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SYFY WIRE Chris Sheridan

Resident Alien: Alan Tudyk's Hilarious Effort to Revive Nathan Fillion's Octopus Was Totally Ad-Libbed

If you are going to give CPR to an octopus, don't use Resident Alien as a guide.

By Josh Weiss
Resident Alien Recap: Season 2, Episode 6 – ‘An Alien in New York’

Pro tip: If you ever need to perform CPR on a dying octopus — although we're not sure when such an occasion would ever arise — don't use SYFY's Resident Alien Season 2 as a guide. According to showrunner/executive producer Chris Sheridan, the comedic scene in which Harry (Alan Tudyk) attempts to revive telepathic octopus, 42 (voiced by Tudyk's Firefly co-star Nathan Fillion), was completely improvised by the actor.

Harry's Attempt to Revive Nathan Fillion's Octopus on Resident Alien Was Totally Improvised

"That was 100 percent Alan Tudyk," Sheridan said, when asked in the video below about the inner workings of the moment by Joe Vaux, the artist commissioned for the Goliath murals seen in the New York-based episodes of Season 2. "A lot of his stuff was ad-libbed in that scene and that was one of them. That was not something we expected. You'd do anything you can to try to help a friend, right?"

In the end, 42 expires, but his death is not in vein because Harry gets a rather tasty meal out of the deal, pairing the tentacles of his distant cousin with a high quality white wine. "He had the advantages," Sheridan continued. "Let's say he doesn't bring the octopus back, he's got dinner. It worked out for him."

Behind the Scenes of Resident Alien Season 2, Ep. 6 – 'An Alien in New York'

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Vaux described working on the hit show as "one of those few experiences ever where you get a job and you're like, 'Oh, this'll be a nice little added income,' but then you become so excited about this opportunity because the show is so great. I love it! I'm looking forward, every Wednesday, for the new episode and I'm constantly sending [Chris] little kudos like, 'Oh, man! That was so great!' It's fun and it's kind of stressful [in the world] these days, so it's a great escape when we need it."

The first two seasons of Resident Alien can be found on Peacock. Season 3 episodes air on Wednesdays at 10/9c on SYFY, and stream next day on Peacock.