Saul Tigh, Executive Officer of the Battlestar Galactica, is one tough frakkin’ SOB. The man drinks, he swears, he beats up prisoners and crew members alike with a passion, he overthrows governments, he’s had one of his eyes ripped out of the socket and, to top it all off, he’s had to kill his own wife! How’s that for one tough guy?
Tigh has been my favorite character on BSG since the excellent miniseries launched the show, and it’s funny, since if the guy were real and we were to meet in real life I’d probably hate him, mainly from his demeanor. Upon first meeting he’d probably give one raised nostril in a sneer and snarl something degrading, But Michael Hogan makes him so real and flawed that his humanity (or lack of humanity, now that the season 3 finally has come and gone) pours out of him.
Now that supposedly Tigh is a Cylon, I have no idea how they will rectify his back story with what we now know he is. According to the excellent Battlestarwiki.org, Tigh served aboard a warship called the Brenik during the first Cylon war when he was just a teenager. He was released from service after the war, served aboard civilian ships and met Bill Adama during a bar fight. The two men grew old together while they served the colonies together. How they’re going to make him a Cylon that grew old is beyond me. I don’t know.
I guess what I like about him is his irascible character, his take-no-garbage attitude and his willingness to do anything that is necessary to survive. He only seems to have given up that fight twice in his life, once when he’d divorced Ellen and was drifting aimlessly, and then after he’d had to kill Ellen and return to the Galactica. Executing Cylon collaborators seemed to have helped quench some of his fury, but as a man he was drifting.
Now that he believes that he is a Cylon he has turned back to the one constant in his life; serving under Bill Adama as XO. He defiantly declared upon realization that he isn’t human, “My name is Saul Tigh. I’m an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that’s the man I want to be. And if I die today, that’s the man I’ll be.”
God, I love this man. Godspeed, Tigh! May you make it to “Earth” so we may all know you in all your ornery glory!