William Adama

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For information on William Adama's Original Series counterpart, see Adama (TOS).
William Adama
[[Image:William Adama promo.jpg|200px|William Adama]]


Colony Caprica
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name William Adama
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Callsign Husker
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Miniseries
Parents Evelyn Adama (mother), Joseph Adama (father)
Children Lee Adama (alive), Zak Adama (deceased)
Marital Status Divorced (Caroline Adama), remarried to Anne Adama
Family Tree View
Role Commanding Officer, Battlestar Galactica; Supreme Commander of the Colonial Fleet
Rank Admiral
Serial Number {{{serial}}}
Portrayed by Edward James Olmos
William Adama is a Cylon
William Adama is a Final Five Cylon
William Adama is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
William Adama is an Original Series Cylon
Additional Information
William Adama in the separate continuity
William Adama in the primary continuity
[[Image:|200px|William Adama]]

Admiral William Adama is the commanding officer of the battlestar Galactica, and the highest ranking officer left in the Colonial Fleet.


  • William Adama was born on Caprica to Evelyn and Joseph Adama. His mother was an accountant and his father, an attorney specializing in civil liberties (Litmus). They divorced while he was in his teens.
  • Adama served late in the Cylon War as a Viper pilot. He allegedly gained the call sign of "Husker" on account of his baritone "gravelled" voice. He proved a gifted pilot, shooting down his first Cylon on his very first mission.
  • He racked-up his 1,000th deck landing while serving aboard battlestar Atlantia (Act of Contrition), when he held the rank of Lieutenant.
  • In the last week in the war, Adama served on Galactica when the battlestar was boarded by Cylon forces. He recalled to his friend and fellow war veteran Saul Tigh of a dangerous Cylon tactic that tried to turn the battlestar's power against itself (Scattered, deleted scene).
  • Following the Cylon armistice, William Adama married Caroline Adama and had two sons, Lee and Zak, before the pressures of Adama's career and the time he spent away from home of active service began to place a strain on their marriage, and the two eventually divorce.
A young William Adama and his two sons.
  • Furloughed by Colonial Fleet after the war's end, Adama found work on a civilian freighter where he met Saul Tigh, who was to become a longtime friend.
  • Adama married a second time to Anne Adama. Anne's family had political influence with the defense subcommittee and pulled to get Adama reinstated to the Colonial Fleet. Adama himself arranged for Tigh's reinstatement a few years later.
  • While elder son Lee Adama showed promise as a Viper pilot, younger Zak Adama did not. Kara Thrace, Zak's flight instructor and lover, certified him for basic flight despite young Adama's poor flight skills. Later, Zak Adama was killed in an operational flight. Zak's death would cause a rift between he and his older son for nearly three years until Thrace admits her error to Bill Adama.
  • Adama has the rare combination of qualities that make up a good leader: insight, the ability to naturally command respect, a common touch that enables him to relate to the enlisted personnel under his command as well as his officers, intuition, intelligence, a strong belief in his own abilities, and the ability to take the advice of others. These qualities are reflected in the fact the personnel of all ranks aboard Galactica hold him in high regard, and know that his is approachable (Miniseries).
  • Adama mistrusts politicians, and sometimes places too strongly a value of loyalty to those he regards as family and friends. From his uneasiness to Laura Roslin's unexpected assumption of the Presidency, to the tolerance and patience of his friend, Saul Tigh, and his stubborness to save Kara Thrace (You Can't Go Home Again), Adama shows a dogged determination that few others care to confront.

