Guess Who?

Ever notice that the Cylon can recognize each other before they have said anything to one another? This strikes me as a bit odd. I know there are arguments that would say it’s simply written that way for ease of storytelling, but you have to admit it is a bit odd.

On more than one occasion the skin models have recognized each other on sight and known exactly who they were talking to. When Athena was surprised in the Cylon records room during “Exodus Part II,” Six knew exactly who she was before she even spoke. Back on Caprica, Caprica Six was recognized by all the other models wherever she went. How does that work?

Perhaps they are like penguins, who can I.D. and hone in on their mate in a sea of other penguins and no one has yet figured how. Heck, we can’t even tell the difference between twins in most cases; imagine if we had a couple thousand siblings that looked just like us. The Cylon obviously have some mechanism that works for them; I would just love to know what that could be since they look like they all get their bodies from the same place.Onemight suspect that they are all built to the same spec.

I suppose it could also be software related. Something resembling a cool ID3 or HTML tag that says this is me and this is who I am. I guess what it comes down to is, what really makes you an individual?

32 Responses to "Guess Who?"
  1. Pike says:

    I had always thought that they picked up on nuances of behavior. Expressions, body language, etc. Sort of how you can sometimes tell your friends at a distance by the way they walk.

    It does remind me of a study recently that found that different ethnic groups focus on different areas of the face when identifying others. I believe the reason for this was that the most variable features within different groups were different. Similarly, since the Cylon/s/z don’t have much physical variation, they may just pick up on other cues.

    That ability may be what the Centurions were not programmed with, and are thus unable to distinguish between Sharons, e.g. (although since they could tell skinjobs from each other and themselves, I don’t see how that prevents a robot revolution.)

  2. Leon Kensington says:

    They just have the green triangle above there head that also states there names like in Halo.


    Caprica 6- Sixyouup69
    Leoben- stlkngstrbks
    Simon- Nvrsen
    Baltar’s Centurion- btilshtr (bltrisht with eye swing) [Baltar is hot, not something else]

    So, I think that about covers it, anyone else got some.

  3. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Cavil- Swrlntwst
    D’Anna- Bltrsmyn
    Sharon- H8nbn8

  4. Arktis says:

    I thought that Athena was recognized because who else would be dig around in vital areas and then suddenly look extremely guilty and startled?

    As for Caprica Six, she probably had a predictable routine and was being watched pretty closely, given the circumstances of that episode.

    But the question of how they tell each other apart IS valid. I could totally delve into this given that we know they can transmit brain patterns on death, so there is some kinda mental transmission available and would have to carry some type of specific identifier to work properly when you think about it, but what we do not know is how this does or does not come into play on a day to day basis. They still have to touch their computer terminals to interface with them. They also actually take the time to verbally communicate. So they aren’t totally wireless.

    I think it’s just one of those things that makes more sense from the practical standpoint of creating compelling drama, and we probably should just let it go.

  5. Pike says:

    Good one, Leon. Hmmm…

    Centurions–ualllookalike001, 002, etc.

    Can’t improve on the others.

    Majordojo, most of us don’t actually listen to the RDM ‘cast as we’re watching the show. As long as you’ve seen it recently, it’s quite easy to follow along.

  6. Tanu says:

    I suppose you could listen to it if you watch the rerun…or if you record it, then you know you rewatch it anyway. I don’t listen to that podcast either but dont’ really have a good excuse. I suppose its really out of laziness, lol.

  7. Leon Kensington says:

    I just wonder…If the humans had these what would they be:

    Anders- 2hot4kara
    Billy- rnmrehtsme
    Roslin- spaceem’
    Gaida- lil’baltar

  8. Martha says:

    Gaius, of course, would be: SixDrugsRoknRol

  9. Pike says:


    I should mention that you can read transcripts of most of the podcasts at In fact, if you’re comfortable editing typos on a mediawiki (like wikipedia) you can also help out by verifying (proofreading, essentially) some of the podcast transcripts. See their podcast project page at:

  10. Andrew Block says:

    Maby its part of their sight like projecting

  11. Leon Kensington says:

    Or just friendly tags on a videogame.

    I’m telling you it is from Halo. Microsoft will bring the Cylons to us!!!!!

