Galen Tyrol

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Galen Tyrol
Galen Tyrol


Galen Tyrol
Age Believed to be 30[1]
Colony Gemenon
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Miniseries
Parents Allegedly an unnamed oracle (mother) and priest (father).
Children Nicholas Tyrol
Marital Status Widowed, formerly married to Cally Tyrol
Family Tree View
Role Former Senior NCO of the hangar deck crew, battlestar Galactica
Rank Specialist [2]
Serial Number
Portrayed by Aaron Douglas
Galen Tyrol is a Cylon
Galen Tyrol is a Final Five Cylon
Galen Tyrol is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Galen Tyrol is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
Galen Tyrol in the separate continuity
Galen Tyrol in the primary continuity
[[Image:|200px|Galen Tyrol]]



Galen Tyrol, often referred to as "Chief", was the highest ranking NCO remaining aboard Galactica before being demoted. He served aboard battlestars from the age of eighteen, including Columbia, Atlantia, and Pegasus (Resistance). He has served under William Adama on Galactica for five years (Litmus), and has considerable respect for the Commander - a feeling that is reciprocated. Indeed, he admires Adama to such a degree that he has modeled his own style of leadership on that of Adama: firm, fair, and willing to go to the fullest degree in support of his crew.

However, when people under his responsibility are injured, threatened or killed, Tyrol becomes rather irrational, angry, and reckless in his actions, to the point of further endangering his people or his reputation with senior officers. Prime examples of his lack of emotional control includes the scenes before the ship venting after the nuke hit and cursing Tigh in front of Commander Adama for the vent and loss of 85 of his people (Miniseries), and saving a mortally-wounded crewmate while leaving himself and Cally Henderson highly vulnerable in "Scattered". Tyrol's tryst with Sharon Valerii and a subsequent cover-up attempt in "Litmus" resulted in the jailing of Specialist Socinus, who was trying to protect Tyrol.

Originally leading Deck Crew 5, a team of 15 deckhands and specialists, since the Cylon attack he has become the most senior and experienced NCO on Galactica.

Cylon Attack

At the time of the Cylon attack, as well as leading his deck crew, Tyrol is overseeing the refurbishment and restoration of Viper Mark II N7242C - the Viper originally flown by William Adama at the time of the Cylon War (Miniseries).

Following the attack, with Galactica undermanned, Tyrol also performs the function of senior Damage Control officer (Miniseries / Water), a role that brings him into conflict with Colonel Tigh after the Galactica is struck by a Cylon nuclear warhead.

Relationship with Sharon Valerii

Sharon Valerii and Galen Tyrol.

For several months prior to the Cylon attack, and in its aftermath, Tyrol has been engaged in an affair with Lieutenant Sharon Valerii, one of Galactica's Raptor pilots. Despite the fact the relationship breaks military protocol, senior officers on the ship turn a blind eye to it, while Tyrol's own crew treat it with fond amusement.

When the water supplies on Galactica are sabotaged, Tyrol is placed in an awkward position: by her own admission, Valerii knows explosives were missing from a small-arms locker - potentially making her a suspect - and he is the principal DC investigator into the cause of the explosions which wreck the water tanks. Torn between love and duty, the situation prompts him to hide evidence and allow a theory that the walls of the tanks simply collapsed from fatigue resulting from damage Galactica received from a nuclear warhead in the Cylon attack (Water / Miniseries).

Following the sabotage attempt, Valerii is ordered to end her relationship with Tyrol (Bastille Day) as a part of a general tightening-up of security and discipline on ship, only to have Tyrol's deck crew help the two of them to continue to meet in greater secret (Litmus).

Tyrol's world is thrown further into turmoil when both he and Valerii become the prime suspects in an investigation into how a humanoid Cylon (a copy of Aaron Doral) managed to get aboard the Galactica, kill a guard, steal explosives and them blow himself up in a ship's corridor, almost killing Adama and Tigh (Litmus). When one of his own Specialists is thrown in the brig for dereliction of duty which may have enabled the Cylon to access a weapons locker and steal the explosives, Tyrol is shocked into re-thinking his relationship with Valerii, and ends it himself.

