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Leland Adama

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
Revision as of 16:08, 23 January 2006 by Steelviper (talk | contribs) (added people from Caprica)
Leland Adama
[[Image:Lee Adama promo.jpg|200px|Leland Adama]]


Colony Caprica
Birth place {{{birthplace}}}
Birth Name Lee Adama
Birth Date {{{birthdate}}}
Callsign Apollo
Nickname {{{nickname}}}
Introduced [[{{{seen}}}]]
Parents Caroline Adama (mother, likely deceased), William Adama (father)
Siblings Zak Adama (deceased)
Marital Status Single
Family Tree View
Role Commander Air Group, battlestar Galactica
Rank Captain (briefly demoted to Lieutenant)
Serial Number {{{serial}}}
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
Additional Information
[[Image:|200px|Leland Adama]]

The article discusses the Re-imagined Series character with the pilot callsign of "Apollo." For information on his Original Series counterpart, see Apollo (TOS).

Biographical Notes


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, Adama nevertheless inherited his passion for flying - a passion that saw him enrolling in the Colonial military reserves after graduating from college. Following his basic training, he graduated from the 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, Adama 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, Adama was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Colonial Reserve, 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 Adama was still at flight school, the three frequently spent time together, and Adama and Thrace developed a friendship through Zak Adama (Mini-Series).

Brother's Death

Tragedy struck some two years prior to the renewed Cylon attack on the Twelve 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 Thrace, as she applied for pilot duty aboard Galactica.

However, Adama is reunited with both his father and Kara Thrace when it was decided Galactica should be decommissioned and handed over to civil authorities as a living museum and educational center of the Cylon War. As a part of the final ceremonies marking Galactica's retirement, Lee Adama is ordered to participate in a final Viper flyby to salute both the ship and her commanding officer - an assignment he undertakes grudgingly, doing little to hide his true feelings from the moment he arrives on the battlestar (Mini-Series). Matters are not helped when he discovers he will fly not in his own Mark VII Viper, but in the newly-restored Mark II Viper his father had flown during the Cylon War (Mini-Series).

Things worsen after the PR official aboard Galactica, Aaron Doral, sees Captain Adama's presence on Galactica as a major PR opportunity and has Adama and his father pose for pictures together. Immediately following this, Adama confronts his father over Zak's death, during which he vents 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 departs Galactica, acting as a unofficial escort for Colonial Heavy 798, the official transport for Secretary of Education Laura Roslin, who represented President Adar at the ceremony. Mid-way through their return to Caprica, Adama and the crew of Colonial Heavy 798 hear of the Cylon attacks on the Twelve Colonies, and soon find themselves under direct attack. While Adama is able to thwart the missile attack, his father's old Viper is disabled and is brought aboard Colonial Heavy 798. Adama becomes one of Laura Roslin's unofficial advisors, aiding her in her self-appointed rescue mission. Adama's annoyance of his father's old Viper comes back to haunt him when Boomer, returning from her unexpected rescue mission on Caprica and disasterous attack on two Cylon Raiders, notes to him that other Vipers and other modern Colonial spacecraft like his Mark VII were easily destroyed by Cylon attacks.

Following his disobedience of a direct order from his father instructing Adama to take command of the government-chartered starliner and break-off from Roslin's rescue mission, Adama again saves Colonial Heavy 798 from a nuclear missile attack with a failed experiment he toyed with in War College, using Galactica's EMP coils that were placed on the ship for return to Caprica and the Colonial Fleet - while simultaneously making it look like the ship had been destroyed. (Adama does not know that Galactica's CIC interpreted his EMP burst (as did the Cylon fighters) as a nuclear detonation, so Commander Adama believes Captain Adama is now dead.) He supports Roslin in her rescue efforts, forming a large convoy of civilian ships, until it becomes clear that the sublight-only vessels cannot be rescued with another Cylon attack imminent. Adama pursuades Roslin to lead the FTL-capable ships to follow Galactica to the Ragnar Anchorage. Although she would be leaving thousands of Colonials in the sublight ships to their deaths at the hands of the Cylons, Adama reminds her (dispite Aaron Doral's insistance) that they they would save "tens of thousands" of refugees, and that further delay would lose all thats probably left of humanity.

On being reunited with Galactica, Adama learns that Galactica's CAG, Captain Jackson Spencer, was killed in action, together with the members of Galactica's last fully-operational squadron of Mark VII Vipers. As the ranking pilot aboard, and despite his relative inexperience, Adama finds himself promoted to the position of CAG by Colonel Saul Tigh. 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, Thrace is happy to see that Adama was not killed as reported earlier to her. This reuniting of friends is the first of several frequently awkward moments of conversation between the two old friends.

Apollo 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. Adama would have been killed by a missile were it not for the lightning-fast and highly-accurate shooting of Starbuck, 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 leave him stranded at the mercy of the Cylons were it not again for Starbuck's highly unconventional flying. She force-fits the two Vipers nose-to-nose and flies Adama back to the battlestar seconds before the port flight pod closes and Galactica Jumps away.

Special Advisor

Adama and President Roslin shake hands after appointment as military advisor in "Water". (c) Universal)

Lee Adama complicates his duties 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. This appointment does not sit well with his father (Bastille Day).

When tensions rise during a hostage crisis with prisoners aboard the Astral Queen, Adama resolves the situation with only one life lost through an arrangement reached between Adama and the leader of the convicts, Tom Zarek. While the solution is sensible, it is not to the liking of either Commander Adama or President Roslin.

In the weeks following the Cylon attack, Adama finds 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. Father and son grow somewhat closer - even standing shoulder-to-shoulder when Starbuck is MIA (You Can't Go Home Again). Even so, Adama's former self-doubts and moodiness are not easily overcome and sometimes come back to haunt him when he is tasked to fill a role that others are unsure he can manage. As a Viper pilot, Adama is 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).

After the tylium asteroid mission, Adama matures enormously, emerging from his shell as a somewhat disillusioned officer and becomes a practical leader who now comfortably straddles his responsibilities as CAG of Galactica with his duties as advisor to Roslin. With few issues with either Roslin or his father, Adama demonstrates his 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).

The Inner Conflicts at Kobol

Unfortunately, Adama's beliefs in the need for democratic representation and civil government brings him in direct conflict with orders given him by Commander Adama. During the arrest of Laura Roslin following her interference with military operations, Captain Adama draws his gun on Colonel Tigh in a direct act of mutiny, protesting his father's removal of Roslin from office. Arrested together with Roslin, Adama watches helplessly in CIC as Lieutenant Valerii shoots his father at point blank range, seriously wounding him (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II).

Adama is temporarily furloughed by Colonel Tigh so that he can continue his CAG responsibilities, For a time, Commander Adama's initiative lives on through his son. Young Adama leads a fight with Cylons to buy time for Galactica to find its proper bearings to the civilan Fleet (Scattered), He leads a team of Marines to stop Cylon Centurions from reaching Aft Damage Control, saving the ship (Valley of Darkness). After that, Adama continues his initiative and leads a SAR mission with two Raptors to retrieve stranded Colonials on the surface of Kobol (Fragged).

Adama's desire to let democracy work without overt military action comes to a head once more as he plots with a handful of others to free Roslin and smuggle her away from Galactica (The Farm). Before he leaves, he apologizes to his unconscious Commander Adama at his bedside for what he is about to do: Leave with Roslin and a faction of ships to search for data on Earth on Kobol. Commander Adama begins to awaken just as Adama leaves his side.

On the Astral Queen, Adama is so happy to see Kara Thrace returned safely from Caprica with the Arrow of Apollo that he hugs and also impulsively kisses her, pleasantly surprising Thrace (Home, Part I). Moments later, as the Caprica copy of Sharon Valerii entered, Adama instantly grabs the known Cylon infiltrator in anger and would have killed her if Helo and Roslin did not intervene.

Adama and Kara Thrace speak aboard the Astral Queen in "Home, Part I". (c) Universal)

Later, with their military protocols and attitudes temporarily relaxed, Adama playfully teases the brooding Kara Thrace 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 Thrace. Amused, Thrace cheers up a bit and teases Adama, telling him that there are no take-backs on what he said.

Adama and Thrace join President Roslin and her other supporters on their quest to find the Tomb of Athena on Kobol. When Cylon Centurions ambush the group along an ancient trail, Adama and Thrace work well together in the fight, complementing each other for their fine shooting. During the incident, Adama chases what appeared to be an escaping Valerii, with Thrace calling Adama back in vain. Valerii takes a grenade launcher and aims it in the direction of Adama, but Valerii actually uses the weapon to destroy the last Centurion instead before dropping the weapon to a very surprised Adama.

