If you’ve been wondering what Tahmoh Penikett has been doing after his big role as Karl “Helo” Agathon in the critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica remake, other than playing Paul Ballard in Joss Whedon‘s Dollhouse, then you want to check out the online series, Riftworld Chronicles. Riftworld Chronicles is a sci-fi/fantasy comedy about a dimension-travelling wizard that gets stuck in our modern world.
He enters through a rift between our world and his. The rift closes up, leaving him stranded here without his magical powers. As he tries to figure out how to get back to his home-world, he runs into a pragmatic journalist named Kim, who thinks he’s crazy despite her attraction to him. Kim reluctantly helps him on his quest to return home, but when priceless family heirlooms turn up missing, she questions whether he should be left in the hands of the police.
Created, written, and directed by Jonathon Williams, Riftworld Chronicles is an award-winning series. It’s won Best Series at Hollyweb, Best Drama Pilot in the 2015 New York Television Festival’s Independent Pilot Competition, and it won at the Baja Web Fest.
Penikett plays Alar, a sword-wielding wizard from Caer Caladh who wears a vest made of dragon-scale. Kim the journalist is played by Erin Karpluk, known for her acting in Being Erica. She and Penikett appeared briefly in a scene together in Battlestar Galactica. (In the beginning of the series, when Caprica had been attacked, Helo and Boomer have room in their spaceship for one more passenger. They are surrounded by a mob of Capricans who desperately want to be that passenger in order to survive the cylon threat. They decide to take a young boy as their last passenger. The boy’s aunt is played by Karpluk, and she gladly watches her nephew be saved, leaving her to her fate of most likely be killed off by cylons.) Kim’s younger brother Wes is a gamer-geek with a minotaur collection that Alar finds quite impressive. He is played by Munro Chambers. Alar’s world has a lot of similarities to a video game that Wes enjoys, and the two of them hit it off splendidly.
Penikett and Karpluk have a great on-screen chemistry. Karpluk does a great job portraying Kim as conflicted between her attraction to Alar and her frustration with what she thinks is his insanity, and delusional musings of coming from a fantastical world with magic. Penikett does an excellent job acting like a fish out of water. A lot of the humor in the story comes from Alar’s confusion of how things work in our modern world, leading him to make a lot of social blunders, such as thinking a cab is some sort of horseless chariot, or mistaking the trash can for whatever they use as a toilet in his homeland, Caer Caladh.
The last episode ends with Kim having to make a really tough decision, one that could possibly change her life forever. Hopefully, new episodes of this awesome series will be made so we can find out what happens next. Will Kim continue to think Alar’s crazy? Or will she start to believe his stories of a fantastical world of magic, minotaurs, and dragons? Is there a connection between Kim and Alar that have brought them together?