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GALACTICA/DOLLHOUSE Star Tahmoh Penikett Cast In SciFi’s New RIVERWORLD Miniseries!!

I am – Hercules!!
Tahmoh Penikett, who plays Karl Agathon on “Battlestar Galactica” and Paul Ballard on “Dollhouse,” now has another reason to make the trip to ComicCon in July. He’s just been cast as war correspondent Matt Ellman opposite “Smallville” supergirl Laura Vandervoort in SciFi’s “Riverworld,” based on Phillip Jose Farmer’s tale of the planet all Earth people go to after they die. SciFi’s 2009 “Riverworld” miniseries is not to be confused with SciFi’s 2003 “Riverworld” TV-movie, which did not depict the Ellman character. Right now the 2009 “Riverworld” is just a miniseries and would not conflict with Penikett continuing with a second season of “Dollhouse” should Fox order one – but “Riverworld” could turn into a regular series should it garner a sufficient audience.

In other SciFi casting news, longtime “General Hospital” star Ryan Carnes will take over the titular role (played on the big screen by Billy Zane) in the channel’s “The Phantom” miniseries. “The Phantom,” too, could make the leap to regular series if it does well enough. The Hollywood Reporter’s James Hibberd has all the details here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • April 6, 2009, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by Divine_Shadow

    But seriously...this sounds like a fucking great idea if they pay a little more attention to the source materia, than their last attempt!

  • April 7, 2009, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Awww Vandervoort? Really?

    by Shermdawg

    After all of the great guest star actresses that's appeared on that OTHER CW show, they had to go with her?

  • April 7, 2009, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Also, I hope The Phantom isn't as lame as Flash Gordon.

    by Shermdawg

    Boy they screwed that one up good.

  • April 7, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Also, where are those Farscape webisodes SciFi?

    by Shermdawg

    Still waiting.

  • April 7, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    by megatom5

    Interesting, I like Helo as an actor despite how god awful Dollhouse is. He's the only decent part of that show, I've given it a chance and I find no drama or suspense in it. But a Riverworld miniseries could be good. Although I don't think it'd be a good series. I think more scifi books should become miniseries and not movies, any good scifi novel has more than 120 minutes worth of content in it.

  • April 7, 2009, 12:19 a.m. CST

    I want a mini series of The Many Colored Land

    by Rumpel Tumskin

    by Julian May. I loved that book.

  • April 7, 2009, 12:32 a.m. CST


    by shazam7

    He said it wouldn't conflict with a Second Season of Dollhouse.

  • April 7, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST

    There is no Matt Ellman in the books

    by Gorgomel

  • April 7, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    Hope this doesn't stall his career

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    Been liking his work thus far, but have no confidence in this production.<p> The first sci-fi riverworld stunk bigtime and this one sounds even worse.

  • April 7, 2009, 1:10 a.m. CST


    by alice 13

    syfy is remaking a scifi miniseries.<p>thank god its not tin man.

  • April 7, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Vandervoot, great tits, mediocre actress.

    by Saen

    Vandervoot, great tits, mediocre actress. I will watch her in anything!

  • April 7, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST

    bring back The Lost Room gods-darnit

    by cyrent

    best Sci-Fi miniseries ever, other than the BSG...

  • April 7, 2009, 1:35 a.m. CST

    by Omar B

    Never heard of this guy playing Phantom. I do so hope he's good.

  • April 7, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Has anyone at Syfy actually read the books?

    by Phloton

    The first couple were very good

  • April 7, 2009, 2:11 a.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    More tits, less acting.

  • April 7, 2009, 3:10 a.m. CST

    HE appears in two series, but only when

    by V'Shael

    one is cancelled. (e.g. the BSG/Dollhouse crossover) <p> So what does this say about Dollhouse? <p> It's fucking over. Admit it. Get used to it.

  • April 7, 2009, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Will he appear shirtless in this?

    by tonagan

    As we speak, writers are furiously devising ways for that to happen.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:04 a.m. CST

    "Heaven" The series...

    by Bill Brasky

    This show's face will be pants.

  • April 7, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    I Hope

    by Cobbio

    "The planet all Earth people go to after they die," eh? Hmmm... I realize Farmer is a well-established science fiction author, but doesn't Siffy already broadcast that other horrible sham "Ghost Hunters"?<p> I'm tired of poorly made supernatural claptrap. "Supernatural" the show on WB is wonderfully badass, but I'll be surprised if Siffy comes within a mile of that juggernaut. Maybe "Riverworld" will be good, and hiring Tahmoh Penikett is certainly a positive thing, but will they ever get back to science fiction?<p> Oh, that's right, they're Syfy now. They can make whatever they want. I hope this new show is good.

  • April 7, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    No Sir Richard Francis Burton? WTF!

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Why not? <p> Cool and never mentioned in the books would be some Japanese samurai and Chinese Kung fu monks. <p> Riverworld books definitely lacked for Asians.

  • April 7, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Rumpel Tumskin, Jack the Bodiless even better.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Yep, Many colored land was awesome. But I truly loved the second act and Jack the Bodiless. <p> Man do I miss those characters.

  • April 7, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Would like a...

    by mrfan

    Doc Savage series.

  • April 7, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    so the guy is already taking another job

    by punto

    good for him

  • April 7, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by The Alienist

    More naked Tahmoh. I approve!

  • April 7, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    The first four Riverworld books...

    by DarthCorleone

    ...are awesome. I avoided that 2003 adaptation based on some awful review. Perhaps this will be more faithful in spirit, even if I have no clue who Matt Ellman is. One of the strengths of the book is its characterization; removing the dynamics between Burton, Alice Hargreaves, etc., is not cool, but perhaps they can at least maintain the essence of Riverworld itself.

  • April 7, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I vote for Julian May series as well.

    by hst666

    I loved all of the pliocene/intervention/Jack the Bodiless books. Although, the final Jack book ending was a little weak.

  • April 7, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    The first mini series

    by Engelhast

    is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. It is a piss poor adaptation of the books but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Can't wait to see what they do with it this time.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Sci-Fi Channel can suck my cock

    by antonphd

    I'll never watch another show on Sci-Fi. They cancelled The Dresden Files for Flash Gordon.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    spot On antonphd

    by DrMorbius

    Gordon sucked hind tit allright, also the Sara Jane Chronicles, any news on Sanctuary? Doctor Who? Anyone have any info on Primeval?

  • April 8, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    The SciFi (SyFy) cancellation cycle

    by ides

    They cancelled Farscape (a great series) when its ratings were eclipsed by Stargate(an average series), and replaced it with Battlestar Galactica (a great series, somewhat desultory finale aside). Dresden, which wasn't half bad and definitely could have found an audience, was cancelled very quickly. They have a very spotty track record of seeing things through to the end. They're very business oriented in the short term, but have made some very bad long term decisions. Their new moniker is a great case-in-point of their self-consciousness about their subject matter.

  • April 8, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Can we see some Muay Tai?

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    I asked Ron Moore to let Tahmoh go Ong Bak on a cylon, but he didn't get back to me. So come on Riverworld, let Tahmoh show his moves!

  • April 8, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST


    by Omar B

    Phantom In Name Only! Look at this costume!

  • April 8, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Loved the books

    by Etienne72772

    But it bothers me that they have to change it so much. I would love to see it play out exactly like in the books as a miniseries. The first one with Burton - and the part where he dies and see the arctic tower, causing him to kill himself over and over and over again to get back, is simply fantastic. But I understand you lose the "other" characters... Unless you have them all there from the beginning doing their own thing and have them meet up down the road again.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I wonder...

    by psychedelic

    I wonder if Farmer's recent death as anything to do with development moving forward on this, or is it merely coincidence. Presumably they'd have to pay the same amount of royalities to the family as if Farmer was still alive.