Samuel T. Anders
|Battlestar Galactica character|
|Portrayed by||Michael Trucco|
|Title||Ensign (Episode 3.19 - Current)|
|Colony||Earth, believed he was from Picon|
Samuel T. Anders (callsign "Longshot") is a fictional character from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series, played by Michael Trucco. He first appeared as a recurring character in the second season episode "Resistance", but assumed a pivotal role in the series by the end.
Fictional character biography
Although not revealed until the final season of the show, Anders is approximately two thousand years old, and was born as a member of the ill-fated Thirteenth Tribe, a group consisting entirely of Cylons who left Kobol and settled on the first Earth. Along with fellow Cylons Saul Tigh, Ellen Tigh, Galen Tyrol and Tory Foster, Anders worked as part of a research group on Resurrection technology. They were warned about a coming disaster by people no one else could see. The messenger that appeared to Anders looked like a woman. When their Earth was destroyed, the five Cylons were resurrected on a subluminal ship in orbit, and traveled to the Twelve Colonies at slower-than-FTL velocities, stopping at the temple of the five on algae planet and arriving at the time of the First Cylon War. Seeking to end the conflict, the five Earth Cylons presented the Colonial Cylon forces with a deal — if the warring Centurions called off the war, the five would teach them to create humanoid Cylon models, and give them Resurrection technology.
The Centurions agreed, and departed from Colonial space along with Anders and his cohorts, but their efforts ultimately backfired. The first humanoid Cylon created, John Cavil, also known simply as Number One, was incensed that he had been created with so many human weaknesses, and turned on his creators. He killed them, arranging it that they would be resurrected with no memory of who they really were, and carefully inserted them into Colonial society with false memories in order to give them a plausible background-cover.
Exactly when Anders arrived on Caprica is unrevealed, but he became involved in the popular Colonial sport of Pyramid, becoming a star player for the Caprica Buccaneers.
When the Cylon attack on the Colonies came, Anders and his team were undergoing high altitude training in the mountains and thus escaped the initial devastation. Anders muttered that "this has all happened before." Rounding up other survivors, supplies and weapons, the team, with Anders as their leader, became the nucleus of a functioning resistance group against the Cylon occupation, operating from a wilderness base in the vicinity of the city of Delphi. Everyone looked to Anders for leadership including the coach and he wasn't aware that he ended up with two Cylons in his resistance movement: a Simon (who he found out about when he rescued Starbuck) and a Cavil who grew sympathetic towards humanity due to his time in the Resistance. It was in the area of their base that they encountered Lieutenant Kara Thrace (Starbuck) and Karl Agathon (Helo) during the events of the episode "Resistance" after Thrace returned to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo on the orders of President Laura Roslin. Anders and his team ambushed them after being told by Cavil that they might be Cylons.
Thrace and Anders swiftly form a relationship and, when she has to return to the Fleet, she promises him that she will return to Caprica and rescue his group. She secures this promise by giving Anders her fleet dogtags. However, President Roslin and Commander Adama deny Starbuck's request to lead a search and rescue mission back to Caprica, stating the situation is too dangerous. Meanwhile, Anders's team struggle to survive and continue their attacks on the Cylons.
In the episode "Downloaded", during a sabotage mission, Anders is caught in the rubble of a parking structure where he encounters the Cylons Caprica Six, Sharon "Boomer" Valerii along with a Number Three copy. The Three attempts to kill Anders, but Caprica Six and Valerii (Number Eight), having decided to sympathize with the human cause, turn against Three and allow Anders to escape.
During the episodes "Lay Down Your Burdens", Parts I and II, Thrace is finally given the go-ahead to lead a group of Raptors to Caprica and gather the survivors. Once found, Anders's team comes under attack by Cylon Centurions who discover their encampment and drive them out, forcing the heavily outnumbered resistance group deep into the wilderness where they take cover in a ravine. After an unsettling 18-hour standoff, the team discovers the Cylons have completely withdrawn from the area. A mysterious survivor among the group (later discovered to be a copy of the Cylon John Cavil), announces the Cylons have left the planet.
Once at the fleet, Anders and Thrace begin a proper relationship which causes torn feelings for Lee Adama. During the year that passes after settling on New Caprica, Thrace and Anders marry and the two live in a tent in the ramshackle "New Caprica City" under the neglectful authority of President Gaius Baltar. Anders becomes seriously ill with pneumonia at one point, but makes a full recovery. After the Cylons invade New Caprica at the end of the second season, and Starbuck is taken into custody by the Cylon Leoben Conoy, Anders once again finds himself as one of the leaders of the resistance against a Cylon occupation as seen at the beginning of the third season.
