||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (March 2011)|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2010)|
|Battlestar Galactica character|
Edward James Olmos as William Adama
|Portrayed by||Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica)
Nico Cortez (Razor Flashbacks)
Markus Towfigh (Caprica)
Luke Pasqualino (Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome)
|Title||Battlestar Galactica (BSG Miniseries – Episode 4.22)|
|Colony||Caprica, of Tauron descent|
William "Bill" Adama (callsign "Husker") is a fictional character portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series. The character is a reimagining of Commander Adama from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series played by Lorne Greene.
Character biography 
In the Caprica spinoff series, Markus Towfigh plays William "Bill" Adama as a young boy. 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 Joseph's second wife, Evelyn Adama (an accountant). Though he's raised on Caprica and seen attending a Caprica Buccaneers pyramid game as a child, he later states that he was a fan of the Picon Panthers. He is named in honor of his deceased older half-brother William "Willie" Adama in accord with Tauron tradition. 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, though he is Joseph's third child, a half-brother to Joseph's children Tamara and Willie with his first wife Shannon, who died in the year YR42 on the Colonial calendar (as depicted in the prequel series Caprica). Bill Adama had at least three uncles: Joseph's brother Sam Adama (a Ha'la'tha enforcer on Caprica), Sam's husband Larry, and Evelyn's brother (also named Sam) on Tauron who owned a ranch near a river and used trained dogs to drive foxes into the river. Shannon Adama's mother Ruth was also part of the Adama family during Bill's childhood, though not related to him by blood.
Military service 
- D6/21311 – First commission: Battlestar Galactica air group
- E4/21312 – Commendation for shooting down Cylon fighter in first viper combat mission
- D5/21314 – Mustered out of service post-armistice
- R6/21317 – Served as Deck Hand in merchant fleet and as common [...] aboard inter-colony tramp freighters
- D1/21331 – Recommissioned in Colonial Fleet
- D6/21337 – Major: Battlestar Atlantia
- R8/21341 – Executive Officer: Battlestar Columbia
- C2/21345 – Commander: Commanding Officer, Battlestar Valkyrie
- C2/21348 – Commander: Commanding Officer, Battlestar Galactica
After the death of Admiral Helena Cain, Adama is promoted to Admiral, in light of the fact that he now had charge of more than one battlestar. He retains this rank even after the Battlestar Pegasus is destroyed.
First Cylon War 
As depicted in Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, in the tenth year of the First Cylon War, Adama, (played by Luke Pasqualino) is a new Academy graduate, assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. His aviator call sign was "Husker", originally bestowed on him by his experienced copilot Coker, using an Aerilon term for farmboy or hick, though Adama was actually raised in Caprica City. His first mission is to pilot a Raptor, taking a civilian software engineer into hostile Cylon territory. Following that mission, he was given a Viper and assigned to a joint special ops unit of fighter pilots, infantry and marines.
In Battlestar Galactica: Razor Flashbacks, Adama (played by Nico Cortez) becomes 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. He received a commendation for this mission. Adama was aboard the 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 gunfight while free-falling. Upon landing, he discovered a Cylon lab where experimentation on human subjects was taking place. Unable to rescue the humans held captive in the lab, Adama watched helplessly as the Cylons evacuated the base. When he called Galactica for rescue, he was told that an armistice had been made with the Cylons. With the hostilities at an end, the Cylons carried away whatever they were developing, unopposed.
After the war 
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 Fleet 
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; she was engaged to be married at the time of the Cylon attack on 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, and skippered three Colonial escort vessels 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.
After the Cylon attack 
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. Incidentally, the Hebrew word for Earth is Adama. 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 Exodus 
After the discovery of New Caprica, Adama appears hesitant to establish a permanent settlement on the planet, but is overruled 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. The fleet escapes with 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.
Following Gaius Baltar's apprehension in the Temple, a tribunal of five ship captains is formed to serve as judges in Baltar's trial for treason and crimes against the human race. Adama is appointed to this panel, though Captain Franks of the civilan ship Prometheus is selected to chair it. Despite President Roslin's requests to Maj. Lee Adama that he assist in preparing the prosecution's case against Baltar, and despite Admiral Adama bestowing his father Joseph Adama's law textbooks to Lee due to his flirtatious interest in law when he was a youth, Lee declines because he has doubts about the fairness of the trial. The admiral instead relieves Lee of his CAG duties to provide security detail for Baltar and his attorney, Romo Lampkin, who was a student of William's father and Lee's grandfather. After Lampkin survives two failed assassination attempts, Admiral Adama decides to reinstate Lee to his CAG duties. Lee, however, tells the admiral that he wishes to assist Lampkin in the defense of Baltar, incensing his father. After Lampkin humiliates Tigh on the witness stand by forcing him to admit that he killed his own wife, an argument ensues between the two Adamas, resulting in animosity between father and son, Lee resigning his commission in anger of having his integrity questioned by his father, and Adama retorting that he wants no officer without integrity serving under him. Adama unsuccessfully attempts to circumvent Lee's cross-examination of the cancer-stricken Laura Roslin, and Captain Franks pressures her into admitting that she is once again taking the hallucinogenic chamalla extract, effectively discrediting her as a witness. Roslin depressed, the senior Adama comforts and encourages her in preparation for her doloxan treatments. As the trial continues, and Baltar's case appears to be crumbling, Baltar demands that Lee Adama take the stand. When Lampkin asks Lee if Baltar deserves a fair trial, Lee replies that he does, and that he was not guily of treason. He goes on to ask the tribunal what they would have done in Baltar's position, and remarks that everyone else on New Caprica was pardoned for whatever transgressions they made, but Baltar was made the scapegoat. He looks at his father, and continues, saying that the entire case was based on emotions, and that new laws need to be made to preserve their civilzation, and to prevent humanity from turning into a gang. Lee's testimony results in both Baltar's acquittal by way of Adama's "not guilty" swing vote, and winning back his father's respect.
