The Cylons Evolve
During their forty years of isolation, the Cylons developed or evolved into a humanoid form. Humanoid Cylons are visually indistinguishable from humans, down to the cellular level, but not completely at a molecular level. They mimic human form so completely that they are nearly undetectable to current Colonial technologies.
There are twelve models of humanoid Cylons, representing twelve personality archetypes that the Cylons have witnessed in humanity and are responsible for masterminding the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies through their use of sabotage and infiltration. Seven models have been identified. The identities of the final five remaining Cylon models are unknown to both humanity
and the seven known models. The creation of the humanoid Cylon is purely speculative. The original Cylon, a sentient robot, is likely to have had a major, if not a sole role in the creation of the humanoid forms. No concrete evidence exists as to when the first humanoid models were created and how long they have been among the human population. There is also no evidence as to whether all the 12 models were created at once or whether they were created at different times during the forty year exile.
Each humanoid Cylon has the same face, stature, hair, eye and skin color, gender, and other biometrics as all the others of his or her model. This point technically makes each copy a twin of itself, but there are some models that choose to make cosmetic differences. As well, each copy appears to start with the same basic personality, but each personality grows more distinct due to their individual experiences. They are susceptible to the same emotional traumas and joys that their human counterparts are, further proving that personalities are a realistic part of their psyche. The specific number of copies per model has not been specified. There appears to be no significance to any of the specific numbers assigned to the different Cylons.
Humanoid Cylons have the capacity to emulate many human physical acts, including sex. They also display convincingly human personalities (affection, jealousy, sadness, anger, sense of humor, religious faith etc.) This behavior continues even when interacting with other Cylons outside of Colonial scrutiny, clearly establishing that their personalities are genuine.
Humanoid Cylons can be programmed as 'sleeper agents', who appear to have a low-level Cylon personality that can conduct operations while placing the human sleeper personality "on-hold."
Humanoid Cylons can dream, a process that appears to be natural to them.
Their psychology is based on what they simply refer to as "projection". Essentially an enhanced form of a self-induced and controlled hallucination, projection is how they choose to see the world around them, in any form they wish, whenever they wish. For example, if a Cylon were standing in a hallway, they could choose to see it as a forest filled with birds, trees, and sunlight. This mode of visualization is pleasing to agents.
Some or all Cylon female models may have the capacity to bear children seeded by human males. The Cylons tested numerous methods of sexual reproduction, yet these failed due to a known flaw in their design. Humanoid Cylons cannot reproduce with each other biologically, so in an attempt to subvert this deficiency, they try to interbreed with humans, creating hybrid offspring.
The bodies of humanoid Cylons sometimes appear to have tremendous stamina and strength, and appear to be designed to destroy or resist commonly dangerous human diseases, although they are not immune from all contagions. In keeping with their desire to be a better human, however, the Cylons did not or could not further improve on other characteristic design flaws of the human body. Humanoid Cylons are heavily fortified to resist damage from intense radiation fields that would kill a human after short exposure, but they are still susceptible to damage from certain types of radiation or trauma. Despite their resistance to certain forms of energy, Humanoid Cylons, unlike the Cylon Centurion, cannot be made "bulletproof".
The majority of the Cylons follow a monotheistic religion.
Upon the death of its body, a humanoid Cylons transfers its consciousness into another copy of itself. This "resurrection" is limited by distance, signal integrity, and proximity to the Cylon homeworld or a Resurrection Ship.
It appears that all humanoid Cylons share a collective knowledge base of data from other active or deactivated humanoid Cylons, regardless of their model.
Humnanoid Cylons can interface with Colonial mainframe computers and communication systems by fiber-optic link. Although they cannot do so remotely or wirelessly, Humanoid Cylons can interface with Cylon computer systems or computer networks by photo-electronical means. They can perform this through subdermal physical contact if required or, preferably, through a Cylon data port. This might be possible through the use of bio-luminescent and photosensitive cells in their hands. The presence of a water-like fluid as an integral part of the basestar, the ability to interface photo-electronically through subdermal and dermal contact, and the fact that humanoid Cylon are anatomically indistinguishable from human beings, implies that the techniques used in their creation are advanced enough to incorporate cybernetic functions into their design without the use of specific internal structures other than human-like organs.
The Cylon Centurion Model 0005 (henceforth referred to as "Centurions") appeared some years prior to the first Cylon War, during which time they were used by Humanity to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies (Miniseries). Unbeknown to the survivors of the second Cylon attack, the Centurions practiced monotheistic religion, somehow having come to believe in a single, loving God ("No Exit").