Adama's reunion with his recovered father on Kobol further mends the wounds between them, both politically and personally. Like Captain Adama had done on the Queen, his father reacts violently to the existance of a another copy of Valerii, leaving Captain Adama in the awkward position of defending her from his father.

In the virtual planetarium created by the Tomb of Athena, Adama is the party member 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 Adama's observation, noting that the nebula is far away from their current location at Kobol.

After the Fleet's reunification, Lee Adama is fully restored to flight status and his position as the Commmander, Air Group (Final Cut). Apollo doubts that Tyrol could successfully complete a prototype fighter later known as the Blackbird, but in the end aids in its first test flight with Starbuck. Around this time, Adama begins to develop a peculiar attraction to Petty Officer 2nd Class Anastasia Dualla (Flight of the Phoenix).


Apollo is on CAP when the battlestar Pegasus reunites with Galactica: he was one of the first to see it up close. Soon afterwards, friction develops between Adama and the CAG of Pegasus, Captain Cole "Stinger" Taylor. Taylor feels that Adama's pilots were undisciplined and implies that Adama has his position through his father's influence. Taylor recommends that Adama have his pilots focus on keeping a "killcount" of Raiders to encourage competition between his pilots, while Adama stresses that his first priority is to make sure that all of his pilots merely survive another day.

To Adama's shock, Admiral Helena Cain re-assigns him and Lt. Thrace to Pegasus, under Taylor's command. Cain believes that having Commander Adama's son in the role of CAG was a mistake that had clouded Commander Adama's judgment, as young Adama had been insubordinate and even mutinous in the past. During a briefing on an upcoming scouting mission against the Cylon fleet following them, Thrace crassly points out that it would never work. She is grounded while Taylor orders Adama to perform the humiliating task of co-piloting a Raptor. However, after the briefing, Adama surreptitiously gives Starbuck a surveillance package and tells her to take the Blackbird to carry out a recon mission on her own. When Commander Adama and Admiral Cain turn on each other, Apollo is away in Taylor's Raptor on his recon mission (Pegasus).

As the two battlestar commanders begin sparring with Vipers, Pegasus orders Taylor to relieve Adama of duty. Taylor pulls his sidearm and takes away Adama's. Now weaponless and with nothing more to do than to ride along, Adama asks permission to head to the rear of the Raptor. While Taylor is busy, Adama secretly sends an encoded wireless message to Starbuck on her whereabouts with the Blackbird and the secret stealth mission he tasked her with. It happened that Starbuck arrives back in the Fleet's space to see the furious and dangerous game of Viper-tag and replies to Adama, asking what was going on. Starbuck's return on the outer fringes of DRADIS activate proximity alarms on both Pegasus and Galactica, whose Vipers unite as a team to intercept what they think is a Raider. Starbuck manages to identify herself before things get out of hand.

Kara Thrace downloads her reconnaissance photos of what would be later known as the Resurrection Ship to a very surprised Admiral Cain, who promotes Thrace to Captain as well as assigning her as Pegasus CAG, replacing Cole Taylor. Cain feels that persecuting Adama for authorizing Thrace's mission would be odd since she was promoting Thrace, so she decides to take Adama off flight status. In light of Thrace's new task of planning an attack on the Resurrection Ship, Thrace asks for and successfully returns Adama to flight status. He remains, however, demoted to Lieutenant (Resurrection Ship, Part II).

Adama visits Karl Agathon and Galen Tyrol in the Pegasus brig, asking the two of them with a smile, "So, just how many kinds of stupid are you?" He informs them that their scheduled execution is on hold until at least after the battle operation, and tells how Commander Adama "went to the mat" for both of them in trying to get them back, almost going into a shooting war with Pegasus.

After the battlestar commanders and their teams are briefed by Thrace on her attack plan, Commander Adama requests Thrace to stay to talk more on the plan and dismisses his son, asking him cryptically to "stay focused, son." With young Adama gone, the elder Adama asks Thrace to kill Cain after the operation to prevent her from eventually having Commander Adama killed and, in turn, doom the Fleet to Cain's tyrranical commands. Commander Adama tells Thrace to take Lee Adama with her, to watch her back (Resurrection Ship, Part I).


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, Adama'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; likely analogous to the U.S. Army Reserve, the U.S. Air Force Reserve and such of the United States military; 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 pursue a full career in the Fleet.
  • Jamie Bamber is the husband of actress Kerry Norton, who portrays Ishay, the paramedic from "Scattered".
  • Bamber is actually a British citizen; he disguises his accent to play the role of Lee Adama.

See Also