The opening credits for Battlestar Galactica state that the Cylons "have a plan"; but what it was escapes me.

What, exactly, was the Cylon plan; who formulated it, and in what episodes was it explained? Was it ever carried out?

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    Just as an aside, Ron Moore said he was always bothered by the "They have a plan" line, since he really had no idea what their plan was.
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 1:40
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    Why not watch "The Plan" and see for yourself? :) Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 15:04
  • Finally we have an answer (I came across this again preparing for today's apocalypse): Es gibt überhaupt gar keinen Plan!
    – orome
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 18:28
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    I was very "into" the show and listened to a podcast of the writers discussing the show and where it was going. It was quickly apparent that the Cylons may have had a plan, but the writers, not so much. They would say things like "do the Cylons have a home planet" and no one knew. Lost interest after hearing that discussion.
    – DaveG
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 17:56
  • @DaveG the final five were only ever a "thing" in the show because the fan base created them - not the writers. The writers realised that speculation was growing about who the "final five" unrevealed humanoid models were and decided to write them in as a specific thing - until that point, they were just unused models for later plot points. This is why, late in the final season, it went from "there are 12 models" to, surprise, there are actually 13 - Daniel was introduced as an extra model to explain the numbering discrepancy (numbers left over were 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12...)
    – Moo
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 21:32

4 Answers 4


According to creator Ronald D Moore... There was no plan. They intended to come up with something later, but never did.

Moore spoke about this at a recent BSG reunion event.

The show’s opening pre-credit sequence describing the Cylon revolution stated that the humanoid robots had a “plan.” Moore said this was, essentially, just something co-executive producer David Eick thought sounded cool, that audiences would love and that they could figure out later. They never did and, said Moore, “For the next 14 years of my life people have asked me ‘What was the plan?’” In short, “There was no … plan.

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    I hate it when producers/scriptwriters do this... the "Lost" angle. No surprise I loved the first few seasons of BSG and was sorely disappointed by the random mess that was the end, probably around the time they randomly picked the "Final Five". So much potential and so many brilliant moments ruined by a "we will just make stuff up as we go along" game plan :(
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 23:35
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    @AndresF. You made the same thematic connection to Lost as I did. This problem seems very common in works that want to have competent characters, but whose writers were unable or unwilling to do the prep work to substantiate that story fact. Writers are used to reducing every problem to an emotional conflict because that's very malleable. Writers don't do nearly as well in domains whose currency is impossible to counterfeit.
    – Tom
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 2:17

The television movie ‘The Plan’ explained the plan. Essentially it was the brain-child primarily of the Cavils. "The plan" was basically to wipe out humanity in the opening salvos. The plan failed though, with the escape of the Galactica (and Pegasus, and possibly others we don't know about). From that point onwards, the Cylons were pretty much winging it.

Of course, given that the plan was only the initial attack, and from that point on there really was no cohesive plan, that opening sequence text is somewhat misleading and false by that point; especially past the first season.

One could argue though, that past the first few episodes "the plan" could refer to the ongoing efforts to create the Cylon-Human hybrid child... though that plan would be moot if THE plan had been successful.

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    I always took "The Plan" to be "Destroy all humans", not necessarily limited to the opening attack
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 16:28
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    Well, that was what it became after the first attack failed, but somewhere... I don't recall off-hand where (in The Plan or in an episode) someone, i THINK a Cavil, made a remark about how the plan had failed and they found themselves needing to improvise and roll with the punches after that.
    – eidylon
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 16:58
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    @Izkata I'd say that's a goal, not a plan :) (in any case, see the accepted answer: sadly there was no plan, as the show's creator admitted).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 23:37

The Plan was a line used in the opening credits that never payed off. Because the show itself was never planned, but was rather written as the series continued, there were several attempts to make the actions of the Cylons appear to follow a coherent plan (in particular with their actions on Caprica in the first season), but none of them came together. In the end, the line was quietly dropped, as the story had become too disjointed to continue claiming that the Cylons had or were continuing to execute a single overarching plan. The TV Movie "The Plan" was merely a last attempt to give some amount of payoff to the original idea, by restating it as the initial plan to attack the colonies, but it fell flat as if that had been the case mentioning it constantly in the credits would have made no sense.


As explained in "Torn" the plan of the Cylons was to find the 13th colony Earth to make it their new home. The Cylons had to rely on humans to be able to find Earth.

  • This contradicts show creator Moore explaining there was never a plan, the writers never did think of one. So this looks like a potential in-universe explanation, but chosen by us -- the audience -- not the show creators (who admit there was no plan).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 5:25
  • As true as it may be it raises the question if this exchange is in or out universe.
    – theking2
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:53

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