- This page discusses the unwitting betrayer of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in the Re-imagined Series. For information on the Original Series character that intentionally betrays the Twelve Colonies of Man, see Baltar.
|Birth Name||Gaius Baltar|
|Marital Status||Single, in a relationship with a hallucination of Number Six. Previously involved with the "real" Number Six and Gina.|
|Role||President of the Twelve Colonies|
|Portrayed by||James Callis|
|Gaius Baltar is a Cylon|
|Gaius Baltar is a Final Five Cylon|
|Gaius Baltar is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Gaius Baltar is an Original Series Cylon|
|Gaius Baltar in the separate continuity|
|Gaius Baltar in the primary continuity|
Dr. Gaius Baltar was formerly a lead defense systems developer working for the Colonial Ministry of Defense and was widely considered a genius and celebrity throughout the Twelve Colonies. Baltar came to prominence as a computer technology designer having won three Magnate Prizes. Baltar was born on Sagittaron and attracted to Caprica by the Defense Ministry. He networks with others well, and became personal friends with President Adar. Baltar becomes responsible for the design of the critical Command Navigation Program (CNP) used throughout the Colonial Fleet. Baltar's scientific prowess seems strongest in the medical and biological fields. As a result of his lesser (although still advanced) computer programming skills, he seeks the help (and as a byproduct, the affections of) a young woman named Natasi to aid him with the CNP.
Elegantly dressed and aesthetically handsome, with the affected humility of the truly arrogant, Baltar is nonetheless a deeply flawed person and almost pathologically narcissist. Beneath his outstanding abilities lurks a dramatic weakness of character. Self-absorbed, sly, guileful, lecherous and utterly dedicated to his own self-preservation, Baltar carried on a two-year affair with Natasi-- even to the extent of using code she herself wrote to overcome shortfalls in his CNP -- and thus allowed her unrestricted access to some of the most sensitive systems of the Colonial defenses.
When the Cylons launch their attack, Baltar becomes horrified to learn that his "corporate spy" lover is in fact a new type of Cylon -- a Cylon in human form, able to mimic human beings down to the smallest detail -- and that she altered his CNP as a gateway to make all integrated Colonial computers and defense systems vulnerable to a Cylon virus that subverts their command and control systems.
Appalled by the fact that his sexual folly has led to the virtual holocaust of humanity, Baltar is nevertheless determined not only to survive but also avoid having his unintended treachery revealed.
Rescued on Caprica following the forced-landing of a Colonial Raptor -- at the cost of one of the crew staying behind (Miniseries) -- he is pleased to find himself treated with the same esteem he enjoyed back on Caprica. His only problem is that Number Six, his former "lover" -- herself ostensibly destroyed in the shock wave of a nuclear blast -- now appears to him in visions, and he cannot be sure whether this is a result of his own guilt at his actions or whether -- as she initially claims -- she is part of a chip that has been implanted in his brain.
Shortly after Baltar's arrival on Galactica, Commander William Adama learns that Cylons can mimic human form, and Baltar is put to work trying to devise a means of detecting these humanoid Cylons. By an educated guess (and an apparent attempt to distract those who suspected him of treachery), he exposes Aaron Doral -- a PR executive who co-ordinated the media coverage of Galactica's decommissioning -- as a Cylon agent (Miniseries), using little more than invented technobabble to convince Colonel Tigh. Despite his protestations of innocence, Doral is marooned at Ragnar Anchorage, but soon a team of Cylon agents appear to pick up the stranded Doral. Baltar's educated guess was correct--Doral was indeed a Cylon agent.
Due to his unique abilities, Baltar is charged with turning his initial "Cylon detector" into a working machine capable of screening everyone in the Fleet. While he at first balks at this task, events such as the sabotaging of Galactica's water reserves (Water) force him into a position where he can no longer procrastinate over the detector -- despite his fear that such a device might somehow expose him as the original traitor among humans. Gaining aid from a most unusual source -- his "virtual" Six (Bastille Day), who gets him to request a nuclear warhead for the detector -- Baltar eventually develops a genuine detector; which functions by exposing cell samples to the warhead's radiation, because it has already been demonstrated (Miniseries) that Cylons are more susceptible to certain kinds of radiation. This, together with his survival of a foiled attempt to expose him as a traitor (Six Degrees of Separation), firmly establishes his credentials within the Fleet's hierarchy.
With this new-found trust, and despite his willingness to deliberately conceal vital information, such as Lieutenant Valerii's true status as a Cylon agent (Flesh and Bone), Baltar willing enters the realm of political leadership, first as the Representative for Caprica on the Quorum of Twelve, and then as the newly-elected Vice President of the Colonies (Colonial Day).
The Cylons commenced their direct manipulations of Baltar some two years prior to the attack on the Twelve Colonies, by bringing him into contact with their agent, Number Six, who started a torrid affair with him while at the same time using him to access vital Colonial command and control systems within the Ministry of Defense (Miniseries).
This manipulation continues even after the Doctor leaves Caprica behind, with Six appearing to him in sensory perceptions, possibly through an implant in his brain (Miniseries) or perhaps even through a series of psychotic hallucinations as the doctor struggles to reconcile his guilt and his desire of self-preservation.
Regardless of the cause of her appearances, Six continues to help and hinder Baltar, gradually drawing him to a point of near-open acceptance and participation in Cylon plans and activities (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II). The majority of this manipulation has been through religious intrigue, linked to physical threats to Baltar's well-being or that of other humans. These manipulations include:
- Using the threat of Baltar's former colleague, Dr. Amorak, attempting to contact President Roslin with information on a "traitor" within Colonial circles -- and only "removing" this threat once Baltar has "repented of his sins" (33)
- Using the threat of direct accusation (in the form of "Shelly Godfrey") coupled with "photographic evidence" -- and only "removing" this threat once Baltar has "accepted" God into his life (Six Degrees of Separation)
Baltar's near-acquiescence to the Cylon religion comes when he goes through a process similar to the evangelical Christian belief in "rebirth" through adult baptism. In this, the new believer in the Christian faith is baptized (generally through full immersion in water), symbolizing the "death" of the "old" self and "birth" of the "new" Christian self. In "The Hand of God", Baltar apparently undergoes "death" at the hands of his inner Six when she "breaks" his neck -- and is "reborn" in his real life as the "instrument of God", able to point-out precisely where Colonial forces must strike in order to eliminate the Cylon base preventing them from accessing supplies of tylium (The Hand of God).
This act leaves Baltar ripe for the final revelation of his role within Cylon expectations, when "the future" is revealed to him by Six on Kobol, in the form of the first of "God's new generation of children" (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II). Baltar is not particularly pleased by this, especially when he learns that he is to be the father and that the mother will be Six (Scattered). Despite this, when he believes Commander Adama is trying to kill the child in one of his dreams, he tries to stop this (Valley of Darkness).
Survival on Kobol
While stranded on Kobol, Baltar "awoke" in a clearing filled with human bones. Number Six tells him the bones were from human sacrifices, and that all of the myths about the gods of Kobol and the paradise on Kobol were a lie to hide the true brutality of man, which increases Baltar's cynical opinion of humanity. Number Six also warns that one of the survivors of Baltar's crash would turn against the others.
The Raptor crash survivors, consisting of Baltar, Chief Galen Tyrol, Cally, Seelix, and ranking crew member Crashdown, a lieutenant, are faced with Cylon Centurions building a missile battery that will destroy any rescue ships trying to save them. Crashdown, obsessed with success after the deaths of Tarn and Socinus, orders the team to make a suicidal attack on the Cylon position. Baltar has never fired a weapon in his life and feels it could not be done. Due to the fact that he was the only non-military member of the survivors, he insists that they put it to a vote before Tyrol shouts him down to follow the chain of command.
