The Hilarious Way One Actor Found Out They Were A Cylon On Battlestar Galactica

aaron douglas galen tyrol finding out he's a cylon

Battlestar Galactica was a series that thrived on tension and chaos and put its audience through the ringer more than once. The cable drama also spent a lot of time leading into the reveals of multiple Cylons who fans had come to know and love during their time living among the human populations. For the cast, too, finding out who was a Cylon on the series was a big deal. One cast member, Aaron Douglas, even went to great lengths to learn his fate on Battlestar Galactica.

During a recent panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Aaron Douglas, who played Chief Galen Tyrol during the show's run, revealed that the cast and crew used to put together potlucks while filming the show. While at one of these potlucks, the actor happened upon some scripts for upcoming episodes of the series, and like many curious individuals, he wanted to read through what was ahead later in the season. What followed was pretty hysterical. Douglas was reading and saw some basic stuff like "Chief fixes ship."

And then it's like, 'Chief starts to hear music. And then I realize what it is. So, I get up and run into the bathroom. I must have been in there for a while because everyone was like, 'Are you all right?' And I got these pages and I'm like, 'How they hell do I get out of here now that I have these? I'm not supposed to have these!' So I did what I did with Playboys when I was 10 and stuffed it in my shirt. And [the producer] did exactly what my dad would do and asked me what was in my shirt.'

Before handing back the scripts, Aaron Douglas had seen quite enough to know the writing team had ultimately decided Tyrol was going to be one of the Cylons on the series. However, he still knew he wasn't supposed to know, and he had to keep the secret on the set for several long months. He said:

I couldn't tell anybody. For four months I'd be wandering around going, 'So Dave, anything coming up for the Chief?' And he'd be like, 'Nope.' (Dave's a liar.) So, that's how I found out I was a Cylon.

Those who had the challenge or the privilege to learn they were Cylons so late in the game. Mary McDonnell ultimately did not end up playing a Cylon on the series, but she did reveal that the thing that kept the cast on the edge of their seats were the Cylon reveals. (Although David Eick did also mention on this panel that there were multiple Cylon scenarios bandied about, including the President and so on and so forth.) According to McDonnell, who played President Laura Roslin on the popular series specifically said:

The biggest thing was waiting to find out who were Cylons. That was a lot of tension, emotional tension, flat-out tension.

Clearly, this held true for most of the cast now that we know that Aaron Douglas was sneaking around and looking into forbidden scripts. Unfortunately for him, the end result was that he was a Cylon joining the likes of Boomer, Anders and more who were revealed throughout Battlestar Galactica's run. Chief Tyrol's story was one of the wildest on the show, going from a man who figured out a way to keep drinking to a man living a hard life on land with his much younger wife and ultimately to a Cylon. Not a bad run.

Battlestar Galactica ultimately ended back in 2009, but clearly there are still a ton of fans out there who love and want to hear behind-the-scenes stories from the series. Stay tuned for more coverage on Battlestar Galactica on CinemaBlend and be sure to check out our full schedule to see what Syfy has coming up.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.