Edward James Olmos Celebrates A Birthday, So Say We All: Today In Science Fiction

By David Wharton | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

OlmosEdward James Olmos, aside from being a damned fine actor, has the bragging rights of being a science fiction icon twice over. He played Gaff, a comparatively small but unforgettable role in Ridley Scott’s classic Blade Runner. Harrison Ford’s Deckard may have been the cop in the spotlight, but Gaff is always keeping an eye on Deckard’s actions, which makes perfect sense if Deckard is himself a replicant. If you’re using an unwitting replicant to hunt down its rogue brethren, you can bet you’re going to want to keep a close eye on the situation, and thus we have Gaff — always there, always watching. And in fact, his affectation for leaving origami figures plays a major role in the replicant theory: it’s his origami unicorn, a reference to a dream seen earlier in the film, that tips Deckard off to his possible synthetic nature.

That alone would have guaranteed Olmos a place in the sci-fi pantheon — and a slot at convention autograph booths everywhere — but then he went and doubled up by playing Commander William Adama in Ron Moore’s acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot for the Sci-Fi Channel. Along with Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin, Olmos lent the series a sense of dramatic weight that it wouldn’t have had without such a talented veteran actor in the role. Indeed, the relationship between Adama and Roslin was one of the show’s most well-realized elements, an honest and uncharacteristic mature relationship in a medium that is usually only interested in love between photogenic twentysomethings (or between somebody Olmos’ age and a photogenic twentysomething).

Fun Olmos fact: he was in the running for the role of Klingon Commander Kruge in Star Trek 3, but lost out to Christopher Lloyd because Lloyd was taller. He was also offered the lead role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he turned it down. It’s intriguing to think how different the Trek-scape would have looked with
Olmos in command of the Enterprise-D.

Today’s Television

Almost Human (Fox, 8/7c) — “Beholder”

When Det. Kennex and Dorian investigate the murder of a “chrome,” there are no signs of trauma, other than a very small pinprick on the back of his neck. As the investigation unfolds, it’s revealed that the murder suspect is tapping into the DNA of his victims in pursuit of perfection.

Intelligence (CBS, 10/9c) — “Delta Force”

While Gabriel and Riley are in Bolivia protecting a presidential candidate from an assassination, Gabriel is stunned to learn his best friend from Delta Force is the suspect.

Star-Crossed (The CW, 8/7c) — “These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends”

Roman (Matt Lanter) and Sophia (guest star Brina Palencia) prepare for a funeral. Roman is surprised and suspicious when his Uncle Castor (guest star Johnathon Schaech) shows up in the sector offering to help the family. Meanwhile, Emery (Aimee Teegarden) tries to talk to Roman about what happened, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her. Upset, Emery turns to Grayson (Grey Damon). Meanwhile, the Atrian Seven are invited to the school carnival. However, the fun ends after Drake (Greg Finley) is kidnapped and Roman finds out the Trags are preparing a hit on Emery and her family at the carnival.