If you’re a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, then the chances are you will be familiar with Tahmoh Penikett. After first gaining renown as Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon in Battlestar Galactica, he has since garnered recurring roles in the likes of Smallville, Dollhouse, Supernatural and Continuum, as well as showing up in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel.
For his latest genre-friendly outing, he stars alongside Being Erica‘s Erin Karpluk as the interestingly named Alar of Caer Caladh, who accidentally ends up on Earth, and soon absconds with journalist Kim (Karpluk) to travel through dimensions
“It’s about a wizard who happens upon this world – our world, the Riftworld – by accident. He obviously – or apparently – has the ability to travel long distances in his own world, through his powers. Unfortunately, he ends up in the Riftworld, which is not something he’s seen before, or ever heard of, and he’s trying to understand it,” explains Penikett.
“Fortunately, there’s someone who’s sympathetic to his situation, even if she doesn’t quite believe him when she first meets him – Kim, who we get introduced to right away. She’s trying to aid him, although she has serious reservations that he’s probably mentally ill. Then they take off from this sort of comedic tale of seeing the world through Allar’s eyes.”
Riftworld Chronicles enjoyed a rather unconventional creation process. Having first started life as short film The Portal (also written and directed by Riftworld creator Jonathan Williams), its popularity led to a Kickstarter campaign that in turn resulted in Riftworld. The presence of Penikett in particular, who as previously mentioned has a number of TV credits to his name, undoubtedly helped it to stand out, but he credits one show specifically.
“I’m really hopeful and optimistic that the fans receive it well. In particular, the Supernatural fans, which is one of the most rabid fan followings out there. I had the pleasure of interacting with many of them through the conventions I’ve done with the Supernatural boys, meeting thousands of them in every city that I’ve travelled to to do a Supernatural convention with.
“They’ve had this incredible desire and support for this project, and are a large part of the reason why it came about. We had their support in the Kickstarter campaign. They just want more, and they can’t wait for it, they’re dying to see it, and I cant wait to get it out there and see the response. Hopefully they really enjoy it.”
Riftworld Chronicles is airing now on CBC.com in Canada, with a UK air date to follow. For more news on the latest shows, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.