Tahmoh Penikett

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Tahmoh Penikett
Penikett at Phoenix Comicon in 2016
Born (1975-05-20) May 20, 1975 (age 48)
Years active1996–present

Tahmoh Penikett ([ˈtaʔmo]; /ˈpɛnɪkɪt/;[1] born May 20, 1975) is a Canadian actor. He is known for playing Karl "Helo" Agathon on SyFy's 2004 television series Battlestar Galactica.[2] He has appeared in TV series Supernatural, Dollhouse,[3] the Showcase time travel show Continuum, and as the antagonist Darius in the 2006 racing video game Need for Speed: Carbon.

Early life[edit]

Penikett was born in Whitehorse, Yukon. He is the son of former Yukon premier Tony Penikett, who moved to Victoria, British Columbia from England at age 12, and Lulla Sierra Johns, of the White River First Nation in the Yukon. He has two siblings, twin sisters Sarah and Stephanie.[4][5] He graduated from the Victoria Motion Picture School and studied at the Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver.[6]


In 2002, he had a brief appearance as one of the first Human-Form Replicators in the season 6 episode of Stargate SG-1, "Unnatural Selection".[7] From 2004-2005, Penikett portrayed Ray Chase, who appeared in eleven episodes of the Canadian police drama, Cold Squad.[8] He played a leading role as Noah Hamilton in the 2005 made-for-TV film Hush alongside actress Tori Spelling. He had a role in the video game Need for Speed: Carbon, as a street racer named Darius.[9] He also appeared in four episodes of the television series Whistler as Elias Noth.[10] Penikett also provided voice talent for antagonist Troy Hammerschmidt on the Adult Swim show Titan Maximum.[11] In 2010, Penikett played the lead role of Matt Ellman on Syfy's miniseries Riverworld, an adaption of the science fiction books written by Philip José Farmer of the same name.[12][13][14] He starred in the first two episodes of Warner Brothers' Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kurtis Stryker, which debuted in April on YouTube; he was replaced by Eric Jacobus for season 2.

Penikett in 2006

Among his early acting work were stints on assorted Canadian TV series such as Cold Squad. He also appeared on the TV show Smallville, in the episode "Resurrection" in Season 3 as Vince Davis, and in the Season 6 episodes "Nemesis" and "Prototype" as Sgt. Wes Keenan.[15] He portrayed a police officer for a predominantly gay neighbourhood in the 2004 The L Word episode "Losing It",[6] which starred Battlestar Galactica co-star Nicki Clyne in a related storyline.

In 2003, the 1978 science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica was "reimagined" as a three-hour miniseries on the SciFi Channel. The miniseries was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Penikett, a local actor, auditioned and was cast in the part of Karl "Helo" Agathon, an officer in the Colonial Fleet. The miniseries proved highly successful, and a Battlestar Galactica series was commissioned.[16] The role was not based on a character in the original series, and was meant to be confined only to the miniseries; in the miniseries Helo is shown giving up a spot on a spaceship fleeing the doomed planet of Caprica, with the implication that he was left to die. However, both the producers and test audiences were sufficiently impressed with the character, and Penikett's performance, that the decision was made to make Helo a recurring character on the show.[17] A plot that took place over much of the show's first season was that the Cylons on Caprica kept Helo alive in order to have him fall in love with, and impregnate, a Cylon (Helo was chosen because his crew partner, Sharon Valerii, was in fact a Cylon, and another copy of the same model was sent to pretend to be her). By the second season, his character had returned to the Galactica; as the father of the only successful human-Cylon hybrid; this character and his family became central to the show's mythology.

