistance

Two months into the occupation of New Caprica by the Cylons, Tigh is organizing and recruiting for the resistance on New Caprica along with Galen Tyrol and Jammer. When the Cylons begin to find the weapons hidden by the Resistance, Tigh orders them to be stored in the Temple, believing it to be the safest place as the Cylon respect the sanctity of the Temple and will not search it, disregarding any moral concerns. When the Cylons discover the weapons, Nora is shot and Cally Tyrol and her baby barely escape. This leads several members of the resistance movement to question whether Tigh is going too far. After Tigh plans an attack that could endanger patients at a hospital, Jammer reports him to the Cylon authorities (TRS: "Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance"). The Cylons imprison Tigh and tear his right eye out. Ellen's sexual efforts with Cavil lead to Tigh's eventual release (TRS: "Occupation") though this is later revealed to be a Cylon ruse to blackmail Ellen into collaboration with the Cylons as well as find the location of a high level meeting of the Insurgency.

Escape from New Caprica and Ellen's death

After Ellen is discovered to have betrayed a meeting with Sharon Agathon to the Cylons, fellow Resistance leader Samuel Anders compels Tigh to execute Ellen for her actions. Reluctantly, Tigh kills his wife by giving her a poisoned drink after which he cries over her body.

Tigh handing Ellen her poisoned drink.

Tigh actively participates in the exodus from New Caprica, leading an attack on the shipyard with Galen Tyrol, during which they are aided by Vipers launched from Galactica.

Adama welcomes Tigh back on Galactica (TRS: "Exodus, Part II)".

Following the escape, he initially resumes his post as the executive officer of Galactica, but is unable to conceal his contempt for those who colluded with the Cylons, such as Felix Gaeta. In a face-off with Admiral Adama, in which the senior officer orders Tigh to "sleep it off", it is clear that the events on New Caprica - most notably, his wife's death - are still adversely affecting Tigh. Following that he spends a lot of time in his quarters trying to cope with what happened to him on New Caprica and is temporarily replaced by Karl Agathon.

He eventually becomes the apparent ringleader of the Circle, a group of six people authorized by then-President Tom Zarek, charged with bringing collaborators to justice. Tigh is among the less scrupulous members but nonetheless opposes Charlie Connor's suggestion of summary executions. Thirteen people fall victim to the Circle's mandate, including Jammer (TRS: "Collaborators").

Tigh is reunited with an old comrade, Daniel Novacek and tells him the truth of his last mission. Tigh later stops him when Novacek tries to kill Adama in revenge for being the cause of him spending years as a Cylon captive (TRS: "Hero"). Tigh also referees the boxing fights organized to boost morale (TRS: "Unfinished Business"). He returns to duty during operations to resupply the Fleet's food stores (TRS: "The Passage"). When Dr. Robert, a civilian physician, is implicated in the deaths of Sagittaron refugees, Tigh initially defends his friend, saying that he worked with the resistance on New Caprica. He clashes with Karl Agathon over this, who insists on investigating Robert. However, when it turns out that Robert was killing the Sagittarons out of prejudice, Tigh orders his arrest (TRS: "The Woman King").

When Kara Thrace dies he is visibly heartbroken (TRS: "Maelstrom"), showing that he did truly care about her despite their differences. As the Fleet nears the Ionian nebula and Gaius Baltar's trial begins, Tigh is one of a few people who hear mysterious music on several occasions. When called to testify in court, he shows up drunk. Baltar's lawyer exploits this vulnerability and forces Tigh to publicly admit that he killed his wife on New Caprica (TRS: "Crossroads, Part I").

The Damning Revelation

Tigh in his waking "nightmare" state (TRS: "He That Believeth In Me)".

Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders and Tory Foster begin to hear a song only they can hear over and over again, driving them to distraction. They instinctively come to the realization that they are four of the final five Cylons. They decide to remain loyal to the Colonials (TRS: "Crossroads, Part II").