On starting the attack, Cally freezes in terror, unable to create the needed diversion. Crashdown points his gun at her head and threatens to kill her if she does not obey the order. Immediately, Tyrol levels his gun at Crashdown. A tense standoff ensues. Just as Crashdown is about to fire, Baltar shoots him in the back, killing him instantly. The group successfully carries out the alternate plan of attacking the Cylon's DRADIS dish, and are rescued by the Raptors. Baltar tells the SAR team that Crashdown died a hero in the fight, and Tyrol reluctantly corroborates his story (Fragged).
Return to Galactica
Back on Galactica, Baltar insists that if Roslin's presidency was terminated, as Vice President he should then succeed her in command, but Col. Tigh dismisses the notion because he has instituted martial law in the Fleet. Later, Cally blackmails Baltar into making it a priority to prove that Chief Tyrol is not a Cylon, as Col. Tigh suspects, or Cally would reveal to all that it was really Baltar that killed Crashdown. Baltar pushes Cally against the wall and lectures her sternly, but she refuses to back down, telling him to "help the Chief [by] help[ing] [him]self." Incensed at this ingratitude, Baltar heads to the brig to take a blood sample from Tyrol, located in the same cell as Boomer, but actually injects him with a toxin that will kill him in seconds without an antidote. Baltar uses Tyrol's importance to Boomer to coerce the panicked Cylon agent to disclose how many remaining humanoid Cylons are hiding in the Fleet. He gambles that, even if Valerii was programmed to think she was human, on a subconscious level she truly would know the answer as a Cylon operative. With time running out, she shouts out "Eight!" Baltar revives Tyrol. Baltar plans to perform a series of experiments on Boomer, but she is soon killed by Cally (Resistance).
Some time later, as Commander Adama attempts to retrieve President Roslin and reunite the Fleet, Baltar yells at his internal Number Six for her increasingly ridiculous random changes in appearance, even questioning her actual existence. She responds by simplifying her appearance and attitude and told him that he truly had gone crazy, claiming there is no "computer chip" in his head with her personality, and that she is indeed a hallucination brought on by his guilt-ridden subconscious. Baltar has a brain scan performed in sickbay by Dr. Cottle (despite interference from Six), which confirms no "foreign objects" are present in his head. Baltar is ready to believe that he is truly insane when he hears Helo and Caprica-Sharon discuss Valerii's pregnancy with a Cylon/Human hybrid child from his observation room. Six told Baltar earlier that "their child" would be born in that cell, and this leads Baltar to realize that Six must be real because his subconscious couldn't have known that. Number Six says that she is indeed real and not a hallucination. While she still denies the presence of a chip in Baltar's head, she claims to be "an angel of God sent here to protect [Baltar]". Six tells Baltar that by "their" child she is referring to Caprica-Valerii's biological child: Six considers herself the mother, and Baltar the father (Home, Part II).
When D'anna Biers films a documentary about life aboard Galactica, Six urges Baltar to give an interview to try to win people over to thinking that he should be running the Fleet. Baltar performs badly as he begins his interview but, fortunately, his interview is interrupted by a Cylon attack that Biers chooses to film instead (Final Cut).
Baltar aids in trying to overcome the Cylon logic bomb which devastates Galactica's computers. Tigh's dislike of Baltar's involvement in this problem makes the scientist edgy enough to retort, "I'm sorry. Do you want to survive this one or not, Colonel?" (Flight of the Phoenix)
Arrival of Pegasus
When battlestar Pegasus reunites with the Fleet, Commander Adama requests that Baltar examine Pegasus' own Cylon prisoner to see what information he could glean from it. Upon arrival in the Pegasus brig, Baltar is horrified to discover the Cylon was a terribly abused and tortured copy of Number Six named "Gina". Baltar vows to help her in any way he could, and begins by having her restraints removed and bringing food to her. The inhumane treatment of Gina by the Pegasus crew likely makes Gaius more critical of humanity's worth (Pegasus).
