Sherman Cottle

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Dr. Sherman Cottle
Battlestar Galactica character
First appearance "Act of Contrition"
Last appearance "Daybreak"
Portrayed by Donnelly Rhodes
Species Human
Gender Male
Title Major
Colony Unknown
Affiliation Colonial Fleet

Major Sherman Cottle is a fictional character in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series. He is the battlestar Galactica's Chief Medical Officer. The character is played by Donnelly Rhodes.

Character biography[edit]

Cottle is eccentric, gruff and sarcastic, and portrayed as a heavy smoker. He isn't impressed or easily swayed by those in authority: he has been known to make less than deferential remarks to Colonel Saul Tigh[1] and President Laura Roslin.[2] He holds the rank of Major in the Colonial Fleet,[3] but is not a line officer: he does not form a part of Galactica's chain of command.[4] Although his military rank insignia is seen on his occasionally worn service tunic and his fatigue shirt, he is invariably addressed by his medical title, doctor; unlike Gaius Baltar, Cottle does not object to the abbreviation "Doc".

Cottle appears to have a strict sense of medical ethics (possibly having sworn the Colonial equivalent of Earth's Hippocratic oath), and does not discriminate between human and Cylon patients: he describes the sexual assault of Sharon "Athena" Agathon as "unforgivable";[5] he delivers her baby, Hera, by Caesarean section;[6] after the Cylon occupation of New Caprica, Cottle even provides medical care to critically injured Cylons.[7]

President Roslin is a long term patient of Doctor Cottle's: she informs him of her breast cancer diagnosis two weeks after the destruction of the Twelve Colonies,[2] and continues to see him at various points until her near death and successful treatment by Doctor Gaius Baltar. Cottle opposes but does not obstruct Baltar's treatment method, which uses the blood of Sharon Agathon's unborn child, calling it "un-natural".[8]

Cottle is not aboard Galactica when Commander William Adama is shot by the Cylon agent Sharon "Boomer" Valerii. An error in distribution of jump coordinates[9] and the subsequent boarding of Galactica by Cylon Centurions delay his arrival at Adama's bedside. Medics Layne Ishay and Howard Kim (although not properly trained) are forced to perform emergency surgery to keep Adama alive until Cottle is brought on board. Cottle is successful in treating Adama's injuries,[4] although the surgery leaves Adama with a large scar on his chest.[5]

After delivering Sharon "Athena" Agathon's baby, Hera, Cottle is told by Roslin and Adama to fake the infant's death to deter any attempts by unknown Cylon spies to kidnap the child. Sharon Agathon, who is not privy to the deception, is enraged and has to be physically restrained from attacking the "murderer" of her child. Cottle is present when the baby is placed in the care of a civilian woman, Maya, and is later reassured by President Roslin his actions were for the best.[6]

Cottle is among those who muster out of the Colonial Fleet after the establishment of the settlement on New Caprica. He continues to provide medical services as a civilian doctor, frustrated by the lack of antibiotics and other medical supplies.[10] As noted above, Cottle acts as a neutral party during occupation, providing medical care to all those in need.

Following the rescue of the New Caprica colonists,[7] Cottle resumes his duties as Galactica's chief medical officer.[11]

Cottle's first name is revealed in the penultimate episode "Daybreak". As Galactica is about to go on its last mission, likely to be a suicide mission, Adama presents the crew with the choice of joining or staying with the civilian fleet. Doc. Cottle volunteers, but is sent back by Adama, who appreciates his choice but gently reminds Cottle the fleet can not afford to lose a doctor and sends him back, referring to him as "Sherman" in the process.

The civilian fleet reunites with Galactica after the battle, at the new habitable planet Starbuck jumped it to. Cottle then settles down on the new planet, named "Earth" after the original one, with the rest of the surviving crew.


External links[edit]