Cylons really have evolved. For those not familiar, Cylons are cybernetic beings bent on mankind’s extermination in both the 1978 television space opera BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the current successful RONALD D. MOORE reboot. Today’s mostly more humanoid Cylon is verging on sympathetic; sure, they kill infants in their carriages, but there is a method to their madness all the same. Retro Cylons had one track minds and no room for introspection. Both make fascinating foes but only the earlier model can claim the title OFFICIAL TRAUMATIZER. Children’s love/hate response to the original series’ bad guys was instantaneous. What kid could resist something so damn shiny? Cylons had really cool robot voices (“By your command…”) drove ships that looked like manta rays and had awesome clear plastic bayonets to stab you with. You almost wanted to join them on their mission to rub out the less flashy (earth tones were “in” back then) Colonials. Cylons owed much of their hypnotic power to a digital red cyclops eye that bounced around like a Pong game under their metallic Trojan warrior inspired helmets. Admittedly, sometimes you did catch their pants falling down or walking into a wall or two, but that’s alright, they looked great on bubble gum cards. They may seem hackneyed and quaint by today’s standards but be honest with yourself, who would be scarier to bump into in a dark ally, the va va voom TRICIA HELFER or these guys….
THE IMPERIOUS LEADER was a fabricated facsimile of the original Serpentine Cylon race that died out(a fact that is news to me and proves I’m not as nerdy as one would think). He’s usually shown only from the back or in long shots because creator GLEN A.LARSON thought his face looked like crap.
CYLON CENTURIONS were programmed to traumatize. The silver ones wanted to kill you and the gold ones (CYLON COMMANDERS) super wanted to kill you. There was one nice Cylon centurion named “Cy”(GALACTICA 1980’s ep: “The Return of Starbuck“) but he died (weep!).
LUCIFER was an I-L series cylon who couldn’t fight but hung out in the background making snarky comments. (Naturally he is my personal favorite.) He was voiced by JONATHAN HARRIS (Dr.Smith of LOST IN SPACE) and was nearly as gay as C3-PO. He had a horrible jealous streak and really hated a fellow I-L series guy named SPECTER. Check out those cool blinky lights in his brain!
The classic Cylon model may have been hibernating for decades but, as THIS COMMERCIAL warns, payback time is imminent. With several RECENT CAMEOS on the new series under their belts and a promised prequel-y spin off on the horizon, these OFFICIAL TRAUMATIZERS‘ finest hour may be yet to come! SO SAY WE ALL!