|Birth Name||Thomas Zarek|
|Role||Representing Sagittaron on the Quorum of Twelve|
|Portrayed by||Richard Hatch|
|Thomas Zarek is a Cylon|
|Thomas Zarek is a Final Five Cylon|
|Thomas Zarek is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Thomas Zarek is an Original Series Cylon|
|Thomas Zarek in the separate continuity|
Tom Zarek was a political activist for more than 30 years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. He is a charismatic, eloquent and ideological political agitator who was incarcerated for destroying a government building on Sagittaron. His 20-year incarceration culminated in a sojurn in the Astral Queen, a FTL-capable prison ship, whilst in transit to parole hearings. Assigned the prison number of 893893, Zarek was under consideration for parole at the time of the Cylon attack.
Zarek came from Sagittaron, a colony known to be mistreated by the other eleven Colonies. Through his experiences on that colony, he became an advocate of freedom from slavery. Zarek became a voice for the disenfranchised and, along with publishing a book that was virtually banned throughout the Colonies, actively sought to fight against injustices.
To some he is considered a terrorist and nuisance for his tactics, which included the destruction of a government building that resulted in an unspecified loss of life. He believes in the efficacy of violence as a means of change, going as so far as to go to prison over a "matter of conscience" and his refusal of President Richard Adar's politically motivated conditional pardon (the conditions of the pardon being that he would publicly apologize and pledge to give up violence as a means of change).
Even some of his fellow Sagittarons have an intense dislike of him, including Petty Officer Anastasia Dualla. Despite this, he became a public figure whose name had weight and almost became legendary, thanks to public opinion (Bastille Day).
After the Exodus
After avoiding the Astral Queen commander's desire to euthanize the prisoners (thanks to President Laura Roslin's humanitarian decision) (Miniseries) Zarek plots to escape captivity. With the water shortage and the discovery of a planet that could replenish the lost water (Water), Commander Adama, Colonel Tigh and President Roslin reluctantly decide to ask the prisoners to volunteer as badly needed manpower, under the condition that they would not be treated as slaves and they would agree of their own volition.
After Lee Adama's unsuccessful attempt to persuade the prisoners to help in the recovery efforts, Zarek's springs the prisoners' escape plan. The prisoners, under Zarek's command, usurp control of the Astral Queen, and takes her crew and Galactica's visitors as prisoners. Zarek states his terms for release of the prisoners: the resignation of Laura Roslin and her administration, and the start of free and open elections for a new president. Zarek deems Roslin's presidency as illegitimate and illegal (clearly, the details of Case Orange were not made public, though even if they were, Zarek wouldn't have backed down).
Unfortunately, Zarek's aims are not in keeping with his demands; he wants a bloodbath to ensue, believing that all that people understand is violence, and that a bloodbath would destroy any credibility that Adama and Roslin have.
When the situation deteriorates near the point of catastrophe for all involved, Zarek, ready to sacrifice his life for his beliefs, is swayed by Lee Adama's promise that he would uphold the Articles of Colonization and hold open elections for a new president, once Roslin had served the remainder of President Adar's term (as dictated by the Articles and Case Orange), as well as give the ship over to the prisoners as a show of good faith.
Attempts for Political Power
With a degree of freedom obtained by the prisoners - including control of the Astral Queen, Zarek engages in a steady effort to gain the goodwill of others of influence within the fleet. This effort includes physical acts of support for other ships (such as fixing the air filtration system on the ship occupied by Marshall Bagott, a politician from Virgon).
Zarek's efforts result in a nomination as the Representative of Sagittaron on the Quorum of Twelve. From there, Zarek makes a bid for the position of Vice President using the support of those he assisted, and possibly badgered (Colonial Day).
While Zarek's attempt at the Vice Presidency fails after Roslin replaces the somewhat unlikeable Wallace Gray with the charismatic Doctor Gaius Baltar as an alternative candidate, Zarek makes it clear to Roslin that he will be standing against her in the elections.
Zarek remains possibly the most powerful and popular representative in the Quorum of Twelve.
Breakaway from the Fleet
The schism created by Commander Adama's unlawful arrest of President Roslin and Colonel Tigh's declaration of martial law presents Zarek with an opportunity to convince others that Adama is after total control of the Fleet. Zarek likely sought to use Tigh's inexperience with dealing with the government and press against the military powers. Zarek and the Quorum soon learn of Roslin's terminal cancer, after Tigh permits the Quorum of Twelve to see her in Galactica's brig (Fragged).
