Battlestar Wiki:Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup

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Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup


Colony Caprica (presumed)
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name Laura Roslin
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced Miniseries
Marital Status Unmarried
Family Tree View
Role President, The Twelve Colonies of Kobol
Serial Number {{{serial}}}
Portrayed by Mary McDonnell
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Cylon
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Final Five Cylon
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is a Human/Cylon Hybrid
Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup is an Original Series Cylon
Related Media
@ BW Media
Additional Information
[[Image:|200px|Think Tank/Character Bio Project/Mockup]]

Laura Roslin serves as Secretary of Education at the time of the Cylon attack, later becoming president of the Twelve Colonies.


  • Roslin, an unmarried[1] former teacher, worked with Richard Adar when he was a mayor. Over the twenty years in politics, she herself has risen in political rank to the office of Secretary of Education.
  • Adar, a married man, and Roslin are in a sexual affair[2] during the events of a teachers strike that she is trying to mediate, to Adar's objection.
  • Roslin learns that she, as did her mother, has breast cancer. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is grim, as the cancer has already spread.
  • Roslin sat in the Government Plaza after her doctor's appointment, where she saw Gaius Baltar, the famous scientist, walking and kissing an attractive blonde, but pays it little attention.
  • Roslin successfully resolves the teachers strike crisis, but Adar vehemently disagrees with her method, and asks for her resignation. She asks him to defer the matter until she returns from the decommissioning ceremonies on battlestar Galactica.
  • Despite being thrust into the role of President in highly unusual and stressful circumstances, Laura Roslin initially proves herself both tough and capable within the role. Initially in awe of Commander Adama, and worrying that he didn't hold her in high regard (Water), she quickly overcomes her doubts and fears to be able to make the required decisions at the right time, and also stand up to Adama himself (You Can't Go Home Again). She is always prepared to put the safety and destiny of the Fleet first, no matter what the cost of her actions ("Flesh and Bone," "Home, Part I," "Home, Part II," "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II") while remembering her limitations and fears.
  • Roslin is rarely hesitant to make controversial decisions unilaterally, but often must deal with the significant ramifications of her choices.

Character History at a Glance[edit]