After Adama starts considering not only an alliance with the Rebel Cylons but allowing them to join the fleet, Lieutenant Felix Gaeta starts a mutiny against him with Tom Zarek starting a coup against Roslin and the rest of the government. They capture Adama and try him for various crimes including treason, dereliction of duty (for abandoning the people on New Caprica) and aiding and abetting the enemy. He is rescued and then retakes the ship. Adama contacts a relieved Roslin on the baseship, and later embraces her when she returns to Galactica. Adama has Gaeta and Zarek executed by a firing squad he personally commands.
Rescue of Hera and finding a new home 
Adama eventually commands the Galactica on her final mission: an operation to rescue the half-human, half-cylon child Hera from the Cylon colony. The mission is successful, and Galactica jumps to the planet that will eventually be known as Earth, but sustains irreparable damage in the process.
After surveying the primitive human natives, 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. As he had planned earlier, William Adama is the last person to leave Galactica, launching aboard the Mk. II Viper with his call sign, "Husker" that had appeared in the original mini-series.
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 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 relationships 
||This section may contain original research. (May 2010)|
A weary, battle-hardened man in late middle age, Adama demonstrated a powerful strength of character throughout the series, successfully leading and protecting what remained of humanity against the Cylon threat. Despite the greater age of his Battlestar compared to some of the other ships in the fleet at the time of the attack, Adama led the ship to victory against various Cylon threats, successfully coming up with strategies to defeat Cylon opponents despite their significantly superior numerical and technological advantage. His dedication to his ship earned him the loyalty of many, with Tigh once stating when Adama was injured that, as far as he was concerned, Galactica was Adama's ship until his death. A significant number of the crew participated in a mutiny led by Felix Gaeta, but Ronald D. Moore stated in the episode podcasts that the mutineers never had enough people to take complete control of the ship. A large number of the crew are seen joining Adama when he retook the ship, and several of the mutineers, including Aaron Kelly and several marines, switched sides during the battle.
Adama's hobbies include building model sailing ships by hand. "Here Be Dragons", the penultimate episode of the prequel Caprica, shows that he inherited this from his mother Evelyn.
In terms of his personal relationships, Adama's life was complicated at best. Although he tried to maintain a professional distance from his crew to prevent his emotions from clouding his judgement, he was nevertheless strongly devoted to them. For all the arguments between him and his son Lee Adama, he had more than once stated that he would never abandon Lee whatever his son did, attempting to reconcile with Lee even after Lee served as the defense counsel for Gaius Baltar during his trial. His affection for his ex-wife is also evident, setting aside the day of their anniversary each year to remember her despite how their relationship ended. He has also formed more than one father/daughter bond with some of the Viper pilots under his command, particularly Kara Thrace and Louanne 'Kat' Katraine, telling Kat once that he and his wife would have liked to have a daughter as well as their sons, stating that "Three's a good round number". Similarly, when Kara Thrace voiced her anxieties about her own identity when she returned from the dead, Adama reassured her by proclaiming "You're my daughter". Despite his vocal dislike of Cylons, Adama even managed to form a certain bond with the second Cylon Number Eight model he encountered, growing to trust her despite the fact that her 'predecessor' shot him. Adama also retained his strong friendship with Saul Tigh even after the latter is discovered to be a cylon. His relationship with President Laura Roslin has been particularly turbulent; although they have often disagreed over crucial decisions, such as when Roslin convinced Starbuck to return to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo, or when she convinced the Agathons that their daughter Hera — the first human/Cylon hybrid — had died during the birth, they have also demonstrated a great affection for each other, Adama admitting after she was briefly captured by the Cylons that he cannot live without her. In Season Four, it is shown that they developed an intimate relationship. After her death, he placed his wedding ring on her finger and buried her outside the cabin he planned to build and live in solitude.
Preparing for the role 
Actor Edward James Olmos has brown eyes, but when playing William Adama he wore contact lenses that make Adama's eyes blue. This was done so that Olmos and actor Jamie Bamber, who played his son Lee, would resemble each other more. Reciprocally, Bamber dyed his hair darker to better match Olmos' coloring.
William Adama's last name means 'Earth' (אדמה) in Hebrew.
- Razor Flashbacks Credits[dead link]
- Benjamin Svetkey, "The Final Frontier: Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0," Entertainment Weekly 1029 (January 9, 2009), 60.
- "Sam Adama, brother to main character Joseph Adama, is married and gay — a first for the Battlestar Galactica universe". Advocate.com
- "Caprica producer Jane Espenson explains Sam Adama's tattoos.". chicagonow.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-22. "The Omega below Sam's ear tells us he's married."
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