After the Gideon incident, where four civilians die, some crewmembers of Galactica orchestrate Roslin's escape. Lee Adama, knowing they would be hunted throughout the Fleet, enlists Zarek's assistance in secreting Roslin away from Tigh and Commander Adama (Resistance, The Farm). Roslin is initially dismayed to be greeted by Zarek, but realizes that Zarek, no friend to Adama or Tigh, is "the enemy of my enemy."
Zarek and Roslin attempt to use appeals by recorded wireless messages to sway favor in the Fleet to return to Kobol. Zarek convinces Lee Adama at first to create a dissenting message against Galactica's rule, but Lee changes his mind (probably because he swore to his comatose father that it wasn't about them). After Roslin plays the "religious card" to sway support for her cause in the Fleet, Roslin and Zarek lead a separatist fleet back to Kobol to await Kara Thrace's return with the Arrow of Apollo, for use in unlocking the Tomb of Athena.
Zarek, with his associate Meier, plan to eliminate the young Captain Adama on Kobol, using the rationalization about Zeus' warning that any return to Kobol would "exact a price in blood". Zarek feels that removing the young Adama would create a political power vacuum, allowing Zarek to take the position as captain of factioned Fleet, while Roslin would remain president (Home, Part I).
Zarek abandons the assassination plan when Commander Adama arrives on Kobol to mend fences with Roslin. However, Meier privately revises the plan outside of Zarek's knowledge, now with the goal of eliminating both Adamas by soliciting the help of the Caprica copy of Sharon Valerii that returned with Karl Agathon and Thrace. Unfortunately for Zarek, Sharon Valerii double-crosses Meier, killing him at the entrance to the Tomb of Athena. While none in the group immediately consider Zarek as a suspect in Meier's assassination attempt, Commander Adama remains guarded and leaves Zarek and several others outside of the Tomb under the watchful eye of Chief Tyrol while they unlock its secrets (Home, Part II).
After Fleet Reunification
Zarek later gives Apollo information regarding the black market, initially claiming not to be a part of it because he needs to keep his hands clean, but ultimately points out that the black market does get supplies where they are needed. Nonetheless, Zarek mentions the central hub of the black market, Prometheus, a ship so lawless it's practically "off the grid", as well as the name of its "businessman", Phelan. However, soon after Phelan's death at the hands of Apollo, Tom Zarek is seen walking through a crowd on the Prometheus with one of Phelan's old henchmen in tow. It is unknown how much involvment Tom Zarek has with the organization (Black Market).
Despite being the presumed opponent of Roslin in the upcoming presidential election, Zarek decides not to run against her because he realizes he probably won't win the election...but he decides that there's someone else that might be able to unseat Roslin, vice president Gaius Baltar. Zarek manages to talk vice president Gauis Baltar into running in his place, perhaps as part of a more long-term plan to ascend to power (The Captain's Hand).
Baltar's Election Campaign
When Baltar announces his run for the Presidency, Zarek assumes a position as his campaign manager. For all Zarek's personal political talent he has a hard time managing Baltar's campaign and faces the tough issue of whether Baltar is an electable candidate. After being trounced in the first debate by Roslin, Baltar's political future is in deep jeopardy and Zarek is left looking for a stronger wedge-issue other than Roslin's ties to the religious Gemenese. As if delivered by the hand of God, an issue presents itself that they can get on the supposed right side of; the colonization of a newly discovered planet and a safe-haven from the Cylons. Zarek presses Baltar to pick up this issue and run with it and as soon as he does his political fortunes turn around dramatically. Like he predicted the people rally around the idea of colonization and Baltar sails out of the final debate with a wide lead on Roslin (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II).
With his job of campaign manager all but over on election day, there isn't much for Zarek to do but sit back and wait for the results to come in. When the initial tallies come in suggesting Roslin scored a remarkable come-back victory he says to Baltar that he's seen enough elections to recognize a fixed one. Baltar admonishes Zarek, maintaining that, whatever Laura Roslin is, she is above fixing an election.
|Spoiler follows, highlight to read.|
|Zarek is not seen again when the story picks up one year later on New Caprica, but according to Ronald Moore's blog, Zarek was "...Vice President, but his relationship with Baltar went south relatively quickly, and he simply refused to cooperate once the Cylon occupation began."|
Hatch has written novels based on the original series, and also leads an attempt to bring the Original Series back theatrically in a project called "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming."
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