|William "Bill" Adama|
|Colonial Fleet service information|
|Chronological and political information|
William Adama is the commanding officer of the Battlestar Galactica (RDM). He is predominantly the military commander throughout the re-imagined series.
In the Caprica spinoff series, William "Bill" Adama was born on Caprica, the son of Joseph Adama (a civil liberties lawyer and previously a lawyer for the Ha'la'tha, the Tauron resistance movement turned mob) and Evelyn Adama (Josephs legal assistant and friend) in honor of William's deceased older half-brother William "Willie" Adama in accord with Tauron tradition. The older William was nicknamed "Willie" whereas the younger William is nicknamed "Bill". Both were named after their grandfather, who along with their grandmother Isabelle was killed during the Tauron Uprising. Bill was the only child of Joseph and Evelyn yet was Joseph's third child because he was born (at least) a year after YR42 on the Colonial calendar, the year when Joseph's first wife (Shannon Adama), their daughter (Tamara) and their son (Willie) were all killed. Shannon Adama's mother Ruth was also part of the Adama family during Bill's childhood, though not related to him by blood.
During the later stages of the first Cylon War, Adama was a gifted pilot in the Colonial Fleet. On account of his gravelly voice, his aviator call sign was "Husker". When assigned to the Galactica, he became involved with a Raptor pilot named Jaycie McGavin. Arriving on the hangar deck for his first Viper combat mission, he found McGavin had been mortally wounded in combat due to her Raptor's control console exploding. It was during this mission that he scored his first kills and for which he received a commendation. Adama was aboard the Battlestar Galactica during the last week of the war when a Cylon boarding party attempted to kill the crew by depressurizing the ship. Adama later recalled that "two thousand men bought the farm."
During a battle that took place on the last day of the First Cylon War, Adama became enraged by the destruction of the Battlestar Columbia and pursued two Cylon raiders into a planetary atmosphere. His Viper was damaged in a collision and he was forced to eject; he engaged a Cylon centurion in a mid-air gunbattle while free-falling. Upon landing, he discovered what appeared to be a Cylon lab that was experimenting on human subjects. Unable to rescue the humans still held captive in the lab, Adama watched helplessly as the Cylons evacuated the base. When he called Galactica for rescue, Adama found out that the war had ended with the signing of an armistice. With the end of hostilities, the Cylons carried away whatever they were developing, unopposed.
Merchant Marine serviceEdit
After the war ended, Adama married his first wife Carolanne Adama and fathered two sons with her: Zak and Lee. Adama later relates to Captain Louanne "Kat" Katraine how, during both her pregnancies, Carolanne was convinced that she was carrying a daughter, and was surprised by the arrival of a son. Adama himself would have liked a daughter, saying that "three's a good round number".
Adama's military career declined after the war. Like many servicemen after the end of a conflict, he was discharged. He found himself serving on a commercial freighter on the Caprica-Tauron run, where he met a fellow former Viper pilot, Saul Tigh. The pair forged a lasting friendship, and Adama arguably saved Tigh from his most self-destructive impulses.
Return to the FleetEdit
During this period, Adama used his wife's family's connections in the Defense Council to get himself reinstated in the Colonial Fleet with a rank of Captain. Once he had been promoted to the rank of Major, he secured Tigh's reinstatement in the Fleet as well. He later divorced Carolanne, and she later was engaged to marry again at the time of the Cylons' devastation of the Twelve Colonies.
As a Major, Adama served on the Battlestar Atlantia, where he had an ongoing feud with the ship's landing signal officer that inspired a celebration of his thousandth landing. He later served as the executive officer of the Battlestar Columbia, presumably as a Colonel, before earning his own command, the Battlestar Valkyrie. Adama brought his old friend, Saul Tigh, with him as his XO. At some point during this phase of his career, Adama either served aboard or visited a Mercury class battlestar.
Approximately three years before the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies, the Colonial Admiralty ordered then-Commander Adama and the Valkyrie to test the Cylons' military disposition with a covert (and illegal) surveillance mission across the Armistice Line. The Stealthstar reconnaissance craft was discovered by the Cylons and damaged; Adama ordered the Valkyrie's weapons batteries to shoot it down to prevent its capture. These events precipitated his transfer to the aging Battlestar Galactica as a graceful swan-song to his career before returning to haunt him three years later.
Both William Adama's sons chose to follow in their father's footsteps and become Viper pilots. While Lee went on to become an accomplished pilot, Zak was not a natural in the cockpit. While in training, Zak began a secret relationship with Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, his flight instructor. Zak would have failed basic flight training had Kara not passed him based on her feelings for him (he had recently proposed to her). During an operational flight, Zak's Viper crashed and he was killed. This tragedy drove a wedge between Adama and his surviving son, Lee, who blamed his father for pushing Zak into military service. It was also during this time that William Adama met Kara, sparking a father-daughter relationship.
The Cylons returnEdit
Two years after Zak's death, the fifty-year-old Galactica was nearing the end of its service, destined to be converted into a museum ship. On the morning following the ship's decommissioning ceremony (Caprica City Time), the Cylons launched a surprise attack on the Twelve Colonies, bombarding the colonies with nuclear weapons and destroying the majority of the Colonial Fleet. The Fleet was unable to mount an effective counterattack due to Cylon infiltration of the Colonial ships' Command Navigation Program (CNP).
Since Adama fought in the first Cylon War, he knew that the Cylons could use electronics as part of their offensive repertoire. Adama's past experiences with the Cylons left him with a healthy distrust of sophisticated computer systems and heavy automation. He therefore decreed that as part of Galactica's standing orders, her computer systems were never to be networked, and even though Galactica had Baltar's CNP program installed on its systems, thanks to Adama's orders it was never loaded into primary memory. As a result, the outmoded, aging Galactica was spared from Cylon infiltration attempts that crippled and subsequently destroyed much of the Colonial Fleet. However, most of Galactica's Viper Mark VII fighters did possess the CNP and were lost early in the attack. Fortunately, as part of its museum display, the Galactica had forty older Mk II Vipers on board, including Adama's personal fighter from the First Cylon War. The CNP was later purged from Galactica's systems as well as the remainder of the Mark VII fighters.
Following the devastating attack on the Colonies, Commander Adama felt that the best course of action was a counterattack, to avenge the deaths of billions, and stand and fight for whatever was left of their civilization. He sent a message into deep space, calling for all remaining Colonial ships to regroup at Ragnar Anchorage, an unmanned munitions depot hidden in the upper atmosphere of the gas giant Ragnar. Ragnar was ideal because it was well protected, and Galactica could rearm after being disarmed for her decommissioning. While there, Adama found that no Colonial warships had responded to the call to regroup. Instead, the Galactica encountered a ragtag fleet of civilian vessels bearing around 50,000 survivors, including the former Secretary for Education and newly appointed President of the Colonies, Laura Roslin.
Roslin implored Adama to abandon his plan to fight the Cylons and instead lead the survivors to safety, out of the Colonial system. Initially, Adama believed this idea to be preposterous – after all, he was a military man, bred to fight and not to run. However, after some deliberation, he agreed, realising that the survival of the human race was more important than the pursuit of vengeance in what would almost certainly be a suicidal counterattack against the Cylons; Galactica would only be one ship against an entire Cylon fleet. Galactica and her fleet jumped beyond the "red line" (the boundary beyond which FTL jump calculations become uncertain and therefore jumps become dangerous), never to return to the Twelve Colonies.
Thus, Adama found himself on the run in uncharted deep space. In order to give his men and the people of the fleet some hope, Adama lied to them, saying that he knew where the thirteenth colony, Earth, was located, and that he would lead them all there to make a new home. Even though ex-wife, Carolanne, was presumed to have died in the Cylon attack, Adama still harbored feelings for her and continued to wear his wedding band and observe their wedding anniversary for a time.
After an incident on the hangar deck that resulted in the deaths of several pilots, Adama became aware of the true details of his son Zak's death after Thrace let her affair with Zak cloud her judgment again by being too harsh on the replacement trainees. Adama was barely able to restrain himself upon learning of the cause of Zak's death from Thrace. Events following the revelation lead Adama and his surviving son Lee to commit a similar act of allowing feelings to cloud judgment after Thrace is shot down and stranded on an inhospitable planet. After Adama is compelled to abandon Thrace by President Roslin, Thrace miraculously rescues herself and returns to Galactica aboard a captured Cylon Raider. Adama forgives Thrace for her indiscretions concerning Zak. The incident also cements the father-son bond between William Adama and his surviving son. Lee questions how long his father would search for him were he missing, to which the elder Adama responds, "if it were you... we'd never leave."
Soon after Galactica and the Colonial fleet discover the lost planet Kobol, Adama is shot by "Boomer", a Cylon sleeper agent, which places him in mortal jeopardy. Although he survives this assassination attempt, the brush with death changes him somewhat: some say that his more emotional leanings are a post-traumatic reaction to the shooting, but Adama jokes to Roslin that he thinks that he is "just a wuss."
After the Battlestar Pegasus encounters the fleet, Adama comes into conflict with Rear Admiral Helena Cain, commander of the Pegasus, over the treatment of two Galactica crew members, Karl Agathon and Galen Tyrol. Cain and Adama come to the brink of firing on each other. Each battlestar commander makes plans to have the other assassinated following the successful conclusion of a joint operation to destroy the Cylon Resurrection ship. Neither plan is carried out (both commanders decide not to give the kill order), although Cain is subsequently killed by the Cylon agent Gina.
With the death of Cain, Roslin promotes Adama to Admiral. Adama is surprised and touched: by this point in his career, he had given up hope of attaining flag rank; he encourages Roslin, battling breast cancer, to remain hopeful of a recovery. There was also a brief, sweet kiss between the two, initiated by Adama, which Roslin smiles at afterwards.
New Caprica and the Second ExodusEdit
After the discovery of New Caprica, Adama appears hesitant to establish a permanent settlement on the planet, but is over-ruled by the new President Gaius Baltar. In the months that follow, his attitude slowly softens, and he begins to allow military personnel to muster out and settle on New Caprica.
When the Cylons locate New Caprica after a year of no contact with the human race, Adama is forced reluctantly to flee with all the ships still in orbit. Two thousand civilians and the Battlestars Galactica and Pegasus at half-strength. Undaunted, Adama sets about formulating a rescue plan for the humans trapped under Cylon rule. His unorthodox strategy (he even goes so far as to jump the Galactica into the atmosphere of New Caprica) is successful, but not without loss. Against his father's orders, Lee arrives in the Pegasus to join the battle and save Galactica, but left all of its fighters behind to guard the civilian fleet. Pegasus takes heavy damage, forcing the crew to abandon ship. Pegasus is destroyed upon collision with a basestar. Adama returns to the fleet as a hero.
Three years after the incident at the Armistice Line, Galactica recovers Lieutenant Daniel "Bulldog" Novacek, the pilot of the recon vessel that Adama ordered shot down when in command of the Battlestar Valkyrie. Adama's guilt over the incident and suspicions that he may have provoked the Cylon attack on the Colonies lead him to tender his resignation from the Fleet: however, President Roslin refuses to accept his resignation. Moreover, in an attempt to improve fleet morale and reward Adama for his continual military service in ensuring the survival of the fleet, President Roslin awards Adama with a Medal of Distinction in recognition of his 45 years of service to the Colonial Fleet. Colonel Tigh is the one who saves Adama when Bulldog attacks the Admiral, seeking revenge for his capture, and this marks a turning point in the Adama-Tigh relationship: after the award ceremony, the two friends finally sit down to share a drink and talk about the events on New Caprica, and Ellen Tigh's death in particular.
Adama is initially supportive of the "ranks dropped" boxing competition held on Galactica with Colonel Tigh as referee, seeing it as a useful means of allowing the crew to vent their frustrations and prevent them growing into feuds and grudges. However, when he sees that some of the crew have taken to enjoying the competition over tending to their professional duties, he is reminded of how he himself softened during the year above New Caprica. He takes on Chief Galen Tyrol in the ring; although he is beaten by the younger man, his actions and words afterwards remind the crew of their solemn duty to guard the civilian fleet.