Fifty-two years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, the Centurions rose up against their masters and rebelled, waging a brutal war that lasted twelve years. The first Cylon War was staged both in space and on the surface of several Colonial planets, including Tauron and other outlying worlds. Centurions were present at these locations, fighting hand to hand against the Colonial Military and civilian fighters, as well as piloting raiders and commanding basestars in battle against the Colonial Fleet ("Razor").
During the war, the Centurions captured prisoners and conducted scientific experiments on them. Performing brutal operations on live victims, the Centurions strove to create fully biological Humanoid Cylons. Their experiments resulted in the development of the Hybrids - an evolutionary "dead end" - the first of which was created shortly before the cease of hostilities ("Razor").
Unable to create life that could live on its own, the Centurions agreed to end the war in exchange for help from the Final Five survivors of the Thirteenth Colony who possessed resurrection technology. The Centurions signed the Cimtar Peace Accord with humanity and withdrew with The Five to a mobile space station called The Colony. Located somewhere beyond the designated Armistice Line, the Centurions and Final Five developed eight humanoid models and instilled in them monotheistic beliefs ("No Exit").
The Guardians were a group of Cylon-War era Centurions that piloted a single basestar, containing the first Cylon Hybrid, into deep space following the Armistice. Utilizing decades old Raiders and weaponry, the Guardians operated entirely separately from the rest of the Cylon civilization, becoming something of a Cylon legend.
These Centurions guarded the original Hybrid, still alive over 40 years after its creation. Seeking to further their evolution and continue the experiments begun during the first Cylon War, the Guardians captured a civilian science team from the surviving Fleet following the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. This triggered a battle between the Guardian baseship and the Battlestar Pegasus, under the command of Lee Adama. During the battle, an assault team lead by Major Kendra Shaw boarded the basestar and rescued the science team, detonating a nuclear weapon that destroyed the ship and killed the Hybrid ("Razor").
Despite the development of the Modern Centurion by the humanoid Cylons, some of the original Centurions remained in operation aboard the Cylon Colony. Serving alongside their modern counterparts, these Centurions were instrumental during the Battle of the Colony, when remaining Colonial forces launched an all out offensive to retrieve the half-Cylon, half-Human child Hera.
Armed with advanced weaponry, these Centurions engaged in combat against rebel Cylon Centurions, dubbed "Red Stripes" by the crew of Galactica. The Centurions also acted as shock troops, boarding the Galactica at platoon strength. Ultimately, though, the Cylon boarding parties were repelled and the remaining Centurions were presumably destroyed when the Colony itself was knocked into a black hole ("Daybreak, Part II").
Likened to "walking chrome toasters" by the Colonials, the Cylon War-era Centurions still had their place in Cylon society far past the initial conflict. Iconic features such as the red, pulsating "eye" were carried into later generations of the Cylon Centurion and even into the modern, autonomous raiders (Miniseries). Still many of these models were scrapped before the second Cylon attack on the Colonies ("Razor").
The Cylon War-era Centurions were, like their predecessors, bipedal androids, with an average height of 6'6" and composed of silver-chrome plating. They carried backpack-like power cells and were armed with flexible rear armor which protected otherwise exposed internal mechanisms. Physically stronger than humans, the Centurions were designed with sufficient dexterity and capability of using weapons and tools. Centurions communicated at least partially vocally, but were also capable of receiving radio signals internally ("Razor").
Unlike their successors, these early Centurions did not possess built-in projectile weapons, but were armed with retractable blades, built into their forearms. There are indications that Centurions also used bladed weapons such as swords in at least some Cylon War conflcits.)
There are at least four variations of the Cylon War-era Centurion based upon function and placement within the hierarchy of early Cylon society. In addition to standard Centurion models, more compact "Warrior" versions and sturdier "Soldiers" have been observed. Centurion warriors were distinguished by more helmet-like heads and were heavily armored, possessing flexible coverings over the torso and upper arms and ammunition clips around their waists. These warrior versions were used in great numbers to defend the Colony during the final days of the second conflict. Gold-colored Centurions were also in service during the Cylon War, observed commanding Cylon raiders in combat.
The Colonial-designed Centurions used artificial intelligence, and were designed as sentient beings. By the time the first war ended, they were already practitioners of a religion centered around what would come to be considered the "Cylon God" ("No Exit").
Saul Tigh, who possessed false memories of the First Cylon War, recalled the Cylon boarding of the Brenik, and the apparent hatred the Centurions had for humanity - despite the physical inability of the Cylons to show emotion on their faces (deleted scene from "Scattered"). This reflection of animosity and intensity is also apparent in the stylized Monclair painting in William Adama's quarters, depicting Cylon War-era Centurions battling Colonial forced utilizing relatively primitive weapons ("Islanded In a Stream of Stars ").