The late Glen A. Larson created the Battlestar Galactica franchise in the ’70s with the original series of the same name, which ran for a single season on ABC before being canceled in 1979. A year later, the network decided to give the series another shot, but this time taking place years later and in the present-day. The short-lived series ended up being canceled after only ten seasons, despite having been led in by a successful TV movie, Galactica 1980. For the next two decades, there were several attempts to reboot or revive the franchise, but none ever saw the light of day — until the early ’00s.
The Sci-Fi Channel (later rebranded as Syfy) managed to finally put together a reimagined miniseries in 2003, but when the network saw how successful the show had been with audiences, they decided to commission a full-fledged series the following year. That decision resulted in one of the most beloved space operas ever created. Ronald D. Moore developed the show, which ran for four seasons, from 2004 to 2009. Throughout its run, Battlestar Galactica garnered numerous awards and honors, and it is continually listed among the greatest sci-fi series ever created, if not one of the best TV shows of all time, period.
Battlestar Galactica helped launch (and amplify) the careers of several notable actors and actresses, many of whom have gone on to bigger roles in Hollywood. Let’s see what they’ve been up to these past eight years.
15. Katee Sackhoff (Kara Thrace)
Katee Sackhoff has propelled herself into the geek pantheon for her playing Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on Battlestar Galactica. The character will always remain a cornerstone in Sackhoff’s career, and the geek cred it earned her has led to her being a fan-favorite choice for numerous superhero fan castings littered across the internet. Seriously, the people really want to see her in a comic book flick. Although we may never actaully see her in one of those roles, Sackhoff has seen no shortage of work following Galactica‘s conclusion.
Since the acclaimed series ended in 2009, Sackhoff has starred in Riddick, the third installment in the Riddick franchise, alongside Vin Diesel, as well as the horror film Oculus and the short film Power/Rangers. On top of all that, she landed a recurring role in the final season of 24, and she provided the voice for Bo-Katan in the final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Currently, she can be found playing Victoria “Vic” Moretti on Netflix’s Longmire. When she’s not working in front of the camera, the actress has dabbled in voice work for video games, the latest being the character Rán Kavik in Eve: Valkyrie.
14. James Callis (Gaius Baltar)
English actor James Callis got his start appearing on stage in several West End productions before he made his way in front of the camera. He starred in a handful of miniseries and TV movies early in his career, with his biggest role being Tom in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Things changed for Callis when he joined Battlestar Galactica as Dr. Gaius Baltar, however. While he wasn’t always the hero of the story, he wasn’t always the villain either. Callis delivered an exceptional performance as Baltar, and the role has since left a defining mark on his career.
Ever since Battlestar Galactica ended, Callis has chosen to remain on television, for the most part, appearing in shows such as Eureka, Arrow, and Gallipoli, as well as 12 Monkeys earlier this year. Aside from those gigs, he returned to the big screen last year to reprise his role as Tom for Bridget Jones’s Baby. But, overall, Callis seems to have slowed down his acting career since Galactica ended.
13. Aaron Douglas (Galen Tyrol)
If there’s anyone who has appeared in virtually every show in modern science fiction TV, it might be Aaron Douglas. While he is mostly known for playing Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol throughout all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, Douglas’ career extends to every corner of geek television. His first role ever was playing Moac on Stargate SG-1, then he went on to star in shows such as Andromeda, Smallville, Dark Angel, The Outer Limits, and more. He found a home on Galactica in the mid-2000s, and once the series ended, Douglas kept on doing what he knew best.
Douglas landed guest-starring roles on Eureka, Flashpoint, and The Firm, all while carrying a leading role in the short-lived Canadian series The Bridge and a recurring part on Hellcats. Two years later, he snagged long-running recurring gigs on Hemlock Grove and The Killing, but moved on after one season for each series. Most recently, he took on small parts in science fiction/fantasy shows such as iZombie, Falling Skies, The Flash, and Once Upon a Time. He has since found a new home on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, playing the character Gordon Rimmer. So basically, if you love sci-fi, you’ve gotta love Aaron Douglas.
12. Nicki Clyne (Cally Henderson)
Nicki Clyne got her start in Hollywood in the early 2000s, when she landed small parts on shows such as Smallville, Dark Angel, and The Twilight Zone, as well as TV movies Hostage Negotiator, Due East, and Damage Core. Her most famous role, though, is easily Cally Henderson, which also happens to be her longest-running arc on a TV series. She played the character for all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, from 2004 to 2009. Throughout the series, her character was always closely associated with Aaron Douglas’ Chief Galen Tyrol, as the pair eventually married.
Unlike most of her co-stars, she didn’t remain on television after Galactica ended. Instead, she chose to star in a handful of movies, with the latest being Josh C. Waller’s McCanick. She’ll soon be returning to decidedly smaller screens in the crowd-funded web series Personal Space, where she’ll star as the second shift commander Gail Gartner.
11. Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin)
There are many people who will recognize Mary McDonnell from her time playing President Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica, but her career extends to various points of the entertainment industry that are much more situated on Earth. Long before McDonnell became a staple on television, she was a film star. In fact, she’s a two-time Oscar nominee. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Stands With A Fist in Dances with Wolves, and she landed a Best Actress nod for May-Alice Culhane in Passion Fish. She later played prominent parts in movies like Donnie Darko and Independence Day.
It’s quite clear that McDonnell had a successful career in film, but it’s on the small screen where she made her fortune. After Battlestar Galactica concluded, it didn’t take McDonnell long to find a new gig. She landed a recurring role on The Closer, playing Captain Sharon Raydor, a role for which she’s since received an Emmy nomination. Once that show ended in 2012, TNT pursued a spinoff with McDonnell in the lead role: Major Crimes. However, she is no longer a captain, she’s a commander, but we’re sure she didn’t mind the demotion.
10. Donnelly Rhodes (Sherman Cottle)
Unlike the majority of the cast, Donnelly Rhodes already had an established career in the entertainment industry when he signed up for Battlestar Galactica, having made a career of guest-starring roles on television. Since the very start of his career, people could find him on shows like Maverick, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., and Mission: Impossible. Although he landed recurring parts on a few different shows over the years, his most recognizable role to modern audiences is undoubtedly playing Dr. Sherman Cottle on Galactica.
Once the beloved series ended, Rhodes went back to doing what he knew best: guest-starring on the small screen. He snagged up parts on Always a Bridesmaid and Supernatural, along with starring in a handful of TV movies. He also appeared briefly in TRON: Legacy as Sam Flynn’s grandfather. His latest role, however, was playing the enigmatic Agent Smith in the Arrowverse‘s recent “Invasion!” crossover event. At this point, there’s no telling if or when The CW’s heroes will see the agent again, but you’d think he knew too much about the team to be a one-off character.
9. Tahmoh Penikett (Karl Agathon)
Tahmoh Penikett played Electronic Countermeasures Officer Karl “Helo” Agathon on Battlestar Galactica throughout the entire series, though that certainly wasn’t the original plan. When plans for the show were first drawn up, Agathon was supposed to die in the miniseries, but when the show was expanded into a full-fledged series, the producers decided to keep him on — and that’s what led to his interesting story arc involving Grace Park’s Boomer.
Prior to his stint on Galactica, Penikett guest-starred on numerous shows, such as Stargate SG-1, Just Cause, and even 24. But when he joined the hit Syfy series, he didn’t stop taking roles on other shows. He continued to land parts on Smallville, Cold Squad, and The L Word. Since the series wrapped up in 2009, Penikett has continued to star on television while also snatching up small roles in movies every now and then, such as Jed Eubanks in the DCEU’s inaugural outing, Man of Steel. More recently, though, he has landed recurring arcs on Contiuum, Supernatural, and Beauty and the Beast, as well as short-lived series like Incorporated and Medinah. He’s a busy guy.
8. Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh)
Col. Saul Tigh had been the executive officer of the Battlestar Galactica since the very beginning of the series, and he always had Admiral Adama’s back, no matter how daring the circumstances. The character’s extraordinary story arc was brought to life by the legendary Michael Hogan, whose acting career is certainly a varied one. Hogan currently holds 140 movie and TV show credits to his name on a resume that stretches back to the late ’70s and early ’80s. His first gig ever was playing Reggie in High-Ballin’ in 1978, but the actor definitely picked up his greater claims to fame later in his career.
Although he has appeared in a few movies post-Battlestar Galactica, Hogan’s home is on the small screen. Since the series ended, the actor has popped in to appear in at least a dozen TV shows, such as Smallville, Fargo, Teen Wolf, You Me Her, and most recently, The Man in the High Castle. Aside from his television appearances, Hogan’s fans will likely recognize his voice acting performances for games like Mass Effect and TERA Rising.
7. Grace Park (Boomer/Number Eight)
When it comes to long-running shows on television (or even movie franchises), characters can go through several changes over the course of their story arc. Some might go from being the hero to the villain of the story. That only partially describes what Grace Park’s Boomer went through on Battlestar Galactica. Because she was one of the humanoid Cylons, there were two versions of Boomer working with the heroes, and then there was the Cylon, Number Eight. It’s a complicated role that defined Park’s career, but it might not remain that way for long.
The year after Battlestar Galactica ended, Park boarded CBS’ Hawaii Five-O reboot in a main role, playing HPD Detective Kono Kalakaua. She may have hopped around a lot early on in her career, but she has been going steady with Galactica and now Hawaii Five-O for the past decade or so. The only other role she’s taken up in the past few years was playing Kono Kalakaua in a Hawaii Five-O/MacGyver crossover episode earlier this year. Park definitely seems to enjoy a steady paycheck.
6. Kandyse McClure (Anastasia Dualla)
Both before and after Battlestar, Kandyse McClure’s career has been a quiet one. One earliest roles was playing Katherine Ann Cabot on the short-lived drama series Higher Ground. The show only lasted for one season, but it was enough to help kickstart McClure’s career on television. She went on to star in The Twilight Zone reboot as well as Da Vinci’s Inquest before making her way on board the Battlestar Galactica. McClure played Officer Anastasia Dualla throughout the show’s four seasons, while also taking on a random guest-starring role on other shows here and there.
Although she appeared in Sergei Bodrov’s Seventh Son in 2015, McClure has chosen to remain on television for the most part, landing recurring roles on series like Persons Unknown and Arctic Air following Battlestar Galactica‘s conclusion. It wasn’t until 2013 that she found a new home in Hemlock Grove, playing Dr. Clementine Chasseur throughout the show’s first season. Since then, McClure has mostly appeared in one-off roles on shows like Haven, Supernatural, and Ghost Wars.
5. Alessandro Juliani (Felix Gaeta)
Long before he joined Battlestar Galactica as the idealist Felix Gaeta, Alessandro Juliani was an established voice actor, working on shows like the Transformers series Beast Machines, X-Men: Evolution, and Captain N: The Game Master. After his run on Galactica ended, Juliani landed small parts in a pair of DC films, Watchmen and Man of Steel, while also continuing to provide vocal work on shows like Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5, Wolverine vs. Sabretooth, and Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. His biggest role post-Galactica, however, was playing technician Jacapo Sinclair on The 100. His important arc on the series helped guide and mentor one of the series’ leads, Raven, though his four season long arc on the show came to an end around this time last year.
Aside from his live-action work, Juliani has continued his career in the animated world as well. He has been voicing Aaron Fox on Nexo Knights and will be lending his pipes to Lobo Howler in this year’s Super Monsters. His fans can see him next (sort of) in this summer’s blockbuster film War for the Planet of Apes, in which he provides motion capture work for one of Caesar’s tribesmen, Spear.