With a Cylon fleet bearing down on them, Tigh resumes his position as executive officer again. However, almost immediately, this decision is tested by both Tigh's waking nightmares during the onset of the battle—where he believes he will kill his friend and commander, Adama, much the same way Boomer tried to—and the return of Kara Thrace, who may be a Cylon. Even amidst this, he is the de facto leader of the "Final Four" and continues to assure them that they are different than Boomer and the other Cylons. Further, he has them pledge to kill themselves should they feel any inkling of betraying the Fleet (TRS: "He That Believeth In Me").

In an attempt to learn more about what it means to be a Cylon and how they deal with pain, Tigh visits Caprica-Six in the brig and asks her how it feels to have the blood of billions of beings on her hands. Six replies that she is just as human as he is and can't switch off her feelings, but that she has found another way to deal with her pain. During their conversation, Tigh has a hallucination of his dead wife, whose body he sees the place of Six. She tries to help him cope with his feelings and share some of her perceived clarity. In act of tenderness, she removes his eye patch, but Tigh rebukes her advances. Six then punches Tigh and kisses him when he lies on the floor (TRS: "Escape Velocity").

When Natalie offers the Colonials access to the Cylon Resurrection Hub and wants to unbox the Threes in order to learn what she knows about the Final Five, Tigh reacts shocked and fears that he will be uncovered and killed. Instead of cooperation with the Cylon rebels, he urges President Roslin to just destroy the hub (TRS: "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?").

When Doctor Cottle discovers that Caprica-Six is pregnant, Admiral Adama is angry at Tigh for "giving in to his weaknesses" and being disloyal. Tigh initially counters that Adama is risking a lot for woman he cares about as well. When Adama asks what Ellen would say about his actions, Tigh becomes furious and physically attacks Adama. The two exchange blows and Adama eventually shoves Tigh to the floor, who breaks Adama's model ship during the fall. Having vented their frustrations, both calm down. Later, Adama decides to stay back in a Raptor to wait for Roslin's return. He temporarily promotes Tigh to admiral and gives him command of the Fleet. Tigh is reluctant, recalling his previous disastrous experience in command, but takes the position (TRS: "Sine Qua Non").

Tigh's anxiousness about being revealed as a Cylon is magnified when Adama returns with D'Anna Biers. However, instead of exposing him, she forces his hand by holding the Colonials on the Cylon baseship hostage, demanding that the Cylons on Galactica are turned over to them. To prevent Adama from carrying out an extremely risky and bloody rescue plan, Tigh decides to come clean himself. He confesses to William Adama, saying that he should have done so earlier. Adama can't believe his friend, but orders him arrested and brought to a launch tube. There, Tigh also exposes Tyrol and Anders. Tigh is about to be spaced, when Kara Thrace runs into the control room and tells everyone that she has found another clue towards Earth. In an unexpected move, President Lee Adama grants the Cylons a full amnesty. Before the final jump to Earth, Tigh sits in his quarters drinking, unsure what to do (TRS: "Revelations").

Earth and further revelations

Tigh and Caprica-Six accompany the survey team to Earth's surface, where the latter reaches out for and touches the former. Following their amnesty, Tigh, Anders and Tyrol wear fatigues with no rank insignia (TRS: "Revelations, Sometimes a Great Notion"), and none is shown having any authority. Tigh's sidearm has not, however, been confiscated from his wall locker.

Back aboard Galactica, a drunken Admiral Adama storms into Tigh's quarters, armed with a marine's pistol. Grabbing Tigh's pistol from its storage shelf, charging it, and dropping it on the table, Adama orders Tigh, "Sit down, Cylon!" Tigh successfully resists Adama's attemps to encourage Tigh into drinking and to be used for Adama's "assisted suicide". Tigh tries to apologize about his revelation of being a Cylon, but Adama is beyond angry. "Is that how it worked? They program you to be my friend? Emulate all the qualities I respect. Tell me jokes...and I laugh at them." Tigh counters that he wanted, chose to be his friend. Adama throws insult after insult about Ellen Tigh, in an attempt to anger Tigh into picking up either sidearm to shoot his friend. "Do it! Or I'll do it myself!" Adama says, pointing the marine's pistol to his own temple. "I'm sorry, Bill, but this is the one time I can't help you," Tigh tells him (TRS: "Sometimes a Great Notion").

In a reversal of roles, Tigh is the sober one of the two, and gives Adama a much-needed dressing-down. After listening to Adama's story of foxes that would either fight, try to cross the river, or simply give up and float out to sea, Tigh admonishes him not be like foxes choosing to drown. He reminds Adama that he is still the commander and that Tigh is still the XO of the ship; killing himself would not help himself nor their people. Thereafter, Colonel Tigh is restored to his to his rank and position on Galactica (TRS: "Sometimes a Great Notion").

Once again in his service uniform and wearing his rank, Tigh leads the round-up of the survey crews on the Earth surface in preparation for their journey toward a new home. At the water's edge, Downloaded Three informs him of her decision to give up and die alone on Earth. Their talk reminds Tigh of Adama's fox story, and he begins to walk into the sea. When chest-deep, he is compelled to reach down. In doing so, he discovers a mangled post box hatch from his apartment building lobby two millenia earlier. Like Tyrol, he has a vision of Earth's nuclear distruction. He is wearing a civilian business suit. He hears Ellen, finds her trapped under debris he cannot move. He splashes through the water as he remembers himself digging though the rubble to reach Ellen and remembers her prophesy. Ellen tells him, as more bombs go off, flashing bright, "Saul, it's okay. Everything's in place. We'll be reborn...again. Together." The vision fades as Tigh realizes the truth. "Ellen...Ellen! You're the fifth!"

The search for a home continues

Col. Tigh relieves an exhausted Lt. Felix Gaeta from duty and orders him to take an ill-fated week's leave aboard Zephyr to rest and recover. After Gaeta's shuttle raptor is lost in an emergency FTL jump while en-route to Zephyr, Tigh acquiesses to Lt. Louis Hoshi's plea for a raptor and pilot with whom to search for his lover. Gaeta is the only survivor of the seven (five Colonials and two Number Eight Cylons) aboard the raptor, and explains that one of the Eights killed everyone else before being herself killed by Gaeta. After consulting off-camera with the rebel Cylons, Tigh tells him that the incident will not be investigated. Nevertheless, the incident leaves Gaeta apprehensive about their alliance with the rebel Cylons and asks to speak with Admiral Adama because, with all due respect, Tigh is a Cylon. Tigh reluctantly approves his request (TRS: "The Face of the Enemy").

Days into the Fleet's search for a new home, Caprica-Six and Saul Tigh are in sickbay where Dr. Cottle is using a sonagram to show them their unborn child. Tigh can't see the image, when Cottle quips, "Try looking with your eyes...eye." In a moment of amazement while Assistant Layne Ishay points out the elements of the sonagram, an overwhelmed Tigh albeit happy, asks for a drink. Cottle offers a cigarette instead to Tigh as he lights one for himself, to Ishay's dismay.

In Admiral Adama's quarters, Lee Adama, Saul Tigh, Galen Tyrol, Felix Gaeta and Karl Agathon meet to discuss the implementation of Cylon FTL upgrades to the civilian ships. Tyrol argues that the Cylons become valid citizens of the Fleet, with their own representative on the Quorum and Adama's oath of protection if they are to get the Cylon technology. Tigh comments after Tyrol fubbles with his proper pronouns for the situation that he might need a chart to help him keep it right.

Mutiny, Return of Ellen and the End of the Journey

Felix Gaeta leads a mutiny alongside a coup lead by Tom Zarek in order to gain control of the Fleet. Adama and Tigh are captured, but manage to escape and meet up with Lee and Kara. They make their way to a forgotten airlock where Baltar and Roslin escape in a Cylon Raptor to the Rebel Basestar while Adama stays behind to try to retake Galactica. Tigh insists on staying with him despite being a likely target due to being a Cylon and Adama tells him that "its been an honor to serve with you my friend." (TRS: "The Oath") The two are knocked out by a stun grenade and captured by marines led by Captain Aaron Kelly who Tigh insults. He's taken to the brig where Caprica Six, Helo, Athena and Anders already are, but they are rescued by Kara and Lee. However, Anders is seriously hurt and Kara stays behind to get him to Doctor Cottle. The freed prisoners find Kelly who defects and shows them where Admiral Adama is about to be executed and they arrive just in time to save his life. Tigh holds a gun on Narcho who's in charge of the firing squad and forces him not to tell Gaeta the truth. After Narcho refuses to help retake the ship, Tigh goes to shoot him, but is stopped by Adama who has him tied up instead. Tigh is part of Adama's march to retake CIC and helps recapture it without firing a shot, ending the mutiny. (TRS: "Blood on the Scales")

Tigh later learns some of his history from Anders who has regained his Cylon memories after being shot in the head during the mutiny. (TRS: "No Exit") He is also shocked when a missing Raptor shows up carrying Boomer and his wife Ellen who had downloaded into a new body on a Resurrection Ship after he had killed her and had been a prisoner of Cavil until Boomer helped her escape. The Rebel Cylons are excited to have all of the Final Five with them and want to leave the Fleet and leave it up to a majority vote of the Five. Tigh, remembering that Anders told him to stay with the Fleet, votes to stay and given what Anders said, they take it as a vote to stay as well, Tyrol and Tory vote to go, but Ellen is shocked and undecided after learning that he got Caprica Six pregnant. He later asks for a private meeting with Ellen, but she summons Tyrol, Tory and Caprica Six to tell them that they're going to leave the Fleet, doing it just to spite him as she knows how much he loves the Fleet. Tigh refuses to go saying that they can go without him and if Caprica Six really wants to go, she can go too, but he is not going. Ellen uses this to say he loves the Fleet and Bill Adama more than he loves either of them, but Caprica Six suddenly goes into distress and starts to miscarry the baby. A horrified Ellen apologizes saying she only wanted to hurt him, not Caprica Six or the baby. She tells them that they can stay and should and that she'll move to the Rebel Basestar and leave him alone. He at first pushes her away, but eventually allows her to comfort him. She tries to get him to tell Caprica Six how much he loves her, but he can't seem to do it. Caprica Six miscarries and their baby dies in the womb. Later Tigh goes to Admiral Adama and cries about his lost son (TRS: "Deadlock"). The death of their baby is also apparently the end of the relationship between Tigh and Caprica Six.

Tigh is with Ellen, Tyrol and Tory in Joe's Bar when Kara starts playing the music, surprising them all. (TRS: "Someone to Watch Over Me") Afterwards he's shocked when Admiral Adama decides to order Galactica's repairs to stop and the ship to be scrapped for parts. The two share a toast to the ship (TRS: "Islanded in a Stream of Stars").

When Adama calls for volunteers for a rescue mission for Hera Agathon, Tigh volunteers immediately alongside Ellen. (TRS: "Daybreak, Part I") During the Battle of The Colony, Tigh coordinates the battle with Admiral Adama in CIC. When a fire breaks out near Anders, he goes up with Tyrol to put it out and stays on the balcony afterwards. During the attempt to get Cavil to stop all of this and release Hera who he has taken hostage in CIC, Tigh offers him resurrection if he agrees to let Hera go and stop chasing humanity. After he agrees the Five combine together to send the plans for resurrection to The Colony and Tigh calms a nervous Tory by saying they forgive her sins when she gets worried about everyone seeing everyone else's memories. Tigh is shocked to discover that Tory murdered Cally and can only watch as Tyrol kills Tory in revenge. After Galactica jumps away, Tigh resumes his duties as XO and reports that Galactica suffered critical structural failures and "broke her back" and can't jump anymore. After landing on their new home planet that they name Earth, Tigh and Ellen say goodbye to Tyrol who plans to go off and live as a hermit and Tigh forgives him for killing Tory, saying he'd have done the same thing if someone had done that to Ellen. Tigh and Ellen rekindle their relationship and go off to spend the rest of their lives together (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II").

Attitudes toward humans

Col. Tigh is unabashedly pro-human and has stayed fiercely loyal to William Adama and the Fleet despite almost being killed by his son Lee Adama in a rage over his - from Lee's point of view - lifelong deception of his father and the Fleet. He has faced such deadly hostility, but has persevered perhaps in part, if not in whole, because he shares such prejudice himself. This is including serving in the Resistance on New Caprica and having no compunction in blowing up Cylons and alleged collaborators alike. He was often the first to call for the execution of any Cylons found among them. He even killed his own wife Ellen Tigh for betraying the Resistance essentially under Samuel Anders' orders.

When he finds out he is a "skinjob" he is, of course, stunned. He has a waken nightmare of himself repeating the act of Sharon Valerii shooting Admiral Adama under programming. He pledges with the other three Final Five Cylons aboard Galactica to remain loyal and at their post, but if any of them including himself showed signs of working against the interest of the Fleet via hidden program, they should be killed or turned in. Since his discovery his loyalty has not wavered. Indeed he was disappointed in Tory Foster's defection to the Cylons and Galen Tyrol's wavering of who he should belong to. Sam Anders has a similar attitude as Tigh for being loyal to humanity but not as strong - or at least not stated as strongly.

Tigh has fully accepted his Cylon nature to the point he cohabitates with Caprica-Six who is carrying the couple's child. During the mutiny he is willing to die by the side of his best friend and commanding officer William Adama despite Adama's drunken attempts to bait Tigh into killing him only days earlier. He has said that mankind has a lot to answer for regarding the treatment of the Cylons before the Second Cylon War began, but he actually argues to Tyrol and particularly Tory Foster that it is by no means entirely the fault of humankind for their own destruction:

NO! Maybe we share the guilt with the humans but we don't get to just shove it off onto them.

Like Tyrol and Foster, he has no independent recollection of his life before Cavil killed him and implanted false memories, but he was, as related by Samuel Anders, one of the Five to stop the First Cylon War the Colonial Centurion Cylons were raging some 40 years before so his attitude may moderate, but probably won't change his pro-human outlook.


  • Tigh is supposedly a third-generation Colonial soldier. His father was a decorated fighter pilot killed in combat and his grandfather served under President Mueller. Also, Tigh was a published military historian until personal problems became apparent (Miniseries, deleted scene). However, given Tigh's recently-revealed Cylon nature, his family history may be a fabrication. Tigh's interest in military history has not been mentioned on screen after the Miniseries, although he mentions various Cylon tactics in use from the Cylon War that came to save Galactica after being boarded by Centurions (Valley of Darkness).
  • A different serial number is given in "He That Believeth In Me" on Starbuck's gun-camera shots of Earth's moon: 245A-34DC.
  • Tigh's first name has been given as "Paul" on a number of websites. This is initially based on an early version of the script (PDF file), which has Adama speaking to "Paul" in their discussion of his fight with Kara Thrace. In the podcast commentary on the episode "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down", Ronald D. Moore has indicated that the character's name initially was Paul Tigh. The name had to be changed due to legal issues that Moore was unable to recall in that podcast.
  • Tigh is based on the character of Paul Eddington in the movie In Harm's Way portrayed by Kirk Douglas (with John Wayne).
  • Tigh's (albeit false) age is one of the only ones which can be accurately deduced. According to a deleted scene from "Valley of Darkness", he served on the Brenik when it was boarded during the second year of the Cylon War. Tigh says that he was "just a kid. Virgin. Teenager." It is known that Colonial Day is the anniversary of both the unification of the Colonies, and (roughly) the outbreak of the Cylon War[9], and was 52 years ago (Colonial Day). Thus, Tigh is between 63 and 69 years old at the beginning of Season 2.
  • In the DVD commentary of "Act of Contrition", Ron Moore notes that actor Michael Hogan won the role of Tigh over Donnelly Rhodes, who was one of two other actors vying for the part. Rhodes went on to play the role of Dr. Cottle, Galactica's CMO.
  • According to Battlestar Galactica: The Official Magazine, Tigh's home colony is Aerilon. However, in "Dirty Hands", Cally claims that virtually no officers in the Colonial Fleet are from poorer colonies. While this could be an exaggeration, her husband brings up Dualla as counter-example, but not Tigh.
  • Tigh's Cylon identity may be alluded to as early as "Occupation": not only does he have only one eye at this point, but the Cylon "scanning eye" sound effect can be faintly heard as he looks toward the open door of his cell when Cavil enters to tell him that he has been released.
  • In several interviews included on the Season 4.0 DVD, actor Michael Hogan cites fan polls that indicated Tigh was considered one of the least likely characters to be a Cylon. This would also seem to extend to the production crew, as a highlight of the 2006 Gag Reel shown at the San Diego Comic Con was a comedic segment suggesting that Tigh was the "13th Cylon".
  • Despite being a Cylon and unlike the other members of the Final Five, Tigh doesn't really display Cylon abilities. This is likely from him not embracing his Cylon side like the others do to various extents: Tory shows Cylon strength and joins the Cylons on the baseship as well as connecting to the datastream in the final episode, Tyrol shows Cylon resilance, strength, the ability to tell Cylons apart, projection and is able to connect to the datastream, Anders is physicaly connected to the datastream and acts as a Hybrid as well as displaying a Cylon IFF signal when scanned by a Raider, while Ellen resurrects and acts like a Cylon in her new body, but the only time Tigh displays his Cylon abilities is when he connects to the datastream to transmit the Resurrection data.