  12. Lt. Slingshot says:

    I’m going with the Cylon bio-equivalent of RF ID tags. 😛 It is interesting that in a society that doesn’t seem to value the individual they have a mechanism to differentiate each other.

  13. Pike says:

    Leon, actuallly, the Caprica spinoff is described as having one “Microsoft-like” family that introduces the Cylon/s/z, while the Adamas fight against it. Pity that Bungie apparently contributes some code.

    BTW, one of the interesting things of this site is the way threads have a life of their own. Oddly, it seems to be Sean’s that are most prone to wandering away.

  14. Ken says:

    I agree with Andrew that it is tied up with projection. That is “the key to Cylon psychology” after all. I don’t have a good way to explain how projection helps at all, but it seems like they use it find their way around otherwise identical passages on the basestar so they should be able to use it to tell otherwise identical Cylons apart.

  15. Tanu says:

    I’m going a little off topic here but have you guys been to the scifi website today? David Eick put up a new video blog and they talk about the finale and being on location.

    Anders’ fans should rush over to the site right now!

  16. The 13th Cylon says:

    I think it’s safe to say it’s due to their mechanical side of life.

    Speaking of which- actually this is totally random- but does anyone else thing it would be nifty to have one of those Centurion cardboard cutouts that they use as CGI placeholders? I’d love to have one of those. Rig it up so that it’s eye moves… oh yeah! There is big money to be made off BSG and yet so few products. :tear:

  17. Sean O'Hara says:

    Pike: I never mind the wandering, I wander myself. 😉

    13th: I would SO dig a cardboard bullethead…but your right the eye would have to move.

  18. Pike says:


    That is all.

  19. The 13th Cylon says:

    Oh, I’ve got a good one:

    Tigh: 1IedXO

  20. Leon Kensington says:

    Oh, I got one…no two!

    Apollo: jmprpesknny
    Bulldog: cylnpwn

  21. Courtney Shay says:

    One thing I didn’t see brought up was how the humans tricked the raiders for their mission that one time by putting that machine in their ship that sent out a signal making the other cylons think they were one of them. Maybe, since the cylons are essentially machines themselves, they emit that signal?

  22. Sean O'Hara says:

    Ok, I gotta give Props to “Dualla-2sxy4blly” from Pike and “Tigh: 1IedXO” from 13th. Also, super mad props to Leon for coming up with the idea. Our readership Frakkin rules!

  23. Leon Kensington says:

    Ya, how ’bout have some on the show HINT HINT.

  24. Pike says:

    Leon, it’s going to be hard to make some of these work for radio. (Er, podio?)

  25. Pike says:

    Double posting, but what the frak. I’ve got nothing to do for the next thrityfive minutes….

    I was reviewing some of the contribs (and, yeah, props to Leon) and reread the ‘cardboard Cylon’ comment. For some reason this time I remembered that the crew uses cardboard Cylon/s/z to give the actors something to look at when Centurions are going to be in the scene. I was suprised when I saw one: they are very detailed. Probably run off on a large format inkjet and glued to some backing material. Point is, *somebody* has a file somewhere with that image. It would be a simple thing to mass produce them. Add some LEDs in the eye slot, and watch the dollars (and pounds and yen) roll in.

  26. Sean O'Hara says:

    Hear hear sir. Thats an excellent observation. Heck I was in spencer’s the other day and saw a 6′ Spock cardboard cut out. If they can do spock and expect to sell it surely SOMEBODY can figure out kewl human killing machines would make a fine edtion to someone’s christmas pile.

  27. Andrew Block says:

    NEW CYLON TECHNOLOGY now toasteres reconise others by song
    Starbuck-Ballbreaker AC/DC or lets See some action The Who
    Tigh-The beer song
    Adama-Dear sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
    Dee-Wont Get fooled again-the Who
    Baltar-As Ugly as I seem-White Stripes
    Lee- Grape Fruit Diet- Weird Al

  28. john patrick says:

    hey, remember how Baltar recognized the baby Hera back on the NC? same process. Baltar is a cylon.

    And so am I!

  29. BoxytheBoxed says:

    i think porno bots from myspace attacked

  30. Pike says:

    #1 What is this? Zen Spam?

    #2 Why is it always this post that gets it?

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