For years, we've been hearing about Ron Moore's "Cylon Bible," which tells all the secrets of Battlestar Galactica's artificial antagonists. Now at last, a new video includes several precious pages. Possible spoilers.
It looks as though the main document is called "Life On A Baseship," and it was written before season three, and before the show had decided on the identities of the Final Five.
Here's what I could decipher:
Life on the Cylon Baseship:
Key to understanding how life works aboard the Cylon baseship is recognizing and understanding the tensions within the communal nature of Cylon life. The Cylons, as artificial beings, have made many of their evolutionary choices, including the method and practice of their interactivity. Driven by their burgeoning belief in a divine being, they have constructed for themselves a method of interaction that is rooted in the human model, yet makes allowance for the unique abilities of the machine. This combination of a biologically based pattern of behavior only partly improved upon by mechanistic technical advances had led, in some instances, to what seem like contradictions in their modes of living and behavior.
The communal nature of Cylon society is rooted in the fact that these are, fundamentally, machines, capable of highly sophisticated exchanges of data. There is no technical reason why any given Cylon should not be immediately and continuously connected to every other Cylon aboard a baseship, as well as to the database of the ship itself. However, the Cylons have chosen, as a society, to foreswear this ability in favor of more closely emulating the human form, presumably as a direct result of their homegrown theological belief that mankind was God's chosen form, based on His original image. Human failures to carry out the Almighty's wishes and plans notwithstanding, it is a tenet of Cylon belief that the human form comes directly from Him, as did the initial human impulse to design the first generation of Cylons as bipedal beings, which closely followed the human design. Therefore, the Cylons believe in maintaining and cultivating many aspects of the human form, including their modes of communication. Cylons verbally talk to one another as opposed to transmit files or data communication, because that's the way God intended for His creations to interact with one another.
Aboard the Baseship, this creates a need for design systems that permit instant access to the vital data, while at the same time respecting the fact that Cylons are something more than simply ((illegible)) accessing a data stream...
There is no formalized hierarchy among the Cylons, either aboard the Baseship or in the Cylon nation at large. Decisions are made collectively, through the will of the...
The Control Center: The functional equivalent of Galactica's CIC, this is where tactical decisions are made aboard the Baseship. There is no assigned "crew" here, any visit to the Control Center will see a different set of Cylons coming and going, and interacting with one another. Again, decisions are made collectively, with individual models speaking with one voice and no action taken until majority consensus has been reached. The holographic projections above the consoles change rapidly, seldom showing the same image for any great length of time. The images displayed are also just...
[Living areas are] assigned to individual Cylons, and are treated... in terms of sets, the Living Areas are redresses of the control center. They generally consist of of a reclining chair... [Cylons] sometimes take nourishment directly from the [ship]... The LIving Areas are customized by the [individual Cylons].
Clothing being a purely aesthetic choice, there are times when we may wish to enter a room where total or partial nudity is on display, without it being remarked on by any of the Cylons.
The individual models:
Sixes — are powerful, driven beings, constantly looking for ways to influence or undermine events. They love human sensuality in all its forms, and see their bodies as the best temple in praise of God that has yet been constructed. They are also deeply impulsive and have a tendency towards physical and emotional cruelty... strive to bring themselves closer to Him.
Leobens — see life outside the box of the material world. They have found ways of calcluating variables and data outside the [normal world, and this allows them] and other Cylons to see beyond the here and now.
Sharons are uncertain of themselves and their place in the universe.
The Final Five
These are the Cylons which are not present on the Baseship, and indeed have not even been glimpsed or referred to in the series so far. They are mysterious beings even to the Significant Seven, all of whom know there are five humanoid Cylons who choose not associate with the others, and who seldom communicate directly with them.
For some reason, the video is not working as an embed, but here it is. Non-U.S. people, you're SOL. Sorry: