The Cylon community could be broken down into the time before the "Final Five" appeared and after, since once the Final Five showed up, they would have outside influences and likely change a lot by absorbing the thousands of years of experiences.

Is there any indication of how the Cylon community was structured before the Final Five appeared? Was there a need for a hierarchal command structure, or was a simple majority rule? They carried out a rebellion and a war and negotiated a peace treaty, so this indicates they had a way to make decisions and move forward as a single community. How was it organized?

And once the Final Five showed up, how did it change? It looks as if the Final Five lead the humaniform Cylons, and that all other Cylons obeyed the humaniform ones. Is this how it was?

2 Answers 2


It's a majority vote by individual. When there is a discussion on whether to "lobotomize" the Cylon raiders, there are scenes shown where a vote is held and it is split three-three until one specific Eight (Boomer) breaks with the rest of the Eights and votes to lobotomize. Up until that point, presumably, models have voted as a bloc and given a single instance of a model could cast the tie-breaking vote.

This also means that there are consistent numbers of the humanoid models. I'm guessing that models in the process of resurrection or in the Human fleet get their votes counted as that of the rest of the models, if a single instance of a model could act as a tie-breaker.


Actually, in the earlier seasons of the show, when we began to learn about the Cylon culture, we learned that they vote not by majority, but by consensus, meaning, everyone has to agree in order to move forward. This starts to break down somewhat during Season 3 on New Caprica, when Boomer and Caprica's vision of harmony with the humans on New Caprica isn't working out as planned and it creates tension between the Cylons. They seem at that point to have shifted to a majority vote system, perhaps because New Caprica was so divisive that they could no longer realistically reach consensus.

The way I see it, the vote on New Caprica about whether or not to carry out the death lists (which would have executed Roslin, Zarek, Cally, among 200 others) is further evidence (along with Boomer's breaking with her model vote on lobotomizing the Raiders) that Cylons models had always voted as a bloc and then sought to reach consensus among the models. The other Sixes make a point of noting with disdain that Caprica Six is going against her model in disagreeing with the death lists. Interestingly, they do not make as big a deal about it as the Eights do later when Boomer sides with the Ones on the Raider lobotomy issue. But by that death lists vote, it seems clear to me that they are no longer using consensus but majority vote to make decisions. But in previous seasons, they clearly worked via consensus.

  • But isn't this all after the Final Five have been with the Cylons?
    – Tango
    Jun 4, 2013 at 15:21

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