Over the course of his examination of Gina, he uncovers both her wish to die and the secret of the Cylon Resurrection Ship. He passes this information to Adama and Admiral Helena Cain, who develop an operation to destroy it (Resurrection Ship, Part I).
Baltar continues to spend time with Gina, growing closer to her despite Six's pleas to the contrary and eventually helps Gina escape from the brig. He tells Gina that he can hide her, and also that he loves her. Gina goes on to kill Cain and escapes from the Pegasus through unexplained means, although it is probable that Baltar had something to do with it (Resurrection Ship, Part II).
Serving Everyone, but No One
To many others, Dr. Baltar's personality appears to exhibit more odd behavior than what may be considered the expected eccentricity of a genius. Crewmembers on Galactica find him mumbling with himself or discovering him in places they do not expect, such as aboard battlestar Pegasus to see its new commander, Jack Fisk. Torn between the "flesh and blood" copy of the Number Six copy, Gina, the demands of his internal Number Six, and his continuing attempt to cover his own multiple duplicities, Baltar becomes more aggressive and confrontational. With President Roslin's advice to abort the Cylon-hybrid fetus of the incarcerated Sharon Valerii, Baltar reacts to defend it as if it were his own child (as does his internal Six, who threatens him on the problem). Admiral Adama admonishes Baltar, telling him that, on Roslin's death, he will become President and that he needs to behave like one.
Desperate to save Valerii's fetus, Baltar reviews Dr. Cottle's medical tests and performs experiments of his own, learning a striking revelation: the blood of the fetus can destroy cancer and repair its damage to human tissue. With Admiral Adama's permission, he injects the dying President Roslin with some of the fetal blood, which works miraculously, saving both Roslin and Valerii's child by circumstance.
After saving Roslin's life, Baltar reads the letter given to him in the event of her death, in which she says he lacks compassion and asks him to open his heart if he becomes president. Furious, and goaded on by Six who tells him that Roslin doesn't trust him, Baltar delivers the nuclear warhead used for the Cylon detector to Gina and her militant Demand Peace movement. (Epiphanies).
Baltar keeps his fumarello supply fresh by trading in the black market through new Pegasus Commander Jack Fisk. Not realizing that Fisk had been murdered, the scientist visits Fisk's quarters, only to meet Captain Lee Adama, who has starten an investigation on the black market and Fisk's murder. Baltar truthfully tells Adama that he knows nothing of Fisk's murder, but Adama correctly deduces Baltar's association with Fisk and the black market since the "Caprica Imperials" fumarellos are a known favorite of Baltar's.
Baltar is also unaware that his involvement in the destruction of the Colonies is partially revealed. In Galactica's sickbay, Laura Roslin recalled those final days on Caprica, and remembered Baltar in the company of a woman on Caprica who she knows now is a Cylon agent. Baltar is summoned to Colonial One, where Roslin offers him, without explanation, the chance to resign from the Vice Presidency to return to his studies. Baltar becomes immediately suspicious (and frightened) in Roslin's succinct and direct vote of no-confidence in her vice president. Realizing that the Vice Presidency now has greater importance (if nothing other than to save his own hide), Baltar turns down what Roslin calls a "one-time offer" to save himself as he saved Roslin on her deathbed (Black Market).
Gaius as President
Roslin is declared the winner of the elections, but is caught by Adama for manipulating the tally, and Baltar is declared president. Though Baltar demands an investigation initially, he backs down under Adama's glare. President Baltar orders the Fleet to return to the marginally habitable planet New Caprica seconds after his inauguration. Baltar shows incompetency as president a few days later, when he orders the colonization of the planet rather than further investigation into the destruction of Cloud Nine and two other ships (he correctly guesses that the conflagration was started by Gina).
