Commander Adama is a character in the 1978 movie and subsequent ABC television series Battlestar Galactica and its continuation series, Galactica 1980. Adama is the commander of the great military vessel Battlestar Galactica, commander of the refugee fleet and military commander of the evacuees of the Twelve Colonies. Played by Lorne Greene, Adama is also the spiritual leader of the surviving colonists. In the 2004 Battlestar Galactica (re-imagining), a similar character, William Adama, is played by Edward James Olmos.
Adama is a native of the planet Caprica, which is where he graduated from military academy. Early in his career Adama was involved in a parapsychological research project at the Colonial Military Institute. He flew with his executive officer Colonel Tigh in their younger days, and later served with Commander Kronus aboard the battlestar Rycon.
As well as being a career military officer, Commander Adama is also a member of the Council of the Twelve, the governing body of the Colonies. He was as much a politician as a military commander.
From the start, Adama was mistrustful of the Cylons at the time of the Peace Conference to end the Thousand Yahren War. He was the only battlestar commander to keep his ship on battlestations drill and as a result the Galactica was the only battlestar to survive the Cylon sneak attack (another Battlestar, the Pegasus, was later discovered to have survived and to have raided Cylon outposts for a year after the destruction of the colonies; though it appeared in only two episodes before it mysteriously disappeared, its fate ambiguous). Despite the destruction and great personal loss, Adama was able to organize the survivors in an escape from the Cylons and lead them on the search for Earth.
Adama is a fair and beloved leader, with almost unquestioned authority. He is a deeply religious man, and his visit to the planet Kobol and the Fleet's encounter with the Ship of Lights strengthened his belief that someday Earth would be found.
In the episode "War of the Gods", it is revealed that Adama has been trained in telekinesis as part of a military parapsychology study. In this episode, Count Iblis can read minds, so Adama also mentions that he has received training in clouding his mind with other thoughts, suggesting that he was involved in experiments in telepathic communication. However, there is no further reference to this in the remainder of the series.