The One Actor Who Appeared In Both The Original Battlestar Galactica And The Reboot

While the original "Battlestar Galactica" certainly has its fans, many viewers were introduced to the series through the frakking excellent 2004 reboot. The new iteration was markedly different from its predecessor, but there were similarities in the basic premise. Both shows center on the war between humans and their cybernetic enemies, the Cylons. If you've only watched one of the two, there's a good chance you may not know that the shows actually shared an actor.

The original "Battlestar Galactica" was created by Glen A. Larson and aired from 1978-1979 for 24 episodes, but was revived briefly afterwards as "Galactica 1980." Developed by Ronald D. Moore, the reboot began as a miniseries in 2003, but would go on to air four seasons from 2004-2009. While the show's first iteration took its cues from "Star Wars" and is largely considered campy by today's standards, Moore's version was very much the product of a post-9/11 world, and was far darker in tone.

One might think there was a clear hero and villain in a story that boils down to humans fighting robots, but 2004's "Battlestar Galactica" took a far more nuanced approach, exploring what it truly means to be human. As different as the shows were, they did have a performer in common. So, which actor served as the bridge between these contrasting interpretations?

Haven't I Seen You Somewhere Before?

Richard Hatch portrayed Commander Adama's son, Captain Apollo, in the original "Battlestar Galactica." Also known as Lee Adama in the reboot (though Apollo was still his call sign), the character was later played by Jamie Bamber. Hatch returned to space for the reboot as Tom Zarek, a role which enabled him to face off against Bamber's iteration of the character he used to play on more than one occasion.

Zarek had a very interesting journey on the 2004 series, going from being an imprisoned political extremist in the Twelve Colonies to becoming a politician in the newly formed government, which had been left in shambles after the devastating Cylon attack sent humanity on the run. Hatch was the only star from the original series to return for the reboot and while his role wasn't as prominent, it was still important. Like many of the players in 2004's "Battlestar Galactica," Tom Zarek was quite complicated and his arc featured some unexpected twists and turns. The series was known not only for its intricate plotting and complex themes (not to mention that incredible score), but also for its layered, fully realized characters. 

Hopefully, the upcoming TV show reboot as well as the new film can add another exciting chapter or two in the legacy of "Battlestar Galactica."