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Tory Foster

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Tory Foster
Battlestar Galactica character
First appearance"The Captain's Hand"
Last appearanceBattlestar Galactica: The Plan
Portrayed byRekha Sharma
SpeciesHumanoid Cylon
OccupationPersonal Aide to President Laura Roslin
AffiliationColonial Government, Final Five Cylons, Rebel Cylons

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Tory Foster is a fictional character from the 2004 TV series Battlestar Galactica, portrayed by Rekha Sharma.

Character biography[edit]

Tory, like the other members of the Final Five, was originally from a planet called Earth. This Earth had been colonized by the 13th Tribe (composed of Cylons from the planet Kobol) roughly 4,000 years before the events of the series (c.152,000 BC as revealed by the final episode). Tory and Galen Tyrol were in a relationship in their past lives - they lived together and planned to get married. Tory and the other members of the group that would later be known as the Final Five were working to recreate the resurrection process their Cylon ancestors used to employ on Kobol, a process that had fallen out of favor on Earth due to procreation. They had some advance knowledge of the impending destruction due to warnings from people no one else could see. The messenger that appeared to Tory looked like a man. When Earth was destroyed roughly 2,000 years ago the Final Five arranged to have themselves resurrected aboard a sub-light ship orbiting earth. They then left to find the Twelve Colonies and warn them about treating their artificial life with respect or face the same doom that befell Earth. By the time the Final Five completed their sublight journey thousands of years had passed, and they arrived near the end of the first Cylon/human war. Meeting the Cylon centurions, the Five offered to show them how to create humanoid cylon models in exchange for the centurions ending the war. The Final Five created eight models. However, the first model (John Cavil) destroyed the seventh model (Daniel) out of fraternal envy. Cavil then killed the Final Five and boxed their minds for years, later resurrecting them in new bodies and reprogramming them to think they were humans from the Twelve Colonies. Presumably, he also reprogrammed the other Cylon models to not think about the Final Five or investigate their identities, and that to do so would constitute heresy.

In her new life, before the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies, Tory was a precinct captain for the Federalist Party in Delphi on Caprica for five years. In this capacity, she became an expert on polling.[1] During the nuclear attack on the Colonies she was driving down a road on Caprica and got hit by the force of a nuclear shockwave. Her car was destroyed and she was injured, but she managed to survive the shockwave and was presumably picked up by a Raptor that landed nearby looking for survivors.

Following the death of Billy Keikeya, Tory Foster becomes one of President Laura Roslin's chief aides and advisors. She takes a particular responsibility for managing Roslin's election campaign. One of her first moves is to take an opinion poll, the results of which clearly show Roslin leading her presumptive opponent, Tom Zarek.[1] She plays a part in finding a human foster mother for the half-Cylon child Hera Agathon and is one of the few people who know the child is alive.[2] She counsels Roslin during the Rya Kibby case, as she weighs up the consequences of appeasing the pro-life beliefs of the Gemenese and the need to repopulate the human race versus the individual rights and freedoms guaranteed under Colonial law before the attack.[1]

After Roslin's executive order criminalizes abortion throughout the fleet, Vice-President Gaius Baltar announces his candidacy in the forthcoming election, and garners Zarek's support as campaign manager (and eventual Vice-President[3]). The discovery of New Caprica and the Baltar-Zarek campaign's pro-settlement position swings much popular support away from Roslin. With Roslin's at first tacit, and later explicit, approval, Foster conspires with Colonel Saul Tigh and others to rig the election in Roslin's favour. The deception is discovered by Lieutenant Felix Gaeta on account of a typographical mistake on one set of ballot papers, and Baltar is sworn in as Roslin's successor.[4]

During the occupation of New Caprica by the Cylons, Foster joins the human resistance movement, again serving as Laura Roslin's aide. She works to compile a list of known Cylon collaborators among the human population.[3][5] She helps to organize the swift and orderly evacuation of the civilian population to their assigned vessels, and is one of the last people to see Maya and her adopted daughter Hera/Isis as the evacuation takes place. Despite having two bodyguards, Maya does not make it off New Caprica, Hera is captured by Number Three, and Foster personally apologizes to Roslin for what she sees as her failure.[6]

Following Roslin's second inauguration as President of the Twelve Colonies, Foster resumes her former duties as a presidential aide.[7]

