Imperious Leader

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Imperious Leader
Imperious Leader


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Introduced Saga of a Star World
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Portrayed by Patrick Macnee (voice)
Dick Durock (costume)
Imperious Leader is a Cylon
Imperious Leader is a Final Five Cylon
Imperious Leader is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Imperious Leader is an Original Series Cylon
Related Media
@ BW Media
Additional Information
Imperious Leader in the separate continuity
[[Image:|200px|Imperious Leader]]

The Imperious Leader is the highest authority of the Cylon Empire. There is only one Imperious Leader, although there are others to replace it should the Cylon succumb to destruction. Typically, their potential replacements are called IL-series Cylons, and are typically the politicians or viceroys of the Cylon Empire.

  • In the original novelization, the Imperious Leader had three brains, all capable of independent or collective, unified thought. In addition, the sitting Imperious Leader could seek telepathic advice from the preserved brains of its predecessors, maintained in the "thought archives." Presumably, Leaders who were killed in action and whose bodies could not be recovered were not represented in these archives.
  • Imperious Leaders are also programmed, each one an improvement on the previous generation. In the epilogue of "Saga of a Star World," the Imperious Leader tells Baltar that his predecessor was programmed in a time when Cylons were less tolerant.
  • The origin of the Imperious Leader can be traced directly to Count Iblis. In "War of the Gods, Part II," Baltar tells Iblis that he recognizes his voice as that of the Cylon Imperious Leader. Iblis balks at this, replying that he would have to be 1,000 yahrens old since the Cylon race is just as old. Additional information from the "Experiment in Terra" telemovie indicates that the onset of the Thousand Yahren War was started by the Imperious Leader, who had a defect in its programming that lead to the annihilation of the serpent Cylons and the subsequent holocausts against humanity.
  • A green lizard can be seen sitting on the shoulder of the Imperious Leader in the pilot episode. This reptilian/lizard reference was never fully explored in the Original Series run, except during a scene on Carillon where Apollo explains the origins of the Cylons to Boxey.


The Imperious Leader visits Gamoray.

The Imperious Leader strikes a bargain with Baltar, allowing the Cylons to take control of the Twelve Colonies but leaving Baltar's colony alone (with Baltar in command). When the plan comes to fruition, the Imperious Leader reneges on the bargain and destroys Baltar's colony as well. Baltar is thanked and sentenced to public execution. The Imperious Leader is present at the Battle of Carillon and is killed when his basestar is too close to the planet Carillon when the planet explodes (TOS: "Saga of a Star World").

The next Imperious Leader claims to be more tolerant. He commutes Baltar's death sentence. The new Imperious Leader argues that his predecessor was programmed in a time when the Cylon Empire was less capable of tolerance. "Now that the Cylons are omnipotent," they could afford to be more charitable (TOS: "Saga of a Star World"). Baltar is given command of a basestar to track down the Colonial Fleet. To help him Baltar gets the assistance of Lucifer from the leader (However it is unclear how much power Baltar really got as Lucifer will soon betray Baltar without any noticeable punishment) (TOS: "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I," "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II").

The Imperious Leader is last seen visiting the planet Gamoray, where he dedicates a Cylon cultural center. The Imperious Leader is present at the Cylon compound when a commando unit disables the planetary defense systems, allowing Vipers to attack freely. It is unknown whether this Imperious Leader survives the Battle of Gamoray (TOS: "The Living Legend, Part II").


The Imperious Lizard
  • In a deleted scene from "Saga of a Star World," a Centurion is seen communicating with the Imperious Leader through a glass orb. The face of the Imperious Leader is clearly not robotic and possibly provides an insight into the original reptillian concept for the Cylons.
  • In the epilogue to "Saga of a Star World," the new Imperious Leader tells Baltar that his mission is to offer peace to the surviving Colonials, as the Empire is now supreme enough to tolerate humanity's existence. This is later retconned in "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I," where the Imperious Leader does not tell him this, and is then escorted out of the throne room by Lucifer.
  • Another Imperious Leader, with a different voice (provided by Dennis Haysbert), appears in the episode "Space Croppers" in the short-lived Galactica 1980. (The sequence utilizes stock footage from the Original Series.)