Today's cuppa: Chai spice black tea

Tahmoh Penikett has come a long way for a boy from Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon Territory.NUP_107053_0284

"Not bad at all for a little boy from the Yukon," Penikett says. "Where my mother was born is the coldest recorded temperature in North America, so I know about cold."

This Friday, March 20, his character on Fox's "Dollhouse," FBI Agent Paul Ballard, has a big episode — coming face to face with "doll" Echo (Eliza Dushku) for the first time — but Penikett is also competing with himself, as Sci Fi Channel airs the final two hours of the critically acclaimed "Battlestar Galactica."

In the series' conclusion, "Daybreak, Part II" (Part 1 aired last week and repeats at 8 p.m. EST, right before the finale), members of the Galactica crew embark on a mission to rescue Hera, the half-human/half-Cylon daughter of human pilot Karl "Helo" Agathon and Cylon Sharon "Athena" Agathon (Grace Park), who has been kidnapped and taken to the Cylon colony, which perches on the edge of a black hole.

"It's an excellent show," Penikett says. "I'm so proud to be a part of that. It's sad to see it go, but all good things come to an end, and it ended at the right point. Ron (executive producer Ronald D. Moore) was smart, ending it at that point."

Asked if he's pleased with how it all turns out, Penikett says, "I was. I was really happy. There was some discussion about taking it in a different direction, and I gave my two bits. There was talk with me and (director) Michael Rymer, and I think Michael Rymer was talking to the executive producers, in particular about the storyline.

"We all came to the conclusion. We were going to go in a different direction than I originally thought, which was great, and I was pretty happy about it."

Penikett, though, will not be in the two-hour "Galactica" prequel movie, directed by series star Edward James Olmos.

"I'm not," says Penikett. "I was shooting 'Dollhouse' at the time. I hope I'm not giving away the premise, but just the way the storyline's set, and the time that it's set in relation to 'Battlestar,' I'm not really in the story, so there wasn't an opportunity for me to be there."

On "Dollhouse," Penikett has a front-row seat to star Eliza Dushku's considerable talents as an action heroine, but it's nothing new, since he's been watching Grace Park play different iterations of Cylon Number Eight for several seasons now.


"I've said it many times," Penikett says, "but Grace Park, what they gave her in those five years — I know many a film actress who have never been able to tackle or even attempt some of the stuff that she's been able to do. She's done it all.

"The girl's been raped, murdered, multiple times, had multiple personalities, played different versions of herself.

"She's betrayed; she's loved; she's killed; she's done it all. She's a dear friend of mine."

As to saying goodbye to "Battlestar Galactica," which turned him from an unknown Canadian actor into the star of a primetime American network series, Penikett says, "I don't know how to say goodbye to it. I hope, and I know with confidence, that the show is going to go down in history as an important piece of art that's never going to be forgotten. It's a groundbreaking series.

'I'm really hoping that the fan reaction will be just incredible. I don't doubt that it will be, but I hope the fans are as thankful and happy with this fourth season as they've ever been, and even more so.

"This is the end, and it's going to be a beautiful finish."