Following the escape from New Caprica, the episode "Collaborators" sees Anders becoming one of the six members of the Circle, a Star Chamber like group commissioned by the newly sworn in President Tom Zarek to try, judge, and execute Cylon collaborators. After thirteen such executions, Anders quits The Circle, having lost his taste for revenge, and is immediately replaced by his wife as a new member. Anders and Thrace subsequently quarrel, which exposes numerous deep rifts that had emerged in their marriage and the two separate.
Midway through the series’ third season, Anders and Thrace try to reconcile their marriage, but Thrace's growing love for Lee Adama makes things difficult.
In the episode "Maelstrom", Anders asks her to go with him to another ship for some much needed rest and relaxation to which she replies she would think about it. He leaves the room and the two never fully resolve their soured relationship. After Starbuck's apparent death in the same episode, Anders starts to drink heavily. In mourning, he finds himself in a drunken state atop one of the Colonial Vipers in the hangar. Lee Adama tries to talk him down, but Anders slips and falls, breaking his leg.
In the episode "Crossroads, Part I", Anders is seen wearing the uniform of a Colonial Fleet Ensign, having signed up for flight training since Thrace’s death. He also shows the beginnings of a relationship with Diana Seelix, another new pilot recruited from among Galactica’s deck crew.
As the trial of Gaius Baltar commences, Anders, along with his fellow hidden Cylons, Foster, Tyrol and Saul Tigh, begins to hear strange music coming from a radio in Joe's Bar. Anders and Foster sleep together at this time. In the season 3 finale, "Crossroads, Part II", the four become aware of the fact they are Cylons based on hallucinatory music (which turns out to be "All Along The Watchtower" as arranged by Bear McCreary and performed by Bt4) only they can hear, and an apparent mental "switch" that goes off within them. Initially appalled by the discovery, after Saul Tigh declares his loyalty to the Fleet, regardless of who he might be, Anders follows his lead and reports for duty to prepare for battle against the Cylon fleet.
In the first episode of the fourth season, "He That Believeth In Me", Anders flies his first battle mission and cannot fire upon his targeted Cylon ship due to the weapons being jammed. The Cylon pilot recognizes him as a Cylon, and the Cylon fighters retreat to their baseships and jump away. After being reunited with the newly returned Thrace, who is thought by many to be a Cylon, Anders tells her he will still love her even if she is. Kara replies if he were a Cylon, she would kill him with no qualms. He and the other three secret Cylons meet in secret and he is later assigned as a member of Thrace's crew on the Demetrius, on a secret mission to find Earth.
While aboard the Demetrius, Anders tries to reconnect with his wife and constantly reassure the rest of the crew of the ship who are lacking confidence in Thrace's ability and purpose (especially when she begins to take advice from the captured Cylon, Leoben Conoy). When the crew eventually mutiny against Thrace, Anders is one of the few who comes to his wife's aid even going so far as to shoot Felix Gaeta in the leg to prevent him jumping the Demetrius back to the human fleet against Thrace's wishes. Anders continues to show his loyalty to his wife by accompanying her to the damaged Cylon basestar and assisting her with her plans.
Thrace is shocked when it is revealed in "Revelations" that her husband is a Cylon, but near the end of the episode they are seen together in the corridor paying respect to a photo of deceased comrade Louanne Katraine. On the destroyed Earth, Anders finds the remains of a guitar and begins to subconsciously play the song "All Along the Watchtower" on it, and remembers he had once played the song for the woman he loved. He then realizes that he, along with the other members of the Final Five, had lived their past lives on Earth.
During the mutiny led by Felix Gaeta and Tom Zarek, Anders is badly beaten and thrown into the brig with the other prisoners loyal to Admiral Adama. They are eventually freed by Thrace and Lee Adama. Anders is shot in the neck during their escape, and a tearful Kara Thrace refuses to leave his side. Romo Lampkin, encountering them in the corridor, helps Kara take her husband to Dr. Cottle.
