The Head.Six Theory

UPDATED 11 July 2008 19:19

Battlestar Galactica is a TV show and therefore isn’t subject to rigorous scientific analysis. It is full of clues that have multiple meanings which allows the writers more freedom to change the direction without creating inconsistancies in the storyline. Trying to work out what is going on is like trying to escape from a maze that is being continually built, with paths that were previously left intentionally open being blocked off as the story progresses.

What does it mean to be ‘cylon’?

David Eick- I think the audience has to start by asking the question, “What really defines a Cylon?” That’s part of what Season 4 is really going to be dedicated to. And the tip of that iceberg will be introduced in the season finale. (source: TV Guide)

There is no official definition of the term cylon for the reimagined BSG. Cylon is layered with meaning, it includes both cybernetic organism and immortal being. Looking at the show like this opens up a whole new way of solving it’s mysteries.

What is the nature of the Final Five?

RDM – 3/26/2007 …The conceptual framework in which these guys are Cylons, it all sort of works once we laid down their individual back stories… [They are all full Cylons] but they are different fundamentally. (Source)

The Final Five are cylons within the conceptual framework of immortality. Outside of that framework they are not cylons. The skinjobs and raiders are also immortal since they have the ability to resurrect. It sort of works.

The Final Five have two components which for the purposes of this article we will separate into the human character (FFh) and the Opera House figures. The Opera House figures communicate with the FFh from the place between life and death (TPBLAD) by appearing as a head character. They are two different entities! This connection was made when the fleet reached the Ionian Nebula. This is indicated by the scenes at the end of Crossroads Pt II, Tory is physically sick, Anders gets a headache and all four suffer from confusion. They then feel compelled to go to the gym so that their FFg components can get together, assess the situation and ensure that the connection has been established.

The Opera House figures communicate by appearing as a head character. So the head character is an expression of the Opera House figure and in Baltar’s mind it appears as Head.Six, in Tigh’s mind it appears as Head.Ellen. Head.Ellen appears to Tigh “superimposed” over Caprica.Six – this is exactly the same phenomenon that happened to Baltar when the raptor crashed on Kobol (Kobols Last Gleaming) and Head.Six appeared “superimposed” over Crashdown as he was helping Baltar out of the burning raptor.

Head characters appear to their host in the image of someone that the host is familiar with in order to make the host more conducive to influence. This is either intentional or simply that it is the FFh subconscious that forms the appearance of the head character.

The Opera House is what allows the connection between Opera House figures and FFh. So the “truth of the Opera House” is that it’s a communication device between the LOK in the space between life and death and their mortal companions.

Caprica.Six could sense the Final Five in the fleet after the connection was established. Only four heard the watchtower tune because Baltar was already connected through Head.Six. In Revelations, D’Anna only asked for four of the Final Five because Baltar was already on the baseship.

RDM didn’t need to decide who the four were going to be until late in season 3, the FFh could be anyone he thinks most appropriate at the time…

Tigh was one of the first names tossed out. Tyrol, Anders, and Tory. And they all had reasons why their backstories worked for the Cylons and for what the final four Cylons would be in particular. Tyrol had a connection to Sharon, obviously, had fallen in love with a Cylon. He was drawn towards the Temple on the algae planet. Anders had survived two resistance movements, very mysteriously. He had also fallen for Starbuck who has a specific destiny, the Cylons keep saying. Tory we knew the least about, so she was a bit of a wildcard. Tigh was the most problematic, and Tigh I went back and forth on all the way up to the point where we were shooting the episode and wanted to make sure that we knew what we were doing, and we weren’t blowing something. (Source Crossroads Pt II podcast)

Last Supper Picture

The Missing Figure. Someone is indeed absent from the table admits Moore: We have not yet revealed the final [unknown] Cylon. Does that mean the people already at the table aren’t the final Cylon? Moore laughs, you ferreted that our pretty slyly. I didn’t really want to give that away. (Source)

This is classic misdirection. You provide a clue that is quite obvious (space for the missing character), then you act disappointed with yourself when someone points it out and at the same time make them think they were clever to notice. “you ferreted that our pretty slyly” I mean come on Ron, you leave a big gaping space in the picture then you congratulate me for noticing it! I didn’t really want to give that away – then why say this unless he is wanting you to think he is giving it away!

