|Birth Name||Lee Adama|
|Parents||Caroline Adama (mother), William Adama (father)|
|Siblings||Zak Adama (deceased)|
|Role||Commander Air Group, Battlestar Galactica|
|Portrayed by||Jamie Bamber|
|Leland Adama is a Cylon|
|Leland Adama is a Final Five Cylon|
|Leland Adama is a Human/Cylon Hybrid|
|Leland Adama is an Original Series Cylon|
|Leland Adama in the separate continuity|
|Leland Adama in the primary continuity|
Lee "Apollo" Adama is the eldest son of Caroline and William Adama. Together with his younger Brother, Zak, he was raised largely by his mother on Caprica, following his parents' divorce when he was eight.
Despite his father's estrangement from the family, Lee nevertheless inherited his passion for flying - a passion that saw him enrolling in the Colonial military after graduating from college. Following his basic training, he graduated from military academy third in his class and immediately applied for flight school.
Not to be outdone by his elder brother, Zak Adama applied for military service, a move that eventually brought tragedy to the Adama household.
Accepted into flight school, Lee proved himself a gifted and natural pilot, hampered only by his his tendency to over-intellectualise things - a result of his upbringing with his mother, who encouraged him to read widely, and think freely (encouragement that lead him to read banned texts by the renegade Tom Zarek while at college (Bastille Day)).
Graduating from flight school, Lee was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Colonial Forces, flying the Viper Mark VII. During this time, he was also introduced to Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, a training instructor at flight school, who was also involved with Zak Adama. While Lee was still at flight school, the three frequently spent time together, and Lee and Starbuck developed a friendship through Zak Adama (Mini-Series).
Tragedy struck some two years prior to the renewed Cylon attack on the 12 colonies when Zak Adama, recently graduated from flight school was killed on a routine Viper mission. At the time, the cause of the accident was put down to pilot error. However, Lee Adama chose to blame the mishap on his father, whom he believed had pushed Zak into applying for military service and for applying for flight school (Mini-Series).
Following Zak's death, Lee Adama became estranged from his father, seeking to build his career well away from any influence exerted by either William Adama or the legendary Battlestar Galactica, his father's command. While he was successful in this - gaining promotion to Captain through his own abilities, the decision nevertheless placed a heavy strain on his friendship with Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, as she applied for pilot duty aboard the Galactica.
However, Lee was to be reunited with both his father and Kara Thrace when it was decided the Galactica should be decommissioned and handed over to civil authorities as a living museum and educational centre. As a part of the final ceremonies marking Galactica's retirement, Lee Adama was ordered to participate in a final Viper flyby to salute both the ship and her commanding officer - an assignment he undertook grudgingly, doing little to hide his true feelings from the moment he arrived on the ship (Mini-Series). Matters were not helped when he discovered he'd be making the flyby not in his own Viper, as he had expected, but in the newly-restored Mark II Viper his father had flown during the Cylon War (Mini-Series).
Things were worsened after the PR official aboard the Galactica, Aaron Doral, saw Lee's presence on Galactica as a major PR opportunity and had the two men pose for pictures together. Immediately following this Lee pushed for a confrontation with his father over Zak's death, during which he gave vent to two years' worth of anger, clearly expressing his belief that William Adama was responsible for the loss of his brother.
Surprise Cylon Attack
Following the decommissioning ceremony, Lee Adama departed the Galactica, acting as a unofficial escort for Colonial Heavy 798, the official transport for Education Minister Laura Roslin, who had represented President Adar at the ceremony. Mid-way through their return to Caprica, Lee and the crew of Colonial Heavy 798 heard of the Cylon attacks on the Twelve Colonies, and shortly thereafter came under direct attack. While Lee was able to thwart the attack, his Viper was nevertheless damaged, and had to be brought aboard Colonial Heavy 798, where he became one of the unofficial advisors to Laura Roslin aiding her in her self-appointed rescue mission. Lee's thoughts about his father's old Viper come back to haunt him when Boomer notes to him that other Vipers like his Mark VII were easily destroyed.
Following his disobedience of a direct order from his father instructing Lee to take command of the government ship and break-off from rescue missions, he again saves the ship using Galactica's EMP coils onboard - while simultaneously making it look like the ship had been destroyed. He then supports Roslin in her rescue efforts until it becomes clear that all stranded vessels - particularly those without FTL drives - cannot be rescued in the wake of an upcoming Cylon attack. Lee pursuades her to head for the Ragnar Anchorage and rendezvous with the Galactica - even though it means leaving thousands to their deaths at the hands of the Cylons.
On being reunited with the Galactica, Lee learns that his CAG, Captain Jackson Spencer, has been killed in action, together with the members of Galactica's last fully-operational squadron of Mark VII fighters. As the ranking pilot aboard, and despite his relative inexperience, he finds himself promoted to the position of CAG. This promotion doesn't initially sit easy with him, given the guilt separating him from his father, and is in stark contrast to Spencer's leadership - something that annoys Starbuck (33). Nevertheless, Starbuck is happy to see that Lee was not killed as reported earlier to her. This reuniting of friends is the first of several frequently awkward moments of conversation between Kara and Lee.
Lee leads a Viper squadron in keeping Cylon Raiders at bay while the civilian fleet jumps away from Ragnar Anchorage. His ship is badly damaged midway in the battle and he would have been killed by a missile were it not for the lightning-fast and highly-accurate shooting of Kara, who guards him while also adding more kills to her record. When Galactica is minutes away from leaving, his Viper's power fails, which would have left him stranded at the mercy of the Cylons were it not again for Kara's highly unconventional flying. She force-fits the two Vipers nose-to-nose and flies Lee back to the ship seconds before the port flight pod closes and Galactica jumps away.
Lee Adama's position is further complicated when, after assisting President Laura Roslin in matters of protocol and other issues (Water), he finds himself attached to Roslin as a "special advisor" to further help her understand military matters. In particular, this does not sit well with his father (Bastille Day).
The situation is further exacerbated during a hostage crisis involving convicts being transported aboard the Astral Queen. While the situation is resolved with only one loss of life, it is done so through an arrangement reached between Lee and the leader of the convicts, Tom Zarek. While the solution is sensible, it is not to the liking of either Commander William Adama or President Laura Roslin.
In the weeks following the Cylon attack, Lee has time to re-evaluate his relationship with his father - due in no small part to Starbuck's admmission of her involvement in Zak's acceptance as a fighter pilot (Mini-Series) and his subsequent death, and they grow somewhat closer - even standing shoulder-to-shoulder when Starbuck is MIA (You Can't Go Home Again). Even so, Lee's former self-doubts and moodiness are not easily overcome and sometimes come back to haunt him (The Hand of God).
During this time, Lee matures enormously, emerging from his shell as a somewhat disillusioned officer, unsure of himself despite his seniority, to become a practical leader, who can now comfortably straddle his responsibilities as an officer in the Colonial fleet with his duties as advisor to Roslin, without undue clashes with either her or his father. He demonstrated this maturity particularly-well in his handling of security arrangements for the initial meeting of Roslin's Quorum of Twelve aboard the luxury liner Cloud Nine (Colonial Day). As a Viper pilot, Lee has been able to escape from Starbuck's shadow, proving himself capable in unconventional and skilled flying in the Battle for the Tylium Asteroid (The Hand of God).
The Inner Conflicts at Kobol
Unfortunately, his sincere belief in the need for democratic representation and civil government brought him in direct conflict with orders given him by his father. During the arrest of Laura Roslin following her interference with military operations, Lee draws his gun on Colonel Tigh in a direct act of mutiny. Arrested alongside of Roslin, Lee is unable to prevent his father being shot by Lieutenant Valerii (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II).
Lee is temporarily furloughed by Colonel Tigh so that he can continue his CAG responsibilities. Shortly afterward he leads a team of marines to stop Cylon boarders from reaching Aft Damage Control, saving the ship (Valley of Darkness). After that, he leads a SAR (Search and Rescue) mission with two Raptors to retrieve the stranded Colonials back on the surface of Kobol (Fragged).
Lee's desire to let democracy work without overt military action came to a head once more as he plotted with a handful of others to free Roslin and smuggle her away from Galactica (The Farm). Before he left, he apologized to the unconscious Commander Adama at his bedside for what he was about to do: Leave with Roslin and a faction of ships to search for data on Earth on Kobol. Adama began to awaken just as Lee left his side.
On the Astral Queen, Lee was very happy to see that Kara had returned safely from Caprica with the Arrow of Apollo and hugged her. In fact, he was so happy that he also impulsively kissed her, pleasantly surprising Kara (Home, Part I). Moments later, as the Caprica copy of Sharon Valerii entered, Lee instantly grabbed the known humano-Cylon in anger and would have killed her if Helo and Roslin had not intervened.