A year passes. On New Caprica, Baltar indulges in women, appears unsympathetic to the supply and resource problems plaguing the new colony, whose inhabitants continue to live in tents. The public appears displeased with his administration. The Cylon armada finds the planet, which prompts the return of the dormant virual Number Six, who observes it to Baltar as "judgement day" at last. Copies of a Five, Number Six, and Eight meet with Baltar and his cabinet, recommending surrender. Baltar soon realizes, after she speaks, that the Number Six copy appearing before him was in fact Caprica-Six, the reincarnated personality he had a relationship on Caprica (and who was the key agent in the compromising of the CNP). The Cylon agents (or leaders, as the case may be) claim that they found the planet by accident, due to trace radiation from a nuclear explosion; the one caused by the bomb Baltar donated to Gina (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II).
Speculation: The Real Baltar?
There is speculation that Gaius Baltar could be a Cylon agent himself. See the Cylon Speculation article for the pros and cons of this theory.
- Ron Moore has stated in several episode commentaries that when the role of "Gaius Baltar" was originally written in the script, the writing team never intended Baltar to have a "funny" aspect, but James Callis himself decided to play up that aspect of the frantic predicaments Baltar finds himself in during the Miniseries (which although the writers never anticipated, they enjoyed, and started writing him with that in mind).
- According to Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion, Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell were hand-picked for their roles, while the rest of the characters were cast by audition: among the actors in the running for the role of "Gaius Baltar" was Two and a Half Men''s Jon Cryer, though the role ultimately went to James Callis. Callis was suggested by Angela Mancuso, who ran the studio at the time, who new him from the Helen of Troy miniseries, in which he played Menelaus.
- Here is SkyOne's summary of Baltar:
- Scientific genuis Gaius is one of the greatest minds humanity has to offer. Unfortunately, his abundance of intellect is counterbalanced by a complete lack of ethics. His moral weakness allows the Cylons to infiltrate and neutralize the defences of the 12 Colonies.
- Gaius Baltar was born on a farm on the colony of Sagittaron.
- His family had worked the land for three generations and even as a boy, Gaius hated farm life. Fortunately, his parents owned a large and sprawling agri-business controlling millions of acres across the planet; Gaius found a different use for farm life and used it to study science and maths.
- Gaius became more than a good student - he was a genuis at 14.
- By the age of 21 he had his first doctorate under his belt. Soon he was being hotly pursued by every major university to set up a research lab.
- Gaius' speciality was theoretical physics, but his true passion was computer science. He saw the prevailing anti-technological edicts as short-sighted, and believed in advancing human technology that the Cylons could not infiltrate.
- Because of his achievements, Gaius' help was needed by the Defence Ministry on top-secret projects. Gaius soon found himself the keeper of secrets, a position that flattered his already impressive ego.
- Still it wasn't enough; he hungered for a chance to work on a true artificial intelligence project. He then meets a smart and beautiful woman who seemed to understand him in a way no other had. She shared his passion of A.I. systems. The relationship lasted for two years and during this time she provided him with new and innovative ideas. Only one thing was missing; Gaius could not find out anything about her. Was it the perfect relationship he once thought it was?
- Baltar's planet of birth and recruitment by the Colonial Defense Ministry to Caprica are according to SkyOne. However, information from SkyOne may not be canonical at all.
- The idea that Six is an actual chip in Baltar's head was dismissed by Dr. Cottle's image scan of Baltar's head. See the section on alternate reasons for Six's existence for more.
- The act of killing Crashdown appears to have led to a dramatic change in Baltar's attitude toward hurting anyone directly. When Cally tries to blackmail him after they return from Kobol, Baltar is somewhat rough with her. When he visits Tyrol and Boomer in the brig, he does not hesitate to inject Tyrol with fatal drugs to blackmail Boomer into giving Cylon secrets. Baltar's humanitarian acts to the Six copy known as Gina also suggests Baltar's attitude in the care of Cylons is further changing. More and more, Baltar appears to prefer direct intervention and is less cowardly in his attitude.
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