MR: Just so I understand what I think you told EW for the story that went with the photo, none of the people in that photo is the final Cylon, right?
RDM: Yeah. I said that. I probably shouldn’t have said that [laughs] but I have said that. So, yeah [that is the case, the final Cylon is not any of the people in the photo.

None of the PEOPLE in the Last Supper picture are the final cylon – Head.Six is not a person, she is an expression of one of the Opera House figures, projected through the Opera House and into the mind of a mortal LOK. He was quite cagey the way he approached this and then later regretted saying it. Now if you put Tory in the picture who is also missing, then you have all six reincarnated mortal LOK there (FFh + Starbuck).

Natalie is also pointing straight at Head.Six – as if its a joke that the producers are playing on us where they can say they have been making it obvious that Head.Six is the final cylon!

The New Generation – “transformation is the goal”

The Opera House figures are instrumental in instigating “gods new generation”. Hera is tied to the head character that Baltar sees, with Baltar being her guardian and protector. Tigh’s head character tricks him into thinking Caprica.Six is Ellen because he loves Ellen and love is a requirement for the S7 to be able to successfully procreate.

Nicky = Tyrol + Cally, both human so Nicky has no importance in the storyline (here)
Hera = Helo + Sharon, human + S7, first of the new generation
Six’s child = Tigh + Six, human + S7, second of the new generation

Hera is either a reincarnated form of one of the Opera House figures or more likely a new LOK. She is born with number six as a cue, leading her to seek out Caprica.Six (and Baltar, her guardian and protector). Remember the S7 are parents of the new generation and were created by the Opera House figures.

(See Hera and the Beacon clue for a complete explanation of Gods new generation)

Hybrid speech

“And the fifth, still in shadow, will claw toward the light, hungering for redemption that will only come in the howl of terrible suffering.”

The hybrid is talking about two entities, not just one. The Opera House figure that appears as Head.Six is in shadow. It’s host, Baltar is hungering for redemption over his guilt in the involvement with destruction of the 12 colonies.

The Lords of Kobol

Pythia talks about the flood, wiped out most of humanity, nobody blames the flood. The flood is a force of nature, through the flood mankind is rejuvenated, born again, I was not the flood you see, I blame myself, I blame myself, that God made the man that made that choice. God made us all perfect. – Baltar, The Hub

The Lords of Kobol are the mythical flood, they work behind the scenes and manipulate mankind, guiding them periodically through a cycle of destruction and rebirth. All of this has happened before and will happen again…

The original programmers

The Opera House figures and by proxy the head characters are the original programmers. Once the dumb chrome toaster cylons became self aware, they were able to be inhabited by head characters who then guided them toward creating the S7. This is where they got their resurrection technology from and its also why the Razor hybrid and guardians made a quick escape from the scene before they were ‘enslaved’.

The hybrid, looking into the space between life and death could have also acted as a gateway that allowed the head characters to infiltrate cylon civilisation.Perhaps they then instructed him to build a Opera House on the homeworld so that they could appear to the cylons as the five lost cylon models.

The S7 were created as a new race in their own right but it was discovered that they couldn’t build a model that could procreate. This is why they need the humans to fulfill one of Gods most important commandments.

Since the S7 were created by the Opera House figures, they can be inhabited by head characters at any time (Caprix.Six’s Head.Baltar).

The Thirteeth Tribe

Adama – “And zeus warned the leaders of the 12 tribes that any return to kobol would exact a price in blood.”

Why did Zeus, one of the Lords of Kobol warn only 12 tribes not to return to Kobol when it is stated numerous times that 13 tribes left? Because Zeus is a member of the 13th tribe so he didn’t need to warn himself. The Lords of Kobol, the Opera House figures, the head characters, the Flood and the leaders of the 13th tribe are all the same thing!

