I have been binge watching Battlestar Galactica and something in Season 2 Episode 18, "Downloaded", puzzled me.

Biers (Lucy Lawless) and Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer) are talking on a bench in a park that is being restored when Six is approached by a Doral (Matthew Bennett) who says:

"Excuse me. I just wanted to say it’s an honor to have you here on Caprica with us. What you did, well, it’s inspiring. Thank you."

What bugged me was how he knew she was the famous Caprica Six and not just any old Six?

Does anyone know how human form Cylons tell one from another?

  • 3
    RFID? .........
    – Darren
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 13:48
  • How do twins know which one is which?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 14:05
  • 3
    @Valorum I think if you are a twin and you know who you are it is pretty easy to know who the other one is. The problem here is that Doral is not Six's twin and there are a lot more than 2 of her.
    – mwarren
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 14:22
  • IP addresses and/or MAC addresses in biological form. Simple computer networking. Even though each model is similar (just like each computer on an office building is likely similar), they each have a unique identifier that each can sense wirelessly. Model Six can tell Model Six apart as a different Six. Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


I don’t believe that it is established exactly how this works, but it is an established ability of the human form Cylons. In the Season 4 episode “Deadlock”, a human form Cylon immediately identifies Boomer on sight, having not seen her since New Caprica.

Galen Tyrol: Nice to see you again. [To Adama] This is Boomer.

In the next episode, “Someone to Watch Over Me”, Athena recognises Boomer when she looks directly at her, but not in the mirror.

While it’s never explicitly addressed, in the earlier Season 4 episode “He That Believeth in Me”, another human form Cylon;

Samuel Anders

is scanned by a Cylon Raider which then leaves him alone. His eye briefly flashes red, indicating some form of Cylon technology is responsible for this.

While they don’t explain how either of these cases work, resurrection, another Cylon technology, is established to be a “wireless” technology (working whenever the resurrection ship is within range), and the ability to experience a shared “projection” does not rely on touch, so there is precedent for the human form bodies to be capable of wireless transmission.

  • Re the "Deadlock" example, wasn't Boomer the only individual of that model that was still with the faction of Cylons that was sending the negotiating party? It may have been a very simple deduction rather than a special ability. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 1:35
  • @KerrAvon2055 that’s not impossible, and is the reason I didn’t mention “Exodus Part 1”, where D’Anna instantly recognised Athena, who was in the middle of stealing all the ship keys. However, I don’t think this is likely: The characters only role in the scene is to identify her. (They are not part of the party meeting the ship). Simple deduction would have been available to Adama or any of the other non-Cylon characters in the scene, or to the Six running comms in the previous scene who calls her “an Eight”. They also actually don’t know where the Raptor is coming from at the time.
    – Ben Murphy
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 2:02
  • 1
    @KerrAvon2055 I added another reference. To me it is telling that Helo does not recognise Boomer in the next scene, which is important because a random Eight could be his wife, or just someone fixing the shower. It’s speculation, but one common thing to all of these examples (Caprica Six, Athena, and Boomer twice) is that they have just looked the person directly in the eye. Combined with the raider incident I think “eye to eye transmission” is a distinct possibility, and given all the religious themes of the show (The eyes are the window to the soul, after all) would fit nicely.
    – Ben Murphy
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 2:44
  • I am accepting this answer as it seems to explain my question well in the absence of any canon explanation.
    – mwarren
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 7:08

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