Sherman Cottle

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Sherman Cottle
Sherman Cottle


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Birth Name
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Act of Contrition
Marital Status
Family Tree View
Role Chief Medical Officer, battlestar Galactica
Rank Major
Serial Number {{{serial}}}
Portrayed by Donnelly Rhodes
Sherman Cottle is a Cylon
Sherman Cottle is a Final Five Cylon
Sherman Cottle is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Sherman Cottle is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
Sherman Cottle in the separate continuity
Sherman Cottle in the primary continuity
[[Image:|200px|Sherman Cottle]]

Doctor Cottle is Galactica's Chief Medical Officer (CMO). As the ship is operating with a minimal crew complement leading up to its expected decommissioning, Cottle is the only real physician/surgeon aboard Galactica, supported by a handful of medics such as Layne Ishay and Howard Kim. While Cottle also acts as the Fleet's CMO, conducting inspections on other ships, there are also civilian physicians like Dr. Robert (The Woman King) and Dr. Stoffa (Hero), though the latter might be a clinical psychologist and not a medical doctor.

Cottle is somewhat eccentric -- a heavy smoker, despite knowing the risks, and one not overly impressed by positions of power. He is, above all things, a healer. To him, nothing else really matters, be it rank, riches, or species.


Cottle is the third person in the Fleet to learn about President Laura Roslin's fight with cancer (Act of Contrition), after Lee Adama (Bastille Day) and Billy Keikeya (Miniseries). He agrees to treat her condition, without revealing it to anyone else, and further agrees to support more unorthodox treatments such as chamalla extract (against his better judgment). Knowing the extent of her illness and Roslin's reluctance to undergo diloxin therapy, the doctor also recommends prayer.

Cottle takes a personal interest in Kara Thrace's recovery from injuries suffered during a mission (You Can't Go Home Again). The doctor works with Lee Adama to get her out of sickbay (Six Degrees of Separation) without initial success.

Grumpy yet always professional, Cottle instantly inspires trust, despite his attitude.

After the assassination attempt on William Adama, (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II) Cottle is unavailable to stabilize the Commander as he is aboard another ship in the Fleet. Matters worsen after Galactica's jump to the emergency coordinates separates Cottle and the battlestar. Colonel Tigh orders Cottle's medics to stop Adama's internal bleeding (Scattered). However, while the medics stabilize the Commander's condition, they are unable to fully stop his bleeding. Cottle finally arrives and is able to operate on Commander Adama. After much risky work, the doctor saves Adama's life (Fragged).

Cottle speaks rather contemptuously of Colonel Saul Tigh's authority. When Tigh asks of Adama's condition as Cottle begins surgery to save the Commander's life, he tells the XO, "How should I know? I'm not a psychic. Now get the hell out of here" (Fragged). Later, after Tigh orders an ill-advised attempt to restore supply runs to Galactica on the Gideon, resulting in four civilian deaths, Cottle is anything but sympathetic when Tigh asks what happened: "What'd you expect, genius? You put a pilot in charge of crowd control" (Resistance).

At the request of President Roslin, despite her straight-to-the-point warning about its illegality and danger (Cottle: "You're a lousy salesman."), he assists Roslin in escaping Galactica by filing a request for a Raptor flight away from the battlestar, to care for patients on other ships. Roslin leaves Galactica on this "appropriated" Raptor with Lee Adama at the helm (Resistance).

Major Cottle performs a series of medical scans on Gaius Baltar's head at Baltar's request. Unknown to Cottle, Baltar is looking to see if there is a Cylon computer chip implanted into his brain. The scans show absolutely nothing unusual, and Cottle dismisses Baltar as a hypochondriac ("There's one on every bloody ship.") (Home, Part II).

Even Cottle's stony exterior gives way to the pain he sees on Laura Roslin's face when he gives her a new prognosis on her fight with cancer. Her cancer has spread aggressively, and the good doctor gives Roslin, on the outside, one month to live (Flight of the Phoenix). His concern for Cylon Sharon Valerii and her unborn hybrid child is remarkable, especially in the face of the rest of the crew's distrust and even hatred of her, hinting at his extremely strict sense of medical ethics. He describes her attempted rape by Lt. Thorne as "unforgivable," and voices his opposition to Baltar using Sharon's baby's blood as a cure for Roslin's cancer (Resurrection Ship, Part I, Epiphanies).

Cottle gains a reputation among the Fleet for performing abortions. When Rya Kibby, a young Gemenese girl, wanted to end her pregnancy, she stows away to get aboard Galactica and see Cottle. Cottle explains the situation to Admiral Adama by acknowledging, "I get a note that a girl's on the way. She arrives. I do my work. And then she leaves. I don't ask a lot of questions." When Admiral Adama asks Kibby to return to her parents, Cottle suggests that the girl instead request political asylum aboard Galactica, earning a stare from Adama (The Captain's Hand).

After the election of President Baltar and the settlement of New Caprica, Cottle, like most of Galactica's crew, retires from military duty. One year after the election he serves as a doctor on New Caprica in private practice (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II).

During the Cylon occupation of the planet, Cottle continues his work as a doctor and surgeon. He works as a neutral party in the Cylon-run state in New Caprica City, treating human and Cylon alike. When a copy of Number Three questions why he does this he tells her he would do the same for anyone who came to him (Exodus, Part I).


  • Cottle's counterpart in the Original Series is Salik.
  • Doctor Cottle is holding the rank of Major, though he would not be a line officer. He would never take command unless every senior officer is out of commission.
  • In the DVD commentary for "Act of Contrition", RDM states that actor Donnelly Rhodes was one of the three finalists up for the role of Colonel Saul Tigh, though in the end the part was given to one of the other finalists, Michael Hogan.
  • Doctor Cottle is named after Michael Rymer's childhood pediatrician, who Rymer tells was actually a very nice person, unlike his fictional counterpart.
  • Doctor Cottle is first mentioned in "Bastille Day", but the character does not appear until the next episode, "Act of Contrition".