Battlestar Galactica’s minor stars: Doral

Why do the Cylons never play with half of their range? Andrew's all for hearing more from their quieter models

Doral

Here’s what we know about the Cylons: There are twelve of them. They seem to get most of their information by flirting with or sleeping with unwitting humans. And they therefore have to be pretty darned pretty to get the job done.

That’s alright for a handful of the seven main models who have done a lot of work so far this series, but it leaves a few out in the cold. Brother Cavil has only managed to keep his head in the game by being more radical than all the other models (at least until Number Three gets all high, and mighty, and boxed). Simon rarely appears because he’s just a bit wet.

And then there’s Doral. The first Cylon agent we see at work among the fleet, he still seems to be a smooth-talking PR man three series later. The whole thrust of Doral is low-level psychological warfare, threading through the background of major events to mess with people’s heads. And being a TV show that needs to deliver an hour of action once a week, it isn’t that surprising that we don’t bump into Doral that often.

We first meet up while Galactica is being turned into a museum. Not much damage he can do there; but as soon as Roslin starts manoeuvring himself into a compassionate leadership role to help citizens, he’s on hand to try and undermine her and turn Apollo against her. Sure, he ends up abandoned on his own in a space station, but you have to admire his trying.

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We also see him and a Six watching Helo’s slow progress around Caprica in the first series. They don’t kill him, as they easily could. They just sit back and watch him, making glibly sweeping statements about humans and how apparently rubbish we all are. (Or gorgeous, depending on the week. But normally rubbish.)

Elsewhere he seems to be something of an administrative blunt instrument (which probably contributes to why we don’t see much of him, as he’s doing the accounts in the backroom). That made him rather important during the occupation, where he was always up for topping the human race at the drop of a hat.

He’s also not against a little personal intervention to unnerve or outright unflesh people – he’s taken Galactica and blown himself up as a suicide bomber, long before the far higher-profile bombings at the start of the third series. See what I mean about importantly threading the background? Some no-mark character called ‘Duck’ got acres of coverage for his metaphorical self- detonation last series; Doral got in two series ago, unnerved loads of people and got nothing. He’s a hard-working kinda mass murderer.

So, bloodthirsty Cylon overlords, why don’t you stop using the same three models do all the work and make someone else do a bit of graft for a while? It’ll help to keep the show running if the Sixes have to run off to do another series of Canada’s Next Top Model.