BsG: Roslin and Adama’s Relationship

I’m working my way through the DVD of s2 of Battlestar: Galactica, and what strikes me, as it did the first time I watched it, is the wonderful relationship between the leaders of the military and civilian populations, Commander Bill Adama and President Laura Roslin respectively.

They’ve locked horns several times over who has jurisdiction over what, especially in time of war. At one point, Adama sacked Roslin and threw her in the brig, which led to Roslin escaping and denouncing Adama and his 2IC Tigh and going on a renegade mission in search of Earth.

But after a while they both realise being at odds with one another will achieve nothing but tearing the fleet apart, and they make extra efforts to get along and understand where the other is coming from. The Resurrection Ship two-parter demonstrates the deep love and respect they have for one another and both times I’ve watched it, I’ve come away hoping that one day I might have that kind of love and respect with someone.

But it’s never played as romantic or sexual. Even when they kiss, it plays as affection born out of deep love and respect, not sexual attraction.  I totally bought that two adults could have such a deep relationship without eventually getting together romantically.

I think the main reason it comes across so well is that Mary McDonnell has been given such a fleshed-out character to play, a strong, reasoned woman who’s logic you can always grasp, even if you don’t agree with her decisions. And Adama isn’t the only man she has a close, platonic relationship with (as far as I know, she’s never been paired up romantically with someone) – she has close professional and personal relationships with Adama’s son Lee as well as her advisor, Billy. Never is there a hint of romance, and I’ve always been able to see why these men respect and admire her.

Why anyone would respect and admire her.


  1. says

    I completely agree with what you’re saying.

    I think that the actors do have a strong chemistry and even if they’re fighting or having a disagreement, you’d always believe that they’ll talk things through and work it out.

    Respect and deep love between them are the most beautiful things in a relationship.

  2. Scarlett says

    For some reason I didn’t get this comment in my email, or I woudl have replied sooner.

    I’ve been thinking lately that McDonnell has one of the best roles I’ve seen for women in the last twenty years or so. BsG is (or at least was – I’m not fussed on s3) crammed full of strong women, but Roslin always seems to be above even an excellent average. She’s so strong and principled without coming across as self-righteous. She seemed very real for all the strength and principled-ness they gave her. From what I recall of that awful Will Smith movie (and sorry, I can’t be more specific), McDonnell’s character brought to the movie all the strength and realism it had. It’s a bit of a shame that such a role is to be found in a cult scifi. (Like Claudia Black, but worse…)

    I’ve often had people (always men, for some reason) question the closeness I have with male friends; apparantly, I can’t have such an intellectual conection with a guy that I miss him if I haven’t seen him for two weeks. It only makes me appreciate Roslin and Adama’s relationship more.

    I blame Billy Crystal. Men and women can too be friends without sex getting in the way.

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