God

“Five pillars of the Temple were fashioned after the five priests devoted to the o­ne whose name [cannot be spoken]

The five priests being the members of the 13th tribe that 4000 years ago were the equivalent of the current Final Five. So the “one whose name cannot be spoken” and Head.Six’s “one true God” are one and the same. His name cannot be spoken because he has no name! In this sense, God isn’t a person, a character or an entity that will make an appearance in the show – its more of an idea just like it is in all religions. The Lords of Kobol, whatever they really are still believe in a God, they still question their own existance, their God is the same God as in any monotheistic religion.

D’Anna recognizing the Final Five

D’Anna only recognized Baltar in the Temple. She didn’t recognize the other four, she just used a mind trick to get Tory to give herself up. Tory then told her who the other three were, which is how D’Anna knew their identities while they were in the launch tube.

(See What did D’Anna really see in the Temple of Five for a more detailed description)

Incidently, its interesting that Head.Six tells Baltar he is the one that is supposed to look through the Eye of Jupiter and see the faces of the Final Five. So it seems that Baltar was destined to discover the truth behind what he really is – a reincarnated mortal form of LOK.

Summary

The FF and the S7 are both cylons “within the conceptual framework” of immortality – as RDM himself says “it sort of works”. The Opera House figures are immortal, the cylons have resurrection technology and therefore they both are, in a roundabout way cylons. The Opera House figures also created the S7 and the S7 incorrectly assume that these are the lost five models so they call them cylons.

The Opera House figures communicate with both human and S7 by appearing as head characters in order to influence them. The manifestation of one of these figures appears in the Last Supper picture as Head.Six. Head.Six is an appearance of the final cylon within Baltar’s mind – she is not a person.

The Final Five humans (+Starbuck) are reincarnated mortal forms of LOK. The Opera House figures are the “real” Final Five, the ones the cylons talk about, the skinjobs “creators”. These Opera House figures + Maelstrom.Leoben are the other 6 LOK, they reside in TPBLAD and communicate with their mortal companions via the Opera House – except for Maelstrom.Leoben who stands on the shore of the stream, a metaphor for the space between life and death and from here he can reach out and contact Kara when she is on the verge of death.

Final Five, Final Cylon and Head Characters

Actors reaction to the identity of the final cylon

Sackhoff: You know, at first I was a little disappointed. I was like, “Really? That’s what you’re gonna do? Okay…” But then the more I thought about it, I was like, “Oh… this makes so much sense. That’s fantastic!” And I realized that if the fans do what I did, they’ll be happy. If they take it for what it is on camera, they’ll be like, “Excuse me?!” (Source)

Grace Park: “There’s one episode where everything is explained and I had to read it three times, I had to sit down with [executive producer] Ron Moore and he had to break it down.” (Source)

During an interview with Roslin/Six and Starbuck, Six says that you will be compelled to go back and rewatch the show. Can anyone else but Head.Six elicit this type of reaction? (Video Source)

Final notes

This theory doesn’t attempt to explain the origins of the Lords of Kobol. They could be original cylons created thousands of years ago by humans on Earth or simply supernatural god like immortal beings. I suspect that this will be an open question and left to the audience to debate for the next 20 years, just like the beings of light in the original Battlestar Galactica.


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12 Responses to The Head.Six Theory

  1. Marc says:

    Nice, elegant, though incomplete, theory. I like the idea of “cylon = immortal”. I like how you account for head characters; this theory could also explain how the oracles seem to know so much! One thing though: I am hoping for an elegant answer to the bit of mythology raised at the end of Season 3 regarding the “one who shall not be named” and the “five priests” who worshipped him/it. Perhaps the five priests were being influenced by the FFg, but then, who is the one who shall not be named? I was picturing some sort of scenario where one of the lords of Kobol is expelled, rather like Lucifer, and takes some humans (13th tribe) with him. How does your theory account for that part of the mythology?

  2. swozzie says:

    “for the five priests devoted to the o­ne whose name cannot be spoken.”