After the fleet's food-processing systems become contaminated the fleet prepares to make a hazardous journey through a highly radioactive stellar cluster in search of supplies, Tigh finally returns (a little self-consciously) to the Galactica CIC. Although Adama does not join the applause for the Colonel, he cannot hide a small smile. After the stellar cluster has been negotiated, he visits Captain Louanne "Kat" Katraine on her deathbed after she receives a fatal dose of radiation guiding civilian ships through the cluster. He comforts her, telling her that her shady past life is irrelevant to him: he is interested only in her bravery and outstanding qualities as a leader, for which he (posthumously) returns her to the position of CAG.
Upon reaching the Algae planet in a highly unstable planetary system the Colonials begin harvesting operations. Galen Tyrol informs Roslin and Adama of his discovery of an ancient temple, The Temple of Five which holds some significance in the Colonial religion. Roslin believes according to scripture that an artifact The Eye of Jupiter is hidden somewhere within the Temple and would act as a Marker on the way to Earth. The fleet is soon confronted by four Cylon Base Stars and Adama orders all civilian ships to jump away. Taking up a defense posture Adama prepares to engage the incoming Cylons with several people still on the planet and the possibility of the Cylons retrieving information on the location of Earth. The incoming Cylons on the advice of Gaius Baltar do not come in firing instead send a delegation to negotiate with Roslin and Adama for the Eye. The brief negotiation leaves both sides in a stalemate, if the Cylons attack the Galactica or attempt to land on the planet Adama would nuke the temple, if the Colonials attempt to take the Eye the Cylons would attack. The Cylons eventually attempt to land on the planet and take the temple. Adama in response arms Galactica's nuclear warheads and targets them on the temple, nearly making good on his threat. The Cylons recall all but one of their heavy raiders forcing Adama to back down. When the star in the planetary system begins to show sign of going supernova, Adama orders a rescue mission be launched to the planet. Retrieving all of her raptors, Galactica narrowly escapes the shock wave jumping back to her fleet.
After Adama starts considering not only an alliance with the Rebel Cylons, but to let them join the fleet. Lieutenant Felix Gaeta starts a mutiny against him with Tom Zarek who is captain of the prison ship Astral Queen starting a coup against Roslin and the rest of the government. Adama is initially unaware of the coup as Gaeta manages to hide it well, but when it becomes obvious that there is something wrong, Gaeta immediately arrests Adama who is nearly killed by an overzealous Marine but is saved by one of his crew who sacrifices his life for him. Adama promises no forgiveness for this mutiny and is taken away alongside Colonel Tigh. On the way Adama chats with the two Marines who are escorting him, one of whom is unsure about what he is doing, and overpowers them, killing one and taking the other prisoner. He tries to rescue the prisoners in the brig but its too well guarded and meets up with Lee and Kara who escaped and are working against the mutineers. They head to the Secondary Storage Airlock where Tyrol has promised a ride to a safe place for Adama, Tigh, Roslin and Baltar. There they meet up with a Raptor from the Cylon baseship who Tyrol apparently convinced to shelter them. Roslin and Baltar leave, but Adama decides to stay behind to cover their escape and try to retake the ship. Adama and Roslin, who recently entered a relationship with each other, share a kiss before Roslin and Baltar escape. Adama and Tigh try to hold off the approaching Marines but are knocked out by a stun grenade and recaptured. Tigh is taken to the brig while Gaeta (who is now in command after the mutiny and coup) tries to get Adama to get Roslin to surrender, but he sarcastically tells Gaeta that Gaeta is the Admiral now and he should tell Roslin that and make her laugh. Adama is later tried in an obviously rigged court-martial consisting of Gaeta as the people's representative, Tom Zarek as the judge and Romo Lampkin as his lawyer. He is tried for various crimes including treason, dereliction of duty (for abandoning the people on New Caprica) and aiding and abetting the enemy. Adama refuses to betray his beliefs and is heartbroken when he's told Tigh was killed trying to escape. Ultimately he is found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad. Before he can be killed, however, he's rescued by Tigh, Lee, Athena, Caprica Six, Helo and Lieutenant Kelly who switched sides and told the others where he was. He is shocked but happy to see Tigh alive as the truth was Apollo and Starbuck rescued him and the others from the brig and no one was killed although Anders was seriously hurt. Adama prepares to take back his ship and asks Narcho and the firing squad for aid. The firing squad agrees, but Narcho refuses stating that despite respecting Adama he will not serve under someone who will help Cylons so Adama orders him tied up and marchs to CIC to retake it with his loyal men. Along the way they are joined by most of the crew and they reach CIC and retake it without firing a shot, arresting Gaeta and Zarek who are both there. Adama contacts a relieved Roslin on the baseship who thought he was dead and was about to start shooting Galactica and tells her and the Cylons to stand down. He later embraces her when she returns to Galactica. Adama has Gaeta and Zarek executed by firing squad for their actions, a firing squad he personally commands. Command of the Astral Queen was left undecided after Zarek's execution.
After the mutiny, Tyrol shows him the deteriorating condition of Galactica and proposes using Cylon technology to make repairs. Adama initially refuses, but ultimately agrees to it reluctantly but has trouble letting go when he learns that all that Tyrol can do is buy some more time. Roslin points out that Adama is having trouble with the fact that he might lose the two women he loves at the same time (Roslin and Galactica) and convinces him to abandon ship. During the preparations to abandon Galactica, it is stated that Adama will be the last man aboard, and fly the last Viper off the ship himself.
Rescue of Hera and finding a new homeEdit
Adama eventually commands the Galactica on her final mission: an operation to rescue the half-human, half-cylon child Hera from the Cylon colony. He calls for volunteers and is able to rally enough of the crew and civilians to execute the mission. Delivering a final speech before the attack, he reminds the crew that the old ship will not fail them if they do not fail her, and that she will bring them home if they succeed. Adama and Tigh command the operation from CIC, and defend their position from Cylon boarders until the intervention of Gaius Baltar allows them to broker a truce. Adama agrees to allow Cavil's Cylon faction access to the resurrection technology held by the Final Five in return for a promise to never again assault humanity. The truce is broken when, while uploading the resurrection technology to the Cylons, Galen Tyrol discovers that Tory Foster was responsible for his wife's death and breaks the link in order to kill Foster. During the resumed hostilities, Adama shields Laura Roslin from the gunfire while the Galactica crew kills the Cavil faction Cylons present in the CIC. The Cylon colony is struck by a volley of nuclear warheads accidentally launched from a dead Raptor, and Adama orders Kara Thrace to jump the ship before Galactica is destroyed in the conflagration. Thrace uses the numerical sequence she created from the song All Along the Watchtower and Galactica jumps to the planet that will eventually be known as Earth, but sustains irreparable damage to her lateral support braces in the process.
A Raptor is sent to rendezvous with the Colonial fleet, which is then brought to the new planet. After surveying the primitive humans of their new home, Adama adopts a colonizing strategy proposed by his son Lee: the colonials abandon most of their technology and settle in widely separated locations on the planet. The emptied ships of the fleet, including Galactica, are piloted into the sun by the Cylon Samuel Anders, who had been plugged into the battlestar's computer systems. As he had planned earlier, William Adama is the last person to leave Galactica, launching aboard the Mk. II Viper with his call sign that had appeared in the original mini-series.
After bidding a tearful goodbye to his son Lee, and to (the avatar of) Kara Thrace, whom he'd considered a daughter, Adama takes the dying Laura Roslin on a Raptor flight over their new homeworld, searching for a spot to build the cabin they had talked about on New Caprica. Roslin dies during the flight, as foretold by the prophecy, and Adama tearfully places his wedding ring on her finger. In his final scene in the series, Adama is depicted sitting next to Roslin's grave, describing the progress he has made in building their cabin.
Personality and traitsEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
William Adama was portrayed by Edward James Olmos throughout the run of Battlestar Galactica, with Nico Cortez playing him as a younger man during the First Cylon War in Razor. Sina Najafi portrayed a William Adama as an eleven year old in Caprica; that William Adama was killed near the end of the series and his father had another son whom he named William.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Caprica pilot
- ↑ William Bill Adama is born when the Mother and sister of William Willie Adama (who is eleven years old during the events of Caprica pilot, which is set fifty-eight years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies) were killed.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Battlestar Galactic (TV miniseries)
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