While they continue to encounter one another professionallly - their work means they can hardly avoid one another - Tyrol and Valerii now have an uneasy distance between each other, and Valerii's actions around a captured Cylon Raider have begun to disturb Tyrol.


When the Fleet discovers the planet believed to be Kobol, Tyrol arranges for Socinus' release and later berates the specialist for lying to cover for him. Thereafter, Tyrol is part of the team assembled on the ill-fated recon Kobol on the Raptor 1, which then crashlands near the ruins of the Tomb of Athena. (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I, Part II)

While Tyrol is the more experienced leader, his non-commissioned status leaves Lieutenant Alex "Crashdown" Quartararo in charge of the survivors. When Crashdown blames Tarn for leaving a needed med kit behind -- Socinus is injured during the crash and serisone is needed to help him breathe -- Tyrol steps in, recommending that he and Cally Henderson accompany Tarn. After successfully retrieving the kit from the Raptor crash site and heading back to the party, the trio is ambushed by Cylons and Tarn is killed (Scattered). Eventually, he and Henderson make it back to the party, only to find out that it is too late. Upon Seelix's urging, Tyrol euthanizes Socinus with an overdose of morpha from both medkits to spare him a more painful death (Valley of Darkness).

Upon discovering that the Cylons are setting up an anti-aircraft missle battery, Crashdown plans a strike to take the unit (and its accompanying DRADIS dish) out of operation. While the others of his party, notably Baltar and Henderson, attempt to voice their indignation of such a plan, Tyrol firmly reminds them that Crashdown is in charge. Despite Tyrol's own misgivings of how the plan is to be executed, they follow through to the point right before the attack.

When it becomes clear that there were five Cylons at the battery, Henderson refuses to conduct a divionary attack. Tyrol attempts to diffuse the situation by trying to state that the DRADIS dish is undefended; all that needs to be done is to destroy it, and the turret could not automatically target the incoming SAR operation. Crashdown has a breakdown and irrationally threatens to kill Henderson, prompting Baltar to frag Crashdown.

As the command officer, per se, Tyrol later destroys the DRADIS dish as the Cylons pursue them towards it. Tyrol then makes a stand against the Cylons, screaming and firing his pistol at them. The Cylons are all killed; a surprised Tyrol turns around and sees that a Raptor, preserved by Tyrol's destruction of the dish, has destroyed the Centurions with a missile (Fragged).

After Kobol

Tyrol is arrested and interrogated by Colonel Tigh, due to his relationship with Commander Adama's would-be assassin. Tigh accuses him of being part of the plot to kill Adama, throwing him in the same cell as Valerii. Baltar later visits the cell on the pretense of drawing Tyrol's blood to analyze via the Cylon detector. In fact, Tyrol is used as a means to extract information from Valerii; Baltar injects a drug that induces a systemic shutdown of Tyrol's organs, telling Valerii that the chief only has moments to live and that providing him with information on the numbers of humanoid Cylons within the fleet is the only thing that could save Tyrol. After extracting the alleged number of Cylons in the Fleet from Valerii, Tyrol is injected with an antidote and is eventually declared human by Baltar (who does not run the test).

Tyrol is present when his own deckhand, Cally Henderson, kills Valerii, as Tyrol accompanies the security escort to Valerii's testing cell (Resistance). This act causes Tyrol to withdraw more from interaction with his own staff, many of which are already treating him coldly from his interaction with the now-confirmed Cylon copy of Valerii.

As with many on Galactica, the stress of working without relief in sight or with little hope begins to take its toll on Tyrol. For him, the challenge of keeping the old Vipers running with very few spare parts and sometimes extensive damage becomes too much to manage. Under pressure from CAG Lee Adama to keep his Vipers flying, and mostly because he has little else to do, he scribbles out a design for a new fighter and begins to assemble it from basic metals and parts (Flight of the Phoenix). Initially, his deck crews are skeptical that the Chief's project is anything but a pipe dream. But word soon spreads as the fuselage forms and Tyrol's dream becomes reality. While Colonel Tigh is visibly against the project at first, Commander Adama notices that the project, for whatever outcome it might yield, gives the crew something to strive for, something to hope for, and tacitly allows off-duty crew to work on it. Many, including Anastasia Dualla from CIC, and Kara Thrace, lend a hand.

Tyrol's group is stuck when trying to place a skin on the new fighter since the necessary parts are reserved for the Vipers. But Karl Agathon suggests carbon composite materials as an alternative to cover the ship. This solves the covering but adds a significant new ability: stealth. The carbon composites would make the new fighter nearly invisible to DRADIS detection.

After the ship's logic bomb crisis, the new fighter, named the Blackbird, is given a trial flight by Kara Thrace, with very good results. In a ceremony, President Roslin christenes the vessel and Tyrol reveals the nickname of the Blackbird in honor of the President: Laura.

Helo's Return

After the return of Karl Agathon and another version of Sharon Valerii, pregnant with Agathon's child, the two attempt to reconcile their feelings for the biological creation. Helo and Tyrol eventually have a fistfight with lots of namecalling over what the Sharons were, but in reality, both are upset over the fact that the two Cylon copies were real people that whom they loved, despite the reality of what they are (Flight of the Phoenix). Their realization of this fact leads them to what amounted to an uneasy truce.

Later on, after the appearance of Admiral Helena Cain and the advanced Mercury-class Pegasus, he and Agathon stop Lieutenant Alastair Thorne from raping Sharon and Tyrol accidentally kills Thorne in the process. Tyrol and Agathon are summarily arrested and transfered to Pegasus for court martial, against Commander Adama's objections. However, Admiral Cain's "court martial" is over before Adama even knows it began, and she sentences both to be executed for murder and treason. This prompts Adama to launch Vipers and a Raptor loaded with a marine strike team to recover them both (Pegasus).

Helo and Tyrol receive a stay of execution through the efforts of Laura Roslin while the two battlestar commanders prepare to destroy the Resurrection Ship and its Cylon attack fleet that has followed Galactica. Tyrol admits to his difficulty with dealing with the existence of the second Sharon, and tells Helo that he's got to "let it go", an idea that Helo supports, both understanding each other's take on the situation.

The two prisoners are seen receiving two sets of visitors, one welcome, one not. First, Lieutenant Adama visits them to tell them how close Galactica came to a shooting war with Pegasus (Resurrection Ship, Part I), asking the two, "Just how many kinds of stupid are you?" A day or so later, Specialists Vireem and Gage bind and beat the two prisoners in retaliation for the death of Lieutenant Thorne. Executive officer Jack Fisk comes to break up the beating, but refuses the prisoners' thanks as he was fond of Thorne himself.

After the escaped humanoid Cylon Gina escapes and shoots Admiral Cain, killing her, Tyrol and Helo are released and return to Galactica. Both Tyrol and Helo visit Sharon Valerii at her specialized cell. She happily greets Helo, but completely ignores Tyrol. He gets the hint and soon leaves the room, still unable to recover from the memory of the Sharon he knew as "Boomer".

Depression and Suicidal Yearnings

Tyrol also begins to experience a recurring nightmare in which he jumps from the upper portion of the flight deck to his death. Cally Henderson finds him asleep but twitching on the Galactica deck, but when she attempts to wake him, he attacks her in a frenzied rage, beating her savagely.

Deeply distressed by what he had done, Tyrol requests counselling with a priest, and is assigned Brother Cavil. After some time with Tyrol, Cavil identifies the source of Tyrol's anxiety as arising from fear that he is a Cylon sleeper agent, much like Sharon Valerii was. Tyrol points out that Sharon was totally convinced by her programming that she was human; Tyrol is haunted by the fear that it was impossible to truly know if you were a Cylon or not. Cavil assures him that he was not, quipping that he knew "because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings.".

Cavil tells him to get back to work, which is where his real family is, and argues that they, the deck crew, love him, "even Cally, especially Cally" (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I). Tyrol is subsequently responsible for exposing Cavil as a humanoid Cylon when he recognizes him as one of the returnees from the rescue mission to Caprica. Upon realizing this, Tyrol tackles Cavil, calls for security, and states 'Code Blue.'