Later, with their military protocols and attitudes relaxed, Lee playfully teases the brooding Kara by stealing a pyramid ball she took as a keepsake from her time with Anders on Caprica. He returns the ball after sensing her depressed mood and tells her that he would be happy to listen to what was on her mind. In the same conversation, he lets it slip out that he loves Kara. Amused, Kara cheers up a bit and teases Lee, telling him that there are no take-backs on what he said.
Lee and Kara joined President Roslin and other supporters on their quest to find the Tomb of Athena on Kobol. When they were ambushed by Cylon Warriors along an ancient trail, Lee and Kara worked well together in the fight, complementing each other for their fine shots. During the incident, Lee chased what appeared to be an escaping Valerii, with Kara calling Lee back in vain. Valerii took a grenade launcher and aimed it in the direction of Lee, who feared for his life but Valerii actually used the weapon to destroy the last Warrior instead, before putting it down. "You gotta be fracking kidding me," was all Lee could say about the episode with Valerii, unable to believe that he could trust the humano-Cylon.
Lee's reunion with his recovered father on Kobol further aided in sealing the wounds between them, both politically and personally. Like Lee had done, his father reacted violently to the existance of a new copy of Valerii, leaving Lee in the awkward position of defending her from his father.
In the virtual planetarium created by the Tomb of Athena, Lee is the member of the party that completes the mystery of interpreting how to use the constellations as viewed from Earth to make a flight path. He spots the Lagoon Nebula in the sky where the Scorpius constellation resided, a celestial body known to the Colonials which gives them a reference point to navigate to Earth. His father confirms Lee's observation, noting that the nebula is far away from their current location at Kobol.
After the Fleet's reunification, Lee Adama has been fully restored to flight status and his position as the Commmander, Air Group (CAG) ("Final Cut"). Apollo doubted that Tyrol could successfully complete the Blackbird, but in the end aided in its first test flight. Around this time, Apollo began to develop something of a noticable interest in Petty Officer 2nd Class Anastasia Dualla (Flight of the Phoenix).
Apollo was in his Viper when the Battlestar Pegasus reunited with Galactica and he was one of the first to see it up close. Soon afterwards, friction started to develop between Apollo and the CAG of Pegasus, Captain Cole "Stinger" Taylor. Taylor felt that Apollo's pilots were undisciplined, and that Apollo should focus on keeping a "killcount" of Raiders to encourage competition amongst his pilots, while Apollo stressed that his first priority was to make sure that all of his pilots survived another day. To Apollo's shock, Admiral Nelena Cain re-assigned him and Starbuck to Pegasus, underneath Taylor's command. Cain believed that having Adama's son also be his CAG was a mistake that had clouded Adama's judgement, as Apollo had been insubordinate and even mutinous in the past. During a briefing on an upcoming scouting mission against the Cylon fleet following them, Starbuck crassly pointed out that it would never work, and she was grounded while Taylor ordered Apollo to perform the humiliating task of co-piloting a Raptor. However, after the briefing Apollo sureptitiously gave Starbuck a surveillance package and told her to take the Blackbird and succesfully carry out the recon mission. When Commander Adama and Admiral Cain turned on each other, Apollo was away in Taylor's Raptor on the recon mission ("Pegasus").
Some of this information may not be canon.
In my first draft of the mini, Lee Adama had just been accepted into test pilot school on Caprica and was not currently assigned to any battlestar. Presumably, he had been posted to at least a couple of battlestar air groups in his career, as well as several ground assignments as well. This isn't canon yet, however, and I'm currently thinking of changing some elements of his specific backstory as I work on storylines for Season Two. Overall, I'd say Lee was striving (perhaps too hard) to blaze a different path for himself in the fleet from that of his father. I don't think Lee ever saw himself as a battlestar commander and was looking for a different way to make his mark.
- According to Jamie Bamber, Lee's official character biography states that “Lee is never so happy as when he’s in his kitchen cooking.”
- The subtitles under Apollo's name in "Final Cut" list him as "CFR". In the podcast, RDM explained that this stood for Colonial Fleet Reserves, not unlike our world's ROTC, and Apollo is in that because, as stated above, he wasn't sure what he was doing with his life and wasn't sure if he was going to pursure a full career in the Fleet.
- Jamie Barber is the husband of actress Kerry Norton, who portrays Ishay, the paramedic from Scattered.