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True, the original Centurion might look intimidating with its chrome armor and red eye, and Number Five, as this model is called, doesn't seem too fearsome. In the Original Series, the Cylons were a near-extinct reptilian race that created robotic soldiers to fight the humans for a thousand years. In the Re-imagined Series, the Cylon robots were created by man for war and labor. The Cylons later rebelled, with a bloody war with the humans that lasted for years. Disappearing after an armistice, the Cylons reappear 40 years later and launch a devastating sneak attack. In both series, the remains of humanity are on the run.
It was easy for the Original Series characters to know the good guys and how to identify (and shoot) the bad guys. However, the Re-imagined Series, with their humanoid Cylons that live covertly within the Fleet, makes knowing friend from foe much more difficult. There are many suspects as to who is and is not a Cylon agent.
The new Cylons repeatedly blur the line between man and machine, Cylon and human. Their Cylon Spacecraft are living beings in their own right, with basestars controlled by strange beings known as hybrids. Furthermore, there is one example of human-cylon interbreeding, resulting in the half-blood Hera.