Tyrol as Union President (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II)

On New Caprica

A year later, Tyrol lives in New Caprica City and is the president of the Worker's Union, a vocal opponent of President Baltar's administration. By this point, he has married Henderson, who is pregnant 380 days after settling on the planet. Tyrol and Henderson witness the arrival of the Cylons on the planet, and go to Kara Thrace for guidance. She tells him to "fight them until we can't" (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II). Shortly thereafter, their son Nicholas is born and later dedicated to the god of war Ares (The Resistance, Episode 10).

By Day 67 of the Cylon Occupation, he begins working with Saul Tigh about forming an armed resistance movement against the Cylon forces (The Resistance, Episode 1). They begin to cache weapons, hiding them in various places, including a temple (The Resistance, Episode 3). Through his efforts, the Resistance begins to pick up membership in combating the Cylon Opressors.

By Day 134, the Resistance is in full swing, working with Samuel Anders to hit high profile targets, including a Heavy Raider (Occupation). He becomes at odds with Tigh over the use of suicide bombing to strike at President Baltar during the NCP Graduation Ceremony, but manages to get a signal to an orbiting Raptor from the Fleet (Occupation). As a result, he works with Tigh to disrupt the Cylons enough until Galactica and the Fleet can return.

After learning that his wife is among the detainees taken by the NCP, Tyrol begins a plan to rescue them using the information provided from a source within Baltar's government, which is ultimately successful (Exodus, Part I).

After The Second Exodus

Following the successful escape from New Caprica with the colonists, Tyrol re-enlists in Galactica's crew. Meanwhile, he becomes a member of the Circle, a secret tribunal authorized by President Tom Zarek to judge and convict Cylon collaborators. When Felix Gaeta is tried and sentenced to death, Tyrol realises that Gaeta actually worked for the Resistance -- he was the "inside source" in Baltar's administration and without his help the Colonials probably would never escape from New Caprica. That revelation saves Gaeta's life and soon after the Circle disbands (Collaborators).

Seeing the Eye

Tyrol discovers the Temple of Five (The Eye of Jupiter).

Tyrol, his wife, and a small group of people are camped on the algae planet as they continue their harvest of badly-needed algae to be used as food for the Fleet (The Passage). Tyrol, however, senses something on the planet, and soon goes to investigate alone. He finds, within a mountain, a constructed entrance, which leads to an immense chamber, with five pentagonal obelisks, a central circular spire and writings of Colonial origin. Tyrol has discovered something that his parents, one a priest and another an oracle, would have longed to see: The Temple of Five. Tyrol has apparently and inadvertently discovered an family heritage to sense spiritual forces, or at least, ancient Colonial structures.

After the Cylons arrive in force at the algae planet and threaten to destroy Galactica if they attempt to leave with the Eye (with the Colonials threatening to nuke the planet if the Cylons attempt to do the same), Tyrol is ordered to wire the Temple with G-4 to prevent a Cylon incursion. He begins to touch the central symbol on the center spire as, unknown to him, Cylons begin their move on the Temple (The Eye of Jupiter).

The life of a knuckledragger

During an outbreak of Mellorak sickness, Tyrol displays a shared and apparently wide spread prejudice against Sagittarons, including worrying that if they abandoned their religious belief against using scientific medicine the rest of the Fleet would have to share the scarce bittamucin drug that cures the disease (The Woman King).

The Tyrols are put in danger after Galen and Cally are trapped in a depressurizing airlock during routine maintenance. With no other options before air runs out, the two are ejected into open space and into a Raptor, despite the lack of pressure suits. Suffering decompression sickness, Tyrol recovers in bed in sickbay while his wife recovers in a hyperbaric chamber. Tyrol finds himself with more time to care for his son, Nicholas, as his wife desired (A Day In The Life).

Tyrol and Admiral Adama lock horns in a labor dispute. Tyrol takes the side of workers aboard the refinery ship Hitei Kan who go on strike due their bad working and living conditions. Tyrol backs down when Adama threatens to have his wife executed. Later Tyrol and President Roslin come to a mutual agreement, and a workers union is reformed from Tyrol's New Caprica days (Dirty Hands).


When the Fleet heads towards the Ionian nebula, Tyrol is driven to unrest by a strange music he hears. Arriving at the nebula, the effect intensifies, and Tyrol is drawn together with Tory Foster, Samuel Anders and Saul Tigh. Initially shocked at the discovery that he is one of the final five Cylons, Tyrol chooses, along with the other three, to return to his post and his duties in defending the Fleet from an incoming Cylon fleet (Crossroads, Part II). However, over the next months the four hold clandestine meetings in various locations, discussing their nature and their actions.