Character History at a Glance

  • At the time of the Miniseries, William Adama serves out his final weeks as commander of the battlestar Galactica. After some 50 years of service, the historic warship is in the process of being decommissioned, and it was one of Adama's final duties to formally hand her over to the Colonial Ministry of Education, which would operate the ship as a living museum and educational center commemorating the original Cylon War.
  • As a retirement gift, several members of Galen Tyrol's deck crew find and restore Adama's old Viper Mark II.
  • On news of a renewed Cylon attack, Adama's first thoughts are, "Dead. We're all dead" (Home, Part II). Despite this, as well as the presumed loss of his wife in Caprica City, he manages to shepherd the last of humanity to safety.
Commander Adama and Colonel Tigh plot a course to Ragnar Anchorage in the Miniseries.
  • When Picon Fleet Headquarters is destroyed and then Admiral Nagala is killed, he unhesitatingly takes control of the Colonial's response to the Cylon incursion and starts defining a response to the onslaught. Once President Roslin convinces Adama the futility of fighting against overwhelming odds, and with what may be the last 50,000 humans that remain anywhere, he makes the switch to the more tactical thinking that keeps the Colonial fleet at least one step ahead of their Cylon pursuers.
  • From the outset, he is savvy enough to give every single survivor of the devastating attack on the Colonies a reason for hope for the future: the legend of Earth. This falsehood comes back to haunt him as the weeks continue, as Roslin is aware of this lie to the crew and states this privately to Adama.
  • Adama continues to face the problem of infiltration within the Fleet by Cylon agents as well as dissenting humans who protest or terrorize others in the Fleet. Adama continually redefines the boundaries of military and civil leadership. After some serious missteps between he and President Roslin, the two later become friends as well as influential leaders.
  • Sharon Valerii, a trusted Raptor pilot that served with Adama for two years, reveals herself unwittingly as a Cylon sleeper agent and shoots Adama at point blank range after a critical mission near Kobol. Cottle eventually repairs the damage to Adama's body, but Adama's psyche takes the larger hit while he repairs the damage to the Fleet he and Col. Tigh have caused in arresting President Roslin, as well as the existence of a second copy of Valerii.
Commander Adama paints a model boat while talking to Dualla in "Home, Part I."
  • While at first Adama takes a similar stance to Tigh in assuming a hard military posture, a conversation with Dualla helps him realize that, despite the problems, the Fleet is his family, and the family must stay together. After finding the Tomb of Athena with Roslin and reuniting a factioning of the Fleet, Adama firmly buries the hatchet between he and Roslin publicly.
  • In a desperate plan, Adama trusts the second Valerii to help ward off a massive Cylon fleet. Adama (Flight of the Phoenix). Despite his "gut" feelings about the Cylon, he finds common ground often with her, even apologizing to her after a distasteful incident.
  • Adama stoically accepts Admiral Helena Cain's overall command. Wary of her behavior and her crew, Adama follows his own truism: stick to what you know, until you find something better.
  • Matters with Cain's unusually totalitarian command style come to a head when Cain makes several highly questionable orders that lead him to face off with her battlestar and her command in a military challenge. While the issue is temporarily defused, Adama is told by--of all people, President Roslin--that Cain is a threat to the safety of the Fleet's citizens and must be eliminated.
  • Adama avoids killing Cain after realizing that he would become the monster that the Cylons believed they were, unaware that she has plotted his demise as well.
  • With Cain's fate sealed not by Adama but Gina, a frail President Roslin promotes Adama to Admiral. He gives her a simple, affectionate kiss, which she returns, signifying another change in their turbulent association.
  • Adama's sense of justice with Roslin holds when he confronts her about a conspiracy involving her re-election. Roslin admits the conspiracy but she is certain disaster will strike if Gaius Baltar becomes president. He convinces Roslin that the correct course of action is to acknowledge a miscount and cover the conspiracy.
  • When Cloud Nine and two other ships blow up as a result of Gina's last effort of sabotage, Adama is privately infuriated at new President Baltar's refusal to investigate, and begins to wonder if he hadn't made a mistake.


  • A year later, Adama commands a heavily under-staffed Galactica as the flagship of a Defense Fleet, consisting of all ships unable or unwilling to make planetfall on New Caprica.
  • Adama convinces Tigh to rejoin Ellen in New Caprica City after months of debate, with Helo acting as his new XO.
  • Not long after Tigh leaves, a massive Cylon Fleet bears down on New Caprica. After a brief discussion with Lee Adama (now commander of Pegasus) they order the Fleet to escape to pre-arranged Jump coordinates.
  • The admiral issues the Jump order with a reminder: "We're leaving... but we'll be back."

Additional Notes

  • Adama (also known as Nazareth) is the name of a large city in Ethiopia. The name is also a variation on "Adam," the first man to be created according to the Bible in the Book of Genesis.
  • In Hebrew the word pronounced "Adama" means earth.
  • SkyOne has posted a biography of William Adama reporting events that occurred prior to the miniseries, however this information has not appeared on the Scifi.com website and contains information that may contradict the canon.

Preceded by:
Unknown, eventually Nash
Commanding Officer of the Battlestar Galactica Succeeded by: