For anyone living outside of Europe, it's best to think of Gareth Thomas as Britain's version of William Shatner--but with more pedigree and less celebrity. From 1978 to 1981, Thomas portrayed Roj Blake, hero of the cult sci-fi classic, "Blakes 7", an experience he described as "a milestone and a millstone in my career." He also admitted to never watching an episode of the show that made him a star. Thomas was trained at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in the mid-1960s and played leading roles with the Royal and the English Shakespeare Companies. The burly actor even shared the stage with some of Europe's acting legends during his lengthy career, including John Gielgud and Michael Gambon (Ian Holm, he told a reporter, was his favorite.). Away from the boards and outer space, Thomas has enjoyed a steady presence in films and on TV since the 1960s, playing a range of characters from police officers to Long John Silver.