  1. Tigh was supposedly born in 69 BCH, ("Valley of Darkness" deleted scene), and Season 3 takes place in 2 AHC.
  2. Serial number from his dogtags and confirmed by the studios for the QMX replica.
  3. serial number as seen in "He That Believeth In Me"; also see notes section.
  4. "Cylon Intelligence Report: Personnel File: Saul Tigh." Battlestar Galactica: The Official Magazine. Feb./Mar. 2006: 62. - He has recently been revealed as a Cylon presumably making this point moot.
  5. Ibid. "Saul Tigh entered the fleet as a deckhand, but rose through the ranks, and was a CPO (Chief Petty Officer) by the time the First Cylon War broke out."
  6. Template:Cite rdm podcast
  7. Ibid. "Tigh joined the Colonial officer candidate school, and was reassigned as a Viper pilot, something he excelled in, earning a string of medals in his post aboard the battlestar Athena."
  8. Ibid. "Adama reenlisted with the service, and Tigh spent two years drinking before Adama pulled strings to get him back into service. Tigh was straightening his life out when he met his wife Ellen, whom he courted and married within two months, about 7 years before the Miniseries. Unfortunately, Ellen did not take well to military life, and her repeated infidelities drove Tigh back into the bottle. The two separated shortly before the Cylon attack.
  9. RDM, April 11, 2005

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Characters in the Re-imagined Series

Main: William Adama | Laura Roslin | Kara "Starbuck" Thrace | Lee "Apollo" Adama
Gaius Baltar | Number Six | Number Eight

Supporting: Saul Tigh | Galen Tyrol | Karl "Helo" Agathon | Felix Gaeta | Anastasia Dualla | Cally Tyrol
Samuel Anders | Tory Foster | Ellen Tigh | Billy Keikeya

Recurring: Hera Agathon | Jean Barolay | Helena Cain | Brendan "Hot Dog" Costanza | Sherman Cottle
Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson | Elosha | Anthony Figurski | Jack Fisk | Louis Hoshi | Louanne "Kat" Katraine
Aaron Kelly | Romo Lampkin | James "Jammer" Lyman | Hamish "Skulls" McCall | Number One | Number Two
Number Three | Number Four | Number Five | Alex "Crashdown" Quartararo | Paulla Schaffer | Diana Seelix | Tom Zarek

List of Deceased Characters Template:Navigation box end