  • After attending the decommissioning ceremonies for the battlestar Galactica, when the Cylon attack leaks through wireless, Roslin begins rescue of stranded civilian ships in Caprican space. The Case Orange automated beacon response assigns Roslin the role of President after Adar and other high-level government officials are dead or incapacitated.
  • Roslin successfully persuades Galactica commander William Adama away from a suicidal counter-attack against the Cylons, and towards helping the survivors of humanity escape from occupied Colonial space.
  • Roslin and Commander Adama begin their leadership together under an uneasy understanding. Where she is responsible for all civil leadership issues among the surviving Colonials, Adama is responsible for all military decisions (Miniseries). However, the dividing line is not always clear between the two leaders. Roslin establishes a fledgling civilian government and reestabishes a new Quorum.
  • Roslin chooses chamalla extract as an alternative to diloxin, remembering her mother's malaise with that treatment. Her illness remains a secret until she relates her chamalla-induced visions of Kobol to priest Elosha, who connects them to Pythia and ancient Colonial prophesy.
  • After research, Roslin convinces Lt. Thrace to use the captured Cylon Raider to return to Caprica in search of the Arrow of Apollo, a possible key to the true location of Earth.
  • Commander Adama stages a military coup in retaliation and is incarcerated aboard Galactica. Adama is soon shot by Sharon Valerii, leaving the Fleet in the hands of Saul Tigh.
  • From her cell, Roslin eventually tells the Quorum of Twelve of her role in the Sacred Scrolls, and begins to gain significant underground civilian support for her cause. After escaping Galactica, Roslin takes a third of the Fleet back to Kobol, with the help of rival Tom Zarek, to search for the Tomb. Starbuck meets Roslin's fleet with the recovered Arrow, and a hazardous expedition on Kobol begins, aided by a second copy of the Sharon Cylon and Elosha, who is soon killed, leaving Roslin with a gap in her spirituality for a time.
  • The recovered Commander Adama gains refreshed insight on the need for the Fleet to stay united, and [[finds Roslin's expedition. The leaders reconcile. Roslin's gamble on faith pays off big for humanity, and the group gains a map and their first waypoint to the true location of Earth.
  • Adama and Roslin's respect for each other grew stronger and their leadership in managing fleet business became more cooperative, asking each other for advice and correcting each other as needed, starting with a potentially disruptive tabloid expose' of the Gideon shootings.
  • After a near-disastrous military confrontation between Adama and Admiral Helena Cain, Roslin forces them to concentrate on more important matters. Privately, Roslin tells Adama that Cain, whose power can radically affect the remnant of humanity both Roslin and Adama have strived so hard to protect, must be killed if Adama and the Fleet are to survive.
Roslin and Adama.
  • After the battle, and Admiral Cain's death, Roslin, now more frail with her illness, promotes William Adama to Admiral. The new admiral gives the president a kiss, establishing a more personal aspect to their friendship.
  • Roslin is miraculously saved by the injection of stem cells[3] from the Cylon hybrid fetus, which apparently eradicates her cancer (Epiphanies). In the hours prior to the cure, however, Roslin remembers her last days on Caprica, including the attractive blonde with Dr. Baltar, her vice-president. She now recognizes the woman as a humanoid Cylon.
  • Roslin returns to work with a dispassionate, zealous manner, including an attempt to stop the black market , handling the terrible loss of Billy Keikeya, and the upcoming presidential election. After Billy Keikeya's death, Roslin appoints Tory Foster as her aide.
  • Roslin's decision to enforce a no-abortion law to aid in repopulation complicates what might have been an easy reelection. Her own vice-president, Dr. Baltar, challenges Roslin for the presidency. After the Agathon's child is born, Roslin, fearing both for the child's safety and its significance to the Cylon, has the child's death faked.
  • When New Caprica" is found, Baltar uses the discovery to wedge the election to his favor. Roslin gives Foster tacit approval to rig the election, but the fraud is discovered and Admiral Adama convinces Roslin to leave the Fleet to their choice, poor or otherwise. President Baltar orders colonization of New Caprica.
  • Early in the colonization, Roslin finds time to relax on New Caprica. She meets with Admiral Adama, who also takes in some time to unwind. The two friends comfortably chat about matters small and not-so-small over smoking and drinking, and later gaze at the stars together, allowing themselves to relax, lying outside, close to each other. Roslin worries that, amidst their temporary comfort, the Cylons could return, but it is nice to have what they have for the time being (Unfinished Business).
Roslin as a teacher on New Caprica.
  • A year passes on New Caprica, and Baltar's administration becomes the disaster that Roslin feared. Roslin returned to teaching, running the new settlement's school. Assisted by Maya, who brings her infant adopted daughter Isis (the secreted Cylon hybrid), Roslin is more comfortable watching over the pair personally.
  • On the 380th day after settling on the planet, the Cylons discover the colony, as Roslin had warned, and occupy the settlement).
  • Roslin is arrested at least twice during the occupation, and is nearly killed at a firing squad were it not for the New Caprica Resistance (Precipice).
  • Later, during the Battle of New Caprica, Roslin evacuates the planet aboard Colonial One.
  • Vice President Tom Zarek assumes the presidency, but agrees to step aside after appointing Roslin as President and returning to his VP office. She issues a general pardon to everyone in the Fleet in response to the quiet executions of some of the people who collaborated with the Cylons and to resolve further trials.
  • Roslin's relationship with Adama and the Agathons is strained when Adama discovers that Roslin hid the Cylon baby, Hera Agathon, without his knowledge.
  • Baltar's capture from his time with the Cylons leads Roslin to first interogate him, then put him to trial, which places new stresses on the President.
  • During Baltar's trial, Roslin reveals that her cancer had returned, and that she is taking chamalla again. She has a vision in the Opera House on Kobol where she and an image of Sharon Agathon pursue Hera Agathon, but Hera is picked up by a Number Six. A later vision reveals that Sharon Agathon shares her vision. After conferring with each other, they both visit Caprica-Six, who disbelievingly confirms that she, too, experienced the vision.
  • When the Fleet arrives at the Ionian nebula, Roslin nearly faints, possibly having another vision as the chaos around the Fleet culminates with a Cylon fleet bearing down on them (Crossroads, Part II).


  • The character of Laura Roslin is unique to the Battlestar Galactica saga. She has no counterpart to the Original Series, where its version of President Adar is killed and a presidential replacement is never made. Roslin assumes more of the political-spiritual leadership of the Original Series' Commander Adama, whereas William Adama is representative of the Original Series' character's military commander aspect.
  • Actress Mary McDonnell is perhaps best known for her role in the epic film, Dances with Wolves, with Kevin Costner. Another famous role of hers was the First Lady in Independence Day, a film which (in a less serious tone than Battlestar) depicts cocky human fighter pilots battling an genocidal enemy from outer space.
  • The glasses that the character wears are also McDonnell's real glasses.[4]
  • President Roslin's appointment as Colonial president parallels US President Gerald R. Ford, who became US Vice President and later President through succession or appointment, not by election.


  1. According to the February issue of Sci Fi Magazine, actress Mary McDonnell indicates that, according to the series bible, Roslin has dated, but has never married. (Scans available on Ramblings of a dorkish nature)
  2. According to a December 2005 interview with Mary McDonnell in TV Guide, President Adar, a married man, was having an affair with Roslin in the twilight of his term.
  3. In the commentary track for "Epiphanies," Ron Moore states that a longer explanation of Roslin's cure was filmed that explained that the blood's stem cells cure Roslin. However, the scene was cut because he was afraid it would be too complicated and thought of as technobabble. The character's updated biography on the official site does confirm that stem cells from the hybrid were the actual cure. As such, Battlestar Wiki treats this data canonically as with information found in most deleted scenes.
  4. Mary McDonnell Q & A, Part 1 (backup available on . (VID) (2006-10-13). Retrieved on 2006-10-14.

Preceded by:
Richard Adar
President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by:
Gaius Baltar
Preceded by:
Tom Zarek
Vice President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by:
Tom Zarek
Preceded by:
Tom Zarek
President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Succeeded by: