Battlestar Galactica: Personnel: Col. Saul Tigh
Name: Tigh, Paul
Rank: Colonel (Executive Officer)
Col Tigh is the executive officer aboard the Battlestar Galactica. He’s an old solider who’s grown cynical and jaded to the world. So much so that its cost him his marriage and many of his friends. To wash away his troubles, Tigh has turned to booze. Or at least he did, now he just drinks because he’s thirsty. And like most lushes; he’s moody, highly irritable, and occasionally irrational and slow to act. But when the man is sober, there’s no better a first officer.
If you were to meet Tigh in a bar, he’d be one of the regulars. Tigh would be sitting depressed at the end of the bar, with a bottle of whisky in front of him, half empty. He’d be too drunk and depressed to care about anything around him, but that doesn’t mean you should try to piss him off!
Tigh started out his career as a deckhand in the Colonial Forces. His ship was attacked and boarded during the Cylon war, and he experienced some of the bloodiest (hand-to-hand) fighting during the war. He was quickly promoted to Chief, and served aboard several more ships, all of which were attacked and destroyed. Toward the end of the war, and the loss of many pilots, he was tapped to be become a Viper pilot.
Fast fact: The characters first name was Paul in the miniseries, but was changed to Saul for legal reasons for the regular series.
When the war was over, he was discharged, but the mental scars lasted. He was a fraked up vet, and couldn’t find work anywhere. He took a job as a shipman in the private sector, where he met William Adama and his future wife Ellen. Ellen proved to be a horrible influence on him and drove him to drink and lose his stability. Adama helped him by getting the both of them a job as officers in the Colonial military.
Distance from his wife helped the old lush, and Tigh became an excellent strategist, writing many papers of space warfare. But he still drank, and seeing is whorish wife when he returned from space was always a bad thing.
Tigh comes from an older generation of fighters, the one who actually fought the Cylons. He’s easily perturbed by these new hot shot pilots (read: Starbuck) and there spoiled attitude toward warfare. But secretly he’s mostly upset that he’s old and lost most of his skills from his viper pilot days.
At the end of the miniseries he tries to bury the hatchet with Starbuck. Rather then call a truce, Starbuck rebuffs his attempt, and calls him a drunk. This wake up call alerted Tigh to his problem, and we observe him begin to take control of his alcoholism.
Throughout the series, Tigh repeated gets off and on the wagon. Things were looking good for him, up until his wife Ellen appeared in the fleet. Ellen’s influence hasn’t improved his new life very much, but he’s willing to work to make it better.
Tigh is played by Micheal Hogan II.
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Battlestar Galactica reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel
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