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'Battlestar Galactica' Creator And Final Cylon Talk About Revelation

On Friday, 'Battlestar Galactica' fans finally received an answer to a question that had been at the forefront for quite some time now: 'Who is the final Cylon?'.

In the first episode back from the show's mid-season break, the identity of the Final Cylon was revealed to be none other than the 'dead' wife of Colonel Saul Tigh, Ellen.

Asked about the choice, creator and executive producer Ronald D. Moore, tells the Chicago Tribune that the choice wasn't a difficult one: "There’s a certain logic to it. I sort of figured out early on that I liked the pairing of her and Tigh."

"I liked that there was something deeper to their marriage and deeper to their relationship, that it was literally a relationship that had transcended time and space, that it was very ancient that had gone on for a very long time. It was something that was mentioned in the pilot for 'Galactica'."

"There was something really appealing about the idea that of the final five, the two of them were a pair, and they were THIS pair -- you know, as drama-ridden as their relationship had been, the idea that there had always been something deeper and more profound at its center, I always really, really liked."

"Over the course of the third season, Ellen came and went in my thinking in terms of who the final five were. It probably wasn't until we settled on the final four that I knew it was Ellen. When we got to the final four -- Tigh, Anders, Tory and Tyrol -- then it felt like, 'and Ellen has to be the fifth'. Because Tigh being revealed as a Cylon was such a profound shift in that character, such a big leap for the show, that it felt really natural that she was also a Cylon."

"And he had killed her for collaborating with the Cylons! There were layers and depths to that I felt were really fascinating, about guilt and blame and memory and responsibility, and I just really liked the way that all tied together."

Moore explains they decided to reveal the final Cylon the first episode back because he didn't want it to go unanswered for much longer: "We wanted to shock and we wanted to change the game plan. I knew that I didn't want to reveal the final Cylon at the end. I just felt like that was too much on the end of the show and I didn't want to have to answer this question then."

"And I didn’t want the show to devolve into, 'Who’s the fifth Cylon?' That would be the over-arching question and nothing else matters. So I wanted to get that settled kind of early. Then it felt like, let’s settle it early, then let’s play out those stories. Let’s bring Ellen back, let’s do some stuff with her, let’s figure out where we can go from here."

"There was something just poetic and nice about Tigh as he walks out in the ocean, and you wonder if he’s going to kill himself like the fox in the story that Adama tells. And then in that moment, he realizes that it’s Ellen and that’s the button to the whole episode then you cut to black. I thought, that’s just a great ending. There was something great dramatically about doing it that way. And then not dealing with it for a while."

As for whether we'll see the character anytime soon: "I don’t want to give too much away, but it won’t be the last time that you see Ellen."

So how long has Kate Vernon, who plays Ellen Tigh, known she would have a key part to play in the show's final season? "It's been two years that I've been sitting on this secret," Vernon tells the LA Times. "Forgive me if I'm a little awkward talking about it, and after that long it's kind of hard to just start talking."

"People have been asking me and accusing me for months and months, but I played it off pretty good. I wasn't done with the character," Vernon says of when her character was poisoned to death in Season 3. "They killed me off. I was devastated. Why me? What did I do wrong?"

She was sad to be leaving the show but then a call from Moore changed all that as he informed her she would in fact return as a centerpiece presence in its final season. And now that she's shot the episodes, Vernon says they are "just absolutely brilliant. I can't tell you how good they are."

"This is one for the ages, the best experience of my life," says Vernon. "The writers fell in love with Ellen. The bad girls are the best. Wait until you see what Ellen gets into next. I just have to be sure I don't say the wrong thing about the nine episodes that are left. But I'm pretty good at keeping secrets."

January 19, 2009 |

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