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The hit SYFY series Resident Alien returns for the rest of its second season on August 10, but the cast and crew were on hand at San Diego Comic-Con to let a packed room of fans in on some killer (literally) secrets on where the sci-fi series is going next.
Creator Chris Sheridan, along with stars Alan Tudyk, Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund, Corey Reynolds, Elizabeth Bowen, Levi Fiehler and Judah Prehn brought an exclusive clip of the opening scene of the back half of Season 2, showing off the aftermath of that shooting and who comes up to see what happened. Yeah, it’s tense — and also hilarious.
Along with that gunshot echoing through the night, the first half of Season 2 ended on a cliffhanger that introduced a killer alien baby into the fold, and showrunner Chris Sheridan teased fans will be seeing more of that crazy creature when the series returns. Because it turns out he’s not just a wild twist in this world, he’s actually a critical piece of the plot that will drive Season 2 froward, providing some critical intel on the mysterious second alien race roaming the planet.
“We come into Season 2 with Harry searching for the baby alien to get the rest of the information on who these other aliens are on the planet,” Sheridan explained at the panel, with SYFY WIRE in attendance.
As for that alien baby, Tudyk made no qualms about comparing their extraterrestrial youngster to a certain other beloved alien baby — you know, a little guy named Grogu from the Star Wars universe? So how do they stack up? “Better than Grogu,” Tudyk said. “They should go toe-to-toe and fight, and our baby alien would win.”
Looking further ahead, Sheridan revealed in response to a fan question he’d like to eventually show off Harry’s mysterious home planet at some point down the line. It’s just a question of getting the story, and budget, to pull that twist off the right way.
“We’ve debated if Harry will get back to his own planet. The thing that’s kept us from doing it is budget. We don’t wanna do that and have it look cheap or horrible [laughs]," he said. "But at some point in this series I think we will see that.”
Tudyk also opened up about what it’s like playing an alien who is essentially playing a man, and said he put a spaceship-sized amount of thought into everything from the way his character Harry talks, to the way his walk and mannerisms have evolved over time as the show has gone on.
“He doesn’t have any history or knowledge or education on how humans work. Using his body, I almost think about him like a puppet … He’s awkwardly using his arms, so when he waves he slowly learns to control it. Whenever he throws he throws terribly, but he has enough strength it goes.”
Co-star Corey Reynolds, who plays Sheriff Mike, said shooting the show is truly a collaborative atmosphere, as they work from excellent scripts but are also encouraged to riff and improvise lines or takes they feel might be more natural from their character. Or, ya know, just funnier.
“We have a great time and hope that comes through to the audience. Once we have what’s on the page locked up, we always hear from Chris or our directors, ‘this one’s for you, do whatever you want,’” he said. “What’s great a lot of times directors say that and you’ll never see it [laughs]. But like, in all seriousness, a lot of that stuff does make its way into the final cut. It’s not about going out as an athlete to execute a play being called, it’s about having the flexility and dexterity to decide you want to improvise and throw something in.”
Reynolds then elaborated on why he thinks the show works so well and has resonated with so many fans, noting it’s a unique story where the viewers know more than the characters from the absolute jump — which puts a whole different lens on the layers of the story.
“It gives the viewers inside information immediately, that we don’t have,” he explained. “So everything Harry says has a double meaning, with what it means to us in the show, and what the audience knows he means because he’s not who he says he is. You have an insight into this story that we don’t have.”
Sara Tomko, who plays Asta, was asked about what it’s like to have authentic indigenous representation on the show, noting it's relatively rare on a major TV series and is an aspect that makes Resident Alien all the more special.
“Chris [Sheridan] and I talked about this a lot, and it was really important to get the representation right on this show. Chris has been an inspiration in our community to give opportunities where they deserve to be given,” she said. “I really resonated with Asta being adopted, she feels ‘other’ most of the time, and that resonated with why she and Harry really do connect. I’m just hnored to be part of a show that does that indigenous representation justice.”
Along with getting into what makes the show work, Tomko also provided a tantalizing three word tease for the back half of Season 2: “Murder. Mayhem. Alienbaby.”
Okay, that last one isn’t technically just one word, but she said it fast enough it counts.