Penikett in 2014

In 2009, Penikett was cast as Paul Ballard in Joss Whedon's science fiction drama television series Dollhouse, which aired on Fox network Friday nights at 9:00.[18][19]

Dollhouse was canceled at the end of its second season, and the series finale aired on Friday, January 29, 2010.[20] In 2012, he guest-starred as a politician named Jim Martin in the first season of Showcase's Continuum. He returned as a recurring character in the second season of the show.[21] In 2013, Penikett was cast on the CW TV series Supernatural as a fallen angel who claimed to be Ezekiel, appearing in the show's ninth season premiere.[22] The character's real name was revealed as Gadreel in episode nine and Penikett reprised the role in episode ten. He has since reprised the roles in episodes eighteen, twenty-one and twenty-two. He also landed another recurring role on the mid-season drama Star-Crossed, which premiered in February 2014.[23]

In 2014, Penikett guest-starred in the 200th episode of Criminal Minds as Michael Hastings, an ex-CIA agent and leader of the terrorist group, The Regime Squad.[24] Since 2014, he has also starred in the award-winning web series Riftworld Chronicles.

Personal life[edit]

Penikett lives in Vancouver with his family.[25]

In his youth, Penikett studied Judo before switching to Muay Thai[26]

In April 2008, in support of the Babz Chula Lifeline for Artists Society, which raised money for their (late) friend and fellow Canadian actor Chula's cancer treatment, Penikett and his Battlestar Galactica colleague Kandyse McClure auctioned off dinner with the two of them in Vancouver.[27]


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Go-Go Boy (Prelude) Aaron Fitz (Go-Go Boy) Short film
2005 Sandra Goes to Whistler Conrad Short film
2006 Stanley's Girlfriend Stanley Short film
2006 Trapped Ashes Young Leo Segment: "Stanley's Girlfriend"
2007 The Green Chain Brett Hall
2007 Taming Tammy Wilson
2007 Trick 'r Treat Henry
2010 The Hostage The Figure Short film
Also executive producer
2012 Big Time Movie Agent A
2013 Man of Steel Jed Eubanks[28]
2013 Down River Chris
2014 The Portal Alar Short film
2015 Painkillers Major John Cafferty[29]
2015 Justice League: Gods and Monsters Steve Trevor Voice, direct-to-video[30]
2016 Pure Pwnage Charles McBean
2017 Deadly Secrets by The Lake Santos Alvarez
2021 The Last Victim Richard


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Murder on the Iditarod Trail n/a Television film
2001 24 Secret Service agent Season 1, various episodes
2002 Glory Days Eric Forester Episode: "No Guts, No Glory"
2002 Dark Angel ND Cop Episode: "Freak Nation"
2002 Wildfire 7: The Inferno Sheriff Television film
2002 Stargate SG-1 Third Episode: "Unnatural Selection"
2003 Under the Cover Jonas Television film
2003 Just Cause Principal Joe Decker Episode: "Blackboard Jungle"
2003 Battlestar Galactica Lt. Karl Agathon Miniseries, 2 episodes
2004–07 Smallville Vince Davis/Wes Keenan 3 episodes
2004–09 Battlestar Galactica Lt./Capt. Karl Agathon Series regular (65 episodes)
2004 The L Word Sheriff Episode: "Losing It"
2004–05 Cold Squad Det. Ray Chase Series regular; season 7 (13 episodes)
2006 Hush Noah Hamilton Television film
2006 Lesser Evil Greg Television film
2007 Robot Chicken Armpit/Karl C. Agathon/Scott Trakker Voice, episode: "Rabbits on a Roller Coaster"
2007 Whistler Elias Noth 4 episodes
2009 Titan Maximum Troy Hammerschmiddtt Voice, 4 episodes
2009–10 Dollhouse Paul Ballard Series regular (27 episodes)
2010 Riverworld Matt Ellman Television film
2010 Human Target Pete Episode: "Ilsa Pucci"
2011 Mortal Kombat: Legacy Lt. Kurtis Stryker Episode: "Jax, Sonya and Kano"
2011–12 The Killing Gregory "Greg" Casher (formerly Linden) 2 episodes
2011 Jabberwock Francis Television film
2011 Haven Simon Crocker Episode: "Sins of the Fathers"
2011 Innocent Jimmy Brand Television film
2012 Castle Cole Maddox 2 episodes
2012–13 Continuum Jim Martin 5 episodes
2012 Fairly Legal Mark Ellison Episode: "Bait & Switch"
2012 Arrow Nick Salvati Episode: "Muse of Fire"
2013 Bomb Girls Clifford 5 episodes
2013–14 Supernatural Gadreel 6 episodes
2014 Star-Crossed SEU Officer Jack Beaumont 2 episodes
2014 Criminal Minds Michael Hastings Episode: "200"
2014 Reign John Prevo Episode: Higher Ground
2014 Strange Empire Marshall Mercredi Recurring role (8 episodes)
2015 Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles Steve Trevor Voice, episode: "Big"[30]
2015 Angel of Christmas Derek Television film
2015 Riftworld Chronicles Alar Web series
2016 Real Detective "Malice" Detective C.W. Jensen TV series (1 episode)
2016 Con Man Randy Lane Web series
Episode: "A Small Step for Manly"
2017 Incorporated Goran TV series
2018 Altered Carbon Dimitri Kadmin 2 episodes
2019 BH90210 Jack Carlisle 2 episodes
2021 Hudson & Rex Leon Barrett Episode: "Rex Marks the Spot"
2022 Devil in Ohio Malachi Dodd Netflix series
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Need for Speed: Carbon Darius Voice and likeness