In the episode "No Exit", Anders experiences a reawakening of his Cylon memories due to the brain damage caused by the wound. He frantically attempts to educate his fellow 'Final Five' crewmembers regarding their purpose and destiny, but eventually succumbs to his wounds. The bullet is removed, but he remains comatose. At the end of the following episode, "Deadlock", Anders begins to show brain activity. In "Someone to Watch Over Me", it is shown that Anders' brain activity is very unusual but not indicative of conscious thought. A Number Eight suggests linking him to the datastream aboard the Baseship might help.
Acting on the Eight's idea the Cylons immerse him in a Hybrid pool much like those on Cylon baseships and connect him to the datastream. Once connected, he begins mimicking the mannerisms of the baseship Hybrids, down to the incoherent (to casual observers) but prophetic ramblings. Thrace visits him and requests to be alone with him. Saying her goodbyes she attempts to kill him by gunshot to the head, but Anders, acting on reflex, catches and almost crushes Thrace's forearm, telling her, just as another Basestar Hybrid did, that she is the Harbinger of Death. As he does so power fluctuations, which have been going on for sometime on Galactica grow much worse, including surging power levels of the main engines. Anders releases Thrace and the power fluctuations subside but do not end
It is determined Anders is directly (though inadvertently) interacting with Galactica's power grid (but not the firewalled computers) via the Cylon organic resin applied to her superstructure for repair purposes. It is theoretically possible for Anders to jump the ship on his own just like a Hybrid on a Baseship; in effect, Anders has become Galactica's own Hybrid. Disturbed by this development, Colonel Tigh orders that Anders be disconnected. Removed from the datastream, Anders reverts to his comatose state.
Later, in the episode "Islanded in a Stream of Stars", Thrace once again visits her husband, because she believes there is a pattern in a drawing given to her by Hera Agathon, which turned out to be a representation of musical notes for a song Thrace's father played for her as a child. She is determined to get answers from Anders and reconnects him to talk to him. When he is plugged back in, the power surges briefly return but then subside as Samuel Anders vocalizes the line of code "New command". By the point, Thrace has apparently accepted the permanence of Anders’ condition.
During the final episodes of the series, "Daybreak", Anders plays a pivotal role in the Battle of the Colony, as, acting in the role of Galactica's Hybrid, he is able to remotely access the Cylon colony's Hybrids and take both them and the weapons that they control offline, preventing Galactica's destruction. Despite his state, he is able to share his memories during the attempt to recreate resurrection by the other members of the Final Five connecting to the datastream in his tank.
Once the fleet finally arrives at the new Earth, the decision is made for Anders to pilot Galactica and the rest of the fleet into the sun, leaving humanity to resettle on the planet below with minimal technology. When Kara leaves after saying her final goodbyes to Sam, Anders quietly responds, “see you on the other side”. With the last of the crew on Earth, Anders pilots the fleet into the sun.
Personality and traits
Despite his fame, Anders cared little for the glamorous aspects of his life as a Pyramid star, instead revealing in an interview that he took pleasure in the subtler aspects of the game, the joys of creating an impressive play, relating the sport to more mathematical concepts of physics and precision. Although highly successful at the game, he revealed that winning championships was of comparatively little interest to him compared to these more nebulous aspects.
As a resistance leader, Anders showed a talent for organization and a good tactical ability, mounting a number of highly successful strikes, even some deep inside Cylon occupied cities. He understandably carried a deep hatred for the Cylons, but also had a pragmatic attitude, such as his willingness to accept that the Number Eight copy who had been traveling with Karl Agathon was on their side. After the escape from New Caprica, Sam joins a tribunal that is kidnapping, trying, and executing those they deem to have collaborated with the Cylons. While Sam is at first willing to execute these collaborators, he quickly loses his taste for vengeance and resigns from the tribunal, as he no longer believes that they seek justice. When Kara later joins the tribunal, he views this as a personal betrayal.
Throughout their tumultuous relationship, Anders showed a great deal of loyalty to his wife Kara Thrace, making frequent attempts to reconcile after their estrangement and, after her return from the dead, often being her strongest advocate. His loyalty to her only wavered during the two months where she was believed dead, when he appeared to be forming a relationship with Diana Seelix, something that he later apologized to Seelix for after Thrace’s return, and had at least 1 sexual encounter with Tory Foster.
- Rob Owen (2007-03-26). "Executive producer Ron Moore discusses thrilling 'Galactica' cliffhanger". Post-Gazette.com. Retrieved 2007-03-26.