Ripley is the worst captain in the fleet with the best reputation. Aloof. Sleepy. Uninterested in the day to day business of the ship. He's a couch potato until he absolutely must take action, and even then his choices are usually the wrong ones. Through sheer luck, his reactionary approach to dire situations has been seen as a bravado, and the lucky outcomes despite his poor leadership have brought him his rank and his notoriety. The brass at Outer Space Astronaut Headquaters consider Captain Ripley their greatest asset, much to the dismay of his capable first officer, Commander Amos.
Russell Barrett was born in Norman, Oklahoma via cesarean section, which his mother stresses was not due to the size of his colossal cranium. When he was 11, his parents bought a video camera, which Russell immediately considered "his", making such videos as Russell's Kitchen Cooking Show and See How I Can Make Things Disappear By Turning the Camera Off and Moving Something.
After attending New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Barrett moved to Los Angeles and worked as a script reader for Miramax. Later, he began working for David O. Russell as an assistant, a position he held through the development and production of I Heart Huckabees. During post-production on Huckabees, an opportunity arose when a visual effects house was having trouble delivering what David O. Russell was envisioning. In order to help visualize what the director wanted, Barrett mocked up an effects shot, which eventually led to him pitching to the producers that he take on the visual effects himself, along with fellow Outer Space Astronauts producer Scott Puckett.
Outer Space Astronauts was a project originally conceived in 2001. In 2007, Syfy put Barrett's test clips on Syfy.com, asking viewers to vote on whether it should be "green-lit" or not. Outer Space Astronauts found some positive reactions, and eventually talks began on producing five episodes in a one-man-band, guy-in-a-basement kind of way. Over the course of the past year, Barrett shot the live action elements on a makeshift green-screen stage in his bedroom, and animated, edited and composed the music for the show in his home office. He now insists he's allergic to sunlight and social interaction. His patient and lovely wife Jennifer, the voice of the computer on the show, is trying to get him to go outside.
In his spare time Russell enjoys movies, miniature golf and writing bios of himself in the third person.