    The five priests being the members of the 13th tribe that 4000 years ago were inhabited by the same five head characters. So the “one whose name cannot be spoken” and Head.Six’s “one true God” are one and the same. Perhaps his name cannot be spoken because he has no name! In this sense, God isn’t a person, a character or an entity that will make an appearance in the show – its more of an idea just like it is in all religions. The head characters/LOK, whatever they really are still believe in a God, they still question their own existance, their God is the same God in any monotheistic religion.

    There are at least 10 known Lords of Kobol, though this theory only accounts for five of them. Perhaps Maelstrom.Leoben who interacts with Starbuck is another one, he stands on the shore of The Place Between Life and Death, he sent Starbuck through the door to TPBLAD and could only interact with her when she was on the verge of death so I assume that all the Lords of Kobol exist in TPBLAD, its just that the Opera House is what allows the five LOK to inhabit humans.

    I like the idea of a war between these LOK, maybe this is what forced all the colonials off Kobol but there doesn’t seem enough clues to speculate much further. There is a deleted scene that references a jealous God that wanted to be elevated above all others, but I dont know if it was deleted through time constraints or because they decided it didn’t fit in with the mythology.

  3. Bruzsy says:

    And what about D’Anna, who saw the true faces of the FF, the FFg-s. Then she doesnt knows the identity of the FFh-s, does she? Yet she says that there are only four cylons in the fleet.

    Anyway, it’s a really good theory, congrats!

  4. swozzie says:

    She recognized Baltar in the Temple which is why she only requested the four from the fleet since Baltar was already on the baseship. She didn’t recognize the other four, she just used a mind trick to get Tory to give herself up. Tory then told her who the other three were, which is how D’Anna knew their identities while they were in the launch tube.

    What D’Anna saw is a contentious issue, but ask yourself this. If the glowing figures look the same as their human counterparts, then what would they have looked like when say Tigh was 2 years old? Would the glowing figure be 2ft high? What about when Tigh was an embryo, would the glowing figure be a tiny speck suspended in mid-air!

    It makes no sense that the glowing figures are an exact representation of their human counterparts, one is immortal yet the other appears to grow up. I tend to think that once the FFg has connected with an FFh, then D’Anna would see Baltars face transparently transposed on the glowing figures face, but this is unlikely to be resolved and for the purposes of TV its not important.

  5. BC says:

    Very interesting theory. I am not sure that I ready to go along with your theory of Head Six just yet or that Baltar is a cylon, but maybe.

    One thing…D’Anna would have recognized the 4 of the FFh (at least) in the Opera House if she had seen them.
    Tyrol was a union leader on New Caprica so all the Cylons would have been aware of him. Tigh was already known to them, but was in custody also on New Caprica…so the Cylons certainly knew who he was. Tory would have been known through intelligence as Roslin’s aid. D’Anna already knew Anders from the “Downloaded” episode.

  6. radii says:

    Interesting work. For more on this subject visit my BSG Last Supper blog at
    http://www.bsglastsupper.blogspot.com
    I conclude that the story began with Six (for the viewer) and must end with her if the end is to be the beginning. They also plan to make Six a literal angel – see my blog images. Roslin seems the most likely pick, since they’ve foreshadowed her twice.
    Ron Moore seems intent on choosing a minor character however – based on his own statements and Katie Sackhoff’s remarks. For those who want more supernatural elements to the story and the Lords of Kobol visit a fan fiction site which is continuing the story until the show comes back on the air: http://www.battlestarvariant1.blogspot.com
    As for the glowing figures – they are Final Five, just up on the balcony before they are seen appearing on the stage. It’s too bad they decided not to do five full seasons because season 4 is feeling very rushed, as if they are packing in all the plot twists and turns to be sure they get to them all. If they’d just not done so many stand-alone episodes in Season 3 (Labor Strike, Woman King, etc.) they wouldn’t be in this position.

  7. Grace says:

    Excellent detailed theory, mine is similar and more simplistic than yours. I always believed Baltar was the final cylon. Cheers.