4. Tricia Helfer (Number Six)
Tricia Helfer journey to stardom began with a modeling career in the ’90s before she made the jump to acting in the ’00s. One of her earliest roles happens to be the one she’s most known for: Number Six in Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica. Her character was closely associated with Dr. Gaius Baltar, and she was the first humanoid Cylon audiences were introduced to. It was only later that viewers discovered that there were more humanoid Cylons aboard the Galactica (and everywhere else).
Once the series concluded, it wasn’t long before Helfer found work elsewhere. Along with starring in a handful of indie films, she landed numerous guest-starring roles on shows like Warehouse 13, Burn Notice, and The Firm. She even had a main role on the short-lived crime drama Dark Blue. While Helfer has never had much trouble finding work, she recently found a home on Fox’s Lucifer. She’s been portraying the Devil’s mother (and God’s wife, because that’s apparently a thing) since the beginning of the show’s second season, and she will continue to play the character for the foreseeable future. The Fox series was renewed for a third season earlier this year.
3. Michael Trucco (Sam Anders)
Like most young actors looking to break into Hollywood, Michael Trucco got his start on the small screen. He spent time on shows such as Hang Time, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Beverly Hills, 90210, while also holding down a series regular role on Pensacola: Wings of Gold throughout its second and third seasons. It wasn’t long after that that he boarded Battlestar Galactica as one of the resistance leaders, Samuel T. Anders.
Once the series ended, Trucco continued to remain active on television. He had recurring arcs on Castle, Fairly Legal, How I Met Your Mother, and Revenge. Then in 2013, he landed a leading role alongside Tricia Helfer in the short-lived crime drama Killer Women. Along with starring alongside Hollywood heavyweights Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman in Donovan Marsh’s upcoming action film Hunter Killer, Trucco will be appearing in a new comedy series, Disjointed, later this year.
2. Jamie Bamber (Lee Adama)
Long before the adorably named Jamie Bamber got his big break playing Lt. Lee Adama, the son of Admiral Adama, he mostly guest-starred on television and took on small roles in a few movies. He even spent some time on stage in productions like Henry IV and Dr. Faustus. But his career took a sharp upturn when he joined Battlestar Galactica in the early 2000s.
Before boarding the Syfy series, his most notable role was portraying 2nd Lt. Jack Foley in HBO’s Band of Brothers. Much like his co-stars, once the show ended, he didn’t make the jump to film, having found a home on television. He has since guest-starred on shows like Dollhouse, The Messengers, and Body of Proof, but one of his biggest post-Galactica roles has been playing Jake Malloy on NCIS. Last year, he appeared in the UK series Marcella, and he’ll co-star alongside Claire Forlani in the actioner Crystal Inferno sometime in 2017.
1. Edward James Olmos (William Adama)
There are few actors in the industry that have enjoyed a career as prolific as Edward James Olmos’. He apparently always had his eyes set on fame, as shortly before he turned to acting, Olmos was the lead singer in a band called Pacific Ocean. Once he started appearing in front of the camera, the gigs started to roll in, and that eventually led to him playing the legendary Admiral William Adama, the commander of the Battlestar Galactica.
Olmos didn’t take many roles while the series was on the air, but once it concluded, he moved on to many other projects. He has appeared in a few movies since, such as The Green Hornet, 2 Guns, and The Book of Life, and he will be reprising his Blade Runner role of Gaff in the long-belated sequel, Blade Runner: 2049, later this year. In addition to that, he has also landed a few notable television roles over the years, such as playing Robert Gonzalez on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Al Robles on Urban Cowboy. Of all the respectable stars that Battlestar had on its roster, none have shined brighter than Olmos.
Was Battlestar Galactica‘s 4 season run enough to satisfy you, or do you find yourself craving a revival? Are you looking forward to the planned movie adaptation? Let us know in the comments.