Tyrol has difficulty coping with this new revelation, beginning to cut himself. Although trying to act normally, Tyrol's changed behavior eventually has an effect on his marriage. He alienates his wife, who begins to take anti-depressants to cope. After she witnesses one of their secret meetings, she is killed by Foster, who makes it appear like a suicide (The Ties That Bind). Tyrol's personal problems are magnified by his wife's death and having to care alone for his son. An uncharacteristic "frak-up" on the hanger deck nearly results in catastrophe and a drunken tirade against Admiral Adama in Joe's bar earns him demotion and re-assignment (Escape Velocity). His shaving of his head reflects a continuing troubled state of mind. Blaming himself for Cally's death, he nearly commits suicide, but is unable to bring himself to pull the trigger. During this, he also clashes with Gaius Baltar over the memory of his wife and Baltar's new cult. However, when Baltar apologizes in private and explains the reasons for becoming a religious figure, Tyrol seems to forgive him (The Road Less Traveled).

When the Cylon rebels take hostages and demand that the Cylons on Galactica are turned over to them, Saul Tigh comes clean and reveals the four. Tigh is about to be executed when Kara Thrace runs into the launch tube control room announcing that she found another clue towards Earth. In an unexpected move, President Lee Adama grants the Cylons a full amnesty. When the Fleet makes its final jump to Earth, Tyrol sits in his quarters with his son (Revelations).


  • On the Aaron Douglas Live Journal Community, Aaron Douglas told fans that he is "Number 12", which he got to choose. This comment seems to be made invalid by Ron D. Moore's statement that the Final Five do not have model numbers like the other seven humanoid Cylons.[5]
  • Galen is the name of a famed Greek doctor, who was first to argue that the mind was in the brain, not the heart. This may be construed as irony, given Tyrol's part in the ongoing story.
  • Tyrol's first name, Galen, was first revealed in Ron D. Moore's blog during Season 1, but it is not mentioned on screen until the Season 2 episode "Resistance".
  • Tyrol (or Tirol) is the name of a region divided between western Austria and northern Italy.
  • Ron Moore explains in the DVD commentary for the Miniseries that Chief Tyrol was originally supposed to be a fairly small role, and in the first script of the Miniseries he only had about 15 lines. However, Aaron Douglas was so good at ad libbing new lines for scenes as production moved forward that Moore kept writing him into a bigger character. Going into Season 1, Tyrol would originally have been defined by his relationship to Boomer, with suspicion that she might be a Cylon only coming out towards the end of the season. However, instead of this, Boomer and Tyrol's relationship becomes strained and ends early in Season 1, with Tyrol being expanded to a character that is not defined solely by Boomer.
  • In The Face of the Enemy webisode 10, Colonel Tigh makes reference to an upcoming meeting to discuss "Mister Tyrol's" ideas. It has not yet been revealed whether this was a writer's error, or if Tyrol has been either commissioned, warranted, or discharged.


  1. Tyrol stated that he has "served on battlestars since I was 18" (Resistance), and had "ten years experience" at the time of the Cylon attack (Miniseries) which would make him 28 at the time. The events of the third season take place two years later. With the revelation of his Cylon nature, his evidently planted memories raise uncertainy about his true age.
  2. In The Face of the Enemy webisode 10, Colonel Tigh makesa reference to an upcoming meeting to discuss "Mister Tyrol's" ideas. It has not yet been revealed whether this is a writer's error, or if Tyrol has been either commissioned, warranted, or discharged.
  3. The original dog tags showed a different name and serial number: "C. Tyrol ser 312365" ("Questions for Aaron Douglas" messageboard Q&A with actor Aaron Douglas).
  4. Recent tag photos from the actor show the correct name but with a new serial number (The Chief's Deck fan blog), which is also the number supplied to QMX for the dogtag replicas.
  5. Sullivan, Brian Ford (11 June 2008). Rants & Reviews - Live at the "Battlestar Galactica" Midseason Finale Premiere (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 13 June 2008.