Life after Battlestar Galactica

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Canadian actor Tahmoh Penikett to appear on Dollhouse series

Like many fans out there, Battlestar Galactica actor Tahmoh Penikett isnt entirely ready to say goodbye to the critically acclaimed show, but he understands why this season has to be the last.

Like many fans out there, Battlestar Galactica actor Tahmoh Penikett isnt entirely ready to say goodbye to the critically acclaimed show, but he understands why this season has to be the last.

Its about integrity and never losing it, he says, taking a break from filming an episode of the fourth seasons second half. (Show creator) Ron (Moore) and the writers have always said that Battlestar has a beginning, a middle and an end - and if they say this is where the story should end, then I completely trust them.

He insists it becomes easier to accept as time goes by. When I first heard, it was upsetting but weve all had time to accept it and have grasped the idea. There are so many incredible things happening already this season that I think the audience will accept it, too.

But Im excited about this season, Penikett adds. Im included a lot more and Ive been able to act more with different members of the cast, which has been amazing.

Born in Whitehorse, Penikett is the son of former Yukon premier Tony Penikett and has appeared in a number of film and television roles, including parts on Smallville, The L Word and Cold Squad. On Galactica, Penikett plays the highly principled Lieutenant Karl Helo Agathon, a human soldier who falls in love and eventually has a child with Number Eight (Grace Park), a Cylon, one of the shows synthetic foils/villains.

Often used as the voice of reason and humanity when those around him forget theirs, Helo has been forced to go against his commanders to protect his principles and family.

The character has such a deeply rooted moral core and such integrity and dignity, its easy to find his voice in the lines, Penikett says. There have been disagreements with the writers, not often, about where they want to take Helo and its my responsibility as an actor to step in and make sure we stay true to him, to never lose that integrity of his.

Considering the role Helo has played on the show, its amazing to consider that Penikett was only supposed to appear in the original 2003 Sci-Fi channel mini-series and not in the ongoing show. The producers reconsidered after taking into account the huge outpouring of fan interest and the strength of Penikett s performance, choosing to write him into the series.

Its a huge compliment, says Penikett. Im so fortunate to have been given that chance. The writers really enjoyed it, too. Ron saw it as a way to take us off the Battlestar and see things from another perspective.

Landing a role as a major character on Battlestar can be stressful, given the writers tendency to surprise its audience with the deaths of major characters.

I was a lot more nervous about that in the first season. Id leaf through the scripts just to my parts to find out if Id been offed, he laughs. Now theres a comfort zone for a lot of us and I read the scripts more as a fan of the show, excited to find out what happens next.

With the end in sight, so too are new beginnings for Penikett, including a role on Dollhouse, the highly anticipated new Fox series from Buffy, Angel and Firefly creator Joss Whedon. The show, starring Buffy alum Eliza Dushku, follows an organization that employs mind-wiped agents known as dolls who are implanted with false memories and skills for various missions and tasks. Needless to say, the whole operation is highly illegal.

I play an FBI agent whos on the trail of the dolls, he says. Im honoured to be a part of this. I mean, Joss is the biggest there is, one of the brightest and most creative. Im looking forward to working with Eliza, too. Im really excited to start work on it.

Organizations: L Word, FBI

Geographic location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Cylon

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