Chameleon (Battlestar Galactica)

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Chameleon (pronounced Sha-meiel-e-n) is a character from the television series Battlestar Galactica, appearing in the installment "The Man with Nine Lives." He was an older gentleman, well versed in the art of flattery and misdirection, which he used to con unsuspecting Colonists out of the things he needed to survive. He is first introduced on a transport, talking with Siress Blassie, one of the older ladies, who appeared to be better off than most fleeing Colonists and whom he was probably setting up as a "mark." When the attendant asks him for his transportation ducat, he implies that he is a talent scout for the Fleet broadcast show "Heroes of the Fleet," which he is was just watching about Lt. Starbuck, saying that "ordinary" people, such as the attendant himself, should be interviewed. After saying that the man should report to the broadcast ship upon the completion of his duty round, Chameleon tells him "I already gave you my ducat, remember?" to which the man agrees.

Chameleon cons Lieutenant Starbuck into thinking he might be Starbuck's father to aid him is escaping the Borelian Nomen, whom Chameleon, using the alias "Captain Dimitri," had conned into thinking he could obtain spare parts for the Viper they were building. When they take a simple genetic test, a possible connection is found, and Starbuck starts to make plans to leave the fleet to be with his "father." Later, when his con--and the fact that "Chameleon" is indeed his real name--is exposed, Chameleon tells Starbuck he got the information about him by watching the Fleet broadcast earlier. Just after this, Cassiopeia tells Chameleon that a more detailed test shows that he actually is Starbuck's father. Chameleon swears her to secrecy, saying he will tell Starbuck some day, perhaps on the day Starbuck gets sealed (married). Cassiopeia laughs it off, scoffing, "Starbuck getting sealed?!? Never!" But Chameleon says, "Don't be too sure."

The character of Chameleon was played by Fred Astaire, for whom one of the producers of Battlestar Galactica, Donald P. Bellisario, specifically wrote the installment "The Man with Nine Lives."

Chameleon does not appear in the re-imagined version of Battlestar Galactica.