In the last few episodes of season 3, her mental condition starts deteriorating, and she starts hearing music. In the cliffhanger Season 3 finale, "Crossroads, Part II", she, along with Samuel Anders, Saul Tigh, and Galen Tyrol become aware of the fact they are Cylons,[8] based on hallucinatory music (which turns out to be "All Along The Watchtower," as performed by Bear McCreary's brother [9]) only they can hear, and a "switch" that goes off within them (as Chief Tyrol mentions). Foster and Anders have experienced at least the beginnings of a physical relationship. As the Cylon fleet attacked, Tigh defiantly declared "Whatever else I am, I'm an officer in the Colonial Fleet and if I die today, that's the man I'll be." Following this speech, Foster reported to the CIC to aid President Roslin.

Season 4 opens with Tory Foster continuing her participation in clandestine final-four Cylon meetings (Anders, Foster, Tigh, Tyrol). Tigh suggests Gaius Baltar as a potential source of information, citing Baltar's previous time spent among the Cylons; Foster attempts to gain Gaius' confidence via professed admiration and seduction. Despite her initial objection to actual sexual relations, she has sex with Baltar during which she weeps.[10] When Baltar asks why she is crying, she says it's just something she does, and things could be worse: she could be a Cylon. Baltar tells her he believes Cylons can feel, and, touched, she stops crying and kisses him in earnest. Subsequently, she seems to be spending more and more time with Baltar, not necessarily just to gain information. In "Escape Velocity," she attends one of Baltar's monotheism rallies, and appears to be approving.

When she discovers Cally Tyrol has overheard one of the clandestine meetings, she follows her to a Viper launch tube, dissuades Cally from killing herself and her son, and secures the infant, but Foster then ejects the mother out the tube herself.[11] Foster shows no guilt. She appears to have embraced both being a Cylon and her own version of Baltar's teachings, allowing her to by-pass such feelings and adopt an almost hedonistic approach to life. She declares herself to be "perfect", something that disturbs fellow Cylons Tigh and Tyrol, and is in marked contrast to Tigh's and Caprica Six's guilty consciences (Escape Velocity).

Later, Foster meets with President Roslin, who first pleasantly comments about Foster's positive change in mood any time she is aboard Galactica. Roslin asks Foster to find out who was sharing the rumors of the president's shared visions to Baltar, then sticks the dagger in, telling Foster she is very aware that she is sleeping with Gaius Baltar. Before Foster can say a word, Roslin tells her there are enough reports of her visitations to "make her a charter member of his nymph squad.[1]" Foster confesses to believing in Baltar's spiritual message, but Roslin is feeling quite betrayed and turns her back on her to do other work, ordering her away (Guess What's Coming to Dinner?).

Out of the known members of the Final Five, Tory seems to be embracing her Cylon-self more than the others. The other three are attempting to maintain their human selves (the same way that Boomer did). This results in a change to her personality.

After Downloaded Three is unboxed, now knowing the identities of the Final Five, and brought to Galactica, Foster stays true her earlier affinity for her Cylon side. Under the pretence of bringing Laura Roslin her medication, she flies to the Cylon basestar, where she is introduced to her fellow Cylons and tells Roslin and Baltar about her true nature. During the ensuing stand off between Three and Galactica over the remaining three Cylons, she helps Three's cause by informing her of Lee Adama's perceived weaknesses (Revelations).

When the fleet arrives at Earth and discovers it is a barren world destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe and once populated by Cylons, Foster and her fellow Final Five Cylons begin remembering details about their past lives on the planet. One detail she clearly remembers is how Anders used to be a musician and used to play a song he wrote for her and their friends, Galen Tyrol and Saul and Ellen Tigh. She and Tyrol were also lovers at the time (No Exit).

Since being publicly identified as a member of the Final Five Cylons, Foster has taken up full-time residence on board the rebel basestar, living with the Twos, Sixes (less Caprica-Six), and Eights (less Sharon Agathon & Sharon Valerii). Her fellow Cylons appear to have also given her equal status in their command hierarchy, as evident by her behaviour during Gaeta's Mutiny. When Laura Roslin is smuggled aboard the basestar, Foster is content to abandon the fleet to its own turmoil and simply jump away to safety, a notion her fellow Cylons support. Though she repeatedly argues against involving the basestar in the counter-coup efforts, she ultimately concedes to Roslin's plan (Blood on the Scales).