  8. genji2000 says:

    “There is no official definition of the term cylon for the reimagined BSG.”

    Strictly speaking I think this is true. The ‘Caprica’ script defines them as Cybernetic Life-Form Nodes, but until it’s filmed and edited I guess that’s subject to change. That the definition I go with anyway.

    Cybernetic Living Organism was another unconfirmed definition. It seems unlikely that they’ll permit the Final Five to be anything other than synthetic, cybernetic humanoids.

  9. tommyfreszetti says:

    nice elegant and one of the most complete attempts at unlocking the show’s secrets. one thing though still doesn’t fit. if i understand correctly the final five are as if virtual beings-sentient consciousnesses in a form of “programs” of a sort which inhabit human bodies/minds one at a time. this would explain how the f5 managed to stay undetected as they are literally “hidden” in 100% natural nonsynthetic human bodies. this is not the case with the s7 models.
    therefore, i assume that anders, tory, tigh and tyrol are merely “vessels” of the four of the F5. now, if each of them – sam, tory, tigh and galen – is inhabited by only one of the F5 and the thesis stated here is that the head.six inhabiting baltar’s mind (baltar here being the “vessel”) is the final cylon then how do we explain the head.baltar inhabiting the caprica six’s mind? this doesn’t stick. it would if the final 5 – being virtual beings, consciousnesses – were able to jump from host to host, from body to body, from mind to mind, from vessel to vessel. but this way the fact that tigh and galen are cylons (those were the shockers) would be meaningless since the cylon virtual entity inhabiting them could leave their minds at any time and, to put it bluntly, by skipping onto another human vessel, would be able to literally make another person a cylon for the time being.
    it would also stick if we operate under the assumption that the final cylon is different from the four that have been already unrevealed to us. meaning that only the final cylon would be able to jump from vessel to vessel. another theory that would account for the head.baltar in caprica’s mind would be that it is another projection of the same entity. this entity would be the only virtual cylon – meaning that the revealed 4 of the F5 would not be vessels, their cylon “mentality” would be the same as in the case of the s7 (no virtual being guiding them other than this ONE entity which could signify the original programmer, final cylon. this virtual entity would then be accountable for all the visions and dreams that befell on everyone in the show – laura, hera, athena, caprica six, d’anna, baltar, kara and perhaps even the oracles). this would reaffirm what rdm has repeatedly stressed – that F5 are fundamentally different cylons from the s7 – but it would also mean that the final cylon though a “member” of the f5 is different from both the revealed 4 and S7. it would be the only cylon not to have a permanent body, perhaps, the only virtual cylon or the only virtual cylon able to skip from mind to mind. though i tend to lean towards a theory that the final cylon is not another kind of a cylon, it is the same kind the rest of the f5 are.

  10. swozzie says:

    they are all valid observations and these questions led to the development of the Reincarnation Interpretation also on this site – it should provide all the answers that you are looking for 🙂

  11. Jack says:

    So is Adama’s wife a HEAD wife too? He sees her and has conversations with her as if she’s in the room with him?

    I would guess was that Starbuck was the harbinger of death. She kills off man. Just not in the sense that we are lead to believe. She did jump–somehow to Earth. And man on Earth reacted as he usually does when faced with something strange. He shoots first and asks questions later. The only problem with this is this can cause confusion with other countries cause man to kill each other off.

    Maybe the people of Caprica do start to lose it when they find the 22nd century Earth destroyed. Maybe Starbuck does find her dead body. Maybe a lot of characters die and someone or ones can’t cope with the loss that they try to recall in case of the original cylons that Daniel Graystone made years ago. Maybe Adama or Lee who is like his grandfather causes the cylons to be created of the loved ones lost–with the help of some cylon tech. Then 2000 years later they take off from Earth and get to Kobal to start new. And we have an endless cylce that happens again and again and again.

    It’s all just speculation but with the song All Along the Watchtower….that’s more important than many seem to think. Music is one key to this all I tell you.

  12. Luger says:

    If this is true there’s a lot more than 12 cylons

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