  1. ^ Often anglicized as /ˈtɑːm/. "Dollhouse Unique Cast Names". Fox Broadcasting Company. February 9, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2009.[dead YouTube link]
  2. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett as Karl Agathon". BuddyTV.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ "Dollhouse Wiki - Tahmoh Penikett (Agent Paul Ballard)". Syfy.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett Fast Facts". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  5. ^ "Biography". BuddyTV.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Penikett, Tahmoh Biography". StarPulse.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  7. ^ "Up Close and Personal with Tahmoh Penikett". DragonCon.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  8. ^ "Cold Squad CTV (Ended 2005)". TV.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Exclusive Interview With Actor Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Mortal Kombat: Legacy)". ShoGunGamer.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  10. ^ "Notable Roles". Mahalo.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  11. ^ "Titan Maximum, Season 1". StaticMass.net. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "Riverworld 2010". Reelz.com. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  13. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett Filmography". Fandango.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  14. ^ "CASTING SET FOR RIVERWORLD AND THE PHANTOM". The Futon Critic. April 7, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  15. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett". Yahoo.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  16. ^ "Sci-Fi Blast From The Past - Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica)". Typepad.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  17. ^ "Hot List: Battlestar Galactica - Tahmoh Penikett". BuddyTV.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  18. ^ "Breaking: Battlestar Stud Playing Dollhouse with Dushku". TV Guide. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
  19. ^ "Dollhouse Casting Alert!". E! Online. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
  20. ^ Dollhouse cancelled
  21. ^ "SHOOT: Tahmoh Penikett & Victor Webster Film CONTINUUM S2 at Vancouver Art Gallery on Easter Monday". yvrshoots. April 10, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  22. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (August 6, 2013). "'Supernatural' Season 9 casts Tahmoh Penikett as angel Ezekiel". zap2it.
  23. ^ Megan Masters (August 21, 2013). "TVLine Items: Battlestar Vet Lands Another CW Gig, Samberg and Ansari Roast Franco and More". TVLine. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  24. ^ Natalie Abrams (January 21, 2014). "Battlestar Alum Tahmoh Penikett to Play Someone From JJ's Past on Criminal Minds". TVGuide.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  25. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett Biography". TV.com. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  26. ^ "Tahmoh Penikett of Dollhouse". Time Out New York. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
  27. ^ "Paul McGillion & Jewel Staite Celebrity Dinner". BabzChulaSociety.org. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  28. ^ Tahmoh Penikett at IMDb
  29. ^ Lisapas (January 25, 2016). "Movie Review: Painkillers (2015)". The Critical Critics. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Tahmoh Penikett (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 14, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tahmoh Penikett at Wikimedia Commons