I've noticed several references to Battlestar Galactica in the TV series Dollhouse. These include the sharing of Tahmoh Penikett and Jamie Bamber as cast members and at least one reference to Cylons (I believe Topher calls Bennet a Cylon at one point?)

Is there any connection between the two shows or are these just nods to another sci-fi show?

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    Haha ... Wondering if The Big Bang Theory might be related as well. How many times did Howard have Katee Sackhoff in the tub or the bed? Well, for that matter, I guess he had George Takei in the bed as well ... hmmmm. Dec 10, 2013 at 21:57
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    @Paulster2 - BBT exists as the nexus universe of all SciFi/Geekdom universes. Dec 11, 2013 at 22:11
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    @SystemDown Except for Doctor Who. Funny how that how doesn't seem to exist in BBT... ;) Jul 18, 2015 at 1:41
  • @MeatTrademark actually I'm pretty certain Sheldon mentions loving to watch Dr. Who as a kid. Not sure if the reboot gets any love though. Jul 18, 2015 at 1:56
  • The connection between The A-Team and the original BSG is arguably stronger (though tongue-in-cheek fourth-wall painting rather than anything that could be claimed as a "cannon" connection between plots).
    – Jon Hanna
    Mar 20, 2017 at 15:54

3 Answers 3


Battlestar Galactica apparently exists in the world of Dollhouse, but only as a show. That would explain calling someone a Cylon.

Sharing actors is nothing new. Summer Glau is in Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly / Serenity (along with Alan Tudyk who also appeared in Dollhouse). This does not suggest that they are all in the same 'verse. Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) did not just have her husband Bruce Willis die, and Patton Oswalt's presence does not mean this is stand-up comedy. It's crazy how many of these people like to work together and get to on such fun (albeit usually short-lived) shows.

BSG is controlled by The Sci-Fi Channel (someone else can edit that) and Dollhouse was run by FOX. That's a bureaucratic problem with them existing in the same uiniverse, minus all the logistical.


There are a million thematic links -- sleeper agents vs. cylons who think they're human. the goo-bath you get in the attic vs. the resurrection ship. the philosophical struggle between tech and real and "hybrid" as at the end of TDH with Anthony. The good guys being bad guys being good guys until they're all sort of blended together and only your actions matter.

  • They are thematically similar, but that's true for many unrelated scifi series. The question asks if they share any actual connection or if it's coincidence.
    – cde
    May 21, 2016 at 5:22

As you mentioned, yes Dollhouse is referencing Battlestar Galactica as one of many references.

First Joss Whedon is a huge fan of the Battlestar Galactica Re-imaged Series, he almost was involved in it!

You’re clearly a huge fan of BSG [BATTLESTAR GALACTICA]. Have you talked to the creators? Yeah, Ron [Ronald D. Moore] and I during the writer’s strike spent some time together on the picket lines. I try not to be too embarrassing though.

Must be a nice pat on the back for them to know what a fan you are of the show? Well I’m not the only one, but yeah I’m pretty passionate about the show. I stole Tahmoh [Penikett] and I’ll steal again!

There are some out of universe connections most notably Consulting Producer and writer Jane Espenson, who wrote a few Battlestar Galctica episodes and was given producer credits on later seasons.

There are also Battlestar Galactica directors Rob Hardy, Allen Kroeker, and Marita Grabiak.

And prominent Battlestar Galactica actors Micheal Hogan, Tahmoh Penikett, Mark Sheppard, Dollhouse special guest stars like Jamie Bamber.

Along with some story allusions/references

The Hollow Man - Allusion

Aside from "The Dark Phoenix Saga," Mellie's story was also influenced by Whedon's professed love of Battlestar Galactica, wherein a Cylon had fallen in love with a human and had to choose between what she knew to be the truth (that she was a machine) and what she felt to be real (that she was a human being).

Ghost - Reference

Gabriel refers to Edward James Olmos, an American actor and director best known for his role in the remake of Battlestar Galactica TV series. Joss Whedon is apparently a big fan and Tahmoh Penikett appeared in the show as a series regular.


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