During Gaeta's mutiny Sam Anders is shot in the back of the skull. When he regains consciousness he remembers his and the others former life on Earth and after. He recites the history as fast as he could to the other Final Five, including Tory Foster. Like the other Fives, she was a scientist attempting to reinvent resurrection technology. To her and Galen Tyrol's mutual shock she learned they were once lived together as lovers and were engaged to be married. (No Exit)

After Anders's apparently unsuccessful (in that he never regained consciousness) surgery and his comatose state, Foster urges the other Finals and Caprica Six to leave for the Baseship and abandon the fleet in order to strike out on their own without humanity. Then Ellen Tigh, the Fifth Final, arrives after apparently being rescued from Cavil by Sharon "Boomer" Valerii. The Final Five debate the merits of staying with the fleet versus leaving. When the matter is put to a vote, Tyrol and Foster vote to leave and Tigh votes to stay. Though Anders is in a coma during this debate, Tyrol reminds the others Anders had previously pleaded with Colonel Tigh to stay with the fleet, and they agree to count Anders's vote thusly. This means the vote is a 2-2 deadlock with Ellen Tigh holding the deciding vote. Ellen is conflicted and postpones her decision, as she is upset by her discovery of the relationship between Saul Tigh and Caprica Six. Later, driven by jealousy, resentment and anger over Saul Tigh conceiving a child with Caprica Six and the implication he loved Caprica Six more than he ever did Ellen, Ellen makes her decision and votes with Foster and Tyrol to leave humanity. However Caprica Six's miscarriage, possibly brought on by stress caused by an attack in Dogsville and personal confrontations with Ellen Tigh over the true love of Saul Tigh, changes the situation. Foster and the others reluctantly decide to stay, since the loss of Caprica Six's pregnancy means Hera Agathon has become the only remaining hope of Cylon continuity (Deadlock).

As the Five recover from the tragedy of the miscarriage, Tory commiserates with the others, including a Tyrol desperate to save the life of Boomer, who was about to be transported for trial on the Baseship. She agrees with Ellen Tigh they cannot interfere with Cylon due process other than being witnesses. At Joe's Bar, Tory hears Kara Thrace playing the piano and recognizes the tune as the song switching on the Final Four in the nebula. She confronts Thrace to find out where she learned that song. Thrace informs her it was a song her father played for her as a child. Later off-screen she told them she was playing the music notes written as a drawing by Hera Agathon. By this time, Sharon Valerii had already abducted Hera and escaped back to Cavil's Baseship (Someone to Watch Over Me).

Tory continues to congregate with the Final Five, who are by now a close-knit group watching over their comatose member (Anders). However, the group temporarily loses Tyrol as he is imprisoned for his role in unwittingly allowing Valerii to kidnap Hera and escape. Ellen Tigh urges the Adamas to search for Hera on the Cylon Homeworld, and is emphatically supported by Anders's wife Kara Thrace. Tory abstains from voicing her own opinion on the matter, but she agrees with Ellen's recommendation and helps arrange the Heavy Raider reconnaissance mission after Adama gives his permission (Islanded in a Stream of Stars).

Tory reluctantly volunteers for the mission to rescue Hera, partially due to the insistence of Galen Tyrol. She assists Ellen in maintaining the link between Anders and Galactica during the battle. After agreeing to share resurrection technology with the Cylons in exchange for a truce, Tory becomes nervous the sharing process will involve a pooling of her memories with the rest of the Five, which will reveal the truth about the murder of Cally. Tory therefore asks the others to pledge that no matter what they find out about each other, they will forgive each other for it. Tigh agrees and the Five start the process, but when Tyrol sees her memory of murdering Cally he flies into a rage, breaks the download to strangle Tory, and ultimately snaps her neck in retribution. The Cylons of Cavil's faction see this as a betrayal since Tory's death broke the download and resume hostilities.

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Captain's Hand". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  2. "Downloaded". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Precipice". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  4. "Lay Down Your Burdens". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  5. "Occupation". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  6. "Exodus". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  7. "Collaborators". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  8. Ronald Moore confirms they are Cylons in this interview
  9. Bear McCreary (2007-03-25). "Bear's Battlestar Galactica Blog". Archived from the original on 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2007-12-11. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. "Six of One". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).
  11. "